The Foodosaurus knows food. All you need to know is the Foodosaurus.

Moink Balls for the Super Bowl  

I wanted to find a simple smoked appetizer recipe to bring to a Super Bowl Party.  I had considered making ABTs, but they are very labor intensive.  Moink refers to the sounds of the animals comprising these balls.  Moo + Oink.  They are super simple and came out fantastic.

Take frozen meatballs and wrap each one with a half slice of uncooked bacon.  Dust them with your favorite BBQ Rub.  I used some “Cactus Dust”, Paprika, Adobo, and Brown Sugar.  I left these in the fridge overnight.

Prep your smoker to cook at 225 degrees.  I used a combination of Hickory and Apple wood chips. Place the balls directly on the rack.  Make sure you have enough smoke.  After about 90 minutes, the bacon should be pretty crispy.  If not, give them some more time.

While the balls are smoking, prepare the glaze.  2 parts bottled BBQ Sauce, 1 part Raspberry Jam, and 1/4 part balsamic vinegar.  Add ground Chipotle powder to taste.  Heat on low heat to combine.

Once the bacon is crispy, glaze the balls and return them to the smoker.  The glaze will be caramelized after about 20 minutes.

The Moink balls were a big hit at the party.  A buddy of mine described them as “Meat Candy.”  These are definitely staying in my repertoire.

krust Woodfired Pizza & Bourbon Bar - NoRA Middletown, CT

Today was the opening of krust, located in the NoRA neighborhood of Middletown, just a couple blocks away from my apartment.  Owners Kevin and Rich have spent a lot of time to get the details right.  There is a huge assortment of liquors, mainly Bourbon.  They also have a really nice selection of Draught and bottled beers.

The pizzas are cooked in a beautiful wood burning oven.  Temps range from 600 to 800 degrees and the pies cook in 1 - 3 minutes!!

I took a seat at the bar, right in front of the oven.  After I had ordered the person next to me told me that they were friends of the owners.  We had a great conversation about Middletown, and how great it is here.  (It really is a vibrant food destination)  Both of the owners came over and spoke to me.  I really felt at home here.

I ordered the Brussels; Fresh Garlic, Fresh Mozzarella, Parmesan, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Onion, EVOO, & Sea Salt.

The crust was perfectly cooked, and had a nice chew.  The sweetness of the onions was a nice balance to the bitterness of the sprouts.  All of the ingredients tasted fresh, and the Sea Salt brought it all together.

I also had one of their specialty cocktails.  It was Bourbon with Ginger beer and a few other ingredients.  Their drink menu is enormous, about five times the size of their food menu.

In addition to Specialty Pies, you can create your own Pizza from a selection of fresh and cooked toppings.  They also offer Salads. And for dessert, an ever changing selection of NoRA Cupcakes from next door.

I wish Rich and Kevin the best of luck.  I will definitely be a regular here.

For more information you can follow them on Twitter, @krustpizzabar Like them on Facebook, Or check out their website,  But the best way to know how great this place is, would be to stop down in NoRA and grab a pie.

Homemade Hickory smoked kosher salt. #presents (at home)

Homemade Hickory smoked kosher salt. #presents (at home)

Taino Smokehouse - 482 South Main St Middletown, CT 

Thanks to my good buddy Tony, who lives in Massachusetts, I found out about a new barbecue joint that just opened in my own town. Taino is only open for dinner right now during the “Soft Open.” They will be having their Grand Opening just before Christmas.  So far so good. Their website says they served 740 lbs of meat in just 3 days! Their head chef has worked at Hill Country Barbecue in NYC, and has been featured on ABC News.  72 people have already checked in here on Facebook…. 

I asked if I could order “off menu” so that I could sample a few different things, and the owner was more than happy to oblige.  My order came to about $22 and was well worth the money. I have enough left over for a second meal.

Fatty Brisket - Super moist. Very smokey and didn’t need sauce.

Lean Brisket - A little dry, but hey it’s lean.  The smoke ring on this was beautiful.  Better with a little BBQ Sauce

St. Louis Style Pork Ribs - Best of the bunch!! The bark was unctuously porky. The sauce was sticky and sweet.  The meat still had some pull and took a little work at the end to get it off of the bone.  I couldn’t ask for better pork ribs!

Alabama Wings - The wings are smoked, fried, and sauced. The Alabama wings came with a white BBQ Sauce on them.  The wings were perfectly cooked, and crispy with a touch of smoke.  The sauce was creamy and just a bit sweet.  These also came with fresh crunchy celery and a homemade blue cheese that rivals my own.

Mac n Cheese - The MnC was good. The noodles were al dente, as they should be.  It seemed like it was missing something, so I added fresh cracked pepper.

Corn Bread Muffins w/ Honey Butter - DON’T SLEEP ON THE CORN BREAD AND HONEY BUTTER!! Creamy inside, crunch outside, smeared with honey butter…. MMM!

I really can’t wait to go back. Taino is among the best BBQ in CT.  So happy that this is right in my backyard, for all those times that I need a barbecue fix and don’t want to crank up the smoker (in my back yard.)  They haven’t even had their Grand Opening yet but you can call me a fan!

More info can be found at  You can “Like” them on Facebook And you can follow them on Twitter @TainoSmokehouse  Hopefully these guys will be around for a long time.



Ian’s Hot Brown Sugar Wing Rub Wings   

My friend Ian brought me a bag of Rub and told me how he makes his wings.  I followed his directions to a T and couldn’t be happier.  The Rub is really spicy, and so gooey sweet that I couldn’t stop eating them.  They really were quite addictive.  

The dip is bottled Blue Cheese Dressing, Cracked Peppercorns, and Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese.


Rub Recipe is added!

Ian’s Hot Brown Sugar Wing Rub Wings   

My friend Ian brought me a bag of Rub and told me how he makes his wings.  I followed his directions to a T and couldn’t be happier.  The Rub is really spicy, and so gooey sweet that I couldn’t stop eating them.  They really were quite addictive.  

The dip is bottled Blue Cheese Dressing, Cracked Peppercorns, and Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese.

Cured and smoked salmon. (Taken with Instagram)

Cured and smoked salmon. (Taken with Instagram)

The Little Rendezvous - Meriden CT   

I’d been told about the “vous” a year and a half ago, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to try it.  Now that I have, I will definitely go back soon.  At Little Rendezvous, the only thing on the menu is pizza. They don’t sell slices.  There is only on street parking.  It doesn’t seem like its in the best neighborhood.  And they only accept cash…. NONE of those things will stop me from going back.  

From their website,

           ”The oven, built in 1888 started, as a bread oven. In 1938 it became a pizza restaurant. The front, which is now the dining area, was once a grocery store. Joined in the 1930’s with a long hallway it became The Little Rendezvous. Serving coal fired BRICK oven pizza, and for the past 70 years people have been coming from towns all around Connecticut to enjoy our pizza.”

As you can see in the picture, the oven is a part of the place.  I didn’t snap a picture of the front dining room or the long hallway. It states on their website that on a Friday or Saturday wait times can be an hour for take out, but they will accept calls in advance for pies at a certain time.

I ordered the “House Special” on traditional crust. It came with sauce, cheese, mushrooms, peppers, and sausage.  I added some snipped fresh basil from a plant that my dad gave me, and some fresh cracked black pepper.

There was a lot of sauce, more than I usually care for.  But the sweetness of the sauce was a great counterbalance to the tartness of the crust.  The mushrooms and peppers seemed to have been cooked before being added to the pie, which i prefer.  The sausage was a fine crumble that may also have been precooked. The crust was unbelievable.  It was chewy, crunchy, and tangy.  A good pizza crust will make your jaw sore.  I ate through the pain, and after sharing a couple slices with my friends next door, half the pie was gone.

You can check them out online at You can also “Like” them on Facebook. Call them for take-out at 203.235.0110  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??

Brutus, 238 Water St, Torrington, CT - 860.618.2388

Brutus In Torrington is described by the owner and operator as a a hot dog cart, but instead of 4 wheels it has 4 walls.  He keeps a simple menu with Dogs, Brats, and Basa.  He also offers Hershey’s Ice Cream and a nice selections of Sodas.  The only other item on the menu is Irish Nachos which he uses Potato Chips for.  There are quite a few different “Signature Dogs” including a Thai dog with Peanut Sauce and Bean Sprouts for the more adventurous eater.

They use Hummel Brothers Dogs at Brutus.  The Hummel Dog is milder than a Mucke’s or Martin Rosol dog.  He steams them, and mentions that they never come in contact with the water.  He feels the Hummel’s casing seems to be the best fit for this cooking method.

The slaw is quite sweet and matches the savory chili or meat sauce.  The dog has a nice snap, and the Wonder Bread roll is really soft…. perfect for holding all the moisture.

The Bratwurst is of the white variety and also has a milder flavor than I was expecting.  The kraut was a perfect texture.  The horseradish mustard is brown mustard with horseradish and some other ingredients that he wasn’t willing to share.

One other thing. On the counter was a squeeze bottle labeled, “Pep-up.”  I added a bit to the second half of my Brat.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but it was a little sweet and a little spicy.  After I had finished, I inquired about what it was.  He told me that it was something he had been making since he was little, for his French fries…. Ketchup and black pepper.  SIMPLE! Keep it simple stupid. After sitting for awhile, the pepper and ketchup form a completely unique flavor.

I wish Brutus the best of luck.

Grilled bone-in rib eye with roasted garlic.

Grilled bone-in rib eye with roasted garlic.