chip pep copy The heavy hand of brand strategy.

Welcome back inebriated readers to the Pot and Pan Handler’s Taco Tuesday Take Down installment three. Where we pit 8 taco dives in the UNC, area all located within 1.7 miles of each other, against one another in a take-out chicken soft taco challenge. As most of this blogs readership is low to mid functioning alcoholics let us remind you that thus far in the challenge the Corporate Lime Fresh Mexican Grill and local Armadillo Grill sent Cosmic Cantina and City Bus to the loser’s bracket.

On tap today: the many headed corporate hydra Chipotle takes on the little local taco dive that could Carrburrito. First off as you might imagine there is nothing authentic about either of these tacos. Rather these tacos are of the drunken frat boy variety, and about as authentic Mexican as Lefse. But we are firm believers that it doesn’t have to be authentic to taste good, just ask German chocolate cake born in the states or Philadelphia cream cheese made in New York. Now here are some links for your ignoring pleasure.

chipotle copy Just like every Chipotle every where.

First on tap Chipotle: you’ve all eaten at a Chipotle, remarkable in their consistency they all have the same sterile, modern, marketing driven, design of a quick, casual, dentist’s office. Another remarkable feat of consistency that Chipotle manages to maintain, is the bold indifference of their surly, yet somehow aloof employees and this location is no different than the rest. It’s really quite remarkable how Chipotle’s corporate training manages to foster such apathetically dispassionate quality to the malleable, young minds of their employee rosters, nationwide.

After procuring the aforementioned Chipotle chicken soft tacos we went the couple of blocks to Carrboro NC’s own Carrburritos. This location is one of two locations for the small regional chain and has a quirky, local, vibe that is a refreshing change after the sterile, plastic atmosphere of the Chipotle. The tattooed and bearded hipster employees, only slightly impatiently waited for us to get a grasp of the menu. When we did get a grasp on the menu there was an unforeseen predicament. At this Carrburrito there is a choice of styles of chicken preparation, marinated, chopped chicken breast or shredded pollo ala Mexicana. Bringing a hint of authenticity to the hipster tacos we went with ala Mexicana… Duh.

carburrito copy Here thar be hipsters.

When we got back to the taco tasting facility most often referred to as home we tore into the tin foil pockets containing the Chipotle tacos and encountered fascinatingly enough, two Chipotle tacos. Topped with standard taco dive, shredded white cheese, too much sour cream and a delicious green salsa these were the typical, textbook, by definition, chicken tacos.

The diced chicken was judiciously seasoned, with not too much spice as to make sure not to alienate a target segment of the population as marketing would suggest it might. The sour cream similar to a Mexican crema is lighter in texture than the stuff from the fridge and the tortilla is a standard factory made flour made fare. This taco was good, would go great with a beer and wouldn’t offend anyone but the green salsa was a bright spot in an otherwise fairly standard taco. We made short work of the leftover salsa later in the day with a plate o’ nachos, it was delicious. This salsa was easily the best salsa from any contender, in this challenge yet.

chipotle taco copy mmmm taco.

Next we opened the plastic clam shell that housed the Carrburrito’s chicken tacos and encountered pulled chicken breast, shredded, melted white cheese topped with lettuce and tomato. The chicken in these tacos was more boldly seasoned, not yet spicy enough to offend anyone living outside of New England (where it would be considered wicked hot). The cheese, the predictable taco dive, shredded white. The tomatoes were fresh and bright, the lettuce brought a little crunch to the texturally challenged soft taco and the green tomatillo salsa brought a little tangy acidity to the picnic. All of this wrapped in a similar typical soft flour tortilla affair (although larger) like we found at Chipotle.

carrburrito taco copy The color of um, well, taco.

While we would enjoy binge eating either of these tacos accompanied with plenty of libations on any given summer day, the more boldly seasoned chicken helped loft Carrburrito’s chicken soft taco to the winners bracket while Chipotle falls and will duke it out with the others in the losers bracket. Which makes us the real winners… Because we got a lot of tacos to eat, so we’ll see ya’ next week.

Coming soon Two contenders left in the first round of the Taco Tuesday Takedown, up next Asian fusion gets in the mix when Lucha Tigre takes on Bandido’s who will reign chicken soft taco supreme? Also coming soon, we’re introduced to common core math when we learn the equation smoke+protein+ tortilla=yummy.

Poes coaster copy Poe’s Tavern Sullivan’s Island, SC

T’was a sultry southern day in Charleston, where last our heads had lay. The sun an unseeing orb, t’was ‘round midday, when I met with an old friend who had once gone away. This familiar stranger emitted a distorted laugh and gestured with a head bend in a peculiar way. His gesture’s intent was meant to be an introduction for we, to the woman with whom he was with, at least currently. “It is nice to meet you.” Said she, “They call me Annabel Lee, for there is no bigger fan of Edgar Allen than me.”

Slight in frame, petite we’d agree, wheat colored hair that wept like a willow tree, such was the girl, we call Annabel Lee. Her eyes were smiling when she looked at we, and said with a laugh “I think we’re all famished wouldn’t you agree?” We didn’t disagree, we nodded assent, “Indeed.” We agreed, for famished were we. “I know the perfect place.” Decreed Annabel Lee, a smile lit upon her face. “There is no better place for sustenance for we than Poe’s tavern, a favorite spot for me.”

eatatpoes1 Do it.

T’were but a moment, then this crew so motley were we, the Pot and Pan Handler, the Familiar Stranger and Annabel Lee. Lit upon a flight so fancy free, like birds of a feather we flocked quite together, on a quest for sustenance agreed upon by we and Annabel Lee. Alas, Poe’s is on Sullivan’s Island, our destination to be. T’was mere moments it seemed, to our glee, if not our hearts, our stomachs were famished indeed.

“O’ how delightful this lil’ tavern seems to me.” Decreed Annabel Lee, “I trust you’ll find it quite quirky, absurdly dark, yet, not what you’d think of ordinarily.” We were greeted upon our arrival so serenely, by a charming hostess of questionable pedigree. Soon thereafter brought to our seats were we. In a quirky dark corner of a restaurant most refined indeed. One glance at the menu it was apparent to me, and in general we, that what said Annabel Lee was correct; this restaurant was definitely quite out of the ordinary it would seem.

Poe1 The logo, as interesting as the restaurant.

At once my eyes focused and see, what could only be a sheer mad man’s folly awaiting on the menu for someone unsuspecting like me. But, first I will tell thee, for thy, should first know; that fish and chips is generally nostalgia to me. Now then, it is time thee hear the dreary tale of the mad folly of the unsuspecting me. T’was the fish and chips, dost thee see? They’re guilty of assaulting, this unsuspecting me with their unusual teepee of nostalgia in my memory.

Thus, when we were promptly stirred to order by a young woman so cheerily, it is then what began the mad cod folly of me. “The fish and chips please, for they sound quite tasty to me.” Said me quite insanely, thy will soon agree. “Not me!” quipped Annabel Lee so airily… “For me, it would seem my favorite dish shares a namesake with me, aptly named the Annabel Lee.” “A burger so juicily, yet delicately crowned with crab from the sea and topped with a remoulade sounds so delicious to me.” With this stately statement we all had to agree that such fine burger would be delicious indeed.

We conversed so easily while we waited for the mad cod folly of me and the aptly named burger, the Annabel Lee. Soon it would seem happily the young woman was back and placed the cod folly in front of me. After of course efficiently placing the aptly named Annabel Lee in front of Annabel Lee and brightly placing the rest of the courses a burger, oh, so roast, garlicky and some fish tacos, citrusy, mahi mahi in front of this motley company.

I peered at this fillet folly and had to agree with Annabel Lee, while this mad cod folly sat so fishily in front of me, t’was easily enough for three of we. But that burger called Annabel Lee looking so juicily, topped with crab from the sea looked every bit better, than the mad cod folly of me. Now I looked upon this jealously as the girl named Annabel Lee took upon the namesake burger so deliciously staring at me. Grasped in the grip of Annabel Lee, when brought to her face, dripping so juicily, this burger, so large it eclipsed her image from me. Longingly I witnessed this burger so hauntingly being consumed right there in front of me while my fishy mad cod folly looked on quite ferociously.

Thus, I poked and I prodded most unhappily at this folly of cod, filet o’ fishily o’ why ist’ though mocking me? Mocking a most unsuspecting me, twas it the fish that was guilty of assaulting me? Or more likely was it the willow haired, Annabel Lee, guilty of this fish folly? She, most guilty of mockingly, assaulting me, with an air of superiority, while flauntingly dangling this burger here, right before me. Or maybe this fish folly was a mad plan hatched by all three? A sinister attempt it was, the wicked plan of the three, the Familiar Stranger, Pan Handler, and Annabel Lee, to trick me with banter and pretend it would seem, to be pleasant company, meanwhile sinisterly plotting a trick on me.

How clever this trick, meant to trick poor me into ordering this cod folly inferiorly. Ha! But it is I who is the clever one indeed, for I’ve seen through this wicked trick perpetrated against me by these who pretend to be pleasant company all the while plotting so maliciously contrary to me. Well we’ll see thought I, so cleverly concealing from them that it was me, more clever than thee and onto the three’s treachery. For if my revenge was to be, this careful deception will be necessary, and not unlike their deception of me, my mind decreed.

Still, now nefariously plotting is me, pretending to be, but one of the we, we of the delightfully easy company chatting so free. All the while waiting, waiting, waiting, to see, when will the time be, for the vengeance of me? Now dost thee see, the moral of the story be? If thou were to avoid the mad cod folly, when thee at Poe’s with Annabel Lee, alone or in company, remember the story of me. Eschew the cod so fishily a folly and acquire the Annabel Lee, chosen best burger in SC by business insider in 2015, then and only then, thou, shalt have my mad cod folly vengeance for me.


Coming soon still in Charleston, we find tacos in an unlikely place. Yo, don’t forget to fill out your brackets, the Taco Tuesday Take Down continues 4 more challengers to go. Who will reign chicken soft taco supreme?

armadillo grill sign copy

Taco Tuesday Takedown II

Welcome back disinterested readers to the Pot and Pan Handlers illiterate ranting blog. Today we are celebrating Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC’s famed Franklin St. and the plethora of taco dives by searching for our favorite chicken soft taco. The first round of prelims led Lime Fresh Mexican grill to victory over Cosmic Cantina. To read about that or get the rules go here…

Today we follow up with Armadillo Grill VS Carrboro’s Taco Bus referred to as City Bus. We started with Armadillo grill where you fill out little slips of paper with all the ingredients you want. Then we hit up the City Bus and retired to our patented taco tasting station, more commonly referred to as the living room.

City Bus Taco

We started with the City Bus Tacos, who bring certain legitimacy to this contest as they are serving up authentic Mexican street style tacos on corn tortillas garnished simply with a little onion, cilantro and a wedge of lime for squeezing. This authenticity was not lost by us therefore; we had high hopes right off the bat for these chicken soft tacos.

Taco Buss tacos copy Authenticity.

So we tear into City Bus’s chicken soft tacos and true to form they are certainly authentic, but with one giant small problem, under seasoned chicken. Typically authentic street tacos are absolutely swimming in seasoning and flavor but these left a little bit to be desired. Although the onion provided a nice bite, with the cilantro in a supporting role gave an herbaceous kick and the squeeze of lime brought a refreshing hint of acidity, but the chicken was just a tad bit bland at least for our taste buds. So then we went on to the Armadillo grill’s chicken soft tacos.

Armadillo grill

In the interest of full disclosure let it be known that Armadillo grill is our go to in the region for tortillas as they hand make soft flour tortillas far superior to the ones you find in the megalomart. When you order your tortillas (or tacos) they press them and heat them to order on a tortilla press, then wrap or build your order ala minute. We decided to have ours built with cheese, sour cream and a dollop of their delicious green salsa.

tortilla press copy The tortilla press.

Armadillo tacos... copy Tex Mex for the drunken frat boy circuit.

Unlike the City Bus, Armadillo grill’s tacos are far from authentic Mexican street food; instead they cater more to the drunken frat boy tastes with a fairly typical Tex-Mex style taco. Though these Armadillo grill tacos are certainly bigger than the competition, value has no bearing in this contest, only taste. And Armadillo Grill’s chicken soft tacos taste good. The simply diced chicken breast is adequately seasoned and shrouded in tasty shredded cheddar cheese, the sour cream brought a hint of decadence to the party and the green tomatillo salsa added an insinuation of heat and acidity. In other words… we have ourselves a winner in the preliminaries Armadillo grill sends City bus to the loser brackets.

Coming soon: the Pot and Pan Handler continue our romp through Charleston, SC where we eat @ Poe’s a tale of revenge. Also coming soon next week’s coverage of The Taco Tuesday Takedown prelims four contestants down and four to go, whose chicken soft taco will reign supreme?



Two taco enter one taco leave

Cosmic 2 copy

Welcome readers to the 1st annual Pot and Pan Handlers Taco Tuesday Take Down, in friendly downtown Chapel Hill, NC. You see dear readers, if you are ever in downtown Chapel Hill, you’ll see the Franklin Street area near the campus of UNC is overrun with taco joints with at least 8 taco dives within 1.7 miles of one another. Our objective is to find the superior chicken soft taco from the usual providers. The rules are simple dear reader, eight contenders each bringing to bare their version of a chicken soft taco.

However these purveyors choose to slang their tacos, stock from the kitchen, no evaluator added or deleted ingredients to muck up the finished product (the only exceptions to this rule will be Chipotle and Armadillo Grill as their whole business model relies on the pick and choose your ingredients Subway sandwich style.) Lastly, all tacos will be taken to go or para llavar if you prefer. All tacos will be expected to hold up to a brief 15 min. drive to the evaluation destination. We @ the Pot and Pan Handler, as professional consumers of tacos will then choose what we feel are the superior tacos. The winner of these challenges are based on taste of tacos only, not perceived value, ambience, side dishes or any other weak sauce frivolities the taco taste is the sole decider.

Cosmic Cantina

Contender one is Cosmic Cantina a local regional taco dive with two locations, one in Durham, the other in Chapel Hill. Though, it is true we would rather be shot in Durham, for tacos we’ll stick to this location. Learn more here (if you are anything like me, there is no freakin’ way that you clicked that link.)The Chapel Hill location is on Franklin Street cleverly hidden in the confines of what could be described as a mini strip mall.

cosmic1 copy

Inside the mall you’ll find this:

Cosmic 2 copy

Once we got inside, we ordered two chicken soft tacos, they recommended deluxe with beans, sour cream and guacamole, so that’s how we rolled and ten minutes later we headed down the block to Lime.

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill

Okay, so Lime is not some regional affair with a couple of locations, they are a corporation with tentacles stretching over much of the south and even have locations as far north as Ohio and DC. Here’s another link for you to ignore but with a location on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, they’re fair game for the Taco Tuesday Takedown.

Lime copy

Time to do a lime.

Once inside we went through the usual steps, (we are professionals after all) acquired two chicken soft tacos and took the 10 mile drive to our patented taco taste evaluation center. Once there, we dug into our to-go containers and released the tacos for evaluation and found this…

Cosmic Cantina V Lime

cosmic taco 1copy

Cosmic Cantina chicken taco unfurled

The taco from Cosmic Cantina looked tasty and got points for authenticity because it was served on corn tortillas. Nicely seasoned diced chicken breast, pinto beans, cheese, sour cream and guac, pretty fricken’ tasty except one thing. It fell apart, imploded on itself the minute we tried to pick it up, the tortilla had turned to mush and these “tacos” lost all credibility because they needed to be eaten with a fork like a stupid salad. As the warrior poet Homer Simpson once said, “You don’t make friends with salad!”

cosmic taco 2copy

The taste of implosion.

The Lime tacos were a different affair entirely. A hint of authenticity with pulled (however under seasoned) chicken, served in flour tortillas with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream they were otherwise decidedly not authentic Mexican style street tacos more of an American adaption.

Lime taco1 copy

Points for not imploding.

But however under seasoned when we tried eating these tacos, they hadn’t turned to mush and in fact had held up quite nicely, considering the 10 mile drive to the tasting facility.

Lime taco 2 copy

This presented somewhat of a conundrum. On one hand Cosmic Cantina’s chicken was nicely seasoned but the tacos had turned to salad. On the other hand slightly under seasoned chicken at Lime held up to the not very rigorous standards of the competition by not imploding and becoming a salad.

After some hemming and hawing, we decided a taco by definition is considered portable. Therefore if you need a fork and or knife to eat it, it’s not a fricken’ taco. So round one is in the books, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill advances to the next round as they are the chicken soft taco supreme, sorry Cosmic Cantina, you don’t make friends with salad.

Coming Soon the Pot and Pan Handler continue our Charleston adventures when we Eat At Poe’s and don’t forget to tune in to the next Taco Tuesday Takedown when corporate behemoth Chipotle, takes on the little local favorite Carrburrito’s. Who will rein chicken soft taco supreme?

Fodmadewithlove copy

Who doesn’t enjoy fod made with love?

The Pot and Pan handler: the Early Bird Gets the Hashbrowns

“Diners like interstates and an inherent dislike of Adam Sandler are quintessential slices of Americana.” – Nobody

It’s early… Not too early, it’s the kind of early you experience on vacation after an evening of doing little, while consuming much. The heat of Charleston is already slightly hotter than smoldering and we were looking for a place to escape the heat and plan the day… Fortunately just a short jaunt from our hotel is a diner with a slightly irritating name The Early Bird Diner. Although the parking lot is miniscule, there is an open spot large enough to accommodate our typically foreign made American car…

Once we commandeered our spot on the postage stamp sized lot, we entered this tiny diner with the slightly irritating name and immediately saw, what in my mind has become a good sign. If you’ve ever seen the show on the Food Network commonly referred to as Triple D or Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, you might have seen this stencil before.


The colors of narcisism? In fact if Guy Fieri were here, he’d want ya’ to see the close up so, here ya’ go…


That’s a lil’ better

This stencil essentially is a self-serving promotional tool that states that this restaurant was featured on Food Networks DDD and has the host of the show, Guy Fieri’s, seal of approval. We’ve eaten at places baring this stencil before and have found it a testament to tasty food in atypical laid back venues. Such a place is the Early Bird Diner.

Although the diner itself is only about the size of the single large stall for the handicapped in public restrooms, it somehow manages to not feel too cramped. The walls adorned with an eclectic variety of local artwork and the staff is an outspoken crew of hastily dressed outcasts with the sharp tongues of the comfortably witty.


The Pan Handler under the watchful gaze of DJ Pain-Ted

One glance around this joint and you come to a hasty realization: nearly everyone here is noisily noshing on fried chicken and waffles. A worthy dish, but I was in the mood for something else, something rarely found in diners anymore… Hash browns! Somewhere along the line diners abandoned the far superior hash brown in lieu of slinging blocks of premade, frozen, potato misery commonly referred to as American fries.

I don’t even remember what the hell else I ordered… Eggs or some shit, I don’t know or care, because the hash browns they served were off the freakin’ chain! They were a perfectly golden, rectangle of crispy exterior with an interior core of potato deliciousness. So artfully made you could pick it up and eat it like a potato candy bar… Superlative. They were so good, I even forgot to take a picture, look bitches this blog is old school, by which I mean we’re lazy. If you want some piece of over editorialized, photoshopped fluffy bullshit, try clicking on or some freakin’ thing like that.

Then when you’re done looking at food porn that’s more heavily made up than the late Joan Rivers, get that ass down to Charleston, SC and try the hash browns at the restaurant with the slightly irritating name. You might just find me there; I might even waffle and try the chicken, but probably not, not as long as they’re still serving hash browns.

Coming soon: our adventures in Charleston, SC continue when the Pot and Pan Handler eat at Poe’s. Next we got  Round 1 of the Taco Tuesday Take down, 8 Chapel Hill contenders with 8 chicken soft shell tacos… Who will reign chicken soft taco supreme.

Evil colonel sanders3 copy

The evil Colonel Sanders?

The Pot and Pan Handler: adventures with a Jarhead, the threat of a weekday mineral and the evil Colonel Sanders with racist BBQ sauce.

Welcome gentle readers both old and new, to the Pot and Pan Handlers depraved blog pertaining to the subject of food and travel, sometimes more and sometimes much, much less. Today we are deep in the sloppy seconds of Beavis and Butthead as we are doing America, one city at a time. Break out the stars and bars, because today our location is a piece of history itself: Charleston, South Carolina. Where an old friend will point us in the direction of a food fight that has little to do with food… Welcome to the American south.

The Jarhead

We were in Charleston, South Carolina, and it was hot. The sun was furious and the moist air inhospitably welcomed us. I’m anxious, as we are wandering around a hotel parking lot waiting for a friend unseen for nearly twenty years. Soon a figure approaches, exclaiming “Pot and Pan Handler?!” Just like that… Reunited, I take a moment to digest the man who had replaced the boy I once knew. Gone were the large glasses, skinny unadorned arms and hair band hair. Replaced with the wizened 1000 yard stare of a marine, jacked biceps artfully adorned with sleeve tattoos and a clean shaven head. My old friend The Jarhead, completely changed, yet somehow still the same.

Threat of a weekday mineral

Idle chatter was brief as it was way too hot to stand around frying like the proverbial sidewalk egg. In an instant The Jarhead looked at us and muttered a mixed idle threat… “Where would you like to eat lunch?” “We could go to the Ruby Tuesday across the street.” Whoa, what a mixed message, that’s like saying “I could wash your car; I’ve got a lot of saltwater.” What the hell, dude? Charleston is one of the premiere dining destinations in the country after all. Ruby Tuesday… Seriously, dude, we can eat at one of them anywhere.

“Or…” The Jarhead continued, “We could go to the place with the racist BBQ sauce.” Ah ha, we had never heard of a racist BBQ sauce, this demanded to be investigated. So in the interest of interest, we maintained that BBQ racist or otherwise, would be our restaurant of choice. While driving there The Jarhead told the story of the evil Colonel Sanders with the racist BBQ.

Evil Colonel Sanders and the racist BBQ sauce

The story starts with BBQ, South Carolina BBQ to be exact. As you may, or may not know, in S.C. BBQ is mustard based. Not the watery and bitterly vinegary BBQ sauce like the nearly inedible BBQ sauce you can find in Eastern North Carolina. Instead it is sweet, savory and spicy with a consistency not unlike honey mustard and in Charleston S.C. Maurice Bessinger and family makes some of the most popular S.C. BBQ sauce that can be found.

In Charleston, the entire Bessinger family is well known not only for their families BBQ restaurant empire, that started in in 1953 with one store that swelled to 9 restaurants by 2002 and their array of delightfully different Carolina Gold BBQ sauce. The Bessinger family is also known for (at least in the case of Maurice), for racism, or as a segregationist if you prefer… (Would a racist by any other name be as hateful?) This racism and his penchants for wearing dapper southern suits, earned Mr. Bessinger the moniker of the Evil Colonel Sanders, at least locally.

Maurice’s nature would display itself locally for decades. Consider, for example, his attempt to evade integration of his restaurants after the 1964 Civil Rights act by refusing to serve patrons with out of state plates. Claiming that his restaurant was sourced entirely by South Carolina businesses and therefore his restaurant engaged in no interstate commerce and should be exempt from integration. Surprise! He lost the lawsuit commonly referred to as Newman vs. Piggy Park Enterprises and thus was begrudgingly forced to integrate…

Like a comic book super villain, this wasn’t the last Charleston or the United States would hear of Maurice Bessinger. The year was 2000 George Dubya was the 43rd President of the United States and Americans had little to do besides not know who the fuck Osama Bin Laden is, query: “Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?”, bomb the shit out of Afghanistan and protest the stars and bars so elegantly flapping in the wind above the capitol of South Carolina.

So, on Jan 17 2000 almost 50,000 people marched in Columbia, S.C., to protest the flying of the Confederate battle flag over the state capitol. South Carolina in a rare example of conscious then removed the flag from the capitol building to a picnic grounds, near the far less tasteful location, if not less racist Confederate soldier monument.

This vile submission was not lost on Maurice Bessinger who in response to the response began proudly flying the confederate flag over his restaurants and prominently portraying the confederate flag on his bottles of widely distributed Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce. As anyone else would’ve suspected the response, to the response, of the response was that almost every major market that carried Mr. Bessinger’s sauces, decided to promptly remove the BBQ sauces with the sporty new confederate flag motif.

BBQ copy

Racism in so many colors.

Brotha from anotha prerogative

That’s when the elder Bessinger brother, Melvin saw his moment and he took it, realizing that overt racism was in all probability a shitty business plan. He released his own Carolina Gold recipe BBQ sauce that was completely different, in the fact that it was probably, nearly the exact same. When the NAACP inevitably came knocking Melvin assured them that his views on race were a little more humane and a lot less monstrous than his misguided little brother’s and they were allowed to remain on the shelves.

Eventually other brothers got involved with marketing Carolina Gold BBQ sauces. Including Thomas who supplied us with an original recipe, but they’ve also got it in spicy if you like BBQ with a kick. They’ve even got a Hickory Red Recipe if tomato based BBQ is how you roll.

Bessingers red copy

BBQ the way the Northern do.

So how was the Q @ Bessingers?

Superlative at least at Thomas Bessinger’s. The restaurant itself is representative of most BBQ spots with counter service. The brisket was smoky, salty deliciousness. The only thing missing in the hash was the oink. When it comes to the religion of BBQ, I’ve always tended to identify with the dry rub congregation, but in this BBQ sauce, if not just a lil’ too sweet for my taste, the Bessingers might’ve just found a convert.

The Bessingers to this day continue to run their BBQ Empire and are busy pretending that poor misguided Maurice never existed… Now that’s a good business plan!


Wanna’ try South Carolina style BBQ at home? Here’s an easy to make not quite as tasty as the original put pretty damn tasty version you can make at home.

Carolina Gold BBQ Clone:

  • ¾ cup of yellow mustard (think ballpark)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2.5 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon molasses
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (can adjust to desired heat level)
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • A pinch of salt or two to taste

Combine all in a saucepan, bring to a simmer and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Store this BBQ sauce in a sterilized jar, for a week in the fridge. Spread liberally on pork, chicken, ham, flip-flops and anything else that can use a sweet kick of racist BBQ sauce.

Carolina gold bbq copy

Okay so it looks a little bit like baby poop, but in no time you can have it looking like this.

bessingers wings copy

That looks better, BBQ is sometimes an accessory after all.


Coming soon: The Taco Tuesday Takedown… 8 taco joints within 1.7 miles of one another all with a chicken soft taco contender. Who will reign chicken soft taco supreme?


A classic, with a twist for the 21st century.

You will need:

12 hardboiled egg yolks

1/2 cup of  mayo (Dukes is the only Mayo worth buying, too bad for those of you north of the Mason/Dixon)

1 ounce sour cream (we’ve never actually weighed this, a Tblspn will probably do)

1 Tblspn Sriracha (if you’re a freakin’ pussy, 2 or more if not)

2 teaspns rice wine vinegar

1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard (actually, we don’t give a shit if you don’t have mustard from Dijon) any will do

1/4 tspn garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Garnish:

Chopped chives

brown sugar bacon

dash of chipotle powder

simple syrup jalapenos

You will do:

Combine all and place in a piping bag  (screw that, use a freakin’ spoon who has time for a freakin’ piping bag)

use spoon to stuff halved hard boiled egg whites with mixture and garnish with chives, chipotle powder, brown sugar bacon and jalapenos that have been soaked in simple syrup okay, calm the hell down recipe follows.

Jalapenos in simple syrup

You will need:

1 jalapeno (sliced)

2 Tblspns water

2 Tblspns sugar

You will do:

dissolve 2 Tblspns sugar in 2 Tblspns water in a pot over medium heat, stir, add sliced jalapeno, turn off heat and make like Bruno Mars…  cool.

The Pot and Pan Handler is a website designed not for foodies, but for eaters, we are currently under construction. Come back soon for some of the hottest amateur food porn on the internet, under the tutelage of the properly mustachioed director, with the requisite cocaine habit.