It’s so brilliant, I can’t believe they don’t sell it on every street corner in the city and along every boardwalk on the beach. Allow me to introduce you to the Pork Sundae, served in a (styrofoam) pint glass. A layer of baked beans on the bottom, creamy coleslaw in the middle, a hearty heaping of pulled pork on top. With drizzled BBQ sauce playing the part of chocolate syrup, of course. Despite what you might think at first, the result is neither disgusting nor overpowering; it’s like eating a hearty, meaty stew with a fork. One might even find it analogous to a very sweet chili. And don’t worry about the cole slaw; I’m not the biggest fan myself, but the sweet crunch of the lettuce fits perfectly with the mushy beans and chewy pork. The important part is that all the ingredients are fresh, which they were at Blackwater BBQ in College Park, Orlando. But it wouldn’t be hard to whip up your own version, which would probably be a hit at any 4th of July Party. Just don’t steal my idea of opening a pork sundae stand on the beach.
Archive for Orlando
Brazilian BBQ Review: Texas de Brazil
[Locations in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada etc.]
Texas de Brazil does not hide its intent. Whether it’s the walk-in, all-glass wine cellar, the room devoted to the salad bar, or the ridiculous nomenclature formed by a brutal, half-translated collision of the world’s two most meat-centric cultures, a diner knows what they are climbing into: a hot tub full of meat. This chain represents the ultimate in indulgence, making the best type of meat there is (rare, salty, on a sword) and then letting you eat as much as you possibly can without so much as shifting in your seat. In order to cut their losses, they try and stuff the salad bar full of tasty sushi, cheese and (surprisingly) salad, but the true pro knows how to pace him- or herself. And, of course, you must avoid the $12 martinis, because, let’s face it, after a good two pounds of meat you won’t be feeling that martini even if it was 95% Patron Silver.
It occurs to me that I need to write a primer on Brazilian BBQ: how it works, why it is special among meat venues, and why it is somewhat dangerous to live close to one. But to go over the basics quickly: you get to eat as much meat as you want. The meat is delivered to you on huge skewers by masterful carvers. And there is a single price. At Texas de Brazil, it’s high: about $50 per person for dinner. But I’ve been to some very good Brazillian BBQ’s that only charged $20 or so, albeit with much more limited salad bars and slower meat turnaround.
This list was posted on Facebook. I’m adding an extra burger at the end. And I moved Houston’s up the list, because their burger just gets better and better.
1. Eagle’s Deli : Brighton, MA
Gigantic burgers filled with delicious meat. The ultimate slab of beef. It’s only 5 minutes from my house, but the burgers are so big that I can only eat there once a month. Come visit me and I will take you to carnivore heaven.
2. Houston’s : Orlando, FL (and elsewhere)
The BBQ Burger at this place is to die for. It’s slathered with sauce and enough bacon to clog an elephant’s aorta. It’s greasy in the best way: the whole thing is lightly soaked, but it’s still fun to pick it up and dive in. This is the 2nd biggest burger on the menu – and the only one that gives Eagle’s a run for the money on quantity of flavor.
3. In-n-out Burger : West Coast, USA
Any place that has “secret” items not listed on the menu gets a few extra points from me. Fortunately, this fast-food house of worship has the best secret sauce and the most tender burgers as well. Add in the unique toppings (like grilled onions) and you will quickly find burger ecstasy.
4. Dick’s Drive-in : Seattle, WA
This is what McDonald’s burger should be; for a buck fifty you get a deluxe with a tasty thin patty, shredded lettuce, and a slathering of mayo. A true bargain, since flavor is not sacrificed. I love Dick’s!
5. Shake Shack : New York, NY
The only burger I’ve bought that tastes just like my dad’s homegrilled creations. You can tell it was freshly made by the loose texture (not to mention the fact that you probably waited 45 minutes for it). The secret sauce is quite zesty, too. Bonus points for having the best veggie burger in the world (the fried mushroom-with-delcious-melted-cheese-inside burger).
6. Kincaid’s Grocery Store, Ft. Worth, Texas
[Pictured at Top of Article]
Todd, TJ & I had the pleasure of devouring these hearty, spiced burgers in Texas last fall. They tasted pleasantly sour, very heavy on the tang. And of course they were Texas-huge and came slathered in cheese & chili.
This was going to be at least a Top 7 list, but I am now too tired and hungry to continue. This space will be updated when I suddenly remember which places I forgot.
5 Guys Burgers (Orlando, FL and elsewhere)
5th Avenue Cafe (Mt. Dora, FL) http://www.5thavenuecafe.com/
More burger reviews to come!