Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mac's Speed Shop

Mac's Speed Shop is a BBQ restaurant that is new to the Downtown Greenville area of SC, but they have 4 other locations in NC. I don't know which came first, but Mac's also has a very successful BBQ Competition team.

Mac's slogan is "Beers, Bikes, and BBQ", and they're pretty successful with all 3. They have Bike Only parking up front, over 300 beers on tap, and the championships to prove their BBQ is good too. As soon as you pull up to Mac's you get a feel of a rustic, old school garage appearance they're going for. If that's not enough, once you walk in, you're surrounded by vintage style parts and signs from the bike and BBQ worlds.

To compliment their huge selection of brews, they also have the Mac's Beer Club. You get a Mac's BC patch for signing up and then other merchandise and apparel as you climb the ladder of beers tried.

If the atmosphere and beers don't get you ... the BBQ will. I've been 4 times now, and every time it's been great. The first 2 times we went I had the pulled pork and Dawn had the brisket, and it was all great. The last time we went, I got the ribs and she got the brisket wrap.

When I started on the ribs they were AMAZING. The sauce was a perfect mix between sweet and spicy and the meat had the perfect combination of hold and pull. As I got closer to the end they the tougher the meat got and the less their was too. By the time I got to the last bone, there literally was no meat on it and the "skin" was pretty close to being considered burned.

Dawn loved her brisket wrap, but couldn't understand how everything inside was cooked except the green peppers. They were so completely raw that they looked like they just bought them, cut them, and threw them in the sandwich. She ended up pulling them out, and eating the sandwich as is, which again, she loved.

The other negative with Mac's, and it's completely personal preference, is their sauces. Being from NC almost all of their sauces are vinegar based, and they're very runny. I tend to prefer a bit thicker sauce.

Ok, so enough with the bad and back to the good. I have yet to have a side that was AWESOME. The fries are amazing, the mac 'n' cheese is some of the best I've ever had from a restaurant, and Dawn has had their cheese grits and raved about them (which is tough with her grits standards).

Take out a few hiccups here and there, and Mac's Speed Shop is flying near the tops of my favorite BBQ joints. If you want good BBQ and try a couple of new beers ... Mac's is the place you need to be.

If you want more information, you can visit their site at here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A New Record

Apparently you people love some potatoes. Yesterday's post of the Spicy Armadillo Potato hasn't just broken the previous record of views in a day (it was around 230), it SHATTERED that record. 

I've read books on blogs and seen other blogs where they talk about having thousands and hundred of thousands of views a day, and honestly I can't imagine having that many people take a minute out of their day to see what I have to say. Heck, my goal is to hit 100 views per post and I'm thrilled every time I do.  

Well, if yesterday is any indication of where One Nine 3 is heading, and I hope it is, those other numbers may have a chance of becoming a reality. 

I posted the Spicy Armadillo Potato around 1 yesterday afternoon and almost immediately the hits started coming. It hit 50 views in 2 hours (usually a KILLER performance). By the time I left work around 4:30 it was around 130 views (I'm averaging a little over 100 views per post, not 130 within 4 hours). I went to the gym last night to ref Basketball and checked the numbers again when I got home, 313 views. 

At this point, I have to admit, I'm freaking out like a school girl at a Justin Bieber (if that's not spelled right so be it) concert. 

I was already happy with the numbers at that point and expect them to stall out overnight as most do ... wrong again. 

The total number of views in the 24 hours of posting the Spicy Armadillo Potatoes (whether that's what people looked at or not), and a NEW record of number of views in a day IS ............................. 651!!!!!

Again, these numbers don't scrape the bottle of the barrel for those big dog professional blogs, but for someone that does this for kicks on the side, I can't explain how this makes me feel. I guess for those of you that have children, this is like my son just made his first basket for the 8 and under church team. 

This won't be the last time you read this from me, but THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone that reads my blog, and helps spread the word. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Spicy Armadillo Potatoes

From Throwdowns on the Brethren to cooks I've posted on here, every time the Armadillo is on a plate, someone is asking about it. It's a little time consuming, but over all, it's a fairly simple thing to make ... and it's awesome. 

The goodie ingredients are pretty simple, but you can always spice it up or tone it down to preference. 

4 tbs Butter
2 ts Frank's Red Hot (or other hot sauce)
1 tbs Chili Powder
1 1/2 ts Paprika
1 ts Garlic Powder
1/2 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
(not pictured) Bread Crumbs

A little back story on the Frank's Red Hot mini bottle. While we were at Memphis In May, Frank's had reps walking around giving away the mini bottles. I had on cargo pants and Dawn had her purse, so we may or may not have taken more than 1 sample ... ok, so we went by the truck and got more samples ... ok, OK, so we went day 2 and got more samples. Yes, we have nearly 20 something bottles of Frank's Red Hot ... whoops. 

To prep the potatoes you first slice the bottom off so you have a flat even surface. 

You don't have to use anything, but I like to use wooden spoons as my guide for my cuts (I'm a little anal when it comes to things like that). 

There's not set distance to make your cuts, but I normally do around 1/8 of an inch. The trick here is to cut as straight down as possible. If you mess up and don't make a cut the perfect width, that's fine, that's something you can over correct the next cut. When you cut down though, you need that cut to be as close to straight down as possible, so you don't end up cutting chunks out of the potato (I speak from experience here). 

Throw the potatoes, flat side down, in the microwave for 10 minutes on high. Once they're out and cooled. Fan out the slices to open them up. Pour some EVOO on top and then season with salt and pepper and put in a preheated over for 30 minutes at 450.

While the potatoes are cooking you can mix the topping. There's no magic way of doing this ... just throw it all in a bowl and mix. 

Once the potatoes are done, add the goodie inside the slices and on top of the potatoes. While you're doing this, flip your oven over to medium broil. 

After you've filled in the slices, and poured the rest on top. Throw the potatoes in the oven, now on broil, for  3-5 minutes so the goodies can cook onto the potatoes. 

Once they're out let them rest for a little while ... because it'll be the temperature of the Sun.

Of course we didn't eat the Armadillo's by themselves. We picked up some NY Strips and did our usual seasoning, but this time added some smoked salt and pepper on top. 

One of our favorite dishes ... NY Strips with Armadillo's. These were actually the best potatoes we've made.  We normally try to throw some extra spices and just play with the recipe a bit, but we went straight down the list and they came out amazing (probably could have had a slight hint more of spice). 

The strips with the smoked salt and pepper may be a new thing as well. I don't think Dawn could really taste the flavor, but I could tell it gave the steak a light smokey flavor and helped enhance the existing flavors. 

If you plan to give the armadillo a try post below and let me know, then let me know how it turned out. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

The BBQ Song

These guys are about as crazy as it gets, but this song is pretty funny. My favorite part is where they talk about Florida and people that aren't from the South. Although I don't like their part about SC. Just because a few weirdos use mustard base for their sauce doesn't mean that's all SC BBQ is about.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mexican Lasagna

Dawn is always giving me a hard time about how picky of an eater I am. One of her first dishes she made to get me to try new things was this Mexican Lasagna. Before this I never ate any kind of beans (well, unless you count green beans). I didn't eat baked beans, black eye peas, kidney beans, black beans ... anything. 

She made this the first time and told me that I had to at least try it, and if I didn't like it then I could have whatever I wanted for dinner. I took one bite ... then another ... then another ... then another ... then I looked down and the plate was empty. We made this for dinner because it'd been a while since we'd made it and I was craving it ... I would have never imagined that I would like something so much that had beans in it ... yuk. 

This is a really simple dish to make with only 8 total ingredients: ground beef, medium taco sauce, chili powder, cumin, cut corn, black beans, tortillas, and cheese. 

Here's the original recipe that we've modified.

Cook the ground beef til done/brown (I understand there is some pinkness in this picture. I took it before it was completely cooked, because we were doing other things.)

Once the ground beef has cooked, start adding your other ingredients. (There's no specific order)

You may want to use a larger pan than I did, because you'll need to mix everything together.

In an 11ish by 8ish pan start your base. Just like lasagna place down a layer of tortilla. To do this will require some cutting to make sure it's covering the whole base.

Add about 1/3 of the filling on top and spread.

Lay down another layer of tortilla and cover with cheese.

The add another 1/3 of the goodies.

Repeat the whole previous step until all of the ingredients have been added. Then add a top layer and cheese.

Throw it in a preheated oven at 425 and let cook for 15 minutes.

DISCLAIMER: We're having to use paper plates, because our dishwasher pump went out. 

I messed up on the cuts, so the picture isn't all pretty like. I thought I was supposed to cut it in half down the middle and then in 3rds. All you have to do is cut it in quarters and you'll have enough for dinner (for 2) and have 2 days worth of leftovers. It's a simple 30 minute cook that's cheap and serves for days. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tavern 24

Tavern 24 is a new restaurant on Woodruff Rd in the old Fatz building. Which is fitting, since they're an affiliate of Fatz. Since they're a brother sister company, of course the comparisons have to be made. Tavern 24 is actually a lot like Fatz. If you gave Fatz more and bigger TVs, live music, and much better food, then they would be exactly the same. (If you missed that. I just said Fatz is horrible and Tavern 24 is really good with a cool atmosphere.)

In the 2 times we've gone the burgers, sandwiches and pizzas have been awesome, and our friends raved about the calamari they got. I don't eat that junk, so we'll all just have to take their word for it.

The service has been good each of the two times we've gone, and the prices are right along the same line as Fatz.

If you want more information or to see their menu or directions check out Tavern 24's website.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Tablefields is a new restaurant off Woodruff Rd in Greenville, SC. If you know the area, they took the place of Atlanta Bread Co at the end of the strip mall at Hollywood 20 theater.

Their niche is more or less bringing clean fresh foods from the fields to the table. I don't know if that's really where the name came from, but it makes a lot of sense if it is.

We've been a few times now, because the food is REALLY good. I've had their pizza once and their bacon cheeseburger the past couple of times. Their burgers are cooked perfectly, and the bacon is ... it's bacon, therefore it's awesome. Dawn keeps getting their pizza, because it's so good.

Every time we've gone the service has been great as well. If the line ever backs up, someone will stop what they're doing and man (or woman) the other register to cut down on wait time. The food is also out in a fairly timely mannor. We've been there when it's been slow and when it's been hopping, and the food is still out within 5-10 minutes.

If I had a complaint it would be their fountain drinks. Now, I understand they're goal is to be healthy and fresh etc etc, but give me a dang Pepsi or Dr Pepper. Their fountain drinks are Raspberry and Blackberry type "organic" like sodas. They're not horrible, but they're not very good either. The one plus with their beverages ... they serve beer.

The prices are fair. You're paying for a fresher, better quality of ingredients, and the cost will always reflect that. It's a little more than what you would regularly pay for a burger and small pizza, but the food makes it worth it

If you're ever on Woodruff Rd and want a quick bite to eat. I would definitely take the time to try out Tablefields if you haven't already.


The cook posts are going to be missing in action for a little. Dawn hasn't been feeling too well the last week or so, so we haven't been able to cook or go out to eat much. She's starting to feel a letter better now, so hopefully I will have some good cooks/reviews for you next week. 

No, I'm not going to let you go a week without hearing from me. I will still throw up a few reviews that I've been meaning to do anyway this week. 

Remember: help spread the word by liking the One Nine 3 Facebook Page and sharing the most recent post for a chance to win the Free Rub Sample. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One Nine 3's Rub Give-A-Way

One of the new things I plan to do this year is create contest/challenges for everyone out there, and give away some rubs to the winners. These contest/challenges may be to comment on a post and a randomly selected person wins, share a post about One Nine 3 and a random person wins, or once the One Nine 3 Facebook page reaches a certain number of likes ... you guessed it ... a random person will be selected. 

Since the Facebook page is new, I'll let that be the first contest. (If you haven't liked the One Nine 3 Facebook page, do so here.)

Spread the word about One Nine 3 and once that page reaches 200 likes. I will pick someone to win a sample rub(s). All you have to do is "like" the page, and then spread the word to others. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Crispy Chicken Thighs

Glanced through a few magazines, and found another new cook to give a shot. This was a quick, throw it together cook, so there's not as many details as usual for this one. We picked up some chicken thighs and cleaned them up a bit. 

You can find the full recipe at Taste of Home.

Made the marinade which was some garlic, soy sauce, butter and pepper. Let the chicken sit in it for 30 minutes or so while the potatoes were in the over. 

The recipe calls to broil the chicken, but we had potatoes in the oven ... so to the grill the chicken went. 

Don't be jealous by our fancy Chinet. 

The chicken turned out as juicy as it looks and was delicious. I even had it for lunch today, and it was still great. Throwing a little love in there also to JB and The Moonshine Band

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cheesy Balls Spaghetti

Dawn wanted to try something new, and found this recipe for Cheesy Chicken Ball Spaghetti. It's actually really quick and simple to make. You boil the spaghetti noodles as you normally would. Then throw the diced tomatoes in a separate skillet and let them cook. Dawn actually went away from the recipe a bit and sauteed some garlic and olive oil before adding the tomatoes, and then added some basil while it all cooked.

This is one of the few times you're allowed to cut the cheese in the kitchen and not get knocked out for it. I did half of the block of mozzarella and cubed it, and it was a little more than we needed.

Mix the ground chicken, egg, garlic, bread crumbs, parsley flakes, and parmesan in a bowl. 

Once everything is mixed. You place the cheese on the "meat" and roll them up into meatballs. 

Add the balls to the cooking diced tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes and then flip to cook other side. 

Assembled and cut open. This will be what your ooy gooy goodness will look like. 

Alpine Spring doesn't exactly go well with cheesy chicken meatball spaghetti, but the food itself was off the chain. Dawn has already mentioned that she'd like to do it again. The chickenballs were a LOT better than I expected them to be. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Smell Of Smoked Salt And Pepper In The Air

A good friend of mine (I use that term loosely since I haven't ever actually met him. We're CockyTalk buddies.), Ron, posted all over facebook about how he's going to be smoking some salt and pepper. I told him to send me some or I'd defriend him (not really), so he agreed. After standing out by my mailbox for months waiting on this package, it finally arrived. I don't know why it took so long. He kept saying something about his wife had a baby or something. 

Anyway, I'll be trying out the smoked salt and pepper and seeing what all it's good for and posting it here for everyone to see. If you're all lucky, he may start making large enough batches for a few to purchase from him if you're interested. If you are interested, let me know and I will get in contact with him to see if that'd be a possibility.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shrimp and Grits for a SNOB

As promised in the Charleston food review. Here's our first attempt at replicating Slightly North Of Broad's Shrimp and Grits. 

Before I get into it I do have to tell a quick little story. Every time we go to a BBQ restaurant if I don't like it Dawn always says it's because I'm a "BBQ snob". Well, if I'm a BBQ snob (which I don't argue against) then she's a Shrimp and Grits snob. Every time we're in Charleston or go to a seafood restaurant she HAS to try their shrimp and grits. So now you may all understand the irony of all things this post and the shrimp and grits being soooooo amazing at a place nicknamed SNOB. 
Ok, now to the food. 

You basically make grits and do the rest separately. 

For the grits you'll need: 
4 c Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbs Butter
1-1 1/2 c Stone Ground Grits
1/4 Cup Cream

For the toppings:
1 tsp Butter
4 oz Country Ham (julienne)
4 oz Smoked Sausage (calls for Pork. I got stuck using Turkey)
12 Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
4 tbs Fresh Tomato (seeded and diced)
4 tbs Green Onion
1/8 tsp Minced Fresh Garlic
Pinch of Cajun Spice 
1/4 c of Chicken Stock or Water

For the Country Ham, Sausage, Shrimp, and spice. You can really do those to personal liking. I don't think you can ever have too much meat in anything. 

In one pot Dawn had the grits going while I did the toppings in the other. Dawn is the grits queen at our house, so that was definitely her job. 

For the toppings you start off by sauteing the ham and sausage with the butter. You then add the shrimp for approximately a minute or two. Work in the tomato, green onion, garlic, and spice. Then add your chicken stock or water and stir in for 30 seconds to a minute (just long enough to get the flavor to cover the rest of the ingredients). 

Pour in your grits first and then add toppings. Again, for me, there's no such thing as too much meat (or goodies as I like to call it). 

As most of you know, I am NOT a big sea food fan, so shrimp and grits is not something I order on a regular basis. Dawn, on the other hand, LOVES shrimp and grits and orders it any and every time she can. She grades how new meals are by asking if I'd ever request it in the future. This is something I will DEFINITELY be requesting in the future, and to go a step further, Dawn said that this was better than most restaurants that shes tried.