Restaurants & Bars


Book & the Cook: Score cards please


Restaurants & Bars 6

Book & the Cook: Score cards please

Jim Tarantino | Mar 24, 2003 01:27 PM

Now that the annual literary feeding frenzy has ebbed, any hits or misses? Lately I’ve been pretty jaded with the event over the last few years, but this time we joined some friends (their pick) at North by Northwest in Mt. Airy. It’s nice to see that Pete Kelly still plugs into this event. He and Charlie Abdo when they were co-owners of The North Star were regular participants. The guest author was John Stage and staff from Dinosaur BBQ. Usually the question is how well do guest authors integrate into a restaurant kitchen. This time the author brought his kitchen with him. John trucked down two Klose BBQ twin axel wood burning cookers to the back parking lot of NXNW and started smoking at 6:00am that day. These rigs are about 1-1/2 x the size of the SUV’s that hauled them and look like miniature tankers with smokestacks. Their BBQ capacity is unreal. There was a constant stream of pulled pork, St. Louis Ribs, Smoked Salmon, brisket and smoked wings that were being bucked brigaded from the cookers through the back door of the kitchen. Since there were five of us and we didn’t feel much like sharing because we wanted to try everything, we talked the author into serving us family style and he loaded us up. The apps were wings, deviled eggs (two I know I’m forgetting). The wings had a nice balance of hickory matched with a sweet sauce, they were crisp. The main courses was more a regional walk through of ‘Cue. The pulled pork had not a trace of fat with a nice edgy crust. The ribs were St. Louis cut and they were evaporated the minute they hit the table. The brisket could have used just a little more smoking time, but that would have involved an all nighter over the pit. Dinosaur BBQ has a line of sauces hot and otherwise that were in ample supply and you were able to take the unfinished bottles at the end of the meal. Sides included baked beans, roast potatoes and slaw. Dessert was a tart Lime Pie. Price: $35.00, nice bang for the buck and I didn’t once feel that I was eating “honorarium”.

Jim T

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