Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

m_5e33afce8cd0b062fb8ff2273c167a54.jpgWay up yonder on 6th Avenue lies a BBQ joint filled with the finest bourbon, blues and meat-based entertainment this side of the Gowanus. It’s called Bar BQ and if you’re smart, you’ll find your way over there pretty soon.

Bar BQ is a pretty tight space with a full bar, about five tables and a performance space (nook?) in an area about the size of your living room. It offers several “theme nights,” for lack of a better term. Mondays and Tuesdays feature live music and great drink specials. Wednesdays are home to hot sauce enthusiasts, The Brooklyn Fire Eaters. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays have bad-ass happy hours. Price wise – Let me tell you that 97 bucks for 8 people for dinner is a pretty sweet, sweet deal. Free bourbon shots are a sweet deal. $2 Blue Points are too. Throw some live blues in the mix and Bar BQ is a fantastic place to get hammered on any night.

Now, we here at Brooklyn Skeptic are basically a meat-loving bunch. You might be able to tell that from ChezJJP’s meatsweat®-inducing recipes he posts from time to time. But one of us (me) is a vegetarian and as much as I love drinking heavily with few interruptions, I like not being hungry even more. This presents us with some difficulty in writing this review as most people would likely be interested in the quality of the meat offerings and I have nothing to say about that. But I have a lot to say about other things, so this is the compromise: I will review the bounty available to the veggie-munching crowd and our resident meat specialist, ChezJJP, will review that which is available to the Normals.


The Menu

Bar BQ Review for Meat Lovers

After several Blue Points and about five totally free shots of awesome Kentucky Tavern bourbon, our crew of eight sat down to chow. It became rather obvious after checking out the menu that it was our duty to order the $50 platter called “The Big Seven” (seven meats dewwwd!). I think that it being the tail end of Labor Day weekend, they were out of some items. And that was cool, because the good natured hostess made up for it. The baby back ribs were meaty and moist and had a nice smoky flavor. The pulled pork was also flavorful and especially fitting with the vinegar based sauces they have in squeeze bottles at every table. Aside from that, the brisket was pretty tender (perhaps a bit dry for my taste) and the sausage was great as well. I’ll be honest here and say this is not the all time best slow cooked BBQ I’ve ever had, but I will assume that they were hit pretty hard that long weekend and it must be tough for an out-of-the-way Brooklyn BBQ restaurant to gauge just how much demand theres gonna be. It was delicious nonetheless, and the vinegar sauce must be some sort of weird pheromone generator because I was doin’ some talkin’ to the ladies that night. All in all, highly recommended to the carnivores.

Bar BQ Review for Vegetarians

Both of the occasions I journeyed to the South Slope to go to Bar BQ were on Mondays in order to attend Blue Monday. Now, let me just tell you, Blue Monday is a severe misnomer. Because when I get busy with free bourbon, $2 Blue Points and live blues, I literally couldn’t be happier. Be certain, this place is home to a significantly convivial crowd of Monday night booze chasers. When the music gets going and the bourbon is flowing, you’re yelling across tables, making best friends with greasy Brooklyn types and hollering “hoooooooooweeee” to the tunes.

But then you get hungry. Because this is Brooklyn, or because they’re not cold-hearted snakes, Bar BQ has a reasonable number of vegetarian food options considering that BBQ is traditionally very heavy on flesh. There’s a portobello sandwich, a smoked seasonal vegetable platter (which they were sadly out of last night) and potentially five veggie side dishes to choose from. I haven’t checked out the BBQ beans, but the collard greens (holy shit), mac & cheese, mayonnaise-less potato salad (amazing), and cole slaw (didn’t try it) are all safe.

So what I’m trying to say here is that if you’re like me and all of your friends take pride in their ability to consume entire barnyards of livestock while you whisper sweet nothings to sweet potatoes, then this is a good place to go with them. You probably won’t want to kill yourself. I’m looking your direction, Belleville.

Bar BQ
698 6th Avenue at 20th Street
South Slope, Brooklyn

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Just read this whole recipe first. It’s a lot of steps but its not that much work. Better for two people to do it: one takes care of steak and one takes care of fries. You can conveniently execute this recipe on a small Brooklyn sized grill.

Necessary Jive :

Grill or Cast Iron Pan or (Oiled)

Strip Steaks (one per person or one for two if squeamish)
Unsalted Butter
Fresh Tarragon
Lemon Juice

Idaho Potatoes
Two cloves Garlic
Kosher Salt

1. Get yo’ steaks to room temperature and get that butter soft.
2. Chop up tarragon, combine with butter and tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix with butter.
3. Now, place mixed butter in saran wrap and make a log, place in freezer.
4. Cut up your fries and place in a cold bowl of water with ice cubes.
5. Now, pre-heat your grill pan or grill. Oil it so meat wont stick. On the stovetop, heat about 3-4 inches of oil in a deep pot. Here you really should use an oil thermometer and you should have one, cuz for proper frying this oil should be at 360 degrees F. If it’s cooler than that, you’re wasting your time but hey, dip a finger and take a chance. (Wait, don’t do that).
6. Place two cloves of garlic in the warming up oil and take em out before its hot enuf to put fries in.
7. Now with oil super hot, drop in a first batch o’ fries. Don’t overcrowd, or it will suck suck suck. Just a handful at a time. Get someone else to tend to the fries while you do the steak, as they will need to removed from the oil when they are nice and brown using tongs or a slotted spoon. Put the fries on a rack to drain, preferably, or on a cloth napkin in a bowl and toss around. Throw some plates in the oven to get ’em hot. Keep the done fries in the oven as well.
8. Ok, now the steak. With a 1-1.5 inch steak you want about 3 mins a side for rare, 4 mins for med rare and leave it on forever if you want more than that. Just imagine the heat first searing the edge and then penetrating the meat. You definitely do not want to cook each side for more than 4 minutes in my opinion. Make sure to use tongs and don’t pierce the damn thing. 9. Now let the steak REST. For 2-3 minutes preferably in a warm oven on a hot ass plate or covered in foil.
10. If you are slicing it up, place on cutting board and SLICE ACROSS THE GRAIN. That means slice it perpendicular to the little streaks you see running across the surface of the steak.
11. Cut a round of the now hard butter and place it on top of the steak and let melt. Mmmmmm. Go get your fries.
Serve everything as HOT as you can! Realistically it will take you some tries to get this one efficient, but its f&*% rewarding when you’ve done it a couple times.

Look for more recipe ideas you can rip off as your own at www.chezjjp.com!

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My father – constantly on the lookout for new ways for me to become raving, bat-shit insane – sent me this article from Yahoo! News. It’s all about vegans who won’t stoop to sexing with meat eaters because they feel like they’re shtupping “a graveyard for animals.” While this is an interesting idea, I think it’s mostly just the sign of an over-active imagination and some pretty serious neuroses. As a reasonably squeamish vegetarian, I generally just draw the line at not making out while my partner is in the process of eating ribs.

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Sexiest Carrot Aliiiive

PETA, best known as the people responsible for whatever gory meat-making video made you turn veg for the worst 3 months of your life (ahem, jbm), turn out to also be shameless celebrity-humpers just like us!

Now, they’re asking us to vote on who is the World’s Sexiest Vegetarian!

Some interesting entries on the ballot: Chelsea Clinton, Lauren Bush (actually not surprising, but I guffawed when I first read it because I thought it said Laura Bush), Serenity (WTF? What is that?), and Princess Superstar! I like that rapping about pussies and fucking Kool Keith raw is enough to get you noticed by PETA.

For the boys, we’ve got some real winners. (I’m a little worried about Plainclothesman getting caught between X-Filing and Pearl Jamming, if you know what I mean.) I’m enjoying a fantasy of Bob Barker, Dennis Kucinich, Common, Casey Kasem, GZA, John C. Reily, Jonathan Safran Foer, JTT, Leonard Nimoy, Little Richard, Prince, and Weird Al battling it out. It’s a lot to imagine. Wow.

Weirdly enough, though it is a ‘worldwide’ contest there is a separate category for “International.” Whatever, PETA, I guess you were too busy doing extra credit in life sciences to pay attention in geography.

Last year’s winners were Prince (yess!) and Kristen Bell (What? Seriously? Is she on the WB? I mean the CW?). Shania Twain got crowned in 2001 and I like thinking about her in I Heart Huckabees telling off Jude Law. 2003 winner Josh Hartnett has a lovely story about his turn to the vag – I mean veg: “One day I was cutting up a chicken for my mom, and I hit a tumor with the knife. There was [pus] and blood all over the place. That was enough for me.”

Ew! Sick. It’s enough for me too. And did he not really say pus? I’m confused.

OK, go make your voices heard!

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Apparently John Mayer wants to be a stand-up comedian. Hm. That sounds…like a really good idea, John. A really. Good. Idea.


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