Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chew this!

When I read about ice-chewers in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, it didn't move me much.

When commentary 'bout the ice-chewing article started appearing on various Web sites today, I could only say, nay, announce to myself:

Chewin' ice ain't manly (sorry Vince Gill); chewin', ahem, stuff that grows outta God's green earth is!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Two words every man longs to hear: Free Beer!

The article says Carlsberg was spilt, but the beer in the picture is clearly Grolsch. That's okay; I prefer Grolsch anyway.

"Enterprising Malaysians have been caught on camera walking away with cartons of a beer after a delivery truck crashed on a major freeway.

"Amateur footage uploaded onto the internet revealed traffic slowed to a steady crawl along the North-South Expressway as motorists – as well as a bus driver - stopped to take advantage of the January 19 crash.

"The truck, delivering Carlsberg beer, can be seen lying on its side with cartons of booze littered on the road.

"The camera operator can also be heard describing the scene in English while driving past a long line of cars parked on the side of the highway.

"'All these people stopping just to take the beer,' he said."

Stopping just to take free beer? Well, duh!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gimme my haggis, dammit!

Is there a more manly dish than haggis?

Grind up a sheep's heart, liver, and lungs; add minced onions, oatmeal, spices and salt; stuff the mixture in the animal's stomach; and just boil the hell out of the whole shebang. Serve it up with a premium Scottish whisky and, again, you have a meal any manly man would be proud to eat.

Thanks to Creeder Reader Brian for sending us the following story 'bout haggis. Even though it came three days after Burns Night, it's still a damn fine story. To wit:

"Well, I know I posted last week about haggis. There is a movement to get the USDA to drop its ban on Scottish haggis. But it's Burns Night and you absolutely have to have good Scottish haggis for the occasion. Unfortunately, if you're in the U.S. you'll just have to smuggle it in.

"According to the Times Online, a record number of people are going to the trouble of smuggling haggis into the U.S. for Burns Night, the anniversary of Robert Burns' birthday and a national holiday of Scotland. The USDA and US Customs and Border Protection are aware of the holiday, and are on the look out for increased attempts to get the meat into the country. The fines for trying to break the haggis ban are steep, too. You can be fined up to $1,000 and run the risk of having your name placed on an alert list.

"The one butcher from Cockburn's of Dingwall, which is renowned for its haggis, says that more and more people are open about their intentions to smuggle their purchase into the U.S. Another popular route is through the mail, though you may need to worry a little about its condition on arrival. Or you could be a law-abiding citizen and get haggis that was made in America."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pork 'n' potatoes

This is what was on the menu last night at Chez Django:

Pork roast, mashed potatoes, and homemade brown gravy. (You shoulda been here!)

'Bout 1 p.m. yesterday, I threw a pork butt in my Crock-Pot® cooker and covered it with water and a little beef stock. I added onions, garlic, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper. After cooking on "low" for about four hours, the pork roast came out moist and juicy and chock full o' flavor.

Next time I make it I'll be sure to take note of my measurements and sich. A more precise recipe will then be forthcoming.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Best pizza in Nashville. Period.

My best buddy, Bruce, and I slapped our legs under a table at Agelos's Picnic Pizza 'bout 9:00 p.m. ce soir. We got us an extra-large "House" pizza; we played hell with the olive oil and vinegar on the salad bar; we drank us some brews; and we stumbled out of the restaurant with enough left-over slices so's both of us can have a good lunch tomorrow.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

Angelo's Picnic Pizza is the best pizza joint in Nashville.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Yankee beer, go home!

Yuengling beer started showing up in Nashville-area markets and stores 'bout six or eight months ago. Produced by Pennsylvania's oldest brewery, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Yuengling is beloved by beer drinkers in the Northeast and along the Eastern seaboard. (A co-worker who hails from Pennsylvania recently told me: "If you go into a bar [in Pennsylvania] and ask for a 'lager,' you get a Yuengling."

I'd been reluctant to try me a bottle or two of Yuengling. You see, I'm so loyal to my favorite brews - Samuel Smith's, Samuel Adams, Yazoo, Anchor Steam - that I feel guilty spending money on new brews that I may not even like.

Before heading to my best buddy's house to do some pickin' ce soir, I stopped at my favorite quickie mart to get some brews and chew. Since Yuengling Lager was on sale, I says to myself, I says, "What the hell. I'll try it." Here's my verdict:

Yuengling Lager tastes very thin for a lager, and it leaves a God-awful taste in your mouth upon swallowing. With each sip I told my buddy, "This **** is worse than Budweiser!" He wholeheartedly agreed.

Needless to say, I won't be buying Yuengling beer again.


My "cousin" David writes to give his two-cents 'bout Yuengling ...

"I read your post about Yuengling, and could not agree more. Why the hell yuppies are paying premium prices for PBR (The Greenhouse, anywhere in the Village) and for this detestable Yankee swill is beyond me (please quote me on that). Retro-slumming, I call it."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An apple a day ... will cost you more

These are my favorite beverages (in order of favoriteness, if you will):

Vitamin D milk
Tennessee Whisky

While I mainly function, if you will, on the first three of the above-mentioned beverages, I do enjoy a glass of juice from time to time. And when I have a hankerin' for a glass of juice, it's usually of the apple variety.

I purchase apple juice about once a month. (I have no particular brand loyalty; I usually look for something on sale.) When I purchase next month's jug o' apple juice, it'll cost me, indeed:

"The price of apple juice ... is set to rise this year due to bad weather in China, in another sign the country's growing influence is affecting the world in unexpected ways.

"China sells as many apples as the rest of the world put together.

"But a late frost last year and cold, wet weather has reduced the crop by 10 per cent and helped to increase the price of international supplies of apple juice concentrate, for which much of the fruit is destined."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Finding Comfort when cold winds blow

With sleet falling and temperatures plunging here in Nashville, I think it's an appropriate time to revisit this classic post 'bout gizzard-burning 100-proof Southern Comfort:

It's my understanding that Southern Comfort was Janis Joplin's drink of choice. It's also my understanding that Ms. Joplin consumed Southern Comfort in copious quantities. I think I now know why she developed such a taste for the stuff.

A buddy gave me a big bottle of 100-proof Southern Comfort about a month ago as a way of thanking me for watching his house and collecting his mail while he was out of town. The bottle sat on my bar unmolested until tonight. ...

After the initial 100-proof burn made its way over my tongue and into my belly, I had a revelation: Southern Comfort is one tasty al-kee-holic beverage! It is very - and I mean very - sweet with a complex undertone of whiskey and spices. It tastes very much like a beverage I'd expect to be drinking whilst sitting on a balcony in New Orleans' French Quarter.

I'm not crazy about 100-proof beverages, but the sweetness of Southern Comfort's extra-alcohol beverage sorta lessens, if you will, the high octane burn. That said, I'll probably buy me a bottle of "regular" Southern Comfort before I get anywhere near finishing the bottle I now have. Let's just hope I don't start buying Southern Comfort in Janis Joplin-style, ahem, copious quantities!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday

Everyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I detest chain restaurants -- especially "casual dining" chain restaurants. Last week, I was more or less dragged to a local Ruby Tuesday by three female family members (go figure).

Seeing nothing on the menu that struck my fancy, I opted for a bowl of white bean chicken chili and Ruby Tuesday's "famous" salad bar. The salad bar was nothing to write home about, to say the least, but the chicken chili was pretty darn good. If Ruby Tuesday ever starts serving its chicken chili in big-arsed bowls as an entrée, I might - might - be tempted to once again place my buns in one of their booths.

That said, I found a recipe for "authentic" Ruby Tuesday white bean chicken chile on Recipe Zaar over the weekend, and I cooked up a batch tonight. I followed the directions - listed below - faithfully, which was a mistake. With each bit I said, "Man, this needs something." What it needed was more cumin, more oregano, more tomatoes ... more everything!

White Bean Chicken Chili


6 cups chicken stock
1 lb navy beans (soaked overnight)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & diced
6 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste


Simmer beans, onions, garlic and peppers for 2 hours in the chicken stock or until the beans soften, stirring frequently.

Add chicken, spices, tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for one more hour.

Garnish with sour cream and fresh chopped cilantro.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Stewed O-kree w/sausage (sounds good to me)

Creeder Reader Ewell sends us this (unsolicited) recipe:

Stewed Okra & Tomatoes


1/3-roll breakfast sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs fresh okra, sliced
3 cups chopped tomatoes
2/3 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook sausage in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks.

Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent.

Increase heat to high. Add okra, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and jalapenos.

Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Joltin' Django ♥ Cincinnati Chili

I was 12-years-old the first time I went to Cincinnati. A kid who played on my baseball team that year was from Ohio, and he and his father were huge Reds fans.

One sunny summer day, my friend, his dad and I drove to Cincinnati to take in an under-the-lights Reds-Cardinals game. We stayed at a hotel near the stadium that night, and we started our journey back to Nashville at noon the following day.

Before leaving Cincinnati, however, my friend's dad insisted that we stop at Skyline Chili. Neither my mother or my father were big chili fans (I don't remember my mother ever making chili when I was growing up), and I'd sort of adopted their indifference to the stuff. I don't remember exactly what I ordered, but I know it wasn't chili.

I remember when my friend's dad's chili arrived. It did not resemble any chili I'd ever seen. First of all, it wasn't in a bowl, which was how I'd always seen chili served. And it wasn't just chili on the plate. It was spaghetti noodles and chili and cheese and beans and chopped onions. I was intrigued, to say the least.

My friend's dad asked if I'd like to try his chili. Since what he was eating looked more like a plate of my mother's spaghetti than any chili I'd ever encountered, I probably said, "Yes, please" (I was full o' manners when I was a young boy), and boy was I glad I did.

The first thing you notice about Cincinnati chili is its slightly sweet taste. That's 'cause it is made with cinnamon, cocoa and paprika (Texas-style chili it ain't). I know the sweet taste is what I enjoyed most about my first few bites of Cincinnati chili. I'm sure others feel the same way.

My two traveling companions and I made two more trips to Cincinnati that summer. We saw the Braves play during one of those trips; I don't remember who the Reds played during the other. What I do remember is this: I just begged my friend's dad to take us back to Skyline each time, which he did. I suspect he would've taken us there whether I'd lobbied for the trip or not.

Since those first three trips to Skyline during the summer of my 12th year, I've been a confirmed fan of Cincinnati chili. I've been to Cincinnati a couple-dozen times over the years for business and pleasure, and I've always - and I mean always - go to one of the myriad chili parlors that serve the fine citizens of the Queen City (Skyline, Gold Star, Empress, Dixie Chili, etc.).

Now, if you don't want to drive all the way to Cincinnati to try this unique American dish, you can drive to your nearest Kroger grocery store and get a package of Cincinnati Recipe Chili Mix. (Kroger is the only grocery store in which you're likely to find the stuff, which makes sense considering Kroger is headquartered in Cincinnati.) I've made Cincinnati chili from scratch, but it didn't taste as much like the real thing as the chili I've made with Cincinnati Recipe's mix.

I made a big batch of chili tonight (see picture above), which I shared with a neighbor who's suffering from cancer. He eats like a bird these days, but he did have a pretty big helping of noodles and meat. I think that's a pretty good tribute, n'est-ce pas?

Check out this blog entry to learn more 'bout Cincinnati chili.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Get me ..!"

If you've watched your television for more than 10 minutes over the past month or so, you've most likely seen the Burger King commercials in which patrons are told that Whopper sandwiches have been discontinued. Some of the patrons express mild shock ("Oh, no!" they says), and some freak out ("Get me a Whopper!"). I would do neither because I would never believe that Burger King removed the Whopper from its menu.

That said, the Tennessean has asked readers to send via e-mail the dishes they would miss most from area menus. The French bread burger at Rotier's is one suggestion the Tennessean gives, and it's a damn fine suggestion at that. Here're some of the Nashville-area menu items I'd make as ass out of myself over upon learning that they'd been discontinued:

Hot wings at Neely's
Lomo Saltado at El Inca Peruvian Restaurant
Phở at Vinh-Long or King Market Café
Matzo ball soup at Noshville
Turnip Greens at Dan's Café
Mushroom and Swiss burger at Sports Page
Hot and sour soup at Your Choice Restaurant
Extra-hot breast quarter at Prince's Hot Chicken
Moo Pau Prig at Siam Café
Ribs at Mary's Old Fashioned Pit BBQ

Send your can't-live-without menu item, along with your name and daytime phone number, to

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eatin' vermin with fuzzy tails

I don't like to talk about politics here on A Man's Gotta Eat. However, this video featuring presidential candidate Mike Huckabee more than piqued my interest:

I've hunted squirrel, and I've eaten my fair share of squirrel-meat. I can't say that I enjoyed either activity. In fact, you can bet your ass that I wouldn't discuss any aspect of my squirrel-hunting/eating past on any file-sharing Web site.

That said, here's what I'll say to Mike Huckabee if and when he and I come face to face:

Your tree-rat-in-a-coffee-pot revelation ain't bowlin' me over, Gov. Huckabee. When you were in college, didn't you ever stay out all night chugging draft-Natural Light and eating chicken wings? And the next day you still got up early to go to class, pounding headache be damned?

No? Well, then, no wonder you don't impress me!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mary B's sounds good to me!

One of my all time favorite meals is chicken and dumplings. And by dumplings I mean strip dumplings cooked in chicken broth, like my Granny Ruby used to make, not Bisquick biscuits cooked in cream of mushroom soup.

I used to make dumplings from scratch (they ain't too hard to make). About two years ago, however, I discovered Mary B's Open Kettle Dumplings in a small grocery store in Camden, Tennessee. I haven't made dumplings from scratch since. Yes, Mary B's dumplings are just as good scratch-made dumplings.

I know for a fact that you can find Mary B's dumplings (and Mary B's frozen biscuits) at Wal-Mart and Food Lion. I'm sure other grocery stores in the Middle Tennessee area have them as well.

Try Mary B's dumplings sometime. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Praise be to onions

Here at Chez Allison, we use a lot of onions -- chopped for soups and stews, diced for beans and chili, and sliced for burgers and sandwiches. I reckon that I go through a bag of white onions every week. And that's an average week. I might go through two if at any time during the week I'm entertaining. I hate to think what my kitchen table would be like if onions were to suddenly disappear.

I don't remember when I first developed a taste for onions. I do know, however, that I was very young when I did. I was also very young when my grandmother taught me how to slice and chop onions. Thus, when my childhood chums were eating baloney sammiches with cheese, I was eating baloney sammiches with sliced onions, which I'd sliced myself.

Techniques for chopping/slicing onions differ among chefs. The one consensus you will find, however, is the need for a sharp - and I mean sharp - knife. Start hacking away at an onion with a dull knife and you just might lose a digit. Same goes for those God-forsaken serrated knifes. To borrow a phrase from my grandmother, those damn things need to be thrown in a gully.

I've never been very impressed with Chef Tyler Florence cookbooks or television shows. He does have a good onion-chopping technique, though. Check it out here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Good ol' poor folks' food

There's an episode of Matlock - yes, I admit, I watch Matlock - in which Ben Matlock's houseguest, Jimmy Legrand (played by David Carradine), announces that he's thinking about cooking some scratch-made black-eyed peas and cornbread. Matlock gets a broad smile on his face and hands Legrand a bottle of Tabasco sauce. The next scene shows the two of them sitting at the table eating. Matlock scoops diced onions into his bowl of black-eyed peas and says, "Mmm, mmm! Poor folks food!" See why I like Matlock?!

As I mentioned last week, my Great Aunt Caroline recently suffered a stroke. She's still in the hospital here in Nashville. Some of my extended family, most of whom live along the Tennessee-Alabama border, came to Nashville yesterday to visit her. I told 'em to not worry about dinner: "I'll be more than happy to feed you," says I.

I had several big, thick slices of country ham that needed to be cooked in the worst way. I'd considered thinly slicing the ham to use for fried country ham sandwiches. Then inspiration struck: cube the ham and use it to season a big pot of black-eyed peas and a big pot of fresh turnip greens. That is exactly what I did.

I cooked eight bunches of turnip greens, two pounds of dried black-eyed peas, and two skillets of cornbread. I diced two white onions and fried two remaining slices of country ham. After eight people'd had their way with my spread, there wasn't anything left - 'cept for some of the "juice" in which the turnip greens had simmered. If that ain't a tribute to Joltin' Django's culinary skills, I don't know what is.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fan-mail Friday

The folks at D.L. Lee & Sons were more than smitten with my recent pro-Georgia Boy Sausage post. To wit:


Thank you for your comments on Georgia Boy Smoked Sausage on your web site. We are happy that you enjoy our products. If you are ever in South Georgia (Alma) you are invited to come by the plant for a tour and samples of our many other fine products.

Thanks again,

David Lee, President
D. L. Lee and Sons, Inc.
Alma, GA 31510

Thursday, January 10, 2008

God Bless "Aint Caroline"

My beloved Great Aunt Caroline - who at 80-years-old still works at Wal-Mart, drives herself to church three times a week, and cooks huge meals whenever family visits - had a stroke on Monday. Things were iffy for a while, but it looks like she's gonna pull through.

As a sorta get-well-soon tribute to her, I'm re-posting something that was first published on A Man's Gotta Eat in October:

Yours truly took in the Jack Daniel's BBQ contest in Lynchburg on Saturday. The food was good, the weather was perfect, and I had a great time. The highlight of my weekend, however, was lunch at my great-aunt's house in Fayetteville earlier today. She served up a beef and cabbage casserole that was out of this world.

I can't wait to make this myself:

Great Aunt Caroline's Beef and Cabbage Casserole


1 head of cabbage
1 lb ground beef
1 medium white onion, sliced into thin rings
3-4 potatoes, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can tomato soup
Salt and pepper


Core and quarter cabbage. Boil in salted water for 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and drain fat. Pour cream of mushroom soup into ground beef and stir until well mixed.

Place boiled cabbage into a rectangular baking dish. Place sliced onions in a single layer over cabbage; place sliced potatoes in a single layer over onions. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Pour ground beef/soup mixture into baking dish and spread evenly. Cover with foil and place in a preheated oven (350 degrees). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil from dish and spread the tomato soup evenly over the ground beef/soup. Bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"'Tis a remorseless eating machine ..." (Update)

Remember when I told you 'bout the guy who was hate-crimed out of a Louisiana all-you-can-eat restaurant? Well, he recently showed up on Jimmy Kimmel Live to tell his tale:

Tell it like it is, brutha(s) ...!

Raise a drink to the kudzu plant

"I creep like the kudzu vines that are slowly but surely strangling our Dixie."

-- Gilbert Dauterive, King of the Hill, "A Beer Can Named Desire"

Driving on US Highway 70 between Dickson and McEwen, TN, motorists pass several mile/two-mile-long stretches of landscape wherein kudzu is clinging to everything in sight: the ground, trees, fences, power lines, long-abandoned farm equipment, etc. Turn onto any highway, byway, or backroad in the South and you likely won't have to travel very far before you encounter similar kudzu-is-everywhere scenes. You might even mutter to yourself, "The person who coined the phrase 'grows like kudzu' knew exactly what in the **** he/she was talkin' about."

Indigenous to Japan and China, kudzu was first introduced into the United States as an ornamental plant in the late 1800s. In 1935, the Roosevelt Administration began encouraging farmers and the Civilian Conservation Corps to plant kudzu to reduce soil erosion. It didn't take long, however, before it was discovered that the Southeastern U.S. enjoys near-perfect weather conditions -- hot, humid summers, year-round rainfall, temperate winters -- for kudzu to grow out of control. By 1953, the United States Department of Agriculture was identifying kudzu as a "pest weed."

Southerners have cursed kudzu for years thinking that it had not a single practical use. Well, the cursing days could soon come to an end. According to researchers at a Boston-area hospital, kudzu may be useful for something after all:

"Kudos to kudzu, the Japanese vine that was imported to curb erosion in the Southern US – besides its soil clinging ability it may also be used to curb excessive boozing, binging, and maybe even alcoholism.

"Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital's Behavioural Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory has found evidence that a hormone derived from kudzu can reduce alcohol consumption in drinkers by as much as half by speeding up the effects of boozing.

"The study found that moderate to heavy drinkers who were given pills containing an oestrogen extracted from kudzu drank as much as 50% less than the placebo group drunks. Like rats in another test these guys got drunker faster and on fewer and drank less overall.

"Of course the study is supposedly not intended on making getting drunk cheaper, but rather to prevent the harmful effects of excessive consumption by reducing the alcohol consumption of chronics and to reduce binge drinking. Further studies on kudzu are aimed at reducing the cravings of alcoholics."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hot, hot, hot wings

Next time I'm in Chicago, I'm goin' to the Corner Tap to sample the world's hottest hot wings:

"A Chicago bar is serving up what may be the spiciest buffalo wings on record. The scorching heat is a result of the sauce being fortified with Red Savina peppers, known to be among the spiciest in the world.

According to Wikipedia, the peppers have been measured for 'hotness,' and recorded to be as high as 580,000 Scoville units. This is twice as hot as a habanero, and 65 times as hot as a jalapeño.

"Because of the heat, diners ordering the wings will have to sign a waiver before they eat them, agreeing not to sue should they be injured by the experience. They'll also have an alarm bell on hand in case they suddenly need their waiter to race over with some sour cream, milk, sugar or white bread to dull the effects of the pepper's sting."

Monday, January 07, 2008

Meatloaf Monday

I'll admit that there are very few things that I can do and do well. One thing at which I excel, however, is making meatloaf. Indeed, I can make a hunk o' meatloaf that'll make you want to slap your pappy.

I posted my meatloaf recipe a few months back but, alas, I did not have a picture to show my finished product. I do now (see above) 'cause meatloaf was on the table at Chez Allison ce soir.

Here's my recipe again. I didn't have any bread crumbs tonight, so I used matzo meal instead. I may very well make matzo a permanent feature of my meatloaf from here on out ...

Joltin' Django's Meatloaf


1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 large white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 heaping tablespoons Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1 tablespoon ground sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 can Vietti Creole Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup


Cover 8 X 8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour Creole Sauce into a large bowl. Add ketchup. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix ground beef, onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs, eggs, Greek Seasoning, salt and pepper. Fashion mixture into a brick-like loaf and place in baking dish. Cook for 45 minutes.

Remove meatloaf from oven. Drain grease from baking dish. Pour half of Creole Sauce/ketchup mixture over meatloaf. Return to oven.

Cook meatloaf for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with remaining Creole Sauce and ketchup. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Serve with hand-mashed potatoes and green beans.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

JG ♥ bacon

Jim Gaffigan, who often appears on The Bob & Tom Show, is one of my all-time favorite comedians. In the following über-funny vid, Mr. Gaffigan tells us 'bout his love affair with bacon:

Friday, January 04, 2008

So, how is this sausage called "Georgia Boy?"

When it comes to cookin' staples, there're a few things you can always count on findin' in Joltin' Django's kitchen: butter, whole milk, flour, Kosher salt, quality olive oil, balsamic/white/red wine vinegar, canned tomatoes, white onions, etc..  While those staples're very important, JD's favorite thing-always-have-on-hand is his large stock of smoked sausage.  That is, Georgia ... Boy ... smoked sausage.  Read on ...
Summer of 2005, I was on my way home from Atlanta - Braves game - and I exited somewhere in North Georgia to get medication to sooth the headache with which I was suffering.  A Something-Something Bi-Rite was the first medicine-selling place I encountered, so that's where I decided to do my dry-goodin'. 
As I searched the North Georgia Bi-Rite in question for the medicine aisle, I passed a small, open refrigerated display in which Lee Roll Sausage (hot and mild) and Georgia Boy smoked sausage, both of which are produced by D.L. Lee & Sons, was frozen and displayed.  Call it fate - or call it a wild hair - but I decided to purchase a 2 6-link boxes of Georgia Boy sausage -- mainly 'cause I could look into the box and see how the casing of each sausage link had been twisted into an end-lump that included yet more meat! "That's my kinda meat!" I says to myself.
I cooked my Georgia Boy sausage and loved it and figured I'd never enjoy the taste of it again until I next went to Georgia, and ...
At some point last summer, I found myself in the Publix Super Market in Nolensville, TN.  I was traipsing through the meat when I spied ... Georgia Boy Smoked Sausage! I stuffed two boxes of Georgia Boy under my arm and made a beeline for the checkout. If memory serves, I think it took less than a weekfor me to consume those 12 links of sausage.
I recently learned that Georgia Boy Smoked Sausage is available at every Nashville-area Publix grocery store.  Since learning such, I've made sure that my freezer is stuffed with plenty of Georgia Boy. Tonight, I cooked some up in my George Foreman GV5 Contact Cooker. Talk about juicy! A little Mrs. Renfro's jalapeño salsa and, son, you don't get many things that're tastier than this:

Thursday, January 03, 2008

"'Tis a remorseless eating machine ..."

Where I come from, "buffet" means eat-'til-you-can't-eat-no-more. Looks like some folks in Louisiana need to be schooled 'bout buffets, and then some:

"A 6-foot-3, 265-pound man says a restaurant overcharged him for his trips to the buffet line, then banned him and a relative because they're hearty eaters. A spokesman for the restaurant denies the claim.

"Ricky Labit, a disabled offshore worker, said he had been a regular for eight months at the Manchuria Restaurant in Houma [Louisiana], eating there as often as three times a week.

"On his most recent visit, he said, a waitress gave him and his wife's cousin, 44-year-old Michael Borrelli, a bill for $46.40, roughly double the buffet price for two adults.

"'She says, 'Y'all fat, and y'all eat too much,' Labit said.'"


"Ya'll fat, and ya'll eat too much" ... ain't that a hate crime?!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Fadó à go-go

The following piece originally appeared on A Man's Gotta Eat back in November. Since I visited the restaurant featured in said piece during my recent New Year's trip to Atlanta, I think it's worth re-posting. Here 'tis:

Regular Creeder Readers will recall that I spent the past weekend in Atltanta, Georgia (Stone Mountain, to be specific). Saturday night, the friends I was visiting and I had dinner at Fadó Irish Pub and Restaurant, in Buckhead.

Boy howdy, it was good!

First of all, I appreciate the hell out of any restaurant that has Harp Lager on tap. I enjoyed several - and I mean several - pints-plus of Harp at Fadó's. What do I mean by pints-plus? Well, the glasses in which Fadó serves its "pints" hold more than a pint of liquid. I've consumed my share of pint-glasses o' beer over the years, and I know when I'm getting more than I asked for, indeed.

Fadó's food impressed the hell out of me as well. As much as I hate chain restaurants, I must admit that the folks who "run" Fadó have crafted a first-class menu, and then some.

My entrée at Fadó was corned beef and cabbage. Wait, lemme tell you:

I am a certified cabbage freak. I love the looks-like-lettuce stuff. Hell, I even love to smell cabbage when it's cooking (told you I was a freak). Whenever I see cabbage on a restaurant menu, I know immediately what I'm gonna order.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed Fadó's corned beef and cabbage:

The corned beef had been expertly cooked (a corned beef brisket can be ****ed-up faster than you can say, well, corned beef brisket), meaning it was served in firm slices and was incredibly juicy; and the cabbage was perfectly cooked - i.e., not mushy - and seasoned with just enough salt, pepper, and spices.

If friends hadn't taken me to Fadó, I would've never, ever considered darkening its door. You see, I avoid chain restaurants like the plague ... especially when I'm traveling.

Next time I find myself in a city with a Fadó Irish Pub, I'm gonna have a hard time resisting the urge to visit a hole-in-the wall deli, BBQ joint, or pizza parlor. Yes, Fadó's that good. Check it out when you get a chance ...