Posts Tagged ‘Arugula’

For all of our lives, we have always heard about the importance of breakfast as the most important meal of the day. Whenever told about this, have we received an explanation about the origin of that? The statement exists as more than just a phrase – breakfast truly does monitor and control your mind and body for the rest of the day. What humans consume within an hour of waking up ultimately determines how a person will feel the rest of the day. A person that eats a breakfast full of vitamins and protein will take on the day with superior energy than someone who has something less nutritious for breakfast, such as pancakes with just butter and syrup. While a breakfast such as that will provide a heavy dosage of carbohydrates necessary for burning energy, a human body requires protein and vitamins in order to strengthen and grow the body. For this reason, nutritionists recommend eggs for breakfast, as eggs provide an abundant amount of protein in a small package. Many restaurants that serve breakfast will serve eggs in some fashion. For those that crave breakfast done right, seek out a local spot that specializes in quality ingredients, such as Roots Gourmet.

With a penchant for the best in local, organic, and sustainable ingredients, Roots Gourmet has quickly cemented itself as a popular choice for conscientious eaters. Co-founder Dalet Hamby believes that good things happen as a result of living a healthy lifestyle. She leads a vegan and gluten-free life, which provides her with a steady stream of energy & vibrancy, and wishes to share her brilliance through food at Roots Gourmet. Featuring a menu of items using local, organic, and sustainable ingredients, Roots Gourmet caters to eaters of all backgrounds, and not just for vegans and gluten-free people. Particularly, locals love Roots Gourmet for their breakfast selection, which not only features an omelet bar, but their famous Braised Skirt Steak & Egg Sandwich. Built atop your choice of bread (I recommend the whole wheat baguette), this breakfast sandwich carries a generous portion of tender 10-hour braised arrachera-style skirt steak, a sunny-side up egg, arugula, and hollandaise sauce. In essence, you could call this an Arrachera Benedict Sandwich, as long as you feel comfortable with a fried egg substituting a poached egg. Like all of their sandwiches, this entrée comes with a side of fruit, or another choice of sides, such as beet chips. Words cannot accurately describe the tenderness of the skirt steak. It may not carry the same marinated flavor of traditional carne asada, but the skirt steak retains its meaty beefy flavor, allowing you to savor the true nature of this grass-fed beef along with the egg which will likely ooze out the yolk all over the steak. You can score this sandwich during breakfast hours for just $9.

If you ever find yourself between Long Beach and Seal Beach in the morning, guide yourself over to Roots Gourmet and check out their breakfast menu. Their vast selection will leave you wanting to come back over and over to try everything on their menu, especially all of their fair-trade coffee and teas. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter to learn about their weekly specials as well.

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As we enter April, we enter the start of Q2 2013. The start of Q2 indicates the turn of a new season, and with the turn of a new season comes renovation and innovation. When people quote the phrase “reinventing the wheel,” the wheel in this case can represent practically anything. What approach can one use to identify an existing item or concept, and reconfigure it with typically improved performance? Sometimes, in order to progress and move forward, one has to regress back to the ground level, and decipher a new path to climb the tree. At the very core, what constitutes the foundation? Any tree starts with a seed. On that same train of thought, any good burger starts with the right patty. If you arrive at a restaurant that serves a well done burger by default, you should question the quality of the meat. The best chefs intend to cook burgers medium rare, as that cooks the outside of the patty while sealing the juices and flavor inside to create a full pink color that should run all the way to the ends of the patty. Very rarely do restaurants cook medium rare burgers as they should, but a small handful understand the craft of cooking a hamburger. For the upcoming season, seek out the following five burgers to understand the depth and quality that a medium rare burgers brings to the table. Also keep in mind for the locations that allow customization – judge them on their actual burger, not the additions you selected.

5. Hole In The Wall Burger Joint‘s Pretzel Bun Burger

More often than not, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant serves better food than large corporate restaurants. Local mom & pop hole-in-the-wall places focus more on authenticity and preserving their culture first over capitalizing on the popularity of food. Once in a while, a chef will play the sly card and open a place with a tricky name that forces unforced double takes. If you ever find yourself at the DMV in Santa Monica, you may have noticed a small strip mall of food places across the street, of which one of the spaces bears the name Hole In The Wall Burger Joint. Fans already know that the place existed elsewhere prior to moving to this new location. The charm of a basic design allows this business to fit in virtually anywhere, and serve a small variety that could satisfy anyone’s hunger. At Hole In The Wall, customers can fully customize their meal using their menu notepad that you can strip off and fill out to hand to the cashier. Customers select the patty, bread, spread, cheese, veggies, and extra additions. Also take a look at their specials that rotate weekly, as that features the burger-of-the-week and salad-of-the-week. First-time visitors should immediately go for the beef burger (medium rare, of course) paired with the pretzel bun. Out of all the breads, the pretzel bun does the best job at retaining the burger’s juices; however, this says much, as Hole In The Wall unapologetically cooks the burgers in such a way that they ooze with juices. Avoid piling on too many extras, as you want to savor the burger for the first time. Once you understand the flavors and juices behind this burger, you can then start throwing on your precious extras.

4. Silver Trumpet‘s Burger

Although hole-in-the-wall places tend to carry more authentic food, this does not mean that fancier places do not cook their food well. Even for a place that touts themselves as a bar & lounge, Silver Trumpet dishes out some amazing bar-like food. Located within the Wyndham Costa Mesa complex, Silver Trumpet serves your typical American cuisine – steaks, seafood, chicken, pasta, etc. However, slide on over to the bar & lounge area for an entirely new hip vibe not present in the main dining area. Here at the bar, you can order goodies like Lobster Corn Dogs, Crab Cakes, or Surf & Turf (Scallops & Pulled Pork, Carnitas style), while still ordering from the full bar and gazing at the TV if they show any games at the time. For the ultimate bar snack, you can order The Burger and slightly customize it with extras. This burger comes with cheddar, fried onions, lettuce, tomato, and a caper aioli. The aioli alone tastes wonderful and pairs well with any meat, not just the burger. Customers may choose to add bacon, avocado, a fried egg, caramelized onions, and/or sautéed mushrooms to their burger. Take care when selecting extras, as this burger already has a lot going on, especially with their aioli. However, nothing shall stop you from going extras crazy and adding them all, so… more power to you.

3. Slater’s 50/50‘s Peanut Butter & Jellousy A La Mode

We move from the hole-in-the-wall to the fancy, and now we venture into the eccentric. If you ask a random person on the street what they like on a burger, any item they mention not a vegetable will relate to some sort of salty or savory taste. People love their cheeses, bacon, sauces, and anything else as long as they can fulfill their sodium cravings. What about those bearing a sweet tooth? Sweet burgers do exist, but so few and far in-between that anyone seeking such a rare treat likely requires a guide. Luckily, I can say right now that Slater’s 50/50, with their dashingly sharp minds, has concocted strange creations involving flavors not typically associated with burgers, and their creations have landed a permanent spot on their menus. By now, most people have heard of a burger with peanut butter, jelly, and bacon, thanks to a few strong burger places in Southern California. Slater’s 50/50 would like to take that concept a step beyond by throwing in a scoop of ice cream to generate the Peanut Butter & Jellousy A La Mode. A spin on an existing menu item, customers can choose between a beef patty or the 50/50 patty, and that receives bacon, peanut butter, strawberry jam, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Every time I mentioned this burger, people always ask “Why though?” Truthfully, like their Donut Burger in the past, the vanilla ice cream does a great job at synchronizing the salty and the sweet, and brings it all together quite nicely. Whereas the original burger pitted salt versus sweet, the vanilla ice cream calms the two sides down so that they can embrace in the middle of the burger. This burger hides no tricks – as soon as you receive it, consume it immediately before the ice cream melts. While you chew your way through this burger, you can ask yourself what will Slater’s think of next.

2. Hopscotch Tavern‘s The Duke

Throughout all the restaurants in the world, few dedicate themselves to the art of grilling burgers. In today’s society where restaurants strive to serve the tastiest and most unique entrées, often times food items deemed as kids’ food get left behind, especially the burger. Thanks to the gastropub movement, the popularity of burgers has revitalized, so patrons understand that gastropubs will carry amazing burgers. Even if a gastropub follows a specialty, such as how Hopscotch Tavern specializes in slow-cooked foods, they will incorporate a burger on the menu somehow. Hopscotch carries burgers in a small section of their menu, but one particular burger deserves a space of its own rather than sharing a small room on the menu. Dubbed The Duke, this behemoth burger consists of a custom grind stuffed with cheddar cheese. This patty gets topped with pulled pork, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and American cheese. Consider this burger a modified double bacon cheeseburger, as it contains twice the amount of normal cheese, bacon strips, and a custom patty that contains more beef than their other burgers. Oh, and they threw in some pulled pork… just to call it something else besides a bacon cheeseburger. Bite through to the middle to get to the best part, where the cheese and juices of the burger slowly ooze out. Remember to get a little of everything on this burger in every bite, including the pulled pork. You must get messy while eating this burger to absorb the full experience of this burger.

1. Kings Row Gastropub‘s King’s Burger

Ever since an unmentioned chef developed his legendary burger, many others have crafted their own version of that hit burger. Some quote about imitation and flattery applies here, but sometimes the imitation bears the necessary means to surpass the original. Of all the burgers in this same category of burgers, Kings Row Gastropub has secured a bullseye in crafting a burger so scrumptious that customers return over and over just for it. If you ever find yourself in Pasadena, stroll into Kings Row and order their King’s Burger, cooked medium rare as always. This patty of 21-day dry-aged beef receives a generous helping of St. Agur Bleu Cheese, duck fat onions, and arugula, while aioli and white cheddar finish off the burger. The clashing flavors of the onions and cheese opens the palate, allowing customers to take in all the glory of the beef patty. Praise whoever discovered that combination – although the flavors clash, they still taste amazing together, likely due to their properties of opening the palate. I say they clash thanks to the massive up-front flavor rush from the duck fat and the overwhelming scent of the bleu cheese. Some customers cannot handle this burger due to both the duck fat and bleu cheese – to them I say hold your nose and just bite through it. If you want a great burger, you have to find them at a gastropub, and Kings Row has the burger you need in your life and in your belly.