Well, That was a fun day.
I started off by cooking The Lady her favorite breakfast, shrimp & grits. I used plenty of garlic, scallions and butter and served them over creamy grits. The shrimp were local wild caught jumbo, bought from Russo's. And at under $10.00 a pound, you can be sure we're taking some back up north with us. Crazy good shrimp; sweet and succulent. We had been meaning to have them last night, but we went ahead and chowed down on the deviled crabs, instead. At $2.50 a pop, we'll be taking some of those, too. Russo's is what a seafood shop should be; whole pristine, fresh fish laying in beds of crushed ice. The Lady was stunned by the selection. She'd never seen that much fish in one place, and it really left an impression on her. We're probably going back for some red snapper to grill.
After that, we fed the dogs, and drove them to the Sand Gnats ball park for their daily constitutional. We walked all the way there yesterday and it devastated us. Today, with the humidity up around 90%, we decided to drive them up and let them do their thing. Stella and Lola were wonderfully cooperative, but Petey is being a real picky bastard as far as his business is concerned. He may be sleeping out back tonight.
Even with the driving, we were drenched. After showers, we headed downtown to hit the Bull Street area, which has got some wonderful shops. We also wanted to do something that we've been meaning to do since John & Michelle's wedding; namely eat BBQ at Angel's.
Angel's is simply fantastic. It is the proverbial hole in the wall, literally. It's situated on Oglethorpe Lane, an over glorified alley a half block over from Oglethorpe Avenue. It rests in the shadow of the Presbyterian Church, and you wouldn't know it's there unless you noticed the sign sitting on the sidewalk or the yellow "BBQ" flag hanging limp in the heat.
But walking inside is a revelation. The first thing I saw was the poster advertising an upcoming Frank Black performance in Savannah. Ramones were playing on the sound system. Then the smell of hickory smoke and meat hit me like a bullet. Oh, god, I love that smell. It must be hardwired into my brain as the Ur-pleasure second only to sex. Instant salivation, even after a rich breakfast of shrimp & grits. Angel's is owned and run by Andrew and Aileen Trice. I met them at the wedding, where Andrew officiated over vows, being an ordained minister. In addition to Todd, that's two ordained ministers without congregations that I know. Andrew knows his BBQ. He learned his chops in Memphis, and has had the brass to bring that style here to Savannah. The Lady and I both had brisket today. Andrew, in a black CBGB's t-shirt presented us with platters of brisket and sauce, a slice of white bread for sopping, mac 'n' cheese and slaw for me and mac 'n' cheese and greens for The Lady. The brisket was falling apart tender, redolent with hickory smoke and bathed in a Memphis sauce that defied description. Between The Lady and I, there were other bottles of sauce, as well as some great condiment sauces. I counted four sauces; Memphis, North Carolina vinegar based, Angels Tears (a hybrid between the Memphis and NC sauces) and a mustard based Low Country sauce. The outstanding surprise of the day was the Screaming Pickle sauce, a pureed mixture of Serrano peppers, dill pickles and pickle brine. Pure, effing genius. When he starts selling this stuff, I'm going to be doing anything and everything to be at the head of the line. I will not rule out violence. He also sampled us with a beer mustard that he's developing with a local brewer, Moon River Brewery.
(We hit Moon River yesterday for a some beer. A Wit beer for me and a Savannah Fest for The Lady. They also had North Coast Old Rasputin on a guest tap. I got one to go. This is one of the neat things about Savannah; as long as it's in a plastic cup, you can pretty much walk around in public drinking an alcoholic beverage. Hell, around here people drive with those beverages.)
The sides were simply amazing. The mac 'n' cheese was out of this world and tasty; pure soul. The Lady is impressed when I do Bug's Mac 'n' Cheese with the black truffles. She was also impressed with this version. The 'slaw was Memphis, with mustard muscling it's way into the picture, asserting itself in taste and color. The greens were tangy and spicy with peanuts thrown into the mix. Tender and bursting with flavor.
If you are in Savannah, or headed there, you've got to check out Angel's BBQ. This is the good stuff. Simple, humble, to-the-point, but with the serious attitude of a true Chef. Andrew and Aileen have gone the distance, carving out a little hardcore territory where pigs rule in a hickory haze.
Oh, yeah. Most def gonna get the Chef Mojo Seal of Approval. In fact, this is the first. Swing it, Angel's!