It’s 5 o’clock, and you’re leaving the office in search of some post-work libations and snacks before dinner. You could go the traditional happy hour route — where you’re limited to a few drinks and small bites within a short window of time — or you could up the ante and visit a Japanese izakaya.
Carolyn and her husband of 43 years, Barry Alexander, the co-owner and manager of Brick Pig’s, have been offering up their love and singular Southern-style BBQ to the Oakland community and surrounding Bay Area since they opened their doors in 2006.
While beer is the go-to beverage at most American backyard barbecues, mix it up with these 10 affordable wines that pair well with a range of flavors, from Mediterranean to Asian.
Amazon Books has curated an interactive map that shows who’s invigorating regional cooking. And there are some surprises: Texas is moving beyond barbecue, while charcuterie is cool in California.
Lamb is fantastic on the grill, so this Fourth of July, try some lamb burgers jazzed up with cilantro, scallions, and an unexpected hit of fresh ginger, dolloped with cool herbed yogurt. For vegetarians, there’s a smoky spread of grilled eggplant and tahini, scooped into grilled pita and topped with crunchy carrot-mint salad.
I’m not talking about buying one of those birds encased in a plastic shield at the grocery store — the ones that were supposedly cooked on a rotisserie earlier that day — but really… who knows when it was roasted? I mean preparing a chicken that you cook in your backyard or on a deck — slowly with the seasonings you like. I’m talking about taking the chicken off the spit with your own hands and then eating it while it’s hot and juicy. Sounds primal but delectable, right?
Emeryville may have its charms–the world’s grooviest office, an Apple store with parking, Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe–but streetside barbecue was not among them.
Now, though, with the opening of Primo’s Parrilla, Argentine asado has come to the neighborhood, as authentic as it can get some six thousand miles from the pampas.
For me, however, summer isn’t the time I really like to cook out. I don’t buy into the convention that warm weather and clear skies should always encourage fire-building. It doesn’t make tons of sense to create heat outdoors on a truly hot day unless you’re abandoned in the wilds of rural Idaho without your trusty Vulcan range. Furthermore, I actually tend to crave the foods associated with cookouts during winter.
Tough times call for tough decisions. The California unemployment rate now stands at over 12 percent, and I’ve been underemployed since April. My cup of beans and rice runneth under, so I’m taking a cue from all those folks who have told me Henry is so cute they could just eat him. In short, I have a modest proposal.
In keeping with another current trend, that of back alley catering and restaurant-esque entities sprouting up all over town, d.i.y. barbecue operations churning away on the edges of the local food scene actually best the likes of Baby Blues, Memphis Minnie’s, and Big Nate’s. There’s definitely something appealing about outlaw status, and barbecue wears it especially well, even here.