Archive | March, 2010

Fire Station BBQ

31 Mar

From the time I was born, I have always lived within walking distance of the Oak Ridge Fire Station.  It was definitely reassuring for me, knowing that if my wooden house ever caught fire, it would take them maybe 90 seconds to get to there.  In addition to being close enough to save my house, the fire station also comforts me in a food way: BBQ.

Twice a year, for every year that I can remember, the fire station hosts a barbecue to raise money for itself.  With recipes that are top-secret and have been passed down, they have epitomized “good, ole’ Southern cookin’.”  When I was younger, I didn’t like BBQ or any of the sides.  Then I tried the banana puddin’ and I was a goner.  This pudding is better than any chocolate I’ve ever had (which is hard for me to say because I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic).  A few years later, I tried the white slaw.  (There is another version, the red slaw, which is vinegar based instead of mayo based.  I’ve been told this complements the vinegar BBQ best, but I’m a sucker for white slaw).  It was sweet and creamy, with just enough crunch to resonate with my developing taste buds.  Next, I tried the baked beans.  Yuck.  Maybe I’ll try those again in a few years.  Oddly enough, I tried the pork last.  But you know what they say: Save the best for last.  Folks, this truly is the best BBQ I have ever had.  Sorry, Stamey’s!

The pork and the slaw together creates this fantastic reaction in my mouth that I can’t resist and keep enjoying over and over as each new forkful goes in.  Just recently, I tried the beans again.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  How could I have passed this up for so long!?  They’re sweet and definitely have some kind of secret ingredient because I’ve never had beans like this before.  The whole platter comes together with each perfect bite and I can’t stop eating.  But I have to!  I have to save room for the banana puddin’.  (Yes, it’s puddin’ – not puddinG).

In any case, I got to eat this fantastic BBQ last weekend and it was mostly my sole reason for going home.  Unfortunately, I will probably be in Baltimore the next time it comes around, but I hope to return home to my roots and eat this yummy meal sometime soon!

I <3 NY – Food Style

17 Mar

It’s been entirely way too long.  I hope to never leave you this lonely again.  In any case, here’s what you’ve missed since Valentine’s Day.  I went to New York for SB10 (Spring Break 2010, for those not up on the lingo).  I’ve always wanted to go, and now that I have a strong affinity for food, I was even more excited.  So here’s what I’m going to do for you:  since I’ve been so lax on posting and updating recipes, I’m going to give you a guided tour of my food selections for everyday that I was in NY.  How’s that sound?  Oh yeah, complete with pictures!

Day 1:  If you’ve seen my other blog, you’ll know that we had quite the hassle trying to figure out our apartment situation as soon as we got there.  It was ridiculous.  But, the good part was that we got to eat before things got sorted out.  At The Joshua Tree, I had Spinach & Artichoke Dip.  Yes, I’m an addict.

That night, we ate at a deli before the show, Wicked, and I had a Spicy Turkey Panini.  I don’t have a picture of that one because I didn’t bring my camera because I figured I wasn’t allowed to have it in the theater.  What I can tell you is that it was indeed spicy.  It was like turkey salad, so chopped up and not sliced like deli meat.  It was crunchy from the toasted bread, and soft from the turkey and melted provolone.  Very good.

Day 2: Here’s where the fun begins: The very first thing I ate that day was a Eucharist (sorry, no picture); yes, it was Sunday.  After church, we had Europa Cafe, at which I had a sausage/onion/cheese omelette with homefries.  Yum!  I’m a sucker for anything potato, and omelettes are my new favorite breakfast food so I was a happy camper.

For lunch, we ate at an authentic Italian restaurant called Grotta Azzurra Ristorante.  I’m sure you can tell that just by the name, of course the food was delicious.  We had an appetizer of garlic bread – yum.

My daddy had some red wine and the Cheese Ravioli – yum (to both).

My  mom had the Pesto Gnocchi – yum!

And my brother and I both had the Fettucine Alfredo (typical) – also yum!

But the best is yet to come: dessert.  You had better believe that Italians know how to do dessert.  We had the classic cannoli and a lemon tart.  Both superb.  The cannoli was a great blend of crunchy and creamy, with a hint of chocolate.  The lemon tart was just that: tart.  But the crust softened the bite and made it delicious.

That night was Oscar Night, so we ate in and I had a salad.  Boring, but healthy!

Day 3: Breakfast at Europa Cafe again, but I had yogurt and granola to make up for all the food I ate the day before.  But for lunch, we had reservations at a cute place my friend recommended: Serendipity 3.  It was interesting as soon as we walked in the door.  The menu was the size of my torso, which is long for my size, so it was pretty big.  The decor of the restaurant was out-of-control, for lack of a better description.  There were lamps hanging everywhere, weird paraphernalia of all sorts just thrown throughout the restaurant and little to no room to sit comfortably.  But the food was great, and made the cramped one and a half hours worth it.

I had The Summer Bries:

My family had an assortment of other food, but I really want to get to the dessert because I’m pretty sure it’s going to blow your mind.  Get this: Frrrrrozen Hot Chocolate, Peanut Butter style.

You don’t even understand how delicious this was.  I was so full from my sandwich (yes, I ate ALL of it!), but I made room for this because it was so perfect.  It was like a chocolate smoothie with a huge dollop of peanut butter mixed in.  Perfect for the chocolate lover in all of us!

That night we saw the Knicks squeak by the Atlanta Hawks by one point and I had a soft pretzel.

Day 4: Our final few hours in New York were spent packing and making sure we didn’t have anything absolutely dire that needed to be done.  I had New York style Cheesecake for breakfast.  My parents are awesome!

And that was my trip, in food, to New York.  I’d love to go and try fancier restaurants, but given that we had two major fun events planned (Wicked and Knicks), I didn’t want to push my luck!