Friday, December 28, 2007

Nathan Wells......STUD.

So tonight I was able to get away from the Joint, which is rare.....especially for a weekend night. Bo held down the fort and Martha and I went for our Christmas date night. We went to Eastland Cafe in East Nashville. My buddy Nathan Wells is the Sous Chef there. I gave him a call this afternoon to let him know we were going to try to make it out. He told me we would not be ordering off the menu, that he would cook for us. Was it good? Let me put it to you this way......in classic redneck terminology. You ever picked a grey tick off your dogs ass? You know, those big disgusting bastards about the size of a grape whose bodies are literally 40 times larger than their head? Like the one here in the picture. Well, put my face on that body.......and thats what I fell like right now. I have sinned...........committed gluttony! The food I ate tonight was nothing short of phenomenal! Absolutely stunning! I highly suggest you get over there!
We had a really strong day yesterday. Today at lunch was pretty slow because of the rain. I thought Noah might stop in for lunch when the dadgum boat went by but he didnt. I was feeling pretty depressed about what today might end up looking like.........and then tonight came along. Emily called with the sales and we posted July/August type numbers (peak season). When I got that call I ordered a second bottle of wine.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back at it......

Cant believe I'm saying this but I cant wait to get to work this morning to do some inventory! We've been closed since Saturday night for Christmas. Its been real nice but dadgum I'm itching to get to work. We had a great week last week. Saturday night was an absolute morgue. I dont think 20 people came in. Of course we were expecting that because of everyone traveling for Christmas. Even still we did over 250 orders at lunch, so that carried us. We ended up having a very, very good week. I went back on the blog and read posts from last year around this time......pretty dang funny. The good Lord really blessed us this year!!! We've seen a lot of growth. I remember last year, 45-50 orders at lunch was a good lunch. Well a year later if we dont do 100+ orders something is wrong. Its hard to believe that its been a year but it has. 2008 should be real interesting. I've got some things in the pipeline I'm planning on and I'm interested to see what happens. In the mean time......I've got to get in to do some inventory.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Peg Leg Meeting; Sol


This week has been very, very strong! Numbers, like the last two weeks are in line with our October/November sales. The slow down I expected has not really hit like I thought it would, which is a great thing. Because of when X-mas & new years fall (on a Tuesday) we'll only have 6 days of operation over the next two weeks. We'll be open Thursday-Saturday next week and new years week. After that I see us being fairly slow for the two weeks following that for folks to get back in to their routine. Last night I met up with some of my fellow Peg Leggers. Carey got a few of us together to talk about a few things. It was good to see those guys. I wasnt able to stay long because I had to get back out to Franklin to eat at Chef Jason McConnells new place, Sol. I cant encourage you enough to get your ass out there to eat......it was amazing! I cant think of one thing we had that was not incredible.....it really was awesome! Im about to head into the Joint, get things squared away and then I'm gonna head down to Bucksnort with my buddy Tracey "Mini-Don" Jarrell to shoot some quail. The picture is a shot of our Brisket Tacos.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Top of the chimney where we burn wood down to coals for the pit.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ribs


A shot of our ribs..........

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The week

This week finished really strong.......as in normal pre-holiday time numbers. We had a big day overall yesterday and that is with us having the slowest Saturday night I think we've ever had! Snow was mentioned in the forecast for last night.......if you mention that word in Tennessee you'd better get to the store and get your milk cause its gonna be gone by the afternoon. People around here act like the ice age is coming back through. I thought we'd see a little bit of a slowdown (over and above the normal holiday time slowdown) because of an article that was in the papers this week. This past Wednesday the Brentwood Journal did an article that didnt paint the town of Nolensville in a very good light. We were quoted in there a few times, it was basically what I have stated here.........business being affected by weather, peoples schedules, etc.. The article was basically saying that anyone who lives in Nolensville eats outside of Nolensville. Of course if that were totally true I'd be out of business right now. Needless to say, judging from customer comments, there were a lot of local residents come in and a few city officials who were VERY unhappy with it. We are to a point now that it wont really affect us. We have an established brand so to speak........our name and reputation for good BBQ has gotten around and it reaches outside the Nolensville city limits. Now if this article had come out a year ago, when we had been open for only 6-7 weeks, I'd be a little worried. I dont know the writer but he was just doing his job. The fact is Nolensville is a few years away from having enough dining options to keep folks in town all week. We are on the front end of the growth curve. But the writer could have made the point he made and still followed it up by listing the positives that residents have as of right now. Rio Verde serves very, very good Mexican food. Two Way next door has awesome breakfast and lunch. Martin's BBQ was listed as one of the favorite 13 restaurants (of any genre, not just bbq) in the entire metro-Nashville area by the Tennessean. There could have been a few positives listed is all I'm saying. When you invest time and emotions in to an area you want to concentrate on the positives. Its like family, yeah my uncle might have some short comings, but you dont like hearing it from someone else.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Update


Well Saturday night ended up being a lot better than I anticipated. We're still going in to the slowest time but it was a pleasant night. I'm 35 years old and I am eating Pepcid Complete like a 5th grader eating a box of grape/strawberry nerds. Every other freakin' day I've got heartburn. There could be an oil spot in your garage from your car.......dont go to Home Depot to and waste money to buy Muratic Acid. You can get it up for free by just giving me a call. I'll come over and spit on it, wait 15 minutes for it to bubble and just wipe it away. I guess its just the price you pay for eating your own product too much............2-3 Pabst Blue Ribbons on top of it dont help the matter either.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Here come the doldrums


Well its that time of year again. It happened last year and I've been wondering when it would hit this year. I think its hit. Biz always slides off this time of year (not including off premise catering for year end parties, etc..). Yesterday was the slowest friday since, well, last year about this time. It slides off for several reasons......depending on who you ask. Holidays, dark earlier, rain, mud, cold.....whatever. I think its a combination of them all, especially in a town like Nolensville. We need to survive the next 2-4 months. Oh we'll have a spike here and there, and after the holidays when folks have digested all the money they've spent on christmas presents they will get back in a routine and be back out. Its not like the world stops until spring but you see where I'm going. Its a cash flow issue.........as it always seems to be. I'm about to head out to the Joint

Monday, December 03, 2007

Update


Ladies and Gentlemen.........................Miss Reagan Boone!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Update.


Biz still going really well. We're really, really doing well during the lunch hours and weekends. Weeknights still a little slower. I'm contemplating several different options to combat that.......closing early during the weeknights until spring, kids eat free nights, rib night, frequent customer cards.....and/or a combination of it all. I feel today will be a little slower than we've seen in a while. There are a few xmas parades going on and the conference football championships are this afternoon and tonight, which means everyone will be at home or at a sports bar watching. I've added a pic of some coals........to a BBQ guy looking at those is like ol' man limpness taking Viagra.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Cooking Whole Hog.


Well it had been almost two years since I had cooked a hog and the rust showed! That is the longest by far and away I've gone without cooking at least one since I started this craft in 1990. Last year my time was consumed with opening the Joint that we did not have a BBQ back home in Mississippi and this spring and fall were the same. At any rate I freed up some time to go down with Dave Story to cook one. It felt really, really good to get back around the pit all night.....much like some wack-job artist I needed to get back to the basics of it all, and in the world of BBQ there is nothing more basic than this. It was pretty cold that night (low 30's) with a really good wind all day & all night. That has a huge effect on cooking because it becomes a fight to keep your coals/pit temp consistent. When you cook a hog you cook in the 185* - 200* range because you dont want your middlin' & loin to over cook waiting on your hams & shoulders. My pit is built really, really well. Cinder block filled with mason sand and brick lining the outside of the block. We never could get the dadgum temp consistently below 200 all night. Oh I guess we could have if we sat there for 3-4 hours removing coals here and adding them back there....but we were doing this for fun so we didnt fret over it too much. I'd say we cooked at about 225* on average for 27 hours and sure enough it was a little overcooked! I was pissed for about 2 minutes till I asked myself, "self - what did you expect....you let it roll all night @225* thinking it would back off but it didnt....so its your own dumb-ass fault". It still tasted really good but it wasnt perfect. I'll probably start cooking one every 3-4 months now just to stay on my toes.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Its coming.....


Well.......when Strieter was in town we went out to take a pic of the trailer and I left my digital camera on the back end of the trailer. About 6 inches of rain later my digital is, needless to say, dead. So I've been slow on updating the blog with no pics. At any rate.....got the pics off the camera, some more from family and a few more from Dave Story. I'll be updating a few times over the next few days on the Hog we did in Mississippi and other things going on. Some really good pics to come! This post I posted a pic of me and my boy, Wyatt on Cape Cod a few weeks ago just so I could put one up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

busy


been busier than a one legged man in an ass kickin' contest........I've got some new posts to come, specifically on cooking the hog in Mississippi, but I'm crazy with Thanksgiving Turkeys & Prime Ribs. We're getting the the busted oak barrels from Arrington Vineyards to smoke our Prime Ribs with. The barrels held the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. I wish I could put a scratch and sniff here for you to smell them......I cant wait to smell them in smoke form from the Pit. Anyway....got to get out of here to put everything on. Folks are picking their meat up after 3:00 (we close at 3:00 today). I've posted a pic of our "Redneck Taco".

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tennessee Crossroads Television Show tomorrow night


Tomorrow night the show "Tennessee Crossroads" will be airing a show they filmed on us. It starts at 7:00pm. I'll be missing the show because I'll be heading to Mississippi to cook this Hog on Friday with Dave Story, but hopefully I'll catch it on the re-run on Sunday night. If you can remember try to catch the show tomorrow night.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pig Roast




Going to God's country this weekend, Mississippi, to cook a Hog on our old pit with my buddy Dave Story. Dave has been put in charge of planning a pretty large festival of BBQ & Bourbon and I may play a role in cooking a Hog for that event as part of a class on how it is done. More on that to follow in a few months. Dave has quickly become a pretty good friend of mine and I'm really looking forward to doing this with him because he has a real, big time passion for old school BBQ...... I mean the process, the history of it, everything. He's never cooked one before so we're going home to do it. Dave works for Jim -N- Nick's BBQ and he might have a buddy or two come down that work at the Memphis location and possibly some guys from another organization to sit up with us all night. Folks from the community are coming by Saturday at lunch to eat and take meat home. I'll have pics. I included a few pics of our pit that I already have on file.

Chaddy boy


This past weekend my old buddy Chad Strieter came in town to hang out........we had a blast. We worked together at Merrill Lynch in Chicago at the Chicago Board of Trade, back in the 90's. Chad is still there. We went to the Joint on Saturday night and finished the night up at the house with our wives, some wine and a fire. Sunday we saw the Titans screw up a potential win to the Jags. Had dinner here that night......filets with more wine. Had a great time!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Rafters on & primed




Rafters are on. We primed them yesterday and today. Lord willing we should have the roof on by Tuesday. That will at least get us up and rolling. Dresch and I will do the custom work (hinge platform on back and off of firebox, limited 4ft siding, etc..) over the holidays. Things look a little "junkie" out around the old barn huh? We'll clean it up when we're all done. Biz was really good yesterday and the week has been very good, and we closed Wed. at 5:00 for Halloween. Looking forward to today.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Trailer update




I havent posted a blog with pics for a while because my camera has been on the outs.......but I got it all taken care of and here are some pics of the the catering trailer. This trailer used to be a bob-cat trailer with wood decking. As you can see we've replaced the decking with expanded iron (to reduce weight), mounted the new cooker and Dresch has put up the uprights/corners. Yesterday Dresch got the joists put on. Today after the rush I'll prime all the new iron to prevent rust. Lord willing Tuesday Greg Locke will be putting on the roof (red tin). We'll have a ways to go because there are several more custom things Dresch and I plan on doing to it, but it is now officially in operation

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Skin Cancer

Had a wad of scar tissue on my right shoulder that never would go away.......been on there for like 3 or so years. I thought it was scar tissue from some hard work (building a retainer wall and hauling the cross ties on my shoulder........not tryin' to sound like an Alpha male but I'm just sayin'). It just never would go away so I finally went to the Doc at Belle Meade Dermatology. They shaved a dadgum sample off my shoulder with a razor blade that looked like Johnny Paycheck had just got through snorting a line of coke with (may the good Lord rest his soul). At any rate it was "hot"......or malignant. They scheduled me in to take the rest of it out.......5.75" by 2.5" by 1.25" deep!!! I was like doc......should I bring the ice cream scoop from home or will you take care of that? I mean it was a freakin' hunk. Anyway it put me out of work for the day and that is not rest............but I gave in. Back to it tomorrow and looking forward to it. I'll have a bum shoulder for 3 weeks but I'll manage. Besides......Wiley "Bo" Collier is at the helm.....can you say "atten-hut"?

Rectum-fied!

Certain battle has been diverted......Apology and financial aid given for the fence gate debacle from the culprit.......everything has been rectum....ah, rectified. There will be no henge's stuffed up any ones butt by the folks at Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint.......but we still have an issue with them dropping product, i.e. meat that needs constant refrigeration in the the middle of lunch while we are at our busiest so there could be additional "colorful" stories to follow. We'll wait and see..........off to work.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Last week

Last week ended up being a really good week. The week before was slow and I think that can be attributed to the fall break. This week I see being a little slower because of all the rain we are finally getting. Its getting tiring being at the mercy of school and weather. That is the price I'm paying for being in Nolensville. Lord willing when the opportunity arises for a second location it will be somewhere close to and/or more convenient to the metro Nashville area. Dresch got the uprights on the trailer this past week, its starting to really look good. Still got a ways to go but you can really see it coming together. I found my camera over the weekend so I'll get some pics of it posted in the next day or so. The IWC rep keeps showing up for deliveries in the middle of lunch rush which makes it impossible to check in inventory. Needless to say there have been some screw ups! Last Friday night we go out to put meat on and there was no brisket. Had to drive to Murfreesboro to pick some up from Jim-n-Nick's. Thanks Z for the meat and thanks Dave getting me hooked up with Z to get out of the jam. Then the IWC rep broke the gate to the fence yesterday and promptly left without letting us know anything. I mean the whole damn gate was laying on the ground off the henge's......I guess he thought to himself:
"Oh shit, I ripped the gate off the fence......ah no worries, they got a rush going on, by the time they find out they'll never know it was me"

Like Bo & I were going to come out and say:

"Gee Bo.....the gate......it musta just fell down"

I love my customers but Friday (we get deliveries on Tuesday & Friday) when I see that dadgum IWC truck pull in I dont care if its high noon and there are 400 people in line, I'm gonna walk out there and he can either pay me for the new henge's or there could be a fight. I've saved the old henge's in case he starts hemmin' & hawin' - I'll jam those damn things up his fat ass. I'm getting mad typing about it right now....I've got to quit.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Decisions.

This week has been really pretty good so far. Over the past few days I've had a couple of folks tell me that last week was fall break for all of the schools, so that is why last week was a little slow. That has prompted me to start thinking about having winter hours and summer hours. Since Labor day our daily traffic has gone from about 50/50 (give or take a little) for lunch dinner to lunch really picking up but dinner really slowing down. I'd say dinner is only about 20% of our total sales right now and 90% of that 20% is before 6:30. Weekends have not been affected, we're killin' it on weekends just like we have been since about April. I just think that where we are folks schedules are highly affected by the schedule of their kids. The week after Labor day it was like someone flipped a switch. Its the demographic we operate around. This would not be an issue if we were in Nashville or even Franklin because of the population......the school year does not affect 75% of the population like it does in Nolensville. We are time clock punching every ticket right now and over the next couple of weeks I'll input that into an excel spreadsheet and let the data make the decision for me, but if i were to guess I'd bet we start closing at 6:30 during the week nights until say March/April and then go back to our current hours until next October. The weekends will stay the same. We're also looking at opening on Mondays for lunch since our lunch business is so strong.......we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

1 year.

Well yesterday officially marked our 1 year anniversary. That opening day/night seemed like yesterday. I remember Bo and I sitting at Cracker Barrell for breakfast opening morning wondering how many folks would show up.......20, 50.........we had no idea. Needless to say it was nothing short of bedlam! As much as we prepared we were totally unprepared for what was to come. A line to the door, 45 minute waits for food, people getting really pissed off, I didnt even have time to go out and apologize because of how backed up we were. I remember how whipped I felt when the night was over. I remember how scared I was that all those customers would never come back and give us a second chance, that they would tell all of their buddies not to eat at Martin's BBQ, that we had our head up our butt. You dont know what to do but just show up the next day and get back after it........I'm glad we did. For those of you that have kept up with the blog you know what a year its been. We're far from being "out of the woods", but being open one year puts you past certain statistics so there is a moral victory felt. That being said, we got a long way to go..........a really long way to go!

Friday, October 12, 2007

This week apparently has sucked.

Apparently sales this week has sucked. Bo just filled me on the sales and we are about $1000.00 shy of where we were last week. When folks are going to get out of their post Labor Day funk is boyond me. I know little Johnny is back in school.....but does your whole dang mid-week life quit? I mean, I got two infants and we still get out at least one night a week.

Im back

Last week my parents swung into town to stay with us for a night on their way up to New England. After we got the kids down Dad looks over at me and offers up plane tix if we (Me, Martha & the kids) would come up and meet them in Cape Cod. Now normally that would be a slam dunk but its tough for me to be away from my Joint......I am an admitted and I might say proud control freak. When I'm away from the Joint I dont ever really relax because my mind is on the Joint......so its tough to get me to go anywhere when I've got the opportunity. Im guessing my Ol' Man knew that because the next thing out of his mouth was: "Oh, we'll pick up the hotel tab too"..........making it stupid for us not to go......now there is no out! After we went back and forth about me us picking up our own tab and all that shit, I gave in. For those of you who dont know me personally you should know that I have two beautiful kids. One 23 months old and the other 7 months. Yeah so its not just the Joint that keeps me from going anywhere. Now you might be asking why on earth we have two kids so close together and my answer is that if you'd read the dang blog you would have your answer.....but for those of you that dont, do you think we really planned it that way? No......we have two beautiful unplanned children that have, I must say, been real blessings. Anyway the trip was great, but it was stressful. Im glad to be back home......about to head out to the Joint, and I'm looking forward to blogging again! It felt good to say the word "shit" up top and not have to worry about an editor!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Nashville Scene

This week the Nashville Scene published its annual "best of" awards. I was surprised and honored that we were picked by the editors as "Best new Barbecue". The scene carries a lot of weight around town, so its a big deal that we were chosen. I was surprised because being out in Nolensville you dont anticipate even being considered for things like this. Jim Ridley wrote the piece and he had some very, very kind things to say! I'm just glad he like the food well enough to consider us. The readers choice (where folks write in votes) picked Whitt's...........again............I think I'll just leave that one alone. At any rate, at least Jack's & Jim-n-Nick's (both very good Q) made the readers choice cut. Thank you Scene, its a big honor to us!

www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/Special_Issues/Best_of_Nashville/2007/10/04/Best_of_Nashville_Food_Drink/index.shtml

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Update

A lot to add, but I've had what seems like very little time to post. I WILL BE POSTING again in the next several days. The "blog" is about to get good again! I'll be posting every week a few times a week and will take the blog back to what it was when it first started....which means very little will be edited and/or held back. I started the blog for a couple of reasons; 1) I wanted a place to "vent" and keep buddies up to pace with the progress of the BBQ Joint and 2) I also wanted to give information about the process of starting something like this from scratch and take the reader through the trials because there is very little out on the web, that is REAL information, for someone wanting to start a restaurant......I'm not just talking about numbers for a business plan but day to day experiences. So I'm taking this thing back to what it was so to speak. Oh my wife will do some editing in regards to cussing and the occasional mortar shell of insults I might pull the trigger on for those special people who piss us all off on a day to day basis......which I do need. For the most part though the blog is going back to what it was, informative and pure Pat Martin entertainment.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Here.

Been a little while I know..........this is the longest I've gone without posting since the birth of this blog over a year ago. Biz was great the last week of August leading up to Labor Day. From what I hear most places see a real slide in business during the summer months because of vacations, little league, etc.. We had a really good summer, we saw a couple of weeks here and there (July 4 week being one) that were down but overall we bucked the trend. However last week (week following Labor Day) was the worst week we've had in several months, maybe the worst we've had since January. Anytime you follow a holiday like that where people sit at home and stuff themselves you'll see that happen. Lord willing we'll see this week really pick up.
Right after my last post Martha and I went to Chicago for a couple of days just to get away. Had a blast! I lived up there for a couple of stints during college and worked at the Chicago Board of Trade. I got to catch up with one of my old buddies Chad Strieter. We went out with our wives, caught a Cubs game against the Brewers, went to dinner......great time. I'm hoping to hook back up with those boys over the next few months. Strieter, Jaffe, Brooks & Dave.......warm memories of us drinking too much at bars, peeing over cars and crashing corporate parties. Love those boys.......I'm looking for Jaffe & Strieter to get down here for a Titans game this November.
This week I've been working on the catering trailer. We've been welding, priming, etc.. I'll post again in the next day or so with an update on it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Temporary Website

Yeah...........if there is one thing I have and am still kicking myself for is not uploading some sort of web presence during the past year. Its one of those things I knew I needed to get done but just never got around to having someone do it. The site that is up now is just temporary, I am having a permanent one designed right now to be ready in the next month or so. Katie "All-Star" Walker is doing all the graphic design/art and my good buddy Mike Causey is building it for me. They are both awesome at what they do and I'm thankful for the work and job they are doing for me. The spot on 104.5 started this morning, it sounded good. Some minor changes need to be made but overall is went well. Here is the site:

http://www.martinsbbqjoint.com

Saturday, August 25, 2007

update

Week has been really good and really steady! We ain't missed a beat since Marteen left. I hired another guy (Gonzalo). He's about 45, legal, and has about 20 years restaurant experience. We'll see how he hangs in there. I'm letting Bo have the day off today, so I'll be on the line tonight.........I've missed that hell and chaos.......I'm looking forward to it! Had to truck down to Chattanooga yesterday to see my bookkeeper and do my payroll quarterly taxes. My "Freudian" buddy Jim Owens wife Jennifer does them for me. Things are looking good, the business is making money and all that........but we've got to cut some costs, specifically Cost of Goods Sold. We're spending at least 10% too much here. I'm tracking all individual sales of each menu item and putting the info in to a spreadsheet. Have about 3 or so weeks worth right now, another couple of weeks or so and I'll look at that info and put it to use, such as updating the menu. Plan on nixing some a couple of things that we ain't selling much of. I'll still keep them around but only on the "specials" menu. Probably gonna raise some prices too, such as brisket to reflect rising market prices. Beef prices have really risen a lot in the past 6 months and because of certain market conditions (commodity prices, supply/demand, drought) I think they will continue to rise, at the very least hang where they are now. Plus most places around here are getting $4.50 or more for a regular sandwich and we're still asking $3.50, so we're just bringing it to where to local market is anyway. The Titans looked good last night..........is that the same Chris Brown that used to play for us?????? I mean, he doesnt even look like the same player! He's playing like a quicker Eddie George. Thank the good Lord above that Football is here! In the next few weeks or so I need to get on a Trout stream somewhere. Hell, its almost time to get those guns out of the closet and get to cleanin' them up! This is the best time of year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

2nd Pit has been ordered....sponsoring Titans 104.5 show.


Well Tuesday I pulled the trigger on another Pit. I ordered the same Pit I have now at the Joint, which is an Ole Hickory. There are weeks/days when we have been beyond capacity and it has been a real stress figuring out how to get everything cooked we need to get cooked. In regards to the restaurant we are fine. There have been a few weeks where I'm sitting there on Thursday night a little worried how I'm going to get everything cooked for the next couple of days, but generally cooking for just the Joint has not been a problem. The problem arises when the catering orders start to come in. We have done absolutely zero marketing on catering (we've really done zero marketing all together). So just the little bit we've got coming in has pushed our capacity beyond the limit. I went ahead and ordered the pit now because starting next week we will be the official sponsor of the 104.5 Titans Insider Kevin Mawae show (he's the starting center for the Titans for those of you reading this that are out of town) on Monday mornings during drive time from 7:10 - 8:00. The lead in will be something along the lines of:
"The Kevin Mawae Show sponsored by Martin's Bar-B-Que"
This is This is a great spot for us on the #1 rated radio show in the city during a prime time.......I mean every 9 to 5er in the city is on the road at that time heading in to work, and its on Mondays the day after each game. So I'm really looking for a real pick-up in catering & tailgating packages.....We'll see. More borrowed money means more stress. I had to take out an additional $15,000 loan (over 24 months) for the thing and I'm hoping that will cover it, but then again that might not cover everything I'm looking to get done. It might/could total about $20,000 when its all said and done, depending on other things I'd like to do to it. Anything over and above the loan amount I'll just pay for out of pocket. I'll be setting it up like a competition pit and/or catering trailer. Much like the Peg Leg Team Pit, I'm going to mount this thing on my old bob-cat trailer (which is almost brand new), a 20ft. trailer with a 3 well sink, prep table and double fridge. There will be a roof on it. Im hoping I can pay Dresch to do the work for me, we're supposed to meet up today. I'm hoping to have this thing built and finished in the next 3-4 weeks. I'm not all that excited about taking out the additional money to get it. I've been pretty proud at paying off what I have in this short of time. I have plenty of room in my current line of credit, but i did not want to put 15 grand back on top of what I've already paid off. Also, I am keeping the two lines of business separate so I can track each one separately. I may not be all that happy about borrowing additional money, but I'm happy about putting this thing to work for me, we just have to really step up the catering to get this big whore paid for. I'm also hoping and looking forward to this helping the team (Peg Leg Porkers) out at future bbq competitions, once we really start to get involved in those things.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Turbulence.

Well last week was a long week. Wednesday my uncle Olen died. He and I were very close so that was tough. We buried him on Saturday morning. Then about 7:45 Saturday night while taking my grandparents home I was wondering how everything was going at the Joint - not 2 minutes later Bo calls to tell me that he and Marteen got into it and Marteen quit, right in the middle of dinner rush. Let me tell you right here right now that is NOT what I wanted to hear. If for any reason just because of the wrench it throws into the wheel. I wont go into the whole problem but for right now it may be for the best. He is a great guy and has become and will remain a great friend, but I think he was getting burned out. He was starting to slip, starting to miss things. That ain't Marteen. He was clocking about 60 hours a week, which is what he wanted but I'm guessing that had something to do with it. 60 hours a week in a little kitchen will take a toll on you. So, now I'm looking at two other Mexican guys to take his place. The upside is they are both legal. The downside is they both have jobs and I dont know if I can get them or not. We're going to be o.k., I mean there was a time not too long ago that it was just Bo and I slinging it out. I've got some good part time help that can fill in and between Me, Bo, Chocho & Emily we'll be fine Lord willing. I imagine that sometime in the future Marteen and I will work together again, I hope like hell that happens. We'll stay buddies and we'll stay in touch and I'll help him anyway I can (This week we are supposed to meet with this accountant to pay his income taxes from 2006, and I plan on still helping him with that). I think that for right now though this is good for both sides. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Powers that be

You know, I'm not one to ever get "star struck" by being around celebrities. I've never understood peoples fascination with it. I mean who cares? That autograph you are getting, what are you really going to do with it? I mean, sorry if this is crude but, they wipe their butt just like you and I do. Thats one reason I have not gotten celebrities to autograph pictures to go on the wall inside the joint, because its tough for me to throw my pride to the side and "lower" myself to get their John Hancock.................-although I will admit right here right now that I will probably start to do so because for some reason it is good marketing, and if I can make a buck off their signature then yeah. All that being said I still and will never be awed by someone else's celebrity status, but the other night we were asked to cater a small party and it was pretty cool to meet some of these men. The big difference here was that I was honored, not awed by them. On Tuesday night we catered the Nashville Amateur Chefs Club, which is really just a social club for a bunch of CEO's & politicians. Specifically in attendance were all three living ex-Governors of our state, Winfield Dunn, Ned McWherter and Don Sundquist along with other CEO's, Judges, etc.. This organization has been around since 1946 and their are only 30 members. They asked me to come in to cater the meal and give a speech (yes you read that right) on the history and science of Barbecue. It was in a very small room with three tables set up for dining. We served Brisket, 1/4 chickens, pulled pork along with cornbread, baked beans and slaw. Mom baked 3 coconut cakes and 4 pecan pies. Everything went very, very well. They were all very happy and we got a ton of compliments. They all took my cards and menus and I'm hoping that in the future we'll see some additional catering come from it. They were all as nice as they could be. I've got to get to the joint but later on I'll try to post the speech if I can figure out how to do it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Last Week

Last week went very well........we only had one small catering job and still did pretty well for the week. We've got some catering jobs coming up, so that should help with the bottom line. Thats all I have to say about things right now. I am at my desk, with a second glass of wine, listening to Jimmy Buffet's "A Pirate Looks At 40". I am going to enjoy the song and then go to bed.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Citysearch.com awards

We were recently voted second in the category of "best family friendly dining" in Nashville by online voters at citysearch.com.........Pie in the Sky came in first, we came in second and Jim-N-Nicks BBQ came in 3rd. Famous Daves came in 10th. If you read this and voted, well thanks very much! I wasnt even aware that we were in a category to be voted on so this is great news! Other towns have more specific categories such as best BBQ. I guess Nashville ain't big time enough yet so we only get the broad categories.............why can't the ville' ever get any national respect?!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

So you want to open a restaurant...........


.............then make sure you get somebody to work for you that knows how to run a kitchen - that is assuming of course that you, like me, had never even been in one......I just give thanks to God above that he granted me the intelligence to know that cooking the product is not enough, you've got to have someone to logistically map out the lunch/dinner rush. Today is the one year anniversary of our hiring of Wiley "Bo" Collier. I (admittedly) had no real idea what I was doing when I decided to open this place up. All I knew was that A: I didnt have much money, B: I knew I my BBQ was good and that I could cook a little, and that C: I was starting a new career as a restaurant owner, of which statistics tell you that you are an absolute dumb-ass for choosing that field of entrepreneurship (89% of all new restaurants go under in 6 months). The thing that is so funny is that the night I hired Bo I was in a bar (the old Radio Cafe) in east Nashville on a friday night at like, 9:30 at night. Being in that place at that time is about as common as me being in Key West in a loin cloth, pump heels with Elvis glasses dancing to Elton John. To make it even more unreal is that 2 of the guys with me (Ball & Lamb) were there also. I mean, if any of you even know us slightly then you know what I'm talking about. Now I'm not by any means taking a shot at east Nashville, I love it! The point I'm making now is that being in a bar at 9:30 at night is rare for me. I'm at a stage in life where I really like a couch, T.V. and a remote control - thats a great feeling. It was just so freakin' random for us to be there! At any rate, the only reason we were there was to support Ward Boone. I had promised him I'd come hear him out. -Hell......I'm not going to go through the whole story again, if you want to read it then just scroll down this blog to 08/09/06 and read it there, but it is really incredible that the first guy I thought about hiring ended up being one of the most reliable, lovable, foxhole bastards I've ever met in my life. Bo was there in the first few months when we'd get there at 8:00 in the morning and leave at 1:30-2:00 at night. For the first 2 months it was just he and I. I could write all night long about stories from the first couple-3 months of the start of this joint. He was there last August when I was building the place out. He was the one that helped me screw, glue, saw, hang, measure, screw-up, nail, paint.........whatever it was he was there long before we opened the doors. When I wanted 76 things on the menu, it was Bo that reeled me in. When I went to pick up "Mrs. Hattie" (the pit) it was Bo who drove with me to get her. We've cussed each other in the rush, only to laugh over a beer at the end of the night. It was Bo that I almost shot outside my house with a .45 ruger one night (loaded, cocked). If I had farted that gun would have gone off. I've got a lot of buddies but there are only a few that I can really say these types of things about. I mean, this is a "Bryan Chandler" type of effort I'm talking about here.........thats saying a lot! The good Lord has really blessed us, there is so much to come and we're by no means out of the woods yet.......but Bo's commitment and work ethic has been like manna from heaven..........and how ever high this BBQ joint/pirate ship takes me in the definition of success, so shall I drag his "dread-neck" ass right up there with me. Thanks Bo-cephus.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Its late coming, but here is the Brewmasters Dinner




Sorry this is so late coming but here is the update on the brew masters dinner last Friday night. They've been having this thing at other places around town and usually only get a small meal and a choice of two beers. Can you imagine that? The brew masters dinner and you are only allowed to try two different beers? So Linus Hall, owner & brew master of Yazoo Brewery here in Nashville decided that it sucked and this year he would have it at his brewery in the courtyard area. His brewery is located in the old industrial building that manufactured Nashville only car, the Marathon Automobile Co.. Its a really cool building with tons of character. We went down on Thursday night and built a brick pit. I had a 3' by 4' steel griddle made for events like this. We cooked brisket tacos and the BBQ shrimp burritos. We had a blast and I think everyone there had a good time. Lord willing I look forward to doing it again next year!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

News Channel 4 spot.....


News Channel 4's Terry Bulger came out yesterday to do a spot on us for this mornings newscast. It was on this morning and it was pretty cool. We got quite a crush for lunch today because of it so I am very thankful for that! I am going to attempt to link it here but you know I've screwed that up in the past, so in case I screw it up again go to their website and check out the video section. Here it is:

http://www.wsmv.com/video/13797135/index.html


It was a really nice piece and Terry is a really cool guy, I'm hoping he'll come back in to share an Old Style beer with me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Brewfest.




Yeah I'm kinda going about this the back way but Bo has not sent me the pics of the Brew masters dinner yet so I am going to wait for that post until he gets them to me. The brew fest was a heck of a day. Stressful does not even describe the preparation that morning for it.........but it was a great day! We all had a blast and made some great money. We were set up next to our great buddies from Bosco's (thanks Candace). We served close to 800 people for the day. It was an awesome site to see a line 15 deep for close to 6 hours. We served pork sandwiches and wings. We had the Peg Leg pit rolling with the pork and 3 fryers rolling for the wings. There is a lot of thanks for me to pass around. First the Carey, Dave and the rest of my fellow Peg Leg teammates for letting me commandeer the pit for use. Second, Terry and Dresch came and helped out and were a "gi-motherscratchin'-gantic" help! -Talk about foxhole........I cant say enough about these two boys! Third Bo, Ball, and Victor................they were like machines! I mean, this was a very cool event that we have all gone to for the past 6 years because we all like and appreciate quality handcrafted beer..............but to work it and make some good cash doing it was a really good time. We were all worn slap out but we got it done and Lord willing next year we are doing it again we'll have a lot better handle on what to expect! We had a really good time. Since this is backwards make sure you read the brew masters dinner post that I will be loading up as soon as Bo gets me the pics...........it was a gong show! The pics are of Kizer (G.M. for Bosco's), Fred (Brew master for Bosco's, and some derelict from the event with a funny boob shirt. The other two are pics of the trailer and of our booth.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Busy weekend coming


Things are about to get busy. Tonight we've got the brew masters dinner we are catering. Last night we went to Yazoo Brewery where it is going to be held and built a brick fire pit. We're going to have brisket tacos, grilled avocado gazpacho, and BBQ shrimp burritos. It should be a good night and we should have a few pics to post. I've got to load the trailer in this morning at 10:00. We've got all of our wings cooked (a little over 2,000). We're cooking enough pork for 750. So basically we're cooking for about 1,100 because there will be about 350 orders of wings prepped. Lord willing we'll sell out of everything, if we don't it'll be a loss and I'll at least have a write off. The event draws 5,000+ and is already sold out this year. There will be 6-7 other food vendors there also selling food. I'm figured if we cook enough for at least 20% of the total crowd we'd be doing alright. The choices range from hot dogs to pizza to burgers, etc.. There is one group there that I cant figure out what is going through their mind.........they are planning on serving chili. Yes you read that right, chili. Now the weather folks are calling for tomorrow to be the hottest day yet this year............98* with a heat index over 100*. I don't give a dadgum if an Angel came down from "Glory up on High" and spit in it, you couldn't pay me to walk around a park with no shade sweating in 100* plus heat eating a bowl of chili..........that's just me though......maybe you would, but I'd look at you like you were on crack if you did. Got to get to work.........post at you later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Consomme'......

First off let me say that this is a huge post because of all of the pictures I am including. Most of you can quit reading right now unless you have a profound interest in classic cooking. The purpose of this post really is for "Qui Gon" John McNeil who is a tremendous teacher. John is thoroughly trained in all manner of classical french cooking (the basis for cooking as we know it today), has spent years in the kitchen (some of the best) and I am trying to suck as much knowledge from his brain-pan as I possibly can! My "homework" this past week was to make a classic consomme' with some veal demi glace that John made. John roasted about 50lbs of veal knuckles that I had bought. He then made a classic veal demi with that which is about a day long process. I am very thankful for his help with that. So after Martha and I got home Sunday from dinner I launched in to this little project and I think it turned out rather well. Here is a step by step pictorial I took of the process. Starting with the mirepoix (chopped celery, carrots, onion). Then about 3lbs of lean ground chuck was added to it with herbs, mushrooms in a food processor. You see a picture of that nasty looking stuff in the tupperware. Then it was added (very cold) with the veal demi (or stock) and simmered for close to 2 hours. Further down in the pics you can see the "raft" form and then it opening up for the simmer. Then it was strained with an old T-shirt of mine (had to put a redneck spin on it somewhere) and the finished product is what I am holding up to the light. It is golden, has clarity and is packed with flavor!

Update


Last week was a really good week. Business was consistently good everyday. Saturday night we had a real good crowd to hear Ward, Nick and another guy around town the has several hits/cuts named Rick Elias. The picture is of Bo, M.B. Burton and Bryan as we were hanging around on the side by the pit while the music was playing inside. This week is going to be very stressful. Besides just the day to day business we've got the Music City Brewers Festival in Nashville this weekend. The event drew 6,000 last year and is getting bigger and bigger every year. We are one of a handful of vendors down there serving. We're going to prep for 1,500. We're serving "Q" sandwiches and smoked wings. I've borrowed the Peg Leg trailer (thanks guys, it is a massive help!!!!) and have Terry & Dresch (peg leg boys) coming down to help out. We're going to be set up right next to our buddies from Bosco's so we wont have to go far to grab a beer. On top of that we are doing the Brew masters dinner at Yazoo the night before on Friday. We're doing brisket tacos and something else, probably shrimp or something. The other picture is a test run of an item I thought about serving for this but have decided not to because of spacing. I sauteed some chopped country ham, corn & onions. On the other eye I sauteed some shrimp in a little mango bbq sauce I made up. On the other eye we cooked some rice. We filled a pita with the rice and then the other stuff. It was really good and something I'll probably make around here with some buddies or at another function that has better spacing......but not for this one. The shrimp for some reason look really bland in this pic but were really good and darker than this. So I'm still at the drawing board on the second item but think I'm close to deciding on it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I need a dadgum vacation!

Good gracious do I need a small vacation. There are ways to de-stress. Natural and un-natural. Legal and illegal. I am needing some mother freakin' relief from this stress. Federal taxes, state taxes, parking issues, little billy vomiting in front of the coke machine, bills, screaming kids, derelict drivers who shouldn't have a f*@+ing drivers license, men pissing on the toilet seat, building codes, my cholesterol --------I'm telling you I could go on for a while and get really colorful about it too! Dont get me wrong, things are going really well right now. God has really, really blessed me with a wonderful wife, with two great & healthy kids and the opportunity to live my dream by owning a bbq joint. And I dont want to sound like some pantie waist bitching about lifes little problems, but a couple-3 days would at a minimum recharge my batteries. You know I'll drink a couple of beers every now and again - used to drink a lot more than that a few years ago. Well if I dont get out of here for a few days I'm liable to head back into some beer swillin'. Never got into "likker" (dont like the taste) and never got into dope (pathetic excuse for dealing with stress), so for right now Budweiser is my vacation until I can take a vacation. So instead of getting a sun-tan today I'll have to settle for getting "Beechwood aged" tonight. If you are concerned about this becoming a problem you can contribute to my vacation fund by sending a check to the joint.

Monday, July 09, 2007

No rest for the weary

Last Tuesday was very, very busy with July 4th catering/to go orders. We did a tremendous amount of to go business and then went to a party the night of the 3rd. Russ Hickey & Holly Moles had a gathering that Martha & I went to and it was a pretty good time......real casual, very nice. I thought I was going to have a really relaxing day on Independence day. We were "closed" on the 4th.......or so I thought. Showed up to meet some folks about 11:00 to get about 6 more orders out and didnt leave until 5:30 because people just kept coming in. Wanted to have a day to take it easy and spend with my kids but that didnt happen. Then we had a catering job that night in Inglewood for a party. By the time I was done setting up for that I knew it would'nt be long before I had to get out of there, I was worn out. The rest of the week went better than expected. We were not expecting it to be very busy on Thursday and Friday because who wants to eat BBQ the two days following the 4th but it was actually pretty good. Saturday we had Nathan Montgomerys wedding in Lewisburg. I burned the hell out of my fingers and was down for the count. Eddie Montgomery (Nathans daddy) went in the house to fish out some pain pills or something and came back with some yellow things that he couldnt remember what they were for, he just remembers that "they make you feel better". He said to take 3-4 of them and I did. I dont know if I've ever felt burn pain this bad and frankly I could have cared less what they were if I had of known. At any rate, to say that those dadgum things knocked my tail for a loop is an understatement. My memory is a tad foggy about that night, I'm just glad Bryan was there with me. Martha came and got me from the restaurant and I felt "slow" all day yesterday. My fingers did quit burning but not for a couple of hours after I took those things, but I can say that before the pain wore off I was one of the happier burn victims you've ever seen, I can flat out tell you that.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The week

This past week we've seen a real bump in business because of Jim's (the Tennessean) article. We've seen a lot of people drive out from Nashville (15 minutes) but its amazing to me how many people who live within 2 miles of the joint are still just coming in for the 1st time to try us out. At any rate, I'm just glad they are coming in........whether its now or back in October. I really am thankful for Jims article and thoughts about our food.........it really is a big honor coming from him.
Meat prices have shot up because of the 4th. I am paying about $.25 more per pound than I was last week for everything. My food reps say it will stay that way for the next 2-3 weeks before it starts to correct itself. Kaci Allen played this past Saturday night and she was awesome! She played two sets of her own songs and got a great response. Ward will be back this Saturday night with his guys. Dan, Jill & Joe have'nt been out in a couple of months, I guess they have moved on. Neither Bo or Ward have any idea why they quit coming out. Maybe we'll get em' back out sometime. Willie called from Alaska but didnt get his call. I'll call him today. Looking forward to him getting back with that banjo.
This past Saturday night we were at "Taste of Music City" on the bridge over the river next to the Titans stadium. Bo worked that with Martha, John, Mandy, Victor and "Lamber". They said we got a lot of compliments on our food and Bo said yesterday that he's talked to several people that came out to the joint because they tasted our food there. Lord willing we'll be invited back to next years event. Have a ton of small catering to do between now and the 4th. After that we'll start preparing for the Music City Brewers Festival at the downtown Hilton. They are expecting 6,000 people and the only food vendors there are us and Mafiozo's Pizza, so we should be able to really move some food. Got to get out of here and get to the joint......later.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tennessean list us as one of the favorite 13 places to eat around Nashville!!!

Todays issue of the Tennessean lists Jim Meyers favorite 13 places to eat around Nashville and we were on that list! This is a huge honor and compliment and I am very thankful that we were listed a part of that list. We do try hard every day to serve the best & freshest dadgum food we can and I am very glad that Jim likes it so well! Thank you Jim very much!!! Below is the link to the article. Make sure you play the audio slideshow to hear his comments.

http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070622/ENTERTAINMENT0201/706220367

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tennessean Spotlight "Chef du Jour"

Today we were VERY, VERY fortunate to be spotlighted in the Tennessean on the front page of the "Living" section. Every Wedensday they have a little thing called "Chef du Jour" and this Wedensday we were it. Its a great piece and is really funny and well written, if you know a little bit about my Church of Christ background (which I am still a very proud member that still likes his beer). Jim Meyers (the food critic from the Tennessean) wrote the article. As just some ol' boy trying to cook a little bbq its a REALLY big honor to be listed there considering the local chefs that have been there before me. I am very thankful.

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070620/FEATURES0202/706200397/1078/FEATURES02

Guest blogger Carey "Peg Leg Porker" Bringle: Aspen Food & Wine Festival




My good buddy Carey Bringle (Peg Leg Porker) was asked by the Lobel boys to cook & attend the prestigious "Aspen Food & Wine" festival. This week I asked Carey to guest blog about the experience. By the way......look at the dadgum fat marble in those 3" thick (yes you read that right!) Wagyu dry aged New York strips. Also Carey is pictured with food/wine celebrity Andrea Immer.


Hey Folks,
It's Carey Bringle, The Peg Leg Porker......I am honored that Pat asked me to guest Blog today about my experience at the Food & Wine Magazine, Classic at Aspen. Let me start off by explaining the reason that I was there. Three or four years ago, Evan Lobel asked me if I could smoke some Waygu Brisket for the Classic at Aspen food Show and ship it out there for them to serve at the Grand Tastings. I did this cook as a personal favor but let me tell you, it was nerve racking. Evan wanted them to be just right. He would be serving them next to his father and their reputation was on the line. It was the first time that they had done this show and it was very high profile. I cooked about 36 Brisket that year and from Evan's account, they were a real crowd pleaser. He called me from the booth and said "Carey, your a F$%^*&* hero, we have a line around the booth and this stuff is the hit of the show." I was glad to hear it because for the previous week, Evan had called me several times to remind me how important this was. I think I lost 10lbs. that week worrying about how they turned out and waiting for his call to let me know. The next year, I cooked again and they asked me if I would like to come out to the show as their guest for the work I had done. I cooked the brisket but I turned them down on the trip because frankly, I had been traveling a lot, just finished Memphis in May and was plain worn out. Last year they didn't do the show and one of their key competitors, Allen Brothers, started displaying there. That did not set well with Evan. They made an executive decision that this year, they would be back and show the world why they are the Best Damn Steaks and Mail Order Gourmet Food Company in America. I had regretted not going the year I had been invited so this year, we made a deal that a ticket to the show and a plane ride would be my payment for Smoking the Brisket. The amount.........650 Lbs. of Waygu. That is a lot of Brisket........My father lives in Carbondale and is very ill. He has been suffering from Multiple Meyeloma for over 10 years. This would also be a great chance to spend some more time with he and Susan and see him for Father's Day. I started cooking Brisket on the Vertical Smoker at 5:30 AM on Friday, June 8th. That night, Dave Johnson and Pat came over to help and have a few. Dave was cooking on the horizontal for a catering Gig and Pat was just coming to help and lend moral support. We had a great time shooting the shit and throwing back a few. I cooked almost non stop until Sunday morning. 50 Brisket in total. I was worn out. Pat and Dave can both tell you, cooking a ton of meat can wear you out but when you see people enjoying it and hear their comments, it is a great feeling. I arrived in CO on Thursday. My sister was with me and we spent some time with Dad and Susan that night. Friday, I got up, we had some breakfast at the Village Smithy in Carbondale and I headed to Aspen (about 25 miles away). I got there about 1:00 and they had just finished the first Grand Tasting. Evan and David said that it was a huge hit. There was not another tasting until 4:30 so I went to a Mixology Seminar given by Tony Abou-Ganim. He has a show on Fine Living teaching the art of cocktail making. Let me say that any seminar where they hand you a drink on your way in and then make you drinks all the way through is my kind of class. I went to the Grand Tasting at 4:30 and it was great. The Lobel's were serving Braised Short ribs at that tasting. They seemed to be a pretty big hit but I really wanted to see the Brisket being served. We hung around after the tasting and went to dinner at an Italian restaurant in town. We would start again in the morning. The Aspen Times had come by that afternoon and spoken with Evan. We were all anxious to see what they would write. On Saturday morning, I woke up and drove to Aspen first thing. The Grand tasting started at 11:30 and I wanted to see how the brisket would be received. David came in to the tent holding the Aspen Times......Jackpot.......Evan was featured on the front page with a headline of "Lobel's, Butchering the Competition" .....In your face Allen Brothers.....It talked about the brisket and needless to say, at the Grand tasting, the table was mobbed. The log jam in front of our table wasn't helped by the fact that Mario Batali was signing Crocs at the table across from us. Between the two booths, you couldn't make it through that part of the tent. I'll have to say that it was pretty exciting seeing all those people go crazy over the food that I cooked. That afternoon, I met Mario Batali, Jacques Pepin, Andrea Immer and Bradford Thompson. Wow, what a treat. The last thing that I did that afternoon was meet Evan, David and Jamie (owner of Smoke Restaurant in El Jebel, the caterer that Lobel's hired to help them in Aspen) at Jamie's house to see them cooking the Waygu strip steaks that they would serve that afternoon at the 3:45 Grand Tasting. What a sight to see, 147 Lbs. of Waygu strips at a retail value of $150 a piece....beautiful.....I told them that I was going to have dinner with my family and probably wouldn't be back on Sunday. Evan told me top pick out the best steak and take it for me and my Dad to share for Fathers day. We cooked it that night and it was great....I spent Sunday with Dad and Susan. We enjoyed the day and the incredible view that their new house has of Mt. Sopris. I was leaving Monday morning and it was going to be hard to say goodbye. The weekend was great. I am thankful to have been able to participate in such a celebrated event, enjoyed spending time with my good friends Evan and David and even more thankful to have been able to spend a little more time with my Dad. This is a Fathers day weekend that I know I will never forget..... Lobel's: Butchering the competition...............Brisket a hit in Grand Tasting tent http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20070616/NEWS/106160061&SearchID=73284675093471

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum life.....you have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!