Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Untitled in B

She was an elusive one, always busy when I spontaneously popped into the neighborhood.  A real Miss Popular type and although I had grown tired of competing for her attention on previous attempts to meet her, I was willing to give it one last shot.  Besides, my friends thought she was sexy as hell.

I planned to meet her at the bar.  A friend of hers told me that the game would be on there so it was a perfect scenario for me.  I watched as she moved around the bar, each patron sizing her up and dreaming about their favorite ways to dress her.  She is hot after all.  Most people get caught up in her her appearance and dress but not me.  I like her with as little makeup as possible with plenty of exposed flesh and minimal accessories, though sometimes I like when she gets all dolled up in something sexy.  I motioned to the bartender who sidled up and asked how he could assist me.  Some intimate quality time with her was all I needed.  It had been a long day and I was drained.  She would help me find my inner peace again.

I sipped a bottle of suds to take the edge off while I waited for my chance to romance her.  When one didn't cut it I popped a second while peeking at the game on TV, still waiting, growing more hungry to be with her.  It was then that I saw her floating gracefully across the bar.  She was advancing towards me, her chest slightly exposed to give everyone a view at what they would be missing while she was with me.  To top it off, she was wearing one of those sexy signature outfits - a silky scarf of American cheese covered the prime angus flesh left exposed by her open sesame top, bacon dangling across her chest, with a bourbon bbq sauce by her side.  I had heard that she called this outfit, "Thunder Road", and it was apparent that she came to bring the thunder.

With her now in front of me, I wasted no time on foreplay and chose to ignore her skinny fries.  Instead, we just went at it.  Right there.  At the bar.  In front of everybody.  She squealed with pleasure as I devoured her, each bite into her flesh releasing her seasoned juices, sending them dripping down my chin.  Her bacon was a perfect balance of crisp and chew, making me lust for her even more while the bourbon bbq sauce kept things sensually sweet.  At one point she submitted herself to a sprinkling of Tabasco, letting me know she was there to please.  And damn did she wear it well.  She shuddered as I finished her off, leaving nothing but a trail of bbq sauce dripping over her exhausted skinny fries.

Our passionate affair ended almost as quickly as it had began.  A wink of a last bite of her sesame buns and she was gone.  I tossed the bartender a fifty and told him to keep the change.  She had been worth waiting for.  I grabbed my beer, took a final swig, and then headed for the door.  I'm not sure when I'll have the chance to see her again, or if she'll even be available, but I know that there will be a "next time"...

Many, many more.

The Thunder Road burger can found at:
Burger & Beer Joint
1766 Bay Rd
Miami Beach, FL 33139-1414
(305) 672-3287

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NAOE on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon!

Check out Wendy from Sunny Isles' NAOE gunning hot dogs on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

RIBFEST 2009: Sticky Sweet, Slightly Sour

RIBFEST 2009 was held down at the Homestead Air Reserve Park this past weekend and I was fired up to check it out.  A late night of drinking during Saturday night's "Sleepless Night" event on Miami Beach had me waking up with fire in my belly, a fire that was beckoning for sweet, succulent ribs and ice cold beer.  After some wacky coordination, I met up with Paula of Mango & Lime, her husband, David, and Jackie of Kitchen Interviews and began the trek to Homestead.

It was a beautiful day out with the sun shining and a cool breeze flowing thru open windows as we motored on down the turnpike, using Google maps to get us to our final destination.  At exit 5, we were hit with a huge log jam of traffic that was being poorly coordinated by police officers.  I say poorly coordinated because most of the police were sitting in their cars doing nothing while one of them tried to police the traffic.  Go figure.  I was shocked at how many people would be going to Ribfest.  I mean, ribs are awesome and all but this traffic was ridiculous!  Shortly after making our turn off of the exit, I discovered that the reason for the traffic was that there was also an airshow going on at the same time.  You could see various planes circling the skies getting warmed up for the airshow and a 2-for-1 event kinda made up for the traffic delay.

It wasn't until we arrived about 200 yards from the entrance to the parking lot that we saw a sign that advertised the Ribfest.  Had it not been for iPhones, Blackberrys, and Google maps, we'd have been screwed on directions.  Note to Ribfest organizers - next year have better signage.  We parked and headed into the event.  There was a $15 entry fee that covered, well, nothing.  It got you into the section of the park where all the vendors were set up along with a main stage for live music.  We handed in our tickets and walked into the event and were greeted by some young folk who asked, "Do you want to drink?"  "Sure", I replied, and they slapped a wristband on my wrist.  No I.D. needed.  Awesome.

We don't need no stinkin' I.D.

First Class First Aid

With a band on stage shredding thru their version of "Freebird", we made our way through a bunch of retailer tents where people were hawking wares like bonsai trees, cowboy hats, jerky, spices, and t-shirts.  I'm a jerky fan and stopped by the Fatman & Mike tent to check out what they had to offer.  The Fatman and his buddy, Mike, hooked me up with a sample of their jerky which was sweet on the tongue followed by a little spicy heat.  They use lean beef cuts rather that fatty ones so the jerky is a lot less chewy.  I enjoyed that a lot since chewing fatty jerky can often be similar to chewing on rope in its consistency.  Jackie was into their spice rub, so they offered us a "2 for $10" deal on the jerky/rub combo which saved us each a buck, the only time we would save anything all day.

Next order of business - cold beer.  Miller Lite tents were scattered throughout the event and it was fairly easy to get a beer.  At $5 for a 12oz Miller Lite or a Fosters, perhaps most people were avoiding the beer tent?  Or maybe it was the annoying dude that was behind the counter, asking people what they wanted, giving them their total cost, and then being sure to add, "plus tip".  I guarantee that this booth missed out on a lot of tips thanks to this douchebag.  Every time I got a beer and he said that he pretty much guaranteed that I wasn't going to leave a tip.  Had he kept his mouth shut just one time I'd have tipped but he blew it for himself. 

We walked by some horses and horse riders and made our way over to the real reason we were here.  Twelve "Ribbers" and their booths formed a nice line and offered up all sorts of options from ribs to chicken to samiches, as many called them.  We decided a "divide and conquer" plan would be the best way to sample as many ribs as we could so we each picked a booth and returned to one of the many picnic tables to share our bounties.  Here are the first sets of ribs that we sampled:

Huckleberry Hillbilly BBQ

Skin N' Bones

Aussome Aussie

Porky N' Beans

My least favorite of all of these ribs were the ones I picked, Huckleberry Hillbilly.  Go figure haha.  They were overcooked and pretty dry and the Key Lime BBQ sauce didnt really pack much of a key lime taste at all, though this Ribber did win Best Sauce later on in the day.  I really enjoyed all 3 of the other rib offerings.  The Aussome Aussie ribs were sticky sweet and super tender.  Skin N' Bones were different than the rest in the bunch in that they had a killer dry rub on them that was fine on its own.  Even though these ribs didnt really need any sauce at all, the flavor was enhanced when dipped in one of the 3 sauce options that Ms. Jackie brought along, my favorite being the spicy bbq sauce.  I also liked that these ribs had some major meat on the bone.  My favorite ribs of the entire day, however, were the Porky N' Beans ribs.  These suckers were sauced well with a smoky, not-too-sweet, sauce that carmelized on some of the edges for a chewy, concentrated effect that I loved.  They were also fall-off-the-bone tender and melted in your mouth with little chewing necessary which is key when you're inhaling ribs like we were.

After another round of beers and a quick cameo by Anice of @epicuriouschic fame, David and I decided that we need to sample more ribs so that our guts would protrude more and allow us to fit in better with the crowd.  Paula was also interested in the ribs offered by Blazin' Broncos since they had a huge line outside their booth.  David went with Pig In, Pig Out, who also had a "Ribsicle" at their tent that we somehow managed to avoid.  I went with Willingham's, who also had a long line outside their tent.  It was in this line where I met Chuck, a part of the Willingham's team and a guy who is all about ribs and barbeque.  He gave us "2 reasons why we were in his line" and then pointed to the banners on each side of their booth that indicated the awards these ribs had won.  He also talked about the smoking and cooking processes they used and included some fun math exercises for the kids in line.  Nice guy and definitely passionate about his ribs.  I thought this second round was just OK.  I didnt know if it was because my belly was reaching mass capacity or if it was because I had already had some killer ribs but these ones just didnt do it for me.  Willingham's had the best flavor in my opinion but they were a little dry.  The others were also just OK.

Pig In, Pig Out

Chuck droppin' serious rib knowledge


The last Blazin' Bronco

I was pretty full at this point and luckily so was everyone else.  We took a walk and checked out some of the booths we missed along with the band on stage that had just gone country with Chuck Wicks crooning to a diverse audience, warming them up for Tracy Lawrence.  I have never heard of either of these guys but they weren't bad.  I liked the earlier bands better though.  The tiny walk we took freed up some room in my belly for my favorite veggie - corn on the cob.  Paula joined me at the roasted corn booth where our corn cobs were dunked in a bucket of clarified butter and presented to us.  I housed my corn so fast that Paula likened it to the old cartoon where those black crowes eat corn like it was a typewriter haha.  The corn was damn good though, with large kernals and a nice buttery flavor.  Embracing my inner Ribber, I tossed the empty cob in the garbage, belched, and wiped my mouth with my shirt.  Booyeah!

We waited around to catch a bit of the airshow and listen to the big winners at the Ribfest.  Blazin' Broncos took the top spot in the rib category, followed by my favorite, Porky N' Beans.  Aussome Aussie took 3rd place, so I guess we nailed right ribs by sampling all 3 of the top Ribbers.  This video of the airshow was captured by David.

Ribfest was a good time, albeit a somewhat expensive one.  I think I spent close to $100 on admission, beers, ribs, jerky, and corn.  I guess it was a small price to pay for a good time far removed from the gates of the city, especially after I bought a kickass cowboy hat on our way out.  Yee-haw!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Getcha Sticky Icky on at RIBFEST 2009!

Did you know that people who specialize in cooking ribs are called Ribbers?  Well, you do now!  This weekend at Homestead Air Reserve Park will be the site for Ribfest 2009.  This year's event features a dozen Ribbers rubbin', smokin', and saucin' down some serious ribbage to determine who's ribs will stick with the title of Best in Show. 

In addition to glorious mounds of ribs to scarf down, there are family games, hay rides, and other activities.  There will also be some music acts that some may have heard of.  On Saturday, Joan Jett & the BlackHearts take the stage after a set by Blue Oyster Cult!  Holy 80's!  Sunday goes country with Tracy Lawrence and Chuck Wicks.

Tickets are $15 with a parking fee of $5 per car.  Not bad.  The event takes place on Saturday from 11am to 10pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm, so be sure to carve out a little time this weekend to check it out.  With the weather poised to be perfect, its a can't miss.

For more information, check out the official Ribfest site here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Golly Whoppers!!!

When airline travel woes get me down, there are two things that raise my spirits rather quickly - a good bourbon and a good meal.  Being that my latest episode occurred in Chattanooga, Tennessee during the middle of the day and right before a meeting with a customer, bourbon was out as a remedy.  So, my sales rep and I headed out to grab a bite before our meeting.  Our destination: Golly Whoppers.

Yes, Golly Whoppers is an actual name of a real establishment.  It's a sandwich shop with a salad bar and they also bake their own bread daily.  Any time I'm in the South, I'm lookin' to get me some pulled pork barbecue, usually in sandwich form.  Well, GollyWhoppers had just that on their menu.

Now I know where the eatery got its name cuz Golly Whoppers was that sandwich big!!!  It was more like 2 sandwiches!  Fresh baked wheat bread topped with slaw and then piled high with tender pulled pork.  A sweet and savory bbq sauce finished this bad boy off.  I inhaled the first half of the sandwich, each bite erasing some of the bad vibes that had been coursing my veins from the airline losing my baggage earlier in the day.  I really enjoyed the softness of the pork and the crunch of the fresh slaw which was also moist without making the sandwich soggy.  I was pretty full after that first half but I was determined to finish off the second half.  I made a valiant effort but, in the end, I bowed to the awesomeness that is the large bbq pulled pork sandwich that is Golly Whoppers.  If you ever find yourself in Chattanooga and you want a killer lunch, check this place out and get this sandwich.  It's a winner.

Golly Whoppers
6337 E Brainerd Rd
Chattanooga, TN 37421
(423) 855-2001 (Phone)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Heathy Eatin' at Slow Food Miami's Conference

For me, food is more than just a necessity to survive.  It's a hobby and something I enjoy educating myself about.  After all, knowledge is power.  When my friend Paula from the blog Mango & Lime told me about an upcoming dinner at the Slow Food Miami Conference that was to be cooked by local Red Light chef Kris Wessel, I thought it would be a good opportunity to check out what the organization was all about.  The dinner was held last Thursday and it was a nice event.

The Slow Food organization basically sets out to be everything that fast food is not.  It focuses on reminding people that fresh, healthy food is readily available for consumption and attempts to reconnect people with where this food comes from.  It's more than hippies and John Deere.  There were all sorts of people at this event, all of whom were interested and probably concerned with where our society currently stands in regards to what we eat.  For me, it wasn't as much of an eye-opener as it was a nice reminder.  With my job requiring that I travel frequently, I always seem to end up eating fast food while on the road at one point or another.  I hate that but many times there really isn't a way around it.  When I'm home I eat out almost every night, using the excuse of "travel leads to spoiled food in the fridge" and my love of dining out as excuses for not cooking at home more often.  It's really just laziness and an easy way out.  That being said, I do try to eat healthy when I dine out and I often buy fruits to keep in the fridge and snack on rather than junk food.  The Slow Food Conference reminded me that good, healthy, and locally sourced meals don't always have to be an ordeal and that I should be looking for fresh and healthy meals that I can make at home more often.

I didn't really get any pictures of any of the food because I really didnt feel like taking pictures and with Paula, Trina from Miami Dish, and Jackie from Kitchen Interviews & the New Times' Short Order in attendance, I knew there would be plenty of picture coverage.  I basically ate and hung out with Paula's husband, David, all night, cracking jokes and having a good time.  The event was buffet style with 7 different stations offering various dishes.  I've never been a fan of buffet-style dinners because the food can sometimes get dry as it sits but this one wasn't bad.  I enjoyed everything at the game grazing table that had braised rabbit, "Little Haiti" style goat, and local quail.  The oyster pie was also very tasty.  I had a fruit called rambutan for the first time and liked it.  It reminded me of the lychees I used to get from the lychee nut tree I had in my yard when I first moved to Miami.  The standouts of the night for me were the chocolate rice and the cucumber quinoa.  There isnt much to say about chocolate rice besides that it was surprisingly good.  The cucumber quinoa had a refreshing taste and was loaded with protein.  I could eat that stuff every day.

The Slow Food Miami Conference was a nice event with interesting people and dishes assembled with locally sourced ingredients.  I enjoyed spending time with friends, meeting new people, and talking about our shared interests with food obviously being a main conversation point.  I also reminded myself that I really gotta get over to Red Light soon to get my grub on.  I've heard nothing but good things about the dishes that Kris Wessel prepares there.  Having had the chance to get a taste at this event, I'm certain I'll come to the same conclusion as those who have advised me to go there.  In the meantime, I'm going to make an effort to take advantage of the more healthier options at the Fresh Market here in the Grove and slow down my life enough to enjoy a nice home cooked meal.