Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Tailgate: Nuclear Steak Bomb

Are all sandwiches created equal? The existence of Vegemite suggests that the answer is a resounding, and disgusting, no.

Vegemite: Proving the mental illness of the entire country of Australia

The sandwich is a staple of lunches everywhere, from the PB&J in the Ghostbusters lunchbox of a child (or socially inept comic book store employee) to the corned beef sandwich at your local Irish pub. The varieties of sandwiches around the world are endless. Different meats, bread, cheeses, veggies and condiments (bacon is both a meat and a condiment) allow sandwich explorers to roam to whatever combination soothes the savage glutton. Clearly, some are much better than others. Which raises the question of how to rank them.

Made with love by a bar cook with a knife scar on his face

I am not here to tell you the perfect stack - merely to offer some help in judging. The sandwich which all others should be judged by, the tasty combo that has graced us for years (its probably in your child’s lunch box today) is the bologna and cheese on white bread. It’s simple, tasty and readily available. It's both a classic standby and the unemployed bastard's last defense against starvation (because Ramen noodles suck).

My favorite version however uses hand sliced bologna seasoned with a quality barbecue dry. You grill it, then before taking it off the grill add sliced Hoop cheddar. When it's all melted and delicious, serve it on toast with yellow mustard, barbecue and hot sauces (Texas Pete’s hot sauce works well).

Something like this, except not snagged off of Google Images in real life

Although this is one of my favorite sandwiches, it is not the world's best. Only Sandwich Nazis declare absolutes. There's always something better and more fattening around the corner. Another slightly more sophisticated interpretation of the above-described bologna sandwich follows, but use your imagination. Some say the sky is the limit. I disagree - the other piece of bread is the limit. Unless you're some open-faced eating crackpot.

Nuclear Steak Bomb

The elegant plating and dinner napkin placement suggests this may not be a Man B Que-taken picture. Hell, the existence of a napkin at all in it is pretty conclusive evidence.

1 sirloin steak
1 bell pepper sliced
1/4 onion sliced
1 can croissant dough
1 jar mushroom gravy
Worcestershire sauce
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Season and grill your steak to your desired doneness. Simplicity works best with the seasoning - Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, salt and black pepper.

2. Heat a skillet over medium, then add gravy, bell peppers, and onions

3. When steak is finished resting, slice across the grain of the meat into bite-sized pieces.

4. Put steak chunks into skillet until gravy is thick.

5. Roll out croissant dough, making sure no seams break. Pour gravy steak mix into the center of the dough. Wrap dough around the mixture and bake following the instructions from the can.

Who said a croissant couldn't be manly?

- Dirt Man

Monday, October 26, 2009

Manly Mixtape Monday: Black Monday

So I showed up to work today, already hating life, because who really wants to work on a Monday - or any day of the week for that matter? Anyway, some really clever guy at work looks at what I'm wearing and, because I was wearing a black shirt and slacks, says, "I wonder what your favorite color is, heh heh." I then put my fist through his throat and said, (please read this aloud in your best Schwarzenegger voice) "I'm sorry, I can't hear you. Can you repeat that? I guess you can't!" as the blood gushed all over my arm and onto the floor.

That hand is going straight for your throat!

Ok, so I didn't rip through his throat. But I did get to thinking and realized two things:
1. Most things I can't live without are black: my clothes, my heart
2. Some of the best music is put out by bands with "black" in their name

I won't share my clothes or heart, but I will share some of my favorite bands with "black" in their name.

Black Sabbath-"N.I.B."

That is either a fat lady or the lead singer of Fall Out Boy. Oh, wait, nope. It really IS Ozzy. Anyways, one of the best Black Sabbath songs.

The Black Halos-"Darkest Corners"

Theses guys are so cool that I can't even tell they're Canadian.

The Black Keys-"10 AM Automatic"

These two guys put out more awesome noise in one song than most countries do all year. (awkward silence) This song is awesome and the video has old people in it, how cool is that?

Big Black-"Kerosene"

LIVE AT CBGB!!! How awesome is that? Too bad the place is gone. Never fear, you can go to any Target or Hot Topic and your very own CBGB shirt to impress your friends!

Black Mountain-"Don't Run Our Hearts Around"

This is the second Canadian band on this Mix Tape. What gives? This is a band that everyone should know about. Seek them out, go, go now! (This video could pass for a commercial for the tasty and guaranteed to make you 10 times more awesome, American Spirit cigarettes.)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-"Whatever Happened to "

BRMC can be hit or miss overall, but this song is fucking awesome! I always have these weird dreams of being in NYC at some fashion fight between these guys and Interpol.

Note to all: I left out Black Flag because I could not find any videos of them without Henry Rollins and I cannot stand that guy. Now HE should be punched in the throat!

-The Godfather

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cooking with Booze: Steamed Hams

What's a blog without pop culture referencing?

There are those in our fair city that live without the luxury of a deck or porch. While this is not a lifestyle choice of which I approve (I'm wagging my finger in a fatherly way right now), this should not deprive them of their right to ridiculously delicious burgers. So fear not, intrepid shut-ins, I've found a way for you to turn your stovetop into a steam-billowing short order diner line.

Oh, and if the whole "Steamed Hams" reference is throwing you, I suggest you click here and join the rest of us. Frankly, I'm surprised it took us this long to shoehorn in a Simpsons reference.

Cartoons aside, I'd also read a story from Gourmet editor Sara Moulton about her first job cooking, where they took a burger covered with mushrooms, onions, and cheese and steamed it with beer. I didn't have a griddle and a big-ass metal bowl, but I did have a skillet and more than enough beer to do the job.

The Setup

(Makes 2 burgers - double it for 4. Yay, math!)

- 1/2 lb ground chuck
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Coarse-grained salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 c diced white onion
- 4 sliced mushrooms (Whatever kind you'd like. I bought a pack of Essex Kent mushrooms. They were on sale.)
- 1 jalapeno, quartered and diced
- 8 olives, diced
- 1/4 c grated white cheddar
- 1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 c dark ale (I used Half Acre's Over Ale)
- 2 buns, toasted or steamed


1. Combine the ground chuck, mustard, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and black pepper.

2. Divide beef and form into thin 1/4 lb patties.

3. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet to medium.

4. Add onions to pan, cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

5. Raise heat to medium hi and add mushrooms. Cook another 4-5 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and glossy.

6. Season the onion/mushroom mix with salt and pepper, and remove to a bowl. Wipe out the skillet.

7. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to the skillet, heat to medium-high.

I did just one burger at a time - you know, for illustrative purposes. And because I don't own a very big skillet.

8. When oil is heated, add burgers to the skillet and cook 3 minutes.

9. Flip and cook another 2 minutes.

10. Add the toppings to burgers - onion/mushroom mix, jalepenos, and cheddar on one, and onion/mushroom, olives, and feta on the other.

11. Add beer to the skillet. Cover and steam for 3 minutes, until cheese is melted.

The beer gave its' life for deliciousness.

12. Put onto buns and enjoy your mouth-watering steamed hams.

Serve with beer

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crimes Against Food: Enough With the Damn Sliders

Feeds 1 ... unless you're hungry. Or a man.

You like hamburgers, right? You'd damn well better - about half of everything we post here is a hamburger recipe. Well, what if I offered you a burger, but instead of a big, juicy patty hanging over the edges of the bun, I told you that I'd instead pound the everliving shit out of the meat and slide it onto a dinner roll for that ever-so-delicious 80/20 bread/meat ratio? You might not think it's a great idea, but you know who does? Every damn restaurant. Everywhere. You can't throw a handful of cholesterol pills in this town without hitting a place trumpeting its' "NEW! Prime Beef Sliders!" And it's not just here in our fair city of Chicago - it's everywhere.

"Waiter? I hate to be a bother, but a bird has apparently begun building a nest on my entree."

Case in point: Washington, D.C.'s Matchbox. I go to D.C. for work a few times a year, and every time I do, people are telling me about the sliders (pictured above) - how awesome they are, how they could eat a million of them. So the last time I find myself in D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood, I hit Matchbox and order them. They come with a pile of greasy fried onions on top, just dripping fryer oil all through the white bread bun. You also get a thin slice of cheese on the burger. And that's it. So they taste like slightly beefy grease. I love greasy food, but not when grease is the only flavor. That's why when we make bacon, we eat the bacon instead of drinking what collects in the pan. But I didn't share this with the waiter, because I hate seeing hipsters cry. Their mascara runs. Yes even the men. Especially the men.

It's not that sliders aren't a delicious food concept. But the execution almost always sucks. It's a pinch of ground beef smashed on a griddle and thrown onto a roll, maybe with a slice of unmelted, somewhat plasticized cheese. Fucking hooray - nothing better than paying $9 for the taste of unseasoned ground beef, bread, and Sysco cheese. Or alternately, "sliders" made of crock-pot BBQ pork, dry shredded chicken, or whatever else they've lot laying around. So maybe the super-expensive high end shit would be better?

"Only $60? Why, that's a bargain! ... Why the sudden urge to cut my own wrists?"

Fuck no, it's not better. Some of your fancier-pants restaurants have decided to put Kobe sliders (or comparable American-raised Wagyu) on the menu. This is actually a much, much worse idea. Kobe beef, depending on the quality and market, costs between $16-30 PER MOTHERFUCKING OUNCE! They're taking the most expensive beef in the world, pushing it through a meat grinder, overcooking it, and slapping it on a brioche bun. Meat like that is meant to be eaten as a rare, in steak form. You don't want a rare slider - ergo, you don't want Kobe sliders. Ever. It is a terrible, terrible idea.

There are easy ways to make excellent, inexpensive sliders that have actual flavor. We will share this knowledge with you later this week, as ranting has left little room for recipes. But until then, let's all rack our collective brains to try and find out what evil douchebag is responsible for this regrettable fad.

Well, that didn't take long

- J.B. Mays

Manly Mixtape Monday: Embarrassing AWESOME Karaoke Mix

Manly Mixtape Monday is a six-pack of songs on a theme. It will rock your face weekly.

Umm ... what?

No matter what walk of life you come from, karaoke is the great uniter. Pour enough alcohol into anyone, and they take on the awesome karaoke ethos of the Japanese businessman. Or Huey Lewis in Duets. Or this guy on any given whiskey night. Part of the enjoyment is the ability to not only enjoy cheesy '80s hits, but scream those very hits at the top of your lungs. And if you don't agree with me, you're some sort of robot. Or Nazi. Or Nazi-bot. And I'm coming for you soon, Nazi-bot. Let's check out 6 of the songs I personally enjoy rocking. I'll leave out Rick Astley, because honestly, I believe the Internet has had enough of that business.

Huey Lewis and the News - "The Power of Love"

No matter where you're enjoying a night of drunken karaoke, every single person present will have seen Back to the Future. Hence they will not only know, but madly adore this song. You knock it out of the park, and you're the Hero of the Drunks. You'll probably never win the Pulitzer, so I'd say that's an achievement to shoot for.

Kenny Rogers - "The Gambler"

Before he started getting so much plastic surgery that he looks like a poorly-aging woman, Kenny Rogers pumped out some true classics. Its' legacy has lasted longer than the man's chicken franchise. "The Gambler" is literally better than fried chicken.

Big Country - "In a Big Country"

Perfect for a karaoke evening. Where else, in your life, will you ever be able to utter the phrase "I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert, but I can look and breathe and see the sun in winter-time" without derision, much less belt that shit to a roomful of people full of '80s nostalgia.

The Spinners - "Rubberband Man"

As a red-bearded Irish guy, I'm clearly the best choice to sing a Motown classic. Which is good, because this song rocks. Now if I could only get the Mai Tai stains out of my powder-blue tuxedo.

Toto - "Africa"

The mere opening bars of this will cause all assembled to snap to attention. With that refrain, it's either going to be an entertaining success or a way more entertaining failure. To be attempted only by gentlemen who (a) have a bar bill surpassing the price of a 4-star dinner and (b) trained for it over a lifetime of singing Rush songs in the shower. On a side note: Ugliest band ever to hit the Top 40.

Go West - "King of Wishful Thinking"

Why Go West? Why not Go West? It's possibly the '80-est song ever. Ever.

- J.B. Mays

Monday, October 19, 2009

J.B. Mays' K.C. Brisket

Two tickets to paradise

So far as most people see it, a proponent of grilling has to choose one of two camps - charcoal or gas. The gas users say that charcoal is inconvenient and can provide inconsistent heat. The charcoal users say that gas doesn't get quite as hot and doesn't impart that distinctive charcoal aroma. Meanwhile, the guys who cook over hardwood just laugh, take a slug of whiskey from the bottle, and call both of them pussies. And not wanting to be called such, I've always wanted to try my hand at smoking. Which brings us to today's recipe, a tangy, smoky brisket inspired largely by Mike Mills' excellent Peace, Love and BBQ.

At it's heart, the practice of grilling is about taking something ordinary and making it excellent through skill, practice, and sheer force of will. Nowhere is that more evident than with brisket. You take a tough, fat-covered cut that most meat departments don't even stock, and you turn it badass - much like Mr. Miyagi did to Daniel Russo. Except, you know, Miyagi didn't end up eating him. But if it helps you to put on some badass '80s music in hope of a montage, you go right ahead, sport.


1 beef brisket ~7 lbs.
1 c apple juice

Mustard Slather
1/4 c yellow mustard
1/4 c Dijon mustard
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c beer

1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, dried
1/3 c seasoned salt
1/3 c celery salt
1/3 c paprika
3 tbsp ancho chile powder
2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp lemon pepper
2 tsp ground sage
2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp thyme

The Setup

Sure, it says "Smoker," but it's the blackening that really convinces me

- First thing's first - if you want to smoke, you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that you're going to need an entire day. And probably half of the previous evening. If this is unacceptable, then go get yourself a chicken caesar wrap from Applebees, Sally Mae.

- For this job, you're going to need a smoker. I know that a lot of BBQ cookbooks try to throw grill-owners a bone and say that you can use indirect fire and wood chips, but that's not going to work. You most likely won't have a side door to drop in fresh coals on your kettle grill, and you don't want to be lifting the lid every time you need to add heat. Just get a smoker. You can snag one for about $65.

When starting coals, make sure you've got a friend nearby in Chuck Taylors. You know, for atmosphere.

- You're also going to need a metal bucket, or a chimney starter with a stone or metal sheet under it to keep prepared coals ready. When you're cooking low and slow, you can't be throwing on unlit coals and hope they'll catch at 230 degrees.

- Get a pair of comfortable tongs. You're going to be transferring a lot of lit coals. A lot. You don't want to end up with some sort of clawed hand, like you're a 13 year old boy 48 hours after the new Victoria's Secret catalog comes in the mail.

- Also good? Suede grilling gloves. As you may imagine, a bucket of coals is hot as fuck.

Gentlemen make sure to not giggle when saying "probe" ... more than three times.

- Keep a probe thermometer on hand to keep an eye on the smoker temperature and check the brisket when it's nearly done. Also keep a spray bottle to spritz the brisket when you have to turn it.

- The type of hardwood you use (apple, mesquite, hickory, etc.) depends on your preference, but make sure it's small enough to fit in your smoker. Unless you've got a wood shop, or are some kind of unholy urban lumberjack, you're not going to be able to split it at home.

The Night Before

1. Combine dry rub ingredients in a large bowl. If the brown sugar isn't dry, spread it out on a plate, microwave 15 seconds, break up the clumps, and repeat until dry. Sift to take out any remaining chunks.

2. Reserve ~1/2 c of the rub, storing the rest in a tightly-sealed jar for future use.

3. Whisk together mustard, vinegar, and beer until smooth. Set aside.

4. Place the brisket, fat side up, onto your cutting board. Trim the layer of fat until it's 1/4" thick.

5. Cover brisket with mustard slather. Just use your hands. Or a pastry brush if you're French.

6. Season the brisket well on all sides with the reserved rub. Don't be stingy, or the horrified looks of your guests will forever haunt your soul.

7. Place into a plastic bag or container, and let marinate overnight, if possible.

Brisket Day

1. Get up early to start the fire. Earlier than you think you need. Resent those still warm in their beds. Consider how early is too early to begin drinking.

2. Use a chimney starter to get a batch of hardwood coals started. Place them in the smoker, along with some smaller pieces of the wood. Continue to burn coals and wood until you have a consistent heat of 230-250 degrees.

Why yes, starting a fire on a third floor wood deck is a very good idea, smartass

3. As the fire builds, take the brisket out of the refrigerator to let it come closer to room temperature.

4. Light another batch of coals in the chimney starter, and either keep them in the starter, or place them into a metal bucket. This is what you're going to use to regulate the heat.

5. Place the brisket on the grill, making sure that it's fat side up. That quarter-inch of fat is going to melt through the meat in a way that's going to make you love life.

6. Keep the temperature between 230-250 for 1 1/2 - 2 hours for each pound.

7. Give the brisket a 90 degree turn at each halfway point in the cooking process. So if you're cooking for 12 hours, turn with 6 hours left, then 3 hours left, then an hour and a half left, etc.

I wish there were a manlier word to use than "spritz." I'd consider the term "Man Spray," but that sounds even worse.

8. When you turn the brisket, spritz the top of the meat with the bottled apple juice.

9. When you think that your delicious slab of meat is done, check for an internal temperature of 185 degrees. If it's finished, wrap it in aluminum foil and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

A meal fit for a king. Also fit for Ted Nugent.

10. Slice thin and eat it. You eat the hell out of it.

- J.B. Mays

Friday, October 16, 2009

U2 and Rolling Stone: Lame Meets Bland

Which has suffered a more precipitous decline - Irish band U2 or the venerable Rolling Stone? We will attempt to find out, inspired by this laughably bad cover:

"Thank you for coming out to space! We'll get back to the music in a minute, but I'd like to take a second to talk to you about the plight of the Vornyxxians from Rigel 4. They're enslaved by debt to the Intergalactic Monetary Fund. They can't even make payments on the space interest."


Once a fairly cutting-edge band with catchy singles and deep lyrics, they've undergone a mystifying transformation into the most punchable band on the planet. Witness the facts:

- All those hit singles since 2000? Same song. You know it.

- As their song lyrics got much shallower ("Un, dos, tres, catorce!"), they countered by becoming insufferable pricks wherever possible about third world debt.

-They call for blanket forgiveness of African debts. I criticize them for not emphasizing infrastructure in developing nations.

- What's that, you say? They're just a rock band, they don't know about building roads, hospitals, and irrigation systems? THEN WHY DO THEY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIRD WORLD DEBT? I don't ask Derrek Lee for his views on pre-natal care for mothers in poverty, and I don't ask for global economic treatises from some sunglasses-wearing pop music douche.

- Their concerts feature 4 minutes of heavy-handed preaching for every 4 minutes of ... ahem ... "rock."

- Just about the one Irish thing this writer finds unlikable.

Laura Dern? Lenny Kravitz? Blues Traveler? Was this some kind of early prototype for Stuff White People Like?

Rolling Stone Magazine

Once a leading voice in the vanguard of rock music, last seen in a Muncie, Indiana, Dominick's checkout lane - right next to Cosmo's "35 Ways to Please Your Man" issue.

- Gives most everything a 3 or 4 star review.

- A notable exception to the last statement is this review of Mick Jagger's Goddess In the Doorway, which received the exceedingly rare 5-star review. How can I adequately stress how awful this album was? Oh, I know!

- You can only get a 5-star review if you're an established legend. Even if you churn out sewage like "Goddess in the Doorway." An rising star on the way to legendhood? Then you can go fuck yourself. Jay-Z's "The Blueprint"? 3.5 stars. Nirvana's "Nevermind"? 3 stars. Bob Marley's "Exodus"? Not even reviewed.

- Radiohead hasn't fared much better, averaging 3.5 stars for their entire catalog. Oh, but wait, Rolling Stone goes back every so often and re-issues reviews. And once Radiohead became one of the most popular and acclaimed bands on the planet, RS changed most of those to 5-star reviews. That's pretty much admitting that you don't know shit.

- They once ran this article, in which they accused then-president George Bush (not the Simpsons one) of being influenced by the authors of those weirdo Left Behind books and their apocalyptic vision of Christianity. They then gloss over the fact that neither of the authors had ever met Bush, and when directly questioned, Bush said that he hadn't read any of them, but had heard the books mentioned once or twice. Journalism! Really, was it that hard to find a legitimate criticism of George Bush in 2004?

- At one time featured the manic, drug-fueled writing of Hunter S. Thompson, a legend in outsider writing who remains relevant today. Now they have Chuck Klosterman, who not only writes about The Sims, but also looks like a big ol' lesbian.

"... and this is my life partner, Willow."

So who wins this matchup of the pompous and the sad? Certainly not us. I say let U2 and Rolling Stone have each other. They both deserve a little misery.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crimes Against Food: Bag o' Meat

Crimes Against Food features the greatest offenses committed against the greater eating public and the hallowed institution of food itself.

Earlier this week, I stopped into Costco for some productive meat shopping. Honestly, you wouldn't picture a concrete box the size of a Boeing hangar as the ideal place to find quality meatstuffs, but quality meat is to be had here. Lots of it. For cheap. Hilariously, you can also buy a coffin in which to bury your meat-engorged ass when you finally kick off the mortal plane, waving two middle fingers and a half-drunk Schlitz to the dreadlocked trust-fund vegans of the world.

Anyway, the brisket was beautiful, the rib racks massive, and the strip steaks perfectly marbled. This, I thought, must be the meat eater's paradise. Until I stumbled upon this abomination:

Pre-cooked? Pre-cut? Pre-seasoned? (And what is this mysterious "a seasoning," anyway?) Did they not have a pre-chewed option, as well? Or maybe you can just get a representative of the company to vomit their Arby's lunch back into your mouth for a cool $12. On top of all that, it spells out for you the fact that they had to add caramel coloring to make it look like something normal people would eat. This, my friends, is no way to eat. This is not Man B Que. In fact, let's run down the key facts.

- Pre-cooked meat
- Artificially colored
- Ready out of the bag
- Pre-seasoned
- Even the professional photo of it looks gross

A ha! It's dog food for humans! Have we fallen so far in our ability to make an enjoy a delicious meal for ourselves that we would willingly and wantonly cram bagged scrap meat down our gaping maws? Can we not wait the ten minutes it takes to season, sear, cook, and cut a piece of steak?

"Remember kids, when you eat bagged meat, you're eating communism! And possibly Type 2 Diabetes."

I say no to bagged meat, dammit! Let the Rascal scooter fatties of the world have their Bag o' Meat, and may heaven have mercy on their colons. I will continue to walk right past this cooler of depravity to both the butcher and self-respect. That's the Man B Que way.

- J.B. Mays

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Tailgate: Bacon-Cheddar Tailgate Burgers

Ed. Note: This post serves as the introduction to Man-B-Que's newest food writer, Stuart. Yet, as we all know, there is no Man-B-Que without kickass nicknames. Seeing as how Stuart made his bones as a grounds intern for the 2007 Boston Red Sox and now works as a head groundskeeper in the minor leagues, I dub him Dirt Man. Man makes his living in the dirt, and I'm feeling literal today. Feel free to call him Old Dirty Bastard, Dirt McGurt, Big Baby Jesus and all other such nicknames. So shall it be written. Man-B-Que!

What is a tailgate? Some would say that a tailgate is the part of a truck that keeps things from falling out the back.




Others, like myself, cannot deny this definition, but might also say that a tailgate is any party outside that precedes a larger event. Whether it is a group of friends reminiscing together in a parking lot before a class reunion or a lavish tent complete with a chandelier, fine wine, and homemade croissants(as witnessed in “The Grove” of The University of Mississippi).

Yes, seriously

I submit that tailgating has become the new American pastime. The tailgate can be humble and simple, but it can also be extravagant and highbrow. In travels around the NCAA, MLB, and NFL, I've noticed the best tailgates all have one thing in common - the best food. Tailgate food is most often charred to perfection over open flame. People seem to be cooking up anything of the right size to be placed on the grill. Some of the grilled delicacies that I have seen at tailgates include everything from generic burgers and hotdogs, to full-on slow cooked Bar-B-Que, to any assortment of vegetables, jalapeƱos stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon, shrimp in a sweet spicy mustard base sauce, marinated gator tail, and fresh venison roast.

Anything you can think to grill and serve as tailgate fair probably already has been or soon will be. My advice is to join in and grill with some friends before any event - not just concerts and sporting events, but also academic competitions, municipal board re-zoning hearings, and the funerals of one's enemies. Here is my favorite burger recipe to get you started:

Dirt Man's Tailgate Burgers

4 lb. ground chuck

4 andouille sausages, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 Vidalia onion, diced

Worcestershire sauce

Grilling seasoning (recommended: Montreal's Grilling Seasoning)

1/2 c brown sugar

1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce

8 good hamburger buns (none of this $0.99 store brand shit - you'll end up with two handfuls of mushy bread and condiments)


About 4 c sliced mushrooms, sauteed ahead of time

16 slices smoked bacon, cooked ahead of time

8 thick slices smoked cheddar


1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

2. Combine diced sausage, pepper, and onion. Sweat mixture in large skillet add a quarter cup of Worcestershire sauce 8 tablespoons of grilling seasoning, and brown sugar cook until thick and combined. Let the mixture cool and combine with ground chuck. Shape into patties.

3. Place burgers on the grill. Brush the burgers with your favorite barbecue sauce as they cook.

4. Once they are almost cooked to your desired degree of doneness, divide the following toppings over the burgers: the sauteed mushrooms, 2 slices of bacon, and 1 slice of cheese, in that order. Cook just until cheese is melted and toppings are heated through.

5. Now shove into face. Repeat.

Grilling Ms. Piggy!

Tom "Death Chef" Rubeo finally makes it out to the Man B Que and shares one of his delicious pork recipes. This is a perfect example of a great Man B Que recipe; It's pretty simple but the taste will knock your socks off!

Go ahead and make it. Impress your friends. (Even though they don't really like you...JK)

Brined Pork Chops:

2 cups Apple Juice or Cider
2 cups Water
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons Sugar

2 3/4" or 1" thick Pork Chops (Loin or Rib)

Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat, dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Cool the water down and then add the apple juice, and the pork chops. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
Grill over high heat about 5 min per side to desired temperature, make sure to watch the chops closely, meat that has been brined tends to cook quickly.

Chipotle Beer Can Chicken

AJ, aka "Meat Coffin," shares his kick-ass, Chipotle Beer Can Chicken. You've never had chicken on the grill that tasted this good. If you say you have, we will call you a liar and break your toes, all of them.

1. Blend:
7oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo
juice of 4 limes
8-10 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 fresh chopped jalepeno peppers
1tbsp cumin
1 cup chopped cilantro
half a cup of chopped red onion

2. take one whole chicken (around 5 lbs), rinse and pat dry. Rub the whole chicken with some olive oil, just enough to coat it. Separate the skin from the meat by running your fingers in between the skin and meat, being careful not to tear the skin up (this helps the skin crisp up better when cooking).

3. Spread the blended marinade all over the outside of the chicken, between the skin and meat, and in the cavity. Place in a Ziploc bag and marinade in fridge overnight.

4. Once coals are red hot in a chimney, spread around the outside of a Weber, leaving no coals directly in the center, under where the chicken will be placed.

5. Take chicken out and pat dry the skin.

6. Place a half empty beer can (whatever kind is good to chug half of, go cheap, it makes no difference in flavor, especially not with this marinade) in the cavity of the chicken and prop in the center of the grill like a tri-pod consisting of both legs and the can.

7. Cover grill, leaving all vents open.

8. Check every 30 min to make sure bird is cooking evenly. Meat will get done early, but fat needs to melt out of skin and will keep meat moist by basting it as it melts out. Bird will be ready to go in about 2 hours, the skin should be crispy to the point that it seems almost hard.

9. Pull the bird off and enjoy; the bones should easily pull out.

Next on the Plate: Port O'Brien & Sea Wolf

Sorry about the late notice on this one, so I'll make it quick. As soon as you're done here, just head out to Schuba's. The dual bill of Sea Wolf and Port O'Brien is well worth the $14. Hell, even just one them would be worth it, but when combined, it's set to be a pretty awesome and cheap night.

Any of Port O'Brien's songs would have fit perfectly into Twist-off's Sailor Mixtape. In fact, singer Van spends ever summer fishing on his dad's salmon boat off the coast of Alaska. During those endless, landless days, he fishes, and during the limited down time, he writes some kickass music. The utter desolation provides ample motivation and inspiration for their shanty songs.

Secondly, Sea Wolf, who could have been included on the Mixtape on name alone, play a downbeat rock. They are probably most known for their song "You are a Wolf," which was played extensively during last year's Olympic commercials.

So finish that burger, grab and umbrella, and prep for a night on the musical seas.

- Mr. Nobody

Manly Mixtape Monday: Get Shipwreck'd With Sailor Rock

The Manly Mixtape is a weekly 6-pack of songs on a theme. It will rock your face every Monday.

In our last year of grad school, J.B. Mays and myself created a rock radio show that coalesced all things awesome – rock n’ roll,, and the ridicule of annoying trends. In honor of those efforts, I give you my Mixtape Monday and first time ode to what I am coining as Sailor Rock It comes in all forms rock’d up, punk’d out, and hell, even Irish-eyed and drunk has a place in Sailor Rock. But there’s one thing that links them all together – swagger. It’s a unique swagger that conjures up pirates and insatiable living while commandeering drunken guitars, whiskey-soaked vocals and marching drum beats. Cheers, matey.


Check out Bullets & Octane “Pirates. This band walks the plank with talent and swigs heavy riffs for breakfast.

You can’t get any more Sailorish than the Gaslight Anthem’s “I Coulda Been A Contender”. These Jersey boys definitely take to the high seas with lyrical prowess and all their songs sound like they were left at sea for years.

Probably the most entertaining and enlightening on the list is Chuck Ragan’s “The Boat”. We feel for all those lost to the sea on this one.

It’s a mutiny with The Riverboat Gamblers “Rattle Me Bones”. Best live act at SXSW every year, this band of merry pirates shakes with fierceness and energy.

Like a ship in a bottle, The Bravery’s “The Ocean” sways. Like it or love it, it feels like the ocean.

We end on pure awesomeness with Murder City Devils’ “Press Gang”. Raise a fist and a fifth of Sailor Jerry rum to Manly Mixtape Mondays every Monday at Arr.

- Twist-Off Jones

Freaky-Ass Friday: Tool

You had to have known this designation was coming for Tool. As teen, and later as an adult, I came to really appreciate the intricate musicianship and dark songwriting. But really, as a pre-teen who did a lot of late-night MTV watching, there was only one thought when this particular video came on - AHHHH! BURN IT! SEND IT TO HELLLLLLLLL!

But years later, I've come to appreciate "Sober" in all it's freaky-ass claymation glory. I also use it to scare my younger cousins, because trauma is meant to be passed on. It's the right thing to do.

- J.B. Mays

Non-Crappy Covers: The '80s, Ska, and Cursing

I haven't even begun writing and this entry has already begun to make me feel old. Thoughts running through my head include "hey, remember ska's brief moment of semi-popularity?" and "hey, remember that movie BASEketball?" I might as well add "hey, remember Pogs?" while I'm at it.

But weird quarter-life crises aside, I'd like to call you all back to a simpler time. A young J.B. Mays, crumpled dollar bills in hand, was in the middle of a very tough decision - whether or not to buy his first Parental Advisory stickered CD. Finally, hands shaking, I went up to the cash register and meekly said "I'll take this." I recall being surprised that I didn't get in trouble, because young J.B. Mays was apparently something of a nancy boy. But the disc was purchased, and there began a love affair with cursing and music intertwined. That record? Reel Big Fish's "Turn the Radio Off."

This particular cover song came out after that album unexpectedly hit platinum during the aforementioned brief ska fad of the '90s. No matter how my musical tastes have evolved, I'll always have a soft spot for the band. Which, when you think about it, is how almost everyone feels about the music of the '80s. And so we combine them, and hope that it doesn't have the same world-ending effect of crossing the streams.

- J.B. Mays

Shut Up and Listen: The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!

Shut Up and Listen is a weekly feature that presents a song without comment. Wait, does this count? Okay, then. Shut Up and Listen is a weekly feature that presents a song with one comment. This one.

- Mr. Nobody

El Awesomeness: The Rise & Ascent of the Greatest Band You’ve Yet to Hear

So you’ve been waiting (as have I) for a band, a rock band, that rocks faces off at a consistent enough rate you can follow their ascent to greatness over the course of several records. For me, that time is now and it begins with hardcore punk outfit The Bronx.

Maybe, like me, you’ll get hooked by their ode to Los Angeles and early single “They Will Kill Us All (Without Mercy).”

Or maybe you’d like your punk polished like their latest - and arguably greatest - “Past Lives.”

Still not convinced? Well, if Matt Caughthran’s vocals don’t grab you by throat and guitarist Joby J. Ford’s riffs can’t get you feeling it, then let the boys throw something else at you. Welcome to "Mariachi El Bronx." Recorded with their third album, "The Bronx III," "Mariachi El Bronx" is real, raw and one of the most epic and original records of our time.

Both "Past Lives" and "Mariachi," however, go well with hot sauce.

- Twist-off Jones

Next on the Plate: Built to Spill

Next on the Plate is the Man-B-Que approved local concert of the week. Go see it.

At least this week its easy.

Seriously, just go see Built to Spill.

For those of you not in the know, let me help you get you there. Since the mid 90's BtS has ben one of the hardest-working bands in rock music. Coming out of the Pacific Northwest (Boise, Idaho, specifically) during the post grunge binge, they combined amazing musicianship with a DIY garage sound. Rough around the edges, their influences span both decades and genres. Frontman Doug Martsch's scratchy vocals echo Neil Young, while the jaunty but melodic guitar riffs recall Pavement. These superior influences, as well as others (Dinosaur Jr.), have joined together to make BtS one of the most musically diverse rock bands in recent memory. Naturally, Spill's awesomeness hasn't been lost on a slew of modern bands who can undoubtedly cite them as a major influence. Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie form only the tip of the iceberg.

Since first seeing Built To Spill 8 years ago at the Metro, I've had several more opportunities; none of which failed to impress. While the albums each have their own merit, live is where BtS thrives. Martsch's vocals soar and crack, his lyrics cut. Add in the occasional freak-out featuring massive feedback and distortion, its no wonder these guys have been playing music for nearly 2 decades. And yet, they're still getting better. No doubt they'll play from their new album, "There is No Enemy," out October 6th. But, peppered in will hopefully be personal BtS classics, Big Dipper, Stop The Show, and Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss.

Built To Spill plays this Saturday at the Vic Theater at 7:30. The aforementioned Dinosaur Jr also plays. Amazingly, tickets are still somehow available. So you should get that on that.

A close second - Grizzly Bear @ The Metro Sunday (9/27) and Monday (9/28)

- Mr. Nobody

Grease's Swimming Wit Da Fishes

The Italian Stallion, Joey Grease, shows us how to make his favorite summer seafood recipe.

"Swimming wit da Fishes"

3/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 fresh coconut

Mix orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil together. Crack open the fresh coconut. You can use the coconut juice inside if you would like, but it's not mandatory. Shave the inside of the coconut into the marinade. Recommended for chicken or fish. Add salt/pepper to taste.

Manly Mixtape Monday: Animated Rock

Manly Mixtape Monday is a six-pack of songs on a theme. It will rock your face weekly.

Unless you were raised in one of those strange no-television houses (usually also the no-Halloween houses) in the neighborhood, there's a good chance you were raised on cartoons. Ninja Turtles, Looney Toons, Ultraforce, whatever. Point is, there were as much surrogate parent as entertainment. Admit it or not, we never really let go of them - witness the insane popularity of "ironic" '80s shirts. So instead of watching those same cartoons all the time - an activity that ranks up there in creepiness with owning a clown suit - I find it's better to combine them with excellent music.

And so, after that long-winded intro, we have our theme: cartoon music videos. Sit back and enjoy, preferably with some Lucky Charms.

The White Stripes - "Fell In Love With a Girl"

I cannot imagine the amount of work that went into this video. It only runs 1:53, yet I'm pretty sure there's a Lego enthusiast with crippling carpal tunnel who can attest to exactly how long the shooting took.

Madvillain - "All Caps"

I'm not a huge hip hop fan, but I am an enormous fan of MF Doom. He wears a metal Dr. Doom mask, raps in thick, consonant-heavy verses, and projects the supervillain vibe pretty well. I'd say he's my favorite rapper/supervillain. This video finds him acting awesome in the pages of a comic book. This is something I can certainly get behind.

Junior Senior - "Move Your Feet"

Atari and a hyperactive song built over a Michael Jackson-sounding chorus? The 8-year old in me is rejoicing. The 8 year old in Clay Aiken's basement remains terrified.

J Dilla - "Nothing Like This"

Atmospheric, semi-hip hop music like the kind J Dilla makes leaves me at a loss for words. Which is just fucking fantastic in a written medium like this one. I find it hard to explain what's so appealing about the song, but perhaps the video can put it across more tangibly.

Ok, so I just re-watched it, and now I can figure out the appeal. GIANT KILLER ICE CREAM CONE!

Dire Straits - "Money for Nothing"

A lot of great videos have come and gone since its day, but "Money For Nothing" is still one of the top 5 most recognizable videos ever made. And while Dire Straits may be the stuff of '80s Trivial Pursuit questions, frontman Mark Knopfler has reinvented his career as sort of a gruff singer/songwriter type. And he plays a hell of a guitar. This video was, I'm guessing, state of the art at the time. I'm fairly certain that these days, you can buy fart machines with more computing power.

Gorillaz - "Clint Eastwood"

I'll have to admit, I was not a fan of this song, or this band, the first time I heard it. Or the fifth. Or the tenth. In fact, the punishing grind of radio rotation almost ruined it for me, until I happened to come across the weirdly captivating video at 2 in the morning on MTV2, or MTV3, or MTV7, or whoever was still playing videos at that point. After watching kung-fu zombie gorillas, I began to enjoy it. I mean, I'm not made of stone.

- J.B. Mays

Freaky-Ass Friday: A Duo of Rammstein

This week's selection for this Friday feature that I can't seem to come up for a name with joins two thing people are afraid of - heavy metal and Ze Germans.

I first heard of German metal band Rammstein in my younger days, when MTV not only played music videos, but played music videos by German metal bands whose on-stage antics had led to indecency charges.

Read that link. The whole thing. I'll wait.

Okay, now you have an idea how Rammstein altered my perception not just of metal, but of an entire country. Even after years of learning to enjoy jazz, latin music, hip hop, etc., I still think Rammstein's bombastic metal kicks ass. Here, for your enjoyment, is "Du Hast," the video that introduced me to the band:

Clearly an homage to Reservoir Dogs going on there. But that's not really the freaky-ass part. Oh, it's freaky, don't get me wrong. But you know what's just a little bit more batshit? Taking everything you've just learned above and placing it in the Sprongebob motif:

I have no idea who is simultaneously a fan of both Spongebob and German metal to the point where he/she tries to smash the two together in the manner of making your Ghostbusters action figures fight the GI Joes. I just know that I'm not sure I want to meet this individual.

- J.B. Mays

Non-Crappy Covers: The Manliest Sting Song You'll Hear All Day

This is a cover of "Message in a Bottle" by the Police. Now, we can argue the merits of the Police against the face that Sting turned into a huuuuuge douche. But let's save that for another time. For now, let's see what happens when you take a former English schoolteacher's songwriting effort and put it into the hands of a band who has a song featuring the line "Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast." For your enjoyment, viking-looking metal men covering a Sting song:

I know it's a user-made YouTube video, and that those are the artistic equivalent of Japanese tentacle rape comics, but there aren't many hardcore heavy metal videos around these days. They started to disappear around the time that the MTV network spontaneously grew ovaries. But you don't need a professionally made video to rock. All you need is a beer and a fist to pump in the air. And possibly a sweet White Zombie t-shirt. But that is all.

Shut Up and Listen: Mos Def, "Sex, Love & Money"

Shut Up and Listen is a weekly feature that presents a song without comment. Wait, does this count? Okay, then. Shut Up and Listen is a weekly feature that presents a song with one comment. This one.

- Mr. Nobody

Kanye West: New Vehicle For Alien Communiques

Sure, our Facebook walls were inundated with Kanye reproach, and surely our phones' buzzed with Twitter updates condemning someone we'll never meet. But amid all the hubbub of Kanye's most recent cultural offense lies something much deeper...

The most convincing proof of intelligent life outside this planet: the crop circles miraculously and meticulously placed atop of Mr. West's head.

Kanye West: "Make me look like this, SuperCuts!"

Who put them there? How did they get there? What do they mean? Why was he chosen?

Only in time can we hopefully understand these and many more questions posed by this phenomenon.

In the meantime, keep buying his albums, dancing at the club, and feigning indignation. I know I'll be right there with you.

- Mr. Nobody

Attorney's Delight

This recipe was originally passed down to me by my friend Kenneth, who happens to be a lawyer. Hence, "The Attorney's Delight"

Jumbo, uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp (As many as you wanna scarf down)
Thick sliced bacon (Half a slice of bacon per shrimp)
Olive oil or melted butter (Man B Que men prefer butter because....we do!)
Maple syrup

1. Lightly brush olive oil or butter onto both sides of the shrimp
2. Wrap the shrimp in half a slice of bacon and place on a pre-soaked skewer. (Soak skewers in water for about half hour before using so they don't catch fire while on the grill)
3. Place shrimp on the outside of the the grill (charcoal grills work best, if using gas place them on the top rack, if you don't have a rack, just make sure they aren't directly over the flame.)
4. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill (high heat, low flame) for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.
5. Brush on a light layer of maple syrup to both sides and place on the grill for an extra 30 seconds

Man B Que: Swayze Crayze

This evening, the Man B Crew learned that esteemed actor Patrick Swayze died. While we've never seen Dirty Dancing, we have seen Road House and Black Dog and feel that those movies are manlier than any 18 movies put together (Stallone, Segal, and Norris films excluded).

I believe YouTube commenter SAGEBOT500 says it best: "He's throwing guys out of the Double Deuce in Heaven now."

- J.B. Mays

Nightmare Grills Bambi

OK, here is Andy "Nightmare from the North" Bruss's famous Grilled Bambi recipe:

Generously season venison tederloins rubbed in olive oil with blend of salt, garlic powder and fresh ground pepper. The ratios of seasoning and what seasoning you choose don't matter much at all...grilling these backstraps is the most important part.

The end goal is a nice browned crush with a cool red center. Place the backstraps on a very hot grill. You should hear them sizzle. In 2-3 minutes (or as soon as a brown crush has formed) flip the back straps. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until the center reads 110F (cool red center).

Manly Mixtape Monday: The Devil Made Me Do It

The Manly Mixtape is a weekly 6-pack of songs on a theme. It will rock your face every Monday. This week's sees the debut of Mr. Nobody.

Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer

Ignore the friendly strum pattern and upbeat chord progressions and you'll discover a brutal murderer. The trail of dead following the singer numbers somewhere around 5 or 6 (I lose track); in other words, if you turn Black River Killer into a drinking game, you'd only need 2 listens to get good and drunk. That’s more kills per minute than Pulp Fiction had swears per minute. Fuck. That's a lot of killing, and a lot of shots. The cameo by Fred Willard as a talk show host is pretty key as well. Check out his Blago-inspired hair.

Dead Heart Bloom – Sodom

I'm not sure who made this video (or why), but that’s not the important part. With a wandering bass line, accented drum beat, and a soaring string arrangement, it’s obvious that this song has been expertly crafted. But the lyrics – harkening back to Sodom, complete with imagery of whores, writhing, and turning into a pillar of salt – add another layer of complexity. Pepper in some reversed vocals and you've got a song that's just asking for a Parental Advisory sticker.

Ben Folds Five - Satan is My Master

Most people are already familiar with “Brick,” the band’s awful abortion tale, but that’s not what we’re going with. “Satan is My Master” is a little-known live track released on their b-sides album "Naked Baby Photos." Short, but hardly sweet, it lets everyone know where this next-gen Elton John places his allegiances. Though, to be fair, if I got free Metallica records out of the deal, I doubt I'd complain much. It just better not be anything post-Load. Stupid Lars. Actually, never-mind – it’s looking like a pretty raw deal. At least “Satan is My Master” is a cool song.

Pine Box Boys - I Kept Her Heart

We've all done it, right? Married a 15 year old girl whom you traded for a horse? Then, after years of loveless marriage, took her into the woods out back and brutally murdered her? Finally, you dragged her lifeless body into the local flour mill and ground her bones into a fine powder, right? But, as a memento, you kept her heart. Right? We've all been there.


Cold War Kids - We Used to Vacation

Yum, gin. Normally, a dry martini and a couple of blue cheese olives would be a great way to end the day. Add in a car and a helpless family along for the ride and suddenly you've got a recipe for disaster. Yet despite his promises to his wife and children, the lead singer just can't seem to shake the addiction. That lovely self justification of "Still things could be much worse/natural disasters on the evening news" provides just enough excuse for another drink and another broken promise.

Fiona Apple - Criminal

Click here to see the video. Ms. Apple apparently dislikes embeddable videos.

Fortunately for me, the inimitable J.B. Mays already crossed the gender line when he introduced Brody Dalle of The Distillers the other week. Fortunately for everyone else, that means we can use Fiona Apple's awesomely dirty “Criminal” in this week's Mixtape. After this video, I know I certainly wouldn't mind being Ms. Apple's rueful transgression. Although the fact that she might write a song comparing my manhood to a shriveled up roll of dimes makes me have second thoughts.

- Mr. Nobody