Friday, March 06, 2015

lunch review - todd's cookhouse bar-b-que

i was out & about, looking for lunch in all the wrong places. and then it hit me that a new bbq place had opened in clovis. i loves the bbq so i drove over a few streets to get some.

like many local bbq places, they have a order at the counter system, with the menu on some large boards & hand held menus - worked fine, and they had enough counter help to keep it moving along. their staff was friendly and it took about 10 minutes after ordering to get my food.

i ordered the 2 item combo - brisket & sausage. it comes with 2 sides + bread. with a soda & tax it was just over $18. not terrible price, but a little more than some other local places.

the brisket was very tender, and that made me quite happy. it had a good flavor.  but what really did stand out to me was the tenderness - a lot of places fail at this. i could easily cut it with my plastic cutlery.

the sausage had a nice casing, and still had a good snap to it when i bit down. now, i have to admit that the sausage also confused me a bit. yes, it is clearly labelled as sausage, but in my head i figured it would still be a hot link or something spicy. nope, just a sausage. tasted good, but nothing special.

onto some other details: sauce - they have their own sauce, i think they call it's todd's memphis sauce or something like that. it's a sweet sauce, that has a slight kick to it. good, and they put a little on the meat itself and give you some on the side. i'm pretty sure that all of their meats are cooked without it, or with very little. i'm fine with it that idea, because a lot of times bbq places will hide their meat in too much sauce.  but what really stood out to me was what was missing from both the brisket & the sausage - any smokiness. now, i don't need or want to be overwhelmed by fake smoke flavoring, or for it to taste like i'm eating a campfire, but really, there was nothing about these meats to tell me that this meat was actually barbecued. and i also didn't see any smokers or grills outside (i could've missed it, or they could prep off site).  for example, the brisket, which was super tender, really lacked any sense it being barbecued, any smell or taste of being slow cooked on any sort of wood.

final bits - the sides. i had the hush puppies & the onion rings. both were good, and complemented the meal well enough. they had several others, and these sides probably are a little better suited to some of their other meals, but i liked them.

give it like 3/5 stars
  • 1414 Clovis Ave
    Clovis, CA 93612

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Arsenal Art Hop

this week @ arthop, check out artwork inspired by by far the greatest team the world has ever seen: arsenal f.c.

drop by peeves, check out some art, grab a pint, talk some footy.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

richie's pizza & hot dogs

Had a slice of pepperoni & a Euro dog tonight for dinner.  Both were decent.  I felt that the slice was a good size, and I love folding a NY style slice and chomping away. I thought the flavor of it all worked well.  But shoot, it's a slice of pepperoni. Pretty hard to mess that up.

On to the dog: the Euro Dog is their all beef sausage, topped with sauerkraut and a spicy brown mustard.  I was pleasantly surprised by the spicy kick the sausage had.  I liked the mustard as well.  The sauerkraut wasn't my favorite, but it was okay.  I have to admit, boiled dogs aren't my preference, but it was still good.

The food didn't blow me or my wife away, but I would go back again. Also, I'm sure this would be some great eats late at night.  My only real complaint is that the prices seem a little high, but it's not insanely high.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

home made chili

shhhh, don't tell anyone, i read the pioneer woman cooks blog.  anyway, i saw this recipe for a frito chili pie, and thought i'd try it out, but also modify it a bit.

the first change i made was to buy my own meat, cut it and grind it myself. (remember my tri tip hamburgers?)  i like the idea of buying better cuts of meat and using it over your generic ground beef.  also, it helps eliminate the idea that ground beef, especially company packaged beef, has a ton of different cows, feces, and whatever else in it.  this ground beef was just that, beef i ground.

anyway, after grinding, i browned it in a cast iron pot - my first time using this one.  i seasoned it a while back, but this is my first cooking in it.

the recipe calls for a canned tomato mixture, but i used fresh romas and a cut up red pepper.

anyway, cook it all, simmer it for a while, add some stuff, simmer, taste, season, simmer, and so on.  see the full recipe below.  here's the chili after it was all done.  so tasty.  but, to be honest, i made this chili today to freeze.  the really good thing, heather liked it, and she's not a big beef person.

so, i bagged up around half the chili, then added black beans to the remaining mix.  more simmer.  bagged up.  freezer.

the full recipe and directions:
  • 2 pounds Ground Chuck
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced (optional)
  • 1 can (12 To 14 Ounce) Tomato Sauce (16 oz)
  • 1 can (10 Ounce) Ro-tel (diced Tomatoes And Chilies) (i subbed in 4 roma tomatoes, diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin (i used less)
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (more To Taste) - (i added more at one of the simmer stages)
  • 1 can (14-ounce) Kidney Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 can (14-ounce) Pinto Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Masa (corn Flour) Or Regular Corn Meal
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water

Preparation Instructions

Brown ground chuck with garlic in a pot over medium-high heat. Add tomato sauce, Rotel, salt, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Mix masa with water, then add to the chili. Stir to combine and simmer for a final 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

brown bear's hot dogs

i've never hid that i enjoy a good hot dog.  in fact, i wouldn't mind owning a hot dog shop.  a bit back i saw a new shop opening near my work.  sadly, i didn't try it that day and it was months before i made time to get back there.  yesterday i did, i visited brown bear's hot dogs.  it's a former drive through coffee shop type shack, and so it's a walk up venue.  but, they had part of their parking lot set up with tents and tables, so you can sit and eat.

i didn't know their menu, and it's decent sized.  they have twelve different dogs and one that you build your own.  they also have three types of nachos.  i'll be honest, they have some strange sounding combinations (pineapple on your bbq dog?) but i wouldn't knock them without actually trying it.  they also have a breakfast dog & burrito on menu in the morning.  the dogs are $5 or $6, which sounds expensive, but they all come with chips and a soda as well.  the combo makes sense if you're just having one dog, but if you want to try multiple dogs out, the combo part is a bit much.  since it was my first time there, i wanted to try out two different dogs, which meant i took home two bags of chips.

after perusing the menu, i thought i'd give the bacon dog and the taco dogs a go.  i had the taco dog first, which has lettuce, cheese, taco sauce, salsa and the dog.  the buns are bigger, which is good because there is a lot of toppings on a good sized wiener.  i was surprised how tasty this dog was.  the taco sauce had a really good flavor to it, the wiener a nice snap, and it all worked very well together.

the bacon dog was a bit of a disappointment.  well, it was good, but it seemed like it would be fabulous.  it has grilled onions, mustard, cream cheese, pinto beans, and of course, bacon.  the bacon is a good, thick cut, but it's also previously cooked and cold.  this dog actually seemed to have too much on it.  i'd say it was good enough, but i really thought the taco dog was better.

overall, i'd recommend the place, although in more inclement weather it may not be a great place to eat, but still good for takeout.

7040 n fresno street,
fresno, ca. 93720

6:30 am - 9 pm m-f
8 am - 4 pm saturday
closed sunday.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

patton and clairvoyance

“Wonder weapons? My God, I don’t see the wonder in them. Killing without heroics, nothing is glorified, nothing is reaffirmed. No heroes, no cowards, no troops, no generals. Only those that will be left alive and those that will be left dead.” - Patton

from the film of the same title.  probably not a real quote, but what an enjoyable film.  and that quote is damn near clairvoyant.

seriously, i love movies, and there are a lot of great, new films, but sometimes i wonder why more directors don't consider the cinematography.  there are a ton of shots that are just visually stunning.  film makers always copy from each other, why not employ more great shots?

also, the simpsons continue to be a great user of pop culture.

Monday, March 11, 2013

breakfast sandwich for lunch

so, i had a little time today and lunch and thought i'd see what my fridge had to offer to whip up. i saw eggs, i saw bacon, i saw bread. yep, that sounds good, and sounds like a bacon, egg & cheese sandwich would be in order. i had seen people on several web cooking segments weaving bacon. i thought i'd give it a try. here's the bacon cut in half, and woven together in the pan:

i'm not sure why i felt i needed to, but here's a picture of bread with mayo & goulden's mustard:

i shouldn't have cut the bacon in half.  it didn't stay woven together as it cooked.  lesson learned, but here's the bacon after it cooked.  it still tasted good.

here's an ugly egg picture.  i drained all the bacon grease, turned off the pan, let it sit for a sec and then let the residual heat cook the egg on it's own.  i actually find that it makes for a nice, not overcooked egg.  but, i should have let the pan cool a little more today.

bacon stacked up neatly on the bread

sliced cheese on bacon, egg on top of that

side shot of the finished product.  quite tasty.

and now, i will go coach track, get a minimal work out and stand in a warm sun to burn off those calories consumed.