After flying thousands of miles across the Pacific and spending time with friends and family in the Bay Area and Kansas City, Chris made his way down to the Southland to spend a long weekend as our guest. He arrived Thursday afternoon flying jetBlue from San Jose to Long Beach. Bill was more than happy to meet him at the gate. When I got home from work, we took him to dinner at Johnny Rebs. It’s becoming a favorite place of ours for southern cooking. We don’t claim that it’s better than Lucille’s, just different. Plus Johnny Reb’s has more than just BBQ.
As we arrived we were greeted with the street shut down and about a thousand people milling about for the Bellflower Summer Streetfest. Apparently it’s been going on every Thursday evening this summer with lots of “farmer’s market” type vendors selling some random produce and food items. There were also some arts and crafts booths and live music. Maybe we should pay more attention to the junk mail we get twice a week… maybe we would have known about it.
It looks like a lot of people enjoyed the music. The website for the City of Bellflower says that the band was a country western band. But for the half-hour or so we were wandering around, they played classic rock. It was pretty cool. Bill and I will have to go back one of the coming Thursdays to pick up a couple of things we had out eye on. Most importantly, a vendor selling homemade hummus that is really delicious.
On to dinner…
Bill ordered the fried catfish with fries and a side of cole slaw. Their tartar sauce is homemade and great. Bill said the cole slaw wasn’t very good. But the excellent catfish more than makes up for it, it’s light and has a wonderful cornmeal based batter.
I ordered the pulled pork shoulder with a side of mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. It also came with a biscuit. In my opinion, the exact same dish at Lucilles, is not nearly as good as this. The pork was tender and delicious with their tangy BBQ sauce. I barely had to chew! The mashed potatoes were fluffy with a wonderfuly peppery gravy on top… it had a bite to it that kind of got you at the end. The macaroni and cheese is creamy and lumpy and the cheddar cheese collects into one big lump, but it tastes soooooo good.
For some reason, I don’t have a photo of what Chris ordered. He had a tri-tip sandwich that he said was pretty good. He said the tri-tip was a little overdone, but still tasty.
For dessert, even though we all
were full, Chris ordered their warm peach cobbler. I think he was
setting up for disappointment considering he had made a homemade peach
cobbler just days before with fresh peaches. Johnny Reb’s cobbler is
good with it’s drop biscuit top, but it’s made with canned peaches.
Either way, I thought it was good, even though some parts of the biscuit were a little under-done.
Bill and Chris at our “patio” table. It was a warm evening and there was a nice breeze.
When we got home we watched a few episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Bill and I are big fans of the show and, while Chris is a fan of Bourdain’s writing, he’d never had a chance to see the show. One of these days Bill needs to take all of the episodes we have recorded on our DVR and make a DVD for Chris since the show doesn’t put one whole season on a DVD.
Friday evening I didn’t get home from work early enough to join Chris and a few friends in Santa Monica for dinner. I really would have liked to go, but driving from Long Beach to Santa Monica on a Friday evening can be grueling and exhausting. It would have taken us well over an hour to get there and we would have arrived after they were finished eating. Oh well.
For more on what Chris did over the weekend, you’ll have to check his blog. I flew up to the Bay Area Saturday morning to spend the day with cousins from the other side of my family who were in town from Arkansas. So many cousins in one weekend! I’ll post about that day later.