1. Bluestem had flamenco night tonight...music AND dancing. Cool, but ultimately not helpful in my attempt to secure perhaps the best burger in town.
2. Matchstick BBQ is pretty damn good.
Corollary: If I see a barbecue place I've never tried and I can even remotely convince myself it's time to eat, I will stop there.
I remember reading about this place on Fat City but had forgotten about it. I happened to drive by after leaving Bluestem and am happy I did so. I ordered a two meat combo (brisket and pork) on Texas toast with fries and beans. Why Texas toast? Have you tried it? Hint: I've yet to find a dish that the taste of butter didn't improve. Suck it, purists.
Brisket was sliced thin, quite lean, nice smoke ring, a little chewy. Pulled pork melts in your mouth, though it was a little too fatty in spots. Fries were good--not too thick, not too thin. I prefer mine done a little more, but they certainly weren't raw. Beans were excellent--super thick and meaty; they started smoky and ended with a little sweetness. The sauce was solid (I mean, it was liquid, but...you know what I'm saying). There was no one flavor that jumped out at me, but I actually liked that about it. It seems like too many places want to make their sauce so unique they forget to make it GOOD.
They also serve breakfast, and what appear to be really good burgers and lots of other non-BBQ sandwiches too. Check 'em out.
3. Business is not so great at Matchstick for dinner.
It's a tough location for barbecue, to be honest. It's in the old Spitfire (and before that Addis Ababa) space on 39th. Parking is not easy, and I have to think most barbecue joints would go under if not for carryout orders. Case in point: I was there from 6:15pm to 7pm. One other guy (as in one person, not one table) was there the first 15 minutes I sat there, and no one arrived while I was there. I hope things pick up for them (or that they do bang-up breakfast and lunch), but it didn't look good.
Corollary 1: If you don't want a place to close, support it. I know there are a lot of choices, and the principles of natural selection certainly apply to restaurants. But don't you dare whine if a place you "love" closes and you can't remember the last time you went there.
Corollary 2: If you're the only table your server has, tip that server WELL. Especially if she, knowing she's probably not going to make jack that night, is still super-friendly and kind.
4. Cyclists are A-Holes.
I'm not talking people who ride bikes. I'm talking about cyclists. The ones who ride in groups in their full Tour de Jackass jersey and Oakley shades regalia. The ones who ran their stop sign and nearly got plowed by the car in front of me, then had the nerve to flip the driver off. The ones who on Merriam Lane - a two lane road with what amounts to a full shoulder - ride right in the middle of the lane. Single file. At a staggering 12mph. With--not exaggerating--a good 15-feet available to their right. Share the road? I'm trying. How about you do the same?