Tag Archives: BBQ

Every Town Needs A Good Grocery Store

Is it really too much to ask for one nice grocery store near our house (under an hour)?

My answer? No. I don’t think so. I’m not even asking for a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe’s. A PublixTop Foods or Safeway would work just fine for me.

For the last 49 weeks, we have been shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart, our local Kroger, the local Butcher Shop (which is awesome) and every once and a while, the Commissary on base.

Yes, it seems rediculous to visit three or four stores on a weekly basis just for food, but that’s the only way to get everything we need to feed our cooking habits. Perhaps I could pare down the weekly meals, but that’s no fun — especially when I look forward to cooking and trying out new recipes daily (it’s worth noting the main reason for this is that the restaurants SUCK here — there’s a limited selection and they seem to only offer fried unhealthiness — especially as it relates to appetizers).

Yes, I know I may sound like a snot in writing this post, but it’s something that just kind of blows my mind about this area of the country.

Every store here has poor quality produce, few organic selections, a limited selection, at best, of items like Greek Yogurt. If I had serious dietary restrictions, I’m not sure what I would do!

I’m sure it takes a nice neighborhood and some higher income areas for a Whole Foods to come to town, but I’d think something like a Trader Joe’s might go over well here. It would be the only healthy option and with a military base nearby, I would think that people would flock to spend money there. I must be missing some info. There’s got to be a reason for not building something awesome in Columbus…

What I’d love to find all in one store?

  • Produce doesn’t go bad within two days of purchase
  • Meat or chicken not nearing expiration date, also organic chicken at a ‘reasonable’ price
  • Milk that doesn’t leak when you buy it (and that lasts to its expiration date)
  • Basil that doesn’t wilt or have holes in the leaves
  • Garlic (preferably the ones that aren’t purple — not sure what’s going on there…)
  • Fennel
  • FRESH HERBS!!!
  • Canada Dry Sparkling Water, preferably Raspberry flavor (funny that this is the link that came to the top in my search)
  • A Starbucks (I know, this is probably pushing it)
  • Fully-stocked Chobani Greek Yogurt (they are out almost every time I go to Kroger)
  • Wine (real wine, not that Arbor Mist stuff)
I think that’s it for my ‘priorities,’ though I’m sure I could continue to add to it if I spent some more time on this.  Only a few more months of this (two!) and we’ll hopefully be moving on to a place with some bigger, better, healthier stores…

Until then, I’ll end my rant here and will spend some time thinking of all the goodness that Columbus has to offer. Fried pickles (and every other type of vegetable), Smackers frozen yogurt and the BEST BBQ ever.

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Filed under Military Life, Recipes/Cooking

BBQ Review: The Little Dooey

Columbus, Mississippi has a lot to offer as far as BBQ food goes. This year, I’m going to attempt to visit and review as many of these fine places as possible.

They are small, family-owned, little shacks for the most part, but the food has got to be good. Some are now even bigger chains, but originated here in Missip.

We’ll start with a place called The Little Dooey. This one looks like it’s actually starting to be franchised out. The location here in Columbus is tiny. Nick and I both ordered the “large pork combo” (for under $7) which is a basic pulled-pork sandwich with fries and a drink. We also tried their fried pickles.

All of the food was great and the sauces definitely fall in the category “now, you can’t make that at home.” The fried pickles were also good, but a bit salty. My favorite fried pickles still come from Omaha’s Dundee Dell.

My favorite part of this experience though? This cup and the fact that they have paper towel rolls on each table.  That’s a true BBQ joint.

Next time, I think I’ll have to try some fried okra – it just seems like my experience in the south won’t be complete without it.

Overall, I’d say this place is a great restaurant and is well worth the money. I’ll be going back for sure this year (over and over and over again).

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Filed under Reviews, Southern Living

A Good Weekend in the South.

This weekend two of my favorites had their birthday.  Nick and Penny (one year)!!

We had a great weekend of celebration…

First, I experienced my first assignment night at the base. This is where a class of pilots all get their assignments for what plane they will be flying and where they will be starting the rest of their lives. It’s a night full of suspense for some guys, and is fun for everyone else to watch.

There is a build up of anticipation, stories told and some, disappointment (mainly the ones that are assigned to Columbus again).

It was strange to be sitting there watching people learn what their futures hold. It was also weird to be thinking that in one year, we’ll be doing the same exact thing, feeling that suspense and anticipation.

Saturday was Penny’s first birthday – sadly, she was pretty sick. The poor thing wouldn’t eat or drink a thing. Overall, don’t think she had a good day, but am happy to report that she’s all better and doing well!

Saturday, Nick’s class threw him a surprise party for his birthday! I took Nick out of the house for a quick drink while the guys and gals set-up. We then came home to a surprise BBQ! Nick didn’t suspect a thing – flawless execution (pictures from the party to come to Facebook later).

We had a great night of eating, drinking, friends and to finish our night, that we should experience Mississippi BBQ, that’s where things got weird.

After weeks of seeing ads for the Mississippi State BBQ Championship, we decided this was something we should experience.  Now, from what we had heard about the event, we were expecting a good time and to eat some great BBQ. Um, not so much – big FAIL.

While there was BBQ all around, and a contest underway, there was no BBQ to eat. Word on the street was that it would be hopping in the evening (like Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras in New Orleans).

We were told that this (the booths below) would be the area to experience – despite the fact that most booth were for “invited guests” only (now, if I pay $10 to get in but can’t go into a booth, what am I paying for? I still don’t have the answer).

We attempted the event again after the surprise party. This wasn’t a good idea. Not only was this as far from Bourbon Street as I could even imagine, but I think it was even worse at night. Even less booths, no vendors and one small beer tent. I did however get to dance in the rain, so that made it all well worth it.

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good weekend, with some crazy moments thrown in there.

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

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Filed under Love It, Southern Living

An Air Force BBQ, Starkville and MSU…

What a whirl-wind this week has been. Nick started class on Friday and has been busy with studying ever since.

We hosted a class party at our house and I have to tell you, I think it turned out well. It took a while to clean for the thing and Penny peed on the furniture, but overall I was happy with our effort.  Granted (Nick tells me I use this word WAY too much and completely wrong most of the time but I will continue to prove him wrong), it was 100 degrees and humid as hell, but we had a blast.

His class seems great and I loved all of the wives I met that night. We grilled burgers, brats and veggie burgers. Made baked beans, pasta salad and had watermelon.

Overall, I’d say the shin-dig was a success and we had a few beers leftover – which is never something to complain about.

On Sunday, Nick and I went on a great Mississippian adventure to Starkville!! I know, suspense is building. Starkville, MS is 20 minutes from our house and is the home of Mississippi State University. I was so excited that they had a Barnes and Noble – which I really never thought would be something to get excited about.

Two hours and one book later, Nick and I were off to explore the rest of Starkville and found Old Venice Pizza Company. It was great (and was pretty much the only thing open on a Sunday) and we’ll definitely be going back – likely for a college football weekend. I also think I probably need some gear from the bookstore – sad that my new definition of shopping is college bookstore clothing  (clothing perfect for working from home – despite the “casual” nature of the outfit).

Anyway, on to the rest of the week – we sure miss happy hour in Mississippi (though I’m in Omaha as I write this and there is PLENTY of that here).

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Filed under Military Life, Southern Living