I am not on a BBQ Team

Brisket 101 Virtual Training with AC(Not Wharton)

Last week I was on a call with my peers who also sell double decker tour bus tickets to the tourists. The question was posed as to what we were doing over the Memorial Day Holiday. Not a lot of fun adventurous plans given the current environment but we are trying. AC(Not Wharton) informed us that she will be taking a maiden voyage with the smoker that she got her husband. She was asking for suggestions so brother S(squared) said that I should help her. Of course I would, I actually live for this kind of shit since I don’t have a grill of my own now.

AC(Not Wharton) and I had a quick conversation on Friday on the items that she needed to get prior the cook. We spoke about technique and how to prep the meat. It should be mentioned that AC(Not Wharton) practices Kosher Dietary with her family. I am always enthralled with other religions so it was interesting learning how the food had to be prepared. We were able to add some traditional BBQ Techniques and keep her still in the good graces with Temple. She and I agreed on Sunday and I told her to call me if she had questions.

So for you folks who don’t know how to smoke meat it can be intimidating. Add to that it being your first time using a smoker that has a layer of dust it’s daunting. I mean this can be down right frightening because you have put yourself out there and you can’t just paddle back in. Day of the cook AC(Not Wharton) calls me scared that she has already messed up because she didn’t dilute the Pineapple Juice marinade. It was here that I informed her that Rule Number one for Pitmasters; “Pitmasters never make mistakes, everything we do is calculated, planned, and or modified at the last minute if needed.” There is another golden rule that Brother Guido (a fellow teammate) says but it didn’t really apply here “Get them Drunk and Stall, Stall, Stall!

We get the wood chips on the hot coals, the Brisket on the smoker and we start checking hourly. Things are going well but I can get the sense that AC was feeling that smoking meat should be a on a time table like you cook in the oven. Here we learned another lesson on that you have to be subtle and always be reactive. No cook is the same. We get a two hours into the smoke and we are nearing the time to pull them off (a little early but that is fine, this smoker doesn’t have a bottom daisy wheel damper) and we wrap it in foil. As expected, we have to add more charcoal and we get the brisket singing in the foil.

I ended up going to the Commissioner to say hello to Brendan but AC(Not Wharton) sends me the pic of the finished product. What I like most about this was her feedback, she gets it.

  • “I didn’t Season it so well.” (we can also talk about injecting too)
  • “Tasted a little over seasoned.” (we can work on that, we can keep it simple and season it on the back end)
  • “Not a fan of the thin layer of Mustard to put on the brisket before we season it.” (Disclaimer to AC – I do that for Pork Ribs and I may have gotten that wrong. I don’t really cook Brisket like the Asian Fireman or Myron Mixon) We can use oil or the residual juice.
  • Wants to get a less lean Brisket next time. (We need to talk to the Asian Fireman on that)

Hey, I was pumped that she was happy with it. To cook a dish that you are unfamiliar with is hard. To prepare the dish on a cooking apparatus that you have never used before – That pretty incredible. But to do this and your teacher is in Brooklyn when you are on the island of Long…Get the F out of here!

What can I say, us New Yorkers are pretty resourceful and can pretty much do everything. Personally I can’t wait to come out and hang with AC(Not Wharton) and we do some whole chickens beer can style or Burnt Ends. Oh Burnt Ends are the Bees Knees! You are ok if I smoke a couple dozen cigars in your back yard right?

On her list of things she needed to get was a fire extinguisher. She didn’t have one so I told her to have some Flour handy in case we had a grease fire.
This is Battalion 9 in Manhattan that I am hoping I only ever get to see when they are getting provisions at my new Grocery Store.
I have Never Seen one of these before.
AC – Get you one of those Oven Thermometers next time you are at the store. You and I gauging the temp with the “How long can you hold your hand by the rack” needs to improve. I suspect that sucker went hot way too quickly but you and I recovered well.
Love the Bark (the dark crust) on that
You got some smoke ring in there. Like I told AC(Not Wharton) on text. The first one is in the books. So we learn what we like and what we don’t like and we do it again.
I am open on Sunday by the way…..
Yeah I boast that I am not on a BBQ Team but I am grooming AC for WCBCC.
Not sure how we can do that with Shabbat but we can figure something out.
So AC(Not Wharton) BACK STORY ON YOUR BLOG NAME – AC Wharton was a former Mayor of Memphis and I am having writers block coming up with your Blog nickname.

When I was down in Belize one year I organized a BBQ Sauce Contest all via a Message Board. I had one of the owner’s of a Bed and Breakfast get me some whole Chickens and I borrowed her Grill that is an old Butane Tank. We did Beer Can Butt Chicken. When the other owner and partner asked me if I had ever done this before I admitted to her –
Nope, I was flying by the seat of my pants. Thankfully it turned out great.

The faces were courtesy of Shuffles.

So Congrats AC(Not Wharton) we smoked a Brisket and didn’t burn up your backyard.

Welcome to your new addiction.

Just make sure we do this in the summer because that sucker is going to be a beast getting it to temp in the winter.

Oh and AC(Not Wharton) you have to name your smoker now. Its a Pitmaster Tradition.

I am proud of our Sunday Cooking project.

Second Installment for Tiger Nation Fans visiting New York/Brooklyn 2/2

So are you Tiger Nation fans getting excited yet? I have to say that the city does get a little bit of a special charge during the holidays. The Rockefeller tree will be covered in Scaffolding because they have to get it ready for the official lighting ceremony in early December. Not to worry there are tons of other stuff already up to get pictures taken for those Christmas Cards. G(Squared), I saw that they were putting lights on those chicken feet down in Chinatown. I did see a Miller Light Truck on Canal Street so you should be good to go.

Previously we spoke about some of the tips for you visitors, here are the second half of them. But this list will be fun stuff. So without further adeau;

  • Underground is the best way to get around the city – They deliver 1.5 million packages in the city of Manhattan a day. Add to that Yellow Taxis, Ubers, Tour Buses and the city gets a tad…..gridlocked. They once timed a car going from 1st Ave Crosstown to 12 Ave and it took almost 52 minutes. That being said using the subway is your best friend. Again use Google Maps. Those maps they have in the subway stations are good but do you know which lines are not running on the weekend? If you use Google Maps and The Pigeon App and you will have a ease free commute. I say get Metro Card and put 20.00 on it and then refill it when necessary.
  • Subway 101 Hints – Take off your backpack and go to the center of the cab if it is packed. Let the elderly and pregnant women sit down. If you see a subway car that is empty when others are packed it is empty for a reason. Trust me you can’t hold your breath between subway stops so don’t go there. Oh when you are leaving the subway area and see someone standing there sliding his hand like he has a credit card through his other hand do them a solid. Swipe them in the Subway on your card. Pay it forward.
  • Staying in an Air BnB? – Download the Fresh Direct App and have your beer, wine, bottled water, snacks and drunk munchies food delivered to your door. I say order your stuff the day before you arrive and you can schedule your delivery day and time. You will have to be there when the stuff is delivered but trust me schleping (that is Yiddish for carrying) groceries to your apartment sucks.
  • Speaking of Apps download the Seamless app. This is 24 hour room service for the area restaurants. It is New York’s version of Uber Eats and it kicks ass. Bagel delivery guys are the best. Make sure you tip them cash. Another App you need is the Pigeon app. It is Waze but for New York Subways and gives you real-time delays and issues.
  • Cost of Beers and Food – Now brace yourself you Max’s Sports Bar regulars the cost of beer isn’t going to be the same as in 38103. I don’t want to hear it, I have been here for 4 years and have accepted paying north of $5.00 for Bud Light and $8.50 for Titos and soda. Are there cheaper places? Sure there are but here is my suggestion. Sit at the bar, be nice, be respectful and maybe the bartender may give you a “Buy Back” where they give you a drink on the house. Also it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stash a couple C-notes in your wallet. A lot of Brooklyn bars are Cash Only. Those are pretty easy as you just leave your money on the counter and the bartender will take the funds needed for drinks out of your pot. Trust me, they aren’t going to screw you.
  • Bars and places to eat around The Barclays’ Center – plenty of great places on 5th Avenue to grab some food and drink before and after the game. In the interest of some of those establishments that I frequent on 5th Avenue I am not going to name them here. You are also just steps away from the Subway station and can get into Manhattan fairly quickly.
  • Sightseeing in the City – Want to see the Bitch in the Harbor? Jump on the Staten Island Ferry (it is free) and you will boat right by it to take a picture. The also sell beer on board (ANG MT just saw that and it peaked his interest) and you get to see that 5th borough that Mr. 3 First Names despises. When you are down in Fidi swing by the Stock Exchange, Bull, Fearless Girl, Hamilton’s grave. Then walk over to the footprints at the 9/11 memorial.
  • Food Places you have to have – First off there is no good Memphis BBQ here in New York. Don’t try it, you are wasting your time and money. I equate it to trying to find a NYC bagel in Memphis. It ain’t happening. Do your homework and try to eat a couple slices at the Best that NYC has to offer. Want to eat at Katz’s or one of the big named places – be first on line when they open. Swing by the south east corner of Avenue of Americas and W53th for some World Famous Halal Guys. Go easy on the White Sauce and get extra napkins. Again – Get Reservations NOW!
  • Food Suggestions – People always ask me this and believe it or not I am just as unfamiliar with places as you are. I have heard you can eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at a different place for each meal for a year and not have a repeat. My normal saying is that if it is still in business then they must be doing something right. The margin of error for restaurants is so very tight and if you have a bad showing you are done. I also use Zagats, Yelp and Google Searches for the best places. If you want a Dive Bar list let me know. I have a killer one!
  • Clothing and Shoes – I get it, you ladies want to look good in your wedges and or heels but who are you kidding. It is going to be cold and possibly will rain. Comfort is your key and make sure that you have good shoes because you will be walking a ton! Regarding the George Costanza Puffy Coat, you can bring it but with going in and out of places, the subway you may want to layer and wear a scarf. If you plan on going to the Parade bring everything but your kitchen sink. Also the winds up here can be a bitch. My wool top coat is great about half of the time but if we are to have snow or a light rain I am breaking out my North Face coat. Bring a hat too!
  • Shopping – I use Amazon and order eCommerce so you are on your own. I do recommend that you check out Century 21 downtown. They have some good stuff.
Pro Tip – Use the Name or Number don’t call it “Taking the Red Line” #RoboCares
The Pigeon App – As sure as I-240 gets backed up so do the Subways. Get this app and check it before you journey out for the day.
Think of this as Room Service for your hotel/Air BnB. Be Careful though, you can run up a pretty large tab with those drunk munchies!
Fresh Direct App – Trust Me lugging those cases of beer or bottled water sucks. And they can deliver wine and drunk food too! Make sure you order and reserve your day/time because it will get busy before Thanksgiving.
So Good but make sure you get extra napkins because your elbow may get juicy!
They don’t call it the Bible for nothing!
Is that Gore Tex?

Enjoy your time in New York and Brooklyn, be nice to people, support local, tip your bartenders and stay safe. We leave out on Turkey Day for the weekend but give me a shout if you are in town early.

Smoked Meats in Glenside PA

After returning from the Redneck Rivera we have had a full weekend schedule pending. The first weekend since our return had us heading over to Philly for a Memphis Style BBQ. Geranium being the world jet setter was in Seattle for work so she decided to fly the red eye straight into Philly and I would take Amtrak over to Philly. Since I already booked our travel I invited LJZ since her husband is enjoying summer school.

Due to some prior commitments the majority of the BBQ Team would not be able to attend so Pepe called in the “B Team” meaning SK and I would be the substitute pit masters. Other than a pork roll incident we managed to put out some good food for the group.

Since we got there so early into Philly I left LJZ to go see her friends and I headed on the regional train to Pepe’s house.
We really should have brought this up to the cooking pad but it got things going for us Saturday Morning.
Now this is a smoker!
We (well not so much me or SK) burned some of this.
SK’s lovely wife made sure that the guests were good and ‘hydrated’ and kept cool with frozen drinks.
Is this a Kids Drink or a Uncle Robo Drink?
Every time I looked up there was another protein to smoke or cook. Thanks to Pepe’s buddy for helping out.
Oh the Shame (She obviously is not from the south) I told LJZ’s friend that I was going to put this picture on my worthless dribble of a blog. I even put it as the featured picture too!
We had a good time and I didn’t do a repeat of 2 years ago in Glenside when someone slipped me a Mickey.

All in all the B Team did a good job and it was a hit. Appreciate Pepe and D3 for letting us stay the night and we will be back.

One Year Ago Tomorrow – We Lost A Great Traveler

I recall it like it was yesterday. The first text came from GrainbinGirl at like 7:AM (6:AM Memphis Time) then the next came from Pepe. “Anthony Bourdain was gone and by his own hand.” *Disclaimer – I have lost many a good friend and family member by their own hand. This post is not in any way shape or form trying to speak of this horrible disease. Sadly it takes too many good people*

Best Friends

So the loss of Antony Bourdain has bothered me for a while. Now that I have just finished up on a whirlwind tour with Shawna (yeah, I am serious when I use real names) I miss him even more.

Tunisa

For this post I plan on speaking about some of Tony’s quotes that I hold dear to my heart.  His friend Jose Andres said it best in his latest book in the tribute;

To our friend Anthony Bourdain, who spent his life planting seeds

That man put a bunch of seeds in my head and I owe it to him to make them grow and experience some of what he got to see. Let’s be honest….the Cock Sucker had the best life in the world and I am so grateful that I can try to do as much as I can!!! Enough with the chatter. Here are my favorite Bourdain Quotes in no sequential order and some notes;

  • “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.” – Loved my trip to a small town in Switzerland. You don’t get the same experience in the larger towns. Here I was just an American who couldn’t speak French and didn’t know I needed to bring a bag.
  • “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”Or if you are 49 years old do this and load up on the ADVIL! I am not going to lie, the travel I did to see Shawna was tough but I look back and loved every minute of it!
  • “The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”I landed at Heathrow exhausted but figured out the Tube Schedule, walked my ass through the rain and got to the hotel. I could have wimped out and paid a King’s Ransom for a Black Car but what is the point if you aren’t going to see and experience Rush Hour into London on a Friday?
  • “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m also a big believer that you are never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”This was 100% Barcelona! I only had a list from The Notorious NFG but it was going to be a total wing it. I love that town. I want to go back and I want to go back now.  
  • “Drink heavily with locals whenever possible.”No Comment
  • “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Loved our visit with English Mike & Ellie as well as our visit with The Tour Agent and Curly Sue in Switzerland. I know that our paths will cross again and when it does. I plan on picking up from where we left off.
  • “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”It is very well documented that I smoke cigars, drink alcohol on occasion, and need a cholesterol pill. Sure, I try to keep myself leaning towards the cleaner side of life but what’s the point of living if you can’t slide down butt naked on a sheet of ice. Yes, I ordered the damn goose liver and I loved it!
  • “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”I am hoping she never reads this but I so disagree with Z-Squared and her guerrilla vacation tactics. I love her to death and will be that “3AM phone call guy to come bury a body” guy but I can’t vacation with her. Let that shit roll off the back.

And will I finish with this one. I will always have the deepest respect and love for Ernie and Lynn Mellor for giving an out of work carnie a job.

  • “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Nothing is better than standing over a hot smoker busting balls and or discussing life. I am always appreciate of the visits with the Asian Fireman in Woodlawn.

So, if you have not figured out by my already 900 words this is telling you to go out and explore. It doesn’t have to be in a different country. It can be in a different part of your home town.

All you have to do is be friendly, be respectful and always be humble.

How cool would it be if you were having a lunch on this beach?

Rest in peace Tony. I am still pissed I didn’t get to drink with you at Billy Mark but that is more for a selfish reason.

To honor you I will try to see as much of this world as you did.

Best of Luck to The Second Generation Italian Society

Due to Geranium wanting to travel all the time we will not be able to attend this years Italian Festival in beautiful Crime-Free Marquette Park. We had talked of going but she was not scheduled to be back in New York until late Friday night. The team has been together for I want to say 27 years and the festival is celebrating 30 years as the main fundraiser for Holy Rosary Church and School.

Good Luck Guys!

Stolen from GrainBin Girl
Ah the year that Geranium (who does not look happy right now) and I squared off on who makes a better Gravy
I hear that it isn’t supposed to Rain this year. That is great considering it rained every other fucking year!
Ahh the Full Week In Europe or Knee Surgery for Monkey Head Maddy. I was prepping the Gravy to serve to the masses at the house and she was laid up cripple.
Oh there is no rain, bring your flip flops guys.

Let me know if you need more Paper Towels, Trash Bags or Red Solo Cups!

A Dive Bar Find – The Classiest Shit Show in Red Hook! And we dig it!

On Monday Mrs. Trumpet informed me that we would be making a trip to Red Hook to partake in some crab and seafood at Brooklyn Crab. I had recalled this place as it is next door to Hometown BBQ and across the street from Fairways in Red Hook. Monday was a beautiful day so we sat at the upstairs bar and had a King Crab Roll and a steamers pot.

We decided that we would start walking and see what we can find in Red Hook because we only know this area by having Ikea and the Defonte’s Sandwich Shop. We come up on The Brooklyn Ice House and decide that we would give it a go. When we walked in we quickly realized that this locals only bar is just our speed. From the neon lighting, various bar posters and old beer cans on the wall this was our place.

This joint actually has a full menu and looking at the prices it was much more economical than Pig Beach and they boasted that their bbq was the best. We stuck to beers and occasional shot and took in the crowd watching. They have a nice outdoor patio area and it has a homey feel.

From the Brooklyn Crab Bar
This begs the question – why is there a cassette deck component atop the chimney. Got to love Red Hook!
The portable Smoker over at Hometown BBQ!
Belize?
Prices are not that bad considering it is Brooklyn
Beer and a shot – $6
Love all the stickers
Bring Cash Folks – No Credit Cards accepted
Coaster on top of drink – Universal Sign of “I went to pee or smoke”
Neon and stickers!
For those of you with a sugar rush they have a pickle jar full of candy
Not Everyone Can Wear Capes!

Don’t worry to my Max Sport Bar lovers who will be making trips up here. I promise to take you here!

A Trip to Pig Beach

Considering that I have not had any pulled pork or ribs in a while Geranium and I while we were in the Gowanus part of Brooklyn decided that we should visit Pig Beach. A lot of my BBQ buddies have been showing up there doing celebrity cooks for either charity or other events. It seems that every time PegLeg would come in town I was out of town but I still wanted to see what this was all about. We arrived to the converted warehouse and didn’t really know what to expect.

The place is really cool and was also packed to the gills. They have a very nice outdoor area with picnic tables and the inside is also very nice with TV’s and a industrial feel. The service is much like Central BBQ where you place you order at the counter and then go find a spot to wait for your food to be ready. We sat at the bar and had a couple of Miller Lights and Gin Tonics. We split the Pulled Pork Sandwich, BBQ Baked Beans and Mac & Cheese. The red cabbage slaw on the sandwich was interesting but sadly the Mac & Cheese needed some seasoning. They have 3 types of BBQ Sauce and we preferred the mustard sauce over the other two. Just make sure you bring your wallet. They aren’t cheap on price of the drinks or food. I am sorry but a full rack of ribs shouldn’t cost you $34.00. Make a living, not a killing.

Outside was packed on a Sunday…Till the rain happened.
The place has a nice feel to it. Lots of families with kids and 4 legged ones too!
I recognize that trophy!
Not too bad
This actually was pretty good
A little too sweet for my taste
The Menu
Wonder who lives in that big tall ass building
Everything is disposables so busing tables is quick for a fast turn

Next time we will bring the Monkey Head

Some Pictures of London

I have been remiss in posting these so here is a bonus Post Presidents Day entry for you 15 readers. We had a blast in London and hopefully we will be doing something like this again in the near future.

Regarding London, it was great seeing PNG Mike and Lady E as well as Lord Jimmy and his parents and seeing Vegas JD was a bonus too.

Had no idea that the Landlord has such a following here in London.
Parliament they seem to have some issues much like we do. To quote Jimmy’s father “Please don’t impeach Trump, if you do then we will be the only assholes with issues!”
I think that I have drank some Gin with picture of that fella on it
Sure you can always get a selfie of Buckingham Palace but can you get a bird to stop in mid flight for a Photo Bomb?
10 Downing Street or Number 10 depending on who says it.
Man I have smoked a bunch of this man’s cigars.
I know some people from Whitehall!
Hey Look Kids, Big Ben, Parliament….and Fucking Cold ass Rain!
Too bad we didn’t get to see Master A as we were told he is over 6 feet tall.
Driving on the other side of the street can confuse you

Oye Ceras, por favor, no te bajes la pierna. Es considerado grosero por los estándares de inglés.
I passed on the Ribs at Harrods
Always loved Peter O’Toole
As I have heard that the Angel of Darkness has fallen ill, I am wishing I saw this show while we were there.

It was a great time and we will be back!

Pictures of the Week – Labor Day Shenanigans

Sorry I haven’t been doing my job lately, the abbreviated week and the start of school has kept us busy. Hope everyone is happy that College Football is back in the swing of things and that now the NFL is about to start back up too. Here are some pics from this past Labor Day weekend.

IMG_4113I think that if I didn’t wear my traditional Seersucker Suit on the last Friday of the summer my team would revolt.

IMG_4119I wonder what Asshole lives in this eyesore. View from the Murphrank’s roofdeck.

IMG_4122Believe it or not we didn’t stage this picture. Maya could have been trying to cuddle up with Rocky because she was afraid of the humans. I think this was when Bobcat decided to ‘take a nap’!

IMG_4129She is as happy as a cat in a canary store.

IMG_4130“Oh sure you can sit on the throne and wear those funny crowns and let you believe that you are the boss of us.” #saidnooneever

IMG_4110BEFORE YOU START JUDGING ME – Not one bottle of this is mine (I only buy half gallons & Mary Louise’s maintenance wine comes in standard bottles) but I wondered if the old drunk South Bluff Neighbor moved into our building.

IMG_0505First Day of School for The Little Bastid! He is growing so tall!

IMG_4149We are those people who now take our dog to bars. In New York if a bar doesn’t serve food then dogs are welcome. Maya likes the bars in Boerum Hill.

This weekend we have The Carl Lipbalm Memorial Caddy Scholarship winner in town so I am sure we will have some fun pics to share with you next week. Keep it light.

Do this tonight! Don’t make me call your mother or punch you in the throat

Tonight is the “Memphis Style BBQ Edition”of Chopped Grill Masters. My good friend and owner of A Moveable Feast/Hog Wild BBQ Catering Company, Ernie Mellor, is competing against 3 other Pitmasters in a chance to win over 50K in prize money. The show comes on the Food Network and is 9 Eastern/8 Central Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

*Disclaimer – I don’t know any more than you do if he wins or loses. All I knew was when he came up to Manhattan back in early March.

Ernie Mellor ChoppedGet em Ernie! Do us proud!

Best of luck to him tomorrow. We will be cheering for you from Crime-Free Brooklyn.