Maybe pigs can’t fly, but they still got wings…

So, we’re hanging out at Mackies Southern BBQ, this cozy little family-run joint on the ground floor of a house, across the street from a hospital in Frederick, Maryland. This place is known as one of the best BBQ joints in town, but alongside your standard BBQ dishes like beef brisket, pulled pork and ribs, they’re also funking it up with the likes of BBQ nachos, crab cakes and these three little pigs of Flavourtown, the Texas Hog Wild Pork Wings:

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Now, these meaty monstrosities come slathered in a BBQ sauce with a nice little kick, and then there’s a side of garlic parm to cool things off. It’s kinda like a cross between a rib and a drumstick, minus the Wet-Naps. And speaking of sides, you get three wings and two sides for just 16 bucks, bro! Me, I went with mac ‘n cheese and potato salad:

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The mack daddy was nice ‘n hot, you can tell it wasn’t just sitting around somewhere. A good amount of cheesiness, creamy texture, and a few bites of pepper, for that extra kick.

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Potato salad also tasted nice and fresh, not too much mayo — you don’t even need to add raisins, bro!

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Now, unfortunately you can’t get beer here, but a nice cold glass of homemade lemonade sure hits the spot!!!

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3 meats, 1 bun @ Black Hog BBQ

Now, I don’t always go looking for BBQ — sometimes, BBQ just finds me. We’re hanging out in downtown Frederick at Black Hog BBQ, this local chain with three locations in Maryland. This place has been serving up all kinds of smoked meat since 2007, but I’m only gonna eat here once, so I gotta make sure to get as many as I can shove down my piehole, bro!!!

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So, we’re starting off with an order of BBQ pork fries — these are like cheese fries gone wild in Flavourtown! They take fresh-cut potatoes, smother ’em in cheddar, and then pile bacon and pulled pork on top??? Shut the front, back and side doors, bro!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. They call this sammy the Triple Meat Mofo, and it’s a baaaad muthafucka! You’ve got beef brisket, pulled pork, country ham, swiss cheese, grilled onions and BBQ mayo, all stuffed between two buns. The beef was nice and tender, the pork was fall-aparty…but that country ham is what makes it, with the thickness to break up this flavour volcano!All this and a side of ooey, gooey mac and cheese for just $12.50!? Don’t tase me, bro!!!

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Of course, when you’re in Frederick, you’re in Flying Dog Country, so I had to check out this little feel-good hit of the summer, Numero Uno Mexican Lager. This light, easy-drinking beer is brewed with agave and lime zest, so it’s packing a lot more flavour than a Corona. And believe it or not, but after the pork fries, the three-story sammy, mac ‘n cheese and a couple of these, I actually did NOT have room for dessert!!!!!!!

AYCE BBQ @ Broadview Hotel

On Sunday, it was finally starting to feel like summer, so we’re hanging out on the patio at the Broadview Hotel for their Ultimate Summer BBQ Series, where they’re serving up all the meat you can eat for 25 bucks, bro! And they’ve got all the backyard classics — burgers, sausage, ribs, chicken legs, pulled pork, and even mac ‘n cheese!!!

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With so much meat and such little time (they only give you 90 minutes), I didn’t know where to start… So I piled some pulled pork, onions and pickles into a sammy. It was maybe a little dry — needs some sauce, boss! — but still quite tasty.

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Now, I’m not a guy who likes a lotta stuff on his sausage — gimme some onions, maybe a little sauerkraut, and I’m happy. But this place was all aut of kraut, and the non-diced onions weren’t optimized for maximum sausage delivery…but that didn’t make this smokie any less tasty!!!

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Unlike pulled pork, I don’t actually need a lotta sauce on my ribs. These ones were just about right…and I can’t complain about the meat ratio on this one, either!

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These chicken legs mighta been the best thing at the BBQ. Hot, meaty, with just enough Cajun seasoning… I could slam, like, 17 of these!!!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a backyard BBQ without burgers. Tomato, onion, pickles — I’ll leave the leafy green stuff for the cows, bro!

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Now, you KNOW I’m not just having one burger, bro! For round two, I’m talking beef, topped with pulled pork, topped with sliced sausage, on a bed of pickles, onions and coleslaw — it’s a Flavourtown Triple Play, times two!!!

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Hey, you can’t have a BBQ patio party without beer, bro! These ice-cold brewskis came from Eastbound Brewing Co, just a couple blocks down the street. Their Hidden Lake Hefeweizen was light and refreshing, but surprisingly strong at 5.7% — it’s probably outlawed in at least a few States. 😉

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Now, that 25 bucks (plus tax) only gets you one drink ticket, but the last time I only had one beer at a backyard BBQ was that time I sharted on the slip ‘n slide after a bad batch of baked beans. So paying five bucks for another brew was a no-brainer, bro! This Nerve Tonic saison has a nice hint of juniper berries at the end, and it doesn’t seem like 6.1% — I could totally crush a ton of these!!!!

 

Slammin’ smoked lamb at Barque, bro!!!

Now, Barque Smokehouse is already one of my favourite BBQ joints in this city. Their Smoker’s Choice platter is enough food to feel a small army of Flavourtown Warriors, Bro-veheart! But when it’s date night in Flavourtown, I’m all about the BBQ Sampler for Two. You get three meats, two sides and an appetizer, for just 64 bucks. And yes, they do give you enough food (unlike some place on Queen St I won’t mention)…

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Man, this is like a Fieri family portrait in Flavourtown! You’ve got Barque Rack O’Bama baby back ribs, beef brisket, and…wait for it…smoked pulled lamb shoulder, son! Plus there’s sides of cajun mac ‘n cheese and garlic mashed potaters, topped with crispy pancetta? Shut the front, back and cellar doors!!!! And I haven’t even mentioned the appetizer:

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Dude, these Korean BBQ Nachos were so outta bounds, I almost Gangnam Styled myself to death, bro! You’ve got smoked wonton chips, gojuchang beef brisket, cheddar cheese, jalapenos and smoked pineapple!? Dude, I don’t even mind pineapple on pizza, but this is totally kicking it up a notch!!!!

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Now, I’ve had the brisket and ribs here before, so I know they’re legit, but this was the first time in my lifetime I’ve ever eaten BBQ pulled lamb. I did have lamb ribs that one time in Cleveland, and they were only my third-favourite kind of ribs (beef ribs FTW, bro!!!), but I’ve always been more of a lamb shank kinda guy. So hey, if you take it, and pull it and sauce it, well…there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

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Now, when it comes to sides, that crispy pancetta on the potatoes is TheBomb.it. You could put that on a flip flop, and it would still taste good! But you know it’s all about that mac, bro… Dude, this is body by mac ‘n cheese!!!

 

You call THAT a dinosaur rib, bro???

You know me, I loves me some beef ribs, bro! I once ate two beef ribs in three days, all in the name of friendly competition. So when I heard there was this new BBQ joint in the east end with Dinosaur Beef Ribs on the menu, I knew I had to come check it out. It turns out the dishes at Blackjack BBQ weren’t exactly as advertised, though…

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Now, I never ate a dinosaur before — I’m still waiting for someone to come up with a real-deal Hot Tub Time Machine — but I would definitely expect it to have bigger ribs. Even in the world of beef ribs, these are really not that big. And there’s a big fat lie right on the menu, where it says you get two to an order…they actually gave you three. But at least that wasn’t a bad lie.

On the other hand, I do not believe them when they say these puppies were hickory smoked. I did not taste any smokiness, nor was there any kind of smoke ring. These tasted more like they were boiled in a pot, and maybe finished in the oven — and I would know, because I tried that once, and it didn’t go that great. But I still think my hometown heroes were a bit better than this?

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Now, you mighta caught a glimpse of some green stuff on my plate. Do not adjust your set, I actually did order a side salad. But that’s only because I also went for some Texas Supreme Fries–what, you thought this was Burgers, Bacon and Greens or something???

Now, this was actually a pretty decent take on chili fries…but what killed it, and not in the way that my Bro-man from another Maman Johnny Gaudreau has been killing it for the Flames this season, was the sour cream. The coldness did not mix well with the hot fries and chili, and there was kind of a salty bitterness to it???

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I dunno bro, but next time I’m hangin’ with my homies in Gerrones, we’ll be chillin’ at Poor Romeo instead!!!

 

 

Texas-style BBQ on a muthafuckin boat!!!

So, a couple weeks ago, we were sailing the seven seas of cheese on the Norwegian Bliss. Now they’ve got all kinds of funky joints all over this cruise ship — Mexican, Italian, French, teppanyaki, even a fancy steakhouse…but you KNOW the first place we’re checking out is the Texas BBQ joint! That’s right, Q Texas Smokehouse has got all the meats, and even though I didn’t see a smoker or smell the hickory, I can tell ya this shit is legit!!!!

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What we’ve got here is their signature Pitmaster Platter, with beef brisket, pork spare ribs, smoked chicken, jalapeno cheddar two ways — sausage AND cornbread, and then a couple sides like pickles, potato salad and beans. Now, let’s break it down:

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Now, unlike a real-deal Texas BBQ joint, this place don’t ask ya if you like yer brisket lean or fatty — they just give it to ya lean. But this thinly sliced meat has a perfect pink smoke ring, and tastes nice and tender with a side of Tennessee Whiskey (from the in-house country cover band).

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Now, normally I’d say if you’re eating ribs at a Texas smokehouse, you’re doing it wrong. But them bones are perfectly smoked, with a nice bark and a good chew. I might even order a whole rack of these bad boys next time!!!

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Likewise, a true Texas BBQ joint is more likely to serve you turkey instead of chicken, but man, you could cook anything in that smoker of theirs and it will still taste good!!!

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Now, I’m not a fan of the fact that they cut their jalapeno cheddar hot link in half — smoked sausage is all about the snap, son! But this still wasn’t bad. Not as good as Adamson’s, which is TheBomb.ca, but not bad…

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Now, this might sound crazy, but even with all that meat on the platter, the jalapeno cheddar cornbread almost stole the show. It’s a bit sweet, with a nice chew, and just a little kick from those hot peppers… Dude, this is body by jalapeno cornbread!!!

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Of course, you KNOW that after polishing off that Pitmaster Platter, I’ve still got room for dessert — we’re talking peach cobbler AND a chocolate brownie, bro! And yes, I did eat most of both of these myself…

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Real-deal Texas BBQ, deep in the heart of…Pittsburgh???

So, we’re crusin’ down Butler Street in Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh’s hottest neighbourhood, when I spot this bitchin’ BBQ joint with a massive outdoor patio, picnic tables, and a buncha people playing cornhole out front. You know I spun a U-ie in the Camaro right then and there, bro!!!

Walter’s Southern Kitchen actually just opened at the end of August, and it’s run by the same folks as Morgan’s BBQ in Brooklyn…but when it comes to meat, they’re definitely doing it up Texas-style:

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Dude, that beef brisket is real-deal, Bomb.com, too legit to quit, bro!!!! The meat just falls apart on your fork, melts in your mouth, and explodes all over your face. And then you’ve got the turkey. I’m more of a fried chicken man myself, but when you’ve got it coming straight outta the smoker, all pink and tender, I could eat about five pounds of that…and probably not have room for dessert?

walters_bbq_turkey (1)Mmm, BBQ turkey…

Now, because I happened to be wearing my Franklin BBQ trucker hat, these dudes knew I knew what’s up, so they offered me some ribs for free. (Well that, and they were also all outta sausage). Feast your eyes on this Flavourtown meat popsicle:

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Dude, these ribs were just as tender and flavourful as the brisket, with a simple salt-and-pepper rub. They were all sold outta beef ribs though, otherwise that wouldda been perfect…

Anyways, they’re still ironing out some of the kinks over there, but the food is super-legit, and I don’t know anywhere else in town where you can do yoga in the morning, play some cornhole and drink beers in the afternoon, and then chow down on BBQ at night. If another place like this does exist…then I might be headed back to Pittsburgh sooner than later, son!!!!