18 January 2009

A few of my favorite things.

Brad and I had been looking forward all week to revisiting Slows Saturday night, this time with the Zawackis in tow -- I was so excited to share the yumminess with them that Brad had so recently shared with me. Needless to say, the snow had another plan for us... Despite a short break in the clouds late Saturday afternoon, by the time Lisa and Brad headed over to meet us, the roads were a disaster and Detroit no longer seemed like a reasonable destination. We decided it was still to be a bbq night headed over to the Blue Tractor.

Again, despite the snow, downtown was packed -- at 6 pm. Weird! They estimated an hour and 10 minute wait, so we headed down to the in-between-bar downstairs and ordered up some drinks. First, we all discussed how nice it is to have a comfortable and cozy waiting lounge, where you can sit, order drinks, and appetizers (from Cafe Habana) if you want. Lisa and I split a carafe of Cuban sangria, which was just delicious -- it tasted like sangria, obviously, but it had coconut rum in it as well... Mmmm. Funnily enough, less than half way through the carafe, and hardly a half an hour later, our table was ready.

We'd all been to the Blue Tractor before, but none of us had tried the bbq. And since we already had bbq on the mind, well, we ordered some up. It worked out that the boys ordered the same meal -- the brisket -- and the girls ordered the same meal, too -- the North Carolina pulled pork. How cute! To start, though, we ordered the basket of fried goodness and the potato chips with cheese fondue. It was, by far, the best meal we've had there (and the company wasn't too shabby, either ;)). Although half the fried goodies weren't going anywhere near my mouth (fried pickles!), the fried okra and green tomatoes were GOOD; the chips, which I'm not typically a big fan of, and the fondue were perfect together. For starters, it was the perfect amount of food, too (although Lisa had more than her fair share of pickles [sorry, my dear!]). As we waited for our main courses, the boys ordered up some beers.

Nothin but class with this group.

The main courses... Well... Just plain yum. I was too busy chowing down on my meal, but the boys' brisket looked good (and they seemed pleased), and it came with mashed potatoes, too.

Brads like brisket.

Our pulled pork meals were just super yummy. It's funny because I've never ever ever liked bbq, and I went nearly two years hatin' on pork. But I'm totally totally reconverted. I would absolutely get this again -- tangy and sweet, with a slight bite. And it came with greens and cheddar grits, my fave (although the Z's are right, they are a little on the dry side). I just now realized we didn't get dessert... how silly of us! But after half a carafe of sangria and all that food... I was STUFFED.

And now onto my other new favorite thing.... beets! I cannot belive it, either. I've always found beets horribly offensive, even though I'd never really eaten one. But after Lisa Smith's delicious beet and chicken salad a few months ago, and Vinology's beet and goat cheese salad, I finally felt brave enough to buy my own beets. At the store today, I grabbed a package of pre-cooked beets (thanks for doing the work, Trader Joe's!) and was determined to work them into dinner tonight.

Now, our dinner was nothing too crazy, and I basically ripped off Lisa's chicken salad. But Brad and I BOTH loved it (Brad even liked the beets ["tastes like corn on the cob!"]), and I am already craving it again. Who knew beets were so sweet and completely nonoffensive. Please accept my humble apology, beet.

Bogarted Schmitty Beet Salad
~1 lb chicken, chopped
3 beets
2 handfuls of fresh uncooked spinach
Goat cheese
Spicy mustard
Red wine vinegar
EVOO (yeah, I said it. EVOO!)
Salt and pepper

I like to use chicken tenders because then I don't have to touch the chicken -- I just start chopping it with the spatula as it cooks. Anyway, I cooked the chicken for a few minutes, seasoned it with salt and pepper, then drizzled about 2 tbs each of the vinegar, oil, and mustard in the skillet. Smooshed it all around, and finished cooking the chicken. When it was done, I dropped the chopped beets in (I chopped them small in case Brad didn't end up liking them) and stirred them together. Then I spooned the mixture on the spinach and topped with goat cheese. So easy, but so delicious. I served it with baked potatoes, so lots of veggie action tonight. I'm totally confident now in my ability to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day! Now... if I could only get a handle on that drinking enough water thing. Bleh!!!


Kishore Choudhary said...

liked it

Rachel said...

Woohoo! Yay for more beets! There are also golden beets, if you're ever looking for variety. Yum. I LOVE beets.

Lady Lisa said...

you forgot the best part of the evening: I gave Georgie a boner! hehehe. Good times were had by all. Now next time if we can just get rid of that pesky snow for a trip to Slows...

MattsRants said...


the two of us said...

i love beets!