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Big D’s Gift to the Big Apple

14 Sep

Here in New York we can get ribs that claim influences from cities  from Memphis to Kansas City. We can get chicken fried like they do in Kentucky and Maryland.   But there’s only one thing we can get from the Big D that we can’t from any other place. Something so unique; so tasty it will even let you forgive that city for hoisting “America’s Team” on the country.

We forgive you Jerry.

J J you can keep the Cowboys as Dallas’s team as long New York gets  to keep Dallas  BBQ .

And it’s not the bbq that makes Dallas BBQ the institution that it has become in New York.

Scan those starters. Bypass the “Crispy Shrimp, ” the “new” “Angry Shrimp,” the “Crabcakes, and stop right there on number4; at the dish that immortalized Dallas BBQ forever.  The magnificent mountain that is the “Onion Loaf.”

That right there is what I’m talking about.

Start picking the mound apart with your fingers. Get your hands greasy. Don’t worry, moist towelettes are thoughtfully provided by management. Ketchup? No need.

Go ahead, finish it all. Sure you’ll pay for your indulgence within moments after scooping up the last sweet greasy strip of deep fried onion, but the discomfort you might feel will be quickly forgotten. Give it a few days and you’ll be jonesing for your next Dallas BBQ onion loaf (best in NYC)  fix.

 

 

 

 

 

Children’s Menu: Circa 2012

22 Aug

Why do children have all the good choices?

A Good Friend is Hard to Find

29 Jun

A New Good Friend is even harder.

I’m very happy I’ve found one.

 

 

The Bizarre Eats of Chow City: Boneless Chicken Wings

6 Jun

In this, the second installment of The Bizarre Eats of Chow City, I seek out and sample the strange phenomena known as the boneless chicken wing.

I had heard about them. I knew that they existed, but never really gave them much thought.  Recently, however, I would pass a placard near my home advertising them.  I could no longer hide behind my prejudices and fears. I needed to walk the walk, before I could attempt to talk the talk. It was time I summoned the courage to actually try the boneless chicken wing.

Years ago,  McDonald’s was pushing a boneless spare rib sandwich they called the “McRib.” I wondered about it just as I wondered about the boneless chicken wing, but never dared try one. The McRib was resurrected briefly a couple of years ago on a limited basis and still, I would not try it. For me, it is hard enough to walk into a McDonald’s much less order something so bizarre, so exotic as a boneless spare rib sandwich.  I just couldn’t do it. I scoffed at the concept; repulsed that the mega corporation would stoop so low as to remove what makes the meat on the spare rib so delectable; the rib itself, just to convenience the already very lazy consumer. I was taking a very hard line and really, intolerant stance.

Bizarre Foods, Mickey D’s style.

I think I have mellowed somewhat over the years. And for the sake of journalistic integrity, I now will take culinary risks to root out the truth. Thus, though the McRib is no longer available, the boneless chicken wing is.

There were plenty of sports’ bars and chicken wing joints I knew of that now offered the “boneless” chicken wing along with the traditional, two or three jointed wing whose tiny bones I had so many times plucked clean; the sauce, be it Buffalo, barbecue, jerk, happily licked and sucked from my greasy fingers. That tactile thrill, I knew would be gone, but that did not deter me. That a nearby Applebee’s advertised them out front made my quest an easy one. And that I would not attempt this folly alone; I had three very willing volunteers who agreed to take a break from their elementary and middle school studies to assist me on this project.

The place where they serve the boneless chicken wing.

I called my local Applebee’s and after being placed on hold for what seemed like a very long time, I was able to put in an order of the boneless chicken wings. I had a choice of  bleu cheese or Ranch dressing to accompany the “wings.” I choose the bleu cheese. Along with my three volunteers,  we entered Applebee’s.  I made sure not to stare at the diners and their  multi-colored drinks, the overflowing baskets of fries, and frisbee-sized burgers.  My order was ready. We paid, and then quickly exited the bustling restaurant.

Once home. I opened up the styrofoam container revealing the reddish-brown, oddly shaped, “wings.”

1310-1490 calories

I gave myself and each of the volunteers including an added volunteer, my wife who showed none of the same fear or repulsion I had to the laboratory altered concoction that came in the styrofoam container, one “wing” each. We all sampled.

The younger of the student volunteers at first complained that they were too spicy. After a few sips of limeade and then another few bites, they no longer minded the spice and wanted another.

“It’s a composite chicken wing,” my wife said, referring to the composite Little League baseball bat we had heard so much about from the oldest of the student volunteers.

Composite baseball bat

And they were a composite. Unlike the traditional chicken wing, these “wings” you could eat with a fork if you wanted. They were chicken “tenders” shaped into something resembling a chicken wing, breaded, and fried in the manner of the Buffalo chicken wing.

Composite chicken “wing”

“Can we have another,” all of the volunteers asked.

They each got another. There were two left. The oldest student volunteer, even though he already ate a big sandwich, eyed them covetously.  The youngest did not want a third. The oldest grabbed it. The “wings” were quickly devoured.

“Let’s get them again,” one of the students said. “They’re really good.”

I didn’t agree. To me, they were dry and had a chemical taste. And the loss of being able to really handle the wing with your fingers, making sure the bones were plucked clean, detracted just too much from the chicken wing experience. But if nothing else, this experiment taught me to once again restrain myself from imposing my personal preferences on others. If  the people want a chicken wing without bones, who am I to deny them that right?

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