Tag Archives: Spicy

New BBQ Joints?


Pittsbugh BBQ Co. - Brisket Sandwich

Good BBQ helps to grow healthy sideburns.

Well, you probably know I like barbecue.  I’m a big fan, and I’m always willing to try out new places.  Well, new places that don’t have shrimp or other deathfish on the menu.  I’ve scoped out the web sites three places I haven’t tried… perhaps they’re rather new?  Can anyone tell me if they’ve been to any of these places & what they think?  (Or if they have any stuff on site that’s not listed on the online menu?)

Perhaps, like movie nights, I can organize a Pittsburgh (& surrounding area) BBQ tour?  Would anyone be interested?

I’d like to check out the following BBQ restaurants…

Of course we’d have to hit my favorites… Brentwood Express Rowdy BBQ, Pittsburgh Barbecue Co., & Clem’s Cafe!

Were else are the deathfish-free BBQ joints in in & around the ‘Burgh?

A wing tour has been suggested, but 95% of the places that fry wings also fry deathfish, so I’ll stick with Gooski’s.

A CONTEST FOR YOU! Gimme a recipe, win some Bronco Berry Sauce.


240 Packs of Bronco Berry Sauce!

Want 13 of these?

OK.  If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have an entire  case (& a little more) of Arby’s delicious Bronco Berry Sauce just taking up space in my dining room.  I would eat it all if I could, but it’s probably not an achievable (or wise) goal.  Sadly, my Bronco Berry Sauce will have to go without its perfect partner Arby’s delicious Jalapeño Bites… as they have not yet returned to the menu here in Pittsburgh.  Perhaps there is still reason to Occupy Arby’s even if Hala asked me nicely not to?

I’m left with a few tasks… figuring out what to do with the sauce besides dunking Tyson’s chicken tenders in it, and trying to pawn some off on friends, family, and maybe even a busker.  It expires in June, and I’d hate for any (more) to go to waste.

I was thinking it may make an excellent glaze for meatloaf, or even as an internal ingredient.  It would also probably be good as a glaze on grilled or baked chicken, but I’m guessing the high sugar content would make it blacken quite quickly.  I wonder if it will freeze?  A Bronco Berry Popsicle could be either incredible or disastrous.  Would there be a way to work it into an icing (or again as an ingredient) in a chocolate cupcake?

My readers and commenters are obviously the most enlightened and intelligent group of people I know, so I’m turning to you for ideas.

I promise to wrap it better than my last gift from Arby's if I need to mail it to you.

I promise to wrap it better than my last gift from Arby's if I need to mail it to you.

Here’s where the contest comes in.  Give me your recipe for something including Arby’s Bronco Berry Sauce as an ingredient.  You may want to familiarize yourself with it if you’ve never tried it.  The name is misleading, it contains no berries or horses.  It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s awesome.  This will be like Chopped or Iron Chef, except instead of TV fame and butt-loads of money the prize is… Let’s say 13 packs of Bronco Berry Sauce, because I like the number 13.  Also, I’m not Alton Brown or Ted Allen.  If it’s really good, we’ll maybe eventually have to make copycat recipes to continue making the prize winner.

You have until Friday May 4th to get your recipes to me.  I’ll post them in a blog, put up a poll, and have the readers vote.  We’ll close the poll & pick a winner on May 13th.  You can enter multiple times within reason.  Voting will happen with the little poll widget here, so encourage your friends, neighbors, family, and even enemies to vote for you.

The only way to enter: You can email your fantastically delicious recipe to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com with the subject containing the hashtag “#Bronco13” & the name of your recipe.  We’ll annoy people with it on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, & wherever else hashtags work.

In the event of a tie, both of you will get 13 packets of Bronco Berry Sauce.

What are you waiting for?  Get to work!

So, Pepto-Chili may not be a good idea…


pepto

Pepto!

Made some chili the other day.  I don’t think I’ve ever made it the same twice, but I dig that.  This time, I puréed some fresh & roasted peppers, and added hominy.  Next time, I’ll try less tomato stuff.  Maybe less spices.

This batch caused some absolutely ridiculous gastrointestinal distress.  I had to employ both Vernor’s & Pepto.  Serving leftovers over some creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes helped a little, but not much.

Chili à la AiXeLsyD over mashed potatoes... topped with shredded triple cheddar.

Chili à la AiXeLsyD over mashed potatoes... topped with shredded triple cheddar.

Anyone ever use anything in your chili to cut down on heartburn or any other side-effects?  I rinsed the beans (black & kidney here).  My grandma said baking soda may help, but I think that’s for gas from the other end.

Classic Vernor's logo with "Woody", ...

Vernor's Ginger Soda

I think the peppers or spices are what got me here… maybe the garlic.  I burped so much after drinking a little Vernor’s that I actually amazed myself.  Where did all that air come from?  Surely some spectacular chemical reactions where going on inside my stomach.  SCIENCE!

Can;t wait for that coal-black Pepto poop.

Think Vernor’s would be a good ingredient in the chili?  What about Pepto?  How about some Tums?

OMG. WTF? BBQ!


My PCP is going to hate this post.

I love barbecue, or BBQ or Bar-B-Q or whatever you want to call it.  This isn’t going to be a blog about what you think the “real” definition of barbecue is (wet/dry, smoke/no smoke, slow & low/fast & hot, sauce/no sauce, charcoal/gas, grill/pit)… the purists all claim to be right, and the term can be applied to the meat (or veggies I guess), the cooking, the spices, the sauce, or the gathering.  If you want to argue/learn about the differences, check out Wikipedia.

Since I’m just a fan of barbecue, not a professional BBQ cook, and live in Pittsburgh not the south*… I won’t take a stand on the issue.  I like all varieties.  (Although, would chipped ham barbecue be “Pittsburgh Style” BBQ?  I’d support that.)

I was inspired to write about BBQ today because I recently had an excellent dinner form the Pittsburgh Barbecue Company.  It reminded me of my three favorite barbecue joints.  I was just wondering what other people thought of them, and what other awesome local BBQ joints might not be on my radar.

Rowdy BBQ

Rowdy BBQ

Rowdy BBQ
Brentwood Express Rowdy BBQ on UrbanspoonTagline: “We think of you when we pull our pork!” – I swear this place used to be called Brentwood Express or have it in the name somewhere…  but now the site’s commercial strictly says “Rowdy BBQ”, so we’ll go with that.

At any rate, this is my favorite barbecue sauce.  I love this stuff!  It’s a sweet yet spicy sauce.  They have a killer menu with all kinds of fun things like “The Big Pig”, “The Whole Hog”, and the “Knuckle Sandwich”.  I usually get the ribs/chicken combo with some fries and eat just enough to make myself almost sick.  The ribs are always cooked perfectly, sometimes the chicken is dry, but not “ooh I can’t eat this” dry.  The fries are awesome, and this is the only place out of my 3 favorites that even has fries.  (They used to have excellent pierogies, but I don’t think they’re on the menu anymore.)  I’ve had the Big Pig & the brisket sandwiches, they are awesome.  I want to try the cheese steaks, but at pulled to the BBQ offerings every time I’m there.  I want to buy the sauce to bring home, but then I won’t have an excuse to go there. The parking lot is chaos, and you’re eating about 5 feet away from the traffic on Rte. 51 when you’re on the one site… but I can never wait to get home to eat, gotta eat it there!  (And, I’d miss the rowdy rooster!)

Check ‘em out on the web: Website | Facebook 1 | Facebook 2 | Urbanspoon

Pittsburgh Barbecue Company

Pittsburgh Barbecue Company

Pittsburgh Barbecue Company
Pittsburgh Barbecue Company on UrbanspoonTagline: “That place on Banksville…” – This place is the closest to home for me, and is pretty damn tasty BBQ.  The sauce is a little more tangy than sweet.  I go for the brisket or pulled pork here more often than the ribs… but the ribs & chicken are damn good.  I like their mac n’ cheese.  It’s got a tasty homemade feel.  They have a pretty minimalist menu, but I really like that.  They know what they do, and they do it well.  My wife Bethany loves their baked apples side.  The cornbread is excellent too.  They seem to be a little expensive here, but again, it’s worth it.  You definitely get what you pay for… the meat portions on the sandwiches are huge.

The sauce is nice & peppery.  I get a spicy tingle every time we dine here.  There’s also a nice outside dining area, and although sparse like Rowdy BBQ, you’re not eating amid exhaust like you are on Rte. 51.  It’s got a nice little log cabin/shack feel inside.  They also tout a bunch of “#1’s” on their site, most recent being Pittsburgh Magazine’s “Best in the ‘Burgh 2010″.  This place is no secret, even if it is hiding back off of the main road.

Check ‘em out on the web: Website | Facebook | Twitter | UrbanSpoon

Clem's Cafe

Clem's Cafe

Clem’s Cafe
Clem's Cafe (Hardwood Barbecue) on UrbanspoonTagline: “Home of the nice racks, big breasts, juicy thighs, and warm buns! ” – This one is way out there, but really worth the drive.  They have an excellent tangy sauce… I can taste the vinegar in it, but it blends well with the overall flavor.  The best part about Clem’s is that hands down the meat is always falling off the bone on the ribs… and always always juicy with the chicken.  I like the mac & cheese here, and the ability to get the Boylan’s root beer or birch beer.

The dining facilities are great, it’s always a nice place to sit & eat.  They have a concise menu, again not too much, you know exactly why you’re there… for the BBQ!

[I need a YouTube video for these guys!]

Check ‘em out on the web: Website | Facebook | UrbanSpoon

Which Pittsburgh (or SWPA) BBQ place is your favorite?  I’d love to do a blind taste-test of all their sauces some time.

There are other places I have in mind that I’d like to try, like The Flame BBQ, Two Brothers Bar-B-Q, & No Bull Bar-B-Q. Anyone been to any of those? Thoughts?

So, where else should I try?  My #1 criteria in finding a cool new BBQ place is that they don’t have shrimp (or any other shellfish) on the menu… like Rib Cage BBQ.  I like the BBQ places because of the limited menu & no chance of cross-contamination.  It’s nice to be able to completely relax at an eating establishment.

I would love to be able to get some turkey at a BBQ place though… either deep-fried & topped with some sauce… or in a pulled-pork style or brisket-style sandwich… or turkey legs.  Man, I love turkey legs.

So, flood me with commentary!

*There are a number of people around here that do indeed think we are a southern state… “Pennsyltucky” and all…

Chick-fil-A CARES


I told you there were more!

Somewhat humorously, the slowest responses from Chick-fil-A have been from the webform & customer service email address.  I pulled out all the stops in tracking down & emailing every available Chick-fil-A email address, because you never know if you’re going to get a response from some companies.

I started with the webform:

From:world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
To:Chick-fil-A.CARES@p67ix100.na.ko.co
CC:
Sent: 02/07/11
Subject: Chick-fil-A Web Form Message

Hello,

I have a photo that I’d like to send with comments.  Do you have an email that I may write to directly without the cumbersome contact form?

Thank you for your time,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

And I got this reply…

From: Chick-fil-A CARES <chickfilacares@na.ko.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 18, 2011
Subject: Chick-fil-A Response
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Dear Mr. AiXeLsyD: 

 

Thank you for taking the time to contact Chick-fil-A.  You are very important to us, and we appreciate your inquiry regarding submission of a photo.  We hope the following information will be helpful.

Thank you for wanting to share this photo with us. If you will respond to this email and attach the photograph, then we will receive and submit to Marc Osborne, Operator of the Robinson location.

Again, thank you for your time and interest in Chick-fil-A.

Sincerely,

Margaret
Chick-fil-A CARES
Chick-fil-A…We Didn’t Invent The Chicken,
Just The Chicken Sandwich.
On the Web at www.chick-fil-a.com

P.S.  Please retain your ticket number.  This will help us locate your information should you need us again.

{ticketno:[8000257615]}

So, I sent them this:

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 5:55 PM
Subject: Re: Chick-fil-A Response
To: Chick-fil-A CARES <chickfilacares@na.ko.com>

Hello & thanks for the email!

My original comments & the photo referenced are attached.

Can’t wait to hear from you!  (Oddly enough… the absolute 1st to reply to my email was Dan Cathy himself!  The webform is quite slow in comparison to emailing Mr. Cathy directly.)

Rock on!

-E.

No response so far.

But, I did email the original message to chickfilacares@na.ko.com just to see if I got a response.  I did.

From: Chick-fil-A CARES <chickfilacares@na.ko.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 18, 2011
Subject: Chick-fil-A Response
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Dear Mr. Aixelsyd:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Chick-fil-A. We are grateful that you provided your encouraging comments regarding our tasty food, the friendly customer service and our Cow Campaign.

I would like to assure you that your thoughtful message has been shared with the appropriate parties at Chick-fil-A.

Again, thank you for your time and interest in Chick-fil-A.  We are grateful to know that you love Chick-fil-A, and we look forward to serving you in the future.

Sincerely,

Margaret
Chick-fil-A CARES
Chick-fil-A…We Didn’t Invent The Chicken,
Just The Chicken Sandwich.
On the Web at www.chick-fil-a.com

P.S.  Please retain your ticket number.  This will help us locate your information should you need us again.

{ticketno:[8000257737]}

I wonder if Margaret realizes that she wrote back to the same nutjob twice?

Chick-fil-A is so freakin’ polite.


You read my post, (The not so) Holy Cow!, right?  Well, I’ve gotten a few more replies from within the Chick-fil-A organization.  While none are as cool as getting one from Dan Cathy himself, they’re all amusing in that they won’t quite mention that the cow’s front leg totally looked like a penis.

I emailed a bunch of random Chick-fil-A email addresses that I was able to find via Google, and soem local places.  This was the first response after Mr. Cathy:

From: Circle Centre Mall <circle.center.mall@chick-fil-a.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 8, 2011
Subject: RE: “SPICEE CHIKIN BISKITZ” Alarm Clock Table Ad
To: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Eric,

I’m actually in a mall. The marketing material in question is not in use at our store so I hadn’t seen it.

Interesting observation!

Not sure what feedback you’d received from others, but, at least for me, it hasn’t been an issue.

Thanks for being a Fan of Chick-fil-A!

Sam

So, basically… “It wasn’t me!”  But, “Interesting observation!” must mean, “Wow, that does look like a penis!”

I wrote back to Sam, but have yet to receive any more correspondence from him:

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 16, 2011
Subject: Re: “SPICEE CHIKIN BISKITZ” Alarm Clock Table Ad
To: Circle Centre Mall <circle.center.mall@chick-fil-a.com>

Thanks Sam,

I found them amusing.  I did only hear back from the local Chick-fil-A, and interestingly enough directly form Dan Cathy himself.  Now, that’s customer service!

Watch out for over-excited cows, my friend!

-ERiC

Then, I had a nice exchange with local Chick-fil-A employee Rebecca Thornsbury, whom I have contacted before:

From: Chick-fil-A South Hills <cfasouthhills@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 14, 2011
Subject: Re: “SPICEE CHIKIN BISKITZ” Alarm Clock Table Ad
To: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello Eric.  Thank you for the feedback.  I sent your email onto our Creative Team within Marketing at our Corporate Office.  They emailed back today that they received it and will look into it.  Also thank you for the nice compliments.

We really appreciate you being a fan of Chick-fil-A.

Talk to you soon,

Rebecca Thornsberry
Marketing Director

Chick-fil-A at South Hills
1620 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
Store- 412-833-1165
Cell- 412-443-5534
www.chick-fil-a.com/southhills

They really are always happy for the compliments of my first email.   I wrote back to my new old friend…

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 16, 2011
Subject: Re: “SPICEE CHIKIN BISKITZ” Alarm Clock Table Ad
To: Chick-fil-A South Hills <cfasouthhills@gmail.com>

Hello Rebecca,

I haven’t heard form the creative team in marketing at the corporate office yet, but I did get an email from Mr. Dan Cathy himself!  That’s what I call service!

I would be interested to see if anyone else saw the same thing I did.  Maybe it’s more like a Rorschach test for a dirty mind, and I’m the odd man out.  Although, my wife saw the same thing.

I’m glad you like the compliments, and can assure you that they’re well-deserved!  I didn’t hear back from the Robinson CFA, but that’s where we saw the humorous (or amorous?) cow clock.  Your store is generally much cleaner and more pleasant… so a response from you & not from them isn’t a surprise.

Just writing this email I’m already hungry for some chicken nuggets.

Thanks for writing!
-ERiC

I’m telling you, it looks like a penis.

From: Chick-fil-A South Hills <cfasouthhills@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 17, 2011
Subject: Re: “SPICEE CHIKIN BISKITZ” Alarm Clock Table Ad
To: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello Eric.  It is nice to hear that Dan Cathy wrote you.  Chick-fil-A is a great company and cares about what the customers think.  I am not sure if the Marketing Team will be writing you or not.  When they emailed me back, they said they would pass it along to the creative people and make note of it.

We have had no one else mention anything about the clocks.  A lot of the kids that eat in our restaurant really liked them and moms asked if they could take them home.  I had mentioned in my feedback to Chick-fil-A that it was a hard table topper because people moved the arms around and then they broke very easily.

Thanks again for the feedback and we’ll see you soon!

Rebecca Thornsberry
Marketing Director

Chick-fil-A at South Hills
1620 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
Store- 412-833-1165
Cell- 412-443-5534
www.chick-fil-a.com/southhills

“Mom, can I take home the cow alarm clock where his arm is swinging around from his waist?  Sure, one arm broke off, but that’s OK.  It just needs the one.”

Although, it does seem that Dan Cathy is a swell guy.  I wonder when he’s going to be on that Undercover Boss show?  A PR team needs to put him to work with a gay Chick-fil-A employee.

I have a few more, but I’ll save them for another post.

 

Al Armcock

Al Armcock

(The not so) Holy Cow!


Have you tried any of the new SPICEE CHIKIN… or spicy chicken options?  They’re pretty good if you’re into that sort of thing.  I’ve blogged about Chick-fil-A before, specifically the South Hills location.  CFA is has a great product, amusing promotion (unless you’re a vegan I’d guess), and seems to be a great company if you can get around the whole “maybe they’re too nice to anti-gay groups” thing.

My wife & I had lunch at the Chick-fil-A in Robinson this past weekend, and we found the on-table advertisements for the Spicy Chicken Biscuit breakfast sandwich to be quite amusing for all the wrong reasons.  I decided to write to Chick-fil-A to see what they thought, my email and the attached photo below:

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 7, 2011
Subject: “SPICEE CHIKIN BISKITZ” Alarm Clock Table Ad
To: promotions@chick-fil-a.com

Ciao Chicken Czars!

I am a BIG fan of Chick-fil-A.  Your chicken sandwiches & nuggets Can. Not. Be. Beat.  Seriously, I don’t know what you do with that breading… but it’s Chick-fan-Tastic.  They honey mustard dip?  Incredible (or as a cow may say, “INKREDIBULL”).  Your chicken noodle soup is my go-to soup when I’m not feeling well and there’s no time for my wife to make some homemade.  Your sweet tea is simple, yet addictive.  We have stopped at the mall units just for tea while we walk around to shop, and we’ve gone through FSU drive-troughs at times just to get sweet tea and nothing else.  The cleanliness of your stores is mostly always impeccable, and the courteousness?  Genius.  I mean, “my pleasure” instead of “you’re welcome” is such a simple thing… but it makes such a huge difference in the overall attitude.  It puts Chick-fil-A far above any other fast food chain in the customer service category.  The in-store events, fund-raising, promotions, use of social media like Facebook, Twitter & texting?  Savvy indeed!  The first fast food joints in my area to use the new space-age Heinz ketchup packets?  Innovative!

I even love the cows.  I have a small stuffed one near my PC at home.  I have had my photo taken with more than one in-store cow.  They’re such unlikely mascots for a chicken restaurant of all places… but it works.  I have always wondered about their spelling though… are you trying to imply that eating beef makes you stupid?  Well, that’s not the main point of my email, or why I’m reaching out to you today, comrades.  I would like to talk about the spicy chicken (or “spicee chikin”) cow though, specifically the one in the attached photo taken while eating lunch at Chick-fil-A this past Saturday.

While I get that the cows “arms” are supposed to be the clock hands, I feel that sadly the placement of said arms is quite unfortunate.  Maybe I just have a dirty mind, but as I laughed at it and took a photo my wife giggled and rolled her eyes knowing what I was thinking.  Maybe the advertising department should re-think this one?  I mean, my arms certainly don’t spin around at waist level.  Do yours?  The shoulders ought to be placed at the center of the clock face in future cow “clok” (also in this case perhaps an unfortunate way to misspell clock) table displays.  I posted the photo on Facebook and the general consensus was that it most definitely didn’t remind people of an arm.  I think that if this cow were walking around with something protruding from that area, he may get arrested for indecent exposure.  I mean, I get excited over Chick-fil-A too, but not that excited!

I just wanted to write and hear your thoughts on the matter.  I’m curious to know if anyone else has picked up on the naughty firefighting cow.  “Spicee” indeed!  Thank you for your time, I anxiously look forward to your reply.

EAT MOR CHIKIN,
-ERiC AiXeLsyD

 

Al Armcock

Al Armcock

Heh.  Well, I thought it was funny.  So did people on Facebook apparently.  I mean, it jumped out right away.  Maybe we have dirty minds… maybe it really does look like a giant cow penis.  It’s certainly inappropriately placed for an “arm” if nothing else.

Knowing Chick-fil-A’s history as a company, I had to see if someone would respond to this.  Maybe it’s a secret shout out to gay employees and customers that they’re supporting them.  I mean, the fireman outfit and the giant appendage?

I have proof that Chick-fil-A is the best company ever.  Dan Cathy, the President and Chief Operating Officer of the company himself wrote back to me, and he was the first to reply.  I mean, he wrote back before any of the local full service units!

From: Dan T. Cathy <DAN.CATHY@chick-fil-a.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 7, 2011
Subject: Re: “SPICEE CHIKIN BISKITZ” Alarm Clock Table Ad
To: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Thanks Eric for your kind comments; delighted to have your business and support.

I have passed along your email to members of our marketing department.  Valid observations; we’ll be a little more careful next time!

Dan T. Cathy

It’s a serious reply to me just goofing around (I mean, really… the attached file is named “Al_Armcock.jpg”), but there is no one above Mr. Cathy in the CFA organization, and he took the time to reply to my dumb email!  I could have gone goofy.  Maybe I didn’t go goofy enough.  At any rate, this has to be the best answer to an email ever.  No “I’m sorry” coupons, no form letter, no blow-off.  It was a short reply drawing attention to the matter, saying it will be dealt with, and a ridiculously perfect example of customer service… from the President of the company who I’m sure has much more important things to do.  McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, and the rest of you … take note!  This is customer service.

I wonder if I’ll hear back from anyone else that I emailed, or from the marketing department now?  This just rules.  Ha ha.