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WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Once again I find myself apologizing for not blogging for the last few days. Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. I'll be back later in the week.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hampton Smoker - Take a bow

This just came across my email. It's a story from USA Today about the Charbroil TEC grills and my buddy Matt Fisher aka The Hampton Smoker is interviewed for his opions. Take it away USA Today....

Infrared burners are ready to barbecue

ALBANY, Ga. — For a quarter century, chefs at pricey steakhouses have been searing meat on burners that cook with infrared energy. Now the high-temperature technology may be coming to a backyard barbecue near you.

With the expiration of a key patent, major gas grill manufacturers, including market leader Char-Broil, have scrambled to bring infrared cooking to the masses with models in the $500 to $1,000 range. Previously, such grills cost as much as $5,000.

"Infrared is really hot," said Leslie Wheeler, a spokeswoman for the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, an industry group in Arlington, Va. "They're great for searing and then either you turn it down or move over to another burner for cooking."

The grills are still powered by propane and have traditional gas burners that heat mostly by convection — or hot air. But they also can cook foods with radiant heat generated by one or more infrared burners. (Infrared falls between visible light and microwave energy on the electromagnetic spectrum.)

Char-Broil says its advanced burners operate at 450 to 900 degrees, hotter than the 450 to 750 degrees of standard gas burners. And unlike charcoal, which can require 20 to 30 minutes to reach its 700-degree cooking temperature, heat from the infrared burners can be adjusted quickly.

Most leading grill makers, including Solaire, Weber and Whirlpool's Jenn-Air, also offer grills that use infrared.

"It's terrific," said Wheeler, who owns an infrared grill. "Grills nowadays give you many options."

Cooks can sear steaks or hamburgers, steam vegetables and give their meats a smoky taste by tossing a few wood chips onto the burner, said Rob Schwing, a Char-Broil vice president.

"Infrared has done to the grill business what the microwave did to the indoor kitchen," he said. "It's presenting consumers with a whole new way of cooking."

Bill Best, founder of Thermal Electric of Columbia, S.C., developed the technology in the 1960s, primarily to give automakers a faster way to dry the paint on cars. That led to high-end grills for professional cooks and wealthy consumers.

When his patent expired in 2000, grill companies saw a future in America's backyards.

But original infrared burners — and some offered currently to consumers — contained ceramic material that was hard to clean, prone to flare-ups and fragile, Schwing said.

Char-Broil formed a strategic alliance with Best's company to develop a new generation of burners known as the Char-Broil TEC series. The fragile ceramics have been eliminated. They have a layer of glass to shield the burners from drippings and provide even heat distribution.

Seven years after Best's patent expired, those improvements are available at a price more affordable to weekend grillers.

"I think it's significant," said Matt Fisher, who tested one of Char-Broil's grills. "It really brings a whole new technology to the market for most people."

Fisher, who lives in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., maintains the The Cook's Kitchen website and a blog devoted to barbecue.

Fisher said gas grills are convenient, but he still prefers wood and charcoal.

Barbecue and barbecue accessories are a $4 billion industry in the U.S., with 17 million grills shipped to retailers last year, a 15% increase over 2005, said the industry association's Wheeler.

Pomona, Calif.-based Cal Spas has been selling high-end grills with infrared burners since 2003. Nicole Lasorda, a spokeswoman for the company, said the faster and more predictable way the burners cook allows people to spend more time relaxing and less time cooking.

"More and more people are barbecuing now and they don't necessarily want to stand in front of the barbecue all the time," she said.

Associated Press writer Doug Gross in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

BBQ People: Ask a Ninja

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

On the radio...

Sorry, showing my age there.

Man, that was a hell of a time. I got to spend almost an hour on air with Bower, Scooter and Laura over at Maxim Radio. I had no idea what to expect, as I had never heard the show before, but Laura put me at ease immediately as she ushered me into the studio. No pre-interview, no prep, just sit down and talk bbq.

And porn.

Man it was a great, whitetrashy way to spend the afternoon. I hope I get to do it again real soon.

Bobby Slather signing off.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

BBQ Media: Maxim Radio

After a lack of postings here's a rare second post in one day....

It has just been confirmed that I, BrooklynQ, aka WhiteTrash BBQ, aka Robert Fernandez of Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn will be interviewed live on Maxim Radio tomorrow at 1:00 PM.

Maxim Radio is part of the Sirius Satellite Network and is Channel 108. I'm being interviewed live - AHHH! - so it should be interesting. I'll be interviewed by the hard drinking, hard partying Bower who likes his women hot, his cars fast and his metal heavy. I wonder how he likes his barbecue?

I'm bringing Matt Fisher, aka The Hampton Smoker, aka Atom's Ribs with me for protection.

You can listen live or check out Bower's My Space. So if you're around, take a listen. He's had a lot of interesting guests. I hope I can keep up.

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It's that time of year again boys and girls, Saturday May 26, 2007 is International Weber Smokey Mountain Smoke Day. It's time to break out your trusty Weber Smokey Mountain and join all your fellow Weber-heads and cook!

Don't have a Weber Smokey Mountain? Shame on you, but you can still join in the fun. Just be sure to barbecue something on May 26th.

This year's gonna be big. My brother-in-law and family will be up from Austin, so it's a great excuse to invite the neighbors, pack the smoker, the egg and the Weber Smokey Mountain full and cook away.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend!

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Monday, May 21, 2007


Sorry for the break in blogging, but sometimes life just gets in the way. I'm back now, but I really don't have much to say.

When we left off, I was heading out to the Brooklyn Pigfest to butcher some hogs. On Friday morning I met Sam from the Waterfront Ale House and Rob Richter from the soon to be open Hill Country BBQ at the Old Tobacco Warehouse to find four rather large animal carcasses cut in half, hobbled and headless laying on tables. I was disappointed to find that the pigs had been shipped from the Niman Farms already cut in half. I was hoping to really get into butchering the animal.

To get the pigs to fit into the cookers, Sam had already removed the feet and lower part of the legs. When I arrived, he handed me a knife and told me to lift the ribs from the carcass. Sam is a very trusting man, first handing me a knife, then letting me loose on the pig without any supervision. Basically, I watched what Rob Richter was doing on one body and proceeded to do the same to my little Betty. (Don't tell anyone, but I named my pig half Betty.)

What we did was to cut the ribs off, but leaving them attached to create one large flap. Under this flap of ribs, Sam spread his secret seasonings of spices and then injected each little piggy with a secret solution of flavor that would help keep the pig moist. Sam seasoned each pig differently which I thought was interesting as the Pigfest attendees wouldn't know that each pig had different flavors.

And with some help from Big Lou, Betty was wrapped in foil and placed on one of the cookers for her 24 hour roast. More later.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

State of Confusion

I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
Ive had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope
Money for rope

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
Money for dope
Money for rope

I'm sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending, mamas little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth now

Ive had enough of watching scenes
Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
Its money for dope
Money for rope

Ah, I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now

Ive had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now

All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

Friday, May 18, 2007

You Never Give Me Your Money

From the web...

BBQ Grill Covered In Gold!

For those of you "grill geeks" who spend all summer long out in the back with a pair of tongs in your hands, while standing over a smoking BBQ grill, check this puppy out!!

This grill is being touted as the world’s first fully operational gold-plated barbecue. All parts of the US$12,500 grill except for the cooking surfaces have been individually plated and dipped in 24 carat gold. Beef Eater tricked out one of its range-topping Signature Series 6 Burner SL4000 to create a uniquely lavish gold plated barbecue, “for those who want to make a statement with their barbecue and have the money to burn.”

According to BeefEater Managing Director, Peter Woodland, “it’s for the man who has everything and wants more.” The one of a kind barbecue features six high output burners plus a wok burner, roasting hood with viewing window and warming rack, quartz ignition, vaporizer grid and reflector system.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

BBQ Equipment: The do it yourself pit

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

BBQ Events: Pig and Chili

First the BBQ event, I'll be helping out the fine folks from Waterfront Ale House, Hill County BBQ BBQ, and Atom's Ribs at the Brooklyn Pigfest.

I'm really looking forward to it, as on Friday morning we'll be gathering to butcher some hogs. I know it sounds weird, but it's something I've never done and I'm dying to learn. I believe that too many cook's don't really understand the animal that they're cooking. The cyrovac packed meat is very far removed from the actual animal and allows too great a gulf between man and the food stuffs he eats.

From their website...

Don't miss the 7th Annual Pigfest at the Tobacco Warehouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Indulge in a day of cold beer, live music, and pork and chicken slow-cooked by Waterfront Ale House's own Sam Barbieri and his champion BBQ team. Beer and food included with admission.
Proceeds from this year's event will go to benefit the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.
Advance tickets: $75
Tickets at the door: $85
Tickets available at: www.brooklynbrewery.com

And on Long Island, there's gonna be chili a cookin' at Long Island's First Annual Chili Cook-off. I might head out there, but Patchogue is such a long way from Brooklyn. It's for a good cause, so if you're on the island, be sure to check it out.

On a personal note, I may not be able to keep up with my promise to post every day this month. As I already mentioned, I'll be out butchering pigs on Friday and helping out on Saturday. I will take pictures and I will report on all the happenings, but it might not be this week.

Also, I promised you guys I'd get back to basics. I'm working on that as my daughter and I just planted our vegetable garden today. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn, and a few other things. Many of these vegetables will be served along side the BBQ all summer. I'm also so tired of the politics of the barbecue world. I just want to stay home and cook.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

BBQ Equipment: Cooking on the Charbroil Tec Gas Grill

When we last talked about the Charbroil TEC Grill, I let you know about the packaging, the construction and ease of setup. So what about cooking on the thing? Well here goes.

The Charbroil TEC Grill that I was given has two traditional high-output gas burners, one TEC gas burner, an infrared rotisserie burner and one external high-output gas burner.

As I mentioned before, I've never owned a gas grill before, but I have cooked on them a few times. Please keep that in mind when you read my review.

Since this was a new grill, I decided that we'd put it through all of it's paces utilizing every burned and all the grill space we could. We (my brother and I) decided that we were going to make clams, chicken, fajitas (flank steak and London broil), onions, peppers and corn on the grill. The only thing we weren't going to do, was use the rotisserie for this cook. (Why? Because the rotisserie is an optional piece of equipment that needs to be purchased separately.)

We fired up the grill and I was a little taken back by the effort required to light it. The TEC grill and the external burner lit without a hitch. The rotisserie burner lit, sputtering out flames. Lighting of the the rotisserie reminded me of lighting an old Coleman lantern. You could hear and smell the gas gather and then the flames burst out. We let the rotisserie burn for about 20 minutes until it burned off all its packing and manufacturing materials.

We put out the other burners and tried lighting the traditional gas burners. On other gas grills I've used it is a matter of simply turning on the gas and hitting the ignition switch. Not so with this grill. You need to hold down the igniter for at least a minute before the gas lights. At first I thought I put the flame tamers in wrong, I removed them and the burners lit easily. Replacing the flame tamers, the grill would not light quickly. I checked the manual and adjusted the igniter wire which allowed the burners to light with the flame tamers installed. But they still didn't light as quickly or easily as expected.

First on the grill were the stuffed clams. They cooked quickly and became our snack as we played with the rest of the grill. Next up were the onion slices and peppers for the fajitas. I learned a long time ago that wood or charcoal fires have hot spots and cool spots, and I assumed that the gas grill would as well. By grilling onion slices, it would be an easy test to see where the hot and cold spots are on this grill.

The hottest spot by far is the TEC burner. That was to be expected. Next came the gas burner and the other side of the grill, with the burner in the middle putting out noticeably less heat. I don't have a problem with this, but my brother who is a gasser in more ways then one, tells me that this is a flaw in the construction. He feels that all burners should perform exactly the same.

Next up came the chicken and beef. I used the TEC burner to sear the meat, which provided some lovely grill marks. I should have left the beef on the burner longer, but I was anxious to see how quickly the TEC burner would provide grill marks.

I felt that the grill overall took a little longer to heat up then I expected. We placed a pot of cold water on the external burner for the corn and that also seemed to take a long time to reach the boiling point. Remember, these are just observations coming from a cook who is used to wood and charcoal fires. I just assumed that a gas grill would heat up much faster.

Is the Tec Grill the ultimate grill? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good grill. It's possibly great but I haven't had it long enough to make that statement. I really enjoyed cooking on the grill. Would I recommend you purchase one? Yes. In a New York Minute.

As you know, I'm a charcoal and wood guy at heart, but this is definitely one of the better gas grills I've ever used. I found it to be sturdy, well put together and I was unable to find any areas where Charbroil obviously cut corners to save money.

As I already told you, it was packed and shipped beautifully. I've never seen better packaging for the hardware needed to put a grill together. The assembly instructions were clear and easy to follow.

The Tec grill has some issues. It takes a long time to light and heat up, or at least longer then I expected. The mid-burner on mine doesn't seem to get as hot as the other one. (I've spoken Matt Fisher at The Hampton Smoker who doesn't have this problem with his Charbroil grill)

I don't see how you can attach the rotisserie and operate the side burner without removing the rotisserie brackets. There's a large opening on the back of the hood which I haven't figured out yet. I assume it's for ventilation, but I've never seen this on other grills.

I also expected a cook book or some sort of instruction manual for using the Tec burner and the grill. I know there's information on the web, but I want something I can look over while I'm at the grill, not at my computer. For the money, I also expected the rotisserie attachments and a cover to be included.

So, if you're in the market for a grill, go take a look at this beast. Even with it's minor faults, I think you'll be happy you did.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

National BBQ News

Whoops, almost missed a day!

I just got this month's issue of the National BBQ News and guess what I found, two articles about New York City's only NEBS sanctioned event, Grillin' On The Bay. My head is swelled. I don't have time to retype them tonight and I can't find a link so I'll have to leave it at that tonight.

On a personal note, this morning I attended a memorial service for my friend Louie Rainford. Louie passed from cancer about 2 weeks ago, but some of his extended family was unable to get into the country for the funeral, so they held another service today.

Louie was definitely my favorite curmudgeon. He could get away with a lot because of the never ending gleam in his eyes. I learned a lot about Louie today. And I learned a lot about him when he was alive. He will be missed.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

BBQ Advice

To honor the Royal visit by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II here's BBQ advice from across the pond. It's spot on, except for one minor issue. This comes to us from The Barbeque Man at sausage links.co.uk. Enjoy.

One thing barbecue man is right about is meat. Despite the efforts of food writers searching for topical recipes, most bbqs are about simple, plain food. All you need is good meat, lots of sausages (of course), bread, salad and beer!

  • Strong, gutsy flavours are needed - keep things simple.
  • Be generous - people eat more outside.
  • Make sure meat is cooked right through - if in doubt check and cut a piece open, pink or bloody chicken should be cooked longer! (NO NO NO. Use a thermometer. Don't ever cut into a piece of meat to check for doneness. Also, grilled or bbq'd chicken can be pink. If it's done, the juices will run clear)
  • The Food Standards Agency has provided useful tips on safe outdoor eating.
  • Use charcoal or wood for the best flavour.
  • Light the charcoal at least 30 minutes before you want to start cooking, only start cooking when the coals are white or glowing red and the smoke has died down.
  • Spread the coals evenly over the bbq for a even cooking area or pile them higher on one side to make a hot and cold area.
  • Raise or lower the grill if the heat is too high/low
  • Brush meats with oil before they go on to the heat.
  • Use the right equipment - especially a pair of long armed tongs.
  • Remember to season the meat, have a tray of seasonings ready - salt, pepper, olive oil, lemons, herbs, soy sauce etc.
  • Marinade for as long as possible, ideally overnight and baste with the marinade juices during cooking.
  • Make homemade salads - coleslaw, potato salad, couscous and have plenty of crusty bread.
  • Remember that leftover marinade has been in contact with raw meat - don't use it as a dipping sauce! (if you want to use spare marinade cook it first).
  • For quick marinades, place the meat and marinade in a plastic bag, seal, agitate gently and place in a cold fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cheaper cuts of meat work better - don't waste filet steak on the bbq!
  • Meat on the bone (chops, chicken legs, T-bone steaks) are easy to handle and the bone helps to conduct heat.
  • You can cook large joints or whole chickens but it's easier to use smaller pieces. You can part cook large items in the oven and finish them over the barbecue to add the smoky taste.
  • Good joints are butterflied leg of lamb (a leg of lamb with the bone removed - most butchers will do this) or a piece of boned belly pork, these can be marinaded first and are easy to cook and impressive. Look in Recipes (internal link) for more information and ideas.
  • Try spatch cooked chicken or individual poussins.
  • Try home made burgers made with fresh beef, lamb or sausage meat.
  • Soak any wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them burning.
  • For extra smoky flavour you can add small chips of well soaked aromatic wood to the fire (such as hickory or apple-wood).
  • Fresh herbs, such as rosemary and even lemongrass can add flavour, these should be sprinkled on the fire towards the end of cooking.
  • Serve fresh summer fruit or ice cream for dessert.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Smokey Bones goes buy buy buy

ORLANDO, Fla., May 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Darden Restaurants, Inc.
(NYSE: DRI) today announced the closure of 56 Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill
restaurants. Darden will offer the remaining 73 restaurants for sale - all
located primarily in the eastern half of the United States.

Anybody looking to buy a lousy BBQ restaurant?

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Restaurant Review: Mo Gridder's

You'll remember that back in January I was lamenting the fact that the New York Times had scooped me with a review of Mo Gridder's BBQ in the Bronx. Not only had the scooped me with a review, but they reviewed a barbecue restaurant in New York City that I didn't even know existed! Well, I finally got the chance to pay ol' Mo a visit and it's time to settle my score with the old gray lady.

Based on the New York Time's review, I was ready to take my life in my hands and head out to one of the worst neighborhoods in the city. Instead I found myself driving up Hunt's Point Avenue through a decent residential neighborhood and into the used car/chop shop section of the Bronx. And there right in front of me was Hunt's Point Auto Sales and Service; the home to Mo Gridder's BBQ. While I can't say the neighborhood was the most attractive place I've ever been, I certainly didn't feel unsafe by the groups of mechanics, UPS drivers and school children that were on the streets.

Parking around the corner from Mo's, I headed up to the bright red trailer right behind the sign. Now I was excited. A Southern Pride trailer with a Southern Pride cooker on the back on the streets of the Bronx! I thought I could make out the smell of cherry smoke as I crossed the street. I was going to enjoy this meal.

Looking at Mo's extensive menu, featuring everything from the expected bbq standards (ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken) to hamburgers to sausages and peppers to a pork cheese steak, I mulled over my choices and took in the scene. I looked over the scene and listened to other's make their lunch choices.

I took this picture of their menu board and was scolded by the counter girl - "Don't take pictures of that - it's not finished." She's right, the menu board isn't done, but the picture will show you some of their offerings. Prices run from about $4.00 to about $12. All plates come with BBQ rice, white bread and your choice of 2 sides.

I still wasn't ready to order so I wandered around the site checking out Mo's Southern Pride cooker, the open outdoor dining area and Mo's Microwave. Wait a minute. Microwave? On top of the smoker? Sacrilege! What's that doing here? My critical eye was now looking for the wood pile. All good BBQ places have a large wood pile somewhere near their smoker. I couldn't find one at Mo Gridders. I couldn't smell cherry smoke anymore.

I decieded to order the 3 meat platter so that I could get a real feel and taste of Mo's food. For $11.95 I got a large styrofoam container filled with BBQ rice (white rice with some Spanish flavors) Chopped pork, sliced brisket and ribs.

I found the inclusion of BBQ rice an interesting twist on an otherwise traditional barbeque presentation. It certainly reflects the Hispanic influence of the neighborhood, but I wonder what made Fred Donnelly, who is the man behind Mo Gridder’s, add rice in the first place. I assumed it was to be a filler on the platter which would reflect a small quantity of meat. Boy was I wrong.

Opening the 3 meat package, I found the container to be overstuffed with meat, rice, potato salad and beans. The ribs glittered and shined in the sun. The smoke ring rang out on the brisket. And the chopped pork, well it just laid there. I've never found anyone who can make a pile of chopped pork attractive. The beans were flecked with red peppers and the potato salad looked homemade. My stomach growled as I prepared to eat.

First up was the ribs. The ribs were meaty and tender with just the right pull. The meat didn't fall off the bone as you ate it. The ribs released only the meat that was tugged by your teeth. Perfect.

Now the brisket, which was moist and tender. Obviously machine sliced; very thin deli style. In judges school they teach us that brisket should be cut the width of a pencil, any thinner and it could be an attempt to pass off over cooked meat.

Onto the pulled pork. It was moist and perfectly cooked. It wasn't mush, but it wasn't tough. It was tender and had a great mouth feel.

And finally onto the side dishes. The BBQ rice was good and reminded me of the standard Spanish rice found in delis across NYC. The potato salad which I thought was homemade, really was just the standard deli potato salad with some well done modifications and add ins. But the beans, now here Mo has something outstanding. Finally my taste buds woke up.

Mo Gridder's BBQ meats were all perfectly cooked. Each bite was moist and tender, but they all lacked flavor. Everything was very bland and a bit of a disappointment. I can't say I didn't like it, but it all needs a heavier hand with the seasonings and with the smoke. I couldn't really taste the kiss of smoke on any of the meats.

Will I be back? Count on it. I'd recommend Mo Gridder's to anyone near Hunt's Point, but it's not a destination BBQ joint.

565 Hunts Point Ave Bronx NY 10474, Phone: 718-991-3046, Fax: 718-991-3061

Mo Gridder's World Famous Barbecue on Urbanspoon

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Taste of Chinatown

A couple of weekends ago, Chinatown New York, played host to its annual Taste of Chinatown party. For $1 or $2 a plate, depending on the restaurant, you were given a sample of the foods that make Chinatown great.

The vast majority of participating restaurants were located on Mott Street with a few scattered about the side streets. The best food was closer to Canal Street. The closer you got to Chatham Square, the food offerings became more and more mundane, almost mall like with samples of sweet and sour chicken, general Tso's chicken, pork lomein etc.

This was a great culinary adventure. Dim Sum, Chow Fun, Peking Duck, Pork Buns, all sorts of noodles, meats, fishes and poultry. It was all there for the taking. I tried all sorts of foods without even knowing what some of them were. I didn't care. I was here to eat. I even tried fish balls. Yup, they were as awful as the name suggests. I did however draw the line at vegetarian duck. That just sounds nasty. I just don't want to know what goes into vegetarian duck!

The best food, IMHO, was found at 70 Mott Street. They had some shrimp chive dumplings that were out of this world. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. Another great food option was the Peking duck at another place just off Canal. Damn, it was good. I should have paid attention to the names of the restaurants, but the crowds made that near impossible. And I was too busy eating!

It had been a while since I'd been to Chinatown and I forgot how good and cheap the food could be. I've got to get down there more often. But even Chinatown has it's share of lousy restaurants. Here's one that tries to fit into the neighborhood, but it's just another tourist trap. Thank God my kids have learned to stay away from places like that.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

BBQ Equipment: Charbroil Tec Grill

OK, I've teased you enough. It's about 1:00am in the morning and I've finally found some time to write about the Charbroil Tec grill. You will remember that back in October, the fine folks at Charbroil invited a bunch of people out to Bryant Park for the introduction of the new Tec grill. Part of the roll out was the promise of a new Tec grill delivered to me for review. I accepted only when Charbroil agreed to my fair, honest, unedited and uncensored appraisal of their product.

So here goes...

The grill was shipped to my house further out on Long Island. (YES, Brooklyn in geographically part of Long Island!) The driver arrived with out a dolly, so getting the grill into the backyard was an experience.

I don't know who Charbroil hired to design their shipping packages, but this was a marvel of efficiency with absolutely no space wasted. While the package was very heavy, it was very easy for one person to unpack. Even the space between the wheels underneath the grill was utilized to store the grill grates.

I was impressed by how much of the grill arrived assembled. I have never owned a gas grill before and I assumed that I'd have to spend the morning putting this together. The main body was arrived assembled, leaving only the shelves, side burner, flame tamers and the Tec grill surface to be installed. All in all, it took about 30 minutes to assemble with very little use of four letter words or tantrums.

I was EXTREMELY impressed with how Charbroil sent the hardware. Most times you're searching for the right screw or washer, but Charbroil packaged all the hardware in a great blister pack with all pieces clearly labeled.

The assembly instructions were very clear and easy to follow, but there was no operating instructions included in the box. As I said, I've never owned a gas grill before, and I fumbled around starting the grill up. Once all the burners were lit, and the shipping gunk burned off we were ready to cook.

I would have liked an operating manual to discuss some of the differences between the regular burners and the Tec burner, but there was nothing to be found. Charbroil does not include a cookbook with the grill either, so you're really on your own. They do provide a phone number and a link to a website, but when I'm in the backyard, I'd really prefer a paper manual.

This really is a good looking grill. I was given the 3 burner model, which has two conventional burners, one Tec burner and one side exterior burner. On the back of the grill, fully recessed so that it doesn't interfere with the grill space, is the rotisserie burner. It spans 2/3 of the width of the grill, but does not cover the area over the Tec burner. I wonder why Charbroil chose not to extend the burner the entire width of the grill.

On the opposite side of the grill from the exterior burner, there is a recessed basket below a cover. I haven't quite figured out what to use this for. It's not deep enough for storage. But it appears sturdy enough to hold a good amount of weight. I didn't test this, but I will.

In the back of the grill is a very sturdy and wide warming shelf. This shelf is stationary which is a nice change from the swinging shelves found in many a gas grill. That's a great feature as it won't interfere with anything on the grill when you close the cover.

There's a thermometer installed in the cover of the grill, which when tested by being dipped in boiling water, was precisely accurate.

Below the grill is a nice a cabinet with a slide out for the gas tank. I would have liked to see the gas tank stored to one side of the cabinet instead of right smack in the middle. But the slide out is a nice touch. (If it was stored to one side, as it is on the four burner model, we would have been left with a lot more storage space in the cabinet)

The grill is made entirely of heavy weight stainless steel. It's sturdy and feels like a very solid piece of equipment. You know you're working with a quality product. The knobs however are thin plastic, which seems a bit incongruous with the level of workmanship and quality of the rest of the grill.

So what's it like to cook on it? That's for another post. This one is too damn long already!

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

BBQ Equipment: Charbroil TEC Grill

Coming tonight.

I'm off buying a card reader so that I can transfer the pictures off my digital camera. I can't find the damn cable, so I'm giving in.

Talk to you later.

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