Thursday, May 30, 2013

RJ's Bob Be Que Shack

Alright so here we go! Now I know it’s been a while since the last review of a BBQ joint but were no quitters. Spring has sprung and the barbecue season has begun. The smell of grills and smokers fill the air and the Pit Crawl crew is on the move with more reviews. We have an awesome list of cue joints to check out and we picked a good one to start with. RJ’S BOB-BE-QUE SHACK!

With menu items like bbq nachos, bison empanadas, Cajun crab cakes, and our personal favorite crispy pig tails. Thin strips of pork sirloin lightly breaded and deep fried. Served with a delicious horseradish dijion mayonnaise and sriracha sauce. This is not your usual bbq joint and with an owner like Robert Palmgren it has a pit master like no other.


Robert “Bob” Palmgren wasn’t trained in the art of bbq but rather is a French-trained Certified Chef who has cooked at some of this country's best known dining establishments. Bob spent 30 years working at these places before fulfilling his life-long dream and opening RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack in 2003. This place not only has award winning smoked meats, homemade soups, and grilled fish with a French twist but it also serves breakfast. Located on the corner of Johnson Drive and Lamar Avenue this place offers a real home grown original.


We had the Crispy pig tails as a starter. Oh ya and we loved em! For dinner we had smoked chicken, brisket pulled pork spare ribs and just for fun Dennis ordered up some jalapeno sausage and Brett doubled down with brisket soup.
We all loved the brisket soup and jalapeno sausage so we owe Brett and Dennis a great deal of gratitude. We not only loved these items for their taste but we loved them for their inspiration as well. If you have read any of our older post you know we love trying new ways to make and smoke sausage. Corn husks how awesome is that!
Bob-Be-Que beans, cheesy corn bake, and fries finished up our feast.  The fries were fries, the beans were good but just beans. The true winner of the sides was the cheesy corn bake. The brisket was great and burnt ends even better. The pork was cooked just right the chicken however was sliced breast meat with little taste of smoke. Maybe because it was boneless and skinless. I would have preferred a thigh skin on. But it was the spare ribs that won our hearts. Some of the best spare ribs we've had yet. The only thing any of us had when we left RJ’s-Bob-Be-Que Shack was when we could go back again maybe for breakfast next time.






PS –If you like Bloody Mary’s and bacon they have a drink for you!


Keep on Queing!



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Father Son BBQ Time

Last year I was to judge the American Royal Jr. World Series of Barbecue. And yes you read that correctly I said Jr., A kid’s barbecue! How great is that. Well I think it’s pretty awesome anyway.  So this got me thinking; I have a ten year old who is getting into cooking. I mean at least if the recipe comes from a Star Wars or Cartoon Network Cookbook. But he is showing an interest, and with my extreme obsession of BBQ I thought it would be a good opportunity for some good old fashion farther son time. We started at the local barbecue store searching for the perfect rub. At this point you might be saying to yourself why not make a rub? Maybe you missed my boy’s age (ten) or possibly you’ve never cooked with a child before. Some short cuts are a necessity! Besides who doesn’t like to go to the barbecue store? I’m pretty sure my boy read every label to every BBQ rub in the store. For those of you that have been to the BBQ store you know can only imagination how long we spent there. It was fun though and after some time and thinking a rub was chosen (Mostly for the picture on the shaker). We chose Squeal and moved on to the market for some chicken thighs, legs and breast. While we were there we picked up some basic brine ingredients along with some corn on the cob, a premade pasta salad and fruit.

Once at home we through together the brine for the chicken parts to soak for three to four hours and began to prep the corn and fruit. For the corn we peeled back the husk without tearing them off, tore off the hair and buttered the corn then sprinkling them with salt and pepper. After the corn was salted and peppered we pulled the husk back up and covered them with foil. For the fruit we had a cantaloupe and a pineapple.  The pineapple we cut into half inch slices and the cantaloupe was cut into thick wedges. At this point we set everything aside, broke for lunch and a bit of TV.

After four hours of Adventure Time it was back to work. We took our chicken out of the brine and let it sit for a few minutes. During that time we started the grill (which was easy we were using a propane grill). Once back inside we trimmed the chicken legs, wrapped the bone in foil and Finn covered both the boneless skinless chicken breast and the legs with the rub we bought. We set a smoker box under the racks with soaked pecan chips for extra flavor and a cooking we go. We placed the chicken over the flam and the corn we wrapped in foil on the top rack.  After ½ the cooking time we turned the legs, breast and corn then went inside to get our fruit ready to grill. Yes Grill!!! When the chicken hit 170 degrees we sauced our chicken and five minutes later pulled it off the cooker. The corn was left on. I cleaned the grates and rubbed them with oil using tongs and a paper towel. The cantaloupe was place over the hottest parts of the cooking surface and the pineapple over the less hot surface area. This is because the pineapple will cook faster than the cantaloupe. After a few minutes we flipped the fruit let it go a few minutes more and off it went. The corn was last off the cooker. Everything was plated by Finn who has quite the talent for that sort of thing and dinner was served.

We had an awesome time planning, prepping, cooking and eating. I love grilling and smoking but I love my family more than anything so sharing this passion with my son was truly the greatest way to do either.