Sunday, September 4, 2011

New BBQ Joint - Mike's BBQ in Escondido (mobile)

Grabbed a quick full rack of baby back ribs to go after an afternoon with friends at Stone Brewery & some shopping.

Will report back later with a mini-review.

Will go back again later (unless this rack totally sucks) for a more traditional meal & full review.

I can report that this place is huge. Plus a bar where you can eat off the full menu while watching the 15 foot (yes, 15 foot - this is a big TV) tele.

Visit Mike's BBQ on the web.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Map the BBQ

I'm going to play around with adding a map to this blog. Figure I will include locations of all the BBQ joints I know, links to my reviews, etc.

Hopefully this will be useful for folks looking for a place to eat some good Q.

I was going to focus just on San Diego. But decided to go further since I am lucky enough to travel a bit too.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Phil's BBQ - San Marcos, Our First Time

OK, so Phil's BBQ has been open in San Marcos for a number of months now. Finally had a chance to get in there and check it out a bit. Was returning home from running some errands with Jen, and decided it was time.

My standby, go-to meal at any new BBQ joint is the Pulled Pork Sandwich. It is what I judge a BBQ restaurant by. I have loved the BBQ Broham pulled pork from Phil's since the first time I've had it. That is one huge sandwhich. That being said, the last two times I've had it at the Sports Arena location I have been less that overwhelmed. Chucks of fat big enough that they should have been pulled once. And the other I think it was some just nasty hard edge meat that shouldn't have made it to a sandwich - it was pretty big.

So, today it was ribs. We decided to split a full rack of baby backs and get two sides. I wanted the beans and Jen wanted some french fries. We ordered the fried well-done, and were glad we did. Jen had seen someone's fried on the way in and she described them as "anemic". The 'well done' ones were just perfect!

The ribs. Cooked very well. Close to over cooked, but not quite. I jumped for the ones with little to no sauce on them. Why? Two reasons. I'm not a huge fan of vinegar based sauces - Phil's are. Also, I want to taste the meat and the Q, not just a bunch of sauce. So what's the verdict? Tasty ribs those are!

I motored through 3 then remembered the beans. I forgot that his bean has a bit-o-spice to them. Not much, but I don't do heat that well, so I noticed it. Good though. And we thoroughly enjoyed the fries.

Would I get them again - oh ya. Maybe I'll remember on of these days to ask for the sauce on the side...

It was also fun to try to remember the way the restaurant used to look. We had eaten there twice when it was an Italian place (can't recall the name). Was that area expanded? Etc. I can tell you for sure that I am much happier having that location be a Phil's!

Visit Phil's in San Marcos at 579 Grand Ave, San Marcos, CA 92078.
And if you are in the San Diego area hit the Sports Arena location at 3750 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110.   Both are close on Monday's.
Be forewarned - there can be LONG lines at Phil's. I am looking at the Point Loma (Sports Arena) location live cam right now - it's packed! Check out the BBQueue Cam (cute play on words guys) if you are in a hurry.
It's hard to beat Phil's for BBQ - well, unless you come to my place...

Oh ya - here's a pic of the ribs plate. Totally sorry about the picture - I only thought to snap a quick one for Foursquare before I got lost in eating. Plus I didn't even realize we were sitting under a neon light - that's why the color is so odd!

Check this out too. First Time I've seen this - what a simple, but useful idea. Just hook your arm under this and pull - door opens and you don't loose the work you just put into cleaning your hands. Now then - go get them dirty again with Que!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It Has Been WAY Too Long - Time to Smoke

Well, we are in the new house. Still have a bunch of boxes to empty. Still trying to figure out just where it makes the most sense to put things. Still trying to pick which painting/photo to put on which wall. Still trying to figure out the irrigation system and fix broken PVC pipes. Good thing we have many years left to figure this all out!

Have been doing a fair amount of grilling - mainly for dinners for the two of us. So a ribeye or two, burgers, more rirbeyes... We almost never grill any steak but a ribeye. Nothing else comes close, and with the good prices at Costco or Restaurant Depot why not really enjoy your steak!

But what has been missing? Smoking! I haven't put a darn thing in my lonely little smoker in forever.

Well the July 4th weekend is coming and that is all about to change! We have invited friends and family over to hang out, enjoy the pool, the company of other folks and a few adult beverages. And dinner of course. And what's the main course - pulled pork sandwiches!

I'll be making a quick run to RD this week to pick up a 2-pack of pork butt and will cook those up, pull um, and be ready to go for the next day. Jen is considering making the rolls herself. We shall see, I think we have enough to do between now and then that we don't need to worry about that.

It was great the other day when we were talking with a friend and asked her if she can join us for the 4th. She was hemming and hawing a bit - then Jen said - "and Tim will be smoking...". Our friend instantly said, "oh ya, I'll be there!".

Love it. Guess I'd better make some good food!  =)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some Game Day Tri-Tip

It's Super Bowl Sunday. I only state that because most of you will know what day it is, not because it has any bearing on anything. We didn't host a bowl game, we didn't go to a bowl game - heck - we didn't even watch the game!

But we did have two tri-tips in the refrigerator, and this was the day to cook them up.
Early in the day I skinned about 6 cloves of garlic, and cut them into somewhat uniform sizes. I then cut slits into the tri-tips and pushed a piece of garlic into each cut. Haven't done this since college.

I then liberally covered each piece with Santa Maria Style seasoning from Susie Q's. This is the brand we learned about in San Luis Obispo during college - where we also learned about the Tri-tip. Back in those days not many folks outside of the Central Coast knew about Tri-tip. After covering them I put each into a plastic ziplock bag and back into the refrigerator.

Hours later just as the sun was setting I pulled them out to toss on the grill. Opened up a bag - oh ya, that smelled good!

I'm not sure how the timing was during the game, but mine was cutting it close... Ran out of gas just as the larger cut was done. Perfect!

We had it with a nice side salad with fig & walnut dressing. Tasty.

We did decide that next time we put garlic in we are going to use roasted garlic. The raw garlic doesn't get cooked enough and is too strong. Nice flavor, but could use a little calming.

If you haven't tried it before, do get the Santa Maria Style seasoning. And do let it sit on the meat for 6+ hours - it gives it a great flavor!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bacon Jam – the quest continues

OK – SO we are loving the Bacon Jam. Took some to a friends house and we all loved it on yams. Really good.

We are using it a lot on burgers – the original use always seems to be the best.

We are working on finding the best mix of ingredients. The first batch we made (in the post below) has been the best. But even the “bad” stuff is really good. For example – we made a batch and split the sugar into half brown and half white. Also drained off more of the liquid. Still good, but it came out too dry and not as flavorful.

So we promise to continue to play with the recipe and work towards making it the best it can be. I know, I know – it’s tough work but someone has to do it! Plus we have a lot of bacon right now – so it seems like a good time.

Have fun cooking/grilling/smoking! If you try Bacon Jam let me now what you think. And if you tweak the recipe a bit, let me know what you do and how it turns out!

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