Monday, October 4, 2010

Kogi Korean BBQ truck, Los Angeles

I swear on my life that I will never love any other burrito. Ever. As my trip took me to LA, a friend of mine suggested we find this Korean BBQ truck that he so dearly loved. Sure, why not. I wasn't overly amped since I've had my fair share of street meat. It's definitely good, but I wouldn't blog about it normally.

He found the truck's location for the next few hours and we hopped over there. There was a pretty decent line and we were starving. It was recommended I get the Short Rib burrito and my friend got the special quesadilla of the day. First bite in and BAM! Nothing I've ever had before. I've had so many different types of seasoned food but this flavor knocked me off my feet. I was not expecting it. Each bite I took I tasted a different Korean/Thai/Mexican dish. One bite was like Pad Thai...another like Beef Pad See Ew.

I still think about this burrito and it is my mission to find something close to it here in Salt Lake. To find the truck's location per day visit: Also, on the down low they also serve their food at the Alibi Room in Culver City.

Alibi Room
12236 W Washington Blvd

Arthur Bryant's Barbeque, Kansas City, MO

I'll be honest. Thinking about this place again makes my heart hurt. Believe me, I enjoyed myself here and I'd recommend it to anyone passing through Kansas City. However, you will eat an entire cow while you're there. I even had so much leftover I refused to throw it away and therefore allowed it to travel with us and may have permanently left a meaty smell behind in my car.

Kansas City locals are a huge fan of Arthur Bryant's. How could they not be? It's everything a meat lover could ask for and certainly gave my stomach a run for it's money. I'm making it sound bad but you do get a lot of food for what you pay which of course is a good thing. Between us we got the beef, sausage and burnt ends. The meat you choose gets covered in BBQ sauce and placed on little tiny pieces of white bread. If you are into french fries they are also incredible and worth the extra roll around your stomach.

Not too far from here are some great jazz museums to check out if you are looking for a walk afterwards.

1727 Brooklyn Avenue

Monell's, Nashville, TN

Continuing on our cross country adventure, we decided to stop in Nashville in hopes to experience only the finest southern cooking. We found the right place. Monell's is a restaurant inside of a house purchased for I'm guessing that reason: To feel at home.

You walk in and see a number of large tables situated between the two dining rooms. The waitress sends you to a table where you are seated with complete strangers. As you mingle a bit, discussing where you've come from and where you're headed, bowl after bowl of different kinds of food are delivered to your table to be passed around and shared family style. Everything you could imagine.. mashed potatoes, fried chicken, grilled chicken, pork, sweet tea, corn on the cob, peach cobbler, collard greens, biscuits and gravy and then some.

Not only was it delicious but it was different and I was glad we had the chance to stop there.

1235 6th Avenue North

Friday, September 10, 2010

Salerno's: Lexington, Virginia

Some of you are well aware I made the cross-country drive from New York to LA, then back to Salt Lake City. As part of this journey I had the chance to stop at some places that I once loved and some that were only a myth to be confirmed real.

This stop in Lexington, Virginia, is one that I once loved. I went to school about 7 miles away in the middle of nowhere and decent food was hard to come by. Salerno's became a staple. I actually ended up working there the last year I lived in Virginia. It was actually really fun.

The menu was rather large, including all sort of cold and hot subs, pizza, salads, pasta, and desserts. My favorites? Oh boy. The chicken ranch pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, roast beef cold sub, and the cheesesteak. Oh and one other: The Nate Special. It is not called the Nate Special anymore, but when it was first invented it was named after it's creator, who happens to be a friend of mine. The Nate Special is essentially a hot wing sandwich. That's exactly what it tastes like.

It is a friendly place to go to and the owner will often come around and chat it up with you as you dine. It's about 45 minutes North of Roanoke on I-81.

115 S Jefferson St
Lexington, VA
(picture shown is Chicken Ranch pizza)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

NYC's Pride and Joy

Pizza: New York is known for it. No where else can beat it. Except maybe Italy, but I haven't been there so for now New York is the only pizza worth dreaming about. I wouldn't say I'm a "Pizza Snob," because, well, I'm satisfied with a cheap, frozen one from the supermarket.

It's hard to tell what makes NY pizza top all the rest. Maybe it's the water, maybe the local tomatoes used in the sauce, maybe just because NY is awesome and there's no way around not having great pizza.

I will say this: It's everywhere. I really didn't meet a slice that wasn't exceptional. Actually, wait. There was this place near Union Square that tasted like nothing, but I've tried to forget about it. Grimaldi's, Lombardi's, Patsy's. Even non-New Yorkers have at least heard of these. They are definitely good, but I'd like to share my Top 3 favorite slices in the city.

1. The Margherita slice from Artichoke

Artichoke is known for what they are titled after: the Artichoke slice. It is absolutely amazing. It's like someone dumped a spinach/artichoke dip on top of a crust and declared it a gourmet creation. They also offer a Crab, Sicilian and Margherita slice. I am here to talk about the Margherita. It is almost too unique tasting to describe. So many flavors swirling in your mouth. Parmesan, mozzarella, basil, tomato. You'll just have to taste for yourself.

14th between 2nd and 1st aves
Cash Only/Standing room only

2. Mezza Luna

I found this place because it's right next to my old place of employment. It's just a hole in the wall, but the first time I stepped in there a slice caught my eye. There was a delicious looking Chicken Tomato slice that I couldn't steer away from. It was soon purchased and brought back to make a fine lunch on a workday. I figured it would just be the same amazing pizza I always get but there was one thing about it that actually took me a few visits to figure out for sure. Garlic. Oh man. Never have I tasted the absolute perfect amount of garlic on a pizza. I didn't have to put any on myself, it was just there. On it's own, naturally enhancing the taste. It was so good that I couldn't even tell it was garlic that was making this slice stand out. I've tried a few other slices from this place and they are equally as enhanced. Make a trip over to this side of 14th street, unless you are overly sensitive to garlic. :)

Mezza Luna
8th avenue b/t 14th and 15th street

3. Rocky's Number 2

I'll own up: I usually judge a pizza place on their plain slice. Pure and simple. It's the staple of all pizza. If you can't master the plain slice then why would I try anything else. A friend recommended this place to me when I first moved to the city. He's lived in the city all his life and said it was his absolute favorite so of course I got over there as soon as I figured out how the subway could get me there. It became my favorite plain slice. There is something different about it. I don't know if it's extra thin, but the crust, there's something different about the crust. I think it's more soft. Less stiff and crunchy. Nothing beats a good, inexpensive slice of pizza.

Rocky's Number 2
2nd avenue between 33rd and 34th

Honorable Mention: Two Boots (at various locations).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Burger

I'll be honest. Burgers are one of my favorite things to talk about. There will probably be more than one post about them...including a wish list of the places I still need to visit. I actually have a list. It exists. Over half of the places on there are burger places.

There are so many amazing places to get burgers in New York. My friends and I frequent Shake Shack, Black Shack, and Joy Burger Bar. These places are all great, but every once in awhile I come across a place where the burger impacts my soul to the core and I can't stop thinking about my next visit.

First off: The Smith

The Smith is a restaurant in the East Village serving a wide array of delicious American food. They have a burger deluxe on the menu which is what I ordered the first time there. I have to say I will probably never try anything else....ever. I am so sold on this burger I think I am ready to commit to it being my favorite. Maybe not the best, but my favorite. Melted white cheddar covering the beef...bacon...lettuce...tomato...mayo..onions..secret sauce...on a brioche bun. For $15 you get the burger which comes with a great amount of fries.

3rd Ave between 10th and 11th street
Reservations recommended

Next up: Dumont

In the lovely neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, lies two locations where you can find this burger. One is a burger joint, the other is an actual restaurant with a full menu. The burger here is very satisfying. At the burger joint you have the option to get a 5oz ($9.50) or 8oz ($12.50) burger while at the restaurant only the 8oz is available. Fries, onion rings or green salad available to accompany this thicker patty. Also, the Mac and cheese is more than delightful!

Dumont Restaurant
432 Union Ave
North Side-Williamsburg

Dumont Burger
314 Bedford Avenue
South Side-Williamsburg

And Lastly: Bill's Bar and Burger

Located just a block from my job, it took me a long time to realize it was even there. I went here one night when the Olympics were still on and they had a nice screen propped on the wall for us to watch while we dined. These burgers reminded me of the perfect burger at a summer BBQ. Sesame seed bun, flatter patty, melted american cheese. Menu included different toppings and burger themes ranging from $6-$9. Not badly priced, although it doesn't include sides.

22 9th Ave, Meatpacking District

The Pastrami Sandwich

I just went to This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef on Saturday in the East Village. Since the taste of the pastrami sandwich is still on my tongue, I see it fitting to share my thoughts on it.

Keep in mind that I have never tried the pastrami at Carnegie Deli, Katz's or 2nd Avenue Deli. I know, shocking, I just never got around to it. Let me tell you about this sandwich....

Hot pastrami on rye...falling to pieces and melting in your mouth...seasoned to perfection..spicy mustard...coleslaw....STOP. Coleslaw?? On the sandwich?? YEP!! I am not the craziest lover of coleslaw but there was a nice amount of it on the sandwich to make it just a little bit different.

Now this place obviously has a couple roast beef sandwiches, hence the title, but they do not touch the pastrami. $10 will get you a bit closer to heaven.

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
1st Ave between 9th and 10th street
Open til 4am, No seating, Cash only

Friday, July 9, 2010

Let's Talk About Food

...well, after all, that is why this blog has been started. I, Briana, have a deep love for food. This love traces back to the womb...I'm sure of it. I have early memories of sitting in my room fantasizing about a magical wall attached to my room that would produce any food I wanted at any moment. Most of the time, I wanted pizza to come through that wall.

This love only progressed. I have fond memories of eating my whole lunch in High School that my mom packed me, then proceeding to eat everyone else's leftovers at my table. Then I would eat the soup my friend's boyfriend wouldn't even touch. Working in restaurants was a blessed curse as you can imagine.

Over the years, and many stomach aches later, I've tried to expose myself to as much food as possible without breaking my body...or my wallet. I moved to New York City, where I have to say, my love of food has been more than satisfied. I've learned to scope out places and find hidden gems without spending a fortune. After 3 years, I've decided it's time to spend awhile in Los Angeles. Different side of the country, different food.

This blog will cover all my favorite food in New York, soon to be favorites in LA and everything else in the middle and beyond. Come back often, I may give you an idea for dinner tonight.