Posts Tagged ‘Garlic’

Perception never falls into the simple categorization of black versus white. Perception falls anywhere within a boundless spectrum of antipodes. The problem lies with people’s ability to conceive perceptions beyond their scope. You can ask a person what type of music they love the most, while the next person may loathe that type of music. Most people claim to not like country music, yet the truth reveals that they simply have no preference for it; however, few people actually get adamant about the music. Going beyond preferences commonly exists in food and beverages. Where one person may call something “the best,” another will claim something else as better. For example, my father swears by the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, unable to accept that pricier fine wines taste better. Some people say that no other burger can top a common burger from corporate fast food or corporate restaurants. People truly get attached to their fast food burgers and refuse to believe that better burgers exist out there. Whether or not you claim to know about the best burger in the world, I encourage you to seek out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season and give them a try. Who knows – maybe you will alter your opinions after one bite!

5. Eat Chow‘s Chow BBQ Burger

Portion size means a lot to the typical person who goes out to eat. Fine-dining restaurants focus on quality over quantity, so while fine-dining entrées appear small, it makes up for it with outstanding flavor. Generally, people want that happy medium between fine-dining and fast food, a restaurant that serves high-quality yet affordable food, something that Eat Chow specializes in. Now with three locations in Orange County, Eat Chow does not boast too much, perhaps because their foods speaks for itself. Eat Chow takes common foods and makes them well, from their burgers to the sandwiches to the entrées and more. Clearly a lot of care has gone into the dishes, evident by how much of the food’s natural flavor one can taste. In addition to the heightened food quality, Eat Chow doles up generous portion sizes too, such as in their Chow BBQ Burger. This grass-fed chuck patty comes topped with housemade barbecue sauce, smoked gouda cheese, crispy onion strings, bacon, mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes on a brioche bun. You can take on this huge burger for just $13.

4. Ocean Diner‘s Kiss Me Kate Burger

Different ingredients yield different flavors to the palate. Some ingredients have mild flavors, while some ingredients have extreme flavors. Some of the extreme-flavored ingredients may come with inauspicious side effects, such as spicy foods attacking the taste buds or foods invoking halitosis, or bad breath. Some of the latter ingredients taste so good that people often endure the side effects, such as garlic. For a calamity of ingredients that can cause bad breath, Ocean Diner has found just the combination. From the outside, Ocean Diner looks like your typical small-town American diner. However, Ocean Diner truly has some amazing things going on in here, such as their Kiss Me Kate Burger. This specialty burger comes with bacon-roasted garlic puree, grilled onions, and goat cheese. This $11.95 comes served with French fries, mashed potatoes, brown rice, coleslaw, or cottage cheese. As a special menu item, it will not last forever, so head over to Ocean Diner fast before this burger leaves their menu!

3. green2Go‘s Grass-Fed Bison Burger

A simple human truth states that people desire control in their lives. When someone lacks control over a situation, they may start to feel stress or panic. Give someone control, and they feel a lot more comfortable over their situation. This applies to all walks of life, including food, and green2Go gives you that control over your food. green2Go uses only the freshest all-natural ingredients to ensure pure flavor and nutrition. While you may certainly order any of their items as the menu describes, green2Go proudly offers a Build-Your-Own section where you get to dress up your favorite menu items, such as their Grass-Fed Bison Burger. This bison patty comes on your choice of brioche or squaw bread, or a lettuce-wrap, organic lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a dill pickle. From there, you can select up to four add-ons to accompany your plate, which you can pick by walking up to the BYO bar to the left of the front counter. For $16, this burger comes to you with your choice of a side salad or roasted mini potatoes.

2. Abricott‘s Lemongrass Chicken Burger

Who says that a burger must contain a ground beef patty? Not all burgers must contain beef.  We have seen multiple different types of burgers, such as turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and even vegetarian patty burgers. We rarely ever see a chicken burger, much less a chicken burger done right. Abricott would like to turn that perception around. Known for their French-Asian cuisine, Abricott remains a staple in local Pasadena food, and has attracted the attention of locals and travelers alike. Pasadena brings in huge amounts of travelers between the convention center and the Rose Bowl, and travelers often want to savor the local flavor. Abricott’s menu covers multiple forms of food, including their Lemongrass Chicken Burger. Not just any old burger, this burger contains a ground chicken patty seasoned with lemongrass, topped with tomato, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise served on a bun with coconut tamarind sauce. At $10.95, you can taste this unique burger that few other places can match in flavor.

1. Gus’s Barbecue‘s Brisket Burnt End Burger

When one orders a burger, one can typically expect a ground beef patty supported by various toppings, correct? The beef patty usually stars as the protagonist in the story known as the burger, but once in a while a burger may feature more than one co-protagonist. For a story featuring more than one star, we turn to Gus’s Barbecue in South Pasadena. A local barbecue legend, Gus’s Barbecue has done barbecue right for such a long time that they know exactly how to apply their prized meats to other forms of food. For example, take their Brisket Burnt End Burger. This beef burger comes topped with beef brisket burnt ends, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, and mustard on a toasted pretzel bun. All burgers come with your choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, potato salad, cole slaw, or BBQ baked beans. You can pound this mound of meat at Gus’s Barbecue for $13.95.

Two months into 2014 have come and gone, meaning that by now, the majority of people who resolved on New Year’s to get fit have already dropped their resolution. Stories about losing weight fast typically derive from get-rich-quick scams, because no known trick exists for rapidly losing weight. For those who have stuck with their resolutions and have lost some weight, kudos to you. For those who have dropped that resolution, or never made a resolution in the first place, you have free will to indulge yourself in the wonders of the world. Of course, over-indulgence can lead to severe health problems or, in the worst-case scenario, death. The word moderation comes into play here, as any human should always do and consume everything in moderation. Unfortunately for that notion, we live in America. We live in a country that boasts about size. Regardless of what the silent majority says, size matters, and Leadbelly’s Barbecue also believes that size matters.

Leading the way for BBQ so close to the Cal State Fullerton campus, Leadbelly’s Barbecue satisfies that BBQ craving that locals tend to not tend to. Now in the space of the former Shortstop BBQ, Leadbelly’s claims to serve up traditional Southern-style BBQ. While many people will picture meat with BBQ sauce, Leadbelly’s differs by emphasizing meat portions rather than sauce. In most of their dishes, the absence of sauce feels unknown to most palates. The absence of sauce allows customers to better taste the meat’s true flavors. For example, their Loaded Pork Garlic Fries comes with the sauce on the side by default. This massive mountain of fries gets smothered with minced garlic, pulled pork, chopped bacon, sliced pork belly, Parmesan & pepper jack cheeses, and chives. White gravy comes on the side, although customers may request the gravy on the fries. However, you should always take some bites at the start without the sauce. This pork attack contains enough meaty goodness that adding the sauce may muddle the flavors of the meat. Bear in mind that Leadbelly’s serves craft beer, so for a beer pairing for this monstrosity, you cannot go wrong with an IPA to cut through all that pork.

This dish can easily serve four and costs just $10. Pull up to Leadbelly’s Barbecue in Fullerton just off the 57 and 91 freeways, and enjoy large portions in a small space.

Despite having started over four years ago, gourmet food trucks have survived the test of time and remains a solid trend today. Anyone who only believes in the old “roach coach” stereotype has not ventured out to try food from a gourmet food truck. Nowadays however, an abundance of new food trucks have surfaced called their food gourmet, attempting to capitalize on the uprising popularity of food trucks. Sadly, many of the new food trucks make food of mediocre quality, thus tarnishing the reputation of the true gourmet food trucks. I go out and test these food trucks so you can know which ones deserve your patronage. Check out the five food trucks below that I recommend seeking out this winter. You may find some pleasant & delectable surprises at these, as well as any food trucks that they roll with when you visit them.

5. Texas Chili Pie Co.


West Texas Egg Roll

If you want to open a gourmet food truck, you certainly cannot go wrong with comfort food. Food truck followers can tolerate new and experimental foods, but to the masses, the food trucks have to serve something familiar to get that initial following going. Rolling out almost once a week or less, Texas Chili Pie Co. brings a taste of Texas to Los Angeles. This food truck serves traditional and fusion variants of Fritos & Chili. Many of their creations come in a tortilla bowl, while some get rolled into an egg roll and fried. The result of the latter comes out looking like a fried burrito stuffed with chili or BBQ beef. If you want to appeal to many people, how can you go wrong with chili and BBQ beef? Honestly, for as simple as it appears, it tastes comforting, despite how many calories each pie contains. If you crave a meaty guilty pleasure, seek out Texas Chili Pie Co.

4. TJ’s Woodfire Pizza


Quatro Formaggi w/ Prosciutto

Typical American consumers order pizza in order to feed a large amount of people for a low price. Although not mass produced, the quality remains fairly average. When you start to see an increase in the quality of the pizza, typically the size decreases as a tradeoff. Sometimes you need this size decrease in order to deliver a high quality pizza fit for one serving. For pizza like this, follow the large woodfire oven on wheels known as TJ’s Woodfire Pizza. More than a food truck, this massive woodfire oven in a trailer broils authentic Neapolitan woodfired pizza for customers in no time flat. The menu contains typical toppings of pizza, such as classic like margherita and BBQ chicken to lesser common toppings like quattro formaggi (four cheese) and chicken pesto. Technically one pizza can serve two people, but after one bite, why bother sharing? You will want the entire pizza to yourself once you bite into the soft thin crust with a harmonizing blend of sauce, cheese, and toppings. Make this one pizza pie you will want seconds of.

3. Mandoline Grill


Grilled Pork & Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Salad

With the influx of gourmet food trucks, people had to shed their preconceived notions of the roach coach stereotype. Instead, most food trucks received a new branding of “good food, not good for you” in response to the massive amounts of calories, carbs, fats, and more in the food. Since most food trucks fall under this category, finding a food truck with healthy eats feels refreshing. As one of LA’s few vegan-friendly food trucks, Mandoline Grill proves that you can eat great food that will not make you feel guilty about eating it. This Vietnamese food truck serves sandwiches, noodles, salads, tacos, and nachos, all Vietnamese style complete with meat and veggies. While sandwiches and noodles contain plenty of carbs, people watching their diet should look towards the tacos or salads. Tacos come on corn tortillas and contain meat, pickled carrots & daikon, cilantro, and hot sauce. All these ingredients benefit your health more than do harm. For a larger and even healthier meal, opt for a salad – mixed greens, cucumbers, pickled carrots & daikon, shallots, and peanuts, served with your choice of sauce. With a few substitutions, anything on this food truck can come out as vegan. Thanks to Mandoline Grill, you can have your food truck food, and eat it too!

2. Garlic Scapes


Black Garlic Patty Melt

Many food trucks focus their cuisine around a broad category or region, such as Mexican, Chinese, or Korean food. Others base their menu around a type of food, such as burgers or tacos. Rarely, food trucks will dedicate their entire menu to one ingredient. We rarely see these types of food trucks because of its small niche and difficulty in maintaining a following. But when the marketing and demand exist, the people will come to eat. Garlic Scapes dedicates their menu to the love of garlic. As their name suggests, all food from this food truck contains garlic in some form. As an acquired taste, some people love it, some people loathe it. For someone like me who loves garlic, I usually ask for more. Garlic Scapes tries to find the middle ground in terms of how much garlic to include in every item. For garlic lovers, always ask them to put more garlic in your food, as you may not taste enough if you order it stock off their menu. Take warning: most of their menu items tend to fill you up, so if you want to save room, split your food with someone.

1. Patty Wagon


La Vie En Rose

More often than not, quality and quantity relate indirectly to each other. When you gain quality, you sacrifice quantity. Consumers have varying preferences, so sticking with one cannot always realistically occur. With today’s gourmet food truck community, the industry prefers quality over quantity, and Patty Wagon adheres to this with their food. Patty Wagon utilizes the freshest sustainable grass-fed beef in their mini hamburgers, indicating less calories & fat, and more vitamins & nutrients in the beef. Bigger than sliders but smaller than full-sized hamburgers, Patty Wagon’s mini hamburgers contains exquisite toppings on their beef patties with fresh bread baked daily locally. They even named every menu item after a 30’s or 40’s song because back then people ate real beef before industrial chain food existed. One would normally find this type of quality in a restaurant, but as full hamburgers. High quality mini hamburgers on a food truck = GENIUS. Go try one of these mini hamburgers and become a believer!