Thursday, March 4, 2010

Redbones Beef

Last night I spent ten bucks at Redbones and had as good of a gastronomic experience as can be had for that amount of money anywhere in the "first" world. More on that in a moment.

Dave and I split a pulled pork sandwich which we slathered with as much of their hotter bbq sauce as they would bring us, a mug of pot likker, hush puppies, and unfried hush puppies, also known as cornbread. To wash it down we ordered pints of the current cask-conditioned ale offering, which happened to be a porter from Opa-Opa (I think it was called Vanilla Oak, though thankfully it tasted like neither).

In that litany there was nothing not to like. The pork was smokey and juicy. The pot likker murky and faintly sweet (turnips?). The cornbread was thankfully devoid of sugar. My only complaint is that the hush-puppies weren't as crackly and fresh out of the oil as you want them to be.

The beer was just perfect, and perfect with that food. As I brought the glass to my mouth all of my senses told me that there was something very different about it, which is of course exactly what I want from something cask-conditioned: the head was more dense, the carbonation more silky, and I was more buzzed (either because of a higher alcohol content or because it was the first alcohol I've had since getting sick last week, or maybe just because I'm a nancy.)

The only thing I didn't like about Redbones is the same gripe I have with most restaurants in general. The menu in no way acknowledges the progress that has been made in understanding our bittersweet relationship to industrially produced food.

The latest estimate puts food-related illness costs at $152 billion, and I guarantee that most if not all of those costs come from the same industrial agricultural processes that we think are so cheap; that made my meal last night so intoxicatingly affordable.

So would it kill restaurants like Redbones to throw out even one sustainable option for those of us who want to have our meat and eat it too? River Rock ribs, perhaps?

All the nancies like me would gobble it up.

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