Monday, July 07, 2008

Catching Up

Haven't had a whole lot of time to post, but have had a few BBQ related things going on.

Last Wednesday, I went to the Cookhouse Cafe in East Hartford for a little BBQ with Gary Goldblatt of After hearing a lot of negativity about the cookhouse, I was pleasantly surprised by our meal. They have a new appetizer called "pig wings." They are pork wrapped around a small bone and smoked. They were good, and definitely something different and interesting.

I was also surprised by the brisket. It was extremely moist and flavorful. Their "burnt ends" were nothing more than point meat cut into cubes. They weren't seasoned any further or re-smoked as some people like to cook burnt ends, but they were still pretty good. The ribs were OK, would have been mush if they had removed the membrane.

The one thing that really annoyed me was the service. I do not expect white glove treatment or the table to be crumbed between courses when visiting a BBQ joint, but for Gary to have an empty drink through the entire dinner in a near empty restaurant was unacceptable. And she dropped the check before the table was cleared. We sat there for an hour after we finished, she could have at least refilled our waters instead of taking them away.

But I have learned to get used to bad service. But I am allowed to complain about it....

HERE is the link to the review of the Cookhouse Cafe, complete with pictures. They have updated the menu since his review, but it still holds up.

Saturday, we hosted a BBQ for around 20 people for the fireworks show in Norwich where we live. Our condo complex overlooks Norwich Harbor where the fireworks show takes place, so we decided to have a little cookout. I cooked 9 racks of ribs, a bunch of beef short ribs, wings, and a fattie. I decided to really stretch the Backwoods' legs, and cooked everything in there. It was a good learning experience.

Since everything in there had different cooking times, I ended up opening the smoker more times than I would have liked. This clearly contributed to the fact that the ribs were not as tender as they should have been. The large scale cook will be extremely helpful in a few weeks, when we will be cooking a ton of food for Harpoon and cannot afford to make any mistakes.

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