Recap: BBQ Brawl S2E6 – “BBQ Brunch Battle”

Monk: In a bit of a change of pace, I’m going to try my hand at TV recapping for the second season of BBQ Brawl, which airs for *checks notes* 10 episodes *gulp* on Monday nights at 9pm ET on Food Network. 10 episodes? Well let’s see how this goes…

Well barbe-cuties, while we may have hit the halfway mark of the 10 episodes a couple weeks back, this is the true halfway mark in terms of remaining contestants. Team Bobby lost once again and this week he has a hankering for brunch. So the advantage challenge – with the advantage being a prize for an individual as opposed to a team – is a barbecue-inspired eggs benedict.

A traditional eggs benedict is an English muffin, Canadian bacon, poached egg, and Hollandaise sauce. Not something that I’ve ever eaten or made myself. The judges agree that it must have the poached egg and Hollandaise sauce, so contestants deviate from that at their peril.

Off the bat, a few appear ready to do so; Erica announces her intent to do shaksuka, a North African poached egg dish. Lu doesn’t want to make a Hollandaise sauce so she goes with a barbecue sauce to go over her immaculately poached eggs. Ara goes with a rolled omelet instead of a poached egg. None of the risks of these folks pay off into a win.

That ends up being Brittani on Team Michael, who wins with her sweet and savory French toast eggs benedict and wins a big $5,000 prize pack from BBQ Brawl sponsor BBQ Guys.

The team challenge is a BBQ Brunch Battle expanding upon the advantage challenge. Each team gets 2 hours for a full barbecue-influenced brunch experience.

I’m convinced Team Michael wins somewhat based on volume, but their “Balanced Brunch” does get some praise in Michael’s salmon and watermelon salad as well as David’s eggs in hell as well as Erica’s smoked fried chicken. They win pretty comfortably.

For Team Bobby, Erica brings some South American flavor to the challenge and impresses the judges with a lomo al trapo (Colombian-style cloth-wrapped grilled beef tenderloin). While Erica gets dinged for her smoked chicken pot pie, they are safe this week. Erica sprints off the set, lest anyone changes their mind.

Team Eddie loses due to execution issues on dishes from both Christopher and Lu. Christopher’s Puerto Rican steak and eggs needed more acid from the chimichurri sauce and Lu’s frittata didn’t have the right egg texture. Her crepe dessert was more successful but even still, it still had some issues. In the end, between not giving a proper eggs benedict and then a lacking frittata, Lu goes home.

Bells for Lu, the Midwestern sauce queen.

Christopher Prieto Watch

Christopher’s team ends up on the bottom this week but Lu goes home. Even she agrees that it’s the right decision. Christopher is the last contestant standing on Team Eddie but will get a new teammate next week as Eddie now gets a chance to steal a teammate from another team. Who will it be? Will they be put off by Christopher’s confidence? We’ll find out next in what looks to be a seafood challenge.

What was your favorite part of episode 6 of BBQ Brawl season 2? Leave your response in the comments and be sure to check back next week for a recap of episode 7.

Peg Leg Porker – Nashville, TN (RE-REVIEW)

Name: Peg Leg Porker
Date: 6/18/21
Address: 903 Gleaves St, Nashville, TN 37203
Order: Full rack of ribs, pulled pork, smoked wings, Kool-Aid pickles, cole slaw, smoked green beans, french fries (link to menu)
Pricing: $$

Monk: Peg Leg Porker is a new-school Nashville barbecue institution, even inspiring a little bit of a Martin’s vs Peg Leg rivalry for barbecue enthusiasts in the city. Despite Speedy now living in Nashville, our only other review to date was from nearly 6 years ago a few years before Speedy had even moved to Nashville. While we had briefly stopped in for some wings at the bar last time I was in town 3 years ago, I had not officially had a meal there on the books. I made sure to change that with my most recent visit to Nashville to visit Speedy as well as my real life Bros.

Speedy: Peg Leg is not my favorite barbecue in town (in fact, it comes in at #4), but it certainly is worth a visit for anyone spending any amount of time in Nashville. Located in the trendy Gulch neighborhood, it is easy to get to but gets crowded fast, so we showed up for an early-ish lunch and after a short wait, placed our order at the counter.

Monk: My understanding is that the ribs are the star of the show for Peg Leg, and this full rack did not disappoint. Peg Leg does Memphis-style dry rub ribs and there were perfect bites all around.

Speedy: Agree, Monk. The ribs have always been my favorite part of any meal at Peg Leg, and I do think these are probably best in town – maybe in the state. The generous rub offers plenty of spice and flavor, and no sauce is needed. 

The pork (served unsauced) is pretty consistent in that while flavorful, is always a little dry. There are sauces provided, but I always prefer not having to use extra sauce if not needed, but in this case, it is needed. So while still enjoyable, the pulled pork is a notch below the ribs.

Monk: The smoked then fried wings come with the drumettes, wingettes, and wing tip all attached which from my experience isn’t the norm for a wing at a barbecue restaurant.

Speedy: …Quick interjection: Central BBQ wings are also served this way. Ok, carry on…

Monk: The wings are also finished with a dry rub and were more successful than the pork for me. I had the wings on both of my trips to Peg Leg Porker, and I will probably get them on my next visit, whenever that is.

Speedy: Definitely agree, Monk. Wings and ribs are the pro order. And you know what – I’m just fine with that. The other solid order, which was skipped on this go round, is the yardbird half chicken. It uses the same rub and is equal to the wings. This is a popular item at Peg Leg, and for good reason. But not worth passing over the ribs for.

Monk: Of the sides we ordered, the one I want to call out is the Kool-aid pickles. This is a Delta-region delicacy where Kool-aid mix is literally added to the pickle juice so that the pickles take on the color and flavor (looked to be “red” on this day), resulting in a sweet and sour experience in the form of a crunchy pickle. Just awesome.

I agree with Speedy’s statement above that Peg Leg Porker is definitely worth a visit when in Nashville. Now that I’ve experienced a full meal there, I’ll go with the ribs, wings, and Kool-Aid pickles next time I visit Speedy in Nashville.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 4 hogs
Ribs – 4 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Wings – 4 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 4 hogs

Recap: BBQ Brawl S2E5 – “Competition ‘Cue”

Monk: In a bit of a change of pace, I’m going to try my hand at TV recapping for the second season of BBQ Brawl, which airs for *checks notes* 10 episodes *gulp* on Monday nights at 9pm ET on Food Network. 10 episodes? Well let’s see how this goes…

Well barbe-cuties, this episode kicks off the second half of the season and each team has lost at least one member with Team Eddie having lost two. Having done “hot and fast” barbecue so far this season, this week the episode jumps right in with a four meat “low and slow competition ‘cue” team challenge.

That means over the next seven hours each team am have to prepare four meats and two sides; the meats are Texas brisket, Carolina pork, Memphis ribs, and Kansas City…chicken(?). Kind of shoe-horning that KC-style with the chicken there, aren’t we? Maybe go Alabama-style even if that’s not one of the major four styles.

Right away, Christopher is visibly excited at this challenge due to his and Lu’s competition background, and his excitedness gets him into a little spat with his captain Eddie when they have a difference of opinion on the second side.

On Team Bobby, Taylor and Terry waste no time to start their bickering and Erica clutches her crucifix and says a quick prayer. Ara on Team Michael is a little concerned with just 7 hours for brisket, but thinks he can make it happen during that time.

After the longer cooks get going, we finally get to the advantage challenge which Bobby gets to pick after suffering his first defeat last week. With the contestants busy with their meats, Bobby challenges the captains to a 20 minute mac and cheese challenge. Twenty minutes isn’t the ideal time for mac and cheese, but in the end Michael’s homemade spaetzle beats out Bobby’s chorizo mac with okra crust and Eddie’s green chile mac and cheese. The advantage ends up being: the ability to use a captain from the other teams for 30 minutes which could either be used for grunt work or even used strategically to keep him from helping his team at a crucial time.

Team Bobby’s energy is visibly off, even from the judges porch, so Bobby brings the team together and helps them hash it out. Terry admits he started the trash talking, and the team elbow bumps into hopefully a better headspace. We’ll see if that can help Terry’s struggle-pork that had no rub, was cooking at a very low temp for a bit, and is getting the marinade a couple hours in. I’m not seeing how this could possibly be a winner for him.

Michael uses his advantage to get Bobby to shred some cheese and…not much else. He dismisses him early, so not much of an advantage.

Brittani’s chicken and collards are hits with three judges but Ara’s brisket is a little dry but has a good bark. David’s pork needs vinegar and his ribs are out of balance but mac and cheese ends up a winner after he smartly abandoned Michael’s waffle idea halfway through.

Terry’s open faced NC pulled pork is greasy and an affront to any NC barbecue fan. Erica’s brisket that was separated prior to cook and injected with Worcestershire sauce (“wooster) is well received, and her cuban beans are as well. Taylor’s chicken has a rubbery skin and her Memphis-style dry rub ribs are just that – a little dry. Once again, her dessert ends up saving her as the banana pudding is a hit.

Lu’s chicken pillows has one of her great sauces, a honey barbecue. Then comes the Christopher show: his pulled pork has no major dings, his brisket is smoked well but doesn’t quite have the bark, and his ribs aren’t as life-changing as he assumed they would be. Eddie focused on the sides and his collards and barbecue beans seem standard.

In the end, the 2+1 contestant Team Eddie gets the W and Team Michael is also safe. As may have been foreshadowed by all the earlier infighting, Team Bobby is on the chopping block. All the proteins had their issues, but Terry goes home for his greasy pork. Could have probably seen this coming, as he is the lone remaining non-competition contestant.

Bells for Terry, the trash talker-in-chief.

Christopher Prieto Watch: Christopher handles the bulk of the meats for the team with seemingly mixed results during judging, but helps get them to safety with the overall win. He continues to rub some folks the wrong way, and this week that includes his captain Eddie. In the end, he is a big part of his teams W despite the misstep on his bbq beans that Eddie had to step in and fix. He moves on to next week, though I do wonder if Lu will soon tire of his (over) confidence.

What was your favorite part of episode 5 of BBQ Brawl season 2? Leave your response in the comments and be sure to check back next week for a recap of episode 6.