03 August 2013

The Lodge Sasquatch -Sierra Vista


Back in March of '13 The Lodge Sasquatch opened here in lil ole Sierra Vista. I've been there a couple times since, as well as visiting The Lodge Sasquatch in Tucson at Foothills Mall. I've been slow to review... mostly because I'm lazy, but also because of the lil one that came into our lives in April.

Back to the food! It happens to be, I'll say a manly bunch of food options, which matches the theme of the lodge aspect of the restaurant. There is burgers, steaks, chops, fried food, baked food they've got something for everyone... really.

So far I've been 4 times in the last few months, and I've had the Juicy Lucy which what cheesy fantasticness. Mushroom Swiss burger, like all the other burgers on the menu was juicy and blasted with awesome flavor. Not over powered by some seasoning that a chain restaurant forces upon it's franchisees, you can actually taste the meat, the whole reason for eating a burger right. I got the Fish Wich, which (that's a lotta witches... ya see what I did there) utilizes the Ono Fish a native hawaiian fish, lettuce and a tartar sauce, but most def not some off the shelf (or not any shelves that i've found) tartar sauce, this stuff made the sandwich...along with the fish and lettuce, oh the bread, that's what made it a sandwich. This is the one that i'd been recommended by the sister to get on, and only took me three trips to finally give in....  All of these burgers and fish sandwich i got the sweet tater fries...top notch sweet and salty. no need for dessert even!

WAIT... i've been there 5 times, how could i forget the Buffalo meatloaf that was a fantastic surprise, it came with two sides a veggie of the day(which i cant recall) and mac n cheese, which im finding in my old age that i like more and more, but am getting pickier about it, but the baked cheesy goodness with the crusty bits on top, def met muster, plus some!!

What really got me fired up to blog about it tonight, was the LSK Turkey Melt, which is Turkey pastrami, grilled onions, roasted poblano peppers (which i feel is a greatly under utilized chile) Pepperjack cheese on texas toast. This sandwich was THE BEST thing i've had so far at the Lodge. Bar none everything melded together to make this one of the best turkey sandwiches i've EVER had. I usually HATE turkey sandwiches unless they are from a  fresh carved bird, but with the roasted peppers and onions it (finally) gave a turkey sandwich some life. The cheese and Turkey pastrami blended together nicely and who doesnt love a sandwich on texas toast? (twiggy wenches that's who) Nice thing (for me) on this particular sandwich is the sandwich was nice and juicy, which led to a slightly wet sandwich which i love!! (think pleasant wed like a wet italian beef sandwich not a soggy cooler sandwich when you're on a bad picnic) 

One day i will try to conquer the Sasquatch Burger which is two half-pound burgers between two TEXAS TOAST grilled cheese sandwiches, with all the toppings. Yeah that's a knife holding that sammich together!! Im gonna whoop it!!!
Nikki P took this pic

The setting inside and outside for that matter is that of an old log cabin, wood everywhere and i love it, it's also got a nice tech vibe to it with large TVs place accordingly around the restuarant, allowing viewing of whatever sport may be on at that particular time and station. They've also got wonderful taxidermic animals on the wall which lends itself to that ol' cabin in the woods. On either side of the main room they've got a game room, with a pool table on one side and a few arcade games, and darts on the other. 

It's really a fantastic place to go chill out with some great food, drinks and comfortable wait staff. I highly recommend you seek out either of the Lodge Sasquatchs in southern AZ, i think you'll be pleased with everything they offer.


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17 November 2012

Sweet Tater bread, not sweet..... potato bread

I like cookin, it's no secret. I do use recipes, but after I have made the stock recipe, in general, they become.... guideline. They are there to tweak as I see fit. This is no different with this bread recipe.
It started out as a pumpkin bread recipe, from this book, and printed back in the day

I like old recipe books, it's fun to look back and see how some processes have changed, and how the old ways still produce great stuff. Here's the recipe. Pictures make it much easier than typing the whole thing out. :D

Basically I follow everything here, except instead of pumpkin, i use one of the big cans of sweet potatos drained. and instead of water, i swap it out for the drained sweet tater juice. So nix the water, and use the tater juice, there is no flavor in water, and the sweet tater juice is loaded with flavor, and... it's wet so it works. Like i have learned watching Alton Brown's Good Eats, over mixing batter can ruin a good "sweet bread" recipe. so dont do it, just incorporate the flour, there may be clumps, but they will work themselves out, do not use a mixer, use a wood spoon, you'll thank me later. Mix all the wet ingredients together, and separately mix together all the dry ingredients, use a whisk to combine the dry, it is quicker than a sifter...

The recipe makes two loaves which look like this before you bake it

And after, let it cool for a good 10 min in the pan, then i'll set up on a towel, and get them out of the pans, so they dont get ... mushy, yeah that's the word. then after they cool completely, i'll put em in ziploc bags to keep em fresh, usually one will go straight into the freezer, and the other one stays out on the counter, it usually doesn't last long enough to have to be put in the fridge.

Slice it up, and enjoy, your different but similar bread for the season.


10 August 2012

Smoked Salsa Grande

Last year I tried out a new pepper ...ahem.... chile... 'scuse me, CHILE in the garden. Called Santa Fe Grande. Because of it's pale yellow color, it was a very deceiving pepp....chile. I thought it would be a sweeter pepper, a milder pepper...chile, chile, CHILE!!!  boy was I wrong....sooo very wrong. These things are hotter than jales (that's jalepenos to those not in the know), and the heat sticks around. Like glue. On your lips, on your tongue, it's wonderful. It's a liar, but plenty flavorful. 

Fast forward to 2012, these things came back on their own, with a vengeance. 4 plants popped back on their own accord. and they went into full production mode. I picked one plant and not knowing what else to do with it, I figured I'd make some smoked chili powder, to spread the love of these wonderful peppers to many things.

Handy torch for startin coals

Gotta start the fire if I want some smoked pep..chiles. Don't need a big one, it's already hot w/o any fire at all. Stacked the coals i did nicely, to get a few hours of goos smoke time. all i used was 2 coals to get things goin, remember I dont need much fire since its so hot already.

NO lighter fluid!!! EVER!!

Stack the now grey hot burnin coals on top of the unlit coals with the wood, just so happened to be a hunka apple wood.  Situate the temp probe so it's under the grate. i just bent a peice of safety wire into a hook that stays permanently attached to the probe.

Temp probe hanged in position

Of course set up the grill for indirect heat. I take it one step further by putting a peice of a clay saucer over the top of the fire, to hold in the heat as it's created, and to keep it indirect. You can notice it here as the half circle on the right under the grate.

Once the fire got goin, and smoke started rollin, i threw on the  peppers..cough...hgm...chiles and had an idea, threw some maters ( also outta the garden) on to smoke  along with the chiles...happy??...very.

then we went out to dinner, nope didnt pay attention to temp, nor did i pay attention to the time they were on the smoke. almost forgot bout em, but remembered, woulda been a shame for these to waste. I went out to check and the skins on the tomatoes' skins were split open, still solid they were, but i figured that they were good and done.

We've gotta stick blender, and a wide mouth mason jar is perfect size for it to fit into, and let it do the work. Threw a few chiles in there all 4 maters, some cilantro, and basil from the garden, a good amount of fresh cracked sea salt, and coarse grind black pepper. Blended it all up, and that's all she wrote.

It's a slightly smoky, mostly spicy, nicely blended concoction of goodness, that so far has been good with chips of course, fantastic topping on my burger for dinner tonight, and I think would make a great addition to any other sauce i'd put it in.

The rest of the chiles will air dry, in the sun. The way we do it in AZ, once dry, i'll grind it up, seeds and all, fine as i can to make a nice smoky chili powder. Then i can spread the love to more of my dishes!!


02 August 2012

Buffalo Corral Barbeque

I finally was able to get to Buffalo Corral Barbeque  only a week after they opened. This can still be a trying time for a new place, but I braved the lines (and boy is there a line in this place) and we all went, the wife and her 'rents, and a couple friends and my lil'st sister. I will be back, this is no doubt, let me tell you why.

The first thing I like about the place is the atmosphere, it's got it. It feels like a down home 'que joint. It feels like a ranch house. It feels like barbeque should feel here in Arizona. Not trying to duplicate that which has been done before, however creating a pleasant welcoming atmosphere none the less.

Once I grasped the ordering system it made sense, I opted for the (2) meat + two option and chose ribs and brisket, the wife went for pulled pork under the (1) meat+two as well, the +two is your choice of 2 sides, and the number before the meat represents the different meats you choose it also comes with a drink. I had okra, and coleslaw, wifey had okra and fries.

It was packed inside, so the 7 of us decided to eat on the patio outside, which was pleasantly decorated in such a way that it felt the "outsiders" were included. The theme from inside, that comfort level, that ranch feeling was carried to the outside patio.

The ribs, were a bit skinny, but they were there. What I mean is, the flavor is there, the texture is there and the look is there. These ribs are not quite up to say "competition" par, but they are by far better than most ribs I have gotten at other 'que joints. The texture FINALLY is not a fall off the bone overdone sloppy mushy mess, there is a defining bite to them. It's tender, and there is no need to say gnaw  on the bone to get the meat off, but it doesn't slide off, it's cooked like a proper BBQ rib should be cooked.

Moving onto the brisket. Ohhh the brisket... this I have to admit, is the best RESTAURANT brisket I've had. I've had some horrible pot roast tasting (not that potroast is bad, but when I want BBQ brisket...) and I've had dry to the bone (well there is no bone in brisket...) I've also had brisket that was well overcooked, and mushy. Back to BCB's brisket. It has the texture, that I desire in a brisket, that slight tug when I pull the slice apart with my fingers, slightly elastic, before it tears apart. I appreciate that they serve the point sliced up, oh the wonderful point with it's fatty goodness full of flavor. BCB is using mesquite, and I can taste it, oh it's fantabulous!! yeah it's a word....

I snagged some of the wife's pulled pork, some of the good stuff, you know, the bark, and some of the other stuff too, and was pleased with the texture and flavor there as well. I love the fact that I can get the meats dry (no sauce) which seems foreign to some other joints... usually covering up for poorly cooked meat. The pork stood out on it's own with nice crusty bark, and deep flavorful porky goodness, which was complimented well by the more vinegary sauces.

The sides, how could I almost forget the sides, Coleslaw: spot on for what I like. Crispy, sweet, and tangy. The okra was as okra should be, slightly crispy on the outside, and ooey gooey on the inside.

Speaking of Sauces, they have 3 signature sauces. All of them are liquidy, vinegary, and full of flavor. (when I go to a 'Que joint for the first time I always try all of the sauces) I was unprepared and forgot to get the names of the sauces, but they have an original sauce that is middle of the road, as far as flavor goes, not too hot, not too sweet but very complimentary to the meats. There is a spicy rendition, that the sister and I both enjoyed, and last there is  an awesome  sweet sauce, that balances vinegar and sweet quite nicely.

My overall impression is, Buffalo Corral Barbeque is here to stay. It's a local joint with good food prepared simply, and served fresh and hot.  I will be back, and I'll bring the camera next time.

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23 N Garden Ave is where you can find it, just head towards the main gate @ Fort Huachuca on fry and you will not be able to miss it, you'll smell it and know BBQ is in the air!!!