by Steven Doyle
Kent Rathbun entered the food industry at age 14, washing dishes at a local Sambo’s, a job for which he had lied about his age, claiming to be one year older. By the end of his first day as a dishwasher, he had asked to help the night cook, who within three weeks recommended that Rathbun be promoted to the cooking station. At age 17, he was working as an apprentice in the 5-star dining room of Kansas City’s La Bonne Auberge restaurant, where his mother worked as a maitre d’.
The fine dining experience changed his culinary tastes, causing him to come home determined to educate the experienced cooks in his household: “When I started learning how to work with fresh vegetables and snails and foie gras, that’s when my taste just exploded. I told my mother, `I can’t believe it. All those things you and Grandma have been cooking all these years – you’ve been overcookin’ ’em.'” Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
We had a chance to check in and check out Hutchins BBQ located in McKinney, Texas recently with some pretty positive results. In this world where BBQ can be an easy sell if you happen to have a smoker and a stacks of meat, perhaps with a kitschy name or theme. Where the big chains fail is on delivery of the goods, and it is unfortunate that many follow their happily played tune.But we know better than all of this.
Hutchins is the real deal BBQ in a land of fake smoked meat. They actually use prime meats, which almost seems like a wasted effort. If you slow cook even the worst cut of beef it will eventually relent to an edible plateau, but why risk it? This effort shines through not only with the brisket, which comes out of a day long bath of post oak and pecan wood smoke with a rich and juicy superior meatiness, but also with their baby back ribs. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Writing about Pecan Lodge has sort of become this low hanging fruit. Everyone knows it is some of the world’s best BBQ. The Hot Mess isn’t so much messy as it it sublime with it’s pulled pork goodness perched on top of a giant sweet potato. The brisket is superb, and you should always ask for fatty pieces because those are simply the best.
The ribs at Pecan Lodge are huge and meaty, especially when they switched over to spare ribs. If you want a giant haunch of meat, the beef ribs weigh as much as a small child and are as tender as anything you will ever put in your mouth. And the house-made sausages are not to be missed, especially the jalapeno version.
by Eric Spigner
This story takes place in the swamp areas of the Santee River during the mid to late 1700’s also known as Berkeley County South Carolina. General Francis Marion (Swamp Fox) was born on his family’s plantation in Berkeley County South Carolina this area was also the home of a Tribe of Natives called Santee; growing up in this swampy marsh area a young Francis Marion decades before he would become a General in the Continental Army and the leader of the South Carolina Militia who won a series of battles against the British during the Revolutionary War that took place all over the great state of South Carolina.
It has been recorded and documented that America’s Independence was achieved in the south but declared in the north. Francis Marion was a true scout and a survivalist which he learned on his families Plantation due to the relationship he developed with the Santee Natives. The Natives taught Francis Marion all what he knew about life and survival along the marsh swamp areas of the Santee River. They taught him how to forage the land for root vegetables which he was very fond of; also how to hunt game and fish from the river. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
What a gem of a restaurant. FM Smokehouse is located in an odd little spot that does extremely well during the week, but draws to a slower pace on weekends when the business crowd flies home. This is actually the case for any of the restaurants in that corridor off 114. What makes FM Smokehouse so particularly wonderful is that, and to my surprise, it is not a BBQ restaurant. Do not get me wrong, I am a fan of very good BBQ. But FM is so much more than brisket and pulled pork, both of which they do very well. Think of FM as indigenous Texas Cuisine, much like you might find at Smoke in West Dallas, or Tim Love’s Smokehouse in Fort Worth. Continue reading
Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum is now taking online orders for Thanksgiving, featuring a selection of tasty smoked meats for the holiday table. Choose from traditional smoked turkey, smoked ham with apricot-molasses glaze, spice crusted beef tenderloin, whole smoked brisket, racks of ribs, handmade smoked sausage links ($27-$179). Continue reading