A blog about food, and other stuff too. Updated when I feel like it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summer in New York

It is summer in New York City. It's 85 degrees and humid and your shirt is sticking to your back and you're just enveloped by humanity. You've just gotten off the train at Penn Station with a few hours to kill and don't want to spend a lot of money. What do you do? Just stick with me kid, you'll go far.

New York Public Library
Idea 1: Go to the library. The New York Public Library (5th Ave. & 42nd St.) is an enormous and stunningly beautiful building with soaring ceilings in the third floor reading room and murals of the history of the written word in that entranceway.  You'll also find a Gutenberg Bible there, and a surprising amount of paintings for a library. Head downstairs to the children's area to see the stuffed animals that inspired A.A. Milne to author Winnie-the-Pooh.

The main floor has rotating and FREE exhibitions of historical merit; when I visited there was a history of lunch in New York on display. Amongst the many rooms discussing hot dog carts was a diner jukebox that played food-based music!
Much respect for the inclusion of Spinal Tap. I can't make this image vertical for some reason :(
Grand Central Station is a few blocks east of here. It's a must if you've never been: at least go to see the bustle or look up at the constellations drawn on the ceiling, complete with lightbulbs as stars.  It might make one wonder if they change the lightbulbs with jetpacks.

Flatiron building (Broadway&Fifth)
Idea 2: Madison Square Park is 15 short blocks south of the Library if you're up for a little walk. Go down Fifth Avenue and you'll see the Flatiron Building, one of New York's oldest skyscrapers, come into view. It's notable for its triangular shape created by the surrounding streets, and some funny reason that Ted Mosby never gets to explain in a certain episode of How I Met Your Mother.

Madison Square park is also the original residence of a phenomenon known as Shake Shack. Beginning from a simple hot dog cart with constant long lines in 2001, the Shack eventually won a bid to be a permanent fixture there. Once upon a time, you had to go to New York to eat at a Shake Shack. Now you can sample their fare in Massachusetts, as far west as Texas, or overseas in Dubai and even at any of their four (yes, four!) stores in Istanbul, Turkey! It begs the question whether they can maintain the quality they are known for as a smaller outfit now that they have gone global and public (NYSE: SHAK).

And the lines are LOOOOOONG. See here for what I found right when it opened on a weekday:
Shake Shack line, 11AM (right at opening)
The reason these lines are so long is the food is great.  Note that this is not health food so you might want to go on a diet for like a week after you consume this. The burger has an authentic classic taste with some unknown excellence to it that I couldn't quite figure out... maybe it was just the alfresco dining in the shade of some trees adding to my happiness at that moment. Or it could be secret spices, who knows? Or maybe it was the fact you can have a beer in the park with your burger? Brooklyn Brewery is really good at making beer and their custom offering to the Shack paired great! There was lots of flavor to the ShackMeister ale but it was not overpowering to the burger.
Burger, Concrete, and a Brooklyn Brewery beer.

And we finish with a concrete: The Shack Attack is a rich and creamy custard densely packed with all kinds of delectable chocolatelyness. Don't you dare share it with anyone because you'll be fighting over bites. Perfect to cool you down on a hot day! And now you will definitely need to walk to your next destination so you only gain 8 pounds instead of 10.

Idea 3: (Note this is not a cheap option.) Go to a baseball game! The Yankees and Mets both recently got new stadia and what's better than a ballgame on a summer evening? I haven't been to the New Yankee Stadium, but I do hear it is a terrible exercise in parting you from your money.

Citi Field, Flushing, Queens, New York
I can vouch for how great they made the fan experience of Citi Field, the new home of the Mets.  It's a brick beauty reminiscent of Ebbets Field from the outside and the front lobby, right down to the chandeliers they chose.  And the green seats are an homage to those of the Polo Grounds, the first home of the Metropolitans. It is a beautiful park with not a bad seat in the place.  There's even a Shake Shack in right field! (Go before the game or you'll miss at least an inning.) And unlike Yankee fans, the Mets fans are not spoiled assholes. There, I said it... Let's go Mets!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Burger Adventures LA #1

You probably don't know it unless you've lived in Los Angeles, but the unofficial food of this city is the hamburger.  (The official food is the "ghetto dog," but that's a story for another time.)  There's a mom-and-pop grillery on every other corner with locals who swear by it and an In-N-Out just off every third freeway ramp.  I do love the burgers at In-N-Out, which maintain consistently high standards of freshness and flavor whether you are dining in Hollywood, Kettleman City, or Las Vegas. (Yes, I've been to In-N-Out in each aforementioned locale.)  I get my burger animal style.  Sadly the fries aren't anything to write home about unless you get those animal style also.  And then they're amazing for about the first five minutes until it gets cold and the cheese consistency becomes that of plastic.

With burgers so permeating the cuisine of the area, there is a fierce competition to be the best in the Southland with restauranteurs adding their own gourmet twists since Father's Office led the charge. (This blog considers the F.O. burger a standard for comparison and their huge selection of craft beer pushes them over the top. Just don't ask for ketchup.)

Here are a few entries that I've sampled recently, with more sure to come in the future.

Lazy Ox Canteen, Little Tokyo 
This just might be the new LA standard for hamburgers.  Fresh lettuce and cheese on top, amazing stone-ground mustard, extremely fresh beef really make this one a winner.  Truly a burger that is greater than the sum of its parts, as gourmet cooking should be.  Couple it with a craft beer from the eclectic list for even more flavor mingling.  The fries are just right too, retaining some potato flavor while having that delicious greasy-smoky air to them at the same time.  The downside: this burger is $15, so it's a splurge but it's worth it once in a while.  I suggest going for lunch during restaurant week where you get 3 courses for $25.  Finish the meal off with salted butterscotch pudding and you're in heaven, friend.

Slater's 50/50, Multiple Locations

Let me begin by saying I have been to the Huntington Beach location and tried the signature 50/50 burger, made with the half beef half bacon blend that led me to become interested in Slater's in the first place. That burger comes topped with avocado, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayo and I enjoyed the combination immensely, though the fact I had just finished a half marathon may have had something to do with it.  This review is for the Anaheim Hills location and the "B'B'B'Bacon Burger."

I never thought there was such a thing as too much bacon, but upon consuming a 2/3 lb pile of meat (you can get 1/3 lb or 1 lb also) with a fried egg sandwiched in there for good measure, I realized I'd found it.  Topped with extra thick bacon, bacon flavored cheese, bacon thousand island dressing, and a bacon pretzel bun, it's not a very balanced meal and might have benefited by some lettuce or tomato, though I could see that being considered blasphemy.  Add this to the very long wait and I wasn't impressed.  I'm also not sure how I managed to get home without falling asleep after consuming this along with the amazing heavily garlic flavored "Vampire Dip" and a pile of fried appetizers.  As with every place I am drawn to drive long distances for, this place has an excellent beer list.

So I guess you could say I'm 50/50 on Slater's 50/50.

Simmzy's, Manhattan Beach

Gourmet food pairs so well with craft beer.  I think this higher-end beach pub does it best, combining the relaxed pub food with unexpected touches of deliciousness that keep it packed most evenings of the year.  The open air location is not huge and just steps away from the heavily-visited Manhattan Beach Pier so the wait can be over an hour on busy summer nights.  If it weren't always so packed, I'd consider this to be the best restaurant in the area and I'd be here every other night.

You'll find a good starter in the Blue Cheese Haystack, consisting of thin fries tossed with blue cheese and buffalo sauce, the right combination of spicy and savory to get you ready for more flavor complexity to come in your entree.

And now, the burger.  It's topped with smoked onions and melted cheddar, and finished with garlic aioli along with the requisite lettuce and tomato.  The super juicy beef is served on a challah roll to catch all those dripping flavors trying to get away.  You may get messy holding this one.  The smokiness of the onion carries on well with the meat and makes this burger nearly perfect.  And it's a great value at $9.75 when compared to the Lazy Ox burger. 

A not-so-big secret: you can get the same burger at the same price along with a fine selection of beers at nearby Tin Roof Bistro, usually without waiting as long.  (Both restaurants have the same owner.)  The food is great here as well, but it's a little bit more formal so you won't get that same laid back attitude that Simmzy's imparts.  Anything on the menu at either of these places is a winner and the consistent quality keeps me coming back for more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

OC Fair

At the Orange County fair, which is quite a fantastic fair considering its urban setting, I saw this:

And I knew I had to try some of it.  What to choose? They have chocolate covered bacon, bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, and deep-fried beer-battered bacon wrapped hot dogs.  My arteries began curdling, while my brain and stomach said "Yes please!"  So I shelled out $20 for this:

That is a bacon-wrapped turkey leg.  A smoked turkey leg covered in over a pound of bacon. (It's gluten-free!)  Seems amazing, right?  It is amazing for about the first ten minutes of gnawing on the thing.
And the turkey is smoky, greasy, and moist, under the rich fatty bacon crust.  And you are in heaven.  Then you realize you've eaten a lot of fat in the last ten minutes and your stomach starts to complain.  And then you need to get to the nearest restroom due to the extra lubrication you have just added to your colon.  But the initial gloriousness of the thing will make you want to do it again... next year. If I did it more often than that I would likely weigh 600 pounds.

The aftermath:
It paired well with the pictured Shock Top beer.

Other food options I plan to try next time:
  • Fried chicken sandwich on a sliced donut
  • Fried Snickers
  • Fried Kool-aid
  • Fried Oreos
(Noticing a trend here?)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bay Area Wedding Part 2 (Sangeet/Wedding)

This took WAAAAAAY too long to finish because I'm a horrible procrastinator, but please enjoy all the same.

June 22 (Friday)
Awaking too early for the amount of booze consumed the night before, our groom refused breakfast before downing a glass of water and heading back to his bed. We decided to make breakfast anyway, so while my traveling companion got up from the air mattress we thankfully brought along, I rose from the groom's couch, where I had spent the night comfortably. Rooting around the kitchen for supplies, we found some eggs, cheese, a few assorted vegetables and not much else so I volunteered to walk to the Whole Foods 4 blocks up the street. The 60 degree, overcast, average San Fran morning helped me to shake off the hangover on my way to and from the store.  Among the items I picked up were bread, bacon and fresh fruit, yet in my fuzzy minded state I forgot to get milk, the main item we needed in the first place! Luckily the groom was mobile a half hour later when I returned and he pointed out that there was some milk in the door! (Hooray, I'm not in the doghouse!) Anyway my fellow groomsman made a delicious frittata with eggs, veggies and cheese, served alongside bacon, toast, and fresh fruit that was exactly what we all needed at that moment (Sorry, no pictures! I was not in the mood...).  And of course there was some help from lots of delicious coffee.

Sangeet. The bridesmaids and groom's mother are dancing.
We did have time to recover as the only event planned that day was in the evening, so we spent a few hours watching Euro Cup before cleaning ourselves up and heading back to the groom's parents' house. This house is pretty much made for a garden party, with a broad porch balcony overlooking the sunken backyard and swimming pool.  There they hosted the Sangeet, a traditional Indian bridesmaids' party which served as rehearsal dinner in the Indian-American fusion wedding theme. (In the modern way, men were invited as well.) This also would have been a beautiful dinner party even if it did not have the ceremonial proceedings, featuring lights strung from trees and balconies and delicious catered food and wine.  It didn't end there though, for the entertainment consisted of bridesmaids dancing to traditional music and singing songs praising the groom's superior car, wealth, and occupation. We were also introduced to much of the bride's wonderfully sweet family who immediately made us feel like we were very dear cousins who had traveled from afar for the event.  The festivities lasted through nightfall as we got to better know the family and friends.

June 23 (Saturday)
Falafel's Drive-In. Falafel pictured at bottom.
This was essentially a “rest day” before the wedding.  Once again we were allowed to sleep in and indulge in late breakfast and today we were even up for a quick workout in the hotel gym.  Whilst scooping the groom at his parents' house, he informed us that he was supposed to eat vegetarian meals only before the wedding.  So we went where his father suggested, Falafel's Drive-In,which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  I have neverbeen a falafel fan, and I'm sorry to report that this roadside stand with ample parking and a large number of covered outdoor picnic tables for dining in did not change my opinion of it.  Not to say it was bad or anything, maybe Ijust don’t like that food.  The dolmas, or seasoned rice-stuffed grapeleaves, were very good.  I sampled myfriend’s gyro, and it was also very tasty, having a squishier texture than most I've tried, though it maintained a greasy, fresh, meaty flavor. The crowning achievement of this popular roadside eatery has to be thebanana shake, which tasted super-fresh and had flavor just like eating asweetened, extra-delicious banana.  Iwould return just for that.

Our manly henna tattoos.
Next I went to pick up a friend who was flying in, then went directly to the bride’s parents’ house to get  incredibly detailed freehand hennatattoos.  Our friend happily stuffed his face with some homemade Indiancuisine there and the Indian matriarchs stared in awe before gleefully pushing more upon him.  We weren't hungry as we were still full of falafel.  The henna tattoos are an Indian wedding tradition for the women, and supposedly the darker the bride's tattoos, the stronger the marriage will be.  Thus she basically wore bandages over them for the 2 days before the wedding.  The night ended with some beers and some board games with close friends at the groom's parents' house.

June 24 (Sunday - The Wedding!)
We woke up early to get ready for the big day, donning our groomsmen tuxedos right after breakfast.  On the way home the previous night, my car tire pressure sensor claimed one of the tires was low so I got ready quickly and drove over to the nearest gas station, where I filled my tire up while wearing a tuxedo.  I laughed a little at how crazy that was and wondered how often he gets that.  Disaster was averted - no leaks occurred for the rest of the trip.  We drove to the wedding site in Fremont, Palmdale Estates, a gorgeous old convent with lots of trees and pristine grassy areas.  It is clear why it is a popular wedding locale.  Chairs were lined up on the grass in a clearing under the shadows of giant hundred-year old trees.  The groom arrived separately, driven by his best man/brother, and looked sharp in his best sherwani, a cream-colored fabric with intricate branch-like weaving.

And... the horse he rode in on.
The modern Indian wedding is symbolic of ancient times where a prince would enter a village and impress the townsfolk and the bride's family with his wealth and power.  If he did so suitably the family would give the daughter's hand in marriage to the prince.  To emulate this, the groom was to ride in on a horse!  Too bad the horse was stuck in traffic-- the wedding began about 45 minutes late because the horse had not yet arrived!  When it did get there they dressed it in beautiful garments and the groom mounted the horse with his young cousin in tow as well (another tradition). Then the groomsmen (myself included) led a dance-filled procession of the groom's side of the wedding ahead of the horse, around the grounds. Drummers kept a beat for us to dance to and we led the dance-procession to the ceremony clearing, where the bride's family joined in!

I realize I'm getting long-winded here and this is supposed to be a food blog so I'll try to finish quickly.  The rest of the ceremony was a beautiful, meaningful, traditional format, with most of the close family members playing the part by wearing traditional Indian clothes.  The bride looked radiant and her wardrobe choices throughout the night were stunning, from a traditional sari at the ceremony to a more modern Indian garb for the first half of the reception, to a sleek silvery number for the dancing portion of the reception.

We were well stocked
A few food-related items on the reception:  The BEST lamb vindaloo I have ever eaten, not that I've tried many, but man was it incredible.  I tasted scotch that was old enough to buy its own scotch, which was better than I could have imagined.  And there was a truck with an oven onsite cooking the Indian bread naan fresh for us and kept it coming... wait for it... NAAN STOP!  (It was a bad joke then too.)  The reception perfectly celebrated these two wonderful families with heartfelt speeches and toasts and dancing through the night.  I'm grateful to be able to call these people friends.

June 25 (Monday)
We got a late start back on the road to LA as it was a late night. I wanted to drive down Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1) for the miles and miles of incredible vistas, and the weather could not have been more amazing for it. A considerable amount of construction is in progress and it delayed us a bit. I didn't mind though because we were surrounded by beautiful ocean views for miles and miles on our way to the next stop: Hearst Castle, perched on a hilltop ranch in San Simeon, CA.
The facade at Hearst Castle

The outdoor pool at Hearst Castle
The indoor pool at Hearst Castle
William Randolph Hearst was an extremely wealthy man who built a humongous mansion (and several giant guest houses) a 4-hour drive north of Los Angeles.  He was an avid art collector and after his death the mansion was donated to the state as a museum of vast proportions.  A few photos follow.  Definitely worth seeing if you happen to find yourself in the Paso Robles vicinity.

Linn's Olallieberry pie
For dinner we stopped in the nearby town of Cambria, CA.  We found a hearty dinner with a local feel atSow’s Ear.  (They have an expansive wine list.) Finally we wandered across the street to Linn's for some GREAT Olallieberry pie.  This mix of blackberry and raspberry pie sure was a winner, served warm with that scoop of vanilla on top.  I'm amazed we were able to get home without falling asleep at the wheel after that!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bay Area Wedding Part 1 (The 101)

One of my good friends from college recently got marriednear San Jose.  As San Jose isn’t too toofar away from Los Angeles (~6 hours each way), I thought it would be fun totake a few extra days off from work and drive there and back.  The groom asked me and another good friend tobe groomsmen, for which we graciously accepted the honor.  That other friend lives in New York and he agreedit would be a nice vacation to drive around the Golden State with me.  And thus he flew into LAX to be with me forthe long hauls there and back.  I washappy to have his company as it’s far more fun to share travel experiences withsomeone than merely recount time spent alone on the internet for you, dearreader.

June 21
We departed early in the day (about 7:30AM) to avoid as muchof the legendarily horrendous LA traffic as possible.  For those Californians who must know, I decided to take the 101 north sothat we could see some beautiful, varied scenery and stop at a nice spot likePaso Robles for lunch along the way.  Itis hillier and slower than the other route, I-5 north, but that goes throughthe desolate Central Valley and includes over 4 hours of driving in a straight,flat line in 100 degree heat until you reach Pacheco Pass, a peacefully hillyarea that passes a reservoir and some windmills.  Additionally, the only legitimate option forfood that I know about along that route is the In-N-Out at Kettleman City.  Fully weighing the pluses and minuses, let itbe known that you will smell manure and see cows due to nearby in parts ofeither route.

101 North Through the Santa Ynez Mountains
Escaping LA via 101 in the westerly direction was not rapid,yet not difficult on that weekday morning (I’m always amazed how many peoplelive so far away in the valley) and after leaving the traffic behind we enjoyedthe beauty of the trees and flowering plants lining the center of the road andthe serene blue of the ocean on the west for the portion from Ventura to SantaBarbara.  Then the road turns northerlyand heads on a winding uphill route over the Santa Ynez Mountains before descending back slowly into what is known as theCalifornia wine producing region known as the Central Coast.  About 40 minutes after passing through the pretty seaside city of San Luis Obispo, we arrive at Paso Robles, one of the few incorporated cities of the Central Coast.  By this time, four hours had elapsed and it was a good time for abreak.

The Central Coast wineries, while not widely known whencompared to the likes of Napa and Sonoma, produce some high-quality redvarietals, especially Zinfandel (I mean the red; don’t even try to tell me thewhite is to be considered wine).  To getsome recommendations of wineries to visit, my companion phoned his parents whoexclaimed that Paso Robles had “GREAT” wineries, and found one they liked thatwas somewhat close to the highway for us to visit.  Turley had a beautiful setting with flowers and trellises leading up to theirdoors.  The newly constructed tastingroom was gorgeous as well, affixed with rich wood everywhere including thebar.  Their zinfandels did notdisappoint, and I recommend a visit if you happen to be in the area.

After conversing with the cheerily friendly andgrandmotherly bartender, and telling her we had been told Justin was a great one to visit (it was later also recommended by acoworker), yet was too far from the highway for us, she suggested we drop by atthe much closer Lone Madrone, whichemployed the same winemaker.  The fiveminute drive took us past serene vineyards and hills covered in golden hay (Iyelled HAY! a few times to startle my friend), depositing us on a main stretchof road lined with wineries in both directions. Pulling into the gravel lot, wesaw local herbs for sale.  I lovesmelling things so this was exciting.  Theirtasting room is set in an old farmhouse style building, which was nice enough,but their wines were lacking distinction or interesting flavors; I would go sofar as to call them generic.  Theexception was a good barbera offeredto us that was not part of the standard tasting menu, so not all their wineswere disappointing. I enjoyed much more heading outside and smelling the ~10types of basil in the herbs for sale area.

To cap off the tastings, we stopped at the Firestone Walker Brewery, where thetasting room held many eclectic selections along with some old favorites.  I am a big fan of their Double Barrel Alewhich brought us there in the first place, though opted for some of the moreexotic offerings on tap.  The mostinteresting was the anniversary blend which is a mix of most of the beersbrewed on site, leading to a potent cocktail with a few too many flavors.  I also enjoyed the uniqueness of the Parabolabrew, and bought a bottle to share with my friends when I got home, along witha 6-pack of pale ale to give to the groom. To sober up for the rest of the drive, we headed next door for lunch atthe Taproom, with an upscale pub-likeinterior and all those beers we just tasted on tap.  The food was ok, nothing stellar, and weopted to not indulge in more beer so we could survive the remaining 3+ hours ofthe drive.  I promised that for my nextvisit I would stay a few days and try more of these local beers and wines.

Hopping back on the 101, the next section of the trip wasuneventful, lined mostly by green or golden hills and trees and a surprisinglyhigh number of cars also taking this route north.  The first sign that we were once again near civilization is Gilroy, which my companion excitedly noted was home to an annual garlic festival.  The next half hour of driving grew increasingly more suburban as we neared San Jose.  We stopped momentarily to pick up the groomat his parents’ house in a San Jose suburb, then headed up the east side of thebay in rush hour traffic to prepare for the bachelor party.  This horrendous traffic heading towardsOakland on a Thursday afternoon was worse than even that of the standard LosAngeles backups and we thanked goodness for carpool lane access.  Dinner was retrieved from the Berkeleycollective known as The Cheese Board,a pizza Mecca adjacent to a cheese shop with a constant line out the door.  They serve one type of pizza per day and whenit’s gone, you are SOL.  Today’s selection turned out to involvezucchini and some white cheeses, along with the standard brushing of garlic oliveoil that makes anything they serve delicious. I am told their “Magic Pizza” is heavenly.

At Smuggler's Cove, San Francisco
The final link to San Francisco awaited.  Across the enormous Bay Bridge weheaded.  Then a quick stop at the groom’sapartment to eat the pizza and change into some less sweaty clothes, and off tobachelor partying!  It started at anincredible bar known as Smuggler’s Cove,a pirate themed bar specializing in rum drinks made with the freshestingredients, complete with weathered wood walls and a waterfall.  The bartenders wear Hawaiian shirts and knowhow to make a multitude of cocktails, so ask them for a suggestion if you areintimidated by the 10 page drink menu.  Ifit’s your first time visiting, keep your eyes peeled for the bouncer outside:there is no exterior sign.  I can’t gushenough about how much I enjoy the 4oz painkiller cocktail, it has everythingdelicious in it and as implied by the name, 4 ounces of rum.  Take a cab or the BART when you finish the night here because you won't be able to drive.  And if you are able to drive you're not doing it right.  I’m not at liberty to divulge what happenednext so let’s leave it there for now. The rest of the story soon!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Langer's Deli - Free #19 Day (6-15 and 6-16, 2012)

The #19
Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant, on the corner of 7th and Alvarado in Westlake, has been a Los Angeles staple since 1947.  So the food must be good, right? Their website claims that it's "The World's Best Pastrami." I was of course skeptical, having dined on the pastrami sandwich several times at Canter's Deli across town and already thought that was the best I had ever tasted, a wondrous blend of salty, tangy and meaty with a great texture to boot.  (Canter's also has 16 years more experience than Langer's, as they have been open since 1931.)  The deli war rages on.

The free food line
The main reason we traveled to Langer's on this day (Saturday, June 16, 2012) was they had gone mad and decided to give away free food to celebrate their 65th anniversary.  (They also did the promotion the previous day.)  Now, LA is a town where people will stand in line for 2 hours to get ramen from a hole in the wall, so surely we must be crazy to attempt to get the World's Best Pastrami for no charge.  Well we arrived around 11:15 AM to the image to the right. The line looped around on itself 6 times under the tent before getting to the short line in front of Langer's. My companion suggested just buying sandwiches and consuming them at nearby MacArthur Park, and I was about to side with him when the line moved a few steps forward. If it kept advancing at the same rate, we wouldn't have to wait too long. And thankfully it did continue.

Almost inside!
Waiting in line was not so bad either, this massive promotion was thought out very well.  There was a large tent to keep people shaded, numerous deluxe portable toilets (with air conditioners built in!) onsite, well defined airport-style tensa-barrier line markers, and a number of LAPD's finest standing watch. The fine folks from ESPN radio were broadcasting live as well. After about 45 minutes, we arrived in the line just outside the storefront, staring in at patrons hungrily tucking in to large sandwiches. I wasn't hungry earlier, but now it was just past my normal lunchtime and I was ready to eat.  Less than 10 minutes later, we were seated inside.

Service was quick and our orders were taken promptly by a friendly, motherly waitress.  Myself and my friend ordered the #19, the purported free sandwich, while my friend's fiancee ordered a french dip as she was offended by several of the toppings.  And a round of iced teas too.  The beverages came immediately, and the sandwiches also arrived quickly as the kitchen surprisingly was not fouled up by the french dip order.

My #19 is the first picture in this article for reference.  It is a pastrami sandwich topped with cole slaw, swiss cheese, and russian dressing between two slices of rye bread.  And it looked amazing.  We dug in.  The meat was delicious, smoky and tender, and seasoned well.  Not too fatty either, if you're into that kind of pastrami.  The flavors and textures of the meat and the creamy dressing complemented each other well.  The cole slaw felt more like a topping than a part of the sandwich, but had good crunch and flavor.  A side of pickles came with each sandwich, and they were hit or miss with some very good and others having that old pickled shoe taste.

And the best part of the sandwich? The bread. The fresh rye was exceptional, with authentic flavor, soft doughy center texture, and delightfully crusty outside.  It contained the sloppy sandwich contents without decomposing during the meal, a major accomplishment considering every burger in town is wrapped in paper as an extra precaution against disintegration.  Their house-baked bread is this deli's best attribute.

The French Dip
As for the french dip, it was mighty tasty, with a very good french roll (but not as good as the rye).  This 'wich without the extra ingredients made a good measuring stick for the pastrami against my prior favorite of Canter's. They are both very good overall. I still have to hand the better pastrami in LA title to Canter's due to its fattiness. (On a side note, the LA Times came to the same conclusion in 1989.) This may sound a little disgusting to the healthy types, but it's that fatty taste that makes it richer and more savory in the mouth.

I did enjoy my trip to this restaurant.  It has an old-school feel, like it hasn't been updated much since it opened, yet the interior was clean and homey.  The waitstaff was courteous and quick.  We left full and happy.  The only major drawback to this place is its price.  Today, we only paid for the iced teas (and left a generous tip) as they were nice enough to include the french dip in the promotion.  On a normal day, however, a single #19 sandwich will run you in excess of $15.  I know the quality is excellent and the portion is large, but it's hard to justify consuming a $15 sandwich on a frequent basis.  (That probably wouldn't be great for my health anyway.)  To be fair, Canter's is also expensive.  They must know they have something special on their hands.

My LA pastrami war champion: Canter's.

But the Langer's bread, I'll go back for that.
嫡女有毒摄政王爷难招架免费嫡女为谋太子殿下别惹我废后归来 嫡女狠色夜王爷要娶韩相府傻嫡女毒医嫡女 网盘下载百度云下载