Month: September 2004

You May Have Heard Me on the Radio Last Week 

You may have heard me on the radio last week. Not my semi-regular appearance on KIDO 580 AM on Wednesday mornings but on KBOI 670 AM on Thursday. We received a call in the office from a KBOI reporter inquiring about porn onBoise Weekly‘s Web site. Seeing as how I seem to be the only staff member in the office who regularly visits our Web site (I am the webmaster after all, so it is my responsibility) they forwarded the inquiry to me.

I was bewildered. We do not have a policy of posting porn, porn links, porn images, porn stories, porn fries or porn anything on www.boiseweekly.com. For the record, that does not mean nonudity as nudity and porn are two different things–although you’d be hard pressed to find any nudity on our site either. I inquired of our regular BWFORUM members where such porn may be found on our site. I did not find any porn links or mentions in the discussion board so I was confused. A helpful BWFORUM member pointed me to the membership roster accessible by clicking a small link. Lo and behold, there they were. Non-named members (which float to the top of an alphabetical list) had used our open membership policy to promote their outlandish porn sites like sexymilkmaids.com. Since discovering the links I have turned them off this URL display option in the membership roster.

We at Boise Weekly support all forms of free speech and are not attempting to determine what is and what is not porn. However, BWFORUM was not set up to be a commercial spam site, no matter if the plug is for shoes, breasts or enlargement services. The forum was set up to be an open discussion where members must be polite and what is said there could be said in any public forum. In other words, if people misbehave I ban them.

What disturbs me even more is that the person who discovered and was upset about the porn-link loophole did not inform us. Instead, they reported it to a radio news station that caters to the conservative listeners in our region. Had we received the complaint directly we could have fixed the matter. But, no. They wanted to make a big issue of it and wanted to make us look bad. What is funny about the whole situation is that while I fixed the porn-link loophole immediately after I was interviewed for the radio news story, we continued to get an increase in traffic to our Web site for days afterward. Build a Web site (with rumored porn links) and they will come.

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Eagle Rib Shack

If there is one thing that comes close to heaven on Earth, it is perfect BBQ. Although I am not a religious man, it is possible that a little slice of heaven was shorn off and dropped to this blue marble in downtown Eagle. While some may say, “Not another barbecue place,” I say, “Bring ’em on.” If every other type of food except cooked and charred meat disappeared from the face of the planet, I would still be happy.

While I have toyed with vegetarianism, my roots always bring me back to flesh. Roadside stands, dives, holes-in-the-wall with a grill out back fed by mesquite or oak, homemade sauces and meat wrapped up in butcher paper (whether devoured on the premises or not) were the haunts of choice for my dad and me in central Texas.

In the past decade or so barbecue has risen above its humble, rural roots to become fancy cuisine with sit-down restaurants, waiters and actual plates. Fancy electronic grilling machines and ovens cook the meat to perfection. While such flesh is no doubt good, I get very nostalgic for old school BBQ joints.

The first thing I noticed as I pulled up to the Eagle Rib Shack was the patio–nice and shady. Inside, the menu board at the meat counter read like a butcher shop: meat by the pound, slab or link. I have trouble maintaining control in situations like these. When you compound the matter by sending me on a mission to test all a restaurant has to offer, I simply must order quantity to test the quality. I stuck with the standards–after all, if they can’t get those right there is no use trying the other menu items. Slow-cooked beef brisket, homemade potato salad, baked beans, a link of sausage for my carnivore-in-training, a famous Texas beer that I am thrilled to see now being distributed in Idaho–Shiner Bock–and for dessert, a half slab of baby back ribs. Everything was wrapped up in butcher paper, and a young lass helped us out to the patio table. I was excited.

Here was a “Thrill of the Grill” BBQ winner. I had high expectations. Upon arrival at our table I noticed a six-pack of sauces. Actually, according to the menu, this fine establishment has eight sauces, all homemade. There were three Kansas City style–mild, original and kicked up alongside Texas style, Memphis style, Carolina Southern style and a spicy wing sauce. I had to try them all but almost didn’t have enough meat to do so. If you have ever wondered what the difference is between regional BBQ sauces I’d recommend that you run down to Eagle Rib Shack. They’ve done it right.

While the sauces were incredible and the sides fantastic, the meat was darn near perfection. The brisket was so tender you could cut it with a fork, the sausage was cooked just right to remain juicy and the ribs were cooked so slowly that the sweet sauce had carmelized on the outer edges of the meat. The ribs literally fell apart as I was eating them. I determined that Eagle Rib Shack has certainly got the basics down, so next time I will return to try the other exciting things on the menu like Kobe beef back ribs, pulled pork, tri-tip roast and buffalo back ribs.

My only constructive criticism of the place: Lose the fountain soda machine. Then find room for a horizontal cooler filled with a variety of soda and beer in glass bottles and make sure you have it fully stocked with Shiner Bock and Big Red soda.

–Bingo Barnes beep beeps like a rabid roadrunner.