Friday, April 18, 2014

Wahlburgers Coming to Philly, Shake Shack to Baltimore

Wow, the burger craze doesn't seem to be showing signs of slowing down. (Though I'd still rather eat my own grilled burgers.)

Turns out that one day after hearing that my adopted home of Baltimore is getting a Shake Shack, my old stomping grounds of Philadelphia will be home to as many as five Wahlburgers locations. The chain has gained fame due to ownership by the Wahlberg brothers and the A&E reality show filmed at one of the MA-based locations.

I've never been to a Shake Shack or Wahlburgers? Worth the trip? Use the comments section to weigh in.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

KFC Is Bringing Back the Double Down!

According to our friends at Grub Grade, KFC will be bringing back the Double Down for a limited time starting on April 21st (just in time for me to return to THG HQ – and the nearest KFC – from our Southern vacation).

For those of you who don't remember the Double Down, it was a bun-less chicken, cheese and bacon sandwich that appeared on the menu back in 2010. In today's paleo-crazy environment I would think the Double Down would do quite well.

And, as I remarked back in 2010, I'd be happy to see the sandwich (?) take up permanent residence on the KFC menu board. As it stands, I don't think I've been back to one since the day it disappeared.

Welcome back, old friend!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tomato Braised Short Ribs for a Gross Winter Day

I've never made short ribs before but after finding a good-looking recipe in the cookbook that Chris got me for my birthday (and locating a coupon for $5 off a $25 meat purchase) I decided today – filled with grey skies and a raw, biting rain – was a good day to give it a try. (Shortly after writing this the sun came out and temps soared past 50!)

On a cost per serving the whole meal breaks down to be pretty reasonable. 5+ lbs. of bone-in short ribs ended up costing $20 after the $5 coupon and the four cans of no salt added tomato sauce ran me about $1.25.

After that, the salt, pepper, garlic, dried basil and coconut oil for browning were all things I had on hand. Same with the head of cauliflower for the mashed cauliflower to go underneath. That comes out to about $3.55 per serving for a dish that would run you about $25 at a local restaurant. We'll have plenty for two nights worth of dinner and at least one lunch.

At this point I'm browning all the beef and then adding it to the crock pot with smashed garlic, salt, pepper, basil and the sauce. Kitchen smells great and the crock pot is set to low for the next 7 hours.


Browned short ribs ready to be seasoned with salt, pepper and dried basil.


Into the crock pot and topped with 10 cloves of smashed garlic.


Add four 8 oz. cans of no salt added tomato sauce, cover and turn the crock pot on low for seven hours.


After seven hours on low I cranked it to high for an hour and ... yum!


Cheesesteak Hot Pockets May Contain Meat from "Diseased and Unsound Animals"

As if eating a Hot Pocket wasn't exciting enough.

Now comes a report that Giant food stores (Hey, I go there... see me at one later this morning!) have pulled Philly Steak & Cheese and Croissant Crust Philly Steak & Cheese varieties from their shelves.

No, the chain didn't suddenly develop a conscience or have an attack of good taste. They simply found out from the USDA that some of the meat in the items had not, you know, undergone proper inspection.

I believe the actual phrase tossed around was "diseased and unsound animals".

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Hungover Gourmet's Favorite (New) Beers of 2013

I knew taking pictures of the beers I "tasted" over the course of 2013 was a good idea!

Sure, thumbing through a digital diary of all those beers was, um, sobering and made me think "that's a lot of beer" but it also made it easy to separate out the ones I simply liked from the ones I really loved.

So without further ado, here's The Hungover Gourmet's list of Ten Favorite New Beers of 2013...

  • Ballast Point Sculpin IPA: expensive but worth it!
  • Steen Brugge Tripel Ale: a Christmas Eve treat
  • Union Craft Duckpin Pale Ale: a hoppy, canned tribute to a Baltimore pastime
  • Harpoon Summer Beer: the beer of summer 2013
  • 21st Amendment Brewery Marooned on Hog Island Stout: a perfect warm weather stout brewed with oyster shells
  • Stone Brewing 11/11/11 Vertical Epic Ale: another Christmas Eve tasting... complex and peppery
  • Troegs DreamWeaver Wheat Beer: the surprise entry on the list as wheat beers aren't usually my thing but I loved every cloudy, fruity glass
  • Sierra Nevada Beer Camp (Imperial Red Ale 2013, Sierra Nevada IPA and – my favorite camper – Belgian-Style Black IPA): I couldn't pick just one... probably dropped more $ on these than any other beer on the list
Honorable Mentions go out to: Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA, Sierra Nevada Summerfest, 21st Amendment Bitter American, Lancaster Brewing Kolsch, Victory Brewing Summer Love, Finch's Fascist Pig Ale and Just Beer Project Just IPA.

Granted, these were just my favorite new beers that I tried over the course of the year and doesn't include such old favorites as Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale, Little Yellow Pils and Old Chub Scotch Ale, Dominion Brewing Oak Barrel Stout and Flying Dog UnderDog Atlantic Lager (which would go great with the baby back ribs that are currently slow cooking in my kitchen and making my stomach growl!).

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Vaccaro's Named One of Nation's Top 50 Bakeries

When friends visit us we have a laundry list of good eats dishes and destinations we offer up... crab cakes at Faidley's or G&M, barbecue from Andy Nelson's, a trip to Mama's on the Half Shell for oysters, shrimp and beer. It all depends on the visitor and their mood.

But one place almost everybody who visits gets to try at some point is Vaccaro's in Little Italy. It's our go-to stop for eat-in or take-out desserts no matter where we're coming from and I've been known to take home a huge hunk of tiramisu to raid in the middle of the night.

And now Vaccaro's is getting some nice recognition on a national level. The Daily Meal recently named it one of the nation's 50 Best Bakeries, the only Maryland establishment to earn such an honor.

Congrats to all at Vaccaro's for this honor... perhaps a celebratory wedge of tiramisu is in order?

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

FOOD COURT: Man Gives Thanks He "Found" Those Two Diamond Rings

Most years I spend Thanksgiving Day with my wife and daughter. We watch football and the parade, cook way too much food, laugh, eat, nap, eat a little more. It's a good time had by all but I occasionally find myself thinking "maybe we should invite some people next year...", though that's usually after a few beers and a glass or five of wine.

And then I read a story like this and I go back to my old standby of mistrusting my fellow man.

Well done, Delaware ring thief.

I am, however, thinking about adding potato salad to next year's menu. Definitely not enough starch on ours.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

FOOD COURT: Mac & Cheese with a Side of Assault & Battery

It has never crossed my mind to raid boxes of mac & cheese for additional cheese packets.

I'm usually content with whatever Kraft (or insert manufacturer name here) have included in the box, though I have been known to doctor my m&c with a little shredded cheese or even some sour cream.

Maybe it's for the best that I've been content with what I'm given. Perhaps that's why I've never been repeatedly punched in the face and head for "using all of the cheese packets" like Brian Rossi.

Seems Brian's twenty-year-old son Alex desired some of the gooey golden goodness only to discover that Brian had bogarted all the processed cheese dust leaving behind open boxes containing nothing but pasta.

Naturally, Alex assaulted Brian and ended up in county jail where he was being held on $1097 bond or 1410 boxes of mac & cheese.