Thursday, November 29, 2012

It Tastes Like Bacon

Whether you are a bah-humbugger like me or a Jiggle Bell rocker, it matters not. Christmas is coming back around to dump glad tidings of comfort and joy all over the land. Our citizens are once again packing the shopping malls on their annual quest to find the perfect gift for that special someone in their lives.

Some folks already know what they are going to buy and give, and then there are the rest of us who have no clue until the very last minute. I am here today to offer a suggestion. I opened an email this morning from Justin and Dave, Bacontrepreneurs. They are the guys who make that super heavenly concoction, Baconnaise.

I used to buy Baconnaise at the local Publix until that store quit selling it, so now I order directly on-line from J&D's Everything Should Taste Like Bacon. Well, Justin and Dave have taken that mantra to an entirely new level and are now offering a new product geared toward the "bacon lover."

From the web site:

You've always been a lover of bacon. Well, now you can be a bacon lover with baconlube, the world's first bacon-flavored massage oil and personal lubricant. No more horrifying bedroom experiments with bacon grease or 3rd degree skillet massage burns. 

FACT - People are passionate about bacon. According to a recent survey of Canadians by Maple Leaf Foods, Canadas market leader in the bacon category, when asked to choose between bacon and sex, more than four in 10 (43%) chose bacon. Thanks to baconlube, [you] will never have to choose between two of life's greatest pleasures again.

J&Ds baconlube is water-based, proudly Made in America and is the gold standard of meat-flavored massage oils. We only made a very small quantity of this pork flavored nectar and it's available while supplies last.

What started as an April Fool's joke is now a REAL product thanks to the thousands of people that emailed, harassed and sent us highly explicit explanations of what they would do with this (thanks for that).

Just Keep It Sizzlin' with baconlube. They'll be bacon for more.

P.S. It's vegan-safe, making this the perfect gift for the vegetarian in your life.

Editor's note: The Oracle has no financial interest in the web site or the products listed. This article is presented as a public service to my readers.

And, you are welcome.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Aqua On The Causeway

The Chef de Cuisine of the SOG City kitchen got the day off yesterday, and for that I am very thankful, for that chef is moi. It has become a tradition at Thanksgiving to let someone else do the cooking, either at someone else's home or at a restaurant.

No one else in the Tampa family seemed to be thrilled spending a day or two in the kitchen, so we decided to dine out. But, where? Some wanted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner while I (there is always one in every party) would rather eat a Mickey D's burger (oh, the horror) than cram 4500 calories (average per person intake) of stuff down my throat simply because it is "that" time of year.

After considering various options we all decided to head over to the Aqua Bar and Grill in the Weston on Courtney Campbell Causeway. The Aqua is conveniently located for all of us, and I had been interested in giving them a try since they closed the old Aquaknox to convert to the new Aqua.

For fear of sounding a bit gauche, I hesitate to mention that I can understand Aquaknox shutting down. That venue provided a less than spectacular culinary experience - on several visits. With the new Aqua Bar and Grill I had visions of a gastronomic phoenix arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

Truth be told, the new place didn't look much different than the old place. The decor was basically unchanged. That isn't a bad thing, the place is gorgeous.

Entering from the Weston lobby, one of the first things we spied was the bar area and since we were in need of a couple of medicinal Thanksgiving adult beverages we boot-scooted to the bar.

We had made reservations and after medicating ourselves we were escorted to our table in the dining room. On the way we passed the raw bar display and the open grill.

Once seated at our table we ordered beer and wine while looking over the Aqua regular menu and holiday menu. Somewhat disconcerting was the long delay in receiving our beverages, especially in light of the small number of people at the bar and in the dining room.

My dining companions began their traditional meal with a delightful bowl of Butternut Squash Soup - rich, creamy, and buttery with small chunks of squash adding texture.

From the regular menu I just had to begin with a dozen Blue Point Oysters on the half shell. I was assured that the Aqua shucker of these bivalves was a professional. I always ask, because so few in the Tampa area have a clue.

The Aqua shucker turned out to be one of those who hasn't a clue as to how to open an oyster - over half of my dozen were mangled. They should never have made it to the table. To add insult to injury, the oysters were placed on the slope of a veritable mountain of ice. All of that delicious oyster liquor drained away into the gutter of the platter. With a name like Aqua I would have expected better.

My dining partners fared much better with their tradition choices.

The combination of white and dark meat was juicy and flavorful, the mashed sweet potatoes were creamy and delicious with a savory gravy, the dressing was formed into a patty and fried on both sides to crispy goodness, and the cranberry compote had just the right amount of sweet and tart to compliment the rest of the Thanksgiving delights. Of course, there were the ubiquitous green beans.

When I was served my entrée I realized I too should have joined my compadres in ordering the Thanksgiving staples.

The Fruti di Mare just sounded so appealing with little neck clams, grouper, mussels, calamari, laughing bird shrimp, and spaghettini, floating in yellow pepper cioppino. There were a couple of clams, four mussels, a few cubes of fish, and what appeared to be a few tiny cocktail shrimp drowning in an unbelievably bland broth. There might have been a tablespoon of spaghettini - maybe.

Aqua served no bread with any of our entrées, so we asked if we might have some bread or rolls to sop up gravy and juices. "Of course," we were assured, and within a few moments we received our crust-less "Wonder Bread" with a dollop of butter atop a drizzle of honey.

How special!

Dessert turned out much better - a white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce, and a pumpkin cheesecake with a dollop of whipped cream. 

I was asleep at the wheel for the pumpkin, but the white chocolate was a work of art.

Like their predecessor with an aquatic theme, Aqua Bar and Grill was inconsistent and disappointing. I don't envision a return visit. 

What a shame! I really had high hopes.

Aqua Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

Aquaknox on Foodio54

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving STUFF!

While morning coffee was brewing I went out to pick up today's Tampa Bay Times from the driveway. "Holy crap," muttered I, "Is it Sunday already?" The paper was huge! After a moment I realized that this was the Thanksgiving paper and it was crammed with advertisements. Actually, over three pounds of ads for STUFF.

I couldn't help but wonder, "Do we really need that much STUFF?"

It was obvious that I needed some professional help in answering that question...

I realize today is Thanksgiving, but there is no need to thank me for providing this much needed discussion about STUFF. It is my pleasure.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hang Down Your Head Trevor Dooley

Right up front: my apologies to the Kingston Trio.

Yesterday I wrote that Trevor Dooley was looking at a thirty year sentence for the shooting death of David James over a skateboard incident. What I overlooked was the fact that the Florida sentencing guidelines can be very forgiving even in the face of a homicide.

It seems the judge has the latitude to impose a sentence anywhere from ten to thirty years or, if Dooley appears contrite enough, just reduce the sentence to probation with no jail time.

Yepper, just hang down your head Trevor Dooley and tell the judge how gosh darn sorry you are that the jury was made up of a bunch of bone heads who were too dumb to recognize the wisdom of carrying a deadly weapon to confront a teenager on a skateboard. Besides which, that little ole .32 caliber bullet didn't punch that big a hole in that dead guy's heart - so, just pardon the hell out of me.

The fate of Dooley now rests with Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody.

Editor's update 1/18/2012: The judge gave him eight years, but at least Dooley doesn't get off without prison time. He's seventy so this might wind up being a death sentence depending on the outcome of the appeals.

I've got to ask, "So, Dooley, how's that Florida stand your ground law working out for you so far?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The "I Had No Choice" Defense

So, Trevor Dooley, how's that "Stand Your Ground" thingy working out for you?

Jurors in Tampa needed only about 90 minutes Monday (11/19/2012) to decide Dooley's fate. Dooley now faces up to 30 years in prison for fatally shooting 41-year-old David James as they wrestled on the ground after arguing over a skateboarder.

"A man started an argument over nothing," said Assistant State Attorney Stephen Udagawa, "and killed somebody over it."

Let me reiterate, Dooley took a human life over NOTHING! And his defense of "I had no choice" would be ludicrous if it weren't such a pernicious act of arrogance and stupidity. Dooley had a choice! There was no excuse for bringing a gun to a public recreation area if his only intent was to holler at a kid on a skateboard.

Dooley's wife testified that she sometimes has to remove Dooley's gun from his pants when she does the laundry, so maybe we could give him a break and suggest he just forgot that he was packing a deadly weapon in the waistband of his pants.

You might cut him some slack, but I won't. If you are going to carry a firearm, the responsible person never "forgets" they are carrying. "I forgot" can land a irresponsible jerk like Dooley in jail - just for carrying a deadly weapon. If you doubt that or have to ask how that could happen, then you are one of those people who should not be carrying - because you don't know the law!

Dooley didn't know the law, so even if there had not been a deadly shooting Dooley could have been convicted of aggravated assault for simply lifting his shirt to display a weapon. Aggravated assault carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence (three years as of this writing). Of course, if you have a boat load of money, a really good attorney, a sympathetic prosecutor, and a super jury you might get the charge reduced to improper display of a firearm which is a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony.

There are way too many people in this state and in this country who believe carrying a deadly weapon is the solution to many, if not all, of our problems with crime. The vast majority of these people should not be allowed anywhere near a deadly weapon because they are untrained, ill advised, ignorant, delusional, or just plain dangerous - to themselves and others.

Dooley deserves what he got, and it would be nice to think that his fate at the hands of a jury will serve as a lesson and a warning to all who think that a gun is the answer. It isn't, and their ignorance of the law could cost them more than they are willing or able to pay - even if there is no loss of life.

Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law" didn't work too well for Dooley. Are you prepared to test that law to see if it works for you?

I can recommend a good attorney. You will need one.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holy Crap - Sunday Edition - Day 2

Editor's notation: I updated this post on Monday 11/19/2012 due to lack of interest yesterday (i.e. no buyers).

Today's Oracle should be (I said SHOULD be) a real treat for art collectors the world over. I have a deal of near orgasmic import.

But first:

Sotheby's sold a Mark Rothko abstract for $75 million recently in a contemporary-art auction whose total—$375 million—surpassed any in its company history. Fittingly, the Rothko painting is titled, "No. 1 (Royal Red & Blue)."

Now for the deal of the decade.

The SOG City Oracle has recently acquired an original Rector titled "A No. 2 in Red, Green & Yellow." Actually, I painted it this past Sunday it with digital brushes on my home computer, but what the hell - it's still an original, and a fine example of a real No. 2 piece of art.

This original Rector No. 2 can be yours for a mere $50 million $50. You get this epitome of No. 2 at this low price because it doesn't have as many rectangles as Rothko's piece, and I didn't get a single nibble at 50 mil. Whasup wid dat?

Include your name and address plus bank account and routing number in the comments form and this masterpiece will be yours to hang with your other great treasures like the velvet Elvis.

Yes, I know - I am just too good to you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Fiscal Showdown


Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, want to scare Americans into accepting yet another extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% and deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. So they've created a "fiscal cliff" boogeyman.

Unfortunately, if you're following the media story, you may believe Republican claims that the world's about to end. But the only thing going off a cliff on December 31 is the ability of Republicans to hold our economy hostage for the sake of the rich (read below to find out why!).

That's why we have to spread the truth, so our friends and family don't fall for the Republican myth about the fiscal cliff. We've put together a 5-point guide on what this fiscal showdown is really all about. Check it out and then share it on Facebook or Twitter, or just forward this [post].

The "Fiscal Cliff" Is A Myth. As Paul Krugman put it, "The looming prospect of spending cuts and tax increases isn't a fiscal crisis. It is, instead, a political crisis brought on by the G.O.P.'s attempt to take the economy hostage." Republicans are manufacturing this crisis to pressure Democrats to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and accept painful cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The Bush Tax Cuts Finally End December 31. If Congress does nothing, the ax will fall on all the Bush tax cuts on New Year's Eve. Then, on January 1, the public pressure on John Boehner and House Republicans to extend the middle-class tax cuts (already passed by the Senate and waiting to be signed by President Obama) will become irresistible. So the middle-class tax cut will eventually get renewed, and we'll have $823 billion more revenue from the top 2% to do great things with.

The Sequester. The sequester is another political creation, forced on Democrats by Republicans in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling last year to avoid crashing our economy. It's a set of cuts (50% to a bloated military budget and 50% to important domestic programs) designed to make both Republicans and Democrats hate it so much that they'd never let it happen. And the cuts can be reversed weeks or months into 2013 without causing damage.

The Big Three. Nothing happens to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits on January 1—unless Republicans force painful cuts to beneficiaries in exchange for tax increases on the wealthy, which are going to happen anyway if Congress does NOTHING. So, there's literally no reason benefits cuts should be part of the discussion right now.

We Should Be Talking About Jobs. The real crisis Americans want Congress to fix is getting people back to work. And with just a fraction of that $823 billion from the wealthiest 2%, we could create jobs for more than 20,000 veterans and pay for the 300,000 teachers and 52,000 first responders, which our communities so desperately need. That's not to mention jobs from investing in clean energy and our national infrastructure.

Please share this with your friends and family—and talk about it at the dinner table next week. The first step to winning this showdown is making sure we're all armed with the facts.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

That's How It Goes

I love Marcia Ball, a consummate performer, and this video from YouTube is fan-freakin'-tastic.

From YouTube:

Most music videos start with a highly produced studio track and then have a performer lip sync to that for endless takes. This project didn't use that method. We didn't even use a metronome. We had one remarkable artist: Marcia Ball,one wonderful public art project "Play Me, I'm Yours", and two video producers of questionable sanity: Daniel and Minor. 

We filmed Marcia's performances at the pianos around Austin and then edited the footage to keep the integrity of the song's tempo intact. So with each cut you will hear the distinct timbre of that piano and a change in the ambient background as well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Keeping It Real - Really Real

Sure, you could have tuned in to last night's Daily Show, and maybe you did, but just in case you missed it Jon Stewart laid waste to the hypocrisy that is running rampant in this country. This is a two-parter that every thinking American should see.

The idiots won't understand it. And, yes coal maggot Robert Murray, Applebee's Zane Tankel, and Papa John's John Schnatter - we are talking about you.

The Daily Show may be billed as a comedy news show, but Jon Stewart is way more than just a comedian.

(Short commercials at the beginning - but worth the wait)

A Big Thank You To Georgia

The fair state of Georgia, our neighbor to the north, has graciously volunteered to rid our state of vermin - not all vermin, but the worst of the worse.

From today's Tampa Bay Times: In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Republican Party chairwoman Sue Everhart said she'd love to welcome [Allen] West back to Georgia.

"I would be glad to have him come back to Georgia [...]," Everhart enthused breathlessly as the drool of desire dribbled disgustingly from the hairs of her chinny chin chin. (That wasn't quite the way the Times quoted Everhart - close, though)

Even though West has yet to concede the election, it would appear that the majority of Floridians would be glad to see him go - to Georgia or most anywhere but here. Florida has enough loonies as it is. One less would be a real treat.

I have to ask, is the Georgia GOP really so hard up for political candidates that they feel the need for this kind of...well, vermin?

Just a-wonderin'.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gastronomic Beach Adventure

"Have you ever had one of those nights when you have a place in mind for dinner, you get there but the wait is unreasonably long, then you start driving around looking for alternatives (none of which turn out to be particularly viable)...and all the while, it's getting later and later, you're both getting hungrier and hungrier, and one of you is getting bitchier and bitchier?" ~ Sweet Polly

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, and this past Saturday evening it was déjà vu all over again. This time though, Sweet Polly and her mighty Underdog had company. The Belle of Ballast Point and I were invited by our dear friends Sweet Polly and UD to join them for a epicurean frolic at the beach.

After enjoying adult beverages and some delicious stone crabs on their balcony overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, we decided to leave their stately pleasure dome (as decreed by Kubla Khan in Xanadu) and journey out to mingle with the hoi polloi in search of sustenance. It was here that we ran into that annoying wall of déjà vu.

Just then, as the hour seemed the darkest, the French came to our rescue. There, hidden away amongst the condos, goofy golf attractions, and beach trinket shops was the Gulf Bistro, a shining star nestled in a little strip mall at 15225 Gulf Boulevard, Madeira Beach.

Bonjour! Como c'est va? We were greeted warmly at the door and after a brief few moments we were escorted to our table. We arrived at a prime time without reservations, but the charming hostess made every effort to accommodate our starving party of four.

The warmth and ambiance of the Gulf Bistro was reminiscent of some of the bistros all four of us have enjoyed on separate trips to France. It was all I could do not to leap to my feet and burst out into a few verses of La Marseillaise

But, first, le vin - a bottle of Canyon Road Pinot Noir with rich, fruit forward cherry flavors, soft tannins, a medium body and a smooth velvety finish, and a bottle of Canyon Road Sauvignon Blanc a light to medium-bodied wine with hints of ripe citrus, melon, and a refreshing crisp finish.

Moving on to our amuse-gueules, or appetizers, we seemed to head off in slightly different directions - Cuisses De Grenouille Au Beurre (frog legs in garlic butter sauce) and Foie Gras Pate with Dried Apricots. 

Said Sweet Polly, "Since foie gras is one of my favorite foods on the planet, it was a foregone conclusion that I would have it. This was absolutely the best of its ilk that I've ever eaten outside of France." We all sampled some of this heavenly treat, even the Belle of Ballast Point who normally eshews anything remotely associated with the word liver. This is a delicate, creamy 'must try' dish that was even enjoyed by my bride.

For the life of me, I cannot understand anyone's aversion to one of the choicest delicacies to ever emerge from the muck and mire of the swamp - frog legs. This was one of the best dishes of its kind since - well, the beginning of time. Only Underdog was willing to take a shot of leg - frog, that is. The ladies demurred.

Tender, tasty and oh so delicious swimming, as it were, in that garlic butter sauce.

Let us get serious now - onward to the entrées!

We will take a look at these gastronomic works of art one dish at a time. We may only assume that after more than a few glasses of wine and several days later that I remember each dish correctly. I do know that each dish that I sampled was excellent and I do not remember a single discouraging word spoken at our table.

You might want to keep a towel handy to wipe the drool of envy from your chin. Seriously, the food was that good.

Underdog the Magnificent chose the Duck leg Confit In Peppercorn Sauce:

The Good Girl (for the life of me I don't know why our server referred to the Belle of Ballast Point as the good girl, but she did) had the Chicken Breast In Dijon Mustard Sauce :

Sweet Polly seemed to be ecstatic with her choice of Tilapia Amandine (it was listed on the menu as tilapia, but flounder on the bill. Either way, it was good:

When I was but a tad of a lad my mother thought it was a good idea to feed me liver and onions every so often. I hated it! The liver was cooked to death, dry and tough. For some reason I have been craving liver of late, but liver properly prepared, and I knew the French would know how. So, I ordered the Calve Liver with Red Onions and Dijon Mustard Sauce - medium rare, s'il vous plaît. It was really good and I think if I had requested it cooked rare it would have been even better:

I don't think any of us really needed dessert, but our hostess convinced us that our lives would be incomplete otherwise. Who could say no to either of the two ladies who catered to our every dining desire that evening?

Sweet Polly and I both requested a special that evening, the lemon tart with raspberry sauce, that tasted even better than it looked, tangy and not too sweet - very French:

And, then there was Nougat Glace:

Followed by a Chocolate Crepe:

For the Belle of Ballast Point and me, this was our first visit to the Gulf Bistro. I can easily understand Sweet Polly and Underdog returning to this charming bistro. I can envision us making a return trip. The food, service, and ambiance were that good. There were several more dishes on the menu that I must try.

Dinner and wine for the four of us came in a little over $200, and we tacked on a 20% gratuity. For what we all enjoyed, that was a fantastic bargain!

Gulf Bistro on Urbanspoon

Cafe De France Du Golfe Boulevard on Foodio54

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

From Wikipedia: Veterans Day is an official United States holiday honoring armed service veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11th. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day that honors those who gave their all; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

As a veteran, I long to see the day when all of our troops come marching home and there is no longer a need to send our children off to war. Maybe someday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Madam Secretary

One of President Obama's first tasks in his new term will be to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who announced her plans to retire after the 2012 election. I will miss her. Not only is she a classy lady, but she has been an exceptional Secretary of State. She has served our country well.

It is my fervent hope that she does not stay out of public office for long. I look forward to the opportunity of voting for Hillary Clinton, democratic candidate for president of the United States in 2016.

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2011, file photo President Barack Obama, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at right, speaks about Libya in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington. Obama now has a freer hand to deal with a world of familiar problems in fresh ways. That could mean tougher Iran and Syria policies, or new engagement toward countries such as Cuba and North Korea. He could also refocus on the moribund Middle East peace efforts. But a pressing task is assigning a new national security team. Clinton has announced her plans to retire and could stay a few weeks past January to help the administration as it reshuffles personnel. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Blogger's Reality Check

Sipping morning coffee, I turned to the comics section of the Tampa Bay Times and was jarred back to reality by this from Mr. Trudeau:


The horror!

Thanks a heap Garry.

2012 - The Year Of The Woman

It's about time! The exclusive men's club in American politics has not been doing a very admirable job since...I don't remember when.

Share this graphic

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Big Win For America

The election is finally over! 

Now our elected officials on both sides of the aisle can pull together and do what they were elected to do, and that is to legislate for the betterment of our country. Mitch McConnell's sole objective of making Obama a one term president is now moot. 

There is no third term, so the Republicans can redirect their efforts toward doing something positive for America.

To both Republicans and Democrats in Congress - 

Can't we just get along?

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Undecided

This morning on the teevee news was an interview with one of the "Undecided." Here we are just hours away from electing a man to one of the most powerful offices in the world and this bozo is undecided?

In what orifice has his head been buried over the last year or so? And, just what the F#@K is wrong with these people?

Meet the undecided:

My bride suggested this morning that maybe these people shouldn't vote out of sheer stupidity. I mean, what are they going to do if they can even find their way to the voting booth...eenie, meenie, miney, moe?

Holy Hog And Holy Cow

What a spectacular football Sunday! The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played one of the most exciting games ever - well, ever since their Super Bowl win a million years ago. And, holy cow, can you believe rookie Doug Martin rushing for a franchise-record 251 yards and four touchdowns?

I informed my bride, the belle of Ballast Point, earlier in the day that I wasn't going to be rattling pots and pans during the game so we had best be deciding now on what we were going to eat while watching the Bucs do to the Raiders what they had not done before.

We decided on barbecue from a little place up on Henderson Boulevard that I had been wanting to try. I went on-line and pulled up the Holy Hog website to peruse their menu. I was pleased and surprised to see that we could order on-line. The website also mentioned delivery, but when I called I was informed that delivery had to be scheduled a day in advance with a minimum purchase.

Just scanning the menu got our gastronomic juices flowing, but my bride said we don't want to order now since it was only one or so and the game was still three hours away. It was about then I discovered a nifty little option - order now and schedule pick-up for later. So, I did.

Before I get to the food, I should mention that Holy Hog has two locations - the one on Henderson and another at 3501 North Armenia. The Armenia location appears to have a larger in-door seating area and they serve beer and sangria. The Henderson location does not serve adult beverages, but I was told you can BYOB.

Out-door seating with some friends I invited.
At 3 o'clock I wandered into the Holy Hog on Henderson, past their out-door seating area. The place appeared to be devoid of customers, but that was understandable on game day. Holy Hog had been working their piglet selves into a stupor to provide game day goodies for the masses.

When you enter Holy Hog you can't help but notice the display case to your left that is loaded with a plethora of amazing barbecue goodies.

There are chalk boards behind the display case that list the available food choices, or you may just point to what you want.

You can order a la carte or a dinner that includes two sides with Texas toast. We had ordered two dinners, a burnt ends with additional brisket for me, and the pulled pork for her. We were also treated to a couple of pork ribs that had been under the heat lamps for awhile and would not be sold.

Our order was ready when I arrived. I had already paid on-line, so all I had to do was grab and go. But there was something in that display case that stopped me in my tracks.

Would you just look at the size of those brontosaurus ribs! They are actually beef ribs, but what the heck. They were huge and coated with an amazing rub...and, dammit, they seemed to be screaming my name.

Oh, well! They will have to wait until another day. I had my order and it was getting on toward game time.

In-door seating.

Our whole plan was to have this barbecue feast during the game, but the aromas emanating from the food boxes just grabbed us and wouldn't let go.

We split those freebie pork ribs and that was the hook that set our taste buds quivering with gastronomic joy. Yes, a couple were a little over-done, but that was the point of the give-away. The dry rub, and the mop used on those ribs created a taste sensation that I still swoon over today.

The beef brisket and the burnt ends that I had were the best I can ever recall. Even better than some I had consumed a few years ago in Texas. I truly apologize to my Texas friends and relatives for that blasphemous remark, but it's true. I don't know if my Baby was quivering in delight over her pulled pork or the start of the game, but the pork was gone before the Bucs beat the Raiders 42 - 32.

For our sides, I had the collard greens and what was called roast corn but what actually was boiled corn on the cob, and the Belle had the Mac and Cheese, and the loaded potato salad. All of the sides were good, not spectacular, but good. We were not disappointed, because the name of the game was barbecued meat.

Our only disappointment didn't occur until after I got home. My Texas toast apparently stayed in Texas. Will we go back? You betcha!

All of that delicious barbecue came to $25.09.

Did I mention that the Bucs won?

Holy Hog Barbecue - South Tampa on Urbanspoon