Archive | Ribs RSS feed for this section

Late Saturday Morning in Robertsdale, Alabama

8 Aug

We took a day trip to Robertsdale and Foley yesterday. Both towns straddle Alabama State Highway 59. And who knew what a Southern food stronghold this area was becoming? Our first stop was Charley’s Chicken Outlet on Highway 59. Charley used to toil in the real estate business. But times are pretty tough and he decided that working class folks might want to purchase their chicken at wholesale prices. Not a bad idea, really.  

Charley’s boasts a memorable phone number — no question about that! He also offers fair prices on a wide variety of frozen bird parts. For example, we purchased a 10 lb. bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts for just $20. Shoot, a 2 lb. bag runs about $7 at your local grocery store. It was tasty bird too. Tried it tonight in my soon to be famous Green Enchilada Pie.

“You Get More Cluck for Your Buck at Charley’s!” OK, I just made that up. I guess I was just inspired by this majestic rooster (above) standing guard outside Charley’s front entrance. We surely enjoyed chewing the fat with him (Charley, that is; not the big ceramic bird) and we wished him the best of luck (or is that cluck?) going forward. OK, I’ll stop.  

Another interesting foodie stop along Highway 59 is Hickory House BBQ. And yes, they do use hickory wood here. It’s a rather tiny joint, but the aromas emanating from the kitchen were mighty powerful. The help was super-friendly and the clientele was raving about the Q before I could even take my first bite. It wasn’t even lunchtime yet, but I couldn’t resist ordering a BBQ pork sandwich, a couple ribs, and a heaping slab of Lemon Ooey Gooey Cake.

I stood looking on in glassy-eyed wonder as the pork for my sandwich was pulled to order. Yessir, the owner herself pulled the charred shoulder from the warmer, donned a pair of clear disposable gloves, and methodically peeled the lean, smoky meat from the Boston Butt. She then gave it all a rough chop, loaded it onto a fresh baked bun, and doused it with their homemade “SMOKEY” BBQ sauce.  

I sampled the ribs too — provided for free by the owner. They were good, no doubt about it. Probably better when slathered with a little sauce. I requested them sans sauce so I could taste the unadorned flavor of meat and hickory. My wife Eileen loves lemon squares … and the Hickory House’s Lemon Oooey Gooey Cake looked something like a lemon bar on steroids. All puffed up and flaky. It was, well, oooey and gooey and … incredible! I gotta try the Chocolate Oooey Gooey the next time I’m in Robertsdale — that’s for certain.

Ribs = Good, BBQ Pork = Better, Lemon “Ooey Gooey” Cake = Best!

A return trip to this area is definitely in the cards for this hungry dude. I’ve heard positive comments about The Magnolia Blossom Cafe. Mac and Jerry’s Diner is also worthy of a pop-in. We even spotted a tiny but promising Italian joint (Guttadauro’s) along the main North-South highway. Looked like a Mom and Pop establishment and that’s always a plus in our book.  

So when Robertsdale starts turning up on the Food Network, just remember you heard about it here first. OK???

Advertisements

“Pig – King of the Southern Table”

1 May

We were genuinely excited to receive a review copy of this beautiful new cookbook. It offers up great porcine-centered recipes for any true lover of the mighty Southern hog. James Villas, the natilly attired former Food and Wine Editor at Town and Country,  has obviously put together a winner. Yes, a rather unlikely source — you might think. Town and Country is not exactly a source we mention very often around here. Classy magazine, but not exactly our target audience.  Villas, on the other hand, has already authored The Bacon Cookbook, Biscuit Bliss and Crazy for Casseroles. Feeling any better now? And who, I ask you, can resist 300 pork recipes from a native North Carolinian? Not this guy! 

I flipped through this 424-page beauty and targeted several must-try recipes. These included Outer Banks Muddle (“a mess of fish”), Sherried Ham and Squash Casserole, Betty Jane’s Braised Pork Chops with Port Gravy, Tarpon Springs Greek Burgers, Florida Mango & Prune Stuffed Pork Loin, and a curious breakfast dish known as the Kentucky Scramble.

It all adds up to one fine collection of dishes from a high-brow dandy who has surely not forgotten, nor forsaken, his downhome Dixie roots. Pig out, y’all! 

From Publishers Weekly

If pig is indeed king, then there is trouble at the castle, for Villas (Dancing in the Lowcountry) has stormed the gates and had at him, leaving no sweetbread, shoulder, or chop untasted. So let the commoners rejoice: here are 300 recipes from Southern hog heaven that are juicy, flirtatious, and, at times, scary. Brave hearts will want to immediately dive into the Variety and Special Meats chapter for some deviled pork liver; hog’s head stew; and brains and eggs. The upper crust might prefer a pork pie. Choices include spicy Tennessee sausage; Pork, Apple and Raisin; or Bacon and Corn.
 
A section on barbecue and ribs includes both North and South Carolina styles of BBQ and half a dozen sparerib options. And where lesser authors might stray off-topic when moving to side dishes, Villas, with 13 cookbooks and two James Beard awards under his belt, knows better. All 39 vegetable and rice dishes are chock full of oink, from the mushy turnips with bacon and pork to the slab bacon hoppin’ John.
 
Similarly, there are 20 breads that are decidedly not fat-free. That other Southern king, Elvis, would surely have appreciated the bacon-peanut butter muffins, perhaps chased down with a lard hoecake or some bacon-grease hush puppies.
 

Fairhope’s Viper BBQ Sauce Delivers a Bite

24 Apr

 

We first spotted locally made Viper BBQ sauce at Hazel’s Farm market on Route 98. We later saw it at the nearby Allegri Market. And then ran into them at the Baldwin County Strawberry Festival. These guys were everywhere! Something must be going on here, I thought.

I reached out to Viper founder Kim Mayfield and he was a very nice dude — not a snake at all. In fact, Kim offered to deliver some product samples to our doorstep. Mighty hospitable of him! The care package included 3 different varieties of sauce (Mild, “Sweet No Heat” and Original Spicy). It also contained a BBQ spice rub (you can really taste the brown sugar) and an Asian spice blend (nice cumin aroma). Interesting, huh?

The first sauce we sampled was the Sweet No Heat. Really nice — and smoky — and very sticky. Betcha this stuff would be killer with chicken breasts on the charcoal grill. Gonna try that out real soon! The Mild sauce (our favorite of the 3) was a bit of a misnomer — it was terrific, but not as mild as you might expect. It brings a subtle peppery kick on the back end. The Original Spicy is indeed spicy, but not overly so. Hey, their mascot’s a venomous serpent for crying out loud — it’s gonna bite ya a little bit.

We support locally made, small batch foods and encourage you to do the same. Variety after all, as they say, is the spice of life. Don’t fear the viper!  

Welcome to the Mayfield family, home of the Viper Sauce Barbecue line of gourmet products. Our founder, Kim Mayfield, started five years ago experimenting with making a good barbecue sauce for our family. We love to entertain and cook for our family and friends, so buying an off-the-shelf barbecue sauce was not an option. It wasn’t long before our friends all said, “this is the best barbecue sauce we have ever had, you should sell this!” He started by creating our original spicy sauce, which today is still our number one best selling sauce.

Since then he has developed an additional two sauces, mild and sweet no-heat and a line of dry rubs, one which is original spicy and the second an exotic blend of asian spices called our Asian Viper Rub. The Asian Viper Rub was born as a result of a trip to China, where we experienced some of the best food and spices we had ever had. He along with an interpreter searched through the Chinese market places to find the exact spice blend and brought them back to our home and began blending what is today one of the best rubs for chicken, beef, wild game and seafood. His search for the best spices, all-natural and quality products is the secret to our success.

Viper’s Kim Mayfield with Chef Guy Fieri

We also have developed the only “dry pack” gourmet barbecue sauce we know of. By packaging the wet and dry ingredients for you, you can cook your own barbecue sauce in your home in just 5 minutes. You can also tailor it so that you can make it just how you like it with more cayenne, black pepper or a substitute sugar product if you are a diabetic. We have many diabetic customers who tell us, “it is just as good with a brown sugar substitute.” Many of our customers also use our sauces as marinades, salad dressing and dipping sauces. Today, our customers include restaurants, professional barbecue cooking teams, wild game extraordinaires and gourmet barbecue enthusiasts. Beware, we have been accused of putting crack cocaine in our sauces, because once you try it, it is addictive!

Viper’s BBQ Rub

We are honored that you have visited our website. We hope you will too become a Viper Sauce fanatic. We welcome your feedback, testimonies and recipe ideas so that we can share them with others through our website and Facebook Fan page at Viper Sauce BBQ Sauce.

From our family to yours, Happy Barbecuing!

Southern Soul BBQ Goes Up in Flames

29 Mar

Heartbreaking news from the Georgia Lowcountry …

Here’s hoping they rise from the ashes soon!