Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: March 28, 2009 (House of Annie)

Posted 29 March, 2009 at 12:51am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

I got up early today and took Harold to CQB City in Stockton, California (currently my favorite place to play Airsoft). After playing a couple games, we broke off to eat grilled hamburgers for lunch. The hamburgers tasted different than what I was used to because they used some red colored seasoning (didn't catch the name) as well as a healthy dash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. There's nothing like a lot of exercise and an coming off an insane amount of adrenaline coursing through the body to make a burger taste great. I had a Pepsi and a bag of Frito's Corn Chips with the burger.
Cheeseburger with Corn Chips

After coming back from Airsoft, Tina and I headed over to Nate & Annie's home to participate in a barbecue rib taste test where we sampled four different ribs (one purchased from a local BBQ restaurant and the other three prepared in different ways - grilled, boiled then baked, and smoked).
Barbecue Ribs

I especially liked the smokiness of the smoked ribs, but felt that the grilled one ended up having a lot more flavor from the spice rub. (We weren't told which was which until after the tasting was complete.) What was interesting was that the spice rub used on all but the restaurant ribs tasted different even though it was the same rub. It turns out that the cooking method makes a big difference in the final taste of the rub. The restaurant ribs were purchased from Texas Smokehouse BBQ in San Jose - a solid 4-star restaurant on Yelp. These ribs had awful texture - they were more mushy than tender. The flavor was also really weird - pretty much nothing except for smokiness and the smoke tasted artificial/synthetic. I rated them bad to inedible. Later Nate told us where he got the ribs and how he watched them load their grills with Kingsford charcoal and light them with lighter fluid. No wonder the smokiness tasted bad - it's not the gentle sweet smoke from fresh wood, but, instead, the harsh smoke from charcoal made from random scrap wood and the petroleum vapor from the lighter fluid!
Barbecue Ribs Taste Test

One of their guests brought pavlova (two kinds made from two different recipes) as a unique birthday cake for another guest (unfortunately, I forgot both their names).

2 comments to What I Ate: March 28, 2009 (House of Annie)

Nate, March 29th, 2009 at 12:16 pm:

  • Actually, the boiled one was baked in the oven at 350* for one hour.

    It was really neat to see the different scores and read all the different comments from the score sheet. Texas Smokehouse BBQ was unanimously rated last.

    Also neat to taste how the same rub performed differently under the different cooking methods. I learned a lot from these rib cooks.

Michael Chu, March 30th, 2009 at 1:47 am:

  • Thanks Nate! I fixed the error concerning the boiled ribs.