Tag Archives: holiday

Say hello to Pappy’s!

Happy Fourth of July! Errr … I mean post Fourth of July weekend!

I don’t know about you but I was very busy. Not only was it a glorious four days off, I had friends in from out of town, which means there was a constant stream of activity – BBQs, fireworks, City Museum, bars, restaurants etc. My friend Ryan even got engaged. All in all, nothing beats a mini reunion over good food and drinks.

One of the joints that we found ourselves at was Pappy’s Smokehouse, home of the most famous BBQ in STL. Heralded as one of the 101 best places to chow down in America by The Travel Channel, expectations were high. And apparently, everyone had the same idea since we had to wait 50 minutes before placing an order and finding our seats.

The menu is very simple, similar to the plain brick facade of the restaurant and wooden tables scattered throughout the inside. The only way you would know the place is of any importance is by the pictures of celebrities and celebrity chefs peppered on the walls touting the accolades of Pappy’s.

Your options are the traditional smokehouse selection: ribs, pulled pork, chicken, brisket, turkey and sausage. For about $18, you can get a half rack of ribs in addition to 1/4 pound of another meat – in my case, brisket. Let me tell you up front, no need for the second meat. After juicy, smoky-flavored ribs, the second protein was left forgotten on the plate. The brisket was just OK and the bite I had of the pulled pork was delicious but the big daddy of Pappy’s is the rack of ribs.

Obviously, the main focus of any smokehouse is the meat but we all know that a true BBQ experience wouldn’t be complete without the sides and Pappy’s delivers in spades. All the regulars are on the roll call: baked beans, slaw, sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, green beans and applesauce. I know, I picked the same ones you would have – baked beans and cole slaw a.k.a. the best sides I’ve ever had.

Let's dive in!

Before – let’s dive in!

It’s impressive when you remember more than just the proteins from a BBQ restaurant and I guarantee you’ll remember these. The beans were very sweet, but not heavy. Soft and even a little smoky, you’re left with the perfect blend of flavors. The slaw was a keeper too. The dressing was vinegar-based versus mayonnaise, which means it was light, citrusy, and a great refreshing, bite to follow up the richness of the meat and the beans. See for yourself, I left nothing on the plate … except the brisket because I was too full.

After.

After.

And here you have it, the abbreviated review of the best BBQ joint in STL:

  • Price: $$
  • Taste: 4/5
  • Ambience: 3/5
  • Service: 5/5 – while we had to wait a little bit, everyone was very friendly, brought us samples of beans in line and checked in regularly once we sat down after placing our order. A+

Oh, and before you ask me about the BBQ sauce, know that I didn’t have much since the meat was flavorful and moist enough. You’ll have to make your ranking of Pappy’s Original, Sweet Baby Jane and Holly’s Hot Sauce when you pay a visit.

How was your Fourth of July holiday? Try any new restaurants? Where’s your favorite BBQ?

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Time to Be Thankful

I’m thankful for pie – can’t wait to dive into these today!

All over the internet, Facebook and TV, you catch celebrities, friends and newscasters proclaiming what they’re thankful for. What’s great about this holiday is that it forces you to take inventory on your life and boil it down to what’s dearest to you.

At Thanksgiving, my family traditionally goes around the table and shares what we’re thankful for and since I’m not home to do it, I figured I’d use this outlet to celebrate and reflect.

Family: This one is obvious and usually comes first for most people but I’m very fortunate to have a close-knit family. All of us experienced change this year  and through it all, we supported each other with long phone calls and an abundance of laughter.

Friends: Having spent three years in college, more than 2,000 miles away from familiar surroundings, I had to rely on other people, namely my friends, to be my support and my home away from home. Luckily the relationships that I cherished at that time are still alive and well today – crazy to think that I’ve known some of them for close to eight years now! I’m also extremely lucky that I’ve been able to make close friends since graduation. My friend Alison wrote about her love for these cities but more than what those cities have to offer, it’s the people living there that make them all the more precious. Thank you, friends! You keep me on my toes.

And that’s it! I know my list is short but when you have those things, what else do you need? With that, I’m off to chow down on some sweet potato casserole, stuffing and pie. Notice the missing turkey because we all know that sides are the best …

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Candy Corn M&M’s, A Review

I have a confession to make: I have a crippling sweet tooth. It’s so bad that the only sugar I have in my apartment is in granulated form. This doesn’t keep me from indulging every once in a while but I have to exercise constraint when around anything sweet, which, during Halloween season, is near impossible. In other words: pumpkin candy bowl at work – 53. Adam – 0.

Another thing you should know about me is that my favorite candy is M&M’s.

Side note: if anyone at Mars is listening, I’m volunteering my services as official spokesperson for the brand. I’ve done something similar here and it worked out pretty well for everyone involved. Thank you.

Tangent aside, there’s something about the semi-sweet chocolate melting in your mouth, protected by its candy exterior that just gets me every time. I enjoy this treat so much that I’ve managed to try every flavor imaginable including:

  • Peanut (Classic for my dad)
  • Milk Chocolate (Classic for me)
  • Dark Chocolate (Perfect for a more sophisticated palette)
  • Peanut Butter (How could you go wrong?)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly (Hm, no. Just, no.)
  • Strawberry (Meh)
  • Cherry (Berries should have nothing to do with M&M’s)
  • Coconut (Not bad)
  • Mint (New classic – I love everything mint chocolate)
  • Pretzel (BEST ADDITION TO THE BRAND)
  • Almond (SECOND BEST ADDITION TO THE BRAND)

… and, you’ve guessed it: Candy Corn.

Candy Corn is also one of my favorites. However, this preference is rooted more in my upbringing versus my personal taste, since growing up overseas meant that I missed out on a lot of American staples. Whenever my dad would travel to the U.S. for work, he would always bring back the candy that we couldn’t enjoy in France, which included: Tootsie Rolls, Hot Tamales and Candy Corn. I’m pretty sure you could find me eating handfuls of the honey-flavored delights in March when I should really be eating Cadbury Eggs. Needless to say, when I caught a glimpse of this Frankenstein of a candy, I just couldn’t pass it up. It somehow fell into my shopping bag when I had my back turned …

Now, don’t get too eager like I did and completely gloss over the fact that this is in reality Candy Corn-flavored WHITE CHOCOLATE. In my haste to rip open the package, I failed to see what was so clearly spelled out on the front and instead, expected to break into the candy shell and find the perfect texture and taste of Candy Corn.

Wrong, so wrong.

What you actually have is a Halloween treat that is too sweet with just an after-taste of Candy Corn. I barely made it through half of the white, yellow and orange pieces before I had to set the remaining aside. This one just wasn’t doing it for me and got banished to the land of the Strawberry M&M’s, not quite as bad as the Peanut Butter and Jelly ones but not on my list of must-haves either. This is essentially a novelty product created to drum up seasonal buzz, similar to to the Candy Corn-flavored Oreos.

My advice to you this Halloween is to bypass the bright packaging and go straight for the regular Candy Corn and M&M’s. Not only will you please everyone, you’re sure to enjoy the bits and pieces that you sneak away for yourself.

Have you tried the new Candy Corn M&M’s? What are your thoughts? What are your favorite Halloween treats?

Frankenstein himself.

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