Been & Going

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Bacon Fun Facts

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Everybody loves bacon! Jersey Joe has some fun and interesting facts about our favorite breakfast food.

THE 411

What: Bacon

For what: food, side dish, or sandwich add on


Who doesn’t love bacon?  Enjoy these bacon fun facts!


[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Naughty or Nice?

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Are these celebrities naughty or nice? Will Santa leave them something special under the tree? You voted & Jersey Joe has the results!

THE 411

What: celebrities naughty or nice

Determined by: your votes


Thanks for voting… let’s try this game again next year!

naughty or nice mini open

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] In Search of the Arby’s Meat Mountain Secret Menu Sandwich

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It’s the sandwich lighting up social media – Jersey Joe checks out if all the  hype about the new Arby’s secret menu item – The Meat Mountain is the real deal.



THE 411

What: The Meat Mountain

Where: Arby’s restaurants coast to coast

Time: Limited time offering

Cost: $10 plus tax per sandwich

arbys meat mountain


This is a great idea on Arby’s part.  It all started off, when they posted a picture showing all of the meats they currently have for sale on a bun.  Customers started to ask for the sandwich and someone at the corporate office was listening.  Now, it’s become a win-win!

Arby’s gets all the free social media and web advertising and customers get to try a truly unique sandwich.  This will only on sale for a limited time, but this one will definitely be talked about for years to come.  Skip the diet – and give this at least a try!

[Desert Droppings] Welcoming Bubba and Bacon While Waiting for Tesla

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Did it come yet?
Not yet.Desert- 052814- godot
It’s almost June.
Groundbreaking in June.
Will the ground break here?
We’re waiting to hear.
Is that a messenger running to tell us?
No, that’s a candidate running for NM governor.
Will he tell us?
He’ll tell us something.
What will he tell us?
Whatever we want to hear.
Then, we’ll just wait a little longer.
Until Tesla texts?
Until then.
We ‘ll wait.

This Godot-esque improv was brought to you by wishful thinking. Every morning I rush to open The Albuquerque Journal hoping to find page one proclaiming:

“Tesla Talks! NM Chosen To  Charge-Up New Battery Factory.”

But, so far, not even a hint of the hoped-for headline.
Meanwhile, while waiting for Tesla, ABQ (aka Duke City) is about to say a big “Hola!” to Bubba- Bubba’s 33, to be exact.  Bubba’s 33 Desert- 052814- bubbais a “budding restaurant chain.” (If by ‘budding’ you mean one restaurant with a second in process.). This nascent “chain” (pardon the blatant “Shark Tank” inspired entrepreneurial hyperbole ) chose ABQ because “Albuquerque supports restaurants very well.” Hmmmm I guess that’s a compliment.  And what culinary delights will Bubba’s 33 add to ABQ’s cuisine scene?  Let’s see.  “Bubba’s 33…sports fans…more TVs than tables…blah blah…pizzas, hamburgers, and beer…blah blah.”  And we should all rush out to “support” yet another pizza/burger/ sports bar because…?  Oh, oh, here it is, the Bubba’s 33 offering that will make ABQ foodies flock to feast – the Bubba’s 33 “signature hamburger that features 33 percent ground bacon.” Way to go, Bubba’s!  The 4 fave food groups in one heart-stopping dish- salty, fatty, crispy, and greasy.  Bubba, my friend, you’ll sell hundreds, thousands maybe!
ABQ is a town where a sign outside Lotta Burger, a local “chain” urges us to “Keep Calm and Eat a Bacon Burrito,” while way at theDesert- 052814- keepcalm upper end of the dining spectrum, a gastropub (whatever the heck that is) called The Stumbling Steer, receives “Albuquerque, The Magazine’s ” 2014 “Hot Plate” award for its fried pork bits dusted with dried apple sugar and dipped into a whipped Greek yogurt sauce by which the magazine gushes, “Bacon has been elevated to an art form…”

A Pig-asso, perhaps?

Continuing our stroll through the pork, we encounter a science selection from The Washington Post emailed by a friend  whom I’ve designated a roving reporter for DD because he’s a master of ( Alliteration  Alert!) Ferreting out and Forwarding Fascinating Flora and Fauna Factoids.
This particular article described how the US deals with invasive animal species.
The term, “invasive species” doesn’t refer to your boorish cousins from Oshkosh who got drunk at your Memorial Day BBQ and barfed in your neat-freak neighbor’s pool!
No, invasive species are the weeds of the animal kingdom. With few natural enemies, they tend to crowd out or devour more Desert- 052814- hogsdesirable native species. According to the article’s author, Ramit Plushnick-Masti (That’s his? her? real name!), one way to reduce a burgeoning population of invasive animal species is to get the over abundant interlopers out of the bush and onto the buffet table.  Case in point- feral hogs who are apparently a threat to agriculture in Texas. (And since NM borders on Texas, we definitely don’t want those wild piggies wandering over here and sticking their snouts into our green chile patches.) The article points out that these lusty hogs reproduce so rapidly that catching and cooking them hardly diminishes their numbers.  To which I say,”Hogwash! You’re just not trying!”  Stop thinking ham hocks and pork chops and declare open season on “wild-caught bacon!”  What better treat to put in your “as seen on TV” microwave bacon racks  and bacon bowl molds?
Save the elk! Conserve the cougar!  Point trigger happy hunters toward the frantically fornicating feral hogs and let them bring home the wild – caught bacon. BLTs will never be the same!

I’d nearly completed this post, when I discovered  a serendipitous find in the clearance bin at Staples- a 2014 “I (heart) Bacon” wall calendar.  I took it wee wee wee wee wee allllll the way home, so we could pig out on bacon trivia and recipes until the sows comeDesert- 052814- bacon home.
Here are a few choice morsels to savor while the Bacon-Chicken Crescent Ring bakes ( and, yes, it’s made with refrigerated crescent rolls and canned chicken ).
“Bacon is addictive. It contains 6 types of umami. Umami produces an addictive neurochemical response.”
U mean u mommy served u bacon and eggs, but wouldn’t let u smoke pot!
“A pig’s tail can be kinky, straight, or curly.”
Just like the Three Stooges.
“Almost half of the fat in bacon is the ‘good fat’ that can actually help lower bad cholesterol.”
Yeah , believe that one when pigs fly!

Well, blog buddies, that’s the way the bacon crumbles.Desert- 052814- porky
In the immortal words of cartoon icon, Porky Pig, ” Badeep, Badeep, Badeep, That’s all folks!”

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] A Man’s Dream: An Entire Bar Devoted to Bacon!

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You take bacon, you take beer, you dedicate a bar to serving them both and you’ve got just about every man’s dream!  It’s happening – in New York City!


NYC certainly has no shortage or great restaurants and bars.  Just about any theme or cuisine you desire can be found here.  But, every once in a while a new place just commands special attention – and the new BarBacon is it!  The only question is – what took so long for someone to come up with an entire bar devoted to bacon?


Inside BarBacon, New York City.

Inside BarBacon, New York City.

BarBacon opened their doors in December 2013 and judging by the crowd; this place is already a hit!  Last Friday, it was packed with after work New Yorkers hungry for beer and bacon!  As the evening rolled on, the place became standing room only.  By 5pm the bar was completely full.


BarBacon's Old Fashioned

BarBacon’s Old Fashioned

Their concept is simple, assorted craft beer and spirits mixed with a menu where just about every item features bacon.  Beers start at $6 ($3 during 4-7pm Happy Hour) and their specialty cocktail menu starts at $13, which includes cocktails like the Bacon Bloody Mary, Smoked Maple Lemonade (lemonade with Maple Syrup), and a Bacon Old Fashion (which comes with a Brown Sugar rim).


Their location at 836 9th Avenue between 54th & 55th streets makes it convenient for both locals and tourists.  The interior design features warm wood wall coverings, black bar and table tops, with an open view into the stainless steel kitchen.  Exposed soft lighting helps add to the warm, yet rustic industrial feel.


One of the highlights of the appetizer menu is a $20 beer and bacon flight.  Four 4 oz. draft beers are paired with four different types of bacon.  Or, you can opt for a $12 bacon only sampler.


Even the garnish on the bacon slides features bacon!

Even the garnish on the bacon slides features bacon!

The restaurant proudly serves the following bacon varieties:


• Nueske’s Smoked Applewood Bacon – family smoked bacon from Wisconsin

• Nodine’s Peppered Bacon – fine coated in course black pepper and smoked with hickory & maple hard wood, from the New England Berkshires

• BarBacon Lamb Bacon – salty, smoky, sweet lamb bacon

• Father’s Country Maple Bacon – from a family farm in Kentucky, features flavor of natural, hickory smoke with a glaze of brown sugar

• Peppered Turkey Bacon

• BarBacon Veggie Bacon


This place has cooking bacon down to a science!  While bacon is generally really greasy, it is not the case here. Each slice is cooked medium-well.  Not too crispy, but not rubbery, either.  They have found the perfect cooking temperature!


The bacon lobster roll.


The sandwich menu features multiple specialty burgers, sandwiches, and rolls – all of course, come with bacon.


While I opted for the classic BLT (which was awesome with a huge stack of bacon for $11), my friend Craig ordered their much hyped lobster bacon roll ($18), featuring chunks of real lobster, which he said was absolutely fantastic.


The bacon popcorn.

The bacon popcorn.

Another of their crazy menu items is the bacon popcorn, which features small chunks of bacon shaken into a funnel of popcorn – another home run!


The BLT with a side of bacon potato salad. Note: sides do cost extra & are not included with all sandwiches.

The BLT with a side of bacon potato salad. Note: sides do cost extra & are not included with all sandwiches.

To go with my sandwich, I also tried a side of their bacon potato salad.  It featured large chunks of bacon, mixed in with large chunks of potatoes, egg, and a light mayo.  I enjoyed it, but found the egg taste a little much.  I’m not a fan of giant chunks of hard boiled egg and yoke, which this prominently featured.


They also offer a small dessert menu, which includes ice cream and cookies.  As of now, none of the dessert items really feature bacon, but online rumors state they are working on their own bacon ice cream and hope to have that ready in a few weeks.


With the Super Bowl in town this weekend, I’m sure fans would love to make this place a highlight of their Big Apple experience!


THE 411


What: BarBacon


Location: 836 9th Avenue, New York City


Ambience: bar/casual dining






This place is quickly becoming one of New York City’s best kept secrets and is part of the new gastropub restaurant phase.  Once the place fills up, it can get a little loud, but I was there on a busy Friday night and people were drinking the work week away.  We got there before the crowd, but the volume went up as the place got packed.  I saw multiple people walk in and walk back out when they saw how busy it was.  Your best value is definitely during the 4-7pm happy hour.


Expect to pay around $50 for a meal that includes appetizer, beer, entrée, and dessert.  Of course, the more drinks you have the higher the bill.  The cost for the beer is about $1 more than you generally pay around the Hell’s Kitchen area in my opinion for a name brand draft.


IMG_1339It’s a great meal and a great place to talk about.  It’s in a convenient location for locals and would be great for tourists as well.  I plan on bringing my out of town friends there and definitely will be back for another meal.  While it’s probably not the best place to take a first date or kids, more established couples or guys out on the town will find it the perfect spot.  Besides, who doesn’t like bacon!?!?


While there is a small vegetarian menu, sadly this is probably not their scene!


You’ll find more information about the restaurant on their Facebook page.  Their main website is still under construction.  Also, look for daily specials on the blackboards above the kitchen.