Bon jour! C‘est une belle journée. It has been raining nonstop since Sunday, accompanied by thunder and lightning each evening. I had the privilege of hanging up my apron last night, thanks to the benevolence of my daughters. They invited to treat me to a sort of casual impromtu ladies night out for dinner.
Usually, I began dinner prep with them around 4pm. With the youngest setting the table, while my mid-kid is a fierce ninja as my sous chef. And my oldest helps us clean as we go. We perform in symphonic harmony when we have a clear plan. Oftentimes switching roles and sharing the load as soothing French jazz café music fills the evening air in our kitchen.
I did not hesitate to accept and I was eager to enjoy a meal that I did not prepare for once. The pleasure to enjoy someone other than my own artistic creativity. Little did I know that I would be introduced to 3 common friends in a different light. Just 3 well known celebrities we like to call The “Burgers”. We each were giddy and chatty to discuss our day and delve into what we anticipated all afternoon. Which was beyond delight since our days had not gone as awesome as we expected.
First we were introduced to a burger by the name of “Kansas City Prime Burger” which was described as a hand-formed Iowa USDA Prime Black Angus beef. This, clearly, was an understatement. We were not properly introduced, albeit, I can be a bit of a BBQ snob—
since I am born and bred in the South, where it is saturated with the most creative of BBQ enthusiasts more saturated than anywhere else in the United States —Memphis, home of the BBQ and blues!
I know good barbecue. There is a technique to it. Each spring/summer my loving husband quotes to kick off our bbq crawl through the season that, “Anyone can put heat to the meat–but only a few can barbeque”. Spoken like a true southern gentleman. I am not sure where he picked it up, but he says it as if he owns it each year as he undresses our well used grill to prepare a smorgasbord of cured, marinated, slowly cooked and smoked delicious goodness infused with such artistic grandeur you’d think it was the annual Memphis in May BBQ Festival. Therefore, upon getting more acquainted, I was prepared to let this little Miss Kansas City filly know the business! Somehow I was not as prepared since she was dressed to impress—to the nines! Sitting pretty on a freshly warm baked bun that was only there to offer transportation. Only to my amazing discovery she had pulled pork underneath as well—smoked pulled tender pork, to an intense perfection that took me back in time where I witnessed (in my mind’s eye) whatever tree was chopped down to provide the succulent flavor that wafted through both my nostrils tantalizing my senses all at once. She was adorned with brown-sugar bacon and accessories of crisp flavorful onion straws. She kicked me with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese and I could tell she had bathed in the most exotic of spices through the “house of Kansas City-style BBQ sauce that she was adequatefly perfumed. Oh–and a side of tasty fries for good measure, because why not?
Dare I betray my roots? I tend to sway toward a more sweet mesquite type of heat and that is exactly how I became mesmerized. Was it the anticipation? Was I merely just more hungrier than usual? No, not all. I went into this introduction with bourgeois judgments and a clear head to properly compare from my previous expert palate of legendary experiences. I stand corrected–I was impressed! No wonder Kansas city is on the map as one of the top contenders. Juicy succulence throughout forced me to take a long rolled blink as I indulged into this sultry rhapsody that managed to reinvigorate taste buds that had become recluse and dormant from the dry Texas style BBQ that I had seem to develope NO respect since moving from Memphis 9 years ago. Pleasantly surprised and affordable, if you don’t mind splurging on cuisine investments such as this. The ambience was that of a jazz lounge, without the jazz. Quaint swanky booths and tables tucked away in cozy corners and spaces that allowed privacy but also observance if you desired to people watchi depending on where you lounged. Fully stocked and clean washrooms—because that, my friend, is important. If the establishment is too busy to clean their own restrooms, the staff is not cleaning their hands. Although the picture does not do it any justice, you’re going to have to trust me on this one.
Up next was her friend that joined my daughters and me, Brentwood. She was a “handheld gluten sensitive” type of chick. However she was smoked in apple wood bacon, adorned in gouda where the Netherlands would appreciate her style. With subtle dutch flair, she was able to hold her own at our table. She offered simplistic etiquette, not giving away too much at one time—totally engaging each of us with a quality we admired individually. She was polite with her Dijon mayo style, being careful not to overwhelm us with the baby greens that accompanied her while modestly being covered with ripe juicy tomatoes and fresh red onions on a toasted buttered bun. She offers a punch but as you are able to take her in slowly and digest what she offers, only to appreciate her unique ability to be considered a “handheld”. See for yourself:
She did not disappoint and I can see me hanging out with her again! We became acquainted just as quickly as “Kansas City” and I .
And lastly, more plain as Jane could possibly get, but not to bore you with her commonness–meet Prime Black Angus. She was also hand-formed Iowa premium USDA prime black angus beef. A bit on the stocky side, she was as stout as her friends, which let us know they were a solid group of girls just like us. Nothing fancy about her, except she was down to earth and had a girl next door personality about herself. I do not believe that she has met a meat-eating stranger that didn’t like her! She presented options and flexibility. Needless to say she was enjoyable to consume. Here she is in all of her wit and glory, never making excuses for herself because she is a confident one, with her all American attitude that transcends every culture.
By now, you have guessed who we had for dinner. It was an experience that I shall relish for some time, enjoyed and spent with my beautiful, smart, funny and witty girls because time is precious and it flies by! I had the pleasure of dining with some awesome women last night and the laughs, secrets, and memories shared will always make me proud to be called their mother. It goes beyond dinner, a ritual where each is safe and can explore with no judgment. Each young lady representing a piece of my husband and me in their own signature ways to be admired by onlookers and those who care to engage.
Viewing dinner from a different angle every time we have the pleasure of breaking bread together or alone.