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Entries in ribs (2)

Wednesday
Aug242011

St. Louis vs. NYC

I've traveled recently to both St. Louis and NYC.  I hate to admit it, but I wasn't expecting much from St. Louis - it's in the middle of the country, very much land-locked, and I really didn't know anything about what went on there.  I did know that the Arch is there - since St. Louis is the gateway to the west.  And I had heard about St. Louis ribs.  So, I had a glimmer of hope.

Wow!  Wednesday night, we (we being the six of us working together) finally had our chance.  We ran as quickly as we could to the nearest cab, holding in our fist a slip of paper with only the name 'Pappy's' written on it.  We arrived at a reasonably small block building, with a portable pig cooker out front that is almost as large as the restaurant.  We took a deep breath of the bar-be-que'ed air and opened the door....and stood in line.  And stood in line some more.  You see, this place is known for its ribs.  If one doesn't arrive early enough, they are out of luck.  When Pappy's has served its last ribs - it's "No ribs for you!!" (are you envisoning the soup nazi right about now?)  There is a little chalkboard mid-way thru the line that keeps count of the rack of ribs left for the day.  I was nervously holding my breath and watching the line in front of me - trying to discern who would be buying ribs and whether or not they'd be selfish enough to buy a whole rack for themselves....Pappy's was down to about 3 racks when it was my turn to order.  Gleefully, I ordered a 1/2 rack of ricks, brisket, cole slaw, and baked beans (meals already come with a side of Texas toast).  I grabbed my large cup of SWEET tea and went to our alloted picnic table.  I can honestly tell you....Pappy's ribs were the BEST ribs that I have ever eaten in my life!  I want to go back to St. Louis just for those ribs.  They were meaty and tender and had just the right amount of spice on them (in the form of a dry rub).  Pappy's had several brands of BBQ sauce on the table that you could pour on the BBQ, but honestly, the ribs didn't need the sauce,  If anything, it covered up the flavor of the rib.  But, the sauce was really good on the brisket and the Texas toast. 

So one week later, I'm back in NYC.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love love love the city??  Wednesday night (again) - we saw our break.  We drove out of the city and into Brooklyn and found our way to Peter Luger's.  If you've never been to PL's - you simply must go!  This place has been in the business of cooking fantastic steaks for over 100 years.  My work half-sister Akiko and I ordered the steak for 2 - medium rare.  Two others that were with us ordered a steak for 2 - medium.  The four of us also shared shrimp cocktail, a slab of canadian bacon (to die for), German potatoes (which are thick cut hashbrowns) and creamed spinach.  For dessert, we had fresh strawberries, cheesecake, and slog (sweet freshly whipped cream).  The 3 of us not from the city were forewarned by the city-dweller about PL's steak sauce - Chris said that he puts in on everyting!!  And I can see why!!  I would have bought several bottles to bring back to NC but there was no way the airport nazis (do you even have to ask? TSA, of course) would have let the bottles thru security.  So I'm stuck - I think I'm going to have to place an order for the sauce because now that I'm thinking about it, my mouth is watering.   Chris, you were right!

The PL steak melted in my mouth - I didn't even have to waste the energy to chew.  The melted butter that was poured on top of my medium-rare steak made the steak all the more wonderful. And the slog, really - what can I say about the slog, except that I wanted to bury my face into it.  Akiko wanted to lick the bowl but she refrained herself....barely.  The four of us put a pretty good dent in all that food.  And we all rubbed our bellys as we rolled ourselves out of Peter Luger's and back into the city that never sleeps.

Hmmm...I wonder if MB would be willing to spend a weekend in St.Louis?  We could walk around the park with the Arch, gaze out over the mighty Mississippi (making sure to hold our noses shut because it really stunk when I was there - granted, it was also swollen.  A statute of a man on the banks of the Mississippi was flooded up to his head!! (I wish I had a picture of it but the cabby was on a mission to take us back to the Ritz), and perhaps even take in a baseball game.  And NYC and Peter Luger's.  I'm back in NYC in November - MB must come up for a weekend - just to share a steak for 2 with me!  And the slog - we cannot forget about the slog. 

Click on pics to see larger size

Wednesday
May192010

Henry's Hi-Life

It's a beautiful day in San Jose.  The sky is Carolina Blue and not a cloud to be seen.  The palm trees are gently swaying with the morning breeze.  Oh to be about 45 minutes north of here! 

Yesterday was a very long day.  Up at 3am (6am EST) and worked until 7.30 (10.30 EST).  I talked a gang of guys into Henry's Hi-Life for dinner.  It is a BBQ restaurant that was recently featured on Man v. Food.  Adam really liked the place so I knew I had to eat there.  After all, he is a professional.  Let's just say - his taste buds are very different from mine.

Henry's is a neat little place.  It's a red clap-board building with not much inside space.  The menu is on the wall at the bar with about 16 items (ribs, chicken and combo meals).  We placed our order with a barmaid and stood until a table was ready for us. 

I ordered the ribs and chicken combo.  I had thought the ribs would be baby-backed but instead they were a beef rib with a St. Louis style dry rub (and not a lot of meat).  Disappointing.  One of my tablemates ordered a full rack of baby-backs and he let me steal one off of his plate.  It was tender and the meat fell off the bone.  But hey, the meat falls off the bone when I make baby-backs.  And the sauce?  No comparison to my brother-in-law's sauce.  His would win in a blind taste test any day of the week.  The meat came with a baked potato, a small salad with old wilted lettuce and garlic bread that I withered away from (I am a garlic bread snob since I make BC's version).  The group that went to dinner was the highlight of the meal as we shared many great laughs.

Does anyone have Adam's phone number?  I need to call him.

I will post a picture of the food this weekend.