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20May

Howdy there!  Today we’re reviewing an accidental adventure, the Artisanal Jerky Plate at The Greenhouse Tavern at The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, OH.

The Greenhouse Tavern's Artisanal Jerky Plate

The Greenhouse Tavern’s Artisanal Jerky Plate

This place is a hip and happenin’ downtown restaurant with an innovative menu, a clear focus on quality ingredients and inventive flavors, and simply fantastic service and atmosphere.  When we saw there jerky offering on the appetizer menu, an item prepared daily, we were so enthused we ordered TWO.  You know, for science.  And it was all the more exciting when the plates arrived with TWO different meaty treats to explore – meat sticks and jerky strips!  While all this makes for a fantastic dining experience, what does it mean for Jerkyology?  Can an ‘artisanal’ jerky appetizer deliver the goods?  Lets’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B+):  This assortment of jerky offers an array of terrific flavors.  With the meat sticks you first get a wave of garlic and pepper, soon there’s a bit of clove, and after a bit maybe a hint of chili.  It bares a truly enjoyable sweetness and a just touch of heat with a slightly sour hint in there to boot.  The jerky strips are a quintessential dried beef – a simple beef flavor, with little added flavorings, delivering a quality clean beef taste.

Texture (A):  The meat sticks are soft and moist.  They have a firm bite and are easy to chew.  The jerky strips are also moist, but with a tougher bite.  The meat chews easily enough, though requiring a bit of effort, offering a really great tactile experience.

Smell (B+):  The sticks’ scent follow right along with their taste consisting mostly of a mild but flavorful garlic and a rich but well balanced smokiness.  There’s a hint of spice, maybe clove, too.  It’s smells really nice.  For the jerky strips it’s an exercise in simplicity.  You smell the delicious dried beef and nothing else.  It’s clean and genuinely appetizing.

Appearance (A+):  The sticks are light slightly redish-brown with an appetizing casing with texturing along its surface.  The strips are cut along grain and are a darkish brown with a slight bit of red inside.  The surface of the strips are have a slight sheen and the pieces look every bit the small-batch jerky they are.  Again, nice.

Consistency (A):  For both the sticks and strips the moisture level of the meats were exceptionally consistent throughout each piece, and from piece to piece.  Clearly there was great attention to ensuring their quality here.  The flavor too was predictably good from bite to bite and every bit of this plate’s offerings were as good as the others.  The level of control exhibited here was just fantastic.

Overall (A-):  The fine folks at the Greenhouse Tavern sure do serve up some tasty jerky!  The combination of the bold and complex flavors in the meat sticks is so fantastically complementary to the clean, essential flavor of the jerky strips.  Both excellent examples in their own right, together they deliver a wonderful range of tastiness.  Also, it’s important to note that the sweet brown sugar sauce drizzled on the plate added terrific dimension to the plate, too.  All in, this jerky plate was an experiential feast for the senses and is definitely worth checking out if you’re in their next of the woods.  Eat and enjoy!

8Sep

We just received the following Secret Jack Link’s sale info from the fine folks at 13Deals.com:

Good afternoon folks! Hungry? We have a secret sale on 3 Jack’s Links items. This is only going out to you, our current customers. Just coupon code SECRETJACK and get 20% off any purchase on the three available Jack’s Links items. http://www.13deals.com/store/tag.php?tag_id=282. There is no limit on how many you can order, and everything ships free today!

Stay cool, stay thirsty, and stay regular – Those 13Deals People

This is a good deal if you want to stock up well known, tasty jerky.  They’re offering 5 Packs of Jumbo Teriyako Beef Sticks, 8 packs of Hot Beef Snack Sticks, and a GIANT SQUATCH mugh with 60 original mild beef sticks!  Wow.

Eat well, friends!

5Sep

Howdy!

Today we’re tearing into a bag of Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix purchased at their outstanding store in Italy, Texas.

Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix

Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix

No stranger to this veritable shrine to dried meats, the Beef Stix are just one of many tasty treats arrayed to tempt the visitor.  Unlike sausage-style sticks, these “Stix” are strips of regular beef so the temptation to see how they stack up to the veritable cornucopia of other meats offered at the smokehouse was simply too great to refuse.  Just how tasty are these narrow strip of beefy goodness?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (A):  Straight up, this jerky’s taste is fantastic!  Foremost you taste a solidly delivered black pepper kick.  It’s strong, and enjoyably so, and pairs up with the beef itself in an outstanding fashion.  There’s also a pronounced garlic flavor accompanied by a low-key brown sugar sweetness that seem to chime in with the pepper in a way that takes the whole well beyond the sum of the parts.  It’s an outstandingly tasty and yet deceptively simple flavor.

Texture (A):  While this natural-style jerky is only slightly moist it is quite pliable and easy to tear.  The bites start of slowly requiring a bit of effort to really dig into the beef, but it quickly softens up to really let the flavor out.  The pieces are cut along the grain and can be torn by hand easily enough.  The feel of this jerky in your mouth though is really something special.  It’s substantial and tough while also quickly soft and tender.  You get the whole gamut of feels from this jerky and it’s just really fun to eat.

Smell (B):  This jerky projects a relatively low-key scent, primarily conveying garlic and hints of black pepper.  It’s dry enough that there’s just not a lot of scent going on there, but what you do smell is still pretty pleasing, all told.

Appearance (A):  This jerky is natural-cut along the grain into long strips, or “Stix”.  These Stix are several inches long and generally around a half-inch wide.  Cut relatively thin, the meat has a dark reddish-brown hue and very, very slight sheen.  The meat itself looks to be of excellent quality and is really eye-candy in its own right.  Simply stated, the folks at Texas Best Smokehouse make a find looking jerky.

Consistency (A+):  These sticks are clearly the work of folks with deep expertise and zealous attention to detail.  The moisture of each piece was indistinguishable from one another, always maintaining that exceptional dry yet pliable feel.  The taste, similarly, was fantastically good from the first bite to the last with the pepper and garlicky sweetness steady throughout.   This jerky is simply outstandingly made and is a real testament to the skill of the folks at Texas Best Smokehouse.

Overall Impression (A):  This is an exceptionally good jerky.  The flavor is delicious, it feels like joy in your mouth, and you have real sense of the quality and care that went into making it with every bite.  This is the good stuff and if you’re a fan of peppery jerky this one will doubtless be a quick favorite.  If you make your way into the Texas Best Smokehouse you can rest assured that selecting their Beef Stix is a choice you’ll definitely feel good about on your way out of the store.  Swing on by Italy and grab yourself a bag of this awesome jerky and you’ll be in for quite a treat.  Eat well!

8May

Greetings!

For today’s tasty adventure we’re taking a bite out of some Texas Gourmet Regular Beef Sticks purchased at a local gun show.

Texas Gourmet Regular Beef Sticks

Texas Gourmet Regular Beef Sticks

Texas Gourmet, based out of Arlington, Texas, makes a small assortment of beef jerky and beef sticks with a focus on ol’ fashioned quality and tasty goodness.  We sampled a few of their meats at the show and knew right away there was a review to be done.  So, does this jerky deliver a tasty Texan treat?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (A-):  This is a tasty, tasty sausage that starts with a smoky and salty flavor with a pepper kick and strong onion and garlic flavors.  The smokey and savory are present in just the right balance and they blend exceptionally well.  There’s a bit of a tang, probably from some citric acid, that opens it all up a bit and rounds out the flavor nicely.  While the flavor is full and delicious it still manages not to be at all overbearing.  This just tastes great.

Texture (A):  Taking a bite of this sausage is such a treat.  The casing is thin but substantial and the sausage filling is tightly packed.  The meat itself is only slightly moist and, while still pliable, makes an enjoyably rigid and solid treat.

Smell (B+):  You get a good whiff of hickory smoke, onion, and garlic from these beef sticks.  It smells nice, mellow, and tasty.  The aroma isn’t particularly pronounced but is definitely a good compliment to the taste of these sticks.

Appearance (A):  What a great looking beef stick!  These sausages have a deep red color with dark brown highlights and the thin mottled casing gives you a glimpse at the course-ground pepper mixed into the beef.  All told they look quite delicious.

Consistency (A+):  There is clearly huge emphasis on making these quality beef sticks.  First, the flavor is dead-on consistent throughout the entire package.  From the first bite to the last they taste fantastic.  Similarly, the moisture of each stick is predictably great and the density of the sausage itself is reliably just-right.  This is more than just a well-made food, it seems made with pride.

Overall Impression (A-):  What a treat!  These are great beef sticks and the folks at Texas Gourmet can rightfully be proud of the excellent treat they’ve made.  They taste great and are a joy to eat.  If you’re perusing the tables at a DFW-area gun show and spy the Texas Gourmet booth we encourage you to make a b-line for their delicious wares.  Buy some.  Eat it.  Enjoy it!

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