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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Burgers With Chuck: The Friday $5 Slamburger at Brickyard South

by Chuck Pierce

Located literally “under the bridge downtown” is The Brickyard South Bar (174 South Boulevard), one of my favorite local watering holes. Most of my friends and my band members in The Anteeks practically live there. It’s a great dive bar with character and a damn good bottle selection of craft beers that keeps me happy. 

Fun fact: Brickyard also serves food on select nights. Every other Monday you can enjoy their Dinner On The Patio series and Taco Tuesdays which features free tacos while they last along with $5 double Jamison’s to wash them down. But what I’m here to talk about today is the $5 Slamburger.

Every Friday evening around 6pm bartender Danny Moore fires up the grill and prepares one of the best burgers in Baton Rouge. There’s nothing fancy about his recipe. No deluxe toppings or crazy sauces. No artisan buns. Just a deliciously cooked patty (or patties if you’re feeling wild) that’s well seasoned, topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and whatever condiments you like on a good ole fashioned hamburger bun. That’s it.

The first bite is full of juicy flavor. Seasoned perfectly with a nice seared crust to give it a bit of crunch. I’m normally not a “salad on a burger” guy, but this was so good I didn’t care about the lettuce, though I did remove the tomato. I had them add some mayo and mustard, but honestly, It would’ve been perfectly fine without it. And the buttery toasting of the bun just added to the already great flavor.

Danny does a no frills burger because honestly, he doesn’t need to. To me, the star of any burger is the meat. Hands down. I’ll even take a mediocre bun as long that patty shines through with the right flavor. Salt and pepper, cooked medium and there you go. Some places like to throw every topping in the book on a burger and most of the time that’s a sign, and normally not a good one. Sure, there’s times where one or two additions truly do compliment the burger. But not at Brickyard South. The Slamburger truly speaks for itself.

Next time you’re craving a burger on a Friday afternoon, head on over to Brickyard South, grab a cold beer and try out the $5 Slamburger for yourself. There’s a good chance I’ll be there enjoying one as well.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wakey Whiskey: National Bourbon Day with Wild Turkey 101

by Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and Happy National Bourbon Day!

With this special day in mind, it really narrowed down my #wakeywhiskey selection. But, fear not, I had plenty of bourbon to choose from. For this morning's indulgence I'm going with a classic, Wild Turkey 101 from the Austin, Nichols Distilling Company in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The company can trace its roots back to 1855, and the Wild Turkey brand goes back to 1940.

The Wild Turkey 101 is a rye-heavy bourbon, bottled at 101 proof, hence the name. To be labeled as a bourbon there are a few criteria that every spirit needs to meet. First, it needs to be between 51% and 79% corn as the mash, while the rest can be other grains (typically barley, wheat, and rye). It also needs to be barrel aged for at least two years in new charred oak barrels. Bourbon barrels aren't allowed to be reused for more bourbon, so they typically find other uses for them like aging scotch whiskies and craft beers. And lastly, although this maybe should have come first, all bourbon has to come from the USA. It doesn't have to be Kentucky, although that's where most is made.

This bourbon pours a deep amber, almost caramel color, but not quite a full dark brown. The aroma is classic bourbon, primarily a corn sweetness with hints of booziness, and there is a bit of cinnamon spice coming from the rye. Overall a very inviting appearance and aroma.

The taste is more of the same, sweet, spicy, with a boozy hit that's present but not overpowering. It's not crazy complex, but it probably shouldn't be. There are hints of vanilla as well, which is typical of oak aging, and I'm especially impressed by the mildness of the alcohol bite for a 101 proof (55%) whiskey. It's a pleasant sip, a classic bourbon.

I hope everyone out there is enjoying National Bourbon Day! If you can't break one out for a #wakeywhiskey this morning, have a pour after work. Cheers!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Father's Day Gift Guide: For Dads That Like To Eat and Drink

by Aaron Arnold, intern

Every year Father’s Day rolls around and I find myself asking the same question, “What should I get for my dad?” There are only so many money clips and nose hair trimmers a guy can have. So, this year we wracked our brain, talked to some of our favorite men, and created the ultimate “Louisiana Dad Gift Guide.” Whether you are looking for an experience with pops or a gift in any price range, we got you covered.

1) For the Wannabe Chef Dad: 

The Seasons of Louisiana cookbook is perfect for the fathers that love to experiment in the kitchen. Chef Peter Sclafani is a chef at Ruffino’s in Baton Rouge and has been perfecting his Louisiana Cuisine skills for years.

2) For the Whiskey Sipping Dad:

A post shared by Cane Land Distilling Company (@canelanddistilling) on

Cane Land Distilling is new to the Baton Rouge scene and is located at 760 St Philip Street in the downtown area. You can swing by their location and pick up a bottle of their Original Mississippi Floated Whiskey for you and your dad to share, or go together to try one of their many craft cocktails. If your dad is more of a rum or vodka guy, we highly recommend their Red Stick Cinnamon Rum or Shindig Vodka.

3) For the Hairy Dad:

A post shared by gaudet bros. (@gaudetbros) on

Surprise your dad with a giftcard to Gaudet Bro’s located at 4556 Government St for the perfect trim and shave. If he’s more of a DIY styler, you can purchase some of their upkeep products for a grooming gift basket. Let that hipster flag fly, dad.

4) For the Fightin’ Tiger Dad:

Stop by Tiger People at 4250 Burbank Dr Suite 109/110 and snag your dad some new LSU swag. Tiger People offers a variety of LSU items from clothing to tailgate supplies. You’ll be sure to find something here for your LSU obsessed father.

5) For the BBQ Dad:

Locally sourced and curated, the one and only Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce, Louisiana Molasses Mustard, and Spicy & Sweet Barbecue Rub are perfect for the Dad who spends his summers by the grill. Any of these are sure to make your dad cook and feel like a pit master.

6) For the Spice Loving Dad:

A post shared by Red Stick Spice Co. (@redstickspice) on

Red Stick Spice Company located at 660 Jefferson Hwy captures the delicious, unique flavors of our region from local and sustainable food artisans. Check out their store to put together the perfect gift set of oils, spices, rubs or teas. Their knowledgeable staff will help you assemble the right products to match your dad’s style.

7) For the History Buff Dad:

Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long by Richard D. White Jr. is a great read for any dad that wants to learn more about Louisiana history and it’s collection of colorful political characters. Not to mention, it is the Baton Rouge’s 2017 book of the year for East Baton Rouge Public Library’s sponsored community-wide reading program “One Book One Community.” You can pick up a copy of “Kingfish” at the EBR Public Library and tweet out a picture using #readebr to see who else in our community is reading.

8) For the Beer Belly Dad:

For an opportunity to share some memories and a cold one with your dad, we recommend heading over to Tin Roof Brewery and Taproom. At the tap room you will be able to try one of their flagship, seasonal, or sometimes experimental, specialty beers. If you’re lucky, you may even catch some of the brewing in action.

9) For the Outdoorsy Dad:

If your dad spends a lot of time outside hunting, fishing, building (or breaking) head over to Goodwood Hardware & Outdoors. They carry an array of outdoor items from furniture to grills to any tool you can think of located at 7539 Jefferson Hwy.

10) For any Dad:

Just tell him that you love him and that you appreciate everything that he has done for you. If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with this.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sophie's First Week: A Glimpse Behind the Scenes of an Intern

by Sophie Spring, intern

“I really don’t know.” My response when family and friends asked me what I was going to be doing at my internship this summer. You could say it was a last minute decision to live in Baton Rouge for the summer, as I got the internship with Bite and Booze the night before my last final. The chaotic nature of finding a place to live, roommates and moving all my possessions from sorority house to my new condo only increased my excitement to start working for Jay and the Bite and Booze crew.

After the long 21-hour drive from Basking Ridge, New Jersey to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I couldn’t wait to dive in. My first day consisted of random tasks from intern orientation, to running out for forgotten groceries, to peeling and cutting 25 pounds of carrots.

As I’ve learned is the usual in the #officehouse, snacks are always coming out of the kitchen: Jay’s bratwurst from Iverstine Butcher, taco samples to prep for Gov’t Taco events, artisan chocolate bars sent to us from CrateChef and beer from Tin Roof and other local breweries (only for those of us over 21, of course). 

I left with five new t-shirts and a nervous anticipation for my next day of work, catering the VIP tent at Live After 5 downtown.

I'm all smiles while Paige snaps to the beat, Therese dances and Blair flips tortillas! Photo credit: Jordan Hefler
I'm all smiles while Paige snaps to the beat, Therese dances and Blair flips tortillas! Photo credit: Jordan Hefler

As I roll up to the office Friday morning, I was immediately rushed into Chuck’s Jeep as we trucked over to City Pork for a filming of the Food Network show, Ginormous Food. My second day on the job and I was already getting on TV! 

The highlights of going to the filming were getting to taste the giant porchetta sandwich, meeting Ginormous Foods host Josh Denny and realizing how locally famous my boss Jay Ducote was. I’m already planning a viewing party so all of my friends can see the back of my head on national television when the episode airs in July!

Next, we headed to Tin Roof Brewery to sort and tag some Louisiana Molasses Mustard bottles and Louisiana Barbecue Sauce to fill orders. While tying small tags to countless bottles of mustard in a dark, hot and humid warehouse isn’t exactly my idea of fun, it’s cool to see how involved the whole staff is in every aspect of the business. Jay went from being interviewed for Food Network to working right next to me, opening and resealing boxes of his molasses mustard. However, work like this has its benefits and no one in this company will never turn down a chance to grab some Tin Roof beer.

After going back to the office to pack up equipment, I jumped in the car with some of the Gov’t Taco crew to head downtown for Live After 5. While Snap Chatting myself flipping tortillas on the flat-top, assembling tacos and listening to live music my friends are all asking, “What is your job and where can I get one?!” 

Even after working a 12 hour day, I wanted to do nothing more than get to the office at 6:15am the next morning to make a vat of popcorn tossed with Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub to give out as samples at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market.

As I wandered around the Farmer’s Market, forgetting I was wearing my iconic Jay D’s shirt, I was shocked by how many vendors came up to me with friendly remarks, conversation and most importantly, samples of their products. While I had to restrain myself from buying something from every stand, I left the Farmer’s Market with tons of cool finds and an appreciation for Jay’s influence and connections in Baton Rouge.

I had already worked 21 hours, but was still most excited for our next event: Gov’t Taco pop-up at The Overpass Merchant.

I geared up for another 11 hour day, this time with a black taco flat brim of my own to sport for the evening. The kitchen was hot, my hands were burnt from the flat top and I was standing in a restaurant kitchen corner for nearly 5 hours flipping tortillas and assembling elote, but I had never had so much fun!

With Gnarly Barley beer flowing through the taps, music pumping and jokes flying we capped off the night by heading to Ivar’s with the whole crew, who are already starting to feel like my family. My friends don’t understand how that can be fun for me, or how I am still excited to work all of these hours, but walking through the #officehouse already feels like home.

After a relaxing Memorial Day, with me grilling burgers using Jay D’s Spicy & Sweet Rub for friends (and making some of them local celebrities by featuring them on the @jayducote instagram), I was ready to come back for our private dinner on Tuesday night.

Yet another long day, working from 9a.m. to 10p.m., was well worth it just for a bite of coffee rubbed venison and corner scraps of Therese’s sponge cake bread pudding. Seeing our work table transformed into a beautiful dining space for 12 lucky locals was super cool, almost as cool as taking part in cooking, serving and assembling five beautiful courses, expertly paired with wine and beer.

Just in my first few days, I have learned so much about entrepreneurship (my major) and running a business from Jay, working in a restaurant and cooking for a crowd (my dream) from Aimee and Therese, working hard and balancing different passions (my life right now) from Chuck and being a funky, cool, and awesome person (everyone’s goal) from Blair.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer because I can’t wait to see what else Bite and Booze has to offer. What do I think I’ll get from this internship? My predictions are food, fun and invaluable lessons about working hard, cooking well and endless hijinks with a crazy new family at the #officehouse.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Beers with Chuck: Voodoo Pale Ale from Tin Roof Brewing Company

by Chuck P

Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale was the first Tin Roof Beer I’d ever tasted.

Back in 2010 my own Me & My Big Mouth podcast had reached a point where I felt a change was needed. Our topics of music, movies, sports and random silliness grew a bit stale for me. Craft beer had sparked an interest for me and I thought it would be a great direction for the show.

Around this time I’d heard that a brewery had just opened in Baton Rouge, so it all just seemed to fall into place. On a Friday afternoon I headed over to Tin Roof Brewing Company and had my first sip of what would become my favorite brew from this new company. I’ve been a fan ever since.

Flash forward to 2017 and things have changed over at Tin Roof quite a bit. There’s a new brewmaster and brew floor crew that are focused on new recipes and new flavor profiles. Like the saying goes, “It’s out with the old and in with the new.” 

Some of the original flagship beers have been getting recipe makeovers starting with the Juke Joint IPA that got an update to meet the demands of juicy hop lovers and now my old favorite has gotten a complete facelift from the bottom up including the can design!

Ladies and gents I proudly introduce to you the new Voodoo Pale Ale:

As I was told by their new brewmaster Michael, the only thing left from the original Voodoo Bengal recipe was the yeast.

Gone is the big malt background that was there before. Now the new addition of Citra, Simcoe and Waimea shine through with citrus and pine notes on the aroma and taste. The haziness is a huge difference from its former version, giving it the look of most of the juicy IPA’s out on the market currently. 

Upon tasting, I picked up notes of melon and mango with a bit of pine that gave way to a super dry finish. Coming in at an easy 5% makes this a completely crushable beer.

As a fan, former employee and most importantly, a friend with Charles Caldwell and William McGehee, I’m super excited about the changes happening at Tin Roof. If the changes made to the Juke Joint and Voodoo as well as the exclusive brews that are going up in the taproom are any indication, there are more great things to come.