Posts Tagged ‘Pork’

Donna’s Birthday Supper

September 21, 2009

Tomorrow is Donna’s Birthday but many of the top end restaurants are closed on Mondays so we went out this evening to celebrate her birthday.  We took our own advice from the Best of Bucks County – Special Occasion/Anniversary Top 5 list and went to the Centerbridge Inn to celebrate Donna’s big day.  We have eaten there before, had great meals and I play poker with Chef Pete Jones and owe him money (LOL).

Cocktails at Centerbridge Inn

We started the evening with cocktails (surprize!). Donna went for the Singapore Sling and I went for the Vodka Martini. It was encouraging to see that the bartender didn’t need to look up in a book how to make this classic cocktail. He did a great job on this gin classic. My Vodka Martini was pretty straight forward but still well executed. Both drinks were great and the way to start a special meal.

Prosciutto with Melons, Peaches and Mozzarella at Centerbridge InnDonna started her meal with the Prosciutto with Melons, Peaches and Mozzarella appetizer.  The salty and thick prosciutto was a great match for the sweet melon and peaches. The fresh Mozzarella Balls were great texture contrasts for the fruit and the dense meat.  The dish was dressed by a Thick Balsamic Reduction that despite being a vinegar was thick and sweet. The main ingredients were enough but a salad of Micro Greens completed the dish.

French Onion Soup at Centerbridge InnI went for the French Onion Soup as my appetizer. Donna warned me about eating it because of the long cheese strings the soup often produces but I went it for it anyway.  What a great decision it was.  The Giant Portion was full of flavour and actually hard to get to get a spoonful of just broth. The rich soup was full of sweet Onion, Cheese and Croutons.  It was not overly salty as many onions soups I have had at other places most likely cause they used stock instead of those salty bullion cubes. It was excellent, so excellent that I brought half of it home. It didn’t make it past 30 minutes before Ryan had found it and heated it up for a snack. LOL. It was great soup and no stringy cheese on my clothes. LOL.

Caesar Salad at Centerbridge InnDonna and I decided to share a Casear Salad as our second course.  We are Caesar Salad snobs because we have made this salad so many times and we think we have the recipe down pat.  I have posted about our recipe here on the blog and other have tried it liked it too. The version at Centerbridge Inn was very good. Crisp Lettuce with a tangy Garlic Dressing. We had the option of Anchovies but we past given Donna’s sensitivity to fish. The split portion of salad was the perfect size for the second course. Refreshing and with great garlic taste.

Grilled Pork Chops at Centerbridge InnDonna went for the Grilled Pork Chops as her main course. The one giant Bone-in Pork Chop came with Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus.  The grilled pork chop was surounded by two generous pieces of Pancetta making a giant pork sandwich.  The actual chop was cooked perfectly and was thick, very moist and sweet. The asparagus was well cooked and tasty.  The potatoes were a little el-dente and could have roasted a few minutes longer for my taste but Donna like them as they were presented.

Poached Halibut with Potato Crust at Centerbridge Inn

 I went for the Grilled Halibut with Potato Crust and Wild Rice and Grilled Asparagus. The thick potato crust kept the flaky halibut flesh moist and delicate.  I love halibut but it has a very delicate flesh that carries a subtle flavour. The potato crust acted like an insulation keeping the fish protected. The wild rice was a nice change from other starches and was well cooked. Asparagus is one of my favourite veggies and the staff nailed it with a great grilling. The dish, well presented, was delicious.

So if you are looking for a great meal to celebrate a special occasion, check out Centerbridge Inn.  Make sure you ask for Chef Pete Jones and he will hook you up with a great meal.  Happy Birthday Donna.

Centre Bridge Inn on Urbanspoon 

Centerbridge Inn -Route 32, New Hope, PA 18938               215-862-2048

Oink Johnson’s Southern BBQ

July 5, 2009

Oink Johnson's BBQI recently found the Bucks County Taste blog and contacted Lynn Goldman to see if we exchanged links as we were both blogging about food here in Bucks Co. Lynn was kind enough to link back to my blog and comment on what I was doing.  She liked a few things about the blog but was quick to point out that Big Bob’s BBQ was not the Best in BucksCo. –  BBQ but rather Oink Johnson’s was. So today Donna and I jumped in the car to try out Oink’s.

Oink Johnson's BBQ MenuThanks Lynn for the tip, we liked Oink Johnson’s Southern BBQ a great deal.  The simple menu, three mains and three sides are executed with a passion for authentic BBQ.  Oink makes Ribs, Pulled Pork and Beef Brisket as mains and Green Beans & Potatoes with Ham Hocks, Baked Beans and Coleslaw. The prices are reasonable as well with a Rack of Ribs being only $20.  Donna and I got our meals for about $20 and still took home food for the boys.  Good value here.

Pulled Pork Platter at Oink Johnson'sDonna went for the Pulled Pork Platter with Miss Shelley’s Baked Beans and Sonia’s Slaw. The Pulled Pork was very good with the Homemade BBQ Sauce poured over it. The pork was sweet but still maintained a meaty pork taste even with the strong BBQ sauce.  Sonia’s Slaw is made from Jack’s Mom’s old family recipe.  It’s a cabbage only slaw that needed a bit more crunch and little less dressing.

Ribs Platter at Oink Johnson

I went for the Ribs Platter. I got a half dozen ribs covered in the Hickory BBQ Sauce. The ribs were smoked for 5 hours and had the classic smoke ring on each one. The ribs were moist, lightly smoked and sweet to taste.  They had a nice density to the texture, not the overrated fall-off-the-bone but rather enough of a texture that you need to bite into them to get the meat off the bone. My only concern was that there was some extra connective tissue that should have been cut off by the butcher or cook before I got it. Not bad but I would rather not have that if I don’t have to. Miss Shelley’s Baked Beans were very good. Donna and I both like the sweet rich taste of the beans that obviously had been baking for hours. But despite hours of baking, the actual beans maintained their shape not like the mush we had been served just down the road and at a more permanent restaurant. The Green Beans & Potato with Ham Hocks were my attempt at getting some vegetables, remember my doctor reads this too, LOL. This side had one bite-sized potato with decent green beans but a great deal of pork hocks. A nice side with all three components cooked well and blending into a savory side order that help cut the sweetness in the ribs and beans.  A good combo that I highly recommend.

Both combos come with Corn Bread that is actually very good.  A nice light bread, good corn taste, good balance of sweet and salt tastes but slightly dry and little crumbly. Actually it was the second best corn bread I have had after Derrick’s I mean Naylon’s. LOL. BTW Oink Johnson’s is open only Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s.

Sorry Lynn, I still think Big Bob’s BBQ is still number one on my Best of Bucks Co-BBQ but I think Oink’s is number two. Perhaps we can go together to both places on the same day and compare.  That would make an interesting post for both our blogs.

Read other review about Oink Johnson’s here.

Oink Johnson’s BBQ, Route 611, Pipersville, PA                 215-518-2056

Pork Wings

May 9, 2009

Earlier this week I attended a digital marketing course with a co-worker who had recently relocated to Doylestown from Mississippi.  Naturally the conversation moved to food and I asked him what food he missed since he moved north.  Being a true southern gentleman, he said he missed his mother’s and mother-in-law’s cooking the most.  I pressed further and he admitted missing BBQ. Since I lived in South Carolina and was introduced to BBQ down there I could see how he could be missing that.  I know Mississippi BBQ is different than Carolina BBQ in terms of flavours and sauces but the experiences are similar.  So when I asked where he went for BBQ around Bucks County he surprised me by describing a “real pit” BBQ  just up Route 313 beyond Dublin. He said they were only open for about four hours on Saturday so go early.

Big Bob's BBQ Pit

So when a man from Mississippi tells you where to go for BBQ, you go and today we went.  It was really worth the trip. Straight up Rt. 313 from Doylestown, past the Dublin Star Diner, past Dublin, make a left at the Wawa and take 113 for about four miles til you reach Blooming Glen Pork and Catering.  I almost don’t want to give the directions so that I can keep this to myself but once again I give some much for my craft. LOL.   The Moyer Family operates Big Bob’s BBQ Pit each Saturday but have a retail store Wednesday to Saturday that offers a complete suite of pork related products.  There is a great deal of heritage with the family owned business that started in 1856 and included a run in the famous Philadelphia Reading Market until 1997.

Big Bob's BBQ Pit MasterWe got there shortly after 12:00 and the Pit was going hot.  The staff was kind enough to let me go out back and take a photo of the actual pit and some ribs.  The pit master warned me the pit was running hot today at about 300 degrees F and not to get burned.  He was also curious as to why someone wanted to take photos of food.  I am starting to get that more often but I am enjoying it too much not just to explain the blog thing and offer a link to the site for them to read about themselves and their food.  The smoke coming from the pit along with caramelizing sauces made the trip out back worth the trip.  I think the wood burning had some apple-wood in it but could get that confirmed before  it was our turn to order.

Big Bob BBQ Pit MenuBut what to order? It all looked great and prices were decent, actually great prices considering the quality of the product being served to the patrons in the line in front of us.  Donna and I couldn’t make up our minds so we got the staff to create a sample pack for us.  A little bit of everything.  We ended up getting some pulled pork, Texas BBQ beef, half a rack of pork ribs, a pork roll sandwich and a set of pork wings.  Wait,  pork wings? Yip pork wings.

Pulled Pork at Big Bob's BBQ Pit

Big Bob’s BBQ Pit serves an excellent pulled pork that is moist and flavourful. You have the option of three different homemade sauces, Carolina (mustard -vinegar based), Old Fashion (sweet tomato) and Cajun (spicy tomato based) to go with your pulled pork.  But what are those pork wings? 

BBQ products

Come to find out they come from the pork shoulder and they were very nice.  You can see them in the bottom left of the combo food photo. Although even though they look like chicken wings they actually tasted like a BBQ ham.  The meat was so tender almost falling off the single ham bone. Very nice. Definitely a recommendation if you take the trip to Big Bob’s.

The third treat at Big Bob’s was the pork ribs.  We purchased a half a rack of the pit smoked ribs and they were the best ribs I have had since leaving South Carolina in the early 80’s.

Big Bob's BBQ RibsThis photo shows the classic smoke ring on the rib that all the BBQ shows on the Food Network point to during the judging sessions.  You should also be able to see the moisture on the inside and the bark on the outside also classic signs of a great rib.  The bark usually comes from the carmelization of a dry rub but I couldn’t get the staff to reveal the rub ingredients. The meat of the rib has a great mouth feel, not falling off the bone but rather a moist soft sweet meat.  The addition of one of the three homemade sauces make this rib a contender for best rib ever.

Big Bob’s also sells homemade corn bread to complete the BBQ experience. I have found corn bread to be dry but their freshly baked bread was flavourful and moist reminding me of the corn bread Derrick use to make and bring to our group’s summer picnics at Diane’s.  We did learn that it was Naylon that was making the corn bread so Derrick was “out-ted”.

So the combination of BBQ delights made for a great lunch myself, Donna and the boys with left overs for a snack later today.  BTW I found out that Big Bob’s BBQ Pit is open 10-4, so six hours not four but I would go early as we arrived a little after 12:00 and they were already out of half chickens. Bottom line – Great BBQ.

I think I will add a Best of Bucks – BBQ page and put Big Bob’s at the top.  If you have suggestions for other places in Bucks County or other places please use the comment link or the reply box to let me know where they are.

Blooming Glen Pork and Catering, 1248 Rt 113, Blooming Glen, PA 18911  215-257-2710