Reviews

Cape Ann Brewing Company, Gloucester MA

The beer wasn’t bad at all, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Most microbrewery restaurants serve decent pub food — deep fried snacks, maybe some nachos; you know, good unhealthy old standbys.  But the Pub at Cape Ann is something special:  They have barbecue.  Boy-oh-mister, do they have barbecue! (more…)

The Glass Onion, Charleston SC

Located right next to the Swig & Swine (third-best ribs I’ve ever had) on Rte. 17 in Charleston, The Glass Onion has a tough act to follow.  It does just fine.  The honey-touched cornbread alone would make this place.  But it’s not alone, and thank God, because what comes after is manna from heaven. (more…)

Ulele (Ū-lë-lē), Riverwalk, Tampa FL

“Millions of American women, and some men, commit that outrage every summer day. They are turning a superb treat into mere provender. Shucked and boiled in water, sweet corn is edible and nutritious; roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia. No chef’s ingenuity and imagination have ever created a finer dish. American women should themselves be boiled in water.”
-Nero Wolfe, “Murder Is Corny”, 1964 (written by Rex Stout)
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Buy This Book. Buy It Now.

There’s never enough time.

This isn’t merely true; it’s a truism. It’s axiomatic, and it applies just about everywhere in life. There’s never enough time to get all the work done; there’s never enough time to visit family, see friends, play with the kids, or take the dog for enough walks. And there’s certainly never enough time to read every book we want to. (more…)

Places We Didn’t Review

The Not Fake News exists because of the distressing tendency of the media to thrive on negativity and chaos.  We oppose the fearmongering and divisiveness by being a voice for reason whenever we can.  When we write a review, it’s because it was so very good we felt absolutely compelled to speak up; people need to know the good things in life.

The trouble is, people deserve a warning (more…)

The Bacon Tree, Winterport, Maine

Full disclosure:  I saw no evidence of barbecue here.  But it was so good it’s getting a review anyway; after all, what are rules for if you can’t break them?

In a tiny room off to one side of the Winterport Winery sits one of the best breakfasts in Maine (not to mention lunch and dinner).  We passed up Dysart’s for this, and we were not disappointed. (more…)

Texas Jack’s Barbecue, Arlington VA

I know what you’re thinking:  Barbecue — in Arlington?!  Well, it just goes to show:  You shouldn’t judge based on your preconceptions.  That’s right:  Texas Jack’s does good ‘Cue.

If you don’t know where Arlington is, “Pentagon” and “Blast Radius” may remind you.  In the shadow of our nation’s capitol, this mega-suburb was originally part of the District until Virginia took it back after decades of of mismanagement and neglect.  It’s a hodgepodge of skyscrapers, hotels, million-dollar postage-stamp houses, Reagan National Airport, and more Starbucks per square mile (more…)

The Black Hog, Urbana MD

The Washington D.C. Beltway is the deadliest stretch of highway in North America.  It goes from two lanes up to twelve, often without warning, and connects I-95 with half a dozen commuter highways, none busier than I-270.  Here, lawyers and lobbyists come together and kill each other daily while playing bumper-tag in Audis, Beemers, Priuses, and Teslas.  Some would say that’s the best public service they’ll ever perform in their abbreviated lives, but who am I to judge?  All I’ll say is this:  Never ever but never take these roads during rush hour.

Fortunately, the Black Hog is open at 11am daily, and Urbana (just off I-270) is only one of three locations — the best, though the two in Frederick come close.  Here can be found some of the best ribs, sauces, and barbecue in the world.  They’ll serve your ribs wet or dry (more…)

Boxcar Bar + Arcade, Raleigh NC

And here you thought arcades were a thing of the past.

The Boxcar is precisely what the arcades of your youth were not.  Those machines were filthy, nasty, and poorly maintained; these are pristine and beautiful.  The crowd back then was smelly pimpled kids sucking Jolt Cola; now, they’re well-groomed urban professionals mixed with college students, and the beverage of choice is craft beer on tap.  And let me tell you, the beer is damned good — too good, in fact; it’ll affect your game if you’re not careful.

Speaking of games, let me tell you about the games.  Not only do they (more…)