Archive | 8:57 pm

What is This Thing?

27 Jun

“ALIVE!!! … IT”S ALIVE!!!!” With flavor, that is.

This is actually a “TurDucKen” from Karl Ehmer’s Alpine Steak House in Sarasota. I have heard so much about the mighty turducken … especially the version prepared at the Alpine. It is said to be one of the best you’ll find anywhere. Football’s John Madden (a big turducken guy) has not stopped in yet, but Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) from the Food Network has tried it and he was totally blown away. The turducken is a man-made beast — a brilliant combo of turkey, duck, and chicken that is tightly wrapped (maybe mashed is a better word) together with sausage & dressing and then roasted (nearly bursting at the seams) to crispy brown perfection. You might say it’s the Frankenstein monster of Cajun cuisine. 

A turducken platter is now offered for lunch at the Alpine for $15. Not a bargain lunch by any stretch of the imagination, but the time has come for me to take on one of these tasty beasts. The whole turducken as seen above runs about 23-26 pounds and costs around $10 per lb ($230 plus shipping). I’ll be stopping in for a little taste next week, so stay tuned sports fans! In the meantime, read about the Food Network’s visit at

Maria’s Mexican

27 Jun

Maria’s Restaurant is located inside the Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton, FL. The Red Barn is a pretty cool place — especially if you are a collector. I collect vintage vinyl LP’s and occasionally pop in when I’m in the area or between appointments. Found a cool Otis Redding LP on the Volt (Stax subsidiary) label today – was pretty excited about that. However, I was more excited about the delicious Mexican cuisine available at Maria’s. This time I ordered a carnitas (pork) taco and a plate of chicken tamales. Both were served with a tasty assortment of sauces (rojo, verde, and guacamole). It was all washed down with a Jarritos grapefruit soda, which tastes a lot like Fresca. Come on, you remember Fresca, don’t you? The whole deal cost just over $7. 

The food at Maria’s is truly authentic Mexican street cuisine. In fact, it reminds me of the many amazing taco trucks we encountered during our time in Texas. Everything appears to be fresh and cooked to order. The folks working the stand are friendly and the clientele is primarily Hispanic. They obviously know a good thing when they taste it. Maria serves up breakfast and lunch only, Tuesday through Sunday. A menudo plate is offered for $6 on weekends. Come find a bargain at Maria’s — fantastico!

Counter seating at Maria’s                 

Pork taco w/ lime, cilantro, guacamole & onion

Sunsweet Cherry Essence Prunes

27 Jun

Prunes, dried plums — whatever you call ’em, give these babies a try. Even the kids love them! My son Austin (who is 13) can’t get enough. Now when was the last time you heard of a teenager eating prunes without being forced to do so? They are also available in Orange Essence flavor. You can find both varieties at Wal-Mart or your local grocery store.

Naturally and artificially flavored. Ounce for ounce, bite for bite, better than fresh fruit! Grower Certified. We reserve the highest quality prunes in the world for Sunsweet Gold Label Packages. Ounce for ounce, bite for bite, better than blueberries. That’s right, just one ounce of Sunsweet Prunes delivers more antioxidants than one ounce of cultivated blueberries. So move over fresh fruit, it’s time the once humble prune takes its rightful place as nature’s ultimate convenient and nutrient-packed snack.