Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon

Duly inspired from a photo of an LA hot dog taken by fellow CCB heapster Sausagehead, K and I set forth on a semi-dangerous mission to find some overly decorated versions of the classic Americano favorite. While I had originally picked a couple of hot dog havens in Reseda for this experiment, it just seemed too damned far (later perhaps) so we took the rapido drive to Pasadena instead. Our first stop was The Slaw Dogs where the list of dogs, links, toppings, and sides is long and wide. K opted for the summery Picnic Dog: grilled Vienna all-beef, BBQ sauce, onion rings, potato salad, and pickle spear. I went straight in for The Original: steamed dog, beer chili, shredded queso, mustard, chopped cebollas, and cole slaw. K handled her dog with relative ease while mine was certainly a knife and fork affair. Unfortunately, we skipped the Belgian style (or sweet potato) fries here in order to save room for later. The Slaw Dogs also maintains a creative daily dog special board along with a solid selection of international cervezas.
Next item on the agenda was the Dog Haus only a few blocks away. This place boasts the motto: best of the wurst, so I felt an obligation to include it in our tubular research.
Packing an impressive arsenal of sausages, burgers, and sides the Dog Haus is truly locked and loaded. All Haus Dogs come with a signature 1/4 lb. all-beef skinless served on King's Hawaiian bread (3 rolls split together). This is a bold bread choice because it ensures a sweetness that some purists might snub, but for me it worked out just fine. K went 'healthy' with the Sooo Cali: mixed greens, aguacate, tempura fried onions, diced tomate, and spicy basil aioli. Noticing a connection between my favorite dog (Tijuana style, yes they are better south of the border) and an item on the menu, I ordered the B.L.A.S.T: smoked bacon, lettuce, aguacate, sliced serranos, tomate, topped with mayo. We also ordered some papas fritas but after entering into a coma de comida about halfway through I can't seem to remember much about them. Everybody loves hot dogs which is why they remain a vast and ever-changing food topic. I look forward to addressing (eating) this dynamic subject again but I think I'll wait until the real dog days of summer come steamrolling through the Southland.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

I'm sure you know the feeling of craving Indian/Pakistani comida and lots of it right? We've all been in this dire situation and luckily there's a simple way to deal with it. Find a local lunch buffet and go for the oro. Today, I decided to relive some fond memories of working a tipico day in the sometimes glorious and occasionally mysterious ciudad of San Francisco. Not that the work was always agreeable, but the camaraderie regarding comida was (and undoubtedly still is) second to none. My first stop was Mezbaan under the old Pasadena Hotel where the steam table was still in full swing. Although the selection here is on the small side, the quality is muy grande: salad, sauces (including an excelente chutney), fish pakora, veggie samosa, tandoori pollo chunks, superb basmati rice, chicken korma, daal, saag, and spicy eggplant all served with a dense naan. As and added bonus I chatted up my waiter who, like myself, walked into this place for the first time that afternoon. This earned him some stern looks from the cashier but my telepathic "sure, he's a shitty server but what a nice fellow" glances back seemed to really smooth things over.
True to SF form, I followed this feast up with a trip to the candy store. After a snappy jaunt down the arroyo, I arrived at Galco's soda pop stop in Highland Park (since 1955) which truly is a mecca of bottled beverages of all shapes and sizes--seltzer and cerveza included.
 Perusing the aisles of Galco's has to be some of the most thirst quenching research known to man. And while I didn't exactly find the items I was looking for (Exhibits A and B), I did make off with a some noteworthy sodas: Cheerwine, Bundaberg Root, and Nesbitt's orange with a roll of Bottle Caps thrown in for good measure. My reenactment of days of yore was a standing success except for the lack of good company, Doors references, and most importantly all those vitamins wrapped in worn and crinkled foil.
 For JG, who always had a thing or two about food.