I have been traveling for the past couple of weeks and was certain that somewhere along the way I would've run into a meal worth writing about.
I was dead wrong.
Stuck in the bubble in Dallas for just over a week didn't give us many options food-wise, and the 2 times I bravely ventured outside of the bubble with Uber Eats I had a forgettable experience with a patty melt at Whataburger (which came highly recommended by a number of people I no longer respect) and I ordered a SHITLOAD of barbecue from a joint near the hotel thinking all BBQ in Texas was good.
I was dead wrong again.
I don't want to call out the place I ordered from because I know restaurants have had extra hurdles to jump over during the pandemic, but the food I ordered was downright inedible...
I would like to think I am a halfway decent judge of BBQ (more on that in a sec), but it didn't take a trained eye or palate to recognize just how gray the meat on these ribs was just below the smoke ring or how stringy the meat was when you tried to gnaw it away from the bone like a fucking wolf tearing apart a freshly killed deer.
And the smoked sausage photographed well but easily crossed the line of juicy right into greasy… I ate a little bit of everything (including some saltwater logged corn-on-the-cob and store-bought coleslaw) and I was shitting like a shark within a couple of hours.
Luckily, it was a hotel toilet with good plumbing because the inside of that bowl looked like the floor of a busy ER but the time I was done.
Shame on me for not paying more attention to the recommendations followers on social media had for Dallas restaurants… But the meal I ordered was done last minute and out of desperation, so instead of being filled with good BBQ, I was filled with nothing but regret.
Live and learn.
But onward to bigger and better things!
First off, I mentioned above "I would like to think I am a halfway decent judge of BBQ" which is an INCREDIBLY douchey thing to say, BUT I will put that statement to the test in exactly 2 weeks time when I become an official judge at HOGSFEST, the annual Hogs 4 The Cause food and music festival down in New Orleans being held this year on June 4th and 5th.
I implore you to hit the link above, just to see the quality acts and chefs Hogs is able to gather each year.
The outdoor event is a festival-style cook-off that raises money to support families dealing with pediatric brain cancer. It has become the nation’s leading funder for this cause. The last event brought in over $2 million, largely through the network of cook-off teams that compete each year.
And this year, Barstool Sports is getting involved.
On Friday, the 4th, Willie Colon and I will be judging bacon and chicken wings.
Then, Friday evening, 90 different BBQ teams fire up their smokers to smoke meats (among other things) throughout the night.
And finally, on Saturday, Ben Mintz and I will be judging various cuts of pork.
I get to do a lot of cool shit, right?
Just as I implored you to hit the link above for info on the festival, I even more strongly implore you to make the trip down to New Orleans for the event.
Personally, I feel Friday's bacon judging is the most intriguing part of the weekend, and I will list for you just some of the past entrants who will be returning this year to cook AND the dishes they will shoving in my fat fucking face… Collectively, the competition will cook OVER TWO TONS OF BACON IN A SINGLE DAY…
- Swineaux (2019 Bacon Night Winners) – Bacon Beignets, Candied Bacon Burnt Ends, Mac Daddy Bacon Bowl
- Aporkalypse Now – Bacon Pralines & Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Bassets, Booze & BBQ – Bacon Dumplings & Funnel Cake Fried Bacon
- Bayou Krewe – Southern Explosion Jalapeno Eggroll / Mustard Slaw
- Beers Fly When Pigs Die – Bacon Corn Pudding
- DeSwine Intervention – Who get a little fancy with 2 dishes… Dish One: Bacon Shrimp Billycado – Grilled Spiced Avocado filled with Nueske’s Smoked Bacon and Blackened Shrimp topped with Mango/Pineapple salsa, queso fresca, and cilantro. Dish Two: Il Sindaco – Pizza Napoletana topped with spicy Nueske smoked bacon marmalade, roasted grape tomatoes, arugula, and fiore di latte.
- Fat Harry’s Fatbacks – Candied Bacon Salted Caramel Corn
- GooteeQue – Poutine Pork Skins with Pork Debris and Bacon Gravy, and Bacon Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes with Pork Cracklins
- Mr. Pigglesworth – Bacon Muffaletta – bacon pate, crispy bacon, bacon fat sesame bread, olive, and caramelized bacon relish
- MS Bacon Association – Bacon Taco: Smoked pork cheek, pineapple glazed bacon, fresh pineapple salsa, Mississippi Red cremé, salsa Roja, Cotija, on sweet potato tortilla
- Pig Latin – Bacon Mac & Cracklin’ Waffle Cone
- Piggy Stardust – Bacon Pimento Cheese with Bacon Saltines
- Pork Fiction – Maple Bacon Doughnuts/ Fried pickles with bacon
- Silence of Da Hams – Candied Pork Belly Lollypop
- Sir Pork A Lot – Bacon Wrapped Bourbon Pecan Praline King Cake
- Sixteen Cracklins – Pork Belly Slider w/Fried Boudin Ball & Green Onion Garlic Aïoli
- Squeal Team 6 – Dark Chocolate / Bacon Bread Pudding with Bacon Creme Anglaise and Candied Bacon
And finally… A crew called "Lard and In Charge" is offering up one bacon dish with no description, simply called Herzinfarkt.
Herzinfarkt is German for "heart attack."
So if that much pork is your thing, come on down the first weekend in June… The bride and I haven't been away from the kids since the beginning of last year, so we plan on eating and drinking like we lost a loved one.
And if reading about how Willie, Mintz, and I nearly ate ourselves to death in the 100 degrees NOLA heat turns you on, then stay tuned on the blog for all the greasy details and sweaty pics.
As always, later today, Coach Duggs, Clem, and I will be hosting our weekly food chat called Grubhouse on Twitter SPACES at 2 PM.
And here's your WEEKLY FOOD CALENDAR…
Today, Friday, May 21st- National Strawberries Day
Saturday, May 22nd- National Vanilla Pudding Day
Sunday, May 23rd- National Taffy Day
Monday, May 24th- National Asparagus Day AND National Escargot Day
Tuesday, May 25th- National Wine Day
Wednesday, May 26th- National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
Thursday, May 27th- National Italian Beef Day
Friday, May 28th- National Hamburger Day