26 May 2010


When I saw this sauce on the shelf of my local Publix, the name seemed familiar to me. "Cunningham's"..."Memphis"...as it turns out, what I was thinking of was Willingham's. John Willingham is a Memphis in May legend - a two time grand champion (not to mention an American Royal grand champion). He does make a line of barbecue sauces, and hopefully I will get around to reviewing them. But today's sauce is Cunningham's.

Though "Memphis" is on the label, Cunningham's is manufactured in North Florida. The sauce is dark in color and thick in consistency like a Kansas City style sauce. The texture is completely smooth and almost slick. The texture and extra thick consistency result in an almost gelatinous mouthfeel. The vinegary aroma is arresting, softened slightly by the dark essence of molasses. The label describes the sauce as "semi-sweet," and that is accurate. The sharp tanginess of vinegar is the first flavor, followed by a strangely artificial tasting sweetness and the savory taste of Worcestershire. There is a slight tingle of heat as the others flavors subside. Overall, this sauce falls short in both taste and texture.

Grade: C

24 May 2010

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Tonight

Look for me tonight on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives during the segment featuring Martin's BBQ. Most likely it will be a shot of me stuffing my face with a jumbo pork sandwich.

Tonight's show is titled Porkapalooza and it airs on the Food Network @ 9pm cst. Watch out because next time you see me I might be famous.

17 May 2010

Tonight's The Night: Eat Out for Nashville

Eat Out for Nashville is a grass roots effort started by Doug Hogrefe of Amerigo and Chris Chamberlain of Bites to help raise money for the Community Foundation Metro Nashville Disaster Relief Fund. It all started with an email on May 5th simply asking the blogger community to help promote a fundraiser of sorts. The idea was to have participating restaurants offer up 50% of one nights proceeds to the flood relief fund. Twitter and Facebook accounts were setup and the momentum began to grow. In just a 12 day period EOfN has signed up 54 restaurants to participate. To see the list just head over to the Bites website and remember Tonight's The Night. So get out there and eat eat eat.

13 May 2010

Music Thursday: Workingman's Dead Cumberland Blues

Well I have been very absent from the blog lately. If it weren't for my partner in crime BP coming strong with the BBQ Sauce of the Week, the Ulika faithful would be left with an empty rss feed. It is not that there has been a lack of activity around here, in fact it is probably the opposite. Here are some things that I intended to blog about but didn't:

High on the Hog - we finished 10th out of 47 teams

I attended my first Southern Foodways Alliance event - Potlikker Film Festival at City House. See the Bites recap here.

I attended the Pellet Envy competition bbq class in Lebanon.

I started my CSA with Avalon Acres, and I planted 6 tomato plants.

and most importantly I survived the flood of 2010. This flood has been a crazy experience, and there are several sites that have documented it way better than I ever could. All I am going to do is bring you a tune with an appropriate title Cumberland Blues:

12 May 2010

BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: John Boy & Billy's Grillin' Sauce

Let me just say right off the bat that I don't listen to "The Big Show". It's nothing personal, I'm just not into that sort of thing. So I honestly couldn't tell John Boy & Billy from Bob & Tom or Rick & Bubba. I pretty much stick to 650 WSM-AM (at home) and 560 WNSR-AM (in the car). Bottom line is I don't really have an opinion about the radio show; I'm just here for the sauce. 

Big Show Foods, Inc., which was created to market John Boy & Billy's sauces, sells three versions of the Grillin' Sauce (Original, Sweet&Mild, and Hot&Spicy), an Eastern Carolina barbecue sauce, a steak marinade, and two kinds of hot sauce. 

The Original Grillin' Sauce, however, was what started it all when it was unveiled in 1997. This is a tomato-based sauce that is spicier and more complex than most. It's got a moderate amount of sweetness (not too much) that is complemented by tangy vinegar and mustard flavors. Savory and garlicky notes rise up and give way to a nice lingering spicy burn.

Grade: B+

06 May 2010

eat out for Nashville

For immediate release:

May 6, 2010

Nashville Restaurants and Food Media Join Together to Organize “Eat Out for Nashville” Charity Event on May 17, 2010 for Victims of Middle Tennessee Flooding

Middle Tennessee diners are invited to eat out at their favorite restaurants the evening of Monday May 17, 2010 as part of a citywide charity event to raise money for Nashville flood victims. Participating restaurants will donate 50% of the evening’s proceeds to the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund of the Community Fund of Middle Tennessee. “Eat Out for Nashville” is the brainchild of Doug Hogrefe, owner of Amerigo. As soon as the flood waters began to recede, Hogrefe looked for ways to help out displaced Middle Tennesseans and volunteers who were assisting in the recovery efforts.

“When I realized that we had been lucky to receive little damage in the flooding, I knew that I could feed individuals and small groups,” said Hogrefe. “Many other restaurants in the area were also mobilizing quickly to offer assistance to the thousands of people in need. By combining our efforts for one night on May 17, the Nashville area dining community can multiply their impact and draw even more attention to the plight of our customers and friends who need our help.”

Since this event is coming together so quickly as a grassroots effort, restaurants are being approached by local food writers and bloggers as well as their fellow restaurateurs to encourage them to participate. All sorts of establishments are invited to join the effort, from fine dining restaurants to fast casual chains. As more locations sign on, a list of participants will be maintained and publicized through local media outlets, including The Tennessean, The Nashville City Paper and The Nashville Scene. Alternative media such as www.Nashvillest.com, Twitter, FaceBook and Nashville food blogs will also share up-to-the-minute information on “Eat Out for Nashville” with their many followers. Chris Chamberlain from The Nashville Scene’s “Bites” food blog is working to coordinate the media efforts.

Proceeds from the evening will be collected by the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee responds in times of disaster to connect generosity with need and has activated the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund to support relief efforts throughout Middle Tennessee necessitated by the May 1, 2010 floods. Donations of any size are welcome. Grants from the fund will support relief and restoration in areas of Middle Tennessee affected by the floods.

Hogrefe concludes, “In difficult times like these, all sectors of the community must pull together. Many of our fellow restaurants and thousands of our customers are hurting right now. The food service industry is an important part of this city as an employer and as a source of nourishment. We are confident that this group will come together as it always does when people are in need.”

For more information, email EatOutForNashville@gmail.com or call Chris Chamberlain at
(615) 852-7675.

Follow @EatOutForNash on Twitter or at http://www.facebook.com/eatoutfornashville on FaceBook.

05 May 2010

BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: Bull's-Eye Original

Bull's-Eye is another of those supermarket sauces that are so ubiquitous. Kraft introduced this sauce in 1985 as a smokier, zestier alternative to their already popular Kraft brand of barbecue sauce. It was an instant success and has remained so through the years. In 2008, Kraft removed the high fructose corn syrup from Bull's-Eye, along with many of its other brands. Along with the original, there are four other flavors of Bull's-Eye - Sweet & Tangy, Hickory Smoke, Brown Sugar & Hickory, and Guinness(!).

The original version of the sauce is fairly typical of leading brand barbecue sauce - very sweet, moderately smokey, a little bit tangy, and a little bit spicy. It's not significantly different from KC Masterpiece or Sweet Baby Ray's, but it is definitely a step up from Kraft or Hunt's.

Grade: B