Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse
Dec03

Thank you, Bill! – Bill’s Smokehouse

My husband and I have a lot of trouble eating out. Over the last ten years or so, we’ve become what I would call “at home chefs.” Between Food Network (with a heavy lean towards Alton Brown), ChefSteps (YouTube) and Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel, we’ve learned how to make phenomenal meals at home. We invested in an immersion circulator several years back and it’s changed our meat game like nothing else. We can pretty much make a restaurant quality meals at home, for a fraction of the cost, and have it cooked to perfection. Now, that’s kind of a double-edged sword . . . one, we don’t get the feeling of getting all gussied up and ‘going out’. Two, we don’t get to sit and relax and be waited on. Finally, the restaurants we might splurge on have disappointed us. Steaks aren’t cooked to the right temp. Asparagus is fibrous. Dishes were just lacking proper seasoning. I sound like a huge food snob, I’m sure, but when you can make food to a certain standard, you expect a restaurant to be able to hit the same standard, especially when paying so much. So, this brings us to Bill’s Smokehouse. Naturally, we were leary. We hold a special place in our hearts for barbecue. It’s smokey, succulent and just plain delicious. Also, it’s something we can’t do at home . . . yet. 😉 So we have our favorite place in town to get it and hold all others to that standard. As we walked into Bill’s on a cool, dark evening, we could smell the smokers from the back. The restaurant was quiet as there were only a couple other tables with guests. The room was moderately lit and looked nice with a classic, high-end look with a lean towards the a western theme. Booths and tables are both available and our booth was comfortable. Soon, we were the only table. Considering the menu is full of local, organic meats, it’s kind of hard to make a choice.We had a nice basket of corn bread while we made our decisions. While the inside was tender and sweet, the sides were dry. I went with the 28-day wet aged USDA choice tenderloin filet, six oz, a ⅓ rack of ribs, a side of apple slaw and fried Brussell sprouts. My husband got the pulled pork and brisket with sides of collard greens and green beans with bacon and onion. We also tried the sausage sampler as an appetizer. The sampler came with a smoked pork sausage, a chicken sausage, a couple cheeses and two mustards, as well as plain and...

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Market Wagon delivers the Farmer’s Market to You
May10

Market Wagon delivers the Farmer’s Market to You

I don’t know about you, but I go to a lot of different grocery stores each week. I like some stores for their prices, others for their products, and some for the quantity. One thing I’d like to work on is buying more locally grown food. My grocery says they’re buying “locally grown” but when I say that I mean around Fort Wayne, not Michigan. We do have a few farmer’s markets in town, but sometimes it’s hard to get to them when they’re open. Well, now we have a back-up plan. Market Wagon brings the farmer’s market to you. Order before Tuesday at midnight, and Market Wagon will bring you fresh, locally-grown and made products on Thursday. They charge a $5.95 delivery fee. To me, the fee is small compared to dragging three boys through a farmer’s market, making the time for the shopping, and the over-buying of pretty flowers, baked goods and other enticing items that I really don’t need. Also, it’s a pretty far drive to any of the local markets for me, so it helps me save time. Plus, it’s supporting yet another small business. Market Wagon sells meats, produce, dairy products and other items all from local farmers and makers. They began in 2016 in the Indianapolis area. In 2017, they acquired the Evanston hub and continued to expand. I thought I really needed to see this process for myself and check out the goods. So, I placed an order. Thursday, I got a text while I was out that it was delivered, and I found it right where I’d asked them to place it. My order came in two insulated bags to keep my products cool until I could get to them. The products were well packed and fragile items were on top. I ordered meats and eggs from Seven Sons Family Farm, Pastries Chefs Basil Pesto Butter, Brick House Creamy Garlic Herb Vinaigrette, Our3 Chicken Bone Broth, large basil and micro basil from The Mushroom Diva, arugula from Atom Acres, Summer Crisp Green Lettuce from Micro Farms, The Olive Twist‘s Garlic & Herb seasoning blend, and Egg Challah Bread (a family favorite for toast and french toast) from Pastries Chefs. Market Wagon included a checklist of my order, clipped onto the bag – it was nice to see they had ticked off each item as it was added. I used the ingredients from my order to make a delicious spaghetti and meatball dinner with two different garlic breads. We used ground beef, ground sirloin, Italian sausage, and eggs along with garlic and herb seasoning blend to make meatballs. I also used the...

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