Welcome to Get Sauced!

Here's a little bit about me:

I am a PR pro, marketer and fundraiser. I enjoy writing about food, wine, and craft beer. I'm a social media junkie who is always looking for the next great app. Follow me on twitter.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Buddy's --even when you don't feel like pizza!

Everyone knows that Buddy’s makes Detroit’s best pizza. It’s a Motown original, dating back 67 years.  I recently had the pleasure stopping at the original Buddy’s, near six mile and Conant, for something out of the ordinary.  Straying from my comfort zone, I explored other offerings off the menu and discovered something special.

Where’s the Beef?

It’s in Buddy’s made from scratch meatballs!  This is an appetizer meant for sharing, but you could also experience this as a main course lunch or dinner.  Four meatballs tossed in marinara or meat sauce, topped with melty mozzarella and served up with grilled garlic toast. Divine. Buddy’s meatballs are made from fresh ground beef and veal, and taste like, well, BEEF! There’s no mistaking what these are. It’s not a bunch of filler or chemicals or turkey parts, etc.  Buddy’s chefs knock these out fresh daily. If they served this up with some fresh warm pizza bread, I’d probably just move in.

Not Your Kids’ Nuggets

Chicken tenders. That ubiquitous food which kids everywhere seem to inhale on a daily basis. Buddy’s makes these good enough for adults—fresh strips of white meat chicken dipped in buttermilk and then tossed in seasoned flour and fried in canola oil.  Another item off the app menu, which can easily become a meal.

Soups On

Buddy’s minestrone is thick like a chili. Some places serve minestrone that’s disappointingly watery, but this is thick, and choc full of tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and pasta. All Buddy’s soups are homemade, down to the dumplings in the chicken and dumpling soup.

Not Quite Poutine

Buddy’s takes a generous helping of seasoned thick wedgecut fries and layers them with a blend of mozzarella and cheddar, and bacon-- because everything is truly better with bacon. This is a hearty side dish that you’ll want to share.

Finally a main course

Buddy’s makes several baked pastas, including mostaccioli, cheese or spinach lasagna, mac and cheese, and two types of ravioli.  Choose pasta pillows stuffed with a creamy ricotta cheese or hearty meat filling, topped with marinara or meat sauce, and then baked with fresh mozzarella.  The pasta is just past al dente, and the filling, like everything else, made from scratch. Buddy's meat sauce is made with fresh ground beef, veal and pork--for those who need to know.

So there’s the travel log of Buddy’s non-pizza items.  Comfort food, made by chefs, and served up by staff who have been around for the long haul.  At the original Buddy’s, General Manager Dennis Kot counts 37 years with the company, starting out as a pizza cook! Several waitresses and kitchen staffers have been at this location for 10 or 20 years. In the turnover prone restaurant industry, this kind of longevity speaks volumes about management and ownership.

For more about Buddy’s, find them on the web and Twitter.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Souped up lentils are perfect for a chilly night

We were thinking about what to make for a quick and easy dinner, when suddenly a recipe came via email from Brys Estate.  Brys, as you should know, is a fantastic winery up on Old Mission Peninsula, just a short drive from Traverse City. Their pinot noir, cab franc/merlot, and ‘Signature Red’ are outstanding.  But I digress.   

Brys' recipe for 'Lentil Soup with Spinach, Chorizo and Bacon' provides a winter warm up dish, with just a little heat. The chorizo sausage fits perfectly with the lentils and fire roasted tomatoes. Bacon—everything tastes better with bacon.  The crumbled goat cheese garnish adds a rich creaminess. If you don't like goat cheese, reconsider. I also toyed with adding some avocado slices—next bowl.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 strips thick cut bacon - cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
  • 8 oz uncooked ground chorizo sausage (if buying the chorizo in link form, remove the casing and crumble the sausage)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 medium carrots, 1/4 inch diced
  • 1 - 15oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 - 15oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils - rinsed and picked over
  • 8 cups chicken stock (I used ‘Better than Bullion’)
  • 2 - 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt - to taste – (I didn’t add any salt)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper 
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • goat cheese for garnish


In a large soup pot, fry the bacon over medium high heat for about 4 minutes until it begins to crisp up. Add the ground chorizo and saute 3-5 minutes longer until the chorizo is browned. Next add in the chopped onion and carrots. Saute another 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Toss in the garlic and saute about a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant. 

Add the lentils, cannellini beans, can of tomatoes, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the lentils have softened.

Stir in the salt and pepper gradually, after tasting the soup. I didn’t add any salt, but you might want to. Before serving, turn off the heat, add the spinach and stir until the spinach has just wilted. Serve the soup in large bowls with crusty bread, and top each bowl with crumbled goat cheese.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Find this recipe and more on the Brys Estate Winery website. 
Brys is on twitter too!