A Memorial Day BBQ deserves a bit more than plain hamburgers and hot dogs. This important day needs to be set aside for remembrance of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom and families.

I will be attending a yearly gathering of Marine Corps veterans to honor our fellow Marines who made that ultimate sacrifice. In the afternoon we celebrate our hard won freedoms with a family BBQ designed to start the summer season.

If you are ready to step up the family BBQ at your home, here are a few suggestions that will help to make it a special one for this special day

Fish works well on the grill and tuna does especially well with a papaya vinaigrette

Burgers are grill favorites and in our neighborhood buffalo burgers hold an important section of an afternoon

The border is in the news almost every day but the important news from south of the border is this burger from Sonora Mexico

Salmon and ginger are a marriage made for the grill. This combination is a true family favorite

Shrimp on the Grill done island style is a great addition to the party


More About Philly Food

by Buck on May 16, 2015

In my last post I mentioned that Pat’s and Geno’s are where tourists go for a Philly cheese steak. We started our Philly weekend with a cheese steak at Dalesandro’s in the Manayunk section of Philly..

The cheese steak is the story here. The people in line are not interested in ambiance or even a good cheese steak. Only a “great” cheese steak is acceptable. That is a true Philadelphia requirement.

The Dalesandro’s Cheese steak for lunch set a quality level for our Philly weekend that required a “10” for everything that followed.

After time with friends and family in Philadelphia it was time to head for Ocean City NJ to visit the family expatriates who have migrated to that Philly colony on the ocean. The traffic was unbelievable for a weekend in early May. Especially unbelievable to me since my traffic skills have been winnowed down by my years in the boondocks.

The cheese steak joy was fading as the evening ride in traffic started to stimulate dinner thoughts. The closer we got to the shore, thoughts of seafood became the most prominent choice for dinner. For 12 years we lived in Colorado where seafood was 2000 miles old by the time it got to our table. We were anxious to find a crab cake and some mussels that carried a memory of recent residence in salt water.

Fortunately the Philly based Chickie and Pete’s restaurant chain has opened a location in Egg Harbor Township right where we arrived at 8 PM. Chickie and Pete’s features just what we needed, crabs, mussels and french fries that are so good you will forget all those fast food place fries that you once thought were OK..

Mussels in red sauce piled high and a crab cake platter were the dinner choices. One of Dorothy’s three crab cakes came my way and I sent a pile of mussels in her direction.. I skipped the wine since I still needed to navigate 20 miles in the traffic tsunami that was roaring toward AC and Ocean City.

At Chickie and Pete’s the service was great and the food was a solid “10”. The mussel’s red sauce is a living legend and the crab cakes were perfect. I was also getting my East Coast driving legs back and was starting to regain a Philly state of mind as we completed the day.


Philly’s Food

by Buck on May 14, 2015

Philly and Food

Last weekend was great. We went home to Philadelphia and then down to Ocean city NJ to visit friends and family. There is no place like home and even though I’ve been living in some beautiful rural areas, Philly is still home and South Jersey an important appendage.

Usually when we get into town a dinner date at one of the cities great restaurants is involved. I have lived and traveled far and wide and have not found another city with such a variety of excellent dining opportunities. This weekend did not include fine dining as part of the weekend. Our tight schedule meant cheese steaks, hoagies. crab cakes and mussels would be our fare for a few days.

In Philly this situation is not a hardship other than for the 2 or 3 extra pounds that the weekend will add.

Our first family visit took us to South Philly where a niece had bought a house. It was a quick visit with a Grandson (Ryan) along to help with directions, South Philly has a pizza joint or cheese steak shop on almost every corner and Pats and Geno’s are a block apart on 9th St.in the Italian market.

I said to Ryan “ let’s grab a cheese steak at Pat’s or Geno’s while we are down here”. He looked at me and said” Grandpop have you become a tourist? If you want a cheese steak, I” take you to a great cheese steak at Dalesandro’s in Manayunk”. Manayunk is section of the city that defies accurate verbal description. It needs to be experienced. It is hilly with streets so narrow that bicycles need to squeeze carefully along. How I navigated to Dalesandro’s is still somewhat of a mystery. My Grandson is a Philly guy. His cheese steak needs to be great and Dalesandros meets that requirement. No tourists are here. The shop is 20′ wide and filled with people and the line is out the door. Our cheese steaks were ready in a flash and we were sitting on the grass having a cheese steak picnic that those tourists at Pat’s will never experience.

The cheese steak is the story here. The people in line are not interested in ambiance or even a good cheese steak. Only a “great” cheese steak is acceptable

Philly Hoagies and crab cakes as well as mussels followed during the weekend and will be covered in my next post


Pulled Pork-An Easy, Winning Dish

by Buck on August 9, 2011

Grand kids were scheduled for a visit and lunch on the deck last week. What to serve to a gathering with ages ranging around the table from 4 yrs. old to the early 70’s was the question?

It took only a short time to come up with a center dish that was easy and that everyone enjoys. That was a pulled pork sandwich. Cole slaw, a cold fruit salad, lemonade and Klondike bars completed the menu.

The pulled pork was a popular choice. After one bite my 15 yr old granddaughter said, This is so good it’s creating danger of seconds.

Easy Pulled pork


Loin of pork- boneless or bone in (best buy)
Large hamburger rolls

Marinade Ingredients
Olive oil
Wine vinegar
Minced garlic cloves
Soy sauce
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Worcestshire sauce
Juice of a lemon


Marinade the loin of pork for two to three hours
The marinade ingredients were what was on hand. Use a bit of imagination with what is in your cupboard or simply buy a commercial marinade package at the store.
Roast the pork in the marinade, covered, at 300’ for about 2.5 hours
Allow pork to cool and then pull it apart into shreds
Place in a container and douse liberally with your favorite BBQ sauce
We allow the pork and the sauce to stay in the fridge over night.

On a round roll build a sandwich with a generous pile of pork and top with a tablespoon of the cole slaw
At our table the teen age grandkids built the sandwiches for the younger kids

The danger of seconds of the pork was realized with almost everyone succumbing to that temptation.