We are on the road again.
The other night after receiving many many emails and texts from our friends at the Jack we decided on a spur of the moment – can we get there on time for the awards – oh goodness my husband is giving me the shes off her rocker look – road trips. I just could not reconcile sitting at home another moment.
It was worth it.
So that was Friday night. Now fast forward 19.5 hours of driving and with 15 minutes to spare to awards we made it in time. It rocked.
One of the first people to spot us was team Belgium. LOL they were shocked. Then next was Kelly Wertz and he was shocked then on to our friends at House of Q. IT was awesome surprising our friends and worth every minute. And so on and so on. Fun as heck.
You know the Jack is just something special. Truly though the place is just one part. The friends are whats worth it. Its all about the BBQ. But its also all about the people.
Ill post more as we continue on our journey. Right now we have made it to Chattanooga Tennessee and we are trying some local BBQ joints tomorrow. Then on to a few other spots before we end up this week at some point in Douglas Georgia for the Best of the Best.
Its been a blast so far. We are truly blessed to be surrounded by so many people we love to be with.
Choo Choo BBQ
So we ended up checking out 3 places in the Chattanooga area. The first was Choo Choo BBQ. We had an assortment of everything they have on the menu. We were really disappointed with the quality. The brisket was closer to an overdone pot roast. The chicken had good flavor but it was seriously dry. The pork was ok. IT was tender and flavorful and was moist. The worst however by far were the ribs. They were vile. There was so much oil dripping off of them it just turned your stomach. They were near impossible to pick up as well being mushy. No flavour at all. Now I understand there is a huge difference in comp BBQ vs. Commercial BBQ usually but this was just bad. We went right at lunch time so there should have been some decent quality. There seemed to be a constant stream of customers as well.
We stopped by Porkers Bar-B-Que. Sadly they were not open. However I was really lucky when I went up to the door to check the hours and the owner was there. We got to talking about BBQ and then he took me and showed me his new pit (Southern Pride) and his restaurant. It was terrific. Great feel to the place. Its somewhere you want to have BBQ. They have fed presidents in the past as well. Then he handed me a rack of ribs all wrapped up for us to take home and enjoy. They were terrific. I wish I had the opportunity to try more of his BBQ. I was impressed. I would recommend this great place any time you are in the area.
The last place was Sugars Ribs. Their billboards claim they were voted best in 2008. Hmm. Gotta wonder about that.
Tried their brisket, pulled pork, banana pudding, chicken, ribs, Texas pinto beans, cornbread, grilled corn and sausage rounds. We went right at dinner time. Once again the brisket tasted like pot roast. It was mushy pot roast. The pulled pork was decent, the chicken was really dry. Sahara desert dry. The ribs were so overdone and mushy you could not even pick them up and had to use a fork. The bones were cracking apart. I enjoyed the Texas Pinto beans a lot. The sausage rounds had really good flavour. However they are precooking them and reheating them on the grill and its drying them out. If they held them in a cambro or even an alto sham they would be terrific. The banana pudding looked really pretty with the nilla wafer and lots of whipped cream. It was a disappointment when you put the spoon in it and the pudding was not a pudding but the consistency of yellow banana milk. Ugh.. The worst though was the burnt cornbread we were served. I don’t mean burnt around the edges I mean blacker than a lodge cast iron pan on the bottoms and some of the sides.
The highlight was their Carolina red sauce. It was terrific. Great balance of flavours. Good taste I enjoyed it a lot.
They have this thing at the restaurant. They have three goats in the back and ask any customers who eat their corn on the cob, or cornbread if they have any leftover to go feed it t the goats.
Lets just say the goats get a lot of food and are a happy lot of animals.
I would not go back unless it was just to order their Carolina red sauce.
Tennessee Aquarium Imax Ruby Falls and some kick a$$ pizza.
Having our two girls with us makes it an interesting trip. We decided to head over to Ruby Falls to check out the mountain and the Lookout Mountain cave system.
I found out just how claustrophobic I am. Not good. It was a fascinating trip going down in a packed elevator 1200 FT down. Then you get to walk for 1/2 mile to the Falls. I will say it is absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous. Incredible limestone, stalactites and stalagmites . But for the love of all things good and decent why does the tour guide have to tell you in the middle of the tour that you are directly under the earthquake fault line. I just about passed out when she said this. The most important thing was that the girls and my husband Vlado really loved it. I think next time I will just stay above ground.
The Tennessee Aquarium is awesome. If you ever get the chance and have your family with you please go. It is terrific from the penguins and the sharks to the operators it was a great experience. Lots and lots of information. We could have spent a couple of days easily.
The IMAX was another terrific venue to take the kids too. This is a true IMAX theatre. We thought the movie was great and so vivid. Another one to take the family to if you are ever in the area.
After the Aquarium and theatre we headed around the corner and went to a great pizze place. Mellow Mushroom. They hand toss all their pies. The crust is fantastic and their salads are terrific.
We had a capri salad with the most flavorful mozzarella and tomatoes. The Mighty Meaty did indeed live up to their name and expectations – fantastic pie with a wicked good crust.. The chicken and cheese calzone was enough to feed 3 people on its own.
They had an excellent selection of beers on tap and bottled. I had a Seadog Wild Blueberry- it was a really nice light and flavorfule pale ale.
If you get the chance go and visit this terrific pizza place. It was wonderful.
We headed on to Macon after Chattanooga. Did a bit of shopping and looking around. Just a nice relaxing evening. We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites. It was a great hotel. Ate at a place called sonic burger for a change of pace. They have this drink I think I now have an addiction to – Limeade. Its nice and tart and seriously refreshing.
Jasper Georgia Bub-Ba-Que
It was a very exciting day to be able to go to a BBQ joint I have wanted to go to for the last few years Bub-Ba-Que
It did not disappoint at all.
Anyone who reads this blog knows I dont mince words when it comes to BBQ joints.
This has to be in my top 5 places of all time.
It is exceptional.
The ribs were some of the best I have ever had (and cut beautifully), the pork was tender but still had texture, the brisket was fantastic (so much so our 5 yr old turned to me and said Mommy I wish your brisket tasted like this and then ate 1/4 lb of it. I have to agree with her I wish I did too!). The sides are great too. The Mac n Cheese is creamy goodness. Then of course they had to deep fry it and as well their corn fritters and collard greens are awesome.
However the one that stood out was their deep fried pickles with a side of chipotle ranch. What a nice texture or crunchiness and sourness.
If you are within 2000 (yes I seriously mean 2000) miles of this place GO. Don’t pass go, don’t stop to do anything else just GO!
Sitting here in Douglas is fantastic. We are having a great time with all of the Canadian Teams (house of Q, Smoke and Bones, the BBQ effect) and all of the USA teams. There is even the team from Austria and Poland here.