So I stopped by The Pitt Stop, a BBQ joint that opened awhile ago up in Bellevue that I've been meaning to try for awhile, and I really want to like it, but I just can't. I got a half-rack with the Korean sauce, and mac and cheese along with mashed red potatos for the sides. The best part of the meal were the potatos, quite tasty. The mac and cheese had very little cheese flavor, and a raw flour taste. The ribs were the biggest disappointment, the sauce had little flavor, and the ribs were badly overdone and as dry as the Griswald's Christmas turkey.
Maybe I got them on a bad day, so perhaps I'll try them again, perhaps with a more traditional sauce.
We've been doing the Meatless Monday thing for a few years now, and today, with it being cold and drizzly, I thought a nice lentil soup would hit the spot!
Super easy, all I did was saute a diced onion with some sliced carrots and celery until the onion was translucent, poured in 8 cups of vegetable stock, then followed with two cups of dry brown lentils, a drained and rinsed can of great northern beans, some tyme, salt and pepper, along with some reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms along with their strained soaking liquid, added a bay leaf, and simmered for 40 minutes until the lentils were cooked through. Added a splash of lemon juice at the end, and we enjoyed it with bread and cheese!
I've always wanted a grill/smoker, and Mrs. Froth bought me one (A Brinkmann) as an early father's day present. The Frothling and I put it together this evening. It was pretty easy to assemble, although the unit was a bit wobbly at first because we couldn't tighten any of the base/frame pieces until we attached the lower barrel half.
However, this was annoying: The unit requires 10 bolts with nuts, and they only gave me nine nuts. It couldn't have been an accident, because all the hardware came on a vacuum-sealed card, with the count of each hardware item printed on the card. The card read "nuts X 9."
I have lots of nuts in my workshop, but none fit the bolt, so I just took a bolt from the work bench that fit the nuts I had to finish the job. Imrovise, adapt, and overcome.
I'm looking forward to using it this weekend, but I have to work Saturday, and I have to cure the grille for three hours before cooking on it, so tomorrow night I'm going to load it with charcoal and initiate the curing process. I might get to cook on it Sunday.
The Frothling was staying with her Aunt Friday night, and so Mrs. Froth and I went to Mia Madre's, a little Italian restaurant just up the road from us in Avalon. Its been there a number of years, and we've been meaning to go, however a $50.00 gift certificate sealed the deal.
We made reservations for six PM, and it was good thing we did because the little place was packed! We were seated at a hightop table in the bar area, which was slightly annoying, because I don't like sitting near the bar (too much waitstaff traffic) but given the size of the place, what other options were there?
Our server bartender, Alex, is the son of the owners. Friendly and funny, he was able to attend to us despite the demands of tending bar and handling the service bar as well.
Mrs. Froth and I split the calamari appetizer. This was thankfully a sauteed calamari, rather than breaded and fried, and served in tomato sauce with peppers and onions. There was a lot of it as well, the dish could easily be dinner for one.
We each had the Caesar salad, which was standard, but not drenched in dressing, a welcome change. Homemade breadsticks with a white bean dip followed. The dip reminded me of foule, but made with white beans (obviously) instead of favas.
For the entree, I had linguini and clams in a white sauce, while Mrs. Froth had the Mediteranean Pasta. Both were outstanding! There was a huge amount of food, and we both wound up taking about half home for lunch Saturday.
I generally don't do dessert, but Mrs. Froth had the cannoli. The shell was the "normal" size, but the filling overflowed the ends, it was drizzled in chocolate sauce, and studded with mini chocolate morsels. Mrs. Froth was most pleased.
All this, including 2 glasses of wine for just $70.00! We'll be back!
Some notes, this is a CASH ONLY business. There is an ATM on site. The website can be a bit confusing, as it implies that the venue is BYOB, but that's not true. They have a full service bar (no beer) and a small wine list. You can bring your own bottle though, but only wine, for a corkage of $3.50 per person.