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BBQ & Breakfast with Jack McDavid
Wednesday, July 05, 2006 | posted by Mike

I’m sure that many of you spent your 4th of July like I did, enjoying way too much grilled meat at some sort of get-together. The barbecue got me thinking about one of the Food Network shows I used to watch when I first started getting interested in cooking, Grillin’ & Chillin’. The main hook of the show was that you had Bobby Flay, the gas-fueled city boy, and Jack McDavid, the no-nonsense charcoal proponent. The best part was watching Bobby’s attitude annoy Jack, who would basically treat him like a disobedient 13-year-old. Having been fed a non-stop stream of Bobby since then, I think it’s easy to sympathize with Jack.

So, I liked Jack because he seemed to take his food seriously. What I didn’t realize at the time was that Jack, despite his Virginia roots, was the owner/chef of two restaurants (Jack’s Firehouse and the Down Home Diner) in Philadelphia, which is only a short ride from the TVFF.com offices in New Jersey. So, one day I decided to take a weekday off from work and spend a day in Philly shopping and visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art. But, to start off my day, I pulled up a stool at the Down Home Diner, located in Philadelphia’s historic Reading Terminal Market.

It didn’t surprise me at all that Jack was working in the kitchen that morning…he seems like a hands-on sort of guy. You can see straight through to the kitchen from the counter, and he looked like he was working his cooks pretty hard back there. On the other hand, when someone else sitting at the counter sent back a note, he gave a wave and a smile. Again, somehow I wasn’t surprised.

Oh yeah…the food! I got the Sawmill Gravy and Biscuits with Sausage and it was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.

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