Day Zero

We found out Cozy Corner got burned down, so we instead tried out an alternate BBQ place and we\\\'d go check out Cozy Corner the next day.

Bar-B-Q Shop - Hipster neighborhood with the high prices you would expect from that.  The BBQ was fine, but there are many better options.  I ordered a plate with  Ribs, Pork and Brisket to get a sampling.  Big Red flags when it arrived, both pork and beef were chopped rather than sliced or pulled. These are not serious BBQ guys for sure.  Very good potato salad, though.

Dyer\\\'s Burgers - You can\\\'t go wrong with Vitamin G.  Don\\\'t get a Single Burger, get at least a Double-Double (2 patties with 2 cheese) or a Tripple-Tripple.  The Baloney Sandwiches are also a great choice.  The Baloney is deep fried instead of grilled as most places in Memphis, but it is still very good.

Gibsons\\\'s Doughnuts - Check out the video listed below for Food Network info, but this is a great Doughnut place.  The trick is the timing.  It\\\'s 24 hours, but they make the new doughnuts for the day at around midnight.  At 11PM, they have a half price sale for whatever\\\'s left of the previous day\\\'s doughnuts.  So the later you go in the day, the less selection you have.  So you should go at 2AM or wait until the morning to go.

Day One

Cozy Corner - Original location burned down, but they have opened up temporarily right across the street until they get the Original place rebuilt.  This is the best BBQ we have found in Memphis so far with the possible exception of Central BBQ explained below.  You should look especially for Baloney Sandwich (I know what you are thinking, but trust me, this is not what you are thinking about a Baloney Sandwich), Rib Ends (this is the small, less meaty burnt ends of the rib rack, and the best part), Chicken Wings (I\\\'ve never had better wings anywhere), and The Cornish Game Hen (Whole smoked and basted with the sauce). 

Shadows Over Camelot

Flash Point: Fire Rescue

Elwood\\\'s Shack - This is literally a shack behind Lowes.  I think this place is a great gem to try.  I don\\\'t think their BBQ is the best, but they have lots of Deli Sandwiches which are really good.  Pimento cheese is good there, and Armadillo Eggs, which are Pickled Jalepenos stuffed with Pimento Cheese.

Kung Fury

Betrayal on the House on the Hill


Firefly Fluxx

Day Two

Cozy Corner

La Michoacana - Mexican Ice Cream Parlor.  Don\\\'t miss this place.  We made ourselves sick with gigantic portions of ice cream for $5.  The also have lots of interesting flavors of Paletas (Mexican Pop-cicles).

Machi Koro

Nuclear War

Central Barbeque - This is the first place we have found that can compare to Cozy Corner.  The Ribs are fantastic.  I would say the Ribs are better than Cozy Corner\\\'s regular ribs, but gets just edged out by Cozy Corner\\\'s Rib Ends.  As in most of Memphis, the Brisket was bland and uninspired.  The surprise hit was the marinaded Portobello stuffed with smoked Gouda sandwich.  That was worth the trip there.

Flash Point

Castle Panic

Day Three

Gus\\\'s World Famous Fried Chicken - Really good spicy fried chicken.  Some locations are not goood, though, so I would stick with the original location in Mason Tennessee, or the Mendenhall location in Memphis.  There is a location opened in ATL near the Aquarium, but I haven\\\'t been there yet.  I will try it ASAP.

  3 pounds ground sirloin
  1 pound ground pork
  4 pounds ground sirloin
 or (best solution)
  4 pounds smoked beef brisket cut into 1 inch cubes with excess fat removed
  2-3 large onions (sweet or yellow)
  1 green bell pepper
  2 red bell pepper
  18 jalepenos (I remove membrane and seeds to remove heat element)
  7 serrano peppers
  2 pablano peppers
  4-8 habenero peppers (this is where you control your heat level, the more you can add, the better the smoky habenero flavor)
  5 cloves of garlic or 3 tbsp minced garlic ( I add more than this)
  1-2 tbsp ground cumin
  1 tsp allspice
  1-2 tbsp Blackstrap Molasses
  1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  6-8 bay leaves
Canned Goods:
  1 large can stewed,crushed, or whole(crush by hand) tomatoes (20 or 28oz cans, I think)
  1 large can tomato paste (size is 8-12 oz, I think)
  1 large can tomato sauce (20-28oz maybe) (this I just add until it looks right, at least half the can, maybe more than one can)
  2-3 large cans kidney bean (once again, 20-28oz size can)

You need a big pot.   I think the one I use is 28 quart, but  I used to use a 12 quart, so that can work, but it will be tight.

1) chop veggies.  I have a press that chops them pretty fine, but it really doesn\'t matter.

2) put some oil in the pot to saute the veggies.  maybe 3-4tbsp of olive/canola oil or bacon grease turn up to high heat.

3) put veggies in pot and saute until they get soft. Add salt an black pepper to the veggies as you begin to saute, that will draw out the water, and season it as it sautes.  To add a little extra flavor, you can saute until they begin to brown a bit.

4) put the meat in the pot and scramble with the veggies until it is all cooked.  As you begin scrambling, you want to season the meat with salt and black pepper.  Don\'t get too carried away with the salt, as you can always add more later, but you can\'t take it out.

5) Add canned tomatoes and stir.  Since the volume of veggies and meat can vary slightly, add half the tomato sauce first, and get it all stirred in, then add more until you get it to the right red color and saucy consistency.  You can add more stewed or crushed tomatos as well as tomato sauce until it looks right for you.

6) Add and mix in the spices into the sauce.

7) Add canned beans (I like Kidneys, but you can substitute any varieties you like, or leave them out if you don\'t like beans.)  In my old pot, I could only add as many beans as I had space left in the pot.  This is why the beans are my last step.  In my new pot, I\'ve always got plenty of room, so I add beans until I get the ratio of beans to chilli meat sauce that I like.

8) At this point you should taste to see if you need more salt or black pepper, also check the pepper-heat.  Keep in mind, as it cooks down a bit, it will get a little bit hotter, but at this point, finely dice more habenero to put in if it need more heat.

9) once the whole mixture gets to a slow bubble, turn down the heat to low and simmer for at least 3 hours,stirring occasionally.

Went to Zippy's Giant Burgers in West Seattle with my friends at Clearvision support, Kevin and Mike S to do the King Lou Lou Challenge. John Patton was with us as a special guest who sanely decided not to participate.

Basically, the Challenge is to eat a a King Lou Lou burger:

  • 4 patties (1/3rd pound each)
  • 8 pieces of bacon
  • grilled onions
  • quadruple cheese
  • chipotle mayo
  • lettuce and tomato
  • topped with a "Lil' Zip" regular cheese burger crown as a garnish
As well as the "Man Up!":
  • Milk Shake
  • Side of Fries
  • Side of Onion Rings
  • Side of Tots
  • Bottle of soda
All has to be finished in 30 minutes or less. The current record holder is 12 minutes 12 seconds.

This is what that looks like:
King Lou Lou Challenge Table Full

I finished in just over 24 minutes. Every one else failed. Wait... maybe I failed?
Here is the aftermath:
Victory Decimated Mike S John Kevin Victory

Finally got over to Nathan's place this weekend. After we went to Carl's house and brewed beer and set it up to ferment, we went back over to Nathan's house to cook some charcoal. Basically, the process is you put wood in an oxygen deprived container (in our case, a galvanized steel trashcan with lid), then put that in a furnace (in our case a 55 gallon steel drum with air holes in the bottom) surround by some sort of fuel. You raise the temperature inside the cooking vessel to about 1500 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours. That cooks all of the water and impurities out of the wood, and leaves you with almost pure carbon charcoal.

We chunked up some nice red oak and hickory and filled the trashcan and used some crappy half rotten pine as the cook fuel. You can see me here using a leaf blower to help the cook fire get up to temperature faster (the pine was a little damp, so it needed some encouragement).
Cooking Charcoal - Kicking the Fire up a Notch 2 Cooking Charcoal - Kicking the Fire up a Notch 1

Here is a picture of the fire as the cook wood finally settled into coals and got really hot.
Cooking Charcoal - End of Cook

The whole contraption would, of course not be cooled enough to get the charcoal out until the next day, so here is the picture Nathan sent me of the final product this morning.
Cooking Charcoal - End Product

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