Monday, July 20, 2009

Kansas City Barbecue Society

Welcome to the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), the world's largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts.
This was the heading in my email when I checked it the other day. I recently took the 4 hour long class in Loveland, Co. the night before the Loveland Loves BBQ event. There were 17 registered for the class and all 17 showed up for the class. The class instructor was Merle Whitebook who is a Master KCBS Judge. Merle went over the instruction program with skill and grace, not to mention he has probably put this class on more times than I have eaten BBQ. We learned about the smoke ring on the meat, the types of meat, the garnish type that is allowed, and how to present the BBQ plate to the judges. I have a new respect for the BBQ competitiors and what they are up against.
Now that I am a KCBS Judge I can sign up for any of the KCBS events as long as they have an opening. I am going to try and judge the BBQ At The Summit in Dillon, Co. in early August. I will follow up this post with my experience.

Grill Your Ace Off

I was asked by the owner of a Local Ace Hardware store to be a judge for his event called Grill Your Ace Off. This event was a really unique event in that all the competitors had to cook their dishes on the Big Green Egg (BGE). Andy Carlson the owner of Ace Hardware store http://www.acealamedastation.com/ contacted me because we were connected to one another on Twitter. Andy asked if I would like to help judge the June 6th event. I was more than happy to attend and judge the event. I met all the competitors the morning of and as the day went on I talked to each of them to learn about what they were cooking and why they chose to use certain ingredients in their dishes. The dishes that were cooked for this event included chili, london broil pizza, stuffed hamburgers, ribs, beef tri-tip, and sausage. The judges included myself, Dennis Scott (BGE Salesman from Outdoor Kitchen), and Chef Mike Buttles from the Culinary School. We decided to judge all the submitted dishes based on three categories: Taste, Complexity of the item, and Presentation. We ranked each category from 1-5 and tallied the votes. In our opinion all of the contestants did a fantastic job as some of them had never used the BGE to cook with. Based on our criteria we gave first place to Jen Roark who cooked the stuffed hamburgers with pico de gallo marinated in margarita mix. Second place went to Ann Holland for london broil pizza. Third place went to Brandon Terrill for ribs. The people's choice award went to Kevin O'Grady for ribs. This was also a first year event that was small but finished big.

Q'n for the Cure

The first BBQ event I attended in 2009 was an event called Q'n for the Cure. This event was a not for profit event in which all the proceeds went to the Romito Foundation. This was the first year of the event and I give a huge thanks to all the BBQ Teams that participated at the event because these teams cooked and sold their food and all of their time and profits were donated to the foundation. If you would like to learn more about the Romito Foundation you can visit www.rundrun.com. Even though the event was small the end results were huge. I wish the Romito family all the best and their amazing, strong, and powerful children are incredible.

SERIOUS TEXAS Bar-B-Q

Located just off highway 287 in Loveland sits a metal barn shaped building with the traditional red steel roof. The main difference between this building and a barn is that this metal building has in big bold uppercase letters that display SERIOUS TEXAS Bar-B-Q. Which Just happens to be the type of BBQ style they serve and their name. As you walk in front doors you will be amazed at the 20’+ tall ceiling and the Industrial design that even carries over to the beer tub and the garage door roll up windows. The menu is simple ranging from smoked pulled pork sandwiches to Texas Tacos. The staff is very friendly and they make it a point to bond with every customer that walks in the door. Upon glancing at the menu I chose my destiny (as their can only be one) which was the smoked pulled pork sandwich and the cheesy fries as my side dish. The sandwich wasOne of the most moist and tender pulled pork sandwiches I have ever had. The cheesy fries are hashbrown fried potatoes with melted cheese on them which was a nice treat addition to their menu. There was no shortage of meat on this sandwich and best of all they served it with a cherry chipotle sauce which was a nice accompaniment to the sandwich. They have another location, which is their main location down in Durango, Co. and with food like this, it is best to take itSerious when eating there. To quote one of their employees “Oh, Yea”.

Wolfe’s BBQ

As you drive East on the longest continuous street in the in the world (Colfax) just passed the Colorado State Capital you might pass Wolfe’s BBQ if you blink. Wolfe’s is situated on the north side of the street on the 300 block of East Colfax. Just look for the blue Awning with theWords barbecue on it and you will see it as you drive east or west. Parking is a commodity on Colfax but I was lucky enough to get a spot Directly across the street. As you walk in the front door you will notice a very small dining room that looks to sit about 28 people. You will alsoNotice the large chandelier in the middle of the room that lights up the inside. There are also two table that face the sidewalk so that patrons walking by Can see what they are missing out on. I must say that Louis Wolfe is one of the nicest restaurant owners I have ever met. Louis Wolfe has been in business for over 20 years at the same location on East Colfax. This one man operationmeans that not only does Louis run the front counter but he also does all the cooking, prepping, cleaning, opening and closing 5-days a week. You can have any one of the items on the menu that range from Brisket to BBQ tofu. If you are lucky enough to get there then do your stomach a favorAnd order a pecan pie after your meal. Once you have finished your meal you will understand why Wolfe’s BBQ has been nominated as one of the 10 best bbq in the USA by Citysearch.com

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Colorado BBQ Teams

According to the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS), there are 18 Colorado registered teams that compete in BBQ events. Some of these teams have been recently formed and others have been around since early 2000. If you would like to find out more about the Colorado BBQ teams click on the link below:
http://www.kcbs.us/teams.php?page=1&str=CO

Here are some more links to other competition teams not mentioned on the KCBS website:
http://www.denvercajunbbq.com/
(...more to be added...)

If you are interested in any of the competions that go on in Colorado make sure you visit the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association:
http://rmbbqa.com/

M&D's BBQ Cafe and Fish Palace




A friend of mine that I work with wanted to join me for a lunch outing and suggested I pick another great place to eat at. Since we work in the area I thought I would introduce him to M&D's for lunch. M&D's sits on the corner of E. 28th and Race. We walked in and were greeted by the afternoon lunch host and were seated with in 45 seconds of walking in the door. After looking over the menu I decided to try the hot link sandwich with my side dish of potato salad. Tony decided to try the rib sandwich but instead he was served the lunch portion of ribs and his side was also potato salad. I ordered a delicious glass of their lemonade. When the plates arrived on out table you could smell the sauce that smothered the meat. Now I need to tell you that at M&D's their sauces range from mild, medium, and hot. Now at most traditional restaurants the sauce name indicated the hotness of the sauce served, however at M&D's mild is medium, medium is hot, and hot is extra hot. I learned this from a few visits ago and thus have never made the same mistake twice. If you need to question the hotness of any of their homemade sauces just ask for a taste/sample to make you sure are consuming the correct sauce level. For those that want an adventurous eating I recommend their hot sauce. The hot link was served on a bun with 2 links that were surgically sliced down the middle making it look like four links. The first bite into the link was very memorable because it was a combination of sweet from the links and mild hot from the sauce (I ordered mild). What a great marriage of sweet and hot on this sandwich in front of me. Then after the bite I lifted some of the potato salad with my fork and destroyed every last bit that was on my fork. WOW, their potato salad is somewhat sweet, and yellow in color to let people know that mustard was used in making that hue. My mom's potato salad would put up a mean fight to M&D's in a head-to-head challenge. Of course I would chose my moms because I am a little bias. After the lunch was over Tony ranted and raved about how the ribs he devoured were honestly in the top 2% of best ribs he had ever had. On the way back to our office with satisfied stomachs we both agreed on the potato salad. The portions they server at M&D's Cafe are very consistent and large enough to have a meal the next day. The service was a little slow that day but we understood as they a large party in the back room that was consuming most of the attention. The waitstaff are very polite and make you feel like you are a regular even if it is your first time eating their.


M&D's also serves fish at their cafe. You can order Catfish, Whiting, Red Snapper, or a 1/2 BBQ 1/2 fish combo plate. Be sure to save room at the end of your dinner for some of M&D's sweets.

M&D's boast that 95% of the items listed on their menu are made from scratch.


Interesting Menu items include fried green tomatoes, fried okra, and sweet potato pie.


Interesting lunch pairing at M&D's: Fried Chicken and Waffles (only on Sunday's)


GOSPEL SUNDAYS at M&D's Cafe
Sunday-go-to-meeting has a whole new meaning at M&D’s Cafe. Every third Sunday of the month we feature LIVE GOSPEL MUSIC performed right in our restaurant from 2 - 4 p.m.
Soul Food Menu served from noon - 6 p.m. Our menu changes, so be sure to ask what our special fare will be when you make your reservations.


website: http://www.mdbbqfish.com/index.php