Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monroe's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, Jacksonville, FL

Monroe's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
4838 Highway Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32254
Fax: 904-384-3323

I had lunch at Monroe's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que this afternoon. I decided this after reading a review of the restaurant at Tripp Eats Lunch .


I loved it all. The framed records, cowboy items and the Andy Griffith Show poster made me go "Who got in my head and stole my decorating ideas ?" What, I like that stuff. Don't laugh.

Carolina Pork Platter
Pulled pork with Monroe's Carolina style vinegar sauce

I really liked this sandwich. The meat was had the perfect amount of vinegar.

Beef Brisket
Monroe's signature slow smoked beef brisket, dry rubbed and smoked for 12 hours

This meal included four big slices of brisket and Texas toast. It was fall off the bone tender. Everyone at our table loved it.

Memphis Deluxe

The Memphis Deluxe is a pulled pork sandwich topped with creamy coleslaw. It had a good helping of meat inside. Thumbs up for this sandwich, too.


Mustard = Nice and sweet
Monroe's Mustard = Sweet, with a vinegar kick
Spicy Mustard = Tasted like taco seasoning mix + mustard sauce. Yuck.
Monroe's BBQ = Very good. Not too sweet or too smokey.
Sweet BBQ = So-so. Reminded me of sweet and sour sauce mixed with bbq sauce.

Homemade Potato Salad

The potato salad was creamy, but not terribly good. The loads of celery bits did not help the flavor. It was just meh.

French Fries

The fries were thick and sprinkled with Cajun fry seasoning. They were really great dipped in the mustard sauce.

Simmered Southern Style Green Beans

Normally you couldn't pay me to eat green beans. The smell alone makes me gag. But these were well seasoned and delicious! I'll definitely order these on my next trip to Monroe's.

Red Cole Slaw

Too much vinegar, not enough flavor otherwise.

Banana Split Pie

Monroe's has banana pudding on it's online menu. So I was surprised to see banana split pie on the menu board instead. Let me tell you, I am so glad I ordered the pie. It was thick vanilla pudding, banana slices, pineapple, walnuts, a cherry and whipped cream on a graham crust. I'm still riding the high from the yummy sugary goodness. I want this pie for my birthday dinner. Take note, people.

I will definitely go back to Monroe's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. I was very pleased with the prices, the friendly staff and the quality of the food.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Farm Rich Snack Slices

I grabbed these at Super Wal-Mart tonight for a little taste test:

Farm Rich Mini Stuffed Panini Slices
"Grilled flatbread with 100% real Mozzarella, Romano & Parmesan cheeses, all white meat chicken, crispy bacon, and a savory artichoke pesto sauce."

The panini slices basically look the same as the quesadillas on the outside. Both have grill marks and a light brown crust. The noticeable difference is the sprinkling of spices on top of the the paninis.

The crust of the paninis is crunchier than the quesadillas. It reminded me a bit of a soft pretzel. The spices on top were vaguely garlicky. I did not care for the mix of bacon and chicken; it was too many salty flavors at once. The amount of cheese was just right. I did not see any pesto sauce, even when I cut open a snack bite. There was just a pesto flavored aftertaste.

Farm Rich Mini Quesadilla Slices
"Thin authentic tortilla-style crust stuffed with a special blend of 100% real Mozzarella, Cheddar, & Monterrey Jack cheeses, grilled all white meat chicken, and a zesty tomatillo salsa."

The quesadillas had a soft, flaky crust. There was plenty of cheese and chicken. The slices had a small, delicious bite of heat from jalapenos, chili pepper and cayenne pepper. I did not taste any tomatillo salsa.

Overall, I liked the quesadillas better than the paninis. The mix of flavors in the quesadillas was less busy. Also, I found the quesadillas more appealing for dunking in a variety of sauces. The paninis weren't bad, just not as appealing to me as the quesadillas. I'm hoping Farm Rich will come out with more flavors soon.

Barbecue on the cheap: Recipe

Last night was one of those "ugh, I need to grocery shop tomorrow" moments. I decided to make a cheapo version of chopped barbecue:

- 1 lb chuck
- 1 tbsp butter
- dash of lemon juice
- pinch of salt and pepper
- pinch of dried mustard
- pinch of whole celery seed
- pinch of thyme leaves

Place lemon juice and butter in frying pan. Head on medium until butter starts to melt. Add spices and stir. Add chuck to pan and cook until lightly browned.

Once the chuck is cooked, chop it up on the "shred" setting of a blender or a food processor. Serve on toasted hamburger buns.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cascadian Farm Organic: Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

This afternoon, I received a sample of Cascadian Farm's chocolate chip granola bar. The package promised "USDA Organic", "chewy organic" and "whole grains."

The granola bar had an heavy, artificial honey smell. However, the taste was much better. It was sweet, but not overly so. Another plus was that the bar had a large amount of chocolate chips.

I was going to buy a box of the granola bars tomorrow. But then I read the ingredients list. At twelve grams of sugar per bar, that kills my desire to buy Cascadian Farm granola bars.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Domino's Pizza: Pacific Veggie Pizza

Today I received a Domino's Pizza ad in the mail. I decided to order their new Pacific Veggie pizza, which had spinach, roasted red peppers, mushrooms,onions, tomatoes, black olives, mozzarella, feta and provolone, plus a Parmesan crust.

Normally the AMW family is not a fan of Domino's. Phrases like "really dry crust" and "terrible sauce" get tossed around a bit. But this pizza was delicious! The crust was soft and flavorful, with cornmeal sprinkled on the bottom and Parmesan around the top of the crust. The mushrooms were buttery. All of the vegetables had a fresh taste. The feta, provolone and mozzarella made a good combination. The sauce reminded me of what Pizza Hut uses, which I liked.

I will definitely order this again. Thumbs up for Domino's Pacific Veggie Pizza!