Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Marie Callender's Backyard BBQ

By Tim Tinker

As the weather changes, schools start, and football rages, don’t forget the barbeque. And while barbequed food and tailgating go hand-in-hand, what about all those pesky meals in between game day? That’s exactly where Backyard BBQ and Pie Combos at Marie Callender’s come in. 

The Wife and I ventured out to Marie Callender’s on a recent weeknight to try their new take on the classic Fall fare. She had the Tri-Tip Salad (Crisp lettuce with tomatoes, jack and cheddar cheese, chopped hard-boiled egg, red onion, and croutons tossed in tangy ranch. Topped with gorgonzola cheese, slow-roasted tri-tip and BBQ sauce). The salad was generously sized and had a smart balance of ingredients. The Tri-Tip was savory and tender. The Wife was most pleased and did not share very much. I had the Build-Your-Own BBQ Platter—you choose two BBQ favorites (Tri-Tip, Shrimp Skewer, St. Louis Bibs, BBQ Chicken Breast or Crispy Tenders), or build on top of one of the three stand-alone entrees (BBQ Turkey Sliders, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, or the Tri-Tip Salad that The Wife ordered). I had the Tri-Tip and St. Louis Ribs and was extremely pleased with both selections. The Ribs were fall off the bone flawless, and the Tri-Tip was cooked just right. The Platter also comes with your choice of two sides (Mac & Cheese, BBQ Baked Beans, Sweet Potato Fries, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, French Fries, or Loaded Mashed Potatoes) and I went with the Loaded Mashed Potatoes and Mac & Cheese. The Mac & Cheese was awesome, with added bacon—if you’re into that, and the Loaded Mashed Potatoes were smooth and flavorful. 

And then there was pie. The BBQ combos all include a slice of Pie to top it off. Marie Callender’s is famous for their pies, and for good reason. The Wife had the Apple and I had the Chocolate Cream. Our ample slices did not disappoint. The Apple was fresh and had flakey, buttery crust. The Chocolate Cream was delightfully decadent and the perfect ending to our midweek BBQ adventure.

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