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- 1 2-pound head of green cabbage, quartered, cored, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 14 cups)
- 1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup grated peeled carrots
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
Place cabbage in large bowl. Add vinegar and sugar; toss to coat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. toss cabbage mixture well; cover and let stand 30 minutes longer. Drain cabbage. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
Transfer drained cabbage to another large bowl. Add carrots, green onions, and mayonnaise; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Nutritional ContentOne muffin contains the following: Calories (kcal) 55.3 t %Calories from Fat 39.8 t Fat (g) 2.4 t Saturated Fat (g) 1.4 t Cholesterol (mg) 19.7 t Carbohydrates (g) 7.0 t Dietary Fiber (g) 0.4 t Total Sugars (g) 2.9 t Net Carbs (g) 6.6 t Protein (g) 1.2 t Sodium (mg) 65.1Reviews Section
Jim N Nicks is a Bar-B-Q Restaurant supports southern foodways alliance. It smokes their meats around the clock each day to ensure that each protein hits the plate. There is no freezer or microwave in any Jim ‘N Nick’s building. All of the restaurant’s food is made from scratch daily using fresh ingredients.
The Jim ‘N Nick’s Menu has a lot of different options anything from Salad, Baked Potatoes stuffed with Smoked Meat, Mac n Cheese, Pork Sandwiches and more. This is a great place for the entire family. So, if you haven’t visited this restaurant, then just go once and have great food.
Jim ‘N Nick’s Menu Prices List
Jim N Nicks menu includes Barbeque Plates, Soups & Salads, Lunch, Small Plates, Kids, Drinks & Desserts, Burgers, Trimmings and Family Dinners, etc. Below are the latest Jim N Nicks menu with prices. Check out once before visiting.
Jim N Nicks BBQ Menu
Jim N Nicks Barbeque Menu Items comes with 2 scratches made by Trimmings and your choice of Sauce (Original Bar-B-Q, Carolina Bar-B-Q, and Morgan County White). The list of Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ Menu & Prices is below.
Jollibee is one of the famous food chains in the Philippines. Food Lovers can enjoy&hellip
Bored of all pre-planned meals and signatures dishes? Want to taste some Fresh Farm Veggies&hellip
Taking too long to decide what to order because the menu seemed out of sight&hellip
Jim 'N Nick's Coleslaw Recipe - Recipes
Should I say more? The barbecue is fantastic, so are the cheese buscuits, but I don't leave, without having a piece of lemon pie!
140 - 144 of 487 reviews
I love to drive thru and pick up their Southern Chopped Salad with smoked chicken. This has also been a family favorite for years. From BBQ to burgers to salads they have a great menu.
We stopped here to watch Alabama/Washington game because felt they wouldn't be near as busy as a sports bar. We were able to get a couple bar stools and grab a beer. They were extremely busy with carry out orders.
After they slowed down a bit we ordered some smoked wings and ribs. Very delicious flavor on both. I had side of baked beans and they were also delicious. Only problem is that our eyes were larger than our stomachs for once.
The staff was fun and a few kept coming out from the back to check on the game. They were all smiling and seemed to be enjoying being there.
My wife and I were on our way home and driving through Birmingham where we have family and decided to get food to go here. We called about 30 minutes ahead of time and the food was ready when we arrived. The order was correct, which is always nice for a to-go order and the food was great. My only complaint was the coleslaw, it just was not that good, but that is my opinion. We will probably eat here again when the opportunity arises.
My wife and I have eaten a Jim n Nicks many times over the years. We stumbled upon this location several years ago. We were traveling back to our home in Florida and we needed gas, we were also hungry. I jumped off of I-65 to get some gas and I could smell the bar-b-que while I was pumping the gas.
I told my wife that I was going to find wherever that delicious smell was coming from. I followed my nose and turned into the parking lot of what appeared to be a ram-shackled old restaurant. (If you didn't know, Jim n Nicks build all their new restaurants to look like old ram-shackled buildings. It makes them look like the great old bar-b-que joints I remember as a kid. There were lots of cars with local tags in the lot (which is always a good sign), so we decided to give it a try. WHAT A TREAT!
I got the pulled pork with BBQ beans and Cole slaw. My wife got the smoked turkey with the same sides. Both were juicy, tender, and were perfectly smoked. Some places end up with their meat having a sickening overly smoked flavor. Not Jim n Nicks. The meats have a fine hickory taste and the sauces are delicious on them. The sweet sauce isn't too sweet and the habenaro sauce is just spicy enough to burn your mouth, but not put you in the hospital.
Jim n Nicks may be the best bar-b-que restaurant chain in America, in my opinion. We have eaten at several different locations and the quality of the food is remarkably consistent through the chain. So, don't feel as if you have to visit one of the Birmingham locations to get the great food we had. Any Jim n Nicks will serve you the same as we enjoyed.
Side Dish Country Recipes
Now that you've got your main dishes covered let's dig into all these amazing county recipes for side dishes. Whether you are a potato lover, corn chowder, grits or corn bread person, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
- - This recipe for baked cheese grits will convince even the weary why they should love grits. Delicious and easy!
- serve with breakfast or dinner
(shown) - there's nothing like them
- This recipe uses just 5 ingredients.
- irresistibly soft, Cheddar biscuits
- This cornbread is perfect, sweet and wonderful - just like a southern belle.
- A great way to get those veggies on the table, these fried green tomatoes are a southern classic.
- Tested in our test kitchen
- 4-6 pounds Boston Butt (shredded)
- 1 package corn tortillas
- 1 cup Mexican shredded cheese
- ½ cup diced green onions green part only
- Sesame seeds (for garnishing)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoon chili paste
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 cups shredded cabbage 16 oz bag of store-bought works great!
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chili paste
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Nick Brings Anya Fernald and Caleb Zigas to the Table
The world is small these days. We often get the false sense of keeping touch via facebook and e-mail, but there is still no substitute for the actual interaction at table.
One such connection happened at the 2010 Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium between Nick Pihakis, Chef Drew Robinson both from Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, and a group of taste and trend makers from the bay area of California. It began with Jim ‘N Nick’s participation in the 2009 and 2010 Eat Real Festival in Oakland, California where Nick met the event’s founder and Director of Live Culture Co., Anya Fernald. A past director of Slow Foods International, Anya is a force of nature in the rising good food movement devoted to the goal of making wholesome food more widely accessible by supporting hundreds of innovative and like-minded small businesses. 70,000 people attended the first Eat Real Festival, generating over $400,000 in revenue for local food businesses and farmers. Jim ‘N Nick’s has been proud to participate in the event and support Anya and Live Culture with the hope of bringing a similar event to the American South.
Nick also brought another friend from the bay to the table—Caleb Zigas. Caleb is the director of the highly successful and heralded incubator kitchen, “La Cocina” in San Francisco, CA. The mission of La Cocina is to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific business assistance and access to market opportunities. They focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities with a vision that entrepreneurs will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant economy doing what they love to do.
La Cocina is a ground-breaking business incubator designed to reduce the obstacles that often prevent entrepreneurs from creating successful and sustainable small businesses. By providing shared resources and an array of industry-specific services, business incubators ensure small businesses can succeed.
At this year’s Southern Foodways symposium, aptly coined “The Global South”, Anya, Caleb and Nick and Drew, we able to share in the making of fresh-pressed tortillas, whole hog tacos, and most importantly, a shared passion for making better foods more accessible to all.
Find out more about our California friends by visiting Live Culture Co. at www.livecultureco.com and La Cocina at www.lacocinasf.org . You can explore the works of the Southern Foodways Alliance at www.southernfoodways.com
The South's Best Butt
Chopped, pulled, shredded, or sliced, there's nothing like a pork sandwich from the pit. And everyone's got an opinion on which one is boss hog. One thing's for sure: These 20 barbecue joints do it right. See if your favorite made the list, and get exclusive 'cue-pons, here
A&R serves tamales, bologna, and barbecue spaghetti, but the star is the sloppy chopped-pork sandwich, twitching with tangy slaw and bathed in a sauce that doesn&apost obscure the robust smokiness of the meat. aandrbbq.com
Get the &aposCue-pon: Bring the June issue of Southern Living, and get a free side with the purchase of a large pork sandwich.
Allen & Son BBQ
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
If a foreigner was studying for a barbecue exam, the Allen & Son flash card would surely get a workout. Keith Allen&aposs restaurant straddles the dividing line between western and eastern Carolina &aposcue, and idiosyncratically borrows from both traditions. They use a thin, vinegar-based sauce, the same as Eastern pitmasters, but cook only shoulders, considered the Piedmont&aposs domain. 919/942-7576
- The Bar-B-Q Shop
- Memphis, Tennessee
- It&aposs not hard to find an expertly smoked pork shoulder in Memphis, but this sandwich has won accolades for its accoutrements, including a mustard-tinged sauce, a fiery hot sauce, and sturdy Texas toast. dancingpigs.com
North Augusta, South Carolina
South Carolina is the only state with four distinct sauce regions, and BBQ Barn offers them all, including the thick mustard variety rarely found beyond Palmetto State borders. 803/278-7202
Get the &aposCue-pon: Mention Southern Living, and get a free dessert with the purchase of a drink and a large plate. (Limit one per table.) Valid only through the month of June.
Bozo&aposs Hot Pit Bar-B-Q
Bozo&aposs had a bit part in Walk the Line, the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic, but the western Tennessee restaurant has long been famed for its treatment of pork shoulders, which emerge moist and tender from the pit, bearing the faintest trace of smoke. 901/294-3400
Get the &aposCue-pon: Mention Southern Living, and get a free small drink with the purchase of a sandwich or plate.
The Brick Pit
On its website, The Brick Pit features testimonials from a car dealer, a banker, and a bonsai artist. But it doesn&apost take a professional palate to appreciate their succulent pulled pork, slathered with a thick tomato sauce. brickpit.com
Get the &aposCue-pon: Bring the June issue of Southern Living, and receive a free sweet or unsweetened tea with the purchase of a pork sandwich.
Windsor, North Carolina
Sandwiched between two flaps of crisp cornbread, Bunn&aposs minced Boston butt is so good it may explain why the Russell family rebuilds every time the coastal restaurant suffers a hurricane-inflicted flood. 252/794-2274
Georgia Pig Bar-B-Que
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Wayne Anderson chops oak-smoked meat and crunchy bits of bark before saucing with his tangy original sauce. 954/587-4420
Jim &aposN Nick&aposs Bar-B-Q
Multiple locations across the South
A multiunit chain might provoke skepticism from purists, but Jim &aposN Nick&aposs produces a phenomenal pork shoulder with traditional methods many have written off as too time-consuming. Committed to freshness and sustainability, the restaurant just launched its own heritage pork-raising program, and none of the 28 locations even has a freezer. jimnnicks.com
Get the &aposCue-pon: Bring the June issue of Southern Living, and get a free drink with the purchase of a sandwich or plate.
Lexington, North Carolina
A prickly, red slaw tops the pork shoulder at Jimmy&aposs, a Lexington mainstay that specializes in chewy, hickory-scented meat. 336/357-2311
Get the &aposCue-pon: Bring the June issue of Southern Living, and get a free drink with the purchase of a pork sandwich.
There aren&apost any pretensions at Leigh&aposs, where the terrific hickory-kissed pork shoulder is chopped to order and sauced with vinegar. 270/488-3434
Get the &aposCue-pon: Bring the June issue of Southern Living, and get a free drink with the purchase of a pork sandwich and a side.
Lexington, North Carolina
The defining Piedmont barbecue joint—known locally as The Monk&aposs Place𠅌hops its shoulders and slaw into an extraordinary mixture of sweetness and smoke. 336/249-9814
Martin&aposs Bar-B-Que Joint
Patrick Martin&aposs open-faced sandwich, what he calls a Redneck Taco, piles hickory-smoked pork, slaw, and Piedmont-style tomato sauce atop a plate-size hoecake. martinsbbqjoint.com
Get the &aposCue-pon: Bring the June issue of Southern Living, and get a "throwback soda" (like bottled RC Cola, Sundrop, or Cheerwine) with the purchase of a pork entree.
Marooned in beef territory, Neely&aposs is known by locals as The Brown Pig. The 85-year-old restaurant crowns ground smoked shoulder with mayonnaise, lettuce, and the signature sauce on a hamburger bun. 903/935-9040
The flat disks of cornbread that book-end Papa Kayjoe&aposs pork sandwich are fried to order in lard, in keeping with pitmaster Devin Pickard&aposs philosophy that barbecue ought to be a celebration of swine fat. "I know when folks think of grease they think of unhealthy," he famously told a Southern Foodways Alliance oral historian in 2008. "But the key to good barbecue is grease." 931/729-2131
Get the &aposCue-pon: Mention Southern Living, and get a free drink with the purchase of a pork sandwich. (Limit one per customer.)
Arguments rage over the best barbecue in Memphis, but the field narrows when you talk sandwiches. At Payne&aposs, where lunch is so popular it&aposs punctuated by the nonstop slap of a cleaver on the chopping block, the pork sandwich is graced with smoke-tinged bark, a robe of tomato-based sauce, and mustard slaw yellow as a buttercup. 901/272-1523
Get the &aposCue-pon: Bring the June issue of Southern Living, and get one free drink, side of beans, or side of chips with the purchase of a pork sandwich.
Jim ´N Nicks Bar-B-Q
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Laura was downstairs watching TV. "There's that Indian place by the thing -- that place with the fish," she yelled.
I was upstairs in front of the computer. "No."
"What about the Japanese restaurant?"
24153 East Prospect Avenue, Aurora
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Baked potato: $4
Baked potato with pulled pork: $8
Two-meat combo: $14
BBQ chicken sandwich: $6
Pulled pork: $19
We were trying to figure out dinner, but I'd already made up my mind. There is an art to this in my house, to getting my way -- a game of careful serves and volleys. I would wait until all other reasonable options were exhausted, then make my smash play. In the meantime, I looked at the website, read the menu. I almost wanted to reach out and touch the screen, stroke my fingers across the phosphenes and static charge and lick them.
I love Indian food, but I wasn't in the mood for Indian food. I knew what I wanted.
"Okay, what about burgers? Sandwiches?"
"Don't you need to get to that place in Highland?"
It was the first seriously hot day of the year, maybe the second. Outside, the whole world smelled like cherry blossoms and living earth. I had the speakers on the computer turned down low and Tom Waits was singing "You Can Never Hold Back Spring." It was that kind of day, his voice like glue and sand, singing ugly about pretty things, but I barely heard the husk of his words. I had my own lyrics running: picnickin' and politickin', a pig in the potato patch. Funny names for serious business, all talking about barbecue.
"Come on, Jay! I'm hungry. Make a decision here."
I smiled to myself, maybe a little evilly. We've been married almost six years, Laura and I. I'm just now starting to figure some shit out.
"Barbecue," I yelled down the stairs. "We're gonna go get some barbecue."
Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q opened last fall in the Southlands development on the outskirts of Aurora. In the restaurant's office, the managers still count the days -- two hundred and ninety-some. They still look at it like just getting by, one day at a time.
One really busy day at a time. Laura was cursing when we pulled in. Not into the parking lot, because that was full. We couldn't even park along one of the twisting access roads, because those were full, too. We ended up darting into a special holding area for people waiting on takeout or catering orders, rolling the car up against a cement parking block that sported a sign with a picture of a cowboy riding a bucking pig.
"That would make an excellent tattoo," I said, pointing at the sign.
"That would not make an excellent tattoo."
"I could get it on my shoulder. Totally badass."
"Run inside and see if there's a wait," she replied.
There was a wait. An hour, hour and a half. People were stacked up in the lobby, in the bar, along the sidewalk out front. The noise level was extraordinary. The smell of the place -- the scents of hungry, overheated diners, hickory smoke and char, laboring air conditioners and hundreds of pigs being made into barbecue on the premises -- followed me back to the car.
"There's a wait," I told Laura.
"Of course there is. What do we do now?"
Jim 'N Nick's is a chain. Sorta. Down south, in Alabama, Tennessee, parts of Georgia, it's known as a family business that just happens to have a lot of addresses. Jim and Nick are real guys: Jim and Nick Pihakis, father and son, who ran the business together until Jim died not long ago. Nick is now in charge, and he's been overseeing the expansion into other barbecue-loving parts of America. A Jim 'N Nick's opened on Hilton Head recently. We got ours at the insistence of one of the company's investors who has a house in Colorado and wanted some barbecue very, very badly. The local owner is Todd Koone, who came to Colorado by way of Birmingham. The local GM is Lisa Quinn, who had no idea what barbecue was before the company took her on a tour of the South -- and she discovered sweet tea and fried green tomatoes and real, honest, long-smoked barbecue along the way.
"I thought fried green tomatoes were a movie," Quinn told me one day. "I had no idea. And then I tasted one, and I was like, 'Why have you been hiding this from us?'"
An instant convert, which is the way these things usually happen.
In the car, I pointed to the side of the building. "Pull over there," I told Laura.
"Over there, behind that truck."
Barbecue is meant to be eaten on the screen porch, in the back yard, among friends and family. Jim 'N Nick's makes that easy with a double-line kitchen and a drive-thru for carryout business. Finding a barbecue restaurant with a drive-thru is like finding an actual four-leaf clover or a hooker with an actual heart of gold.
Laura did a nice, low-speed hook around a high curb and slid the car into place.
"Do you know what you want?" she asked.
"Worry about yourself. I know what I want."
I'd been to Jim 'N Nick's before, on slower days, more placid evenings. Inside, it's like any other small chain restaurant aiming for a certain look and achieving a kind of cultural-theme-park feel instead. The plank walls are reminiscent of backwoods barbecue joints, the black-and-white photographs and simple decor an homage to the family cook shacks and rattletrap house restaurants where Southern cuisine developed.
Not too long ago, I met a cook -- a lifer, like I'd once been. We got to talking about food and kitchens (of course) and, before long, the conversation came around to barbecue. He'd been in Kansas City and said that there, the locals all knew to go to one place for pulled pork, another for cornbread, another for ribs. No one who knew anything went to the same place for everything. "Great barbecue?" he said. "No. It's great something here, something else from somewhere else."
I nodded, understanding perfectly.
"Great barbecue is where you get it. It's a big black woman being mean to you," he said. Not exactly how I would have put it, but I got his point: Barbecue is an experience, not a menu item.
This Jim 'N Nick's has a bunch of Aurora teenagers being really nice to you. And while that's an experience, too, it's not the same sort of experience. It smacks of suburban illegitimacy, of a history just seven months deep. Whenever you try to take a food away from where it was born, you lose levels of authenticity with every mile, and Aurora is a long way from Alabama. But the first time I went to Jim 'N Nick's, I drove up just as the house was taking a delivery of hickory wood for the smokers. Over the months that I've been coming back, I've watched the lip of the red-brick chimney that stretches up above the roof grow blacker and blacker from soot and greasy pig smoke. Those smoke stains, those stacked cords of dried hickory -- they give me some comfort. Even if not everything looks right or feels right, it's being done right.
And what's more, it tastes right. The mayonnaise in the coleslaw isn't Hellman's. It's not some sickly thin generic from one of the big supply companies that has to come in a bottle labeled FOOD just to differentiate it from the jug of HAND SOAP. Jim 'N Nick's goes out of its way to get Duke's mayonnaise -- well known to Southerners, virtually unknown anywhere else.
There are no freezers in the building. Nothing comes out of a can or a box, and everything is made fresh, even at the bar. The sweet tea is created by hand: an eye-dropper full of tea squirted over a five-pound bag of sugar. Some of the recipes used in the kitchen -- for the pies, the collard greens -- go back to the early 1900s. The meats get no fewer than nine hours in the smoker, and you can smell it when one of them is cracked and unloaded -- an aroma as timeless as hunger, sweet as spring, heavy as hell.
At the drive-thru, Laura and I put in our order. For me, a two-meat platter -- pulled pork and brisket -- with baked apples and mashed potatoes a half-rack of spare ribs one baked potato with butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon, another with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon and a quarter-pound of end-cut barbecued pork shoulder piled on top some corn muffins baked with cheese inside a slice of pecan pie a small Coke.
Laura got a chicken sandwich.
"No one should be spending seventy dollars on barbecue, Jay," she said. "Not from a drive-thru."
"No one who's serious about barbecue should be spending less than seventy dollars," I insisted. "Look, I'm going to eat some barbecue. When I'm full, I'll stop and put the leftovers in the fridge. And then, when I wake up in the middle of the night, you know what I'm going to have? A whole bunch of leftover barbecue in the fridge. Do you have any idea what a comforting feeling that is?"
She looked at me crossly. "No."
At the pickup window, the guy working the register looked like he was about to cry. Laura asked him how his night was going. He laughed forlornly. "It's so busy. " he said.
He handed our bags of takeout through the window. "Not always."
Nick Pihakis comes to the restaurant a lot. His job is to show a bunch of Mountain West employees what Southern hospitality really means. So he shakes a lot of hands. He looks people in the eye when they speak. "Every person he talks to is the most important person in the world," Quinn explained to me when I called her. "It's all about people."
At home, we pulled out our barbecue and paper plates and plastic silverware. It was still warm, and we would have eaten outside, on the porch, but the cops outside the bar across the street were frog-marching drunks out to waiting cruisers, and the lights and sirens were distracting.
Laura's chicken was so good that we threw out the bread and ate with our fingers -- picking big pieces of smoked and mopped white meat off the plate and dipping them into a side of Jim 'N Nick's distinctly Southern sweet-hot sauce. The mashed potatoes were too salty, but the bakers were massive and exactly as tasty as you'd imagine huge potatoes heaped with pig products would be. The cheesy corn muffins were addictive, and I ate them all before Laura could get one. The baked apples (cubed and suspended in syrup like the guts of a perfect apple pie with no crust) made me want to find whoever's mama was responsible for the recipe and kiss her on the cheek.
Normally, Jim 'N Nick's pulled pork is excellent. On this night, it was awful -- poorly cut, fatty, taken too quickly from out of the smokers -- but at least it reassured me that human beings were doing the cooking rather than sealed, zero-emission smokers with their temperature and air flow controlled by computers, the cooking times charted on a line graph by weight. The danger of working from scratch is that sometimes, someone is going to make a mistake. But I don't want consistent robot barbecue. I want the real thing. I've been to Jim 'N Nick's about a half-dozen times since it opened, have eaten in and taken out. This was the first time the pork wasn't great -- wasn't deeply redolent of smoke, soft but studded with crisp little burnt edges. And I can forgive that. Once.
When we'd eaten enough, we packed up the leftovers and stuck them in the fridge. Hours later, I woke to darkness in a quiet house still exhaling spring's first heat. As softly as I could, I slid out of bed, padded down the stairs and retrieved the last of the apples, the untouched box of ribs (done perfectly, with a deep, purplish-pink smoke line running just a quarter-inch above the bone), and crumbled cold brisket over barely warmed mashed potatoes. I took my second feast out to the living room where I could watch The Osterman Weekend and eat alone -- a private celebration of seasons and sleeplessness, the comfort of cold ribs from the icebox on a hot night.
If Laura knew, she'd be pissed. Who eats a second dinner at four in the morning? she'd say. And what is it with you and Rutger Hauer movies? But we've been together a while now, like I said, and I kept the volume turned low. I'm finally starting to learn some things.
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Southern Product Tasteoff
Earlier this fall, we rounded up some of the newest, and best, Southern food products available for a tasteoff during Lafayette’s Second Saturday ArtWalk. The spread included everything from peanut butter to chocolate, pepper jelly and barbecue sauce, and ballots provided asked tasters to vote for their favorites. Now that the votes have been tallied and the products officially “tested,” we’re ready to share the results. The products below, listed in order of the number of votes they received, would make perfect accompaniments to your holiday meal. Or, combine a few them in a gift basket with some cheese and crackers, and call it the ultimate Southern gift for a foodie. Either way, you’ll want to make sure you get a taste of these products yourself first. (Scroll down for recipes.)
1. Fischer & Wieser Sweet, Sour & Smokey Mustard Sauce
Based in Fredericksburg, Texas, the specialty foods company of Fischer & Wieser started as a family peach growing business in 1969. Among their now 100 products is Sweet, Sour & Smokey Mustard Sauce. “This is no ordinary mustard,” says CEO Case Fischer. Made from a blend of stone ground mustard, distilled vinegar, sugar, horseradish, white wine, ginger, garlic and maple, the sauce is recommended for spicing up classic recipes like potato salad and deviled eggs. “It’s even sophisticated enough to top Cornish game hens and grilled salmon,” adds Fischer. We served it as a dipping sauce with smoked sausage, and tasters were raving. The bottle and label may be unassuming, but this sauce definitely is not. $8.95 per bottle from www.jelly.com or click here for where to buy
2. Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies
Salem Baking Co.’s newest creation made with pumpkin puree, pure cream butter, brown sugar and a delicious blend of spices is a must at the holiday table this year. Dating to 1930 and located in the foothills of North Carolina, Salem Baking’s all-natural products are made from original recipes. The company recommends its cookies as a hostess gift or snack on a crisp, fall afternoon. Serve them on a colorful plate to contrast nicely with their outer dusting of powdered sugar. $4.99 per box from www.salembaking.com
3. Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q Cheese Biscuit Mix
Based in Birmingham, with locations throughout the South, Jim ‘N Nick’s may be famous for their barbecue, but their cheese biscuits aren’t bad either. In fact, they’ve become legendary. Now, you can bake the warm, cheesy biscuits at home with a bag of Jim ‘N Nick’s biscuit mix. One bag makes 2 dozen, but those didn’t last long at our tasting. $5.99 per bag from www.jimnnicks.com
4. Reginald’s Homemade Peanut Butter
Peanut butter seems to be the “it” product in the South right now, and Reginald’s Homemade out of Richmond, Virginia, will convert even non-PB lovers. So as not to take away from from their all-natural flavors made with Virginia peanuts, we served up two of their products on tasting spoons. The Cinnamon Molasses Cashew Butter got a few more votes than Bourbon Pecan, but both are delectable and would be take baked goods, PB&J or just a slice of celery to a whole new level. Founder Andrew Broocker, who started the company with the help of his mom’s food processor in 2011, says his favorite way to eat the product is still just with a spoon. $5-8 per jar from reginaldshomemade.com or click here for store locations
5. One Screw Loose Jelly
Out of Atlanta, One Screw Loose claims to make the best jelly on the planet. Well, most likely. With varieties made with beer from Jailhouse Brewery, Jack Daniels, Vidalia onions and even sweet tea, this jelly is truly a taste of the South. We served up their Brew Ha Habanero, made with Jailhouse Mugshot IPA, Blackjack Jelly Rub with whole blackberries and Jack Daniels, and Balsamic Vinegar Jelly, which contains the aforementioned Vidalia onions. The Blackjack went over cream cheese, the Balsamic in a sandwich, and the Brew Ha was baked in their Great Hot Dip (recipe at bottom), which won out over the three. $8 a jar from www.onescrewloose.com or click here to find out when OSL will be in your area
6. Uncle’s Barbecue Sauce
A Certified Cajun product made in New Iberia, Louisiana, Uncle’s Barbecue Sauce is concocted from a secret Voorhies family recipe that is a perfect blend of hot and sweet. The sauce’s subtle peppery kick is softened with pure raw brown sugar and packed with plenty of onions and garlic. We served it alongside the mustard sauce for dipping of smoked sausage, but of course it would be great on ribs or burgers. $5.72 per bottle from unclesbbq.com or click here for store locations
8. Midnight Moon Moonshine
Named for bootlegging and moonshining legend and former NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson, Midnight Moon follows his North Carolina family recipe and comes handpacked in a traditional moonshine jar. Aged with fruit and available in flavors ranging from Apple Pie to Cherry and Blueberry, we chose the latter to serve. This moonshine may be available at the local grocery store, but it still packs a punch. The blueberries only added a bit of sweetness and didn’t affect this moonshine’s potency one bit. We imagined sipping it around a fire on a cold night or in a cocktail (recipe below) for the holidays. average $20 per jar and available in 48 states, including Rouses Markets in Louisiana and Mississippi click here for distribution by state
9. Big Spoon Roasters Nut Butter
The second peanut butter to make our list, Big Spoon Roasters makes handcrafted nut butters from scratch in Durham, North Carolina. A lifelong peanut butter lover, Mark Overbay started roasting nuts and grinding them in the fall of 2010. “Big Spoon” is a tribute to his dad, who bears the nickname and also loves peanut butter. We served up two flavors of Big Spoon: Peanut Pecan (in a sandwich with the One Screw Loose Balsamic Vinegar Jelly) and Peanut Cocoa, direct from a spoon. The cocoa got a few more votes and includes stone-ground chocolate. Mark suggests serving it over ice cream, but we can also see it in a pie or cookies (recipe below). $7-11 per jar from bigspoonroasters.com or click here for retail locations
10. Lauri Jo’s Strawberry Pepper Jelly
Preserving the South one jar at a time in South Georgia, Lauri Jo’s specializes in pepper jelly. Each batch is made by Lauri Jo herself, often with the help of her mother-in-law, and using her great-grandmother’s recipes. Her Strawberry Pepper Jelly is delicious over cream cheese, which is the way we served it, but Lauri Jo also recommends it on a turkey sandwich. $6.95 per jar on Shopify or click here for retail locations
A whole new style of condiment – and one we weren’t entirely sure about – Slawsa originated from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is based on a family recipe of Judson Odom. A unique mix of slaw and salsa, Slawsa is a great alternative for lovers of sauerkraut and works well in place of salsa. We served it with tortilla chips for tasting, but company partner Julie Busha recommends it atop hot dogs, as a sandwich spread or paired with pimento cheese. “Some of our friends in the South think that our consistency resembles a chow chow,” she says. “That is, until they taste how refreshingly different Slawsa is.” She’s absolutely right. It’s delicious. 6-pack case is $19.99 from www.slawsa.com or click here for store locations
12. Olive and Sinclair Buttermilk White Chocolate
The perfect end to our assortment, and yours too, Nashville’s Southern artisan chocolate company Olive and Sinclair’s latest creation is a Buttermilk White Chocolate bar. Made with creamy white chocolate that incorporates just a bit of bite from the buttermilk, this bar isn’t anything like you’ve had before. It also comes in a salt and pepper version, which we crumbled up and served in small wooden bowls. A whole bar or two would make the perfect stocking stuffer. $5.99 per bar from www.oliveandsinclair.com or click here for retail locations
Fischer & Wieser’s Sweet, Sour and Smokey Mustard Sauce Coleslaw
1 small head Savoy cabbage, shredded
1 cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup garlic-flavored salad croutons, ground fine
8 green onions, sliced thin, including green tops
1/2 cup Fischer & Wieser Sweet, Sour and Smokey Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1-1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Toss the shredded Savoy cabbage, red cabbage, ground croutons and green onions in a large bowl, blending well. In a separate bowl whisk together the mustard sauce, mayonnaise, Tabasco and black pepper until smooth. Stir the sauce mixture into the cabbage slaw with a large spoon until all dry ingredients are coated with the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 6-8.
Mix cream cheese, shredded cheese, egg and 1/2 jar of jelly well in oven-safe dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with remaining jelly and serve with crackers.
1-1/2 oz. Midnight Moon
Splash of dry vermouth
Shake with ice and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (overflowing) Big Spoon Peanut Pecan Butter
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup rolled oats
Chocolate chunks (optional)
Toasted pecans (optional)
Mix the first three ingredients together until fluffy, then add the vanilla and egg. Mix well, then add the peanut butter. Mix at high speed before adding the dry ingredients. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt directly into the mixing bowl. Mix at high speed until well blended. Add the oats, and Whip it again in the mixer. Chocolate chunks or toasted pecan pieces can be added here if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes on foil-lined cookie sheets and and rotate them from the bottom shelf of the oven to a middle level halfway through.
Thanks & photo credits: Thanks to Zoom Photo Studio for hosting our tasteoff. Photos of sausage with sauces, shortbread cookies, jelly with cream cheese and hot dip by Travis Gauthier.
1211 Martin Luther King Blvd
In a small, almost shack-like house down Watermelon road lies a humble barbecue joint that you’d never notice if you hadn’t been told about it—but if you live in Tuscaloosa or Northport, you probably have. Archibald’s has been a Tuscaloosa staple since opening in 1962, with food so renowned that a photo of the original owner, George Archibald, hangs in the competing Jim n Nick’s Bar-B-Q. Today, Archibald’s is run by George Archibald Jr., but the style and recipes remain the same. In 2013, Archibald’s made #6 on USA Today’s list of “America’s Tastiest Ribs,” and it has been featured on ESPN, in Southern Living Magazine, and in the New York Times. The workers will happily remind you that Alabama legend Bear Bryant relied on Archibald’s for his barbecue needs. In fact, the entire establishment is a family affair. Two offshoots, both called Archibald & Woodrow’s, are also run by the family and offer more options, such as macaroni and cheese, hot wings, and catfish, but the original boasts all of the nostalgia and credibility of an Alabama classic.
Archibald’s doesn’t feel like a restaurant so much as a neighborhood barbecue. The small building, with chipped paint and black smoke stains, holds a cramped counter area, a wood oven built into the back, and only f
our tables however, there are several picnic tables and a second oven outside, creating a casual and amiable atmosphere ideal for tailgating or enjoying a spring afternoon. The food is served from the counter in Styrofoam containers to emphasize this relaxed attitude and simplify outdoor or takeout eating. The workers are all exceedingly friendly, happy to chat and to provide the extra napkins you’ll probably need when you dig into your dinner. Catering to Tuscaloosa and Northport natives as well as students, Archibald’s is exactly what you’d imagine of a hole-in-the-wall joint in a town that lives for college football and good barbecue.
Because the meat is smoked with hickory in brick pits, the process starts early and ends a few hours before their closing time of 8:30. This schedule makes for great meat, but it’s a bit problematic if you show up for dinner at 7:30 on the day of a basketball game, as I did. The already limited menu was cut down even further by the fact that they had run out of ribs, chicken, and banana pudding. With no other options, I (and the three friends with me) ordered the pork sandwich dinner: a box with a luscious pile of sliced pork swimming in bright orange sauce, three slices of white Texas toast, baked beans, and coleslaw. The “sandwich” part is up for interpretation, as the bread comes on the side, so I started with a few bites of pork on its own. The perfectly smoked meat—tender and moist, but still firm—was complimented by a thin, tangy vinegar sauce unlike anything I’d ever tasted (it was so good that I dipped my extra bread in it once the pork was gone). In sandwich form, the food was a bit messy, but well worth the struggle. The baked beans were sweet, thick, and simple, providing an excellent contrast to the acidic taste of the sauce. The only mild disappointment was the coleslaw—expecting fresh flavor, I was instead met with more vinegar as the liberal inclusion of pickles overshadowed the slaw’s other ingredients. It was not unpleasant as a pickle lover, I very much enjoyed the slaw, but it did not provide the balance I was searching for. For under $10, it would be difficult to find the amount of meat included at most establishments, so the inclusion of sides and the remarkable quality make this a fabulous deal for students and locals alike.
A few days later, I made a return trip (early in the afternoon!) to try some of the dishes I missed out on. The ½ Chicken Sandwich is not, in fact, half of a sandwich—it’s half of a chicken, again served with sliced bread. The chicken, though, was just as enjoyable as the pork had been, with a crisp and flavorful exterior and a juicy, tender interior. The banana pudding is a devilishly sweet and creamy follow-up to the meal. Enough has been written about Archibald’s ribs to fill several blogs, but I will mention that the meat is as soft as I’ve seen, and a single bite erupts with smoky flavor accompanied by the somewhat surprising but always enjoyable kick of orange sauce.
Archibald’s creates incredible, unique barbecue for low prices. The setting is relaxed and friendly, but the shop unapologetically relies on their food for all of their business. The small menu and limited seating are not major problems for such a renowned community staple, and customers who would complain can simply visit the offshoot restaurants, which compensate for both lacks. Archibald’s is a place to get great barbecue—no more and no less.