Tired of Chicken Wings? Do Buffalegs From Blake's!

Categories: Grill Marks

Anne Marie Panoringan
Meat, meat and more meat

We relate chicken wings to crawfish-- lots of work for little reward. No offense to this unofficial NFL finger food, but we'd rather spend our time gnawing on more substantial eats. Like a drumstick; it's meatier and with a built-in handle. So why hasn't anybody capitalized on that yet?

Tucked away in an Anaheim industrial park (plus a second spot in Los Alamitos), Blake's Place is a step ahead, debuting the Buffaleg this month. Possessing the same tastiness as their wings, but in a convenient shape. We have one reaction: Boo-yah!

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Anaheim, BBQ

Slater's 50/50 Starts Burger Month With $2.09 Deal (And the Rest of the Month With Fries!)

Categories: Grill Marks

Courtesy Slater's 50/50
That's a beaut

UPDATE 2 APRIL 29, 6:18 p.m.: Totally not beer. Hey all, I got another update. The $10 deal is for a burger and fries. Sorry to disappoint :(. If you go during happy hour, they have a bunch of great beers for $3.50. Still a deal.

UPDATE APRIL 29, 10:30 a.m.: Totally Beer

I'm going to let you all in on a secret: I don't really like sandwiches all that much, the only exception being burgers (They're sandwiches, right?), so I'm excited to announce that May is National Burger Month. OC's got a lot of great burgers for you, from the mass-produced but still delicious Double Double, to Mick's Karma Burger, and TK Burger, but the most talked about is probably Slater's 50/50's selection. And you know what, the marketing geniuses they are, they're starting this month off with a great deal.

This Friday, May 1, for the first two hours and nine minutes, you can order their Old Timey burger for only $2.09.

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On the Line: Charlie McKenna of Lillie's Q, Part One

Photo courtesy of Lillie's Q
Grill 'em up!
Pairing award-winning 'que with local brews is a no-brainer. So when Charlie McKenna and Joe Manzella joined forces to launch Lillie's Q next door to TAPS in Brea, it only made sense. This week, we hear from the man whose resume includes Chicago's Tru and operating his own luxe lonchera. Talk about a range in talent.

Why cook with both wood and charcoal?
So that I can impart the right smoke flavor to the meat, and not overpower it. I believe smoke is a flavoring agent, like spices and herbs, and should be used to enhance the piece of meat you're smoking. Not dominate the flavor profile.

Explain the meaning behind your restaurant's name.
It is named after my 88-year-old grandmother who gave me the inspiration to begin cooking and focusing on Southern food and culture.

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Beer Reduces Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Barbecue

Photo by Jerry Pank
Now with less cancer!

Yup, you read that right. First, scientists discovered that sugars derived from agave might actually be good for you, and now scientists have discovered that marinating your barbecue in beer reduces your exposure to cancer. I'm this close to going on an all alcohol diet.

In a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Spanish and Portuguese scientists discovered that using a beer-based marinade can greatly reduce the formation of cancer-causing chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are created by high heat and smoking.

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Ribs please!
The second annual Ribs, Pigs, and Watermelons BBQ Contest moves to the beach for 2013, and over 65 top teams compete for bragging rights and $10,000 in prize money.

What's in it for you, non-competing BBQ fanatic? The chance to sample your way through the teams who're after your vote in the People's Choice contest. That, and the chance to help raise funds for American Family Housing, which shelters and feeds our homeless neighbors right here in Orange County.

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Not One, But TWO BBQ Events this Weekend: OC BBQ Bonanza, and Ribs, Pigs & Watermelons!

Competition BBQ ribs from The Rub Company

You've got two ways to get your BBQ on this weekend. Fountain Valley hosts their second annual rib burn, and Westminster holds their inaugural sanctioned barbecue competition. At either event, you'll have a chance to walk among the cooks and sample their smoked meats.

The real-deal contest at the Westminster Mall is called the Ribs, Pigs, and Watermelons Pro BBQ Competition. It's a fundraiser for American Family Housing, a nonprofit that helps the homeless. There will be carnival games, bands and the Lakers Girls.

The OC BBQ Bonanza is the rib burn that takes place at the Fountain Valley Sports Complex on Brookhurst & Heil. This is a for-profit food festival organized by the folks that put on the Long Beach Lobster Festival and Tustin Chili Cookoff. No Lakers Girls are expected at this one.

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Weekend Food-Event Roundup: Grillin', SoCo Farm-to-Food Truck Competitions, and Top Chef OC!

Meranda Carter/OC Weekly
Last year's winner, Andrew Gruel of Slapfish

As we ease into summertime, everyone finds a excuse reason to gather. Our lineup includes two BBQ, one luxe lonchera, and Placentia's answer to Top Chef. If your schedule allows, check one out.

Friday - Bistango's "Great American Grill-Off"

To kick-off the weekend, this business lunch mainstay is throwing a party on the patio (they have a patio?). Complete with swimsuit fashion show, comped appetizers and live music, patrons will watch five amateur grillers compete for a $1,000 gift card at either Kimera, Bistango or Bayside. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.bistango.com.
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OC BBQ Festival This Weekend! Extends to 2 Days

Eat competition-grade ribs and you too can be THIS happy
Orange County's longest-running and best-attended barbecue contest returns to the Fairgrounds this Saturday June 9, and Sunday June 10. I have participated as either a cook or a judge in every edition since 2007, and I'm proud to see this home-grown event expand each year. Close to 70 teams from all over the West Coast compete in the Kansas City BBQ Society-sanctioned contest, which sets a record for the largest ever organized in California.

This year, the event is a two-day affair. This event was among the first to embrace the People's Choice vote, which allows the public to sample meats from the competitors. These days, most true BBQ contests in Southern California offer the public a chance to vote for their favorite team. Five years ago, sanctioned contests tended to be closed off to the public, and you weren't able to ask teams for food because organizers didn't want to hassle with Health Department requirements to feed the public.

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Deputy Claims PTSD After Burger King Ex-Con Spits on His Whopper

PTSD burger.JPG
Hold the pickles!
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit weighed in today in the case of a sheriff's deputy who claims severe emotional trauma after two ex-cons working the drive-thru at a Burger King added an extra ingredient during his late-night burger break.

Suspecting the fast-food employees were ex-cons, Washington state Deputy Edward J. Bylsma pulled off the road, removed the burger bun to his Whopper and found a "slimy" white glob of phlegm atop the meat patty.

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Become a Certified BBQ Judge!

BBQ judges at the Dana Point BBQ Championships
​The last time we talked BBQ for the New Year's Eve contest at Knott's Splash Mountain, I promised you an inside view of the judges' tent of a sanctioned barbecue contest. This week: a video and a discussion of how competition barbecue is scored, plus information on where you can become a certified barbecue judge in Southern California next month!

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