Tag Archives: hamburgers

Doomer’s Q Sauce — Doing it Maryland Style

When Todd “Doomer” Dooms offered to let me review his sauce, Doomer’s Q Sauce, I decided to do a little research.  The reoccurring theme I kept seeing over and over and over again was “Maryland style”.  What exactly is Maryland style?  Let’s find out, shall we…

Doomer's Q Sauce -- Original

Doomer's Q Sauce -- Original

Todd developed his original sauce in 2005, and it was an instant hit among family and friends.  When one of his friends asked to fill up a squeeze bottle with his sauce, that’s when he knew he had a marketable product on his hands.  Soon after, he added a Hot and Spicy flavor as well as a Dark flavor to his line of sauces.

The quality that Dooms talks about the most in his sauces is their versatility.  He admits to making his sauces thinner than a normal sauce so that it can be used as an injection, cooking sauce, dipping sauce, and much more.

Okay, enough talking… let’s eat!

Naked Observations

As I poured out the sauce, I definitely noticed that it was a bit thinner than a traditional Kansas City style sauce yet not as thin as a vinegar-based sauce.  It has a very nice dark red color to it, and in the photo below you can see there are plenty of spices evenly distributed throughout the sauce.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

So I decided to take a test.  At this point I find out exactly what he means by “Maryland style”.  It’s balance.  There is a definite trio of sweet, tangy, and peppery at work here in this sauce.  None of the predominant flavor profiles completely overwhelms the others, but I definitely noticed the peppery flavors the most.  This is not a bad thing, in my opinion.

To the Meat of the Matter

I decided to put this sauce to test in two scenarios — as a finishing sauce and as a condiment.  The first test — burgers.  Nice, juicy burgers.

Mmmmm burger...

Mmmmm burger...

Burger Porn

Burger Porn

Grilled up some burgers using 80/20 ground beef.  In the last five minutes, I sauced the burgers very liberally with Doomer’s Q Sauce.

Saucy Burger Porn

Saucy Burger Porn

The sauce gave the burgers a nice reddish tint to the meat.  Upon a taste test, I found that the sauce did not apply a lot of sweetness to the burger, but blended in quite nicely.  Juicy and savory, I decided to eat two of them that night.  Sorry, no photographic evidence.  But I promise I did!

The second test — the condiment test.  I had some leftover pulled pork in the freezer, and I decided (and by me, I mean my wife) to make some pulled pork sandwiches.

Pulled Pork with Doomer's Q Sauce

Pulled Pork with Doomer's Q Sauce

As you can see, the sauce is thin enough to somewhat penetrate the meat, but thick enough to still remain on top.  The tangy and sweet worked well with the pork, but it was the peppery flavor profiles that stood out to me the most.  Very nice!!

If this is Maryland style BBQ at a glance, I can definitely become a fan!

You can find Doomer’s Q Sauce online at http://www.doomersonline.com.  You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Review: Jake’s Good Eats — Charlotte, NC

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As far as restaurants go, this is a departure from the typical restaurant that I would review on here.  However, after seeing Jake’s Good Eats featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and  Dives”, I knew I would have to check it out (especially since it’s located within a 10 minute drive of my house).  After months of mentioning it to my wife, I finally convinced her to go to dinner there last night.

Jake's Good Eats -- Guy Ate There

Jake's Good Eats -- Guy Ate There

Jake’s Good Eats is located in a building that was originally built as a Gulf filling station in 1929.  The restaurant opened in 2008 and has quite a loyal following, especially among local residents.  Much of the original structure of the building is still in use, and the restaurant’s decor is perfectly accented to give diners the feeling of going back in time.

The menu is a blend of old Southern and new Southern cuisine, with such offerings as fried green tomatoes and crawfish/shrimp etouffee.  Their most well-known items are the venison quesadilla appetizer and maple-glazed pork chop entree.  Entrees are served after 5pm, while the lunch menu is available all day.  Entrees range from $8 for a vegetable plate to $23 for a New York strip steak, while lunch items are priced from $4 to $9.

Now… on to the food porn!  Heather and I decided to split the spinach and artichoke dip appetizer.

Spinach and artichoke dip

Spinach and artichoke dip

The dip itself was not too heavy or rich, and the spinach was very fresh!  The homemade tortilla chips were absolutely delicious, and both my wife and I concluded that we could have made an appetizer on just the chips alone.

We both decided to order from the lunch menu on this visit.  I went with the BBQ plate with white slaw and homemade chips, while Heather ordered the cheeseburger “all the way” with chili, mustard, and onions.  (Slaw is also available, but she requested no slaw).

BBQ pork plate with slaw and homemade chips

BBQ pork plate with slaw and homemade chips

Cheeseburger "all the way" with chips

Cheeseburger "all the way" with chips

My wife kept on saying “Mmmmm, that’s good!” with each bite of her cheeseburger, so I’m going to guess that she liked her meal.  The BBQ plate — -chopped pork with an Eastern Carolina style vinegar sauce — was excellent in flavor.  There was not very much smoke in it, but I did not expect there to be much smoke.  The slaw was very fresh and not overly heavy, a perfect complement with the pork.

We also splurged for dessert.  I ordered the banana pudding, and she ordered a slice of chocolate and almond butter mousse pie.

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

Chocolate and almond butter mousse pie

Chocolate and almond butter mousse pie

In one word: WOW!  Both desserts were very rich and delightful.  I started out with the banana pudding, and Heather had the pie.  About halfway through, we ended up switching desserts.  Either way, it was a winning proposition.  If I had one complaint to make about Jake’s Good Eats, it’s that there were several flies in the dining room that kept irritating us throughout our meal.

As we were walking out to the car, my wife turned to me and said, “You did a bad thing, Wayne, by showing me this place.”  That pretty much sums up our feelings on Jake’s Good Eats, as we will definitely be returning to dine here again.

Jake’s Good Eats is located at 12721 Albemarle Rd., Charlotte, NC 28227.  Their hours are from Tuesday thru Thursday from 11am until 9pm.  On Friday and Saturday, they are open from 11am until 2:30pm and from 5pm until 9pm.  Their website is http://www.jakesgoodeats.com.

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Review: Uncle Joe’s BBQ Sauce in a Bag, Honey Mesquite

A few weeks ago, I participated in BBQ sauce giveaway on BBQ Sauce Reviews, not really expecting to win.  Because, you know, that’s just how I roll.  Well lo and behold, I actually won!  The prize was two different items from Uncle Joe’s BBQ.  Today’s review is for their Honey Mesquite Sauce in a Bag.

Uncle Joe's BBQ Sauce in a Bag -- Honey Mesquite

Uncle Joe's BBQ Sauce in a Bag -- Honey Mesquite

Uncle Joe’s BBQ is located in San Antonio, TX.  The idea behind the products from Uncle Joe’s BBQ is to offer up a dry version of BBQ sauce that consumers can take and come up with their own variations.  With only a couple of ingredients needed that are readily available in most kitchens (ketchup and water), people are allowed the freedom to improvise and come up with their own renditions and ideas.  So let’s get to work!

Naked Observations

This may be the first time in my knowledge that I do two different sets of naked observations for a BBQ sauce.  But then again, this isn’t your traditional sauce in a bottle or jar.

Dry ingredients

Dry ingredients

Above is a snapshot of the dry ingredients that come in the package.  Looking at the color of the dry ingredients, I’m thinking that the result is going to be a very dark and thick sauce.  The process for making the sauce out of the dry ingredients is super simple — add ketchup and water (or apple juice or beer or other liquid of choice), mix, microwave, and profit!

The resulting sauce

The resulting sauce

As you can see, the result is a very thick and dark sauce.  You can see the spices dispersed throughout the mix.  After mixing again and letting the sauce cool for a few minutes, I decided to take a taste.  I was expecting it to be really sweet, but it wasn’t syrupy sweet.  There were definite sweet profiles in the sauce from the honey powder in the dry ingredients, but it wasn’t an overly sugary sweet flavor.  There was also a little bit of peppery and spicy taste from the mesquite spices.  I was worried that making a BBQ sauce from a set of dry ingredients would make for a grainy BBQ sauce.  While yes, there were some instances of granularity in the sauce, the granular texture was a bit uneven and could probably be corrected either by using more ketchup/water or mixing a little bit better.

To the Meat of the Matter

Yes, I like BBQ sauce on my hamburgers. So what?  It’s a quirk of mine, and I think it gives a good finishing touch.  So I decided to make burgers stuffed with jalapenos and cheese to give the BBQ sauce a suitable test bed.

Burger before getting saucy

Burger before getting saucy

All sauced up

All sauced up

The BBQ sauce did not overpower the burger.  I got a few tastes of the honey in the sauce.  I could not distinguish any of the mesquite spices on the burger, but it probably had something to do with the eleventy billion jalapenos I used in the stuffed burger.

I read earlier on the website for Uncle Joe’s BBQ that using apple juice instead of water will give a much sweeter sauce.  Maybe I should’ve used that instead of water, but unfortunately I did not have any readily available.  And as they say, you’ve gotta work with what you’ve got.

So would I go out of my way to purchase this at all costs?  Probably not.  But I do like the flexibility that is available in giving you the dry ingredients and letting you add others at will to come up with your own creation.  Perhaps I should have been a little more adventurous in what ingredients I added to make the sauce.  Or maybe I should have used the sauce on something other than burgers.  It is a solid product that should work for most consumers.

If you are interested in more information on Uncle Joe’s BBQ sauce, you can visit their website at http://www.unclejoesbbq.com.  You can also find them on Facebook here.

Review: Spicy BBQ Sauce from Uncle Kenny’s BBQ

Tonight was a night of unexpected opportunities. My wife had planned on cooking dinner tonight. However, I was unable to get one of the main ingredients for the planned meal, so those grand plans fell through. She finally suggested that I do the Hot-n-Nasty Burgers that I did earlier this week. Turns out this was the perfect opportunity to try out the Spicy BBQ Sauce from Uncle Kenny’s BBQ!

Spicy BBQ Sauce from Uncle Kenny's BBQ

Spicy BBQ Sauce from Uncle Kenny's BBQ

Uncle Kenny’s BBQ is based in the Orlando, FL area.  Started by college friends Mike Smith and Kenny Nadeau (the namesake for Uncle Kenny’s BBQ) in 2004, Uncle Kenny’s BBQ caters private events and festivals as well as participates in competitions sanctioned by the Florida Barbecue Association and the Kansas City Barbecue Society.  Kenny and Mike cite their Missouri roots in the flavors that they impart into their BBQ.

A few weeks ago, Kenny reached out to me and asked if I would like to try out his sauces.  We agreed that I would do reviews of his sauces, and about a week later I received a package containing a bottle of each of the sauces — Original, Mustard, and Spicy.  I love food that has a kick to it, so I decided tonight was the night for the Spicy BBQ Sauce.

Naked Observations

With all new sauces and rubs that I try, I always take a sample of it as it stands prior to being used on any food.  I spooned some of the sauce out on to a plate to get a good look at it.

Uncle Kenny's Spicy BBQ Sauce Appearance

Uncle Kenny's Spicy BBQ Sauce Appearance

The sauce is a thick sauce with a tomato and molasses base, which is classic of Kansas City styled sauces.  It has a dark red color with specks of black pepper evenly distributed throughout.

I took a brief smell of the sauce and definitely obtained the molasses and black pepper flavors.  It was not an overly sugary or sweet smell.  Then I took a taste.  I immediately noticed the sweetness from the molasses followed by the spiciness from the black pepper.  As the black pepper flavors hit my palate, the back heat started to come into play.  It was definitely noticeable, yet the heat did not overpower the sauce or throw off the balance of the flavors.  I was very pleased and looking forward to trying it with my meal.

Food Observations

As I mentioned earlier, tonight’s meal ended up being burgers.  I’m not sure if others are like this, but my wife and I enjoy burgers that are basted with BBQ sauce 5-10 minutes prior to coming off the grill.  So tonight’s burgers got basted with the spicy BBQ sauce twice — once 10 minutes prior to being pulled off the grill, and once 5 minutes prior.  The burgers had a nice dark red color from the sauce, and the sauce did not overpower the burgers.  Rather, it worked in harmony with the other flavors in the burger.  I would have taken pictures, but quite frankly… my wife and I were hungry and there was no time!  Based on the way the sauce worked with the burgers, I have a good hunch that it’d work quite nicely with a rack of ribs.

In conclusion… if you like your sauces with some spice and kick, then you will love the Spicy BBQ Sauce from Uncle Kenny’s BBQ.  The sauces are all available for purchase online, and there are a few brick-and-mortar retailers where they are available as well.

Website for Uncle Kenny’s BBQ: http://www.unclekennysbbq.com.

UPDATE:

I had some requests for burger porn.  Luckily, I had some leftover burgers from last night.  I reheated them and gave them another dosage of the spicy Uncle Kenny’s BBQ Sauce.  So here you go!

Naked shot!

Naked shot!

All dressed up!

All dressed up!

Inside goodness!

Inside goodness!

Makin’ Burgers with the Burger Pocket Press

My apologies for having been away for a while.  Real life tends to do that every now and then.  Since I actually got home from work tonight at a semi-reasonable hour (read: not after 11pm), I decided to fire up the grill for some burgers.  However, I did not intend to grill just any old plain burgers.  Oh no…  tonight was time to break out the Burger Pocket Press!

Burger Pocket Press Box

Burger Pocket Press Box

The Burger Pocket Press was invented by Michael Ajakie, a south Florida-based business owner, to solve the problem of inconsistent and fragile stuffed burgers.  It advertises the ability to create new burger recipes by sealing toppings on the inside in order to maximize flavor.

Burger Pocket Press Box Contents

Burger Pocket Press Box Contents

The Burger Pocket Press consists of four pieces — the bowl, the ring, the flat press, and the pocket press (all of which are dishwasher-safe).  Also included is a pamphlet that contains instructions for using the press along with a couple of recipes.  More recipes are available on the Burger Pocket Press website.

After washing the parts, it’s time to make some burgers!  I decided on a jalapeño cheddar burger using bacon cheddar cheese.  The directions to form a stuffed burger using the Burger Pocket Press are as follows:

  • Form the cap of the burger.
  • Form the burger pocket.
  • Add toppings to the burger pocket.
  • Seal the pocket.

I purchased 2 lbs of 80/20 ground beef for this experiment.  Let’s face it…  using lean ground beef for a burger is just blasphemous!  I made two 1/2 lb burgers tonight — one for me, and one for my wife.  Forming the cap was as simple as taking about 2  – 3 ounces of ground beef, placing it into the ring, and pressing it flat using the flat press.  To form the pocket, I took the remaining 5 – 6 ounces of ground beef allotted, placed it in the bowl, and pressed it using the pocket press.

Jalapeño and Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger in the Making

Jalapeño and Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger in the Making

One of the key points in the provided instructions is that you do not need to overstuff your burger.  Heeding that warning, I was a little conservative in the amount of goodies I put inside the pocket.  After I had put what I thought was a sufficient amount of stuff inside the pocket, I sealed off the top of the pocket with the patty I previously formed.  The seal was fairly well formed.  However, I did do some manual forming of the burger to ensure the seal was complete.  Doing so was not a big deal at all.  You can see the results below.

First burger is done!

First burger is done!

Looking good so far?  I thought so too.  For burger #2, I decided to go a little more liberal with the amount of stuffing.  As a result, the seal was not quite as complete, leaving a little bit of cheese exposed.

Both Burgers ready to go!

Both Burgers ready to go!

And off to the grill!

Burgers on the Grill

Burgers on the Grill

Burger Close-up Goodness!

Burger Close-up Goodness!

After approximately fifteen minutes over direct heat, I moved the burgers to indirect heat and basted the burgers with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce.  After another 10-15 minutes on the grill (these were big burgers, after all), I pulled them off.

Finished Products

Finished Products

In the picture above, the burger on the left was the one I overstuffed, while the burger on the right was the more conservatively-stuffed burger.  You can see that the seal on the left was not as thorough as the one on the right, but there was still some instance of cheesy gooey-ness from both burgers.  When I saw what it looked like on the bun, I just had to dub it the “Hot-n-Nasty!”

Hot-n-Nasty Close-Up

Hot-n-Nasty Close-Up

It didn’t quite seal like I had hoped, but I’m attributing that to using too much filler.  But wow, it was tasty!  If I had to pick one thing that I wish the Burger Pocket Press did a little bit better, I would say that a little deeper pocket press would be nice.  Overall, though, I was very pleased with the product.

If you are interested in purchasing the Burger Pocket Press, you can do so by calling 888-533-3318 or visiting http://www.burgerpocketpress.com.  If you are interested, you can also find Burger Pocket Press on Facebook and Twitter.

(Full Disclosure: I was sent the Burger Pocket Press in exchange for a review.)