Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Barbecue Primer in the Key of G

You can read a ton of books about barbecue and all its regional variations. But here's all you really need to know:

Thanks to Kevin Johnson of Anson for the tip.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New(ish) Blogs

Matt Bolus, who recently bought Red Sky out on Seabrook Island, has a four-month-old blog called Thyme for Food.

David Heiser, the film and restaurant critic for the George Street Observer, the College of Charleston's campus newspaper, has been blogging for a while now over at

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Garden & Gun

I've been rather impressed by the relatively-new periodical Garden & Gun, which was launched last year by the parent company of the Charleston Post & Courier newspaper. While it's not specifically food-focused, there are plenty of culinary features and sidebars, like a recipe from Donald Link of Herbsaint and Cochon restaurants in New Orleans for a Bloody Mary that includes (that's right!) pork broth. Or, a feature on mail order Southern products that includes two of my personal favorites--Anson Mills grits from Columbia and Benton's bacon from Madisonville, Tennessee.

There are some heavy hitters writing for this outfit, like Rick Bragg, Clyde Edgerton, Reynolds Price, Jack Hitt, and a guy named Jimmy Buffett, who I think also moonlights as a singer/songwriter. And there's a fine meditation by Roy Blount, Jr. on corn. Any one who quotes old Hee Haw jokes is good in my book.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fake Restaurants

By my count, there are at least two national TV commercials in which some lowbrow fast-food joint fakes having a "nice restaurant" that serves its food. First it was Hardees, with their "" bit, where they try to dupe innocent patrons into shelling out $14 for a cut-rate Hardees Thickburger. Hot on their heels, Pizza Hut pretended to serve its pasta at a white tablecloth bistro and captured diners' reactions on film.

Pizza Hut's version turns out to be even more complicated--a triple-fake-out that involves at least three different restaurant names, as explicated over at Population Statistics.

Not to be outdone by its fastfood rivals in mocking hapless consumers on air, Burger King has released as series of "Whopper Freakout" commercials where the restaurant isn't fake, but innocent patrons are lied to on camera just to catch their reaction.

But this trend isn't limited to U.S. restaurant chains. Wine writer Robin Goldstein recently staged a fake Italian restaurant in order to gull Wine Spectator into a questionable award-for-pay brouhaha.

And then Ruby Tuesday's faked blowing up a fake restaurant that they pretended they thought was a Ruby Tuesday's.

Get real, fellas.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Palmetto Pit BBQ

Moneyhun's Oink out on Clement's Ferry Road had some pretty darn good barbecue, but apparently it wasn't cutting it on the business side. After a brief closure, the spot has reopened under new management and the name "Palmetto Pit."

The basic setup remains the same, and the barbecue and sauces are a little different but still pretty good. I do miss Moneyhun's sweet onion slaw and fresh-made barbecue beans, though.

The Palmetto Pit is open just for lunch for now, and starting Sept. 15th they'll be going to an all-you-can-eat buffet approach. Let's hope they can make a go of it: Charleston can use all the good barbecue joints it can get!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

More Food History Graphs

I'm a sucker for historical food consumption data. Beyond Blueberries has a nice selection of data from the recently-updated USDA Economic Research Service's Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System.

Capsule summary: meat's up, grain's down, and fats and oils just keep on rising.

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