chicken tastes like cardboard

Admit it – you think chicken tastes like cardboard

chicken tastes like cardboard

Say this next time you’re served chicken against your will…

I grew up in the South, where chicken, in its many forms, was a staple of the diet. Fried chicken, of course. Chicken and dumplings. Chicken (kill me now) casserole. Baked chicken. Barbecue chicken. Chicken and waffles. Chicken pot pie. Chicken stew. Chicken noodle soup.

And of course, chicken necks, livers and gizzards.


Of course, it’s not just the South – chicken is a big dish everywhere. According to the USDA, Americans ate nearly 92 pounds of chicken per person in 2016. And worldwide the data indicates we eat 55 million chickens a day.

I have a confession. I don’t really like chicken all that much. Yeah, I play along because it’s allegedly healthier. But the bottom line is that I almost never eat chicken when there’s beef or pork on the menu.

Know why? Because chicken has no goddamned flavor. Continue reading “Admit it – you think chicken tastes like cardboard”


Dr. Sammy’s Italian sangria recipe

Italian-Sangria-recipeThis is the best sangria I’ve ever had.

The other night I was in the mood for sangria, but we were having pasta. I found myself wondering if there were such a thing as Italian sangria. So I hit teh Googles. Duh. There’s lots of recipes for Italian sangria.

Nothing looked quite right to me, though. So I took the parts that sounded good from three or four of them and decided to mash up my own little Frankensangria recipe.

Continue reading “Dr. Sammy’s Italian sangria recipe”

Dogs and fracking and beer is food – Denver deserves better than Mayor Michael Hancock

I asked Michael Hancock a straight question and got a dishonest answer. Then there’s his kneepads and chapstick service for the frackersbeer-is-food

I recently sent an inquiry to the office of Denver mayor Mike Hancock asking about his position about the city’s recent crackdown on dogs being allowed in tasting rooms. We mile-highers love taking the pups to our favorite microbreweries, but earlier this year the authorities started showing up and telling management that this was illegal.

Because – check this – beer is food. Continue reading “Dogs and fracking and beer is food – Denver deserves better than Mayor Michael Hancock”

My memoir: Sam vs Peaches

I’m the Forrest Gump of apples.

My favorite desserts often involve apples. Apple pie, apple cobbler, apple crisp, apple tarts, baked apples, apple dumplings, stewed apples, apple danish, apple butter, apple kugel, applesauce, apple cake, apple cookies – especially those soft Archways… [sigh] I’m sort of the Forrest Gump of apples.

But my childhood was a frustrating one. My grandmother (I lived with my grandparents) was a great baker, and her pies and cobblers were delicious. Obviously I wanted apple pie and apple cobbler. Like, every meal.

But I had a problem: my grandfather preferred peaches. Continue reading “My memoir: Sam vs Peaches”

Biscottii Goddess is awesome. Just saying.

I don’t normally pimp products and services, although perhaps I should. I, like most of the staff and many of our readers, am a dedicated consumer of local, hand-made, craft and independent everything and tend to avoid mass production/corporate retailers and goods when possible.

Not long ago I reconnected, thanks to the magic of social media, with an old college friend, Wheeler Wood. Turns out he now runs a small biscotti business. Well, I loves me some biscotti, and he kindly offered to send me a sample or two to see what I thought.

Holy hell, this stuff is good. Continue reading “Biscottii Goddess is awesome. Just saying.”

Dear Scratch Burrito: WTF is with your sweetener policy?

There’s this thing I have begun encountering in a certain sort of restaurant. It’s not a good thing. I first ran across this policy at a place I used to eat in Bend, OR, and it happened again tonight at Scratch Burrito here in Denver.

I went in, ordered a burrito bowl and an iced tea. Paid, found a table, went to the drink station and got my tea. Looked around and couldn’t find any sweetener. So I go back to the counter. Would you like regular sugar or agave, the guy asks. No, no, I need artificial, I reply – Sweet-n-Low, if you have it? Sorry sir, we only have natural sweeteners. Continue reading “Dear Scratch Burrito: WTF is with your sweetener policy?”

10-second beer review: New Belgium Trippel

While New Belgium‘s transformation through the years from kick-ass Colorado craft brewer to pretty big time national brewer resulted in a predictable decline in quality of the product, it must be acknowledged that the Trippel remains a not-half-bad Belgian for your basic no-special-occasion drinking pleasure. 1554 isn’t bad, either. I wish Fat Tire was what it was back in 1993, though. Also, bring back Old Cherry. Continue reading 10-second beer review: New Belgium Trippel

How to drink without getting drunk: does the yeast method work? (Food & Drink Week)

Esquire blog discusses a famous brewer’s secret for staying (relatively) sober. We test it out.

You may have seen Aaron Goldfarb’s recent Esquire blog entitled “How to Drink All Night Without Getting Drunk.” Great headline, and how cool would that be, right? I was skeptical, for obvious reasons, but it turns out that what is proposed is an idea developed by Joseph Owades, who Samuel Adams co-founder Jim Koch calls “the best brewer who ever lived.”

I figured I’d test the method myself, and not just because it would give me an excuse to drink too much.

First, how does it work? Continue reading “How to drink without getting drunk: does the yeast method work? (Food & Drink Week)”

Zombie Apocalypse: Food & Drink Week shambles on with another Doc Sammy rum punch

Looking for something appropriate for your next Walking Dead watch party? Here’s a cocktail that will turn you into a zombie, too.

Hopefully you’re already planning on a pitcher of my South Shore Kauai Tais for the weekend. If you like tropical drinks, here’s another one for your recipe book: Doc Sammy’s Zombie Apocalypse.


  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz passion fruit nectar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ oz grenadine
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 oz gold rum (again, I love Montego Bay, but won’t talk you out of whatever your favorite is)
  • 1 oz 151 proof Demerara (El Dorado) rum
  • 1 oz light rum (everybody loves Bacardi, I know, but I’d recommend something a little tastier, like Cruzan Light Aged, Mount Gay Eclipse or Flor de Caña 4 Year Extra Dry)
  • ½ oz Creme de Cassis (yes, I do use this as an accent flavor quite a bit – why do you ask?)

Continue reading “Zombie Apocalypse: Food & Drink Week shambles on with another Doc Sammy rum punch”

Dr. Sammy’s Slammin’ South Shore Kauai Tai: Food & Drink Week

Those who know me will attest to my taste for fine single malt and American microbrews. But my little secret is now out. I’m also a rum-whore. Always have been. And I’m a stone cold sucker for a good rum punch, little umbrella and all. Especially in the summer. Or Hawaii.

So with summer nearly upon us, I thought a fitting subject for Food & Drink Week would be my favorite rum punch recipe.

When I was in Kauai a few years ago I fell in love with their take on the classic Mai Tai – they call their top shelf version the Tai Chi. Continue reading “Dr. Sammy’s Slammin’ South Shore Kauai Tai: Food & Drink Week”

10-second beer review: let’s hear it for Ballast Point Brewing

Ballast Point’s visit to Beer Junction in West Seattle was a hit, and the Rum-Aged Victory at Sea Nitro stole the show.

Periodically Okay, this is going to be more like a 30-second review.

Beer Junction in West Seattle will have one of the region’s craft brewers in to showcase their products. Last night the special guest was San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, and for a mere $4 you could sample five of their varieties. You can’t beat that with a stick, as we used to say back home.

Up first was the Grunion Pale Ale. Now, understand, I don’t like hops. Or, at least, I don’t like hops out of balance, and that’s what America’s brewmasters are all about these days. Continue reading “10-second beer review: let’s hear it for Ballast Point Brewing”

10-second beer review: Barrel-aged Black Lager from Elliott Bay Brewing

Okay, so I’m a pimp for Elliott Bay. But this lager is  incredible. Rich, although not as heavy as a stout, and aged in Heaven Hills bourbon casks. The result is a sour robust enough for the snob (in the house!) but not one that will weigh you down if you prefer lighter body beers (although the ABV may well kick your ass). Grade: A Continue reading 10-second beer review: Barrel-aged Black Lager from Elliott Bay Brewing

10-second beer review: Elliott Bay Brewing Batch 1000 Flanders Style Ale

Oh. Muhgod. If I blindfolded you and held this to your nose you’d think you were smelling a tart red wine vinegar. But give it a taste. Pure magic.

Brewed back in early 2010 to commemorate Elliott Bay Brewing’s 1000th batch (hence the name), this anniversary brew was divided into four separate barrels. This year’s release has been aging since then in Merlot casks after having brettanomyces yeast and a souring bacterium added. Notes of vanilla and grape.

Please, please, please, save enough to take to the Great American Brew Festival. They have a gold medal waiting for you. Continue reading “10-second beer review: Elliott Bay Brewing Batch 1000 Flanders Style Ale”