Monday, June 30, 2008

πολύ νόστιμος!

Pastitsio was on the menu at Chez Allison this evening. Here's the recipe:



1 tablespoon butter
2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb. can stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
4 hot cups milk
1 cup grated Kefalotiri cheese
2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks

1 lb. Greek macaroni
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Kefalotiri (or parmesan) cheese


For the filling: Heat the butter in a large frying pan and saute the ground beef and onion until slightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and cook over a medium heat until heated through; allow to cool.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the flour and cook stirring constanly for 1 minute. Add the milk all at once, and stir until the sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, eggs and egg yolks.

Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water until soft but firm. Drain and return to the pan. Add the butter.

Butter a baking pan and put in half the macaroni. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with the meat filling. Top with remaining macaroni. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with the sauce. Sprinkle top with the rest of the cheese and cook in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Leave for 20 minutes then cut into square pieces and serve.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gooooood s'ghetti!

A few weeks back, I told AMGE readers 'bout the Belmont Bi-Rite's spaghetti. I said:

The Belmont Bi-Rite's spaghetti won't impress an Italian too much; but it certainly will impress the hell out of anyone who grew up eating Southern-style spaghetti, like my Granny Ruby used to make.

Well, my ami Mr. Jimmy was kind enough to bring me another tub of Belmont Bi-Rite spaghetti for lunch yesterday. After cropdusting my lunch with some red pepper flakes, I dug right in. After marveling at the big hunks of meat in my spaghetti, I said to myself, "This tub o' Bi-Rite s'ghetti is even better than the tub I had once upon a time!"

One of these days, I'm gonna get my arse over to the Belmont Bi-Rite to try the other stuff they serve at their plate-lunch counter. I promise you that.

Belmont Bi-Rite
3116 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wurst und sauerkrat ist gut!

Last night, I took a bit of a swipe at the George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine. Lemme make my position clear on said Machine: I agree with Larry Holmes that it'll dry out a hamburger faster than B. Hussein Obama can change his position on any given issue; however, you can flat cook a juicy boneless, skinless chicken breast on it.

That said, I have another George Foreman cooker in which I regularly cook sausages and pork loins (see above pic). Said cooker is no longer being manufactured by Big George's, well, manufacturing concern. If you take my word on its quality and go lookin' for one, be prepared to give an eBay seller 50 or 60 bucks for a never-been-used specimen. (I don't think I paid more than $25 for mine at J.C. Penny in 2000.)

I didn't have no plans for dinner when I got home 'round 6 p.m. this evening. I put some Georgia Boy smoked sausages in my George Foreman cooker, and I put a can of Kühne sauerkraut on the stove. I've told AMGE readers about Georgia Boy's products before. Now let me tell you about Kühne 'kraut ...

I picked up a can of Kühne 'kraut at the Global Market in Nashville last August. (FYI: the Global Market specializes in foods from the U.K. and Europe). If memory serves me correctly, I used that first can to garnish hot dogs at a cookout in my backyard soon thereafter. I've been keepin' several cans of Kühne-brand 'kraut in my pantry ever since.

Now, you know you've gotten your hands on a can of quality sauerkraut when you see that wine is one of the ingredients. Such is the case with Kühne's 'kraut, which is packed in Riesling wine. Crunchy and tangy (winey?!), Kühne's perfectly accompanies a good hot dog, a hot sausage, or a quality hunk o' pork roast or pork tenderloin. It is good, good stuff indeed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Beans, beans, good for your ...

I've had a bad last two days. Yesterday, I went to the doctor for a malady that required me taking some out-light-a-light medication; and today I had some problems with my automobile, and I didn't get home until after 6:30.

I thawed some ham meat last night and I soaked some pinto beans today. I had no choice but to cook 'em when I got home. I may have had to wait until 8:30 to eat tonight, but I enjoyed the hell out of this once it was ready:

Culinary quote of the day

"If you don't want your hamburgers to be greasy, you're crazy. ... I don't want no damn dried-up burger."

-- Former heavyweight champ Larry Holmes, on why he dislikes the George Foreman Grill

Amen, champ!

Monday, June 23, 2008

You say it's your birthday

Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday. My Dad's birthday was last Tuesday.

Several weeks ago I promised Mom and Dad that I'd make a big homemade dinner for their birthday(s), and tonight was the night for said dinner.

What'd mes parents want for dinner ce soir? Meatloaf, mashed taters, and macaroni and cheese ... my specialties!

Friends, I wish you'd been on hand to eat a hunk o' this:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Texas Pete is oh, so ... HOT!

I've always been a big fan of Texas Pete hot sauce. Imagine my surprise when I came across a new kind o' Texas Pete in my local Publix Super Market today ... Texas Pete Hotter Hot Sauce.

I didn't really have anything to put my new hot sauce on, so I just turned the bottle up and had a nip. Then I had another nip. And then another. Before I knew it, I'd consumed about one-third of the contents of said bottle of Texas Pete. (Anyone who knows me knows I ain't kiddin'.)

Texas Pete's Hotter Hot Sauce has the same cayenne "tang" of the regular stuff, but it will give a feller's tongue one hell of a kick. I can't wait to find out what it tastes like on a foodstuff of my choice!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Twern't a bad casserole

My mother cooked a casserole tonight from a recipe that she received from a neighbor. It didn't look like much, but boy was it good. (I just wish I'd had my camera with me to take a picture.)

The recipe card my mom received said "Fireman's Casserole." Neither she nor I could figure out what the casserole had to do with fire-fighting; so when I copied the recipe, I called it "beef and tater tot casserole." Check it out ...

Beef and Tater Tot Casserole


1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 cup chopped white onions
1 egg
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can RO*TEL® tomatoes
1 5.5-ounce can green peas
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
3-4 cups frozen tater tots
3 cups mild cheddar cheese
Fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 350.

Mix ground beef, egg, onions, soup, tomatoes, peas bread crumbs, and one cup of cheese in a large mixing bowl. Pour into a deep baking dish and top with black pepper to taste.

Evenly spread tater tots over mixture and cover with aluminum foil. Place in oven and bake 40-45 minutes.

Remove casserole from oven and remove foil. Cover with remaining cheese and place in for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted.

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beer does a body good

I stopped at a local convenience store on my way home today to get me something to chew. I was in line behind a feller who was buying a lot of beer -- two twelve-packs of Bud and a six-pack of Killian's -- and two mousy gals who were buying cigs and diet sodas. As soon as the beer-buying guy exited the store, Mousy Gal 1 told Mousy Gal 2 this (and this is a di-rect quote): "Beer is so bad for you. Why would anybody drink it?"

Well, Mousy Gal 1, this is why folks like, nay, should drink beer:

"There have been a lot of stories lately about the benefits of alcohol, usually wine. But the good news is that many of those great benefits can also be had by drinking the occasional beer. That little bottle of goodness can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, raise your good cholesterol, and reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. There are even benefits for the elderly -- with research showing that beer can have positive effects on blood flow, sleep, and urination.

"Beer is fat free, cholesterol free, and definitely what many people consider a lot of fun to drink. Just make sure you don't go overboard, or all those "benefits" are right out the window -- with nasty stuff like liver damage and a beer gut stepping in instead."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sausage & Stuffing sounds pretty good to me

I get a lot of unsolicited recipes, most of which I discard immediately. Today, however, I got me a recipe from the Campbell Soup Company for a "skillet sausage and stuffing," er, dish. I like stuffing, and I like sweet sausage. I really like hot sausage. Puttin' 'em all together sounds like a good thing to me.

I'm gonna make up a batch o' this pretty soon (stay tuned and you'll here about it):

Campbell's Skillet Sausage & Stuffing


1 lb. sweet Italian pork sausage, cut into 1" pieces
1 lb. hot Italian pork sausage, cut into 1" pieces
1 1/4 cups water *
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 small green pepper, cut into 2" strips
4 cups Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing


Brown sausage in skillet, 3-5 minutes. Drain fat.

Add water, onion and pepper. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until sausage is cooked through.

Add stuffing. Mix lightly. Cover and let stand 5 min.

*For moister stuffing, increase water to 1 1/2 cups.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mon père ♥ bratwurst

Today is my Dad's birthday. Last week, my Mom suggested that we should all go out to dinner somewhere, but Pop balked at that idea (he don't like to get out much anymore). Over the weekend, I told him I would cook him something ... anything he wanted. He said okay to that suggestion.

I called my Mom from work today to ask what I needed to pick up on my way home for Pop's birthday dinner. I figured that she'd tell me that I would need to get the necessary stuff to make lasagna, or beef stew, or spaghetti and meat sauce, or meatloaf, or country ribs, or another one of my specialties. I figured wrong.

For his big birthday dinner tonight, Pop requested grilled bratwurst -- grilled Johnsonville bratwurst, of course. I had anticipated spending a couple of hours this afternoon/evening cooking, and all I had to do was throw some brats on my gas grill, fry some onions, and toast some deli rolls (my Mom made some coleslaw and bought a big-ass bag of Lay's tater chips). Ain't it great to have a Dad who's so easy to please?!

I put some grilled onions, yellow mustard, and Sandwich Pal horseradish sauce on my grilled-brat sammich. Oh, it was gooooood. Check it out:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Le taureau rouge n'est pas bon

The French government is looking for any excuse it can find to ban the sale of Red Bull. I say, "Good for them." I've had one Red Bull, and it made me want to wretch. How anyone can drink that crap is beyond me. I think the Frogs are on to something:

"In April this year, Austrian Energy drink producer Red Bull finally gained access to the French market. However, entry was subject to the removal of taurine from its drinks. Instead, Red Bull decided to use arginine.

"Prior to April, France’s food safety agency AFSSA did not authorise the sale of Red Bull’s products due to the lack of knowledge regarding the long term effects of taurine on the human body. However, France had to accept the product’s entry as no scientific evidence on its 'noxious effects' could be brought forward by the competent authorities.

"On Wednesday, France’s health minister Roselyne Bachelot informed the media that France is monitoring Red Bull beverages very closely and as soon as solid proof is provided, the state will ban sales of the energy drink."

In Red Bull's defense, I will say this: I think it's ironic that a nation which prides itself on the number of stinky, unpasteurized cheeses it produces is all head-up over an energy drink that's mostly caffeine.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lovin' Loretta's chicken 'n' dumplins

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

Earlier today, I was given a copy of Loretta Lynn's You're Cookin' It Country cookbook. I flipped through the book and landed on Loretta's recipe for chicken and dumplins. I told the gift-giver, "I can tell you what's gonna be on the menu at Chez Allison tonight: chicken and dumplins. 'Bout ten minutes later I headed out to my local grocery to pick up a big frying hen.

I was very pleased with how my chicken and dumplins turned out (even though I did forget to stir in the cream). I'm already lookin' forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow night!

Loretta Lynn's Chicken & Dumplins


1 large fat hen
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and pepper

3 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
6 to 8 cups chicken broth
One-half cup cream


In a large pot simmer the hen with the garlic in water for two hours. Add additional water as needed.

Drain the hen, reserving the broth.

Cut into pieces and discard the bones.

For the dumplings, in a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Gradually add the water. Stir in the egg.

Knead the dough thoroughly and roll out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into strips.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil and drop the dough into the boiling broth.
Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the cream and chicken pieces and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

J'aime le porc!

I have a gas grill and I wouldn't take $1,000 for it. It don't take no time at all for it to heat up, and it can cook a burger or steak that will make you want to write home and/or slap your pappy.

Now, my grill ain't a Hank Hill-style gas grill, i.e., a propane grill; instead, it's hooked up to the local natural gas line. So it is - and always will be - a permanent fixture in my backyard.

I've been having some problems with my grill recently. It'll pre-heat just fine, but then it will go out completely. Since homey don't play around with gas line, homey gets real nervous when he has to keep re-lighting his grill.

I had a pork loin that either needed to be cooked or frozen, so I decided to throw it on the grill tonight. Of course, the grill went out. I decided to just throw the pork loin on the grill and see how cooked-through it would be after about, oh, 30 minutes.

I pre-heated my oven to 300 before I fetched my pork loin from the grill. I fully anticipated - nay, I expected - that it would need some extra cookin' before it could be served. How wrong I was.

There's been a lot of pork products to come off of my grill over the years. The pork loin I cooked tonight is one of the best things -- if not the best thing -- I've ever cooked in my backyard. Not only did it develop an incredible crust whilst slow-cooking for a half-hour, it had juice to spare after it'd rested for 10 minutes.

I bet you wish that you'd been at Chez Joltin' Django to get you some of this:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Go to Stroud's. You'll be glad you did

If I ever find myself in the Twilight Zone having to choose a single meat which I will have to eat for the rest of my life, I will choose pork -- specifically smoked pork shoulder, aka barbeque.  I would dare say that there are at least two dozen people currently walking this earth who've heard me say, "If I could eat BBQ every day, I would be the happiest SOB in history when I die," collectively, 'bout a million times.  And that ain't no exaggeration.
I get plum giddy whenever I see a new BBQ joint opening.  Right after Christmas last year , I spied a "Coming Soon: Stroud's Barbeque" sign on a little brick building just off I-24 in LaVergne.  I didn't know a damn thing about Stroud's when I spied the sign, but I said to myself when I seen it, "A non-Whitt's BBQ restaurant close to my home?  I will be eatin' there when it opens!" I did eat at Stroud's just after it opened in March, and, unfortunately, I wasn't real impressed.
One of the reasons that I hate the above-mentioned Whitt's is that it is too dry. I can't prove it, but I suspect that the reason the meat's dry is because too much fat is removed from the pork shoulders from whence it comes prior to being smoked. The very first time I swallowed a bite of 'que Stroud's, I thought, "This is just like Whitt's! No fat, and no juice!" And I vowed never to go back.

Well, so much for vows. I had to go to a wedding on Saturday, and the individuals with whom I attended said wedding - mes parents - simply insisted that we stop at Stroud's after the ceremony. My parents ordered up a pound of 'que, and I got me a pulled-pork sandwich. (I wasn't about to turn down free food when offered).

I didn't unwrap my sandwich until I got home ... 'bout two hours later. After I unwrapped it and put it on a plate, I lifted the bun and gave the meat a good stare. Not only was the meat glistening with juice, I could see little bits of smoked skin in it -- neither of which I noticed the first time I ate at Stroud's.

After I'd applied a good dose of Stroud's hot BBQ sauce to my sandwich, I grabbed it with my both hands and took a bite. This is what I said aloud, to no one in particular: "Man, this is some good barbeque!" And it was good, indeed. The meat was smoky and it was juicy and, by God, I wish I was eatin' some of it right now. I don't have the slightest clue as to what Stroud's did to improve the quality of their pork between my first and latest visit, but whatever they did ... I applaud them for it.

Next time you're craving some good 'que, go to Stroud's. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sloppy Joe ... Slop, Sloppy Joe

During a recent conversation with my ami Josh, I happened to mention that Sloppy Joe sandwiches were a once-a-week feature at the family dinner table when I was a kid.

I told Josh that I had not had a Sloppy Joe in years; and I also told him that I probably wouldn't be eating a Sloppy Joe in the near future 'cause ... this was my exact quote: "There's just something wrong with browning quality ground beef and sullying it with a can of sodium-sauce."

Well, it ain't gonna be too long before I have me a Sloppy Joe sandwich. I just got me a recipe for Sloppy Joes from my buddy Josh, which he says comes courtesy of his grandma. (He also says his grandma's Sloppy Joes are - his words - better than chocolate.)

It'll be this weekend, at the earliest, before I get a chance to try my bud's Sloppy Joe recipe. Rest assured, I'll give you a heads-up on this thang when I cook it:

Josh's Grandma's Sloppy Joes


1 pound ground beef
1 small white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Hamburger buns, split and toasted


In a large skillet, brown meat over medium heat. Drain.

Return meat to skillet. Add onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, 3-4 minutes.

Stir tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce into beef mixture in skillet. Lower heat and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper, as desired.

Spoon onto buns and serve immediately.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I'm coo-coo for burgoo

One of the best dang restaurants on the entire planet is Moonlite Bar-B-Q in Owensboro, Kentucky. The specialty at Moonlite is burgoo stew. What's burgoo, you ask? I'll let the folks at Slashfood tell you 'bout it:

"Burgoo is a traditional Kentucky stew of multiple meats (at least three) and a bounty of veggies simmered down for hours until they break down to a uniform consistency. The standard sentiment is that if you can still make out an okra pod or slice of carrot, keep cooking 'cause it ain't burgoo yet -- but as the dish is usually made in such massive quantities (we're talking GALLONS), most regular utensils will just sink down into the mire. So - what's a burgoo chef to do? Well, many Kentucky restaurants rely on 2x4 studs, and folks at community cookouts and church festivals often use rakes to stir the stuff while perched above on chairs as they tend giant pots set over open wood fires. The flavor and texture are said to be reminiscent of mulligan stew, and my North Carolina born husband swears it's a kissing cousin to Brunswick stew, but the guests at our yearly Kentucky Derby soiree have taken to calling it 'The Liquid Meat.' That is, when their mouths aren't crammed full of the 'goo."

Read the rest here.

UPDATE: Tennessee Crossroads -- my very favorite in-production television program -- did a story on Moonlite Bar-B-Q a few months back. Check it out here.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

An honest pint is getting harder to find

I will never forget the time - 'bout, oh, five years ago - when a buddy and I were in a hotel bar in Atlanta. We ordered two pints of Guinness. When it took us both about four swallows each to drink the things, we started examining our glasses. The glasses had half-inch thick bottoms, and the sides of each glass were pretty thick as well. We cursed the bar, paid for our two overpriced beers, and then went to a bar near Turner Field -- a bar that, much to our delight, served Guinness in traditional pint glasses.

I couldn't help but think about that trip to Atlanta when I read this in the Wall Street Journal:

"Some restaurants have replaced 16-ounce pint glasses with 14 ouncers -- a type of glassware one bartender called a 'falsie.' ...

"Two of the world's biggest glassware makers, Libbey and Cardinal International, say orders of smaller beer glasses have risen over the past year. Restaurateurs 'want more of a perceived value,' says Mike Schuster, Libbey's marketing manager for glassware in the U.S. Glasses with a thicker bottom or a thicker shaft help create the perception. 'You can increase the thickness of the bottom part but still retain the overall profile,' he says.

"Dedicated beer drinkers are fighting back, with extra vigilance about exactly how much beer they get for their buck. They are protesting 'cheater pints' and "profit pours" by outing alleged offenders on Web discussion boards and plugging bars that maintain 16-ounce pints, in hopes peer pressure will prevail. And they are spreading the word about how to spot the smaller glass (the bottom is thicker).

"Jason Alstrom, who founded the magazine BeerAdvocate last year, calls it the 'Less for More' phenomenon. 'It's happening everywhere,' he says. He is urging readers and users of his Web site,, to 'raise a fist and refuse to pay' when served a skimpy pint."

Read the entire article here.

Friday, June 06, 2008

There's giraffe-kabobs, giraffe creole, giraffe gumbo. There's pineapple giraffe, lemon giraffe ...

Considering that I've eaten some crazy crap over the years (raccoon, rattlesnake, alligator, calf's brains, boiled and fried chitlins, mountain oysters, etc.), I don't think I'd have any problem trying me some giraffe meat. Plus, I would not have to worry about offending יהוה whilst satisfying my giraffe tooth ...

"An Israeli rabbi has declared giraffe meat and milk to be kosher, although his pronouncement is unlikely to have observant Jews clamouring to consume the exotic products, a daily reported on Friday.

"'The giraffe has all the signs of a ritually pure animal, and the milk forms curds, which strengthened that view,' the mass-circulation Yediot Aharonot quoted Rabbi Shlomo Mahfoud as saying.

"The rabbi based his ruling on a recent finding by researchers from Bar Ilan University who took a milk sample while treating a giraffe at Ramat Gan safari park near Tel Aviv.

"They found that the milk forms curds as required under Jewish religious law, a finding confirmed by another research institute, the daily said.

"Giraffe meat is also considered ritually pure because the animal has a cloven hoof and chews the cud.

"'Indeed, the giraffe is kosher for eating,' said Mahfoud, who was present when the researchers made their finding."

Reckon what giraffe tastes like? Chicken ...?!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I can certainly relate to this story (I'm pretty sure my bon ami Mr. Jimmy can, too):

"I collect condiments the way other people collect rare books or unusual stamps. I'm always on the lookout for interesting mustards, regional mayonnaise (the trip out to Lancaster County a few weeks ago introduced me to Duke's), funky hot sauces or ethnic flavor enhancers (that bottle of Kecap Manis is an Indonesian condiment I fell in love with the summer I spent in that country. Dark, sticky and sweet, it has no relation to ketchup and is amazing with chicken and rice).

"The problem with my condiment collection is that I'm also something of a hoarder. The condiments come in, but rarely do they go out again. I dole them out, horrified at the idea of using the more exotic ones up, because what if I can't find them again?"

My kitchen is full of mustards and hot sauces that I've collected during my travels. I don't have anything from as far away as Indonesia, but I did pick up an incredible Mexican hot sauce in Belize a few years back from which I will not eat more than three drops at a time. Because, like Ms. McClellan asks: What if I can't ever find it again?

Oh, did you notice the shout-out to Duke's mayonnaise? I'm tellin' you ... it's the best damn mayo in the whole U.S. of A.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Now Heath this, A Man's Gotta Eat readers ...

Yours truly don't have sweet tooth. Except for the 2-3 Coca-Colas I drink each day, I rarely consume anything in which sugar is a major ingredient. If and when I do have a hankerin' for something sweet, however, I usually head to my local Dairy Queen for a Blizzard -- a Blizzard that's been mixed with a big bunch of bits from a Heath candy bar.

Now, when it's hot outside, there's nothing - and I mean nothing - that tastes better than a DQ Heath-bar Blizzard. It was hot as hell in Nashville today; and since I didn't eat lunch, I stopped at my local DQ for a large Blizzrd with hunks o' Heath. Oh, my, it was good!

All that said, I encourage any and all Blizzard fans to visit the Blizzard Fan Club Web site. If'n you're willing to enter your e-mail address and your date of birth on said Web site, you'll receive a coupon for a free small Blizzard 'bout a week before your birthday. Go on and do the thing ... you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My first Litheranian beer

I stopped at my local liquor store today to pick up some white wine for cookin' purposes. I passed the cooler in which high-alcohol beers are chilled, and I did a double-take when I spied bottles of Lobster Lovers Beer. I simply couldn't pass up a beer with such an intriguing name.

I'll be honest: I've never been a big fan of high-alcohol beers. (Not malt liquor-style high-alcohol beer, mind you. I'm talking about the kind of beers you can only purchase in a liquor store.) Every last one I've ever consumed has had a metallic aftertaste. Lobster Lovers is no different. It has a hop-heavy taste with hints of fruit (it is an ale, after all). The lingering taste on my tongue after each swallow, however, was like what I would expect if I licked the inside of an aluminum can.

Cool label ... and I enjoyed the novelty of drinking a beer from Lithuania. But I won't be drinking Lobster Lovers Beer again.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Eatin' a Junior Whopper in Shelb'ville

Long 'bout 11:45 this morning, ma mère -- who was hungry and needed to make use of a WC -- and I made a lunchtime pit-stop at the Burger King® in Shelbyville, Tennessee three-quarters of the way into our journey to Fayetteville, Tennessee (to see my Great Aunt Caroline and my Great Aunt Dorothy).

My mother had a chicken sandwich; I had a Whopper Junior. We split a large order of French fries. Here's my 'pinion 'bout the meal:

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you this: Prior to today, the last time I dined in/consumed food from a Burger King was Fall 1995 -- right before my Best Bud Bruce and I seen Drivin' 'N' Cryin' perform at 328 Performance Hall in Nashville.

Thirteen years since I last ate at Burger King ... and I have to say that I've been missin' out. Sure, the burger patty I ate was on the thin side, but it tasted like something that'd come off a backyard - charcoal - grill. The fries weren't bad, either. Indeed, they were every bit as crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside, as McDonald's much-ballyhooed fast food fries.

I don't eat fast food hamburgers very often. I can tell you this, however, with a great deal of certainty: it ain't gonna be another 13 years before I dine at a Burger King restaurant again. Fo' sho'.