Thursday, July 29, 2010

Real Deal Ribeye's

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

Summer is flying by and before you know it Labor Day will be and Fall will be in the air. I actually start my heavy grilling season when Fall comes around. Its been a hot summer and I haven't had as much time as I'd like to do some big time BBQ projects but I've been able to get some grilling done and like any All American summer it's included plenty of grilled steak. I love me some fresh grilled top quality beef and when it comes to my favorite cut it is no doubt about it the Ribeye. I used to love filet when I was in grammar school but now that I'm all grown up (in age anyway) I'm all about the Cowboys steak. The finer cut of beef it is the better with ribeye but even the boneless not so thickly sliced ones from the supermarket aisle can make great steaks. But when its time to splurge you gotta go for the minimum 2 inch thick bone in ribeye. Well anyways here are three different outstanding ribeye recipes I've grilled up this summer that are sure to be a smash hit at any summer grilling session.

Hawaiian Ribeyes

This recipe comes from Houston's Restaurant which is a property of the Hillstone Restaurant Group. I've never been to a Houston's which has multiple locations around the States but I did enjoy the copycat recipe I found online for their Hawaiian Ribeye steaks which I guess are one of their more popular ordered items. No need to go there when you can do them up right there where you stay in your own backyard.


-2 ribeye steaks
-salt & pepper

For Marinade

-1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
-1 6 oz can of pineapple juice
-1/2 cup of soy sauce
-1/2 cup Worcestershire
-1/2 cup of brown sugar
-2 tsp fresh chopped garlic
-2 tsp minced ginger


1) Combine ingredients in a saucepan and heat it up on low to let the flavors mold together.

2) Once its slightly boiling turn burner off and let the mixture become completely cool. Once its at room temp put the steaks into a ziplock bag and let them sit in the fridge for two days.

3) When they're time comes to be eaten, set up your grill for grilling and when nice and hot throw the steaks onto it and grill for 2-3 minutes per side.

Note: You can serve this with a handful of dishes. I like to make it with buttered noodles as a side. Other great options are wasabi mashed and or grilled veggies.

Hawaiian Ribeye with buttered noodles

Tex-Mex Ribeyes

This is from a recipe from the new Robb Walsh cookbook masterpiece titled "The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook" and it like the rest of his books are must have for any true bbq/grilling fan. His latest is more about grilling and the favorite recipes used for it by Texans throughout the state.


-2 Ribeye steaks
-red potato's, cleaned and chopped into equal size pieces
-batch of green onions, chopped with green tops reserved for garnish
-4 tsp of Tex-Mex Grill Blend (recipe follows)

Tex-Mex Grill Blend from Robb Walsh's New Book (Makes one cup)

-3 TBSP powdered chili of your choice
-2 TBSP dried granulated garlic
-2 TBSP ground black pepper (fresh is better)
-1 TBSP ground thyme
-1 TSP ground coriander
-1 TSP ground cumin


1) Prepare your grill for grilling and then throw chopped potatoes into a pan on your stove with butter and oil and add some of the Tex-Mex blend along with the green onions into the pot with them and let the mixture cook thru which could take up to 20-30 minutes. Just make sure to toss them around now and again and let them cook all the way thru. Give them time for that.

2) While potatoes are cooking take the Tex-Mex blend and rub the steaks on both sides with a little olive oil and then the Tex-Mex blend and coat well and let sit for 10 minutes.

3) When potatoes are done add the chopped green onion tops for garnish and grill the steaks to desired doneness and serve on plate with potatoes and condiments like sour cream, salsa and guacamole along with some corn tortillas toasted on the grill.

Tex-Mex Ribeye with potato Texas hash

French Onion Bone-In Ribeye

This is a classic French dish turned into a meat eaters paradise on a plate. Nothing beats a bone in ribeye and I love to grill them over fire sprinkled with just fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and butter and eat them as is but this recipe takes the simpleness of a great grilled ribeye and turns it into a steak with layer after layer of different flavor. When I made these they were one of my favorite meals of the month and I will make them again sometime very soon.


-2 bone-in ribeye steaks at least 2 inches thick
- Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- French Onions (recipe follows)
-1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
-1/2 cup fat skimmed beef broth

French Onions

-2 onions
-4 TBSP butter
-2 TSP sugar
-3 TSP all purpose flour
-1/2 cup milk
-1 cup fat skimmed beef broth
-1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
-2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt & Pepper

Directions (these can be made a day in advance and or earlier in the day)

1) Peel and thinly slice the onions and place them with butter and sugar in a frying pan over medium high heat and cook for 15 minutes until they are light brown.

Onions sauteing away with butter and sugar

2) When browned add in the flour and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk and beef broth and place back over high heat and continue to stir until boiling. When almost all the liquid has evaporated remove from the heat and add the cheeses and stir until melted. Add in salt & pepper and put aside.

Use the end result hot when adding it on top a steak (can be microwaved if made a day ahead)

3) Prepare a grill for grilling. When grill is very nice and hot take your steaks and char the outsides over the high heat for 5-7 minutes per side and remove them from grill and bring inside and prepare the french onion mixture if its not already hot.

4) Prepare your broiler on high heat and layer the French onions on top of each steak and follow that by layering them with the last unused 1/2 cup of shredded Gruyere.

How they should look before going into the oven

5) Place the steak into the oven about 5 or 6 inches away from the broiler and let cook for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and has a nice colored crust to it.

The steaks ready for consumption

6) Allow the steaks too cool down for 10 minutes and prepare your plates with your choice of sides for this dish (I did sauteed spinach and 'shrooms) and once steak has sat slice it into strips like those seen below.

sliced French Onion Ribeye

7) Prepare the plates and prepare for bliss.

French Onion Grilled Ribeye with sauteed spinach and mushrooms

Save that juice!!!! Its great soaked up with garlic bread....

Well I hope you liked today's grilling feature and with football around the corner you know grilling season is coming too. Stay tuned. See ya next time on S'C&C with the King.

Monday, July 26, 2010

T's Tap

-Got beef?
The Burgers of Chi

Today we head south along Lake Michigan towards Indiana and also the state of Michigan. The Eastside of Chicago and the Hegeswisch neighborhood is a place we've been to before here on S'C'&C but never before to a local tavern, specifically-T's Tap- located at 98th and Ewing right along route 41 and the Lake Michigan circle tour. I've passed T's countless times over the years and was always intrigued by the "homemade sandwiches" text on the sign. Since T is also one of my nicknames, I always said I'd stop into my place one day. That along with the fact its an old school corner bar, in what I believe to be the only neighborhood in the city to see very little change these past couple decades, made it time to visit and so I did last January.

a popular Eastside Chicago hangout

When you scope out T's from the outside, it doesn't tell you much, just a bar in the bottom floor of another old brick building located at the corner of 98th & Ewing. But upon entry you step into a little bit of a time warp. My friend with me commented on how much he felt like he was in St. Louis as we sat down at the bar to get some drinks. It was a Saturday afternoon and the bar had a bunch of regulars sitting at it from ages 25-65 and there was also a bachelorette party with quite a few girls getting rowdy around 4p to Kid Rock's "all summer long". To give it some more of that old school tavern feel they also serve free popcorn in an old popcorn making machine and they have all your lotto needs covered from scratch cards to the big game, you can play it all inside here while you have a drink or five.

a little video peak into the tap

I very much enjoyed my visit to T's. Even though we weren't recognized by anyone in there the bachlorette party and bartenders were really friendly and couldn't believe I came there from Lincoln Park. At some point in time, T's was ranked one of the Top 15 bars in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune. After one visit I am ready to agree with this call. Chicago doesn't have too many places left like this anymore.

Front of the menu (click pic to enhance)

Aside from cheap drinks you will also find a menu filled with food of the greasy variety. They have a deep fryer and a grill in the front and the menu consists of the typical things you would throw in a fryer along with fresh grilled burgers, pork chop sammy's, Italian beef etc...We went with both a burger and a Patty melt (1st thing listed on the menu) along with an order of chicken wings. T's also has a specialty drink called the Pink thing and plenty of other thirst quenchers.

T's Tap fried chicken wings

Not bad at all for a small little neighborhood shack. The patty melt, although we got it with American cheese, was awesome. I got a patty melt for the 1st time in a while at Top Notch a few months back and forgot how much I like them. The patty melt at T's was damn good and when you consider the monster 1/2 pound melt is only $4.25, its a bargain. The burger was also good and both sandwiches were made by the potent yet excellent batch of grilled onions served on them. We also got an order of wings which were decent. They came fried nicely and they give you a huge bottle of sauce to douse them on your own with. If you go and are tempted by the pizza, don't be, its just Tombstone.

T's Tap Cheeseburger

T's Tap Patty Melt

I loved my first visit to T's and plan on heading back there this summer as I scoot back and forth between Chicago and Indiana/Michigan. If your ever taking the lake up or back and become hungry and want to catch a game on the tv, stop on by at T's, they'll treat ya like you been a regular for 30+ years.

a fine version indeed

T's Tap
9801 South Ewing Avenue
Chicago, IL 60617-5564
(773) 221-3111

T's Tap & Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 23, 2010

Big Ed's BBQ

-Grubbing in Chicago (land)
Where Da Bears eat.

So far this month we've been back and forth, along with up and down and in and out of the state. I said it would be travel packed and so for the next two spots we visit we'll head to places along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour route that you may pass on the way to Wisconsin or Michigan if you choose to take that route to those states. Today we head North along the Lake up along Sheridan road to a place past the Northshore located in North Chicago. When you hot Martin Luther King Jr Drive the only way you can turn is left if coming from Chicago and your going to want to do that because it'll bring ya to Big Ed's.

North Chicago, IL

Big Ed's has been around for a few years now and anyone who's driven by has surely smelled the smoke. Ed's is an all in the family type spot and its run by none other than Ed who is helped out by his wife and kids. A former service veteran, Ed was discharged after an injury and began work in corporate America and then began to start a small catering company after attending Kendall Culinary College. As time went by Ed started to cater full time and had a wide range of regular clients including many of Da Bears who live up North close to the team facility's. As his legend grew so did the need for his 'que and eventually Ed opened up Big Ed's where it stays today and is the home to "great BBQ and then some" which is a true story. Ed uses hickory wood in his Chicago style aquarium smoker and is always on duty making sure there's great BBQ to be had in Lake County. But so the saying goes, there's alot more here too. I like messing around with the tips and link combo like I do at all BBQ spots I love.

Rib Tips & Hot Link Combo

Ed and his wife are some of the best hosts you can have at any restaurant from fast food to fine dining. You can know that your going to be taken care of and anything you need within reason will not be a problem. Ed is devoted to his craft and puts TLC into each and every piece of meat that goes into his smoker. Having grown up on the southside Ed learned to smoke using an Aquarium at an early age and that you can tell when you get that first bite of bark from a rib tip. Almost everything on the menu here is made from scratch and this includes the hot links which go great with his bbq sauce. Its not just BBQ on the menu, this place has something for everyone and this includes burgers, sandwiches and fried fish and chicken. I'm still making my way thru other items but I cant wait to get back, everything I've had on my visits has been stellar.

Chicken Wings

On one visit in which I was coming back from the outlet malls I had a craving for chicken wings, specifically fried and I stopped at Ed's to help kill the want and it worked wonders. The wings came out perfectly fried and the selection of hot and bbq sauce was wonderful. It's been a couple months since I've had the pleasure of stopping on in for some of Ed and his family's fantastic food paired with wonderful hospitality but the time is coming since this post reminded me I have some things I have yet to try. I didn't snap any pictures of the sides but the mac and cheese and collard greens are must gets for me on every visit. I very much look forward to my next one.

Perfect bark on the rib tips

Big Ed's BBQ
2501 MLK Jr Drive
North Chicago, IL 60064
(847) 578-1901

Big Ed's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thirsty Perch

-Grubbing in Michigan
Where the FIB's eat.

Pure Michigan is where we head on this trip. Not too long ago I got back up to South Haven in SW Michigan's Harbor Country and had a great meal which has happened before (click HERE for a previous post on the area). I usually spend a nice amount of time in the area during August so I have a few spots on my radar and The Thirsty Perch has been one of them for a while now, so I scoped it out on my most recent visit to the area. Its a spot not too far from the beach and is there for the influx of tourists that flood the area over summer.

South Haven, MI

We went on a weekend day around 5p and there was a nice crowd in the restaurant just as there was on the streets and beaches. Its the peak season for SW Michigan and its towns along the lake. I might of said this in my last post too, the area has basically become Chicago's version of Cape Cod or the Hamptons with beautiful estates, lots of shopping and golfing and of course plenty of bars and restaurants. We chose to sit at the bar which is my preference when visiting a bar while on vacation or at home in Chicago. It allows you to learn more about the area and meet locals and regulars. The inside of the place is really nice and casual, well sized and has a great feel of summertime when you stop in. Like any good summertime beach area bar they have a happy hour and serve some fine local microbrews on tap and in bottle. I browsed the menu to see what else was on it but the reason we where here was all in the name. The Thirsty Perch uses the best fishmongers in the area for fresh Michigan perch delivered to the kitchen daily. I spied they had fresh iced oysters on the half shell at $2/each and since it was so hot I had to order a few.

The High Life

I was impressed with the menu at Thirsty Perch and really liked how they offered their fresh caught perch both beer battered and pan fried. Aside from the namesake they had some nice looking salads all made with fresh local farmers products and I spied a nice looking burger that passed me in the hands of a waitress. The use of fresh local ingredients and my love for legit fish sandwiches made me go for a perch sandwich which came with fresh cut fries and I also opted for a couple side orders of fresh fried perch to go with that.

Perch Sandwich

I've always been a big fish fan and an even bigger freshly fried fish fan and perch has always been one of my favorites. I'm happy to say that the Thirsty Perch met my expectations for the two of them and I quite enjoyed the meal. It wasn't the cheapest batch of fresh perch out there but it was nicely done and I will be back and hope I can be so sooner than later because now after posting these pics on here, I really want some fried perch.

beer battered fresh perch

Thirsty Perch
272 Broadway Street
South Haven, MI 49090-1483
(269) 639-8000

Thirsty Perch on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 16, 2010

Milwaukee Germanfest

-Feastin' at locals favorite festivals

Our next stop is a straight shot up the lake from Chicago into the great city of Milwaukee. It's also time to introduce the newest series here at S'C'&C which is to feature different food related festivals I visited last summer, which I will now share with you thru this summer. I'll be sure to always make the post in advance of their 2010 date's. This year the Milwaukee Germanfest which is held on the lakefront kicks off on Thursday July 22nd and goes 'til Sunday July 25th 2010. It also happens to be the 30th anniversary of what they call "Milwaukee's Original Haus Party". Last year me and a couple friends embarked on a daylong journey to Milwaukee and ended our trip with a stop at Germanfest and made sure we went out with a bang. I've let it be known that Milwaukee is one of my favorite cities in the US to visit and summertime is best. This is a place that knows how to throw parties and its been that way since the 1840's when the population of the city was heavily increased by German immigrants. The German heritage and culture is still widespread throughout Milwaukee today and if there's one Germanfest in the US you want to visit, Milwaukee's is it. Beer, Brats and Blondes...oh my!

I'm going going, back back to Milly Milly

According to Wikipedia today's greater Milwaukee area phonebook has over 40 pages of listings with Schmitt or Schmidt which is far outweighing the number of Smiths. Milwaukee has some great German restaurants along with classic beerhalls and some great architecture and they've all been a part of the community for generations. We went on the opening day which was a Thursday last year and admission was free and we took in the scene, chowed down on the food and put down plenty of beer during our visit. I snapped as much as I could remember too and hope to get back this year. So here's a little sneak peak into what you can expect at Germanfest in Milwaukee on beautiful Lake Michigan.

Germanfest is one of Milwaukee's many summertime parties

You can expect plenty of food and beer

Fresh roasting chickens on a spit were there as we entered

But it was the pig roasts that got our immediate attention

Spanferkel (roasted suckling pig) dinner

Pig's feet were cheap and full of flavor

I always gotta try whatever the local Elk's are frying up wherever I'm at

Potato Wedges with sour cream were good beer food

Milwaukee Elk's Lodge Fried Chicken was da bomb

Make sure you go on a very empty stomach

Mader's is a famous local German restaurant

Tubed meats are a must at any Germanfest

The line for these was so long it's one of the few items I didn't get to try

Tenderloin Sandwich

We didn't try any German pizza but it was interesting

Pizzas pre-toppings

What makes up a German pizza you ask?

Plenty of good beer and beer halls to consume it in at Germanfest

Dessert Time

Cherries are big in Wisconsin

So I had to get a cherry strudel while I was there

Sil's Drive thru is popular in Milly for its mini donuts

They had a mini donut making machine at the fair

It was pretty cool watching them be made

Excellent donuts they were...

So if your thinking of heading up to Milwaukee for Germanfest or for any other reason we have plenty of other good eat rec's that can be found right HERE. Its an amazing eating city and a great place to spend a summer weekend or even just the day eating and drinking away. See ya next time on Smokin' Chokin' and Chowing with the King.


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