Tag Archives: Barbeque

Veggie burgers and Mexican BBQ

Yesterday was seriously delicious.

My parents and I decided to go to lunch in New Brunswick to catch up and talk wedding business. My dad works at Rutgers, so everyone is pretty familiar with the food options in the area. After much debate on what we wanted, we settled on Old Man Rafferty’s. Though I hadn’t been there in easily 10 years, I remember it being pretty good.

I started off with a coconut flavored iced latte. It was topped with
real whipped cream and absolutely delicious. For my entree, I went
with the veggie burger paired with sweet potato fries. My mom got the shrimp salad “boat” and my dad the chicken salad “boat.” My parent’s meals were paired with a Greek salad and pita chips, and looked awesome. My veggie burger was really good. It had a nice char-grilled flavor, but wasn’t over-done. At one point I really questioned if it was veggie – it was impressive! The fries were sliced thin and had the perfect crisp. It was served with a cucumber ranch dip that I used both for my burger and my fries.

Later that evening we decided to head to The Grub Hut in Manville with the usual foodie suspects. BBQ and Mexican in one place?! Not only does it sound amazing, it is amazing. I don’t even know where to start with this place. It’s nothing special on the outside, and even when you walk in; there are a few table and chairs on either side of the doors, and then the kitchen area is wide open with metal everywhere – they don’t hide anything, and they don’t go for looks either. But when the food is that good, does it really matter what the place itself looks like? If you are ever in the mood for smoky, excellently seasoned and perfectly cooked food, and A LOT of it, then I would absolutely suggest The Grub Hut. They actually used to be called The Rub Hut, but added a G in front, probably for the best.

In terms of their menu, it’s pretty impressive; they offer brisket, chicken, pork, Texas link, and ribs all done either in a traditional BBQ way, or Mexican style and served up either in a burrito, flauta, taco, enchilada, or chimichanga. You can even order the mother of all combos and have some BBQ and Mexican heaven together. They offer individual sized meals as well as those you can share with a table, such as a THREE POUND burrito!

The meal started off great with nicely seasoned tortilla chips and an awesome salsa. It is super chunky, and spicy and tangy in a way that most salsa’s seem to miss. I went for the chicken chimichanga, while my fiancé got the ground beef jumbo burrito. They were both HUGE! I was really pleased with my choice of chicken; it was smoky and definitely had a BBQ flavor, but also had a serious kick of Mexican spices. Shoved into a huge tortilla that was fried with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce and tomato paired with some sour cream and guacamole = heaven. I only ate about half, and am saving the rest for tomorrow night’s dinner! Everyone else at the table went for the BBQ side; a BBQ chicken sandwich, a platter called “Hog Heaven” that had chorizo, ribs, brisket and pulled pork, and a Pit Master platter that was similar. Most of their entrées come with two sides; they have everything from fried plantains and rice and beans to “loco” fries doused in jalapeños and cheese.

Jefe Grande Chimi

Needless to say we all waddled out of the restaurant, and headed not home, but to Rita’s. Yes, we’re gluttons for punishment and decided to stretch our stomachs just a little more. While everyone else went for ice, I got myself some vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles – my own personal heaven. I only finished about a quarter of it, but it was well worth every bite.

Thankfully, I went for a four mile run today and watched myself in terms of eating, since yesterday was a serious glutton fest. But what can I say? You need one of those every once in awhile!! And I’m definitely planning on going back to The Grub Hut to enjoy some more Mexican BBQ in the future!

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Virgil’s BBQ: Smoky Goodness

Last night a group of us headed into the city to have dinner at Virgil’s BBQ in Times Square. Feeling super touristy, we got the ultimate hit of that when we bought our round-trip NJ Transit tickets. For both my fiancé and I to travel from our train stop in Edison to New York Penn Station, we each paid $24.50. Yes, you read that correctly. Almost 50% more than we paid before the price increase (it was only about $17.50 before!). Needless to say, our trips to the city will be a little less frequent, and probably by car for the foreseeable future.

Despite that little road bump, we definitely enjoyed our dinner. We started off with some hush puppies for the table which were AMAZING. I typically see hush puppies in a ball-like form, but these looked more like mozzarella sticks. They were served with a maple-syrup butter, and I had to use serious restraint not to eat the entire plate. Unfortunately, they were super filling, leaving me little room for my actual meal. As for drinks, they have a lot to offer in terms of beer, wine, margaritas, and mixed drinks. My fiance and I went for their beer flight of Magic Hat (Circus Boy, #9, and Virgil’s), while others got the “June Bug” mixed drink, lemonade, and root beer.

Hush Puppies with Maple Butter

As always, I spent some time prior to our trip familiarizing myself with their menu. It’s weird, I know, but I like to think by previewing the menu beforehand, my decision making is made easier once at the actual restaurant. I decided on the Fish Fry, which was actually their special for the day; it had calamari, scallops, shrimp, monk fish and cod served with homemade waffle chips, cornbread, and two types of creamy tartar sauce. It was really good, but I barely made a dent in it! My fiance went with the two meat combo of Memphis spare ribs and Texas brisket and two sides of macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. Some of our other table mates had the barbeque chicken, smoked ham, fried chicken po’boy, and the “pig out” which came with a little bit of everything – bbq chicken, Texas link, ribs, brisket, and two sides!

Fish fry with homemade waffle chips

I don’t think there was much conversation during, or even after our meal – everyone loved everything, and they were STUFFED! We had little room or motivation for anything afterwards, so we wound up heading back home, feeling old and lame.

Two meat combo of ribs & brisket w. mac&cheese and mashed potatoes

I have to be honest that I was a bit worried prior to the trip. Everyone aside from me had been there before, but I had an inkling that based on it’s location (46th St. right across from the giant Toys R Us in Times Square) that it was going to be gimmicky, and really over priced. Turns out that I was almost completely wrong. Yes, it was somewhat expensive, but we got A TON of food, and it definitely wasn’t gimmicky like I expected. So, I would absolutely go back. But this time, I’d get something that was in one of their 1400lb capacity smoker!

Barbeque chicken

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