Well, I’ve traveled to 41 of the 50 states and enjoyed barbecue in many of them, including Missouri, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas. Sample-size caveats obviously apply: I’ve only sampled barbecue from a couple of places in most of the heralded barbecue hotspots.
But at the same time, I’ve done plenty of barbecue experimentation myself in my home smoker and enough exploration of New York City’s ample barbecue circuit to assert with some confidence that Kansas City offers this nation’s preeminent barbecue style. That’s not to say delicious barbecue cannot be found elsewhere, of course, but Kansas City’s focus on pork and its sauce’s blend of sweet, spicy and tangy flavor make that city’s version the best. It’s also the standard when we think of typical barbecue, but some things become standard for good reasons.
Fun-sized Twix bars. Here at the office, we have free snacks in the kitchen area, including fun-sized candy bars. Whenever it’s restocked, the candy disappears in this order: Twix, then Butterfinger, then Snickers, then Milky Way, then Three Musketeers. (The Starbursts go: red then pink then orange, and then there’s always a big pile of yellow still leftover by the next time they’re restocked.)
So based on that research, I’d say Twix bars will most satisfy your trick-or-treaters. Also, based on empirical evidence, they are delicious. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are also cool.
Honestly, I don’t love Tabasco. I prefer a saucier hot sauce like Cholula, Sriracha or Frank’s. But because I generally employ hot sauce when it’s made available to me, I’ve sampled every variety of Tabasco except their Buffalo and Sweet and Spicy flavors. Off the top of my head, I’d rank them as follows: Chipotle, Habanero, Green Jalapeno, Garlic Pepper, Traditional.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know that anyone has yet truly nailed the Garlic-Pepper sauce, a shame because it’d be crazy useful if someone could.
Oddly, my wife might be the only person I’ve ever known who does not seem to think I’m that weird. Maybe she’s just too used to me by now. But I mentioned a few weeks ago in conversation how people usually think I’m a pretty weird guy, and she seemed absolutely baffled by it. I think I look pretty normal, so perhaps that throws her. I don’t know; it’s not like I’m trying to be weird.
As for the Taco Bell and the sandwiches: She tolerates the former and appreciates the latter. She’ll go for a Cheesy Gordita Crunch now and then but she doesn’t love Taco Bell in the same giddy way I do. But she frequently benefits from my sandwich experimentation and exploration in the kitchen and around the city, so she’s fully on board with that. She even knew me in my deli-man days, and I’m fairly certain I finally won her over on the strength of my sandwiches. I made really good sandwiches.
Oddly, I no longer listen to most of the bands I listened to in the 90s, and many of the bands I do listen to now were active in the 90s but not particularly popular then. So for their popularity during the decade, their close association with the music of the decade, the way their music from that decade has held up over time, and their general awesomeness, I’m going with Soundgarden. And for a variety of reasons, I’m choosing to ignore that Soundgarden recently got back together and made an album. Lalalala, I can’t hear you, etc.
It’s funny to me, in retrospect, how I sort of lumped all grunge-rock together at the time when now I listen to it and all the bands sound so completely different. I guess it was a scene, and they all wore plaid shirts and ripped jeans and everything. Anyway, Soundgarden ruled. And look at how thoroughly 90s-ish this video was: