Cookin’ – Recycled Gourmet Appurtenances

Back in March when Meathenge Labs hosted a small, impromptu Dutch Oven Gathering a used cookware store in San Francisco was talked about.  Me being the backwoods hillbilly that I am hadn’t heard of it. I was promised that some day in the future we’d all go and have some fun.  It took more than a few months, but we finally did it!

Tiny E and I headed out from sleepy little Richmond with hope in our hearts and a whopping 10 dollars in our pockets. Was fine though, it was more about the adventure than coming back with a truckload of jewels, goblets and fry pans.  We found and parked at Kajsa’s & Cameron’s apartment with fair ease. We had to hike in about 9 million miles, but such is the burden of living in a large city with very little available parking.

Cookin’ is housed in a bitchen old building with rough wooden floors directly located on Divisadero. While it’s organized to the teeth, it’s an exceptionally packed solid type of organization.  Floor to ceiling type of packed.  Floor to ceiling with probably more than 80 years worth of kick ass cookware and related implements.

Need a Griswold cast iron skillet? Enamel cast iron oven or pan? Solid copper sauce pan? A Farberware whatever to fill a hole in your mother’s collection? It’s there in spades. Huge spades, huge bucktoothed spades.

I noticed it was going to take probably 2 to 3 runs through the store before my eyeballs and brain were able to make any sense of what was and what it might be. To discern if there was anything there that I just had to have, something I couldn’t possibly leave behind.

Nah, ol’ Biggles’ kitchen is pretty well stocked and I wasn’t able to find anything I had to have.  I was interested in a few of the old cake holder container rigs.  You know the ones, right?  Put cake on platter, then a nifty cover goes over said cake to keep it fresh for a day or two?

The owner had half dozen or so, but they were priced way, way, way out of my price range. We’re talking a thrift store find for 8 to 15 dollars and she was asking 40 dollars and more.  Not interested. In fact, the entire store is priced at maybe solid ebay prices for collector pieces.  I looked, but wasn’t able to find one deal to be had. She knew what she had and priced it accordingly. That’s fine, it’s not as though you can walk down the street to the next recycled cookware store and buy the same thing for less. She’s got a corner on the market and is acutely aware of it.

All in all we greatly enjoyed the afternoon out and I would certainly stop by again in the future.  If you truly need something soon, then by all means stop by and get it!  It just has to be in there, somewhere. But if you’re not crazy hot to have it right now? Give yourself a breather and keep your eyes peeled at local thrift stores, garage sales and deals on the internets. That and gifts from friends and family is where most of my gear came from.

xo, Biggles

Cookin’ – Recycled Gourmet Appurtenances 339 Divisidero San Francisco 415.861.1854

Blackened Gater & Fried Pickles at Felix’s in NOLA

While the good Reverend Doctor Biggles spends his days hunting and hopefully trapping his muse, we bring you some travelin’ meaters.
My sister Kallisti, and her husband Meathead are right now in New Orleans. She lived there for maybe 4 or 5 years many moons ago and wanted to revisit. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion this was taken not too terribly long ago, what with how the internet and fancy phones be.
xo, Biggles

Tacos Tijuana Taqueria in Denver Colorado

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Editor’s Note: Joe Bob of Denver CO, our ace reporter out standing in his field, checks in with this most awesome taco lead.
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After commenting on the Ice House in Ozona, TX I had to run down the street to Tacos Tijuana for a end of 2009 Meathenge review.
This joint has been here about forever and has the best tacos in Denver. I grabbed 4 pork units to go and it cost me all of $4.28. They serve all kinds of other great Mex food which I have had but for a quick lunch this can’t be beat. The usual double corn tortilla with pork and required pork lube, grease, flowing everywhere. Topped with onions etc.
I provided the hard cider which has a fancy label but is bottled over in Modesto by E.J. Gallo. Taste more like Gallows though. Yikes. Tijuana is open 7 days a week and often runs an outdoor spit under a pop up tent for quicker taco fixes. Complete with ethnic jukebox. A must stop when in NW Denver.
Joe Bob
Tacos Tijuana
4406 Sheridan Boulevard, Denver, CO 80212
(303) 477-0121 (West 44th. at Sheridan)

The Grub Shack – Terlingua Ranch Road in West Texas

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Editor’s Note: Ya know, nobody has ever accused me of being current. Here we find JLee, on her birthday (over a month ago), at the Grub Shack in West Texas. Joe Bob is doing all the fancy shootin’ with his electronical camera rig. Check it out, it’s a trailer with an awning out in the middle of fricken nowheres! JLee says:
I had been reading about this place on a blog, The Field Lab and then I saw Betty Doyle on youtube and knew we’d have to come here. A tiny place out in the middle of 360 degree desert eye candy, serving up hearty, filling food. This was by far the best breakfast of the trip. Egg, sausage & bacon on Texas toast, mmmmm. A couple of the ‘regulars’ were having biscuits and gravy, cracking on each other and life in general. Not a hipster or laptop in sight, aaaah.
The Grub Shack
Hwy 118 & Terlingua Ranch Rd

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Editor’s Note:
If you’re interested, or not, you really should visit The Field Lab link up there. I’ll bet it’s a lifestyle in a place you ain’t at or livin’ in. Here’s one of my favorite links on The Field Lab, it’s labeled Poop. I find it pretty humbling when I feel so high and mighty about buying locally grown and ranched food, then read about how someone has taken it about 10 steps further to do well by the planet. Cheers!
Annnn, since this picture was taken, Betty has packed up and headed out to take care of some sick relative. The Grub Shack has new people serving up the food action today. I don’t know yet if Betty plans on returning any time soon.

French Grocer – Marathon Texas

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Editor’s note: Joe Bob and JLee continue on in their West Texas walkabout.
We had breakfast at Marathon Coffee Cafe. Um, huevos and such. NBD. Cozy joint. They serve Big Bend Coffee (roasted in Marfa) here. And they sell the beans. If you’re camping or touring, and you have brought the ‘proper’ equipment, get your beans here. And make it yourself, the right way. Get everything else at French Co. Grocer, Hwy 90 & Avenue D. They got wi-fi, ice, beer and food and medicine and love.
We loaded up on stuff and headed to Big Bend Ranch State Park. Sorry no pictures. But I will tell y’all we saw many Daddy Long Legs with 6″ leg spans. No kiddin. And we weren’t drunk either.
French Grocer – Marathon, TX

The Ice House / a drive through booze load up station – Ozona Texas

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Editor’s Note: Yay, another fine post from JLee and Joe Bob’s trip to West Texas. I like the part where you can see they’re selling portable carport thingies as well as booze & ice. 600 bux?
We came across a few of these on this trip. Now, I’ve seen drive-up, window service liquor stores. These are drive-thru. You can load up cases and cases of stuff, and a whole lotta ice. I’m sure there’s a story behind this way of doing business. I surely appreciate being able to just drive right into the store.

Hot Pit BBQ – Del Rio Texas

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Editor’s Note: Here’s another installment of JLee and Joe Bob’s trip to West Texas. They’ve been back now for a week or so and we’ve got some insight to what’s going on in BBQ there. Pretty cool trip, eh?
Remembering McBee’s in Hondo, a very swell brisket. Very moist, proper smoke. Lotsa side carbs here. Appears I am eating off Joe Bob’s plate, pacing myself. I’m wondering if we’re just getting lucky, or if there’s better cows this year. This sauce was sublime. Joe Bob ended up putting it on the beans even. Requisite Dr. Pepper, if there’s no RC Cola.
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JLee & Joe Bob
Hot Pit BBQ
309 Avenue F
Del Rio, TX 78840

McBee’s Bar-B-Q – Hondo Texas

Editor’s Note: This just in directly from Hondo Texas. Joe Bob and JLee are meandering their way through Texas as we speak. Texas Barbecue is on the menu and Shiner’s Mesquite Smoked Lager Beer is the grail. Will let you know when the holy grail is discovered.
Meal was great! some of best brisket we ever had. Really good Polish sausage too. chicken was chicken but amazing skin like turkey and rub of some sort. we kept leftovers for later and they did not last long. Brisket had killer smoke ring and crusty outer layer. Most….not that tired dry stuff you normally find on the tour de Texas.
This is brisket country no doubt. No pork yet but we keep searching. Tried another place in Del Rio but that come over tonight. We in Marathon now at cool hotel, RV park and got last room. Now we off to James Evans gallery and French Grocer store. Searching hard for Pearl Beer !! (Search for Shiner you knob!)
Joe Bob
McBee’s BBQ
1301 19th St
Hondo Texas 78861

KCBS Certified BBQ Judge – Meathenge Labs are one!

Yup, you heard it right. I spent over 5 hours today with Chilebrown and his wife Ms. Goofy in a classroom getting fully instructed while eating chicken, pork ribs, sliced/pulled pork and beef brisket. Neat, eh?
The class started this morning at 7:30 in Fairfield California, just 30 minutes from home. I signed up a month ago or more, they don’t come to town often and the chance to attend wasn’t an option. While I did guest judge the 5th Annual West Coast Championships, I felt it was time to make it legal.
Don’t get me wrong, sure it was fun and the food was really good. But it was an instructional class in every sense of the word. We were schooled in every aspect of judging BBQ by KCBS rules. And brother, or sister, that ain’t no joke. These people take what they do very seriously. The sheer volume of respect they have for the teams is huge. They go way out of their way to make damned sure it’s fair.
You sit a specific direction when judging, no talking, no sitting next to friends. You must be on time and if you don’t show? You’re very well bloody likely to never judge again. Green lettuce, parsley and cilantro are your only garnish, use the white part of iceburg and you’re marked as disqualified for Appearance. If the pork rib meat falls-off-the-bone? Marked down, it should come clean with a tug with your teefs. When a judge reaches for a pork rib and two come away? You get 2 and the 6th judge gets none, everyone marks this team as 1 (disqualified) for Appearance. For me, the most important part of the judging is to rule your decision based upon the merit of that BBQ. You cannot judge it based on how well you cook, or whether you prefer something different. I like that part.
Soon I will be receiving my card, a judge polo shirt and a certificate stating my place in the circle of true BBQ competition judges. I’m a greenhorn to judging and competition, but not to good barbecue.
If you’d like to see a few more pictures from the day, please visit KCBS Judging Class 2009.

Fatted Calf – The Store

Over a year ago I stopped posting the weekly Fatted Calf Newsletter. If you ain’t hip to their newsletter, it’s a weekly note to let everyone know what’s going on in their world and the upcoming menu for the Berkeley & Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Markets. It was something I did out of inspiration, love and devotion. But it was time to move on, times change. The only thing that didn’t change is their love & devotion for all things meat.
If you’ve been lucky enough to sample any of their meaty gifts, you know of what I speak. I fondly remember showing up each Saturday in Berkeley to see what was new, rely on what’s a family standard and to enjoy the market in general. Nearly each week Taylor and/or Toponia had cooked up something special for all, like a kid in a candy store I was! I thought I’d seen just about everything they had to offer over the years. And speaking of years, I triple dog dare you to use the search function here at Meathenge and type in newsletter. There’s about 4.5 years worth of posts, pretty crazy.
Earlier this year Fatted Calf opened up their new shop at the new Oxbow Market in Napa. I’ve been more than a few times and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Again, I thought I’d seen it all.
Jlee and I sped up early this last Saturday morning for another visit and to check out a small gun shop, just for fun. I found a cool wrist-rocket I knew the boys would enjoy, but guess what I found at the fancy charcuterie masters shop? That’s right, hands down the most badass salumi sammich of all time! Nabbed that one big time! I don’t know how many different kinds of hand-made pieces of meat were in there, but it was tremendous. The depth of flavor all delivered with a fresh made tapanade with a little more extra virgin all nestled in a wonderfully toothsome sammich roll. Luckily, Toponia was there and we got to hang out a bit and talk about stuff. The weather was cool, overcast with a chance of rain. Her eyes lit up and she reached behind the counter and produced a gratin! A hot, beautiful, steaming gratin that is! As with many items they have for sale, tasting each thing is a huge part of the experience. Floopf the spoon heavily laden with gratin went in to my mowf (I still have the spoon in my pocket, use it for flinging coffee beans at employees). A rich blend of delicious, gooey cheese, finished with some bright tangy version to finish. There’s pasta in there! There’s onions in there! “I’ll take 1 pound please.”
These are two things you cannot get at the markets, you have to visit their locale in Napa. You’ll probably have to drive, but go. Now. It’s worth it, every minute you spend behind the wheel embiggening your carbon footprint is worth it. I have no idea what it cost me, I don’t care. I’m going again and again.
ps – Check out the pork belly roulade, the gratin and the sandwiches there, see?

Chilebrown’s Ultimate Meat (read here: bacon) Adventure

Let’s have a moment of silence for A&B Meat Market.
Generally speaking most of us get about 2 weeks a year vacation, right? Right. Sometimes we choose to just putter around the house and relax (this is me). But there are many who will want to pack up the truck and spend it driving from destination to destination. These destinations might be the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center or LegoLand or wherever. Not for our plucky heros!

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Swiss Meat Stuff with Oxygenee

Mrs. Meathead and I would like to introduce you to our buddy Oxygenee. He’s the proprietor of The Virtual Absinthe Museum and La Fee Verte Absinthe House. After a few weeks of discussing Meathenge and passing meat and exotic wood jokes back and forth, Oxygenee offered to send us some pix of these yummy delicacies he had while he was in Boveresse.

As promised, direct from Switzerland, for Meathenge:
Bundnerfleisch and smoked sausage from the chalet at Le Creux-du-Van described in my postings on the forum.
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From L’Ermitage des Ravet, a two Michelin star restaurant at Vufflens-le-Chateau, a VERY expensive Swiss lakeside town, home to Michael Schumacher amongst others:
Breaded cutlets of fallow deer, served with a small ramekin of highly concentrated truffle sauce, topped with a puff pastry toque. Fuckin’ incredible. We drank a 1981 Vega Sicilia “Unico” with it.
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