Prohibition Smokehouse, Truck Norris Texas BBQ and Bootleg BBQ… some smokehouse joints on the south island of New Zealand

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Prohibiton smokehouse


PROHIBITION SMOKEHOUSE, DUNEDIN

To start off with, Dunedin is a funny little town. It holds with-in its belly an intestinal tract of Victorian era buildings that house the students from the Universities in town, inducing a feeling of old meets new. Graffitied buildings and quirky student-y notes and signs adorn the walls and doorways of the city, which may have long since been set to rest without the influx of the learned, the sun and chilly ocean breeze blotted out by moss and vines never to caress the city walls again… either way this place is definitely worth a stroll…

But clearly I am no poet, so maybe I should just get back to I may be slightly better at; reporting the facts.

We hadn’t had a smoky-meaty fix on this trip yet and we were pretty keen to rectify that situation.

We stepped into the kinda-swanky-looking-for-a-smokehouse-joint restaurant and were quickly seated by the super nice staff. Straight up this was not something I was accustomed to from a smokehouse restaurant – no, I’m not referring to the super nice staff (Smokehouse joints always have super nice staff. Yes, that is a blatant generalization but I will be standing by it because I am stubborn and correct). I am referring to the swankiness. I am defo accustomed to a little more dank with my BBQ and I think that’s one of the things I truly like about it, but I had arrived on their freshly swept doorstep* with an open heart and open mind so I was ready for it… whatever it may be…

“Firstly, I would just like to let you know kids eat for free”, were the words from our waitress’s mouth.

At that point I was truly ready to forgo the lack of dank and any other preconceptions about BBQ that I may have in my stupid, opinionated head because as our dear lord once said, “If you feed my kids for free I can buy another bottle of wine which basically makes us homies fo’ life”.

We ordered, we drank, and Jennee and I laughed like the first time we met.

After a perfectly comfortable time period had elapsed our food hit the table. Or more literally – our food was placed nicely on the table in front of us.

The spread


We shared brisket with soured onions and truffle mayo ($34), ½ chicken with baby spinach and drunken raisins ($32), grilled broccoli with chipotle hollandaise ($10) and iceberg wedge salad with ranch and bacon bits ($8.5). The boys had buttermilk fried chicken wings and pork ribs, both with citrus ‘slaw (free for under 12s), and we got into that lot as well.

It was all a very nice meal indeed. The brisket was tender and juicy, but could’ve had some more smoke, I thought. The fried chicken, the pork ribs, the sides were all very tasty but I have to say the star of the evening was the ½ grilled chicken – tender, juicy, smoky and a heap of other great adjectives used to describe great tasting meat. It was some of the best grilled chook I have ever eaten, hands down. That with the iceberg salad took me to my very happy place.

I couldn’t get to pecan pie quick enough. Mmmm, that was some damn tasty pecan pie


We followed that up with a whiskey chaser and some dessert. All of the desserts were good but if you do not try this pecan pie ($15) you are a stupid, stupid man… or lady… it is really good pecan pie. Probs not so good if you are allergic to pecans though, but you’ll work that out I’m sure (or possibly become fodder for natural selection).

So for your dinner you shall be eating ½ chicken, iceberg salad, pecan pie, whiskey. Check.

Do it.

*A freshly swept doorstep which was later defiled by a young lady emptying the booze from her stomach into the gutter as the tables of diners at Prohibition watched on. We were the only table that cheered even a little bit.

The Truck Norris set up


TRUCK NORRIS TEXAS BBQ, METHVEN

The food truck scene is alive and well in the South Island of New Zealand.

Even the little alpine town of Methven has a food truck or two.

One of those food trucks is called Truck Norris.
My dear wife Jennee decided she would call it “Walker, Texas Griller”.

Truck Norris is run by a guy named Matt.

Matt told us he really liked cooking BBQ.

Matt made some really tasty BBQ.

Three meat platter – 30 bucks a pop


There was a nice little corral type set-up to keep Matt, his food truck and his two Johnson Smokers’ cohorts safe from the admiring crowds who would be gathering soon for a little taste of some top notch Texas style BBQ – The girls that would be chucking their knickers at him and gesturing to him with their tongues gently caressing their lips. The guys who would get emotional because the smoked meat is so damn delicious… and then they would become even more emotional (like, tears emotional) because “emotional” is a feeling they know not how to deal with (but they would still have enough wits about them to have their facial hair ready to smuggle a few morsels out of the yard for later). The dogs and the cats would get along together, just to share a little of that smoky goodness, a few fries with Matt’s special seasoning and maybe a little of that black-eyed bean salad.

Don’t forget the jalapeno poppers


Yes, the world would get a little crazy just for a second, thanks to Truck Norris and it’s purveying of tasty smoky goodness.

It would be defo worthy of pulling off the highway (if there was actually a highway… perhaps it was just a country road…) to sample some of these smoky delights. Actually, you should sample all of the smoky delights… and drive all of the way from the where ever you live to do it.

Drive there from where ever and try all of the meats and all of the sides. Your face will love you for it.

This is what the Bootleg sign looks like


BOOTLEG BBQ, CHRISTCHURCH

This was a good looking bar and BBQ joint type scenario.

There were comfortable seats, central heating and 15 NZ craft beers on tap (changes often, we were told), which is fine by me because I really don’t mind seating on a comfortable seat, in a warm environment while sipping on a craft beer from NZ.

The staff were nice. They bought us food and drinks upon request. They were very nice indeed.

The menu that told us what we could order


We ordered “the BBQ platter for the squad” ($80). I’m almost positive this was not the name of the BBQ platter we ordered, but I also know it sure as heck could’ve been. That or Bobby Jones. Both very solid names for a big BBQ platter with all of the things on it. We also ordered a side of “fickles” (fried pickles) ($10) and some extra rainbow ‘slaw ($12), as we are firm believers in the “more ‘slaw is best” theory when it comes to eating half a butcher’s shop piled high on a large tray after spending varied amounts of time in a smoky oven which was “powered by pear wood and out the back in the kitchen”, we were informed.

We heard the holy angels trumpet the arrival of our meal/s.

All kinds of smoky goodness


The BBQ joint standard meat-holding platter was placed before us, it’s gloriously checkered interior and slightly chromed walls housed a plethora of meats. It was like visiting a petting zoo only with more eating and less petting*, which is pretty much how I like my dinner to be.

Someone obviously needed to get up early in the morning to cook this deliciousness just for us and for that I was very grateful. I wonder if that someone needed an alarm or if they were naturally an early riser… I’m just curious, that’s all.

Very tasty indeed


The meats were all smoky and tasty BBQ treats. Tasty as bro. The brisket and the jalapeno sausage were stand outs, as were the fickles, and if you visit this place I would suggest that you make sure your order contains these three things if you’d like to remain friends.

*There was actually zero petting perpetrated on this evening because even though New Zealand may be a little more relaxed in its rules than Australia, I’m pretty sure it is not that relaxed.

Someting boozy and tasty


ORLEANS, CHRISTCHURCH

This place was a nice little southern soul food type joint. It was not at the time of our visit, and to my knowledge nor is it now, a BBQ joint. I’ve just chucked it on the list because it did serve some tasty assed, southern inspired fare.

“Right on trend”, other reviewers who are real reviewers may say of this restaurant in their magazines and newspaper dining guide reports.

Also, I would hope they might have something nice to say about the food.

Many food


We ordered quite a large pile of it and we were pretty damn impressed with the whole shebang. One thing I noticed straight away is that these folks paid a little more attention to their sides and smaller dishes, where as it is quite common for this “style” of food joint to neglect the sides a little, like parent may neglect a new step child, or even as the average redneck turtle farmer may neglect his or her personal hygiene. Please don’t get me wrong, most of the sides we have had at every other joint on this trip have been pretty on point, but just a little under seasoned here, or a little over cooked there, but generally on point. But Orleans was 100% on point with the lot.

On point (I thought maybe I should say that one more time).

More food


Fried brussels sprouts with andioulle and corn bread crumb ($12), baked beans with maple bacon ($10) and their ‘slaw with peanuts ($10) were all bang on, as were our mainish choices – pastrami, andioulle sausage and pickles ($18), buttermilk fried chicken with ranch sauce ($14), grilled pork belly with corn puree ($18) and fried duck wings with peanut butter BBQ sauce ($20).

Our favourites were the feeding-a-late-in-life-Elvis style duck wings, for bang for your buck and flavour these things could not be beat, the fried brussels sprouts and the ‘slaw. We were consciously and constantly referring back to the “more ‘slaw is best” theory to help those duck wings and fried chicken make it through our system.

Freaking out at those fried duck wings


If you like this style of eating, like the sort of thing you may be able to see in these photos, then I think your belly will tell you your dollars were well spent after dining here.

It is worthy of note that the owners of this place also have a diner and a bar in the same laneway. They both looked pretty good but the diner was defo more our sort of vibe.

I left Strange Lane (the actual name of the lane) with the knowledge required to happily recommend a pre-dinner drink or lunchtime chicken waffle burger at the Lower 9th Diner.

For the bar, I have nothing.

Absent on this day; Smokey T’S BBQ, and Fully Pitted BBQ

Some places to eat tasty food between Tweed Heads and the Goldcoast

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Breakfast at Paddock was awesome. Anywhere that put's a little thought into it (and these folks certainly have) gets my vote every time

Breakfast at Paddock was awesome. Anywhere that put’s a little thought into it (and these folks certainly have) gets my vote every time

Last trip I made to Tweed Heads I pulled into the hospital and left the following day sans tonsils, appetite and with not so much as a good-bye peck on the cheek…

Bitch hospital and it’s quackish, prudish medicine men.

This trip was reserved for venturing up and down the coast between the Goldy (Goldcoast) and Tweed Heads with the sole purpose of eating all of the food with my diary totally clear of visits to the witch doctor and nary a throat sawing quack in sight.

Although a very beautiful piece of coastline it is (getting my Yoda on here) someone back in the day made a pretty big fuck up when they decided that they would slap the NSW/Queensland boarder smack bang in the middle of the place. Like Tweed Heads is here (literally here) and Coolangatta is there (once again literally). That is how far the two cities are apart. Yes it is a city and state boarder.
“That shouldn’t be an issue Graz”, I hear you say. “You’re really starting to get a bit whingy as you get older, mate.”
“Yeah and a little smellier, too.”
“Yeah and I don’t think he’s got much of a grip anymore.”
“I’ll tell you what he does have a good grip on though, his fricking c… o…”

Back to that pretty big fuck up; NSW and Queensland are on two different time zones for the 6 months of the year that daylight savings is in effect. Starting to get my gist yet? Picking up what I’m putting down, homeboy? In Tweed it’s 4:19pm and two steps away in Coolangatta it’s 3:19pm… it’s a fricking head-fuck I call tell you… trying to work out which state you’re in… I have enough trouble just trying to stay sober.

Now, we do have a few favourites up this way but this trip we made a conscious effort to stay far from our comfort zone, remove ourselves from the warm bosom of our mothers and basically just get the fuck into someone else’s place for a change of scene. The Byron-esque nature of the come-and-go restaurant scene and the ever-ready construction teams of city expansion and glorification up here truly lend themselves to a fresh experience and the customer having the opportunity to sample something new on a regular basis.

Dick yes. This was our jam!

But, first up it was time for a haircut and a beard trim – my first for the year… or maybe a year. Normally my shaggy dog looking head is something I really care very little about (FYI, one doesn’t win three “best in show ribbons” in the shaggy dog division by trimming ones shaggy dog look) but all of the hair dressers in this place, I swear to god, and they were moving in on our hotel under the cover of darkness. It was a pincer movement and a damn fine pincer movement at that. I was starting to feel more than just a little self-conscious.

In scenes not dis-similar to the shaving of Brendan Frazer in “Encino Man” or Tom Hanks in “Castaway”, or any other wookie-gets-shaved type scene from an outdated movie, suddenly I was cleansed… I was one of them… I would be pulled close to the bare, lactating breast of society once again… and fuck me I would breast-feed in public!

*How is it that, through the wonder that is the interweb super highway, I could tell millions of people about how we could make the world a better place, or share a beautiful poem or send random messages of kindness and love but instead I’m here telling fourteen people and a small dachshund about the day I got a haircut. Dear good lord*

Our regular couple o’ favourites are (in no particular order except JRs Smokehouse Barbecue is at the top because it’s my favourite);
JRs Smokehouse Barbecue
Lester and Earl
The Blacksheep Esspresso Baa
And we’ll always try in vain for a decent meal a few of the cut -from-the-same-mould, predictably shit-can restaurants from the Shit Restaurant Co. (producers of many quality dodgy restaurant strips and concepts in many popular tourist destinations. I think you would have come across their work some where on your travels)

But, as I mentioned earlier, we were on the search for something new and more importantly, quality. Here’s what we found/were pointed in the direction of by local intel;

Getting my a.m. coffee on at Larder

Getting my a.m. coffee on at Larder

A damn tasty pulled beef sandwich and cracking coffee at Griffith Street Larder

A damn tasty pulled beef sandwich and cracking coffee at Griffith Street Larder

Griffith Street Larder
• Great coffee, check
• Perfectly poached eggs, check
• Kickass sandwiches and salad bowls available at breakfast, check

Shaggy watching over the hot sauces

Shaggy watching over the hot sauces

Jamin' a bit of everything from Jamroc into our faces

Jamin’ a bit of everything from Jamroc into our faces

Kick-ass goat curry with red bean rice... just like I imagined it would taste

Kick-ass goat curry with red bean rice… just like I imagined it would taste

Jamroc
• Boondocks shopping center car park setting, check
• Moist and delicious grilled chicken and goat curry, check
• Heaps of hot sauce for the table, check
• Feed the family for a 50 bag of the finest Jamaican “green backs”, check

Breakfast at Poboy Cajun and Creole. The farmers breakfast (right) with oven roasted chicken breast, tomatoes, bacon and mornay sauce had me looking for a suitable park bench to nap on

Breakfast at Poboy Cajun and Creole. The farmers breakfast (right) with oven roasted chicken breast, tomatoes, bacon and mornay sauce had me looking for a suitable park bench to nap on

Dinner at Poboy was gumbo, jambalaya, poboy and more of the generous serves and affordable prices

Dinner at Poboy was gumbo, jambalaya, poboy and more of the generous serves and affordable prices

Poboy Cajun and Creole
• Cheap Creole and Cajun cooking, check
• Massive serves, check
• And insight as to why America is on the obesity-diabetic radar, check

Good burgers, crisp onion rings and fries, tasty dipping sauces and quick service is a winning recipe at Betty's Burgers

Good burgers, crisp onion rings and fries, tasty dipping sauces and quick service is a winning recipe at Betty’s Burgers

Simple and delicious

Simple and delicious

Betty’s Burgers
• Tasty burgers and sides that don’t cost your left arm, check
• Fast service, check
• A recipe that many other gourmet burger bars could learn a thing or two from, check

A pretty little sign and shit

A pretty little sign and shit

The fricking Philly cheese steak roll with onions, capsicum, mushrooms and jalapeños was off the hook

The fricking Philly cheese steak roll with onions, capsicum, mushrooms and jalapeños was off the hook

This pork, pistachio and apple sausage rolls was one of the best

This pork, pistachio and apple sausage rolls was one of the best

Paddock Bakery
• Massive wood fired oven and baking area enclosed with glass so it kinda like Seaworld and you can watch all of the orcas err, bakers and chefs at play… or work, check
• Great breads, pastries and breakfast in general, check
• Awesome little mythical country setting that quite probably actually has a waterfall that flows sweet, sweet lemonade, one street back from Goldcoast Highway, check

Burgster
• Closed Monday, check
• Sad face, check
• I will be back, check (Burgster was very high on my list, so you can imagine if you dare my disappointment when I was sussing their Facey page only to realise it had those dreaded words “closed today’. I almost had a tear but held it back enough for me to put it down to a high pollen count and me being a weak breed in general. It’s Monday – I know heaps of places do it (heck, I own a restaurant and even that bad boy is closed Monday), I do not hold that against anyone I was just real keen to give it a bash… next time for sure.)

• Weird checking of ones self, check

Go to these places and let your face enjoy the good times!

Bavarian Bier Cafe, Eagle Street Pier – a wunderbar eating experience

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*This is a shitty photo alert*

*This is a shitty photo alert*

The first thing I noticed was the heat. It was going to be a warm one today. It was already being a warm one today and I was kind of a little unhappy with the 24hr air conditioning at Queenies house (Jennee’s brother and our host for the weekend) that was fooling my brain into thinking the celsius was actually hovering somewhere at or under the 20C mark… Silly, silly brain. That brain o’ mine really needs to be a little more on point than that, I mean, if it’s going to make all of the important decisions around here.

So it was hot, I dealt with that.

Secondly, the whole of the Brisbane CBD 20-to-30-something-old male office crew seemed to be divided as to whether it was the light baby blue shirt or more of a pastel salmon pink shirt that was to be decreed office uniform for 2016.

I was rooting for the pastel salmon pink myself.

Thirdly, I was really, really hungry as I had skipped a proper and complete breakfast in favour of an extra coffee in preparation for the sausage fest that would be ensuing this midday (not that kind of sausage fest – I would have needed at least a complete and proper breakfast to get my energy levels and longevity up if I was going to be rocking that kind of sausage fest), so it came to pass that I should move away from the street corner and stop with my pointless observations so we may go and fill our bellies with a big fat pile of steamy German sausage (once again, not that type of sausage) and, to a lesser degree, some kind of soured cabbage product and a hopsy, malty type beverage or two.

I'm pretty sure this is compulsory for your first time on a pretzel

I’m pretty sure this is compulsory for your first time on a pretzel

We were keen. The waitress came to get our drinks order and we hit her with the lot.

NB It is also worthy of note right here that our waitress was quite a pretty young German lass, no piggy tails or ridiculously over-ample bossom, but German none-the-less, and if this is the type of effort these Bavarian Bier Café folks are willing to put in, searching the globe for the right candidate etc, then I was certainly going to allow myself to be very impressed and even compliment them on their attention to detail.

Really tasty home made preztels

Really tasty home made preztels

The pretzels ($4.5ea) hit the table, neck and neck with our first round beers. Pretzels are good, and so is beer. Fact.

Next up the waitress arrived with our meals – a pretty good idea on her behalf because the beer on an empty stomach thing was doing nothing to subdue my pangs of hunger.

Our table quickly filled up with pig and pig products, cabbage-y things, potatoes and more beer – everything would expect from a Bavarian Bier Café. I was certainly stereotyping the heck out of these people by now, but they are my people so I felt it was OK.

GIVE ME SAUSAGE!

GIVE ME SAUSAGE!

The Sausage Tasting ($28) was so full of sausages it looked like Ian “Huey” Hewitson, or possibly the fat German kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was still holding my plate. All the while I could not decide weather I was thinking more about the fat guy (I know it’s not PC but it certainly is the truth) sausage fingers or the scene from “Freddy got Fingered” when Tom Green makes the sausage mobile. “Daddy would you like some saus-sage. Daddy would you like some saus-sage-ges?”

Needless to say I gobbled the shit out of a heap of sausages this day and I loved every goddam second of it. All of that sausage gobbling did not even bring back one single bad memory of waking up on the wharf with a pocket full of fivers and hair gel all through my beard… There were a couple of sausages that were my favourites but at the end of the day I kinda got caught up in the heat of the moment and before I knew it there was a flurry not dissimilar to that of Cookie Monster on Sesame Street, some gnashing of teeth and the sausages and sauerkraut and mashed potato with beer sauce and mustard were all gone.

Definitely one of the tastiest knuckles I've been hit with in a long time

Definitely one of the tastiest knuckles I’ve been hit with in a long time

So then we moved onto the pork knuckle.

Along with the Volkswagon, this half pork knuckle ($27) was another true triumph of German ingenuity; crispy on the outside, moist and tender in the middle, and served with some more tasty potato and cabbage products, and apple compote. Tasty shit.

We had no space for dessert so we were out of there to wander a-little-bit-pissily through the streets of Brisbane.

All in all a great job by the Bavarian Bier Café. Wunderbar!

The Round Eye Review… Palsaik Namoo

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plasaik namoo perth
The Round Eye Review with your friend, G-Money

This is the start of another exciting little segment here on your favourite shit filled blog, foodisthebestshitever. G-Money (another Graeme who is actually a Graham and is definitely not me) will hold your hand as he talks you on a virtual culinary tour of some of his favourite Perth haunts. Kind of like your step dad taking you for a walk through the park, without the… well… you know we don’t talk about that anymore. So strap yourself in a get ready for the ride… Grazza McFilthy Mouth

Palsaik Namoo

580 Hay St, Perth (entry off Barrack St)

I remember in my younger days Arirang busting onto the scene and blowing my mind with the whole cooking at your table thing. Obviously I was a lot more sheltered then and easily impressed. Nowadays there are as many Korean BBQ haunts as there are cooked shin kicking rinsers.

A few things about this place you will find helpful….
1) There is no phone number to make bookings
2) The address says Hay St but magically it is on Barrack St. It was easier finding Sneaky Tony’s
3) Online it reads as cash only but it has eftpos

The first thing we noticed on entry, apart from the cool decor and awesome aroma, was that this place was full of the happy faces of diners. Plus they were mostly of an Asian background, which usually is a great sign, but I’m no genetics wizard so they were possibly Koreans, possibly not. So I guess that’s like saying a southern style BBQ joint looks good even though it’s full of Englishmen. Anyways more often than not it’s a great sign.
plasaik namoo perth

Unlike a Dim Sum session where you are eating in seconds, a big thing with Korean BBQ is that if you arrive hungry you have to watch and wait while your food agonisingly cooks in front of you. Luckily, entrées were invented by someone who didn’t like waiting either. We went with kimchi pancake and the boiled dumplings. The pancake was an excellent balance of egg, seafood and the ever satisfying kimchi flavour. If anything it could of been a bit crispier on the outside. Knit picking aside it was a good size that could do 4 people as an entree. The dumplings, well they were just dumplings. Maybe pork, definitely a vegetable in there, but nothing to write home about so I didn’t commit them to my memory.

The BBQ menu is all beef and pork, so we ordered the Palsaik set ($60) which was a selection of pork belly thats marinated 8 different ways (curry, miso, garlic, spicy, etc) and was accompanied by an army of side dishes. The likes of kimchi, been sprouts, some ” pickled” carrot thing, one other thing ( too much to remember) and rice, which was also accompanied with a prawn and mussel soup which is also cooked at the table. The end result, a table crammed with tasty offerings. For $60, this and the entrées pretty much did 3 of us. Of course being the food lovers we are, we added a beef dish ($18) to BBQ, which tipped us over the cliff of indulgence. So all up it was approx $100 for food that left 3 people more than full. Definitely value for money.
plasaic namoo perth
If you a worried about cooking your own and what goes where (which is usually why you eat out in the first place), the staff monitor your BBQ and help prepare and cut the meat. So if you are lazy or smart, I prefer the latter, they will do the lot for you.

Add two 1L pitchers of cold Kirin at $19.50 a pop (they also have a range of Korean beers) and the total was $140. Not bad for the quality and generous quantity of the meal.

Overall a great dining experience that is suited to groups of 2 to 6. Would definitely eat here again.

3 and a half “pickled” carrot things out of 5.

You can also find The Round Eye Review on facey if you want to get a little more up close and personal with the whole deal.