Tag Archives: food

Let’s Talk Hawg

DISCLAIMER
his post is all about BBQ which means it’s all about meat which means it might not appeal to you.
That’s why I don’t have a picture.
I looked for a picture of a hawg, but really, all of the pictures were of cute little piggies.
Deep down, I felt bad about that.
Sorry.

I would like to take a moment from your day to discuss BBQ/BarBQ/Barbecue/Heaven on a plate/MEAT… whatever you want to call it, I’d like to discuss it.

You see, BBQ is very important to someone from Texas.  I might even go as far as to say it had it’s own place on the food pyramid.  Some people even consider eating good BBQ a religious experience (if you’ve been to Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, TX then you probably agree).  No matter your opinion, some smoked meat with white onions, pickles an white bread is good eatin’!

I was lucky in my move to Fayetteville, AR.  BBQ is plentiful there and you get a good mix of origins.  Texas is represented with beef and sausage, KC has their representation, the dry rub movement from Memphis has a good showing, Pulled Pork from out east is just about on every menu and a few places have vinegar and white sauces from the Carolinas.  You might even say my move to Arkansas dramatically expanded my BBQ pallet.

I even started eating that stuff on a baked potato.

Scandalous, I know!

Enter a move to Portland, OR.  This town is a foodies dream!  It has so many local, unique restaurants that the Sweet Boy and I have a heck of time picking out a place for dinner.  Do we want Ethiopian food tonight?  Lebanese?  Indian?  Italian?  Burgers?  Pizza?  If pizza which kind of pizza?  Chicago style?  Wood fired?  Brick oven?  New York style?!?!  I hate to say it, but it’s maddening.

What there isn’t, however, is a plethora of BBQ.  At least, not that I can tell.  Sure sure, there are BBQ places scattered throughout.  But upon further inspection at work (i.e. – asking around to see what places come recommended), it seems as though many places might not be worth the swipe of our debit card.  Thankfully, though, two places have risen to the top of the recommended places to go list.  Podnah’s Pit BBQ and Russell Street BBQ.

So here’s my challenge to myself (written in 3rd person to actually sound like someone is challenging me, but not to sound like I’m crazy):  Don’t be scared of the new BBQ places.  Go eat there.  See what Portland has to offer when it comes to smoked meats.  Write reviews about it here on the blog.  Surely, between the two of you, you can be a good judge of quality BBQ.  Don’t crinkle your nose just because the pulled pork sandwich is $12 here when you could have got it for $4 back in Arkansas.

Guys, HAWG is pricey here.

The End.

NO WAIT – not the end.  I’d like to expand on that.  Did you know the cheap bacon I used to buy back home is almost $7 here?  I could have bought thick slab, peppered fancy bacon for that price in Arkansas.  They have valuable pigs in the Northwest.

Now it’s The End.

NO WAIT – still not the end.  Help me chose which BBQ place to try first.  Shall I go to Podnah’s Pit BBQ and see how Texan they really are or check out Russell Street BBQ first because they have a cute little piggy on their logo?  Podnah’s website looks a bit hipster whereas Russell Street does not… but who am I kidding?  They are both in Portland.  I’m sure both are equally hipster.  I’ll just pick one.  And ignore the hipsters because hipsters and BBQ don’t fit on the same puzzle in my world.

Okay, really, this time… The End.

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Gearing up for warmer weather

A truly amazing thing has happened, it appears that the warm weather is finally here to stay for the season.  This is not something I would have ever imagined my self saying, let alone being excited about it.

I like cooler weather.

I’ll tolerate the heat because some of my favorite places are where it’s hot.

But that doesn’t mean I’m a fan.

However, this spring has thrown me for a loop.  We had a few warm weeks so on Easter weekend, I headed to the local nursery, stocked up on herbs and flowers, and spent an afternoon planting them.  I’ve since pulled the weak ones in when it got cold.

In and out.  Cover and uncover.  Indoors and outdoors.

You see, we’ve had a rather cool spring.  Remember that May 4 snow I mentioned a few posts back?  Yeah, not typical.

It’s been redonk and I almost gave up letting the basil and aloe vera fend for themselves.  I’m cruel like that.  Thankfully, the forecast doesn’t throw me for any loops over the next 10 days so I’m confident the plants are on the back porch for good.  Well, at least until autumn settles in.

Warmer weather also means the cover comes off the grill for the first time.  Porch sitting with a cool brew (typically a variety of Shiner, I was born in Texas, after all) while the sweet boy grills is absolutely one of my favorite parts of this season.  Well, that and a nice dish of salsa and tortilla chips to go with that cool brew.

Like hot weather, I’ll tolerate store bought salsa, but just tolerate it.  I prefer homemade.  I’m not really picky when it comes to homemade.  I can go for the kind made out of fresh tomatoes, I’m down with a variety made from canned tomatoes (that’s actually my favorite) and I’m even good with a bowl full of pico de gallo in a pinch.  If it’s red and spicy, I’m good.

I found a recipe online yesterday and thought I’d give it a go.  It’s a Pioneer Woman recipe and I have yet to not like one of her recipes.  It used Rotel and sounded pretty easy.  Easy is good.  Easy is a quick way to get homemade salsa in your face.  I could go for easy.

So easy it was.

Well, wait a minute, not THAT easy.  I’ve been working on cleaning out my pantry since the Holidays so cans of tomatoes and Rotel weren’t within reach.  Thankfully, a trip to the store was in order for other goodies, so I just added the ingredients to my list.

Just a warning, if you make this recipe, it will make a TON so make sure you need a TON.  Otherwise, cut this bad boy in half.

I’m warning you.

I will say this is a good salsa recipe but not my favorite.  Not even in my top 4 favorites, but I’d make it again if I wanted something quick.  The sweet boy’s response was that it tasted like Rotel.  My response was along the lines of “Well, yeah, of course it does.  It’s made from Rotel”.  Also, beggars can’t be choosers and yesterday, I was DYING for some fresh salsa.

Craving satisfied.   You can find the recipe here.

Now, where’s that cold brew and my back porch?  I have a bag of tortilla chips just dying to be munched on.

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