The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It

Life Is Too Short to Eat Plain Burgers
March 26, 2014, 12:53 am
Filed under: Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: , ,

Inspired by the husband’s taste buds, supper tonight was a burger, seasoned only with salt. The burger was on a buttered bun slathered with smooth peanut butter. You also had a granny smith apple that had been sauteed in butter and brown sugar. Finally, bacon.

It’s a keeper, my friends. Just fabulous.




Mugshots-Tuscaloosa, Alabama

When you live anywhere close to Memphis, it is a goal in life to eat at all of the Huey’s in and around town. It is like an unspoken dream to eat at them all, even though they are all pretty much the same. I have eaten at all but maybe two.

Now, a new dream of mine is to eat at all of the Mugshots. I live no where near them, but still. Dare to dream, I say.

The second Mugshots I got to cross off my bucket list of Mugshots was in Tuscaloosa, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

We are not fans.

However, the town is neat and the food at Mugshots was great.
We started off with Scooter’s Moo Cow Cheese Wedges and the queso dip. The fried cheese was very, very good. It is hard to beat a good fried cheese.
Mr. Opinionated had the Come Back burger and loved it.
I had my second peanut butter burger. It is the best burger around, and nobody ever wants to share a bite. Win-win, I say. The bread on this burger is perfect, and the peanut butter is devine. I love it. It would be no problem to make this at home, except for the buns.

The people at Mugshots have the best buns. Giggle, giggle.
Mr. Picky had a grilled cheese, of course.

It is my hope to continue my tour of Mugshots and finish my bucket list someday. I think I can-one peanut butter burger at a time.

Mugshots-Meridian, Mississppi

The first time the fam made the big trip to the water years ago, we stayed at a nice Econo Holiday Hotel whatever, and the nice lady at the front desk was kind enough to recommend a restaurant to us when we asked.

The restaurant was called Bridgette’s. It was a small, Cajun shindig with good food. We ate there on two of these trips.

This trip? Bridgette’s is no more.

The rule on vacation is no eating at a restaurant that we can eat at at home. So, not wanting to waste a dinner on a chain, we Goggled for somewhere new.

The best reviewed restaurant on the list I found was a joint called Mugshots. We hesitated a bit because the online menu neglected to list steak, which is my daddy’s favorite food. Could he go without a steak? Would we make it? Would this risky restaurant choice ruin the whole trip? Would I be the laughing stock after suggesting this restaurant? Where was Bridgette with her cajun seasonings when we needed her?

We typed the address in the GPS, and off we went to find out.

We drove and drove across town to Mugshots. It was a nice place in a nice area. So far, so good.

When we got in, the staff told us we would have to wait about twenty minutes. Bummer but no big deal.

Unfortunately, twenty turned to more. I was beginning to sweat. This could be bad. I flicked Mr. Opinionated a dirty look and asked him to see how much longer the wait would be. He was told we were waiting on a particular table. I bent just so I could see this table of people taking up my dinner time and keeping my restaurant choosing reputation on the line and perhaps give them a dirty look too. They were still chewing.

Not. Good.

Luckily, a booth opened up behind us. We were saved.

With a menu in hand at our new found booth, I scanned for the weirdest thing on the menu. Mugshots did not disappoint in that area.

Mr. Opinionated had the Comeback Burger. It made him very, very happy.

Daddy had a steak sandwich. He was happy too.

I had the Peanut Butter Burger.

That’s right. A burger with peanut butter. It was, if I may be so bold to say here, life changing.

I kid you not.

The Peanut Butter Burger was simple-one patty, two schmears of crunchy peanut butter, and a sweet, soft bun. The whole thing was unique. The peanut butter was warm and gooey, and the bun was soft and perfect. It was unlike anything I had ever seen or experienced before.

It made me giggle like a school girl.

I couldn’t finish the whole thing even though I tried my very best. I wanted to take my unfinished part back to the hotel so I could look at its awesomeness, but I think that have been too much.

Instead, I just sang its praises to everyone at our table and took way, way too many pictures of it.

It was fun.

Mugshots Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Food and The Murderer’s Daughters

Book club this month was Randy Susan Meyers’s book The Murderer’s Daughters. While not everyone was amazed by the book, I liked it a lot. It was different from so many other books out there, and it gave me a lot to think about. I like that in a book. Our discussion was good, and, of course, the food was outstanding.

I chose two dishes to take the this month’s meeting: a crab bread pudding that I found in Food and Wine and Rachael Ray’s Caesar deviled eggs

I picked the deviled eggs since the Devil made him do it. Hardee har har.


I loved the eggs. I followed Rachael’s recipe exactly, even down to the hard-to-find-around-here anchovy paste. I loved them, and I was so impressed with myself.  They were very fancy for eggs, but they were beautiful and different.  I like that in an egg.

I was not so happy with the crab bread pudding. 

I make a French toast casserole very similar to this recipe-well, except for the crab part. That recipe has a lot better filling to bread ratio.  This recipe had way too much breading for the crab.  To make the match better, I would have had to buy at least two more containers of crab. At $14 a pop, that would be one expensive casserole.  Still, I like the thought, and as long as I can remember how to tweak it using a lot less bread, I’ll be making it again.


At book club, my dishes were well received.  They both could have been better for the group.  The eggs were well received, and the casserole was not touched enough for what it cost to make it.  Live and learn.

The star of the night was my friend who can out cook anybody or their mother.  She made the Krystal/White Castle burgers from Pinterest.

They were delicious-and I do mean outstanding.  I made them a few nights after using her recipe of onion soup, onions, smooth peanut butter, cheese whiz, and milk.  I do believe I embarrassed myself with my behavior about these burgers.

Problem is that I was too busy smashing them in my face to care.

They were way oniony.  I used a whole large onion on the top and piled them on to serve them.  We paid the price the next day.  Whew.  Onion playback-yuck.

Still, I would do it all over again. 

These burgers were also, though, so moist and full of flavor, cheap, and dang easy to make.  Gotta love that in anything. 

I liked all three recipes, and just like the book, they all three gave us something to think and talk about.


Tired Brains and Cheddar Chip Burgers
April 6, 2012, 2:02 am
Filed under: Food I Make | Tags: , , , , , ,

It is that time of the school year.  Laziness has set in. Spring Break has just now arrived after staying away for too long.   My mind is tired, and my will to cook is weak.  The kitchen is not my favorite place for the time being.

My word, what have I become?

So tonight I was hungry but not hungry enough to put forth enough energy to really think about what I wanted to eat.  That meant the ole go to was for supper-burgers.

I actually came up with something pretty tasty. I owe it all to my husband.  One night while watching Food Network with me, he saw a burger that featured chips.  I love chips on sandwiches.  It was worth a shot.


I ended up patting out three half-pound burgers. I salted them liberally and then browned them on each side.  I finished them in a 300 degree oven for about eight minutes.  Then, I covered them with plain Baked Lays that I crushed, a slice of Cheddar, and a big dollop of Heinz Memphis Style BBQ Sauce.  I returned the whole shebang to the oven for five more minutes.

I really wished I had piled those toppings on even more.  I could have used more of a crunch from the chips and a punch from the sauce.  Also, when I eat a sandwich with BBQ sauce on it, I want to have the need for a shower after.  It needs to be that messy.  I just held back way too much.

Still, it wasn’t bad for no more thought than I put into it.  I hope my tired brain recuperates soon.

Meat Eaters Unite!
March 10, 2012, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Food I Make, Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: , , , ,

I was a vegetarian once.  I know, shocking.

It was in those weird, confusing, sweaty palm days.  High school, in other words. My vegetarian staged lasted for around two years. I ate a little chicken and fish, so I guess I wasn’t a true vegetarian.  I survived on chips, bread, vegetables, and lots of salads.  I did not eat, however, any red meat or pork of any kind.

Why did I not eat bacon? or burgers? or steak?

Excellent questions. Yet, I don’t remember.

I do remember the downfall of my vegetarianism.  It started at the drive-thru of McDonalds and ended with a messy Big Mac and me in a secluded, dark Wal-Mart parking lot. 

Not a proud moment for me, but it leads me to today.  Now, I am a proud meat eater.

And burgers are still wonderful and fabulous.  Last night, I patted out four big patties and salted them generously.  Then, I seared them in a skillet with butter and finished them in the oven.

I topped mine with an almost embarrassing amount of blue cheese.  Almost embarrassing but not quite.

Today, I took a second burger with blue cheese to work for lunch. It was divine, and I made lots of people jealous. Food jealousy is fun. Well, for food dorks at least.

I am so thankful for two things-whoever invented the burger and the fact that I am not stuck eating broccoli all the time. 

Me? A vegetarian? What was I thinking?

Five Guys-Burgers and Fries
June 27, 2011, 12:58 am
Filed under: Food Made by Other Food Folks | Tags: , , , ,

Burger and Fries at Five Guys

The hype at Five Guys? Plenty.  But worth it.  We ate there just before the official dinner hour on a Sunday night, and the crowd was steady.  And rightfully so.

This chain is not well known everywhere around the country, but the food was good.  The fries could have been a little saltier, but that’s no biggie.  Just get extra salt. 

The double patty burgers and the wide variety of toppings were great.  I had a double burger with grilled onions, mushrooms, and mayo, which wasn’t very creative of me. I’ll try better next time.

Good Stuff.

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