Sunday, July 29, 2012

On the Barbecue Trail: Mid-Michigan

If there is one food group that I can be justly chastised for being snobby about, it is barbecue. I grew up thinking good barbecue was rubbery babyback ribs drowned in a thick, sweet sauce. I was never a fan. It was years before I was exposed to low and slow barbecue smoked over real hunks of hardwood. I was a huge fan.

Barbecue seems to be like healthcare - everyone has an opinion on how it should be done. Enjoy a layer of thick, sweet tomato and molasses Kansas City-style sauce with your pulled pork? Then you probably won't be a fan of South Carolina's mustard sauce. I try to stay away from declaring an allegiance to any particular barbecue region, but I'd be lying if I said I don't prefer the vinegar sauce of Eastern Carolina on my pulled pork and the dry-rubbed ribs of Memphis.

Although barbecue tends to be a Southern affair, there is a barbecue revolution happening and there is now plenty of good barbecue north of the Mason-Dixon Line. I'm determined to try them all, so let's get it started in my hometown of Lansing, MI.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Jerk Store Called... for more Jamaican Chicken & Pork

When our good friends P&B returned from their trip to Jamaica a few weeks ago, Mrs. T and I were tortured with stories of real deal Jamaican jerk chicken and pork at the Pork Pit in Montego Bay. I can't say I've ever really had authentic Jamaican jerk, at least not anything like the spicy, smoky, barky goodness that P&B were describing. We had no choice, we had to figure out how to recreate the magic of the Pork Pit. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hut-K Chaats Tastes too Good to be Healthy

the Rock & Rye was my choice, not Dr. Bhojani's. Don't judge me, it's delicious.
Swaroop Bhojani is a molecular cancer researcher in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan Medical School. He has authored articles with titles like Nuclear localized phosphorylated FADD induces cell proliferation and is associated with aggressive lung cancer and Phosphorylated FADD induces NF-kappaB, perturbs cell cycle, and is associated with poor outcome in lung adenocarcinomas. But that's not the impressive part of his resume. Bhojani, along with his wife Sumi, run Hut-K Chaats, which serves up casual Indian streetfood with a healthy twist.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

[Up North] Barbecue, Blue Moon, and Blueberries in South Haven

Our Up North series highlights good eats to seek out on your weekend roadtrips as you head Up North – that ambiguous, nebulous region in Michigan where everyone has, or has a friend that has, a cottage on a lake somewhere.

(Editor's Note: If you're wondering why a place called South Haven located in west Michigan is considered Up North, I can't help you there, that's just the way it is.)

Another weekend of summer fun at Lake Michigan in the books. This time, we headed west to South Haven for an alliterative weekend of beach, barbecue, blueberries, and of course, Blue Moon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[Up North] US-31: Elk Rapids to Charlevoix

Our Up North series highlights good eats to seek out on your weekend roadtrips as you head Up North – that ambiguous, nebulous region in Michigan where everyone has, or has a friend that has, a cottage on a lake somewhere. 

To escape the heatwave last week, we headed to the cooler waters of northern Michigan. Our route took us along US-31 between Elk Rapids and Charlevoix, with a few detours along the way.  We managed to find some amazing Cajun & Creole food in Elk Rapids, freshly fried cherry donuts and apple pie at an orchard, classic grilled burgers in Charlevoix, and learned exactly what broasted chicken is in East Jordan.

Our first stop was Pearl’s in Elk Rapids. My buddy DG tipped me off to Pearl’s a couple years ago and I’ve been meaning it check it out ever since. It had come highly recommended to him by his boss – a New Orleans native who claimed it was some of the best Cajun food he’d had outside of New Orleans. With high expectations firmly established, we went in with empty stomachs.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Roadtrip Photo Quiz

As you might have guessed, we are on the road this week eating our way through the mitten and making as many beach stops as possible. Your regular scheduled programming will resume next week with a few Up North finds and a decidedly un-American 4th of July cook-out. In the meantime, here are a couple of pics from the trip to see if you can guess where we've been.

1) Where is this lighthouse?

2) That impossibly clear water might be a giveaway.