Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm in Correctionville Iowa........Pheasant hunting. As you may summize this post has not a dad-gum thing to do with BBQ, opening a restaurant, grilling, cooking, lude language, nudity, bootlegging or.........................uh...............grits. This is really just a post telling you that I have a lot to post about, but ain't gonna do it till first of the week sometime when I get time. Really I'm happy as a damn tornado in a trailer park to be doing this, because I'm a huge quail hunter.....but as any Southerner knows quail hunting ain't what it was 15 years ago, let alone in the 80's and before! We're hunting WILD Pheasant here........not some pen-raised birds let loose an hour before we put our boots on. We may not see any birds, and if we do they may take off way before we come on em'............30mph winds, scattered snow ain't helping us.......but surely that ain't why we're here is it? All I know is I'm not thinking about running a restaurant.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Whole Hog BBQ in Chester County, TN

So I rode down to the symposium with my buddy Carey Bringle, who is an amputee. How did he lose his leg? Depending on which night you ask Carey, you'll get one of the following answers:

1) He got his leg cut off with a pocket knife in a bar fight at Joe's Village Inn

2) He was swimming his daily laps in the Mississippi river when a wandering Bull Shark from the Gulf bit his leg off. Carey killed the shark with his bare hands and wrestled his leg out of its stomach, but the the doctors at Baptist Hospital in Memphis were not savvy enough to re-attach his femur bone.

3) One of the Ford brothers shot him in his thigh when Carey was running for Shelby County Commissioner.

Why mention that Carey is an amputee? Because riding with someone who's got one of those big-ass blue handicap signs hanging from their rear view mirror is like manna from heaven! I've never been able to just pull up and park right in front of the front door. It literally took me a couple days to get accustomed to it. It was awesome! Anytime I'm going anywhere and his ass is going, you better bank on it he's driving!

On the way though I wanted to take him through Henderson to eat at 1-2 whole hog BBQ joints. The two places I used to cook at, and learned the art, have since closed. One was Thomas & Webb. I credit Mr. Harold Thomas for really teaching me what I know today. He closed down and a place called "Bill's BBQ" is in its place. They cook with an electric cooker, which Im not going to get started on right here but will say two things; that ain't real BBQ and a man deserves a good ole' country ass-whooping for calling it bbq if its cooked on one of those electric cookers. Makes me sick. At any rate, we only had time for one, so I took him to Siler's Ol' Time BBQ. The pic is of Chris Siler, who is a great guy, and the damn near one pound pork sandwich I had. See that light colored chunk hanging out right there, thats the middlin' meat.......folks thats as good as it gets!

More SFA Pics........

my buddy Tyler Brown, executive chef at Capitol Grill at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville.

That is Sean Brock (chef at McCready's in Charleston) in that lizard mask. All I was doing was having a nice relaxed conversation over a beer at the after party and Sean walked up next to me and growled.......I almost wet myself.

Me and legendary NASCAR driver/owner and Corn Likker' Legend Junior Johnson.

Southern Foodways Symposium

Went to the SFA's annual symposium in Oxford (Ole Miss) a week or so ago. This is the first symposium I attended. I have intended to go for 4 years now and always bump into some reason for having to miss it. I really regret not going earlier, what a fantastic event! This years event was as its title reads, the "Liquid South". Everything from southern spring water to buttermilk to moonshine. The speakers were absolutely hilarious yet informative. I still remember my summers staying with my grandparents, specifically my dads parents, in Corinth. We would come in at lunch and Ma-Ma would have this big lunch made for us and my grandfather would fill up a big glass of cold buttermilk and dip his cornbread in it. He'd get me to try it every time just so he could laugh at how much I disliked it. I just had a large glass of whole buttermilk and cornbread yesterday for my lunch.........funny how things take a turn on a man in life.
One of the speakers was a White House correspondent covering Jimmy Carters campaign when he was running for President. The story of Jimmy was good, but the real story was his brother Billy. All of the networks had their guys down there, a lot of which are now seasoned veterans of major networks. Every afternoon at 4:00 the correspondents would meet at Billy's gas station and drink beer. Then they, along with Billy and friends would go across the road to play a game of softball. Jimmy never missed a game when he was in town. If any of you know anything about Billy Carter then you know what an amazing character he was. He could absolutely care less as to what folks thought of him......that was really the real beauty of him. One afternoon Billy missed the softball game, but showed up at the station with everyone after for a beer or two. Billy and his wife had a son born that morning. Ed Bradly was one of the correspondents there and asked Billy about the birth. It was a live interview on national T.V......this is a true story. It went something like this:

Ed Bradly: Billy, congratulations on the birth of your son you must be excited.......

Billy Carter: Well yeah Ed, hell I appreciate it, we are proud of him.....hes a big strappin' boy!

Ed Bradly: That's great Billy, what did he weigh?

Billy Carter: Ohh Ed he tipped the scales at seven pounds and eight ounces...........................6.5lbs of which ain't nuthin' but dick & balls!

That was on live television for ABC's nightly news. When that guy told that story I about puked on the old Lady's neck in front of me I was laughing so hard.

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 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!