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Franklin BBQ pop up mid-May?

ATX isn't even the airport code for Austin.

May 12, 2015
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Franklin BBQ pop up mid-May?

and please also report on the number of people there. I wonder just how many tix were available for each day.

welp, I guess it's back to the annual TMBBQ Fest in Austin for me, where you can get Franklin + 25 other pitmasters and tix take a few hours to sell out!

Apr 24, 2015
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Franklin BBQ pop up mid-May?

The refreshes were reloading instantaneously. But it went from "tickets unavailable" to "sold out" at around 9:00:45. I'm not hearing of anyone who actually scored these.

Apr 24, 2015
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Franklin BBQ pop up mid-May?

Ok, that was literally impossible. I did a constant refresh and by the instance the page reloaded with ticket entry (45 seconds after 9 a.m.), it had already sold out. This city is crazy.

Apr 24, 2015
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Franklin BBQ pop up mid-May?

Price has been changed down to $70 each (but w/o book). Still, that's getting more into the realm of non-insanity. I won't get any use out of the beers though. A sweet tea option would be nice...

Apr 24, 2015
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Where is the best no frills Seafood in all of Florida?

Right at the top of the "bend" in the Big Bend is Spring Creek Restaurant, in Spring Creek, FL (NE of Panacea, SE of Crawfordville). They have their own boats and only source locally. Also growing their own oysters in Alligator Point Bay. A true gem and a place that is doing its best to hang on to the local fishery.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spring...

Mar 31, 2015
mikeh in Florida

I95 in GA - seafood lunch for single female traveler

I really like Skipper's too. I think the freshness, local sourcing, and quality of preparation is as good as B&J's. Not only that, but they have excellent southern sides at Skipper's - perfect collards, mac&cheese, sweet potato souffle, etc. The atmosphere is spacious and relaxing, especially being right on the marsh like that. An especially nice break when one's doing a long drive.

Mar 14, 2015
mikeh in Southeast

BBQ road trip - torn between Smiley's or Red Bridges Lodge for last stop

Not sure if you already took this trip, but Red Bridges in the heartbeat. Their course-chop outside brown is some of the best outside brown I've had anywhere. Outstanding, elite-quality 'que. Smiley's is ok, but it's main selling point given the strength of Lexington competition is being open on Sundays.

Mar 08, 2015
mikeh in Southeast

Los Comales shut down- where to go for tacos in Durham now?

I can't find any reviews of Guanajuato de Durham and they don't seem to have a liquor license. Does this place (still) exist?

Feb 20, 2015
mikeh in Southeast

Brown Sugar Kitchen uses quick grits, wholesale vendors [Oakland]

No self-respecting chef should be using instant grits over stone ground. At some point, you shouldn't include it on the menu if you're going to "water down" something to that extent.

I agree that shrimp and grits aren't priced $7-10 in the South (more like $13-20, depending - but those places are using Anson Mills grits and local shrimp), but some of her other dishes certainly are.

Jan 03, 2015
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Brown Sugar Kitchen uses quick grits, wholesale vendors [Oakland]

A couple weeks ago, Michael Krasny of KQED's "Forum" interviewed Tanya Holland, owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen, as his guest. http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R20141216.... Her responses to a couple of call-in questions about ingredients and sourcing seemed rather unfortunate. When one caller asked about shrimp and grits and where Hollard sources her grits (the caller was having difficulty locating stone-ground grits in retail markets), Holland said that actually, they use Albers, a conventional quick-grits store-brought brand. When another caller asked about sourcing from local farms given the tradition of southern/country cooking, Holland said that at the price point they have to charge out here, she actually just sources from wholesale vendors and not locally (read: Sysco, US Foods).

When you're 1) located in one of the relatively lower-rent districts in the Bay Area; 2) charging mid-upper teens for dishes that would price at $5-7 in the South; and 3) outside of the South, located in the most bountiful agricultural region for ingredients used in traditional southern cooking, and yet you still have to water down the cuisine to this extent, and you're getting multi-hour waits because comparatively speaking, you're still doing it better than others, that really drives home the sad state of certain regional American cuisine out here.

This also brings up a broader point - does the cost of doing business here in the Bay Area necessarily price out certain types of cuisine - namely, those that authentically and traditionally are priced for affordability yet are based on farm-fresh and labor-intensive processes?

Jan 03, 2015
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Craving Morning Glory

The Thai pinyin for it is "Pak Boong." In Thailand, you often see it stir-fried in a chili paste sauce, referred to as "Pak Boong Fai Dang"

Dec 22, 2014
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Louis Osteen returns to Pawleys

He's now doing mail-order Lowcountry products: http://www.louisslowcountrylarder.com

Dec 21, 2014
mikeh in Southeast

Yank Sing Settlement Labour Dispute [San Francisco]

This is being a bit too harsh on Yank Sing. They could've fought this a bunch more than they did, damage control or not, and the legal organizations involved on the other side of the fight have acknowledged that Yank Sing took a far easier tack with them than they are accustomed to in the industry.

Secondly, I think it's inequitable to excoriate Yank Sing when they had a particular target on their back for being more visible than the typical Bay Area Chinese restaurant (because of the accolades, proportion of "Western" clientele, etc.) to scrutiny. You have to bet a ton of Chinese restaurants are getting away with equal or worse and not exposed to the light of day. So before we say, "omg, what Yank Sing did in the past is terrible, I'm going to eat somewhere else," just be careful that you know for sure what exactly that "somewhere else" is doing.

The business is tough, margins are low, and the competitive landscape is cutthroat. If all my Chinese restaurant brethren are skirting the law on this, well, do I really have a choice if I want to stay afloat? I'd focus on this as being a systematic problem in the Chinese restaurant world, not a Yank Sing-specific beef.

Nov 23, 2014
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Never have I been so baffled: Mama's House of Horrors

I too was supremely underwhelmed by Mama's Fish House. It was decent but highly banal. I'd much rather have a fish plate from Paia Fish Market.

Sep 18, 2014
mikeh in Hawaii

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival 2014

We're here for the weekend visiting friends. Trust me, we're checking out a whole lot more than just this!

Sep 14, 2014
mikeh in Austin

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival 2014

Anyone know if they check the name on the ticket for the VIP and/or general admission? Some folks we know won't be able to make it and have VIP tix, but their names are on the ticket and apparently there's a VIP check-in tent organized by last name. Our friends can't recall if they actually check to make sure you're the person on the ticket, or if they're just matching you up to their list w/o looking at your ID...

Sep 11, 2014
mikeh in Austin

Duke's Mayonnaise - where to find it in the Bay Area?

Thanks, but that probably won't help for out here in California. I believe distribution of Duke's is very regional unless a particular storeowner is really trying to bring some in.

Aug 19, 2014
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Fine brisket at Memphis Minnie's (SF)

There's much better brisket all over Texas. Even at chains like Rudy's.

Aug 16, 2014
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

NC BBQ Map now available

Don't mean to be rude, but what a gimmick and waste of money. $24.99 for a map that appears to have no filtering logic whatsoever. Looks like it just scraped google maps for all restaurants with "bbq" in the name. If someone were to actually rely on that map, they'd end up going to places that weren't even serving wood-smoked bbq 90% of the time.

The two definitive guides in this state (and both are free, btw) of places that do real bbq (actually cooked over wood) is the one linked in this thread by carolinadawg and True Cue NC: http://www.truecue.org/true-cue-nc/

Aug 02, 2014
mikeh in Southeast
2

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival 2014

I think we're good with other plans for this particular visit. Have had my eye on Austin for quite a while (with designs of moving there which may come to fruition here soon if all goes well). Uchiko and Barley Swine are also on our lineup. Might as well start with a bang!

Jul 31, 2014
mikeh in Austin

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival 2014

I'm just giving my perspective as a tourist and as someone who may be moving to Austin in the near future. I think there's a lot of value to getting that approximation and introduction "on one patio", so to speak. Plus, you get to chat with the owners/pitmasters - it's mighty fine seeing a master at his/her craft in the flesh and blood. It'll expose you to places you might never take a roadtrip just to eat at (at least until you've had a chance to try their stuff). And reviews I've seen of previous years is that the quality of product is quite high despite the away game.

Jul 31, 2014
mikeh in Austin

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival 2014

At least you're standing around eating (or sitting under tents) as opposed to standing around waiting. This is the quickest access to Franklin BBQ you'll get all year (a 20-min line at worst), and you could be chowing down on another top 5-caliber's brisket or beef rib while doing so.

Jul 31, 2014
mikeh in Austin

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival 2014

Yes, it's impossible to hit up even a majority of the places that are coming without living full-time in Texas and having no other weekend obligations. Some of these places are only open a couple days a week and sell out by 10 a.m. Then you count the gas to get there and back (multiplied by however many trips), and it's exceedingly more expensive and time-consuming.

$80 for an AYCE food festival is not out of line with other festivals serving this volume of food (the Farm-to-Fork local foods event in Raleigh/Durham NC is $100, the Salute to Charleston Chefs event at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival is $135, and don't evne ask what similar events out here in California cost!). I'm actually surprised this would've been priced lower in year's past. And they keep adding joints.

The filtering is also impressive. Here you only have the very best BBQ joints in the state. No pretenders. Not many festivals have the cred. to attract all the top places while cutting the not-so-great. TMBBQ is the gold standard of bbq ratings, and all the joints respect that, so if they say, "hey, come on out," the place is going to represent. That's pretty unique cachet and is worth something.

Again, last year, general admission tickets sold out in one day. This year, the 500 VIP tickets (priced at $145) sold out in 2 minutes flat. Clearly enough people think it's a price worth paying.

Jul 31, 2014
mikeh in Austin

Texas Monthly BBQ Festival 2014

http://www.tmbbq.com/events/tmbbq-fes...

Tickets went on sale yesterday for the September 14 event. Apparently the VIP ones sold out in 2 minutes flat.

I'll be visiting your fine city for this. Looking forward to having so much good 'Q in one location!

Jul 30, 2014
mikeh in Austin

Winston-Salem/Greensboro BBQ open on Sundays

Sunday's a tough day for BBQ anywhere in NC. How far are you willing to drive? 25 min. gets you to Lexington, where Smiley's is open on Sundays. They cook over wood - it's not as good as Lexington #1 or the other really elite places but is absolutely acceptable in a pinch and captures the classic style of that part of the state. If I were visiting from out of state, I wouldn't hesitate burning a meal there.

Jul 26, 2014
mikeh in Southeast
1

Pacific Catch and Paul Martin- new in Mountain View- any feedback?

I tried Pacific Catch in San Mateo back in February (a week after a trip to Hawaii since I was craving more poke bowl-style food), and I nearly cried because of how poorly it compared. The fish was not fresh, the portions 1/2 the size and 2x the price of what you get in Hawaii. Won't be going back. Not worth it.

Jun 29, 2014
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

This sounds like my Blackbeard's experience from 3-4 years ago on a Sunday. I expected a spread of wonderfully-prepared southern sides. They had only two or three available (limas, field peas, and green beans). I heard them reheating our food in a microwave.

Jun 28, 2014
mikeh in Southeast

Olallieberry Picking (and pie at Duarte's)

Doesn't Pie Ranch just serve up a few token pies because their name is Pie Ranch (which derives from the fact that their property is pie-shaped, not because they are devoted to the art of baking pies)? I've heard the pies are actually "imported" from Santa Cruz. It's mainly a place for produce, right?

Jun 19, 2014
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area

Olallieberry Picking (and pie at Duarte's)

I thought Ground Up closed a while ago because of the owner's health issues.

Jun 19, 2014
mikeh in San Francisco Bay Area