Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bubba Ques - Brandon Florida

We made a second trip to Bubba Que's in the Brandon-Valrico area this weekend. The restaurant is located on Hwy 60 near Wal-Mart. The tables provide a choice of 6 different bbq sauces for your bbq entree or sandwich.

The bbq was pretty good, but we especially liked the restaurant's atmosphere and decor. As you might expect, with a name like Bubba's, there's not a lot of fancy fixin's or fancy furniture. They even use Igloo coolers for seating at some tables.

Their website is also uniquely different, although I had trouble accessing the online menu. I also enjoyed the banana pudding for desert.

This is a nice restaurant concept. I think they'll be successful.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Grilled Steak

I don't grill steaks a lot, but when I do I follow the "simple is usually better" philosophy.  I simply brush with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt, onion salt, and black pepper.  I marinate them overnight in the refrigerator and grill them over medium heat on my kettle grill.  They always turn out well.

Great Steak Challenge

NAPA, Calif., March 24 -- Wine simply makes a good steak taste better. That's why Beringer Vineyards, the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley, is hosting the "Great Steak Challenge," daring everyone from gourmet chefs to backyard grillers to pair their most creative steak recipe with their favorite Beringer wine for a chance to win a trip to Napa, cash prizes and a lifetime of bragging rights.

As part of the Great Steak Challenge, celebrity cooks Jamie and Bobby Deen, stars of the Food Network and sons of southern cooking queen Paula Deen, are hitting the road this summer to prove two of America's timeless and tastiest obsessions – steak and wine – really are the perfect combination. The brothers will be hosting select regional grill-offs across the U.S. and will be creating a virtual cookbook of their road tested recipes.

"Nothing says summer like tossing a steak on the grill during a backyard BBQ with family and friends. But believe it or not, something so easy also takes a special skill," said Jamie Deen. "Bobby and I are looking for the ultimate gourmet griller who can bring the best out in a steak simply by making use of what they consider to be the tastiest ingredients and the right wine."

The challenge consists of three culinary parts:

Online Recipe Contest: Everyone and anyone can participate, no matter your skill level in the kitchen or behind the grill. Simply submit your most creative steak recipes at Your recipe will be judged on three major factors: taste appeal, wine pairing and simplicity. Then, Beringer will select 100 best steak recipes per region to compete in regional grill-offs in ten U.S. cities during the summer of 2010, leading up to the ultimate finale in Napa Valley.

Regional Grill-Offs: The regional grill-offs will be hosted by Beringer, and will be judged by local celebrities from each market.

Great Steak Challenge regional prizes include:

•Winners receive up to $1,000 for airfare and hotel accommodations for 2 nights at the regional grill-off

•Runner-up (also the alternate): $100 Gift Card to Local Grocery Chain; Beringer Gift Bag

•Second Runner-up (2nd alternate): $50 Gift Card to Local Grocery Chain; Beringer Gift Bag

National Grill-Off: Beringer will host the ten regional finalists at a national championship in Napa Valley on October 8, where the Deen Brothers will judge the competition. The grand prize winner will win $15,000 and an all expense paid trip for two to Napa Valley for four days and three nights and an opportunity to compete on the Fine Living Network for a share of $25,000 in prize money.

"At Beringer, we believe in indulgences big and small. Pairing a glass of wine with a delicious steak can be an everyday celebration or something more extravagant," said Francesca Schuler, Chief Marketing Officer, Beringer Vineyards. "This nationwide contest will be an inspiring demonstration of how Beringer fans throughout the country are pairing their original recipes with our wines. We look forward to a mouth-watering competition!"

About Beringer Vineyards

No winery more thoroughly embodies the timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley than Beringer Vineyards, Napa's benchmark producer since its establishment in 1876. Now in its third century of crafting classic wines from Napa's finest appellations and vineyards, Beringer today is guided by the inspired partnership of celebrated Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Winemaker Laurie Hook. Together, they craft Napa Valley wines that speak eloquently of Beringer's rich heritage while offering cutting-edge quality and contemporary elegance.

For more information on the first annual Great Steak Challenge, visit
For more information about Beringer Vineyards, please visit:

Morgan O'Leary

Ruder Finn/West
W: 415-541-0750
C: 415-310-3366

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Travel Channel - Food Wars

I received a promo e-mail today from the Travel Channel.  They are introducing a new series to the airways - "Food Wars". It airs on Tuesdays at 10:30 E/P and this week the episode is centered in Lockhart, Texas for the ultimate BBQ showdown between Kreuz Market and Smitty's Market! 
Here's a clip about the show: