Grubology is now a featured blog on Urban Spoon and Zagat

Grubology Denver restaurants Zagat Featured Blog: Denver

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I love me some New Orleans

I've been lucky enough to spend some time in New Orleans. I had never been before this year but now consider myself somewhat of an expert. I've been twice in the last 8 months and will be going back next month and then again in February. I've also been able to visit some of the amazing parts down south that where effected by the BP oil spill. The people and the fishing are worth the trip but the food makes it one of my favorite places on this planet. I had the pleasure of meeting Tori McPhail the exec. Chef at Commanders Palace. I had one of the best dishes of my entire life (BBQ Shrimp) and the most decadent dessert ever. I know I'm not really worthy of even trying to cook some of these things but believe it or not I have made a pretty damn good attempt. My gumbo is respectable. My attempt at BBQ Shrimp is actually pretty amazing if I do say so myself (if I could only get those shrimp as fresh and with the heads on I think I have it nailed) I ate so many oysters that I started to take on a pearly hue. My next trip down will actually be to the far south of Louisiana to a place called Houma where we will be filming two saltwater fishing shows. If you would like to have a better understanding for the absolute love for amazing food you must read one or all of McPhail's cookbooks. Oh back to that "most decadent desserts ever" it was a bacon brownie at a restaurant near our hotel called Grand Island Grill. I can't express how amazing the dishes where in this blog you really just need to make an effort to get down there and experience it for yourself. I personally can’t wait to go back - Shannon -

Monday, October 17, 2011

Carnitas pizza

Ok, so I have a problem with carnitas. I can admit it. That's the first step, right?! Evan asked if I could make some pizzas last weekend, so I thought sure! That'll give me the perfect outlet for my carnitas obsession. I made the usual for the boys and Tanette but created something new for myself.
Homemade dough with cilantro jalapeno pesto

Added caramelized onions and the carnitas

Topped with Quesadilla and Cotija cheeses and a pinch of Epazote

After baking in the Egg and yes, it was delicious!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beef and Juice

Snoop may have sung Gin and Juice but I'm all about Beef and Juice. The messy comfort of a Chicago Beef. It all started with Chef Eric's birthday gift of a jar of giardiniera. A delicious concoction of pickled vegetables that are perfect on a Chicago Beef. Great! I said. How do you make a homemade Chicago Beef at home?! Ah, the internet. Within seconds, he sent me this link and I was off and running. And I thought, what better than some homemade fries to go with it! I've got enough for 4 more sandwiches, so stop on by for one.

Some delicious giardiniera from Eric

Top Round and juice ready to go

My set up on the Egg

After cooking. Love the color change of the juice.

Peppers, obviously!

Fries after being par boiled and ready to fry

Messy goodness and salty fries. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Maine Lobster, Lobster and More Lobster or Should I Say Lobsta?

Well once again I have to say I love my job. This week it took me to New England for a great meeting with a soon to be favorite customer. It was amazing. It's a place I have always wanted to go but have never had the opportunity. I landed in Boston and then drove up to Portsmouth New Hampshire. Growing up in Southern California makes one very hungry for history. I saw buildings built in the sixteen hundreds. I can't even put into words the feeling I got standing there in front of a church that George Washington once worshiped at. Anyway back to the food. I mean that is what you want to hear about right? I went to dinner with a client. I told him to choose the place. I preferred something that represented New England. He didn’t disappoint. We went to a place called Robert's in Kittery Maine. We ordered the Clam Bake and it was awesome! they brought a big ol' bucket of seafood all from within a few miles of where we were sitting. This was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. The thing that is so cool is just how simple of a meal it was. This is the epitome of it's all about the ingredients and fresh is key. The next day I stumbled onto a true find. It was the most amazing Lobster Roll in the world at a place called (what else?) Lobster Cove in York Maine. It was loaded with lobster claw meat and almost nothing else. After that I headed up the coast just a few miles and found a working light house called the Nubble Lighthouse. It was breathtaking to sit there on a foggy afternoon. It was like being in a painting that I had seen my whole life hanging in my grandparents house. Being that my grandparents were from Maine it was cool to be close to my roots. It really looked like the painting but with the sound of gulls and a fog horn dubbed in. After dragging myself away from such an amazing sight I headed into the local town of York where I spotted a building with a sign out front that said Maine Lobster Outlet. I almost crashed my rental car with full coverage insurance and a half tank of $5.00 per gallon gas. I absolutely had to stop. They had hundreds of lobsters in tanks. I was completely floored when I saw on the chalk board behind the counter "1 3/4 lbs Lobsters $4.99 lbs" I thought I was reading this wrong for sure. Then I asked if they knew if it was possible to take them on the plane. They said "sure can that's what these boxes are for" " you can even fit them in the overhead carry on compartment. I got four big ass lobsters and a $7.00 box for thirty two bucks. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I say the price. The next night after I returned home to Colorado we had a serious lobster feast. It was the first time in my life that I have been totally stuffed on lobster and nothing else. No sides, no salads, not even bread. I could get use to this but would also have to get use to living with Gout. Next month it's New Orleans so stay tuned - Shannon

Dinner at Robert's in York Maine

Dinner at my house in Colorado

Lobster Roll at Lobster Cove in York Maine

Lobsters in the box at Lobster Outlet York Maine

Nubble Lighthouse Yorke Maine

Foggy nubble Lighthouse Yorke Maine

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Smallest Brew Pub in CO

Yup. I found the smallest Brew Pub in Colorado. It just happens to be 1 mile from my house, in the suburbs, in a strip mall, surrounded by chains chains and more chains. It's pretty rare to see a non-chain in the 'burbs so I was happy to see Dad and Dude's Breweria open up right by my house. They say it's the smallest Brew Pub in Colorado and once you see it, you'll probably agree.

My wife and sons took me there for my birthday and everything was delicious. The decor is great, staff is helpful and knowledgeable and the food and beer was very good. My wife and I had a Pale Ale and I had a Black IPA, which I've never had before. Both were good, but I would have preferred more hops in both.

They use the spent grains from their beer in the pizza dough, as well as agave nectar. I was really happy with my Bootlegger pizza (meatballs, pancetta, roasted red peppers)! A solid "american"-style pie.

Probably one of the biggest surprises was that we went on a Tuesday night. Usually one of the slowest nights of any restaurant. When we got there around 6, there was a decent crowd (for a Tuesday) but by the time we left, the place was hoppin'! Great to see that. I'll definitely be back -- Drew

Bootlegger: Meatballs, Pancetta, Roasted Red Peppers

Penne with Marinara


Nice head on the Black IPA!

Dad & Dudes Breweria on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 8, 2011

No Thrilla!!

We have some bad news...Thrilla on the Grilla will not be a part of the Castle Pines Octoberfest this year. We hope to be able to have the event next year because it was such a blast last year. As much as we want to do it we just don't have the time to make it happen. Castle Pines Chamber has been awesome and the Octoberfest will still be a lot of fun.

Thank you,


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Love of food

Tonight, I was going to do a negative review. Something Shannon and I have simply chosen not to do. If we don't like something, we just don't write about it. We like to keep things happy and positive around here, focusing on the things that make us smile. So I won't be writing about how much Famous Dave's sucks. Thankfully, I will be writing about El Bulli. The best restaurant in the world.

I posted an article that Anthony Bourdain wrote a few months ago about his last meal at El Bulli before Ferran Adria closed the doors forever. The article hit me so hard and made me so happy at the same time. If you haven't read it, read it. If you've read it, read it again.

I just watched the No Reservations episode on El Bulli and it made me smile the entire time, while having a tear in my eye, laughing from sheer pleasure, and wishing that I could be around cooks and chefs like this all the time. I love being around people who are passionate about what they do, no matter what that is. But people that are passionate about food. Well, that just sends me over the top.

The number of dishes served at a meal at El Bulli and the number of cooks it takes to prepare it is astounding. But it's not unapproachable "pretty" food. It's finding a way to extract the heart out of each ingredient, making each of the 50+ courses a stand-alone masterpiece. I am sad that I never was able to experience a meal there, but I'm happy that Tony did such a fantastic job in getting across the feeling of being there and having one of the greatest meals of his life. Having his friend, chef Jose Andres, there with him was just icing on the cake. Jose got his start at El Bulli and his affection for Ferran and what it meant to the rest of his life was touching... "We came to El Bulli without a spirit and we left with a soul."

I love food. I love eating it, preparing it for others and being around others that are preparing it. The passion that food brings out is unlike any other. I've never cared if the food is "fancy" or simple comfort food. The fact is that food is one of the greatest pleasures in life and anyone who is preparing food out of love is ok in my book.

Ferran Adria's goal has always been to make sure that the diner has as much fun as he's having. That's what I want to share with others that I cook for...I loved cooking you this food. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Watch the episode. It might put a smile on your face too.
(It's on again Sunday 8/7 at 8am)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

ÜBER SAUSAGE - SaÜsagefest on Colfax in Denver

 I had one of the best lÜnches in a long time and it was totally Ünexpected. These gÜYs are making saÜsage sandwiches that will blow yoÜ away. The cool thing about them is they are the type of people yoÜ jÜst want to sÜcceed. Über Sausage gives the term saÜsagefest a whole new meaning and it's a good thing. It's a place that yoÜ can go play "Hide the SaÜsage" and not feel too dirty. It's a special place that yoÜ can stÜff five saÜsages in your moÜth and still look yoÜrself in the mirror and say "I'm a man". It's a place yoÜ can overdose on sasÜage and not spend one minÜte in prison. It's a place yoÜ can offer yoÜr bÜddy a taste of your saÜsage and ask if yoÜ can taste his withoÜt feeling awkward. Ok I'll stop, I promised myself I woÜld refrain from the manhood references bÜt who am I kidding? I'm not that matÜre. We met two of the owners, Brad and Henry, these two were great. The place was clean, the food was oÜtstanding and the people where awesome. I think these are three key things for sÜccess. They had their own food trÜck as well so I was thinking aboÜt having them pÜll that thing Üp in front of my hoÜse for my next saÜsage party. The inside looked great and they did the build-out all themselves which is pretty impressive. They pay attention to detail too. The bread is fresh everyday. I think most people will agree the bread is key. Oh man. I almost forgot they make their own potato chips. The chips are the perfect thickness and they offer a bunch of different seasonings you can shake on yourself. They serve them in a small brown bag so you put the seasoning in the bag and shake, cool idea. We have added them to oÜr top five sandwich places and they will be receiving a "GrÜb ChÜb" award to proÜdly display in the restaÜrant. -Thanks, Shannon - TOTALY TÜBÜLAR

The Uber Sausage on Urbanspoon 
Free Range Veal/Pork Sausage (European style), Sprouts, Chopped Onions, Chopped Parsley, Spicy Mustard and a Secret Blend of Herbs and Spices
                                           SPICY SOUTHWESTERN BUFFALO BRAT
   Spicy Southwestern Buffalo Bratwurst, Choke cherry (or seasonal berry) Chipotle Sauce, Mixed Red and Green Cabbage and Queso Fresco

Italian Spice with Parmesan, Cajun, Pumpkin Pie Spice and Sugar, Ranch, Lemon Pepper, Creole and Seasoned Salt


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vegas is Grub Gulch - Rao's and Mesa Grill

One of the many nick names for Vegas is Glitter Gulch. I think they need to change that to Grub Gulch. If you go there just for the food it would be a trip to remember. Last week I was lucky enough to spend a few days there for the Largest Sport fishing trade show in the world ICAST. I have dined in some pretty awesome restaurants but Vegas is the Mecca of GREAT! dinning establishments. The first night we went to Rao's and it was infrikinsane to say the least. It's known as the best Italian Restaurant in the country and it just might be. The service kicked butt and so did the food. We had an Antipasto Platter that was to die for. The prosciutto literally melted in you mouth. My next dish was the Bone in Veal Parmesan also to die for but too big to finish. I have decided to make it a tradition to eat at Rao's every time I'm in Vegas. Good God don’t forget the meat balls. Maybe the best I have ever had and that's saying a lot. I'm guessing it was the ol' 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3 Beef, Veal, Pork. The following night I took some of my favorite clients to Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill also in Caesar's Palace. It seems as true foodies we are supposed to shun the high profile mainstream chefs like Flay but the dude is good and totally my style. I'm big on big spicy flavors and Bobby delivers that for my taste better than just about anyone in the business. I started with the best Queso Fundido I have ever had as of yet. Then had the Roasted Garlic Tiger Shrimp Tamale that was featured on the Best Thing I Ever Ate Vegas. The tamale was one of those things you crave a day or two later and think about often. I loved that little package of deliciousness. I wanted to pet it and rub my nose on it like Tommy Boy and his dinner roll when he was describing the big sale he destroyed. Yes I also destroyed the Tamale in the same loving way. My entre was the Chili Rubbed Pork Tender Lion. It is my quest to duplicate this dish on my Big Green Egg. If I can it will make everyone love me and hoist me on their shoulders and cheer "we love Shannon, he's the best in the whole world". I may be too big for the hoisting part but we'll see. These two dinners made my trip to Vegas very special. If you get out there you have got to give them both a try. Raging Grub Chub - Shannon

Click below for Urbanspoon's Mesa Grill page
Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill on Urbanspoon
Click below for Urbanspoon's Rao'spage
Rao's (Caesars Palace) on Urbanspoon

Mesa Grill-New Mexican Spice Rubber Pork Tenderloin with bourbon-Ancho Chile Sauce and a Sweet Potato Tamale with Crushed Pecan Butter

Mesa Grill - Tiger Shrimp Roast Garlic Corn Tamale featuredon the Best Thing I Ever Ate Las Vegas

Rao's Bone In Veal Parmasan

Rao's Meat Balls

Rao's Antipasto

Monday, June 27, 2011


My wife and I went to Chicago over the weekend and packed in as much eating (and walking!) as we possibly could. We loved the city and how many beaches there were. However, it was clearly different from NYC. Chicago was slower and the vibe was more mellow. Not that mellow is a bad thing! Here are some of the food highlights. -- Drew

Day 1 - Dinner at Frontera Grill
This has always been on my list. We were going to go to Lou Malnati's for pizza but walked by Frontera Grill and saw a line at 4:30. It wasn't too long so we joined everyone and were sat by 5:20. Nice!

The Topolo Margarita was awesome and we wished we could have had a pitcher of them! We destroyed the guac and chips and the 2 salsas were delicious.

Sopes Rancheros: Crispy corn masa boats, savory shredded beef, roasted tomato, avocado, homemade fresh cheese. These were INCREDIBLE! Sorry for the fuzzy photo. It was really dark in there. 

Not pictured are the TWO versions of Queso Fundido. I ordered the chorizo version but they brought the Duck carnitas one instead...then the chorizo version. Holy crap they were good. I've never had chorizo that good before. Soooooo rich.

Day 2 - Breakfast at Yolk.
We were starving so we got a great recommendation from our concierge at the Westin (love that place).
I love "skillets". This one had bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes topped with cheese and 2 eggs. Yum.

Carbs anyone? Tanette's dish was pancakes, potatoes and crepes stuffed with egg, spinach and avocado.

Day 2 - Dinner
We debated with each other, the concierge and Facebook friends about who had the best pizza. We ended up at Pizano's, a cousin/sister(?) restaurant of Lou Malnati's. We got a deep dish and a "thin crust" although that was much thicker than a NY thin crust. The deep dish won, hands down. Great crust, awesome sauce and lots of garlic, baby!

"Thin" crust pizza, Chicago style

Day 3 - Lunch (x 2.5)
Started with a Jamba Juice in the late morning, then we got serious. First, a stop at Portillo's for an Italian Beef and fries. You know it's good when you need a napkin just from unwrapping the sandwich. 


Food and Tanette make me happy!!

Right after Portillo's, we were going to XOCO for some tortas but they were closed on Sunday so we walked a couple more blocks to Lou Malnati's for lunch #2! Great pizza and probably the smallest house salad ever. We give the nod to Pizano's for the pizza, but just barely.

Individual sized pizza. Perfect after my Italian Beef!

Smallest house salad ever. What's the point?

Not pictured is probably the best chocolate shake I've ever had, at M Burger. It was a bit too rich for Tanette, but the more chocolate the better for me!

We loved our trip. Now we need a week of water, salad and exercise to recover!