Category Archives: Off Topic

Do It Yourself

For 2009, I rang in the new year’s prepping and re-doing the floor on my newly acquired studio that I share with Ben.  For the record, Ben literally rang in the new years scraping linoleum off of the floor whereas I took a little break to have a brewski.

The renovations have been if anything more than a labor of love, an exercise in home renovations.   It’s back breaking work, but I’ve learned a bunch of trades and skills that I consider useful in the game of life, including tempering your frustrations.

Doing it yourself has been a personal mantra since my days of Lego and G.I. Joe’s (I used to swap limbs and body parts of other G.I. Joe figures to create hybrid figurines) and it continues to be my driving force well into adulthood.

So what does this have to do with barbecue?  Well considering my very own smoker was a DIY homemade project birthed in an unoccupied apartment bedroom, I have a level of great respect and candor for barbecuer’s that build their own devices and contraptions.  Especially this guy:


The Kids Are Alright

Agent Mule sent me an email the other day effectively shattering my hopes of being a great pit master.  He glibly pointed out that no matter how much smoke plumes from my backyard, no matter how many cords of wood I stockpile and no matter how large and fatty the steer, I can never achieve the status of my colleagues from the Lone Star state. In the email, he compared a Texan’s affinity and knowledge of barbecue to French Canadians and poutine. In post-email conversation, he furthered that point by liken it to Canadians and hockey;   it’s more of a religion where indoctrination starts at a very early age.

He then attached a picture to prove his point.


The art of smoking a brisket is so innate to the Lone Star State that 3 year olds are winning BBQ competitions with their dry rub blends and custom smokers. It’s like a Québécois and his poutine. It would be silly for example for an Los Angeles food geek to try  and ‘curd up’ with the big boys of Canada. The moral of the story is no matter how bad one wants it, or how much smoke the neighbors see coming from your house if you’re not born in Texas your pit mastering skills will always be lacking savoir-faire. I am sorry. Blame the asian texan kid.

Begin forwarded message:

From: lreinauer <>
Date: December 13, 2008 4:00:00 PM EST
Cc: Ed Reinauer <>
Subject: briskid 3



I will admit, kid is cute.


Cian Browne sent this to me the other day and said that I need a jingle.  Goddamit.  How right he is.

Snaps on Snacks

The following post has nothing to do with barbecue other than the brief mention of Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue sauce.  If you can live with that, then please, do enjoy.

The World Going One Way, People Going The Other…

Ya goddam right I’m obsessed.

It’s been a hot minute since a TV show hit the airwaves and impacted me the way The Wire does.  Before watching season one, I pre-determined that the ghetto aura (set in Bodymore, Murdaland) of the show would be its coup-de-grace.  My initial thoughts were that the slang, the hip-hop references and a handful of rapper cameo’s was enough to keep me interested.  Well it didn’t.  It was good for an initial attraction and the odd moment of me muttering to myself “shit, that’s Fredro Starr“.  The selling point however – the element that got me hooked –  was the show’s insane repository of developed characters and a plot line so webbed  you’d almost need Coles notes to follow.  In other words, the ghetto setting was seeing titties through a shear blouse.  The characters, the story line and plot – the meat and potatoes – was actually getting to know the girl.  Ya feel me?

To follow The Wire, you gotta be a bit more than hooked.  To quote excerpts – mildly obsessed.  Taking innocuous points of reference and dialogue that at best, has maybe 30 seconds of play and turning it into a blog-post means you are gleefully gay for the show.  And not in an Omar Little type way.

Which is why I thought it would be neat to highlight some of my favorite food points in said show.  Aside from icing niggas, holding down corners and running re-ups, there are a couple of food gems and moments of food brilliancy throughout the five seasons.  Given that the show is hyper-realistic, this can mean two things:  either David Simon and Ed Burns have boners for food or niggas really do like to eat.

Eat and slang packages.

Now you could wax poetic about the underlying message, theme and meaning behind why food is such a focal point in the show.  But we’ll leave that for The Wire 101.  I on the other hand, would just like to believe that after a long day of pushing weight and being the black Martha Stewart, a nigga just wanna eat some good shit.

Our introduction to the soldiers of the Barksdale Crew.  D’angelo, Wallace and Poot talk about the wonders and politics of the Chicken McNugget.  Niggas got a point.

Here we see what happens when you creep out on the job to grab a mid-shift snack.

Lunch meetings in West B-More.

I’ve been Chinese for 30 years.  In all that time I’ve never ever heard of Yakami in turkey grease.  Can someone please let me know what the fuck that is?

Sometimes you have to make do with something else when the city health inspectors shut down your favorite lunch spot.

Avon drops the biggest truth-bomb of the entire show.


Never, ever, ever enter a pissing match if you piss sitting down.

Long story short, this guy thought he would man up, and bet a buddy who could eat the hottest chili.  He put his bravado to the test and ended up merked.

Thanks Jacob for todays post and as my favorite jew would say:  Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk. Or: if you can’t stand the heat stay out the kitchen. Or: don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.  Or….

Slabs and Slabs

I just finished watching E2, S4 of The Wire.  I’m a little bummed that McNullty is a beat cop but I’m pretty stoked on Marlow’s crew especially Snoop.  Well I take that back.  Fruit was kind of annoying and Marlow looks like a vindictive, black alien.  Snoop on the other hand, floored me upon purchasing a Hilti nail-gun from a hardware store.  To the befuddled sales rep, she so eloquently compares said nail gun to a .22 cal., hands him $800, picks up her “Cadillac of nail-guns” and calls it a day.  You’d have to posses an erie and imbalanced set of aesthetic values to consider Snoop hot, but god damn!

But this post isn’t about that.  Actually I had no idea where that Wire anecdote came from.  Call it obsessive.

Anyhow, after finishing episode 2, I turned to the television where Michelle was watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network.  Notwithstanding the blonde locked, douchebag, psychobilly host, the show is kind of impressive.  In this episode, embarrassing goldie-locked host fleshed out a unique barbecue joint in the Bronx.  The neat thing about this spot, is that they do automotive repairs while smoking your cue favorites such as brisket, pulled pork and ribs. And just when I thought New Yorkers could only smoke Newports, weed and crack.  As our favorite Senator Davis would say “Shiiiiieeeeeeeeettttt.”

For more, go here.