bar b que

Where there’s smoke, there’s great barbeque

I found a shrine to serious barbeque. A place that pays homage to the Southern US “Barbeque Belt.” A restaurant that upholds the sanctity and authenticity of barbeque and one that will charm even the most hardened BBQ regionalists. A place called Fatboys Southern Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.

The aroma of hickory hangs in the air, a clear indication that this establishment takes the art of grilling meat very seriously. Many a restaurant prattle on about being the best at this or that. But I do declare that these folks’ crowning glory are its Memphis-style dry rub smoked ribs. Moist, crisp and meaty. Smokey, juicy and gnaw-able. Succulent and quite pleasingly finger-licking tasty. The dry rub of paprika, black pepper, cayenne and brown sugar create complex flavours. The wood burning oven allows the smoke to penetrate the tender meat and gives them that faint taste of caramel and hickory. Sublime. These ribs are bound for stardom. While idyllic on their own, you can also slather them with some of Fatboys’ homemade sauces: Memphis Mustard, Tennessee Sweet or Hillbilly Heat.

If you don’t fancy ribs there are plenty of other offerings to be had. Carolina catfish, Memphis BBQ spaghetti, beef brisket, a smoked burger, a pulled-pork sandwich, the “American Thanksgiving” platter and some smoked bacon mac’n cheese, to name but a few.

Traditionalists may rankle at the thought of real authentic BBQ in the nation’s capital, but they would be wise not to dismiss Fatboy’s dedication to celebrating the art of barbeque in all its glory. As their website states, the “Snow Belt unites with the BBQ Belt, which is why all 13 Southern states flags fly proudly outside Fatboys Southern Smokehouse.” I would go so far as to say that they are not only upholding the BBQ heritage of the South, they are building their own BBQ legacy north of the border with great success!

Why you should always spiral-cut your wiener (a.k.a BBQ #6)

I have a buddy that’s the coolest guy around. He’s also hilarious and extra kind. He and his wife both. And my buddy just happens to be a pro with the BBQ. You see, he owns a Weber so you know he’s serious. I am lucky enough to score an invite now and again to partake in his grilling extravaganzas. Yes, I am blessed.

Quite originally, he spiral-cuts the hot dogs. You heard me. Check out this video. The spiral-cut improves the wiener-eating experience by increasing the surface area of the frankfurter, thus resulting in a better grilled wiener and an extra tasty hot dog.

My hands are a bit shaky so the image below appears blurry. But there’s no mistaking that the hot dog was delicious.

The burgers looked like steaks on the grill and were juicy and delectable. The salad and the corn was just the right touch to finish off this meal. My friends really take care of me when I come over. I was stuffed. Oh, and if you haven’t already noticed, I like ketchup.

It’s late September and this might be the end of BBQ season for me. Unless I get a few more invites. Here’s hoping!

"Birthday Month" – BBQ #5

My family knows how much I dig birthdays. Lucky for me they’re always willing to do it up big. This year’s celebration included gourmet burgers, salads and make your own sundaes. Sweet! My family is pretty fly. I’m a very lucky guy. Check out the party pics below.

Baseball balloon. Coolest thing ever.
Choice of drinks. And no, I didn’t go for the Skinnygirl cocktail.
Spectacular salad
Burger toppings: Guacamole, sun-dried tomatoes and aioli.
More burger toppings: Bacon, caramelized onions and mushrooms.
Burger and salad. A great combo.
“Make your own sundae” toppings
Sundae in a waffle bowl.

"Birthday Month" – BBQ #4

It’s been a long while since my last barbecue. Some pals of mine threw together the most fancy pants BBQ I have ever had the pleasure of attending. Salad, vichyssoise, steak, potatoes, fennel and my favourite pie in the world, coconut cream.

You’ll notice the absence of a shot of the vichyssoise. I’m a photography dunce. I’m working on getting better so I ask for your patience. [As an aside, if you have tips for taking better pictures with an iPhone, send them my way. I would be eternally grateful.] Suffice it to say, the vichyssoise pic didn’t turn out and I was not going to subject you to the blurry mess. Although I have to say that the salad shot ain’t bad, no?

Thank you kind friends for throwing me a beautiful birthday BBQ. I appreciate you and all of the time you put into this great meal. You guys are brilliant!

A colourful and delicious summer salad
Dinner by candlelight. Steak, potatoes, fennel and wine. Mmmm.
My favourite pie, coconut cream