Saturday, September 8, 2012

Elisabeth's new blog!

My foodie friend, Elisabeth Cutshall, decided to start her own blog since she loves to cook and share the recipes.

Her first blog post involved cheese, and she has promised to cook A LOT with cheese, so you know I was all about sharing her blog!

Check it out!

Hendrick’s BBQ

Thanks to being on Sanctuaria and Diablito’s mailing list, I got an e-mail from Hendrick’s BBQ announcing their opening along with a coupon for a free appetizer. Normally I don’t try to visit restaurants right after they open due to predictably poor service, but I couldn’t resist!

Hendrick’s is located between the Ameristar and Trailhead Brewery on South Main Street in St. Charles along the portion that hasn’t been paved yet. It looks like they’re working on it now and at least you can use the parking lot behind the Country Inn Suites right next door.

The restaurant definitely has a BBQ look and feel with wood furniture and floors but a little nicer than a chain. It was a good thing my buddy asked for a four top because we would not have had enough room for all the drinks, sauces, menus, and later, dishes that we requested.

Starting off with drinks, we both tried to squint at the chalkboard over the bar for the beer list but luckily our waiter rescued us by bringing us a drink menu. That probably should have been delivered with the main menu and happy hour price menu. Hendrick’s has the popular Bud and other bottles of beer, but I appreciated the selection of local breweries represented so I chose the Perennial Saison. (Unfortunately, my waiter didn’t know what I was talking about so I had to point out the word Saison.) The beer was light and refreshing against the flavors of the BBQ sauces.

We started off with the Barby’s Hush Puppies, but we probably should have gone with the Fried Green Tomatoes or Shrimp & Grits to get something a little more interesting. To be honest, we really should have skipped the appetizer completely since we ended up ordering the largest sampler plater! The hush puppies came in a basket of six and were quite large, served with a homemade Remoulade sauce.

In order to try as many items as possible in one sitting, we split The Whole Shebang. It probably could have fed a third person and since it comes with four side dishes, maybe even a fourth. The Whole Shebang comes with a serving of all their meats: Smoked Turkey, Smoked Sausage, Smoked Pulled Pork, Smoked Brisket, and Ribs. My favorites were the turkey, because I felt it was the juiciest of all, the brisket, since the meat was so tender but a little too much on the fatty side for me, and then the ribs. (Of course I skipped the pork.)

There were two types of ribs: three bones of a St. Louis Style and then three bones of the Baby Back. The Baby Back ribs were the best because they were so meaty, although extra fatty as well. I highly recommend the ribs and you can order them “Half and Half”…some of each! But you do have to put your own sauce on.

Actually, you had to provide your own sauce for all the meat but there were four BBQ sauces at the table to try: House, St. Louis, Sweet, and Hot. The House was sweeter than the Sweet (KC style in my opinion) and the St. Louis was spicier (a strong pepper flavor) than the Hot, which really didn’t have much kick at all. The real kick came from the sausage! I even tried to drown it in the Sweet BBQ sauce but my mouth was on fire after a couple of bites and I had to dive into the cole slaw early to cool off. I would recommend saving the sausage for the end.

Each side dish is good for two people and my favorite was the Macaroni & Cheese. They used rigatoni noodles and the cheese wasn’t overwhelming by any means. The cheddar grits on the other hand, were VERY cheesy, but were a bit too temperature hot for most of the meal. I probably should have saved that for the end as well. The fried potatoes were excellent, but the cole slaw was diced so it had a strange texture and was a little sweeter than normal. But like I said before, it was definitely necessary to help cool me down at the end.

Unfortunately, we did not get to try more of the appetizers nor was there any room for dessert. I also thought it was weird that we did not get a sharp steak knife with our meal. Luckily, the meat was pretty soft so I didn’t have to work too hard, but it would have helped when cutting up the ribs.

A few other perks: Hendrick’s also serves a veggie burger and my leftovers came home in a recyclable container! Not only did the manager check on us, but the handsome bar manager AND the chef came out to speak with us. I guess this is not your typical BBQ restaurant!


Hendrick’s BBQ =

Perennial Artisan Ales =

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cheese Wheel

A good friend sent this "cheese wheel" image which suggests proper wine and cheese pairings.
I thought I would share this information, but at the same time add the disclaimer that you should eat YOUR FAVORITE CHEESE anyway.

Actually, I recommend trying a few cheeses and do a little experimenting on your own.

While the proper cheese might bring out the best flavor of the wine, you should still be eating what makes you happiest!