Here is my first review of Pit Boss BBQ.
Early this morning, about 6:10am, Tiny E was hacking, coughing and not feeling well. This means ol’ Papa will be tending to his smallish ward, for the day. He wandered off to his corner and I spent the morning cleaning, cleaning and doing more, cleaning. I’m behind in my chores, eh.
About 11 my tummy let me know it was time to start thinking about lunch, Pit Boss! I needed another meal to finish out the review and this was my perfect opportunity. Not only could I get my meal, but Tiny E could try their hotdog with fries. Most excellent. 22 dollars later, we were at home with the above meal. This would be a 2 way combo of Carolina Pulled Pork Shoulder & Death Row Ribs. The sides were tater salad, fries and the corn bread. And of course a plain hotdog children’s meal.
I’m a bad restaurant reviewer. So, I don’t do many. What’s my problem? I want to love every restaurant and meal, nearly to a fault. What do I mean?
When I dine at any time, at any restaurant I’m giddy. The look, smells, service and menus, I love it all. The images dance, no skip, through my mind with the greatest of glee. And after ordering my meal I wait for the love to pour. To this end I offer …
Well, first off I want to thank Dagny for bringing this restaurant to our attention. While its location scares me to an absolute shivery death, the food is most certainly worth the adventure. I had my doubts until the chips & salsa slid ever so carefully on to the table with the red & green. What followed gave my spine carnitas pimples for the next 35 minutes. Yeah, even if we didn’t order carnitas, I knew it was lurking out there to excite.
I believe the words appropriate for my feelings for El Tazumal #2 are, In Love.
I don’t consider myself a worldly type of guy, I’m okay with that. But if I had to judge a country by their people, El Salvador is right at the top. The restaurant & grocery next door are family run, the shopkeeper is always there. Not only are you greeted with smiles, but if nearly any type of conversation ensues, he’ll ask you would like to see pictures of his country? And it isn’t pronounced, el salvador. Throw out your hands and chest and exclaim, EL SAL VA DOR !!! Pound on that last “dor” there. The twinkle in his eyes is very apparent as he pulls out a ragged coffee table book and flips through it. “Here is MY country!” And continues, with huge amounts of pride, to show you around. His voice drops and as he says that politicallly, “It’s not so good.” All I was looking for was a simple lunch and I feel as though I should run home and pack my bags and visit, EL SAL VA DOR !!! In Love.
Nearly 10 years ago JLee and I would make a special trip in to Berkeley and visit Pepito’s Deli. All we wanted was a pint of their Chile Verde, a load of warm tortillas and some cheese to grate. We’d fly back to work and just stand there loading up our tortillas and slurping away. The elixir of the gods. It was always the finest we could find, wasn’t cheap though. This pint of goodness was 16 bux, worth every penny too.
Seasons passed and one day we pulled up to find it had closed. We weren’t close enough to the staff or owners to know why, but it was gone. Gone until today that is!
Yup, it’s my birthday week and I took yesterday off. I didn’t have much planned but a nice lunch at a new BBQ joint out in Antioch with Chilebrown. He sent me an ad a week ago and thought we should go check it out, considering who we are and all. They’d opened July 31st, so after only being open a week we didn’t know what to expect. It was a day to throw caution to the wind and head out for an adventure.
A few days before, CB’s co-worker made a trip to Oregon for bacon. Apparently he’d filled 2 giganticus sized coolers full of bacon and bacon like products. Some of which I knew CB had asked for and hopefully a little would trickle down to me, heh. This also means we get to have a bacon tasting before lunch, how nice.
I showed up at CB’s early, about 11am. He tossed 2 cast iron skillets on his fancy commercial range and removed a plastic bucket from the fridge. He pulled back the top and said, “Here’s 14 pounds of pork belly curing for bacon.” It sure was, dang. After the bucket was out of the way, he removed about 3 or 4 huge sized bags of bacon. First up he sliced some of Redmond Lockers & Custom Meats Inc bacon, oh man. The fresh porky smell along with sweet smoky wafts was wonderful. Next to slice was the A&B Meat Market bacon, both of which are belly bacon. Each got its own skillet, we have to make sure the flavors of each are preserved!
The gentle caress of the gas range gave us the the bacon doneness we needed. Little bit chewy and a little bit crunchy. This way we can see where it comes and where it goes. I need to taste the cool white smoky fat and the crunch of the belly, it’s all good. I went for the Redmond bacon first and CB did the A&B. It was a moment held in time, we both stood in the kitchen, leaning against the counter. Ghod the Redmond bacon was good, excellent sweetish flavor with a smoky pork finish. I grabbed a slice of the A&B while CB grabbed a piece of the Redmond. Munch munch. Lordy. The A&B was a little milder on the sweet side, but the smoky goodness along with the excellent pork meat flavor was an contender as well.
I veered towards the Redmond bacon and CB was very happy with the A&B. But when it comes down to it, they’re both amazing hunks of cured smoky goodness and get four thumbs up. That was the appetizer, now for lunch. Ready to head out to Antioch to Applewood BBQ?
Another one of those multi-colored pizza flyers showed up on our doorstep a few weeks ago. In the past I would have tossed it. I’m not a fan of these franchised or cookie cutter establishments that show up for a year or so, then disapear as quietly as they arrived. But after Rworange from a local food related forum started checking these local Richmond places out, I had to see what they had.
Come on, you just gotta know what’s in this sammich.
Here I find myself calmly stalking Poulet. The intersection of Virginia & Shattuck is nearly void of traffic, perfect for my approach. Sure is a totally badass day to be out.
I don’t normally leave my box, it’s tough pawing my way though my psychosis. Then how did I manage to find a path away? Shuna of Eggbeater asked me to, that’s how.
Wanna come see?
I’ve been working in this area for nearly 16 years, a long time for most. While I believe this is a good thing, having to find lunch in the same area for 16 years can get just a tad lonely, boring and mostly leaves me feeling more than melancholy. Especially when this area is Richmond. So, when a new anything moves in, I am so there. Round eyed, bouncy and ready for anything would probably give you a good idea as to my demeanor when ordering, poking and reading. Just picture Tigger and you’d about have me nailed.
Recently RW posted something about a new Torta place on a local foodie forum, I marked my calendar and the map. You most certainly want to read further, oh yes.
As I sit down to write, Chilebrown is on his way from California to Idaho stopping at every damn smokehouse in his way. He said he only took 2 coolers, I mentioned he may want to consider getting another 2, dang an junk. The results of this trip should be pretty insane.
This makes up the second and last entry for our 2nd Meat Adventure. If you missed the fist part, please visit the 1st part and get yourself aquainted.
By the time we arrived at Uncle Franks, literally around the corner from Dittmer’s, we were ready for food and drink. Both CB and I were on a high from scoring so hugely at Dittmer’s, we absolutely couldn’t believe our luck. As we walked up to Uncle Frank’s, it said, No One Under 21 Allowed. Cool! The front part of the building is nice Old Man’s bar with 2 pool tables, ahhh time to relax. CB ordered a draft and I the same with a shot of bourbon. The bartender wanted to know what kind? It’s been over 3 years since I’ve been in a bar (I do my drinkin’ at the smoker at home) and I couldn’t remember what to say, so I just stood there looking blank. The kind of blank that said, “Uh, er, uh, you know? The brown liquidy bourbon that stings my lips and makes me say, NICK NICK and doesn’t cost too much.” I think it’s called a Well Drink, whatever. CB and I sat at the bar for a moment, he watched basketball on the tv and I kinda stared blankly at everything. I realized in about 5 minutes that my drinks were gone and I was still hungry. Time to go sit down in a booth and place our order.
It was dark out and the sign was lit. Chilebrown, Ms. Goofy, Mama and myself headed out to Rodeo to the new Mazatlan taqueria to celebrate our Dueling Briskets contest the previous weekend. It’s been a month or less since it opened and being 1 of 2 Mexican restaurants in town, we just had to go see. Hopefully it doesn’t suck as much as the other one.
It’s better you don’t directly SEE the ‘burrito’. Let Depth of Field be our friend today.
First off I want to apologize to Dr. Wallach, he stressed a low sodium diet and this ain’t within those boundries. Then, I would like to apologize to all of you, sort of, but not really. You see, when Emil handed me this ad for a Chili Cheese Fries Burrito from Wienerschnitzel I just couldn’t resist. I wouldn’t have gone for a corn dog, I wouldn’t have gone for the Chili Cheese Meal Deal that includes a chili cheese dog, a chili cheese burger and chili cheese fries. Nope, I steer clear. But a chili cheese fries burrito? For 99 cent? I was so there.
If you feel strong of heart, click on to read the rest of the story.
Is 3rd time the charm? If not, it was going to be strike 3 and you’re out, that’s for sure. As you all know, I’ve given Jones’ BBQ 2 chances in the past to come through and each time it was a flat out bust, except for the potato salad. Which is good if you like potato salad, but if the word BBQ or Barbecue is in the name of your joint? You should have some decent smoky meats and sister, or brother, Jones’ has not delivered me this. I’ve received a few emails and comments from close friends and complete strangers over the last year saying that Jones’ BBQ isn’t about the BBQ, it’s about the fried chicken. Aroo?
CORRECTION 6/27/2005: Palmar has been open for 2 years, not 1 month as stated in my review, please take note.
UPDATES available, see end of post. 6/29/2005
Tuesday afternoon I was driving to get something to eat after going home to water my new ‘mater plants (thanks Chilebrown!). I’d pulled close to Potrero Avenue and was going to visit Rick’s Quality Meats and get a dumb sammich. The closer I got the madder I got and decided I just couldn’t eat another sandwich. This is when I made my turn, away. And I’m glad I did because yesterday’s lunch was just as good as today’s. Read on if you care …
Today hasn’t always looked tasted this good. Earlier today Big D got some bad news about the funky transmission in his ’95 4Runner. It was fried and as it turns out, the transfer case is built in to the transmission. This means it has to be rebuilt/replaced as well. All told it’ll take about 25 hours in the shop and will cost upwards of 6 grand. Big D quickly turned to Sad and Depressed D. But wait, it gets worse. I decided to cheer the guy up by coming by and taking him to lunch. Sounds easy enough, right? Nope. Travinos was closed, who knows why. Not only was the news about the tranny depressing, but our lunch plans were flying right out the window. We decided to head down San Pablo Avenue to see if anything piqued our interest, Mc Donalds? No. Church’s Chicken? No sir. Our next place would have been Wienerschnitzel, I detoured and headed to the Barrio. Enough was enough, we needed something rich & satisfying. We found it! Portumex Family Restaurant on 23rd Avenue in Richmond. YEAH !!!