February 11, 2015

The inevitable cheeseburger

Allen @ 2:49 pm   |  Comments Off on The inevitable cheeseburger
Filed under: Food,Japan,Travel

But at least we ate it in Susukino.

Ramen tickets!

Mike @ 1:05 pm   |  Comments Off on Ramen tickets!
Filed under: Food,Japan,Travel

Once you get your tickets, the lady sits you down and your bowl of beautiful ramen appears about 2 minutes later. When you’re done, you simply get up and leave.

February 10, 2015

On such a winter’s day

Allen @ 1:57 pm   |  Comments Off on On such a winter’s day
Filed under: Food,Japan,Travel

Hot drinks from a vending machine is just what we were needing as we waited on a chilly train platform for our ride to Narita.

(Mike’s Vietnamese hot coffee, ¥130; Allen’s large corn soup in a cup, ¥130)

February 8, 2015

Tacozone in LA

Mike @ 8:50 pm   |  Comments Off on Tacozone in LA
Filed under: Food

June 29, 2009

Allen’s Memphis-Style Dry Rub Pork Spareribs

Allen @ 10:50 am   |  Comments Off on Allen’s Memphis-Style Dry Rub Pork Spareribs
Filed under: Food,GIKKU Approved,The Great Outdoors

Dry Rub
These are all ratios, so you can mix any amount you want, as long as you keep the ratios the same. To start off, use a cup as the base measure. You’ll have leftover rub for sure.
2 paprika
2 brown sugar, packed
2 kosher salt
1 cumin
1 granualted garlic (note, this is different from garlic powder!)
1 granulated onion (again, this is different from onion powder!)
1/2 coarse ground black pepper
1/4 seasoned salt
1/8 chile powder (I like using cayenne, but you can use ancho, chipotle, anything with a kick, or even mild new mexico chile powder; this controls the heat of the rub)

You can pre-mix the rub way before hand, if you like. Be sure to store it in an air-tight container if you want to keep it for a while. It wouldn’t hurt to throw in a dessicant gel pack to keep it dry for long term storage.

2 full racks of pork spareribs
dry rub
prepared yellow mustard (optional)

Take the ribs and trim off any of the boneless meat above the bones, and the flap of meat on the bone side (sometimes these are already trimmed off for you). Set the boneless meat aside, you can also BBQ them along with the ribs, or else you can save them for another recipe.There is a thin paper-like membrane covering the ribs that needs to be removed. Take a knife and using the sharp tip, cut a slit on the biggest bone to release the membrane. Sometimes, you’ll have to work the knife tip underneath the membrane to loosen it. Once you get about 1/2" loose, take a DRY paper towel and grab onto that end of the membrane with it, and pull the membrane off (the dry paper towel sticks well to the membrane and give you leverage). It rarely comes off in one piece, so repeat the grab with a dry paper towel and get the bits that don’t come off in the first pull.

This is an optional part that I’m experimenting with not doing — the ribs I made at your Naples house last time did not have this step, but it was part of the original recipe I followed before and you might like it if you like mustard. Take the cleaned and trimmed ribs and dry them with paper towels. Then smear a light coating of prepared yellow mustard on both sides, this gives the rub something more to stick onto. Of course, the rub sticks on just fine without the mustard too — it’s all about what flavor you want.

Now sprinkle the dry rub generously on both sides, patting down the spices into the ribs firmly at the end. Make sure the ribs are well-coated with the rub! Wrap the ribs in foil tightly and refrigerate for 12-24 hours (the longer the better).

DAY OF COOKING – START EARLY, this will take 6 hours or more
Basting Liquid
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

Whisk these ingredients together well, then set aside.

Hickory wood chips
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
enough water to cover the wood chips

Let the wood chips soak in the vinegar and water for at least 2 hours at room temp. Keep the wood chips wet throughout the cooking process.

Preheat the grill to as low a temp as you can get it but still have heat you can feel — somewhere between the chicken icon and the BBQ setting on the Red grill is good for me. During the pre-heat, have all three burners going — you’ll turn off the middle and one of the sides when you put the ribs on. Once the temp reaches about 210-220, you’re ready. Turn off all the burners except the one of the left side (I use the left side, but it’s totally up to you if you want to flip it around). One thing I think would be good is to remove the grill on the side that’s on — that’ll make it easier to throw wood chips on.

Put the ribs BONE SIDE DOWN onto the grill. I usually put the thicker, bigger bone side closer to the burner that’s on, to prevent the thin side from overcooking. Give a real quick basting to the ribs with the basting liquid. Throw a big handful or two of the wood chips onto the burner that’s on, and close the lid. DO NOT open the lid unless you are basting or adding wood chips from now on.

From here on out, it’s grill maintenance. Here is the schedule you should follow:
AT ALL TIMES, maintain a temperature of UNDER 240 degrees. Ideal temperature is 220.
Every 30 minutes, add a small handful of wood chips and check to see if the ribs are doing ok.
Every hour, baste the ribs with the basting liquid.NEVER flip the ribs, or unnecessarily move them. Move them if they seem to be getting burned, but otherwise, let them sit.

If you decide to BBQ the boneless meat, it’ll be done in 2-3 hours on the top rack. The ribs will be done anywhere between 5 to 7 hours.

The ribs are done when the meat shrinks and pulls away from the bone about 1/2-3/4 inch at the big end. The meat may be cooked before that point, but won’t be tender until the meat pulls away. And you want it tender and juicy.

June 18, 2008

Always Complete Your Hotel Surveys.

—— Forwarded Message
From: “Rockey, Kevin”
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 11:36:16 -0400
Conversation: St Martins Lane
Subject: St Martins Lane

Dear Mr Hodgson
Further to your recent stay at St Martins Lane, thank you very much for taking the time to complete our website survey which has been forwarded to me.
Guest feedback is most important to us and your review will assist us going forward to ensure we are meeting our guests’ preferences and exceeding expectations.  Your overall positive responses and kind comments are very much appreciated and I am obviously delighted that you enjoyed the hotel.
Your specific comments on Sonia and Emily in particular will be noted on their files and shared with their managers, and I am very pleased that they demonstrated our core values and ethos so well.
Mr Hodgson, congratulations on becoming an uncle to Blake Thomas Batty, our congratulations also to your sister, and I hope you all have an opportunity to stay with us at some point!  When you have made a future reservation, please let me know the booking reference number so that I may personally oversee your stay, including complimentary upgrade and complimentary bottle of champagne.
I look forward to welcoming you back to St Martins Lane.
Warm regards,

June 16, 2008

Take me back to Ole Virginny.

Mike @ 8:19 am   |  Comments (3)
Filed under: boston sucks,Food,The Great Outdoors,Travel

Here at Gikku.Com, we find ourselves travelling quite a bit. As a service to our loyal readers, we are always happy to give a brief recount of our trips. This entry is no exception.

Caitlin and I went to visit her parents in Richmond, VA on Friday night and arrived back in Townie Town this morning. I can honestly report that Richmond is sort of a Townie Town “Southern Fried” version, full of stray dogs, angry Southern Townies, Food Lions (“ROOOAARRR for green meat!!!”), and lots of Jesus.

I mean, what else is there to do?

Well, Slip-n-Slide in the backyard at Cait’s friend Ashton’s house, for example.



Or you can smoke and throw things in the air (as demonstrated by Ashton).


Or, you can just remember the old tymes by eating GRITS.


June 11, 2008

Jealousy Alert: English Food

Mike @ 9:28 am   |  Comments (1)
Filed under: Food,Travel

When Allen and I were doing our Gikku-in-London project in January, we found a breakfast place that was worthy of celebration. However, we neglected to take a picture of the food itself so loyal Gikku.Com readers could experience it vicariously. I never make the same mistake twice. This time, Caitlin and I made the trek and we were not disappointed.


This post is equipped with BONUS Bangers-n-Mash.


May 27, 2008

Eatin’ Tubesteak, P-Town Style

Mike @ 6:47 am   |  Comments (1)
Filed under: Food


In honor of visiting Provincetown, I ate a footlong. After much deliberation, I chose John’s Hotdog stand although I was later informed that Mojo’s in Wellfleet was the dogstand of choice. Allen, the next time you visit we will take you there, although you will be required to wear a purple feather boa.

May 19, 2008

Overheard at My Office: Stuff White People Like to Say, Part 2

Allen @ 1:33 pm   |  Comments (1)
Filed under: Food,Short Conversations

[New York City, 12:30pm.  I am standing in the lobby of my office after coming back from getting lunch, Quiznos bag in hand, talking on my cell phone.]

Caucasian Business Dude: [comes out of the elevator, walks up to me]  Excuse me.  Hey.  Excuse me.

Me: [looks up at him inquisitively]  Yeah?

Caucasian Business Dude: Are you waiting for someone for that delivery?

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A group effort by Allen, Ben and Mike