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JimCo

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About JimCo

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  1. For anyone vacationing in or near Charleston, I would strongly recommend the Undiscovered Charleston culinary tour: https://undiscoveredcharleston.com/ The tour is led by Chef Forrest Parker, an area native who is passionate about history as he is about food. He leads a small group (in our case it was just my wife and I) on a walking tour of downtown Charleston giving you insights into military sieges, architecture and the history of the region's cuisine and restaurants. He is a Palmetto-certified tour guide, and really knows his stuff. After touring for a couple of hours, you then enjoy a four-course meal and wine pairings at an area wine bar. Chef Forrest cooks the meal in front of you and walks you through some of the historic grains such as Carolina Gold Rice and Jimmy Red Corn, and the efforts being made to preserve them. The meal itself was worth the price of the tour, as you enjoy fresh gazpacho, Carolina shrimp and grits (which were the best version I've ever tasted), Chicken Perlau, and then a refreshing peach dessert. This was one of the best meals I had in Charleston, and I enjoyed several great meals. The overall experience and value was just fantastic.
  2. Haven't been there in a long time. Had to be a sandwich shop in Northern Virginia that wasn't Earl's or Bub and Pop's. That was the only one that came to mind. (And I may have taken a look at an online picture to see if the pork looked similar...)
  3. I have not been to the Shaw location so can’t speak to the difference in pizza (or anything). But I’ve been meaning to post this since April. This was the beer list when I was there three months ago. I took a picture because there was 11 draft beers and only 2 were IPAs. It made me giddy (and grateful).
  4. S.B.H. BBQ opened about 10 months ago in Greenville, SC. It's not far from the airport. The owner spent five years on the competition bbq circuit and racked up an impressive array of wins. SBH is short for his team name, the Smoking Butt Heads. They boast that the bbq they're serving is the same recipes that they use in competition. I tried the pork shoulder, ribs and hot link which were all excellent. The pork is pulled, not chopped; which results in bigger chunks and a much juicier product. He wraps the ribs in foil, which makes them super tender but not falling-off-the-bone. Todd Smith is the owner, and was behind the bar. I had a great time talking to him. Unfortunately, the place wasn't crowded on a Sunday afternoon but it deserves to be. It sounds like he's running into the same headwinds that a lot of premium BBQ places encounter -- namely, that people expect BBQ to be cheap. Hopefully, he'll be able to overcome that in the same way that ZZQ has in Richmond. I strongly recommend giving this place a try if you're in Upstate South Carolina.
  5. I'll put in a plug for the Borinquen Lunch Box food truck, and their amazing Cubano sandwich. They used sliced pork, and the sandwich is so crisp that the bread shatters when you take a bite. They're usually at Port City Brewery on Friday nights.
  6. I would also suggest starting with a brisket flat, which will probably be about 4-8lbs, rather than a whole packer brisket which could weigh 12-18lbs. The flat will cook more uniformly (not to mention much more quickly).
  7. No one has put it this frankly so I will, ZZQ is one of the best barbecue restaurants in this country. I say that based on visits to Franklin’s, Lewis’ BBQ and Snow’s (currently Texas Monthly’s best bbq restaurant in Texas). A field trip to Jamestown on Friday led me to my fourth visit. I ordered everything to go. Then traversed the 95 corridor late on a Friday afternoon returning to Alexandria. The staff couldn’t have been more thoughtful or helpful. I ordered a pound of turkey, and they made sure to package it with turkey fat and au jus to ensure it wouldn’t dry out. Two hours later, the brisket was still some of the best I’ve ever had. Their hot guts sausage is amazing. Turkey is fantastic. Your mileage may vary (literally). It can be a haul to get to Richmond. I know. But know if you do, one of the best BBQ experiences in America awaits you.
  8. I've always bought them at the Spice and Tea Exchange in Alexandria. https://www.spiceandtea.com/alexandria.html
  9. I agree. It's the toppings (like bacon) that make this place popular. The donuts are meh.
  10. I kind of like it the way it is, because if I’m planning a trip to Richmond I prefer having access to an overview. Individual threads would make that slightly more difficult. But either way, I’ll be glad to have it. 😀
  11. Spent a couple of days in Richmond between Christmas and New Year's. A late lunch at Edo's Squid was tremendous. I love the laid back vibe, and the place was nearly empty at 1:30 on a weekday afternoon. I started with the broccolini with garlic and red pepper. It was drowning in olive oil but remained crisp and spicy. For a main, I ordered the spaghetti with clams. This was also covered in olive oil and contained an absurd (but absurdly delicious) amount of garlic. I couldn't finish it but came close. On our way out, three servers were gathered around a table hand peeling hundreds of cloves of garlic which went into a giant basket. I wish we had a place like this in DC. On our way out of town, we finally went to ZZQ. I wondered if this would live up to the hype, but they managed to surpass it. Their brisket is second only to Franklin's in terms of the best I've ever had. It has a perfect amount of smoke. The turkey was extremely juicy, and I also loved their house made sausages. We tried the hot guts sausage, and a queso fuego which was their daily special. Both were loosely packed but with a good amount of fat. This is a special place, and I suspect it will get even more attention and acclaim over the next couple of years. If you're near Richmond, you owe yourself a chance to try it. (Sorry, the picture is a little bigger than I intended.)
  12. In appreciation for my favorite dish in this area. Their Chengdu Kung Pao Chicken continues to be the best version I’ve ever had. I stopped in for lunch today. They have a Kung Pao Chicken lunch special with rice and an egg roll. I asked if I could have the special with the Chengdu Kung Pao Chicken. They said no. I didn’t even care. The real “special” is the Chengdu version and this confirmed it. I’m always here with groups and order multiple dishes, so it was great to just focus on one outstanding dish. Outside of the traditional chicken, peanuts, and peppers, they also include sliced ginger and garlic. These take it to the next level. I’m usually a stickler for using chopsticks, but I was wearing a tie so I used a fork for safety. This also made the dish better as I could get all the flavors at once rather than one at a time. These folks take my favorite Chinese dish and make it my favorite-ist.
  13. Dinner at Rare Tavern on Saturday night was hit and meh. The cheese curds (It is a Milwaukee steak house after all...) and charcuterie board were very good appetizers. For an entree, I had the dry-aged pork porterhouse which was overcooked. The meat wasn't too dry, but it was rock hard which was disappointing since one of the points of dry-aging is to tenderize. The butterscotch pudding for desert was excellent. The service was strange. We had a group of four and the bartender took one drink order, made it, and then wandered off. He then seemed surprised when we flagged him down to order three more cocktails. Service was friendly, but our server seemed nervous and kept tripping over the remarks he was clearly required to make. Also, in our 2.5 hours there, we witnessed glassware being dropped on the floor three different times including once right next to us. The entire restaurant and bar was nearly empty at 8pm on a Saturday night. Given their location and price point, perhaps they're busier during the week for expense account dinners. But based on our meal there, I'm not sure this place will last much longer. I won't miss it.
  14. You'll be right near Makeda, a fantastic Ethiopian restaurant. My wife and I had lunch there this summer. There's a lengthy bar with some good Ethiopian beer. Tom Sietsema gave the place a favorable review. Like him, we found the kategna and quanta firfir to be excellent.
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