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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Best Place to get Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros is a kind of holy grail to Spicy Food Guy. After all, it is the classic combination of all things Spicy Food Guy holds dear -- big breakfast, hot peppers, refried beans (Spicy Food Guy loves refried beans), a diner, and fried eggs. Add a hot waitress, Spicy Food Guy has found heaven.

For Spicy Food Guy's money, the best of the best huevos rancheros are found at the Blue Moon Cafe in Sedona, Arizona. The rancheros are hearty, spicy enough to make Spicy Food Guy's eyes water (which is rare indeed), and they have comic books for the kids, which keeps them from flinging forks at other diners (always a plus). Add a view of the redrocks and the strange Minnesota accent of the food servers in the desert of Arizona, and you have a world class dining experience.

If you are more of an urban sort, one of those pretentious manhattanites that refers to middle America as the "fly-over states", all hope is not lost for you. At least as breakfast goes. You too can find decent rancheros at Norma's in Le Parker Meridien on 57th Street. Of course, you also get a free smoothie in a shot glass, but you will pay $7.00 for orange juice and $5.00 for coffee. Serves your ass right for calling us the "fly-over states". Maybe hope is lost for you, but Spicy food Guy does not judge.

Best Hot Sauce for Eggs

The best hot sauce you can put on eggs, hands down, is Memphis Mojo Original Red Hot Sauce. Spicy Food Guy is unsure whether it is the scotch bonnet peppers or other seasonings that makes Memphis Mojo a standout, but the blend of flavors is perfect if you are looking to take an omelette to the next level.

Beautiful Spouse of Spicy Food Guy (BSOSFG) takes her omelette without the mojo, which is her prerogative. So when Spicy Food Guy flips an omelette for BSOSFG, he adds a small heap of smoked cheddar cheese at the end, which she loves. She also likes turkey bacon, which is blasphemy.

Long live the house of pork. Eat up now.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Best Place to get Spicy Summer Sausage

This one is out of the way, rather.

Drive to Michigan , turn north. Drive all the way up the State, about 8 hours (300 years in car time). Marvel at the lack of geography. Ask yourself what rolling pin of a glacier flattened this State millions of years ago.

Cross into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie. Stay on route 17 as it follows the coast of Lake Superior. Spicy Food Guy reckons that mile for mile (or kilometer for kilometer), the coast of Lake Superior may be one of the most underrated natural beauties in North America. Kid you not.

Stay on Route 17 until you get to Wawa, Ontario . Turn right at the statue of the giant goose (the sausage part is coming up, Spicy Food Guy promises). After a couple of kilometers, you'll see Young's General Store to your right. Park near the stuffed moose (that's right -- the moose). Get out of the car. Stretch a bit. Slap at mosquitoes.

Walk in, go past the pickle barrel, though Spicy Food Guy certainly understands if you want to give a pickle a go. Right across from the homemade fudge (that's right, fudge), are the summer sausages. That is, if you're lucky and they are not out of stock.

Packed tightly in a burlap sack, these sausages are quite simply tasty beyond measure. The clerk will ask you if you have had one before, and will provide instructions to novices (i.e. store in a paper bag). The clerk won't tell you your car will smell like a summer sausage for a month, but Spicy Food Guy thinks the odor actually adds to resale values.

If you are particularly lucky, you'll get to keep your sausage for the next week in a rustic fishing cabin accessible only by air. On about three days into the trip, you'll come in to the cabin with a sun burnt nose, sore lower back, and a stringer full of walleye from a day spent on a tin boat. Walk over to the table, cut off a slab of the summer sausage and a hunk of cheddar cheese. Eat them together without a plate or napkin, wipe your hands on your shirt. If Almost Deaf Father of Spicy food Guy (ADFOSFG) spots you, he'll ask if you'll cut up some for him too. Go ahead and do it. There may be finer things in life than munching on a tangy and spicy summer sausage while sharing a week with your Dad in an old fly-in fishing cabin in Canada, but Spicy Food Guy thinks those things are few and far between.

Also, if ADFOSFG claims he caught 30 fish that day, divide by two. ADFOSFG counts a big bite as a fish. "I had it by the boat," fibs ADFOSG, "I saw it. I'm counting it." Spicy food Guy just nods.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Best Deviled Eggs Bar None

Spicy Food Guy ranks deviled eggs as one of his favorite snacks of all time.
And the best of the best, hands down, can be found at the Blue Smoke Urban Barbecue at 116 East 27th Street in New York, New York. That's right, Manhattan. Of all places.

A little spice, a dash of mustard, served cold with almonds and watercress. Mouthwatering. Spicy Food Guy kids you not.

The picture is the real deal. Eat up now.

Best Place in North Carolina to get BBQ

You can find the pulled pork equivalent of the holy grail at Allen & Son Barbecue in Chapel Hill North Carolina. Kind of off the beaten path -- route 86 of interstate 40.

The pork is smoked with real hardwood. Pure hickory. The pulled pork is shredded perfectly. The BBQ sauce, served warm at the table, is a classic Carolina vinegar based sauce with flecks of hot peppers and real pieces of pork fat. Plus butter. Don't forget to shake it up good. Spicy Food Guy slathers it on.

Spicy Food Guy recommends fried okra on the side and a glass of iced tea. The desserts are off the hook delicious.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Best Green Chile Mustard You Ever Tasted

Bet you didn't know there even was such a mustard.

There is. And it kicks butt in a major league way.

First, Spicy Food Guy is here to tell you he met Mike and Diane Jaramillo at Zestfest 2007 in Fort Worth, NC, and they are just fine people who know how to make a terrific mustard.

Their Label is Old Pecos Foods and all their mustards are first class. Spicy Food Guy particularly likes the spicy Green Chile variety, and believe me, Spicy Food Guy has tried a peapot full of different mustards in his time.

Eat up, you'll love this.

Best Hot Sauce Selection in a Cajun Restaurant

Now just how inviting is this?

Welcome to Heaven on Seven, a cajun restaurant (with three locations) in the Chicago area. Spicy Food Guy goes there for two reasons: 1) the fun of trying the dozen or so hot sauces placed on the table (and available for purchase after dinner is finished), and 2) the amazing cajun menu.

Spicy Food Guy recommends the BBQ Ribs Appetizer, the Hot as a Mutha Stuffed Habanero Chile, and the Fried Catfish as an entree. Spicy Food Guy tries to eat there every time he has occasion to visit the Windy City, and he hasn't had a bad meal, or even an average meal, yet.

Eat up and enjoy!

Best Place to Breakfast Before an NFL Game

Let Spicy Food Guy state right up front that he is no Patriots fan. Spicy Food Guy is monogamous in his NFL affiliations and his heart will always be given to the Black and Gold.

That being said, there is much to like about the Patriot's home venue. Gillette Stadium is nestled among some quiet forests instead of a loud urban skyline.

, shown here, is a perfect picture of the quintessential small New England town. And right smack in the middle of town, on Central street, is The Commons Eatery and Cafe. Behold, the best place to eat breakfast before an NFL game.

A year or two ago, Spicy Food Guy, accompanied by Beautiful Spouse of Spicy Food Guy (BSOSFG) and Loud Only Son of Spicy Food Guy (LOSOSFG), chanced onto the Commons Cafe on a day they were visiting the Boston area and had snagged some Patriots tickets. Entering the Commons, no table was available, so the Spicy Food Guy party saddled up to three stools at the counter.

The Commons is family owned, and BSOSFG immediately took to the 60ish Gentlemen Owner, who she called "Pap" because he reminded her of her Father. BSOSFG also ordered the veggie omelette, which disappeared at an alarming rate.

LOSOSFG, who in his prior nine year existence had never, not even once, finished an entree while dining at a restaurant, wolfed down his waffle and would have licked the plate clean had BSOSFG not stopped him. Female Owner of the Commons than regaled LOSOSFG with tales of how she makes Colts fans, when they are in town for a game, eat red, white, and blue waffles (waffles with blueberries, strawberries, and whip cream) to pay homage to the Patriot colors.

Spicy Food Guy did not participate as actively in all the discussions because his mouth was filled with fried eggs, to-die-for bacon, buttered toast and steaming hot coffee.

After some well-wishing good-byes and a reminder to return again, Spicy Food Guy's party stumbled out onto a sunny Central Street. BSOSFG went on to shop in some of the little stores in town, but SFG and LOSOSFG mostly stood around and belched. Then it was off to the game.

By the Way, the Patriots clobbered Tampa Bay 28-0 and looked pretty unstoppable. Unfortunately for them, it was the mighty Steelers who went on to win Super Bowl XL.

Sometimes, just sometimes, everything turns out just right.

Best Place in Kentucky to Get BBQ

Right up front, all things transparent, Spicy Food guy admits he is very partial to Lexington KY.

After all, Spicy Food Guy lived there for a couple of years, and during that time, Loud Only Son of SFG (LOSOSFG) was born there. Fittingly, LOSOSFG was born not three miles from the University of Kentucky, so his real zodiac sign is the "Wildcat". Henceforth, he has lived up to his mascot billing, except that a real Wildcat, in heat and fighting during mating season, is much more passive than LOSOSFG is. Let me be clear, the boy is loud. Many years later, when Spicy Food Guy would take the boy to England, the kid who is loud by American standards would RAISE THE ROOF in the UK, but Spicy Food Guy digresses.

But onto the BBQ.

During the two or so years Spicy Food Guy resided in this lovely town, he dined at Billy's Bar-B-Q at least once a week, and it was by far and away his favorite. Spicy Food Guy always ordered the Large Pulled Pork Sandwich, which he slathered with the "hot" bbq sauce. But his favorites were always the fries, served hot and fresh with the potato peel still steaming and hanging on the outside edge of the fries.

Years later, when Spicy food Guy would take his daughter, intellectual eldest daughter of SFG (IEDOSFG), back for a visit to his beloved KY town, she would observe at Billy's that "Dad, you are the only man in this restaurant with a collar".


By the way, judging by the numerous autographed pictures scattered on the inside walls, this was also a favorite of BB King when he was in town. Blues, jazz, bbq, BB King.

Is there anything finer?

doubts it.
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