Currywurst: Authentic German Sausage in Los Angeles by MEAT ME

Stop what you are doing and get in your car and travel to Currywurst. They have always been the best and will always be the very best place to eat authentic German Sausages. It does not get better than this. I have covered this place before and now I am covering them again. They have decided to bring the Doughnut Dog into this world. How this isn't the greatest food on the planet I have no idea. It blows me away that there isn't a line out the door. All I can think is that they are located in the heart of a jewish community might be holding them back. I can say enough good things about this place I just hope that with enough time the word will spread. I sit down with Kai Loebach the owner of Currywurst to find out what kind of crazy he is serving at his sausage palace.

MEAT ME: Explain to me the doughnut dog?

Kai Loebach: The doughnut dog is a Long John Doughnut that is not glazed or sugary. It’s a plain doughnut with plain all beef Vienna hotdog. That’s important it is not a sausage it is a hotdog.

MEAT ME: Hotdog?

Kai Loebach: Hotdog! Hence the name Doughnut Dog! It is topped with your choice of either sauerkraut, grilled onions, or home made mustard.

MEAT ME: What to do you recommend?

Kai Loebach: It depends on what kind of a person you are…

MEAT ME: I am an onion’s kind-of-a-person.

Kai Loebach: ONIONS? I love the onions and our mustard. It is a great combination, because doughnut has that soft feeling and the hotdog has that nice snap to it. We also serve it with a pickle.

MEAT ME: Really, a hotdog with a pickle?

Kai Loebach: Yup! A hotdog with a PICKLE!!! A quarter of a pickle, it is really nice quality. There are very few places in LA that actually sell Vienna hotdog’s cause they cost almost twice as much as my all natural sausages. It’s crazy!

MEAT ME: What do you mean my “All Natural”? What does that mean?

Kai Loebach:  It means that there are no preservatives in the sausages. There are no color additives. It is just the meat and spices. That’s it. Natural casings, there are no artificial casings. The chicken sausages do not have pork casings they have collagen casings. As an Orthodox Jew you could be eating that sausage and not have to repent after that. It’s “Jew Proof”.

MEAT ME: It should say that outside. Being in a Jewish neighborhood, they have a right to know.

Kai Loebach: We have had a few guys sit outside and it is so funny when you see a really religious Jewish person (the ones with the payis’s) sitting outside of a German sausage place, where most of the food is pork. It is like, come on, do you really know where you are sitting? Umm… we don’t decimate against anybody.

We also have the Vegan sausages, which are the smoked apple and sage, and Mexican Chipotle. I don’t want to fool Vegans and say we cook the vegan sausages and the pork sausages on the same grill. The Vegan sausages are being cooked in a cast iron skillet that is just off to the side of the grill and we never have anything else in it. I think that is a very important point.

Spaghetti ice cream is a really typical German desert that I grew up with. When I moved here I thought… Actually my first year here I didn’t even think about it. It was so far removed, but when we opened Currywurst I thought, well anybody can do apple strudel. Everybody was doing it so we wanted to separate ourselves from the ordinary folks. So I decided to do something that I grew up with and that was also really authentic. The Spaghetti ice cream is vanilla ice cream put through a special German hand press machine. There is no motor so there is some elbow grease going into it as well. It comes out looking like spaghetti and we top it with fresh strawberry sauce and white chocolate shavings.  It looks like a plate of spaghetti marinara. Excellent.

MEAT ME: You also added a burger it looks like?

Kai Loebach: Yes the burger is an all Angus Beef 6 oz burger, which is a really nice substantial size. It’s presented on a brioche bun and it comes with cheddar cheese, garlic aioli, onions and tomatoes and served with a side of greens. You can also have it with french fries. It’s a great product.

MEAT ME: Why did you decide to introduce the burger?

Kai Loebach: It’s AMERICA. We live here. If this place were existing in Germany that menu would be reduced to 1 sausage and that’s it. If you go into a place like this in Germany you order Currywurst. They don’t even offer you the sausage with a bun. It’s like you sell currywurst you get currywurst. It’s one sausage.

In America you have to have options. People come in here, knowing we still serve several different options, but still feel we have a very limited menu. It’s not like they are eating 6 different items while they are here, so why are they saying it’s limited when they are only ordering one item anyways? That’s what you come in here for. When we introduced the burger we thought it was something that was easy to handle, it is such an American staple and I thought it would be good, and it has been really successful.

MEAT ME: Do they serve burgers in Germany the same way that they might serve them here?

Kai Loebach: Not in the same way they do here. Yes, they server burgers in Germany but as a lunch item called “Frikadellen”, is a larger burger patty that includes some soaked bread, eggs, spices, usually a little ketchup and mustard a lot like meat loaf. It’s a patty that you eat with mustard for lunch. That is very typical next to the Currywurst, but when they eat a burger it is nothing outrageous like we have here where people get very inventive. In German they have adapted to that American standard where you get a sort of wonder bread type of a bun that you get at any type of a burger fast food place. It’s just a simple patty with cheese and may be mayo and ketchup and that’s it. So people don’t usually go all out.

MEAT ME: So since we last met the biggest issue was translating what Currywurst was. How is that going?

Kai Loebach: Terrible. Look there is nobody in there that is the problem. People just haven’t gotten it. We had a great spot on KTLA 5, and I was amazed by how much airtime they gave us. They gave us 15 minutes of airtime on a Friday morning between 6 and 8 in the morning. That’s huge. It was for the introduction of the Doughnut Dog, but when people come in here and they read Currywurst as non-German or non traveled American you really have no idea what it is; if it is the name of the restaurant or if it is the name of the dish. They really have no idea what it is. People are just like, what is it? They have never had it and most people say they will try it because they don’t know what it is.

When we say Currywurst is the name of this really great dish and they try it and it’s great, but how do I get the people in here thinking they can also get as sausage on a bun that has nothing to do with curry, and that doesn’t like curry. That is still a pretty big challenge and until we educate people here… That’s what it is.

MEAT ME: Well aside from that, how is everything else going? Are your cookies doing really well?

Kai Loebach: The cookies are doing well. We sell a lot to catering. My regular catering business is doing really well. That is the reason why this place is still open. I am not making any money I am loosing money every month, but I am looking at this project as sending my kid to college. You pay a lot of money for the education but you don’t know what comes out of it.

I am going to stick it out for 5 years and it proves to break even or make a little profit we got to continue. If after 5 years I fail to get the word out about it there is no reason for me to continue.

MEAT ME: So what would you tell someone who hasn’t been here, why they should come here?

Kai Loebach: It is a very unique product, even though it falls under the category of “fast food” or “street food” the quality is so much higher. The French fries, beef and sausages are of the most amazing quality. They have no preservatives; it is a very clean product. Plus, it’s an authentic German experience. If you don’t have the money to travel to Germany, our experience is the closest thing to it.

MEAT ME: So people coming from Germany?

Kai Loebach: Yes, a lot. The tour buses go by and I sit outside I can see the pupils going large, “Oh my God, look… There’s Currywurst.” People come back to eat. We have a few hostels’ down the street the Banana Boat Hotel, a lot of German kids stay there and when they are walking down to the grove they see; they are like “Oh my God”, and they are taking pictures of it.

MEAT ME: I see you had to move your sign (sausage crossing)?

Kai Loebach: Yes after 2 years the city finally said, you can’t do it. It is still very visible. So it is one step away from being illegal.

MEAT ME: So today I ordered the Bockwurst, correct?

Kai Loebach: Yes, you got the Bockwurst (pork/veal) which is sliced Bockwurst with curry ketchup and curry powder. That is authentic as it gets. Then you had the Bürgermeister, which is a burger on a Brioche bun with tomatoes, onions, and cheese. Then you had the Doughnut Dog, which is a Long John doughnut which is plain and not sweetened with an all beef Vienna hotdog, caramelized onions, the house mustard and a pickle. Then you had the spaghetti ice cream. Which is vanilla ice cream thrust through a machine to make it look like spaghetti topped with fresh strawberry sauce and white chocolate shavings.

People this food is amazing. Aside from actually going to Germany, it doesn't get any more authentic than Currywurst of Los Angeles. Please come out, treat yourself, and enjoy a luxury you might not have the chance of enjoying unless this unique establishment gets the well deserved business that it needs to survive.

You can check out Currywurst's website or find them at 109 N Fairfax Ave  Los Angeles, CA 90036

Save the sausages,
Sean Rice

How to BBQ Spare Ribs by MEAT ME

Finally I am going to show you how to BBQ your own spare ribs at home. I have seen tons of professional bbq teams from Big Poppa Smokers to Slap Yo' Daddy do ribs up in various different ways. Each person does it his or her own way, but this way seems to be the easiest while still get them to taste just like the pros do it. I don't have the best smoker in the world, Smoke'N Pit Charcoal Smoker & Grill by Brinkmann, but great tools don't make a great cook. Knowing how to use what tools you have available is what makes you a great cook. They no longer make this model so you don't have to worry about finding it, but this particular style of smoking can translate to almost any grill or smoker. Now the big difference between BBQ and Grilling is the SMOKE. Grilling is cooking over an open flame at high heat and BBQ is done with wood at low temperatures over a long period of time. Low and slow as they always say. For this meal I am cooking up spare ribs and cutting them St. Louis style. At the bottom is a list off all of the ingredients and supplies you'll need for this cook. 

Here are all of the supplies that I used. You want to get apple juice to keep the ribs moist. You'll need the Agave Nectar (which can be replaced with honey), Parkay and brown sugar for when you wrap the ribs. If you want to be clever and use real butter instead of Parkay don't because butter burns at a much lower temperature. I got Stubb's BBQ sauce for the very end. I used Big Poppa Smoker's Little Louie's and Sweet Money for the rub. I chose Happy Ending for my finish. I am using Kingsford charcoal as my fuel source and a combination of apple and cherry wood chips for a sweet smokey flavor.

I got the meat at Smart and Final where I bought most of the supplies. The rubs you can buy online at Big Poppa's website. The charcoal and wood you can get at Home Depot or local supermarket. It all depends on what your location carries. I prefer spareribs because they have a lot more meat than baby backs. Farmer John sells this 2 pack that can range anywhere from $18 to $25 dollars. On a side note "All Natural" means nothing on packaging. There are no requirements for that label so unless it has the USDA ORGANIC logo on it, it's just regular meat.

First off I rinse off the ribs under running water, place them in a pan and then damp them dry with a paper towel before I cut them. Take one rack and lay them ribs down bone side up and look for the piece of skin that lays diagonally across the ribs. You want to cut that off, it has various names from "the alien flap" to the "mud flap" so call it what you want just cut it off an throw it away (or use it to make stock for a pork butt injection). Next is either removing the membrane or trimming the ribs, it is up to you. I like to count down about 11 or 12 ribs and then cut a straight line parallel to the rest of the ribs from top to bottom. Then you'll feel for the top for the very first rib where the cartilage meets the edge of the breast bone and cut in between from there straight across the top of the ribs in a strait line. You should end up with a nice rectangle. You'll have your rack of ribs and your rib tips.

Now you are going to remove the membrane, sometimes this is easy and sometimes this is a pain is the fucking ass. What you want to do is go to the very edge of the bottom of the rib and use your finger nail to separate the membrane from the bone fat. Some people will stick the end of a spoon under it and drive it right up the bone. Then you'll grab a paper towel for grip and pull the membrane right off (it can be slippery). There will be 2 distinct layers you only want to pull the very top layer off. If you pull off both, the bone will literally fall out of the rib when you pick it up. There are 2 reasons to pull the membrane off 1. is to let the smoke get through to the under side of the meat. 2. It's a mother fucker to chew off when you're eating it.

Once the membrane is gone flip the ribs over and cut off any access fat that is hanging off the meat this will also prevent the smoke flavor from getting to the meat. Now that's done you are going to season your ribs. I have Big Popp's Sweet Money which I like for the sweet flavor and Little Louie's for it's salty/peppery flavor.

You will evenly spread the seasoning to both sides and give it a pat with your hand to make sure it's on there. That's one pat, there is no reason to molest the meat. Once that's done set it aside and let it rest for at least 60 minutes so the meat will absorb the rubs.

Once the ribs are rubbed I will apply the same technique to the rib tips. I will place the ribs and tips in a pan in the fridge I will pull them out 45 minutes prior to putting them on the smoker so that way they are room temperature and not cold. The idea is that the meat will take longer to get to perfect temperature if it is cold in the middle. There is less of a chance of undercooked meat below the surface. Technically it will take just over an hour to come to room temp being in the fridge, but if you want to go crazy you can place the meat in the oven at 225º to 350º for 15 minutes which will take the meat to 72º, the same as being at room temp for 1 hour and you don't have to worry about the meat going bad.

With the meat rubbed I used my fire starter with 10 to 12 coals and a piece of paper towel soaked in olive oil to get my fire started. Never use liter fluid it will make your food stink like chemicals. I then took 2 of the bowls from my vertical smoker (you can use metal bowls) filled them with water and placed them in the bottom of my smoker. This will help keep the ribs moist because the smoker will act like a humidifier as it starts to evaporate from the heat.

Once the coals are red I placed them on top of the pile of coals I had in the side box chamber of my smoker. I did a few different methods for the wood. Here I placed apple and cherry wood chips in a piece of foil. I then placed another piece of foil on top, rolled up the edges, and then poked holes on top and bottom. This should last about 30 to 40 minutes in the smoker. This foil technique also works well if you wanted to smoke on a grill. Just place this off to the side and it should smoke nicely.

It took me about an hour to get all that set up and going. The ideal temperature for this smoker is between 180º to 225º you can even go all the way up to 275º. It all depends on how long you want to smoke the meat for. As you can see with the ribs all of the rubs have been absorbed into the meat.

I have laid out all of the meat, bone side down and I made sure to keep some space between all of the pieces so that they all get some smoke. Once laid out, close the lid so the smoker can get back up to temperature.

After about 20 minutes my temp went all the way up to 275º. For me that's a little high for just smoking so I closed up the air vents half way to bring the temp back down. Remember for the next 3 to 4 hours we are just using the smoke to create a flavor bark around the meat. Once the bark is set we'll wrap the meat, raise the temp and start to cook it.

It has been an hour and here is where the apple juice comes to play. You're going to fill a spray bottle with apple juice and start to spray the meat every 30 minutes to keep it nice and moist. Do this very quickly because you let all of the smoke and heat out once you open the lid. I have also thrown more wood chips directly onto the fire to bring the smoke back up.

Here you can see the bark slowly set on the ribs every hour. The smoke will start to bond with the rub and the meat to form a nice crusty layer on the ribs. This is exactly what you are looking for. Each time you smoke ribs it will be different. The temperature on this smoker is a mother fucker to control. Some times it's windy or cold. Some times the wood burns super quick. Some times I have to add a wood chunk every 20 to 30 minutes cause they burn out. Usually a pretty sizable pile of charcoal should last the whole cook but if its windy and it's been running hot you might have to add more. There are a lot of variables to manage but it can be done. 

It's been about 3:30 minutes of smoking averaging 190º. They way you can tell if the bark is set is by trying to pick off the crust like a scab on your skin. If it wont come off and it looks to be a light brown color it's done. But if you can pick it off it could probably should go a little longer.

Now it is time to wrap the ribs so I have pre set up each wrap on a table ready to go that way the ribs don't lose temp as I am wrapping them. I use the extra wide foil. If you have heavy duty foil use that instead. If it's the thin stuff use 2 sheets about 3 feet long. Sprinkle down some brown sugar, a nice hand full should do. Zig zag the Parkay and Agave about 4 to 5 times.

First I started with the ribs tips in one wrap. I laid them all meat side down so you can see the grill marks facing up. I then added another hand full of brown sugar on top with 4 to 5 zig zags of parkay and agave. Wrap them up and place them in the middle of the smoker. The point of wrapping the ribs is to boil them inside in their own juices. The foil prevents the meat from burning and keeps all the moist wet juiciness on the inside.

Lay the ribs meat side down right onto the strip of sugar, parkay, and agave. Grab the sugar, agave, and parkay and repeat the previous step again. When finished grab the edge of the foil nearest to you and then the opposing side and bring them together. Then fold them over in one inch increments until you have about a 1 inch space between the foil and the ribs. Take the ends and fold them in as well. Place them back on the smoker and close it. Open and close the smoker for each rack that you wrap so the least amount of smoke and heat escape.

Now I have looked at my temp and its sitting around 170º, but I need it back up at 275º to cook the ribs that I have just wrapped, so I have added more charcoal. I added a good 30 pieces because I need to keep the temp up for at least another 2 hours.

It's been about 20 minutes and I have only been able to get the temp up to 225º and that was with the vents wide open. So now I have spread the charcoal briquets out with a pair of tongs and opened the side door to the wood burning compartment. With in 10 minutes the temperature was back up to 275º. Some times all you need is more oxygen to bring heat to a fire.

I take a metal skewer and I poke at the ribs every 30 minutes until it slides right through the meatiest part of the ribs, just like butter. That's when you know it's ready. You want to see a little pull back on the meat from the bones since meat shrinks when it is cooked. Now I have never fucked ribs up before but this time I did. I made the mistake of placing the ribs right next to the wood fire box by the end of the barrel and when that sucker hit 275º it burned the shit out of the ribs and this is exactly what they looked like below.

The brown sugar turned black and the layer of bark got stuck to the inside of the foil. The meat was very clumpy and there was a thin layer of black crust across the top, this is exactly what you don't to do. I rushed it thinking that it was going to take to longer to cook with the temperature so low. I tried to compensate by turning up the temp and after 2 hours they were burned.

After about an hour and a half between 250º and 275º this is exactly what they should look like. Now as you can see I did loose a little bit of the bark that had formed while they were smoking, technically I could have smoked them just a little bit longer. I can easily cover that up at the end by adding a little extra rub.

It's time to add the sauce. I poured the bottle into a pan just before I pulled the ribs out and brought it to a boil. I let the ribs rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. You don't want to put cold BBQ sauce on the ribs it makes them cold right before you eat them.

Here are the ribs right after they have been sauced. This is when I should have added Big Poppa's Happy Ending rub, but I forgot.

You can cut these ribs right down the middle or you can follow the edge of the bone like I do. Now these ribs were a little tough. I probably should have left them wrapped for another 30 minutes just to get a little more pull back. I think it is safe to say I won't be using this smoker again it's just too hard to keep the temp up when I have the ribs wrapped.

If you ever have this issue the safest way to save them is by throwing them in the oven, wrapped for an hour at 400º. It will save you every time.

These were ribs I cooked up about a year ago. As you can see they have a nice crusty bark on the outside, and the meat looks super juicy on the inside. Nothing is completely black.

For this cook you will need:
1 Smoker of your choice
1 Bag of Cherry Wood (chunks or chips)
1 Bag of Apple Wood (chunks or chips)
1 Bottle of Apple Juice (with a spray bottle)
1 Agave Nectar (or Honey)
1 Parkay
1 Stubb's BBQ Sauce
1 Bag of Brown Sugar
1 Big Poppa's Little Louie's
1 Big Poppa's Sweet Money
1 Big Poppa's Happy Ending
1 Wide Spool of Foil

I wish you all good luck and Happy Ribs,
Sean Rice

How to Grill the Perfect Rib Eye with Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes by MEAT ME

I found out I was being featured as Grill Master of the month for the American Grillmaster Experience. I was so excited I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than creating a blog post on how to grill my favorite steak, Rib Eye.

This is one of my absolute favorites. It has wonderful marbling, an exquisite taste, and a really fast cook time. Steaks are great on their own but when you throw in my favorite side dish; Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes the only out come can be magnificent.

For this feature I wanted to grill up 4 different types of rib eyes. I went to my local butcher shop that supplies locally raised grass fed cattle. I bought one bone in and one boneless. I also grabbed the USDA approved Ranchers Reserve from my nearest Vons just so I could test the taste between the 4. Some say grilling with the bone in adds more flavor and is also more cost effective. I can't wait to find out for myself.

I also just got in my rubs from Big Poppa Smokers which I can't wait to use on both the potatoes and the steak, so let's get started.

For this experience I am using one bag of Kingsford original charcoal. I do not like the flavored kind but I am going to throw in 2 wood chunks. One Apple and one Hickory will give the meat and potatoes that extra smoky barbecue flavor.

I like to use my charcoal fire starter; this you can find at any Home Depot, Kohls, Walmart, or Target. I wet a paper towel with olive oil placing it in the middle of the layers of coal and lighting it. Don't put in too much or it won't light, it needs oxygen to get going. Once the paper is almost fully burned and the coals are white hot I'll throw them on top of the coals I have on the barbecue and then close the lid. Depending on the size of your grill you may need to do this more than once.

First I start with the potatoes. I like a bag of 12 to 15 baby golden potatoes. I will scrub them under running water, half them and then throw them into a pot of water. We will be putting the entire pot on the grill so make sure it does not have a handle that might melt or catch on fire.

Once they're all cut I smash and add in about 6 to 8 garlic cloves. I don't chop them up, I just smash them so they can be peeled and then throw them in the water.

Next grab 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary, take your knife and lightly braise them before throwing them into the water this will help release some of the flavor. Lastly add in a palm full of salt and then let it sit.

Now the best part. The meat. I got 4 different cuts from 2 different sources because I wanted to compare the flavors and marbling between the Grass Fed and Rancher's Reserve. Also my guest like them cooked 4 different ways; rare, medium rare, medium, and medium well. So by getting 4 different thicknesses I can cook them all at the same time and have 4 different out comes.

Now as you can see, before we have even put on Big Poppa's Double Secret Steak Rub, the marbling between the Ranchers Reserve and the local Grass Fed beef is very different. It even smells different too. The Grass fed is way more gamey and stinky were as the Reserve is very pleasant with barely any scent at all.

Now for the rub. For this cook I am using Big Poppa's Double Secret Steak Rub, I have heard great reviews and I am very excited to use it. I took the meat out about and hour before I knew it was going to go on the grill. I generously shake the rub on both sides of the meat until the entire surface area is covered. Then you will just let it sit at room temperature and let it absorb the rub. You don't want to grill cold meat.

It's been about 30 to 40 minutes since I have lit the coals and the temp is showing just under 400 degrees. You can see the coals are beginning to turn pretty white and ready to have wood chunks placed on top as close to the air in-take as possible. This way the smoke travels across the food before it exits the smoker.

Now I added the pot of potatoes to the grill and closed the lid. I'll check every 5 minutes until it comes to a boil. Once it reaches a boil I will leave it closed for about 10 minutes. This will soften up the potatoes before we grill them. Make sure you use oven mittens if you touch it this mother fucker, it's hot and will burn you.

After 10 minutes take the pot off the grill and strain all of the water out of it. When it's dry you then want to drizzle the olive oil over the top of the potatoes and then shake on Big Poppas Jallelujah Seasoned Jalapeno Salt. Once it has an even coating use a wooden spoon to stir around the potatoes until they are evenly coated. At this point your temperature should be some where over 400 degrees.

Once coated add them back on to the grill with some tongs. Try to keep then in an area that isn't the hottest spot on the grill. This will prevent them from burning. Gather up all of your meat and throw them on the grill as close to the hottest spot as possible and close the lid for 6 minutes. Do not open it you want them to use all the heat. If the grill is open the heat is getting out and your meat is hating you. So just don't open it.

Now 5 minutes have gone by. Open the lid and start to turn the potatoes over, move them around a little bit and then leave them alone. By the time your done flipping the potatoes the 6 minute alarm will go off and it will be time to flip the meat. Flip each one over and then close the lid. Set your timer for 5 minutes and don't open it even for a peek because your letting your meat boner get the best of you.

Now your 5 minutes is up. Open that mother fucker and see the beautiful meat that this barbecue has given you. If you want that shit medium rare take it off now and put it on a plate. If you want it medium  to medium well. Take off the potatoes first and then take off the meat last. Now don't EVER press the meat against the grill and squeeze out the juices to see how done it is. I will personally beat the crap out of you if you do this. Feel your own palm; the center of your palm is what medium to medium well feels like. The outer portion of your palm at the base of your thumb is what rare to medium rare feels like. You TAP the meat with the tip of your tongs to be able to feel this.

Now make sure you always get your grill as hot as you can when cooking this. Flames should be hitting your meat when your juices fall into the fire. Don't be scared, this is meat there is supposed to be fire. As long as you use my formula you should be able to cook this in the black of night and not fuck it up.

Now you have taken the meat and potatoes off. Your pants are basically wet at this point (guy or girl) and you can't wait to take a bite, but you have to. It's not done yet. It has to REST for 5 minutes so that it finishes cooking and the flavors have a chance to settle. You can't taste anything if you burn the shit out of your tongue because you can't wait 5 minutes.

This is what heaven looks like. It taste amazing. Now I get a chance to try all 4 and see if there really is a difference in taste between the Grass Fed and the store bought Ranchers Reserve. The potatoes are extra crispy on the outside, super soft on the inside just like I want them. The Jallelujah Seasoned Jalapeño Salt gives it that little extra kick of spice to balance out the saltiness that you might encounter when eating with a seasoned steak.

The first thing I tried was the boneless Ranchers Reserve followed by the bone in. The difference was really subtle but the flavor is not as strong, it is very serious. A little tougher than I like but not bad. I mean for a steak accompanied by Big Poppa's Rub, it's fucking magical.

As for the local Grass Fed beef it was like a party in my mouth. Really loud flavors calling out to me after every bite. This meat was really tender and cut like butter. You can even see how much more juice there is than in the Ranchers Reserve. I am really convinced that Grass Fed is the way to go and when you have a nice compliment like Big Poppa's Double Secret Steak Rub to your mouth is left truly satisfied.

Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes:
1 bag of golden baby potatoes
6 cloves of Garlic peeled
3 sprigs of Rosemary
2 Table Spoons of Salt
1/4 of a cup of Olive Oil

Grilled Rib Eye:
1 bag of Kingsford Charcoal
4 1 to 1-1/2 inch thick Rib Eye Steaks (bone-in optional)

Good Luck and Happy Grilling,
Sean Rice

Crab Boil: A Little Taste of the South by MEAT ME

Hungry. It seems that's all I have been lately. These past few months I have been training everyday to run a half marathon in November.  After 5 to 7 miles of running everyday I can't stop to over whelming feeling of hunger. Hell, I can't remember the last time I blogged about what I was eating. With filming and retouching sucking up most of my time blogging has had to take a back seat. I know most of you were hoping for more MEAT Inc. episodes unfortunately this recipe will have to do for now.

I remember last year around this time I was in New Orleans chowing down on anything and everything I could get my hands on. These days anytime it's hot out my cravings instantly shift to Southern. Last night I decided to use my down time to cook up a Crab Boil. 

With a quick trip to the store I was able to pick up, (the full recipe is at the bottom) 1 sack of baby red potatoes, 1 pound of king crab legs, 1 onion, 1 head of garlic, 1/2 pound of shrimp (you can get a pound, my girlfriend isn't a fan), 4 dried chili peppers, 4 bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, 2 lemons, some cajun style andouille sausage, and 2 ears of corn. 

This dish is a lot of fun. There are no rules you just throw in what you think will taste good. It's pretty hard to fuck up. In some cases you can swap the crab legs out for 12 whole fresh crabs. This particular dish was big enough for 2 to 3 people so you can easily double the ingredients to serve more. 

First you wanna grab the biggest stock pot you have. Start by washing and scrubbing the potatoes. Then separate the garlic cloves from the head. I like to use as many natural and/or organic products as possible. I figure the less chemicals in my food the better it will be for me. 

I used to spend hours peeling back the layers of skin on garlic, it would take forever. One day I slammed my knife on the counter in frustration only to find out that squashing the garlic was the best way to get the job done. I consulted some of my chef friends and it turns out I'm an idiot and everyone does it that way anyways. So you're welcome.

Now once the garlic is peeled and the onions are chopped in to 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces (these are just for flavor btw) go ahead and shuck the the corn and cut it into halves. Why? Cause giant pieces of corn in a pot look obnoxious when you have a food blog...

The third step is to clean the shrimp. Asian restaurants that serve shirmp tempura don't usually do this and it fucking grosses me out. You're eating shimp poop. It won't kill you, I just don't like the idea of eating another animals shit. In the cooking world they call this peeling and deveining.

Next you are going to pull out your 3 sprigs of fresh thyme and pour out a 1/4 cup of sea salt. Set this aside cause you will be throwing it all together in your pot.

Once everything is ready you will half your 2 lemons. Don't worry about the seeds, cause if you try to remove them you will probably loose extra lemon juice that would have been better off in your pot for more flavor. Now you will pour in 4 quarts of water. Turn your heat to high and throw in 2 TBLS of distilled white vinegar, your crab boil (I use Zatarain's cause it's easy and taste good), 4 bay leaves, 4 dried chile peppers, 3 sprigs of thyme, garlic cloves, 1/4 of a cup of sea salt, and lemons. You want to bring all of this to a rolling boil. 

Once you reach the rolling boil add in the crab, potatoes, corn, onions, sausage, and shrimp. Wait for that to get back to a rolling boil then time it for 5 minutes with the lid on. After your 5 minutes turn off the fire and let it rest with the lid on for 15 to 20 minutes. Then (this part I did not do because I was hungry) throw in a bowl of ice. This helps the crabs absorb the seasoning and prevents it from over cooking.

Then let the crab stand in water for at least 1 hour before serving. The crabs can be served warm or completely cooled. I like it warm or really hot so I did not let it sit for 1 hour, but you can cause you're awesome.

Last but not least I take out what I want to eat, put it in a giant bowl, and go to town. Some times I will sprinkle on Creole Seasoning just to give it a little texture. I also got some french bread and toasted it. In New Orleans it seemed every dish came with it so I felt it needed it.

Here is exactly what you need:
4 quarts of water
2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
1 Zatarain's Crab Boil
4 bay leaves
4 dried chile peppers
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4 cup of sea salt
2 lemons, halved
1 pound of crab legs (or 12 fresh crabs)
1 pound of shrimp peeled and deveined
4 cajun style andouille sausage (cooked and/or cured)
3 pounds of red potatoes scrubbed 
2 ears of corn shucked and cut into halves or thirds
1 onion (10 ounce)
1 bag of ice

Enjoy this, it is fun and easy and if it's for a special occasion you will almost always get lucky...

Happy Summer,
Sean Rice

Note* I will be at the Huntington Beach BBQ Competition this weekend so I hope to see you there.

Gift Couture Steak Wrapping Paper by MEAT ME

A new Kickstarter Project needs your help. Sarah and Justin are in the start-up phases of a small gift wrapping company called Gift Couture. They design gift wrap sets that coordinate together into unique themes, and they wanted to share their latest set with me...

Sorry the video did not embed but if you click on this image it will take you r
A fresh new steak on gift wrap!

Hello! We are Sarah Fay and Justin Colt, owners and operators of Gift Couture, a small start-up wrapping paper company based out of our apartment in New York City. Our goal is to create unique, high-quality coordinated wrapping paper sets that feature original photography and designs. We were able to launch Gift Couture a year and a half ago, with the help of everyone who backed our cheeseburger paper.
Since then, we have started working with D&K Printing, a locally-owned family business in Boulder, Colorado with a focus on sustainable printing practices.  We are currently trying to raise enough funds to have them print and package our newest coordinated wrapping paper set–a steak and cutting board!
We already have the set completely designed, and if our funding goal is reached, we will be able to deliver to Kickstarter backers by the end of August, 2013.
This is a versatile set that can be combined with other elements–such as butcher paper and meat trays, for a highly unique gifting experience!  We have two different packages available to Kickstarter backers:

Thank you to all of our supporters! Everyone who contributes to our project will be featured on a special contributors section of the official Gift Couture website. Our highest backers will each receive one of our hand-made golden steak trophies as a sign of our appreciation!

Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter

Having successfully funded, manufactured, and distributed our past Kickstarter campaign, we've built a streamlined fulfillment process in order to deliver the paper quickly and efficiently. We can assure there won't be any mis-steaks.
We fully intend on keeping in touch with and updating all of our backers if any unforeseen setbacks arise along the way.

I really hop this works out for them.

Good Luck!!!
Sean Rice,

Big Poppa Smokers & BJ's Brewhouse - Summer 2013 by MEAT ME

This is the video that has been taking up so much of my time lately. It looks like MEAT ME's videos have finally paid off. Sterling Ball of Big Poppa Smokers asked me to shoot his summer video launching his new partnership with BJ's Restaurants. They are using his Sweet Money rub on their ribs, and his Jallelujah rub on their french fries. Together they are packing quite the flavorful punch.

Sterling isn't lying when he say's, "As a consumer you are not expecting this good-a-rib at a restaurant!"

I co-direct this video with Ryan McClain, Sterling's Director of Event & Entertainment Marketing. We spent about 2 days shooting a recreation of the original magic that brought both Big Poppa and BJ's Restaurants together. Following the shoot I spent another 3 weeks editing and finally finished with this wonderful gem.

I would like to personally thank Sterling Ball aka Big Poppa, for the opportunity to create such a high quality product. They were a blast to work with and I look forward to creating more awesome videos in the future.

You can order Sweet Money and Jallelujah rubs right off Big Poppa's Website.

Finally success,
Sean Rice

What it takes to be Grand Champion: Pechanga BBQ Competition 2013 by MEAT ME

That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind. How to be the best in BBQ on a consistent basis? How to create the perfect BBQ that judges are going to love at every competition? Well it seems Left Coast Q has it figured out, 5 Grand Champions in the last 11 competitions. Which means 2 more and they get an automatic entree into the Jack Daniels. 

There is really only one way to find this out and that’s to head out to a competition and see what everyone has been up to. I arrived at Pechanga just south east of Temecula. It’s hot, crazy, and chaotic with 70 barbecue teams competing, which is huge, since the largest comp ever held in California maxed out at a total of 77 teams.

As you can imagine with more teams competing the competition gets much harder. Along side the traditional categories of chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket they added the Iron Chef category; as if cooking for 18 to 20 hours, serving a couple thousand people and trying to bring your A game isn’t enough they add an open category. Don’t worry they can handle it, their professionals, well… Most of them. 

Meat Inc. gets their team together around 9:30 am to go over the game plan. They need People’s Choice tickets, and have the upper hand being by the entrance. Sell, sell, sell. Do whatever it takes to get the food out. 

This is a great place for people with families to bring their kids, plus it’s pretty hard to find a kid that doesn’t like bacon.

A lot of the teams find themselves in the position of hurry up and wait. You sit around waiting for that one widow to open when the meat is ready and then you go right back to waiting. At these events half of the fight is not getting distracted by what other people are doing, you have to stay in the right mind set to keep up with your game plan. Some times I feel like people go and chat with other teams as if it’s part of their game plan.

Then there is the drudgery of putting together the turn in boxes and preparing them with parsley. Any one who usually gets stuck with this job is the BBQ Bitch. Make It Squeal BBQ Team couldn’t have said it better on the back of their shirts.  Some have it down and only spend 10 minutes on a box, others spend hours on end making it resemble the perfect putting green. I give these people credit it takes a crazy person to want to do this job.

You also have to keep the little ones preoccupied and no one does this better than When Pigs Fly taking with the job of trophy protection signage. It’s a tough task but only the highly skilled typesetters can pull it off. “Do Not Touch Trophies” it might be bad luck but who wants to find out.

These events are complete chaos and this photo says it all. You have to deal with fire and safety, the health department, the needs of 70 BBQ teams, tending to the KCBS judges, and making sure everything goes smoothly for the people attending the event. This is all done by one Henry Sylvestre. As you can imagine it’s pretty hard to keep all these people happy but he does, and some how manages to put on a pretty successful event at the same time.

Food prep can be a long extensive process that only ends once everyone has gone or there is no food left. Meat Inc.’s ABT’s are no simple task to build. Jalapenos are hallowed out and then filled with cream cheese and salami finally wrapped with bacon. They will make and sell over 1,000 of these along side, moink balls, smoked bologna, ribs, chicken, candied bacon, pulled pork and some brisket. They have some how figured out an assembly line style of a system that produces food non stop.

Aaron Black of Meat Inc. is always trying to top his people choice numbers from the year before. He is finding that his lavish good looks and fire cracker personality fueled with a cocktail and a microphone aren’t bringing in the numbers like they used to. So he has enlisted the help of a beautiful dame to drawn in more people and it seems as though for now it is actually working.

Beautiful women and barbecue have always been a popular item at competitions. If your team is composed of a stunning array of vivacious beauties accompanied with some tasty barbecue chances of success are pretty eminent. If you just happen to have some irresistible bacon you may just steal the show.

Hawaiian shaved ice is to be taken very seriously. In these sizzling temperatures it tends to serve more as a need than a want. You can tell by the intimidation in the little girls eyes, she is more worried about the fate of her slushy than her photograph being taken.

Chicken. Everyone has a secret way of doing chicken. Scrap the skin, remove the bone, don’t remove the bone, soak in butter, and of course season and sauce multiple times but don’t get any on the inside of your turn-in-box or you’re screwed. I have seen it all. Everyone thinks that their way is best and it is cause it works for them. If you’re Left Coast Q you have tons of trophies to back you.

At the end of the day you are going to do what makes you happy and what you believe the judges want. That is what gives you the confidence to take 1st place chicken. If you believe in your process 100%, and combine that with perfect chicken size, appearance, taste and texture I’d say your chances are pretty good.

If you don’t win, you know why. You didn’t believe in what you turned in. There are so many variables involved if one fails it throws off the rest of the entire process leaving you with a box of shit to show the judges.

People will go crazy for your food. They will want it, and if you tell them it’s the best they’ll believe you. Of course a pretty smile and a trophy always help, but there is the case of Peoples Choice winner H&H BBQ.  They had a really long line, but when I asked people no one really knew what they were standing in line for.

Which also proves my theory that people  in general, really don’t know what they want and need to be told. It’s the same reason really popular night clubs have a line out front when there is plenty of room inside. It’s free marketing, why not?

Ribs, Pork, and Brisket and of course there is only one way to cook them in order to win and that is usually known only by the person who wins first place in each category or is there more than one way?

It seems like a lot of the same KCBS judges are seen at a lot of the same events, and if a lot of the same teams compete at these events why isn’t the winner always the same? Who knows, but I can only come to one conclusion.

You’re probably wondering what that is… What is the secret to winning? What is the one thing you need to pull out a GC at almost every other event, Left Coast Q knows, but they aren’t telling me. So I can only guess…

Are you ready? I have followed a lot of the greats that have strung along multiple GC’s together and they all seem to have one thing in common constant consistency across all variables. Barbecue is a chemical science, and when you are able to duplicate results you can adjust the variables just enough so the final product is exactly what you want.

So how do you do this? There are thousands of variables in BBQ how do you duplicate results?  It’s basically the same way a bowler can bowl a perfect game, or how a pitcher is capable of pitching a perfect game; it takes a shit ton of practice and that has to be done at an obsessively perfect level.

The teams that are winning over an over again, Left Coast Q, Simply Marvelous, Big Poppa Smokers, and Slap Yo Dadd barbecue ALL the time. It is their life. They live it, eat it, breathe it, and sleep it. If their not talking about it their doing it and when you are that familiar with a process that you do almost daily, changes in your variables become second nature. You develop a 6th sense for barbecue.

Left Coast Q is extremely focused. BBQ Comps is all they do. They are not selling BBQ products, they are not doing TV shows, and they are not teaching classes. They just BBQ week after week after week. I believe that staying focused, as in any form of competition, gives you that much more of an edge. For Left Coast Q it shows, on top of winning 5 of their last 11 they won Pechanga by 16 points. That’s a lot… People need to get their shit together if they think they even have a chance of competing with these guys.

Don't get me wrong of course your food has to taste good. It needs to have that perfect balance of sweet, salt, and spicy flavor. It needs to have the perfect texture, it needs to snap in your mouth when you bite into it, and it can't fall apart or be to hard, but how do you do that? How do you know when it's perfect?

This I actually have the answer to... It needs to be boring. Yep you heard me right. Harry Soo said it best, it needs to be "Extraordinarily Ordinary BBQ". Each bite must tell a story. It must take you through all the flavors and can't be even slightly dominated by one or the other.

If you take a bite and you say to yourself, "It's too... whatever." You're fuck'd, that's just how it is. If it's too anything you are out of the running. If it's too soft, sweet, spicy then it's too far out of first.

You're shit has to look good. If that is something you struggle with then hire a food stylist for a day and work with them to help you make your shit look good. If something looks good you already have a biased in your head that it is going to taste good.

Now I know people say that the temperature of the food doesn't matter... That is bull shit cause if it comes down to a tie break the hotter food will have the edge. It's the same reason beer companies sell you how cold their beer is, "Ice... cold... refreshing... you could blow me beer." They have no control over how cold it is. It just sounds better.

This right here is a picture of a beautiful Grand Champion sample plate provided by the champions themselves Left Coast Q. See how pretty it is? And yes it is all perfect in taste and nothing was too anything. I had a feeling based on their recent success that they would win so I asked that they prepare this pretty plate for me so I could show you what perfection looks like.

You can think I am wrong, you can think I am full of shit, or that I don't know what the fuck I am talking about but the fact of the matter is you are ones competing, not me. You know what you do, you know what works, you're just making excuses for not being your own Grand Champion or you just don't want it bad enough.

Here is a link to the final results to the 2013 Pechanga BBQ Competition on the KCBS website.

I wish you all the best of luck and I hope if the planets align correctly Left Coast Q will let me document their journey to the Jack Daniels for all of you to see. *clearing throat* Matt now would be a good time to text me and say, "Hey Sean wanna shoot a documentary on our trip to the Jack Daniels?"

To be continued...

Good LUCK!!!
Sean Rice

P.S. More episodes to come on Meat Inc. I have been busy and trying to produce a youtube show by yourself is hard. So hang tight and I promise you more content soon.

L.A. Foodie's Get Porked: Tomorrow, Wednesday May 29th by MEAT ME

L.A. Foodie's Get Porked 

L.A. Foodie

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)

Long Beach, CA

Special Discount Code for MEAT ME fans: holypork

BBQ fans, this beer is for you. Get ready to #GetPorked!
For one night only, L.A. Foodie is pairing 4 mouth watering regional styles of BBQ'd pork with 4 frosty and delicious beers from our favorite spot in downtown Long Beach, Beachwood BBQ and Brewing. Located in the beautiful new Long Beach Promenade, Beachwood BBQ and Brewing was recently named one of L.A. Weekly's 10 Best Beer Bars In Los Angeles.
Get Porked
#GetPorked will both satiate and educate. During dinner, L.A. Foodie's Ben & Drew will record a live#LAFoodiePodcast about American BBQ styles and the beers that pair best with them. Peek behind the #LAFoodiePodcast curtain while Ben & Drew crack wise and engage in general jackassery with their special #GetPorked guests.
L.A. Foodie's Get Porked at Beachwood Brewing BBQ
#GetPorked features a sit-down dinner that starts promptly at 8:00. There will be plenty of time before and after dinner to mingle, horse around, and enjoy your gift bag!
Every #GetPorked guest will receive a hefty course of delicious BBQ. For dinner, you will be served a sit-down meal that includes all 4 styles of pork and all of the sides listed below. The full meal will be about the same size as a large BBQ combo plate. 
  1. Hickory smoked pork served with mustard sauce, Chowchow, and Texas toast.
  2. Oak smoked pork with spicy Jack Daniel's tomato sauce, tobacco onions, and grit cakes.
  3. Apple wood smoked pork. Dry rubbed with Beachwood rub, served with vinegar BBQ sauce and vinegar cole slaw on a pretzel bun.
  4. Pecan smoked pork with stone fruit BBQ sauce, served with a sweet potato pancake.
Every #GetPorked guest will receive 4 Beachwood Brewing craft beers.
5 ounces per beer for a total of 20 ounces. Each brew will be carefully selected and uniquely paired with each style of pork. Because Beachwood's beer selection rotates frequently, beers will be chosen by the chef and brewer on the night of the #GetPorked event. Information about the beers and how they pair with dinner and dessert will be provided. To see what Beachwood is pouring right now, take a look at their live "Hop Cam" webcam!
Every #GetPorked guest will receive 4 different Mwokaji Cakery desserts.
  1. Sponge cake with passion fruit filling, whipped frosting topped with fresh strawberries, blackberries, and mangoes.
  2. Red velvet bacon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
  3. Dark chocolate verrines.
  4. Chocolate chip sprinkle cookies.
Mwokaji Cakery
But wait! There's more! #GetPorked guests will all receive a gift bag filled with...
  • Free pork jerky from KRAVE Jerky!
  • Free full size bags of Posalot gourmet popcorn!
  • Free samples of rich, decadent TCHO Chocolates!
  • Free Yelp can koozies!
  • $20 Uber gift cards for every guest. (Uber rides originating from Long Beach are based on availability. But Uber credits are good for use at any time, not just in association with this event. $20 ride credit applies to new signups.).
  • Photobooth! Play dress up, make a funny face, and act a fool for the camera! (Don't worry. Nobody will see it except for the internet.).
  • #IBurgerLA tees for sale! L.A. Foodie tees will be on sale. Buy one for your dad for Father's Day!
Buy your #GetPorked tickets now! Only $40, includes everything!
Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter #GetPorked? You must be 21 or older to attend#GetPorked. You will be asked to show I.D. at the door.
What are my parking options at #GetPorked? Beachwood BBQ and Brewing offers validation for the nearby parking structure. Downtown Long Beach also offers metered street parking.
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions? You can contact L.A. Foodie here.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? Nah. We'll have your name. Just bring your I.D.

Time to get PORKED!!!
Sean Rice

A MAN's Guide to COOKING the Perfect STEAK! c/o The Chive by MEAT ME

Thought this was AWESOME and needed to share it with you!!! Enjoy!

Have a GREAT Memorial Day!!!
Sean Rice

National BBQ Tour 2014: Needs your HELP!!! by MEAT ME

Have you ever had a dream you could not stop chasing? Mine is barbecue. My name is Jeremiah Johnson and I have teamed up with my brother in law and a few friends to create a national traveling vending and competition barbecue team, named ”Buffalo Boys Barbecue”. We hail from Grass Valley, California and want to show the Nation how we do true classic barbecue with flavors from California.  

Our Goal:

We need to raise $20,000 to purchase a commercial smoker, a trailer, several gas ranges, banners and a few other supplies for 2014 Barbecue Tour. Our goal is to tour the nation from April to October doing 25 to 30 shows. Some show will be competition style events and others will be straight vending events.

Our Back Story:

About five years ago I created a barbecue Blog all about California BBQ Events to share what I was learning. That blog turned into local competition team. We did a couple KCBS events, never placed but we learned a lot. During one of the events a Pitmaster suggested going to culinary school to learn the basics of cooking and to learn how to run a successful food business. So I did. 15 months later I was working for several restaurants learning everything I could. In my spare time I developed several sauces, rubs and kept learning more about true barbecue.

One of my favorite events to attend is the Best of the West Rib Cook Off in Sparks, Nevada. The teams that compete in this event are from all around the country. Its unlike any event we have in California and few California teams have been able to get into this event. It’s our dream to become on of those teams to travel the road. But we need to do our time on the road winning other events to get into this one.


Currently my team and I work in different areas of the restaurant and construction business. We are spending the rest of this year working out the final versions of our sauces and rubs to have packaged for resell by the new year. We are also contacting promoters and sending in our applications for the 2014 events. Most application have to be in before October. We have to earn spots into some of the bigger events and its hard for a California Team to get in.  When you tell promoter in Kansas City you’re a team from California they just laugh and ask if we just smoke vegetables or real meat. We want to change everyone’s perception about how we do barbecue in the golden state. There are very few teams that travel out side our state.

Our Long Term Goals:

We are in this for the long term. This journey started out as a blog. It started as a way to have fun and feed some friends. We want to tour for the next 2 to 3 years. Showing the nation and our piers we know true low and slow down home barbecue. Earning the respect of the barbecue world is first on our list.  Our touring will promote the sauces and rub, plus we gain valuable experience that will insure we know everything about the barbecue business. After we tour for the next coming years we will open a restaurant in Northern California to show cases what we have earned on the road. We will still tour and do large events.

Your Support:

Your support is going to help us raise enough funds to buy the equipment we need to get on the road. This is not going to an easy journey and we will spend a lot of time away from our families, but it’s what we need to do get the next level in our careers.  We could be like most and just open a restaurant and say we have the best barbecue but we want to earn it. We want the pitmaster that paved the way for us to say “They do have some DAM GOOD BBQ”.

The funds we earn will buy us a large commercial smoker to feed thousands of people at a time. Every time someone walks away from out both you helped feed them. Please help us on our journey to the top of the barbecue world.  

Perks for your contribution

Personal Socal Thank You 

We will thank you on our Facebook Pages, Twitter and Blogs.
Estimated delivery: May 2013 

Fire Starter 

Get a Social Thanks You + Buffalo Boy Stickers.
Estimated delivery: July 2013 
0 claimed 

Flame On 

Social Thank You + Buffalo Boys Stickers + bag of our wing rub
Estimated delivery: July 2013 


Social Thank You + Buffalo Boys Stickers + Wing Rub + Your Name Added to Our Thank You Banner seen at every vending event we do.
Estimated delivery: July 2013 

Smokin Hot 

Social Thank You + Buffalo Boys Stickers + Wing Rub + Name on the Banner Wall + a Buffalo Boys Shirt
Estimated delivery: July 2013 

Meat Eater 

Social Thank You + Buffalo Boys Stickers + Wing Rub + Name on the Banner Wall + a Buffalo Boys Shirt + a Personal Video  shout out to you or your company during one of our events sent out on all our Social Media Sources.
Estimated delivery: July 2013 

Pit Helper 

All of the above perks plus we will create your own personal rub blend complete with labels. Not intended for resell.
Estimated delivery: July 2013


All of the above plus you can be our guest pitmaster during one of our events. You will have to arrange to get to our location but we will feed and supply drinks.
Estimated delivery: July 2013 

Sean Rice

PS More MEAT, Inc. Episodes to come later this week.

MEAT, INC Wildomar BBQ Competition: Episode 6 by MEAT ME

Aaron Black finds himself down a rack of ribs. Chicken and ribs finish getting prepped. Cory is irresponsible when it comes to managing the turn in boxes. Aaron's wife and kids stop by while he gets teased at the cooks meeting. Stay tuned to find out if MEAT, Inc. can make it through the night.

Total Shenanigans,
Sean Rice

MEAT, INC. Wildomar BBQ Competition: Episode 5 by MEAT ME

They start out the day loading up the truck with all the gear. They arrive at the Wildomar BBQ Competition and make sure they let everyone know. Cory slacks off, while Aaron starts prepping the MEAT's for competition. He explains how they cut their pork butt and St. Louis style ribs. Dan leads them to believe he knows how to remove the membrane off a rack of ribs. Stay tuned for more episodes next week.

Live, Love, MEAT!!!
Sean Rice

MEAT ME: LIVE at Stagecoach 2013 with Meat, Inc. by MEAT ME

Aside from the American Royal in Kansas City, I can't think of a better competition than Stagecoach. Seats are limited to 32, first come first serve, teams. Thousands upon thousands of people literally run through everyday. You have intense adrenaline pumping competition from Friday to Sunday combined with alcohol, half naked, non stop, party goers officially making this competition like no other. It's a ADD'ers worst nightmare.

On Friday, April 26th you have the ICS Chili Home Style cook off starting at 2pm. I personally will be judging this event so I can not wait to see what people have to offer up in an attempt to take home the $1,000 prize. On Saturday the 27th you have the ICBA Texas Style Competition for Half Chicken, Spare Ribs, and Beef Brisket. People will be competing for a solid $4,000 prize. Finally on Sunday you have your standard KCBS contest for Chicken, Ribs, Pork Butt, and Brisket and that Grand Prize will receive $5,000.

As well as judging, I will be there to continue filming Aaron Black and his team Meat, Inc. as they compete starting from load in all the way to the awards ceremony on Sunday. You get a chance to see what it's like to do back-to-back competitions. The fun, frustration and multiple competitions are bound to present a whole new set of challenges.

I look forward to seeing you all there. I appreciate everyones support these last few episodes have really turned out to be quite the success. I will be on site in the new MOBILE MEAT ME van, so if you see me please feel free to say hello.

Due to popular demand I will be making an appearance in the HOT DOG suite.

Get ready for some BBQ, Boots, and Bikini's,
Sean Rice

You can get LIVE Updates from me at:
Twitter @meatmeblog
Instagram @meatmeblog

You can follow MEAT, INC. at:
Blog -
Twitter - @meatinc

MEAT, INC. Wildomar BBQ Competition: Episode 4 by MEAT ME

Finally Aaron and Cory finish unloading the car. Cory challenges Aaron to a cooler packing competition while testing his patience. Dan Stutts shows up to help with absolutely nothing. Cory learns how to make tags and Aaron struggles with being the best "Barbecue Dad" in the world.

They're just getting started,
Sean Rice

Extras. Here you see a little behind the scenes and what I have to deal with. It is a never ending fight for good content.

MEAT, INC. Wildomar BBQ Competition: Episode 3 by MEAT ME

Aaron and Cory put all of the employees at Smart & Final through hell in order to get them all of the supplies they need. Cory learns the definition of "squeezable mayonnaise". Finally arriving at home, with beers in hand, it takes them forever just to start packing up the ice chest with all of the food they purchase. In the next episode find out if they ever finish unpacking their car.

You never know what's next,
Sean Rice

Extras. Here you see a little behind the scenes and what I have to deal with inorder to put out these videos. I get a lot of crap from Aaron Black and Cory Brown of MEAT, Inc.

MEAT, INC. Wildomar BBQ Competition: Episode 2 by MEAT ME

In this episode I meet up with Cory Brown Captain of Peoples Choice for team Meat, Inc. we catch up with Aaron Black as he gets off work to shop for the rest of the items needed for competition. They run into budget problems as Cory brings out Aaron's lack of patience.

Stay tuned for more Meat, Inc.
Sean Rice
aka MEAT ME Extras.

Here you see a little behind the scenes and what I have to deal with inorder to put out these videos. I have to put up with a lot of crap thanks to Aaron Black and Cory Brown of MEAT, Inc.

MEAT, INC. Wildomar BBQ Competition: Episode 1 by MEAT ME

In this episode I follow Aaron Black; Captain of Meat, Inc. BBQ Team as he prepares for the Wildomar BBQ Competition East vs. West. In this episode we encounter problems with the chicken order and find out that the hero brisket may have been misplaced. Follow along as I show you what goes on deep in the heart of Meat, Inc.

Stay tuned for more Meat, Inc.

Sean Rice

Next week you can find me at the Stagecoach BBQ Competition. I will be giving you an inside scoop on that as well as what it's like to be a judge.

MEAT, INC. - Wildomar BBQ Competition - Teaser by MEAT ME

Here is a little taste of what happened on Day 1 and Day 2. I hope you enjoy! I am starting this year's barbecue season off with a bang. Based on the success of El Fuego Fiasco I have decided to feature the team MEAT. Inc. at Wildomar The Ultimate BBQ Showdown, East vs West. Aaron Black and his team are ready to take this years competition by storm. I will be following them from the second they buy their meat all the way to the awards ceremony. You don't want to miss a beat. I hope to see you all at the competition.

You can get LIVE Updates from me at:
Twitter @meatmeblog

You can get LIVE Updates from MEAT, INC. at:
Blog -
Twitter - @meatinc

Wildomar BBQ East vs West featuring MEAT, Inc. by MEAT ME

I am starting this year's barbecue season off with a BANG. Based on the success of my documentary on "El Fuego Fiasco" I have decided to feature the team MEAT. INC. at Wildomar The Ultimate BBQ Showdown, East vs West. Aaron Black and his team are ready to take this years competition by storm. I will be following them from the second they buy their meat all the way to the awards ceremony. You don't want to miss a beat. I hope to see you all at the competition.
You can get LIVE Updates from me at:
Twitter @meatmeblog

You can get LIVE Updates from MEAT, INC. at:
Blog -
Twitter - @meatinc

MEAT ME on a Date: X Bar by MEAT ME

So like many active singles out on the dating circuit I have run into a select few of the good, the bad, and well… The less fortunate. This again is only my opinion, so it listen up! I have been on dates all over this city. There are a lot of problems one might face when trying to get to know someone.  It’s loud, it’s busy, the seating arrangement creates space between you and the other person. There is nothing on the menu that both of you like, or the food is just BAD.

I may have found just the solution. My current date works in the Westwood/Avenue of the Stars area. Between the UCLA college students and the high brow restaurants, it’s hard to find a place that has just the right food and ambiance to get to know someone. The X Bax found me they are located at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the Avenue of the Stars. This place is quite, very open, delicious, and most of all the perfect place to sit down and intimately get to know someone.

Last Friday I brought my date in around 5 pm, 30 minutes after they opened. We started off with a Chimay and few appetizers on the menu. She’s not really big on spicy foods so we got the Chicken Lettuce Wrap, Meatball Sliders and took a chance with the Fiery Chicken Morsels. Everything came out looking beautiful not to mention the service was top notch, here it’s all about the details.

We were seated by a large fire pit; while the heaters kept us warm and cozy. We started taking bites of all the food and with out question, it was delicious. I pulled out my microphone to start taking notes about the food, being the profession writer she is, she playfully started poking fun at my description of the chicken – I called it “twangy”. She asked me about the spiciness of the chicken. I gave it a 1 out of 10. She takes a bite and looks at me as if she no longer has feeling in her face. I guess when you are constantly trying food your mouth gets a little used to it.

At this point, aside from setting her mouth a blaze, the date is going pretty well. Even though most dates might get annoyed that you’re taking pictures, tweeting, instagraming, face-booking and constantly making comments on every little thing; she was actually starting to get pretty into it. She started hamming up the role of “I on a date” with a MEAT blogger.

When it came to ordering burgers she went took the healthier route. I went with the, “What are my taste buds going to love” route.  I can say both burgers were equally delicious, if not just as good as some of the best places I’ve eaten at. Now with both of our stomach’s full we got a chance to sit down with the chef Julie Picco and find out what was behind all of this delicious food.

MEAT ME: Is there an overall goal with the menu here at X Bar?

Julie Picco: All of our outlets are California style cuisine. Over here we try to do everything shareable with the exception of our burger. So nothing comes in oversized pieces we try to make it a little fancier than just your average bar food. We have Latin and Asian influence because that is essentially California. Beyond that it’s whatever Chris (Kitchen Head), and I (She runs the kitchen at night) try to collaborate on the menu.

MEAT ME: How often do you guys change the menu? Is it seasonal?

Julie Picco: We were changing it once a year over here, but we leave it vague so we can bring in seasonal ingredients when we feel like it. We were doing specials as well. We changed it about 6 months ago and now we just changed it again, got rid of some items that weren’t selling and switched a few things out. We have been trying to do it about twice a year now.

MEAT ME: I noticed with your Build-A-Burger that you have the Meyer’s Natural Beef. Where are you guys sourcing your beef?

Julie Picco: Meyer’s is the name of a farm. It is a Hyatt standard that they use at all Hyatt hotels. I think it is a company that has naturally raised cattle. It is not just one farm but it’s a company that makes sure all of it’s beef is up to certain standards. Every Hyatt you go to, especially a Regency should have Meyer’s natural angus patties. It is a company wide standard. – The veggie patty we make here with brown rice and beans we didn’t want it to just be a garden burger, which a lot of places do. We do that in house. The other items we switch up when we feel like it, like the King’s Hawaiian bread, that was something we decided to do as a sweet option.

MEAT ME: Yea that was great. That’s what I got, it was my favorite.

Julie Picco: Yea this one we don’t change the menu as much on the other side we change it 4 times a year religiously so seasonality and being local is what we strive for.

MEAT ME: So the Meatball Sliders, how are they made cause I noticed they were very delicious. I was expecting “meatballs” and it was way different?

Julie Picco: Oh yeah. They have been making those meatball sliders since before I even transferred here. We have been making those forever. I think it might have been way back when Chef Manny redid the menu years ago. Chef Manny is amazing, he is the Executive Chef here at the hotel and he has been all of Southern California for a long time. It has 3 meats in it.

MEAT ME: Really? Wow!

Julie Picco: It has veal, pork, and beef. It’s really good, we make them in house in small batches and are simmered in a red sauce. It’s probably one of the least So Cal items on the menu.

MEAT ME: Yea it’s funny you mention that, the only other time I had heard of that was when I was in Mississippi and I met with a USDA approved Halal butcher, Two Run Farms, who prepared special mixtures of ground beef for local restaurants. Each restaurant had their own mixture.  Cause when I read meatball sliders I thought that name was an insult to what I just ate.

Julie Picco: Yea it makes me think of Italian Grandmothers. I am from Chicago and I was like I know this… I understand this.

MEAT ME: Yes we also had the Fiery Chicken Morsels…

Julie Picco: Yes the spicy boneless buffalo wings?

MEAT ME: Yes. (I look to my date) That’s basically what you had called it?

My Date: Yea.

Julie Picco: The fiery ones have always been the most popular, but now we have different flavors. With this last menu change we decided why not give them some other options cause we would have people say, ”I don’t want it to be spicy.”

My Date: One a 1 to 10 spicy scale what would you call this?

Julie Picco: This one for me, our buffalo sauce I would consider to be a 6 or 7. It’s not spicy.

MEAT ME: I was thinking it was a 1 or a 2.

Julie Picco: It’s more salty and vinegary than spicy to me.

My Date: Thank you, that’s what I thought.

Julie Picco: See for me I don’t like buffalo wing’s, I am not a buffalo wing person. I like a milder heat. We have our Chipotle BBQ which is actually pretty spicy, and then we have our Garlic Herb which is for the “lover” of non spicy foods. It’s light.

MEAT ME: It was very good and then we had the Chicken Wraps.

Julie Picco: Yeah, the Chicken Lettuce Wraps, we had them on the menu last time as a cold item and it just didn’t sell. So we had them heat up the chicken and add a few mushrooms, which keep it moist. Yea we changed it up, we try and change up everything when we can. Our Tacos are really popular too.

MEAT ME: So what is your favorite item on the menu?

Julie Picco: Mine?

MEAT ME: If you had friends in town visiting, what are you making for them?

Julie Picco: If I got friends coming in I am making the Sausage Brocollini Flatbread, that’s a new one that I think is really great. I also really like the Short Rib Taco’s, I am a big fan of them.

MEAT ME: Damn it’s really hard to get everything. I guess I’ll have to come back on another date.

Julie Picco: Yea you can’t order everything that’s totally understandable. Oh, and the Pork Belly Crostini’s. They are really good. We never really put any pork on the menu, we had pressure to put this on there… We get in the whole pork belly with the skin on, then we braise it in hard cider, and then regular apple cider, spices and all of that good stuff. Then we take the skin off and make it in to Cracklin.

MEAT ME: That’s what I thought.

Julie Picco: Yes so the bottom is still soft and sliceable and we slice that and warm it up in a sauce so you can eat it. It hasn’t been selling because people don’t understand it, but it is really good. Everybody here wanted it on the menu.

MEAT ME: I always recommend pictures. Sushi Restaurants have it down. How do you explain a California Roll to someone who has never had one? That usually does the trick.

Julie Picco: Yea we have been trying to figure out a way to explain it to people, may be we just need a giant poster up on the wall.

Now back to my date, I wanted to find out how I did and if bringing her to the X Bar met her expectations.

MEAT ME: So what did you think of the X Bar?

My Date: It is fabulous, wonderful experience, so happy I came (she blushes and laughs). What? What am I supposed to say?

MEAT ME: Compared to other places I have taken you to… Would you recommend it to someone as a good date place?

My Date: Hummmm. I mean you are asking the wrong person…

MEAT ME: We’re on a date? Right?

My Date: (laughs) Haha. Yea, I guess I would. I am not the best person to ask. Dating? I mean lets go shoot some things, or vandalize stuff so something like that is an AWESOME date.

MEAT ME: So compared to the extreme dates I have taken you on, how does this compare? On a mediocre level…

My Date: Yes, on an average human level? It’s an 8… May be? On a scale of 10.

MEAT ME: Really?

My Date: Yeah! It’s nice, it’s very pretty, it’s not cold, it’s spacious. The music is not too loud. It’s not like obnoxious, R&B, Little Wayne bumping in the background it’s like actual music. So that’s exciting. Everyone is really nice, that works here, customer service is A+.

MEAT ME: So what did you think of the chicken wrap?

My Date: I thought it was really good. It was my favorite?

MEAT ME: How did you like the lettuce?

My Date: (Laughs, smiles) Crisp and green.

MEAT ME: What about the Fiery Chicken Morsels?

My Date: I thought it was quite “Fiery”. Spicy.

MEAT ME: What about the taste?

My Date: (Laughs) It tasted like successfully made chicken wings without the bones.

MEAT ME: Really?

My Date: Yea.

MEAT ME: It was like a party in your mouth?

My Date: Yea it was “twangy”. (She mocks me)

MEAT ME: What a great description!!! That is brilliant!!! (I return the mock) You should be a writer.

My Date: Funny you should say that…

MEAT ME: (we laugh) What did you think of the Meatball Sliders?

My Date: I didn’t have any but based on your reaction I would say they were delicious.

MEAT ME: Would you like to try a cold one, and not judge the temperature? Were you intimidated?

My Date: I forgot. I had all that food and my burger, so I am full now.

MEAT ME: You know what? We’ll skip it. What did you think of your burger?

My Date: It was good. It was MEAT like. (Laughs) It was a successful hamburger! I mean they didn’t fuck it up… I don’t know what you want me to say? (Laughs)

MEAT ME: That was a great description!

My Date: I mean it wasn’t over cooked or under cooked. Bread was fluffy. (Laughs)

MEAT ME: You got excited, but didn’t climax?

My Date: Exactly! Pretty much. The fries were really good, and delicious.

MEAT ME: Would you recommend this place to someone else for a date?

My Date: Yes I would.

MEAT ME: Well, did you at least enjoy your date?

My Date: I mean aside from the guy that was on the date, who was totally retarded.... He kept drooling all over me... (Chuckles & smiles)

MEAT ME: All right. This is ALL totally going be in the post.

My Date: (Laughs out loud and smiles) Other than him, it was totally a great place to go on a date.

There you heard it. Right from the source, I am a trophy as well as wonderful food companion. I would consider this a success I was not physically harmed, the police weren’t called, and I still have not received a restraining order. I would consider myself lucky. She’s a comic, she’s endearing, she’s a profound intellect and not to mention the obvious… She’s stunningly beautiful.

I am no master, but if you want to make it easier on yourself and eliminate half the problems you might face on a date, I would take them to the X Bar.

You can check out X Bar at the Hyatt Regency in Los Angeles at

Live, Love, Eat MEAT,
Sean Rice