Archive for the ‘Hamburgers’ Category

Squeeze Inn

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Go ahead, look under the skirt.

HELLOOOOO Loyal Readers! It’s been a while and for that I apologize. I’ve been neglecting MTFB; Janet is seriously the busiest person I know and I’ve dropped the ball on filling in for her… even though I am probably less than half as busy. Oops. Onward!

So, what do we have here?! That gorgeous, tantalizing THING pictured front and center is none other than the Squeeze Burger with Cheese from Squeeze Inn in Roseville, California. On the menu, the burger basically reads like your standard burger: “Our famous 1/3 lb. 100% Beef Burger with all the fixins. Mayo, Mustard, Tomato, Lettuce, Pickles, Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun.” You might be thinking, “MEH! The cheese costs EXTRA! Why would I waste my time on this??” Well, if you could get a taste of heaven just by handing over an extra buck and change, would you do it? Because THAT is exactly what this is my friends. Heaven.

I’ll take just a moment to mention that the beef patty, bun, and “all the fixins” are delicious and the burger is big and juicy, but the cheese is what launches it into the stratosphere. Here’s how they describe what they do: “Our famous squeeze with cheese is made in a unique way. After cooking the patty on a flat top grill we cover it with a handful of cheese and the top of the bun before throwing a handful of ice chips on the grill and covering the whole thing is a hood. The skirt comes out perfectly.”

Close your eyes and imagine! Your patty is just about cooked to perfection, and at just the right moment, a mountain of cheese is dumped on your burger and topped with your bun. Immediately after, they toss some ice in and cover it, creating this bizarre atmosphere where your cheese melts and forms a puddle/skirt around your burger, helped along by the steam while at the same time not quite burning it. NOM! I am salivating just thinking back to it. The cheese comes out sorta crispy, sorta burninated, and all kinds of delicious. This is no mini skirt either. It extends a good inch and a half past the edge of your bun.

Just look at it! The hard part is deciding how to eat it… does one tear off the skirt and eat it separately, like oh-so-delicate cheese chips? Or does one politely fold the skirt under the bun so that it can all be eaten at once? The choice is yours, but I guarantee that either way will open your eyes to a new way of burger consumption. The instant the cheese skirt touches your tongue, your taste buds will thank you and sing your praises as the BEST. WING(WO)MAN. EVAR. If you’re ever in the Roseville area (or near the Sacramento or Galt locations) feel free to do some skirt chasing, it’s a sure thing.

Squeeze Inn
106 N. Sunrise Ave.
Roseville, CA
(and 2 other locations)

McDonald’s Mac Wrap

Monday, April 19th, 2010

As long as we’re on the subject of disgusting fast food, here’s a snack-sized post for the new McDonald’s Mac Wrap.  I’ve long been a fan of their chicken snack wrap.  Don’t get me wrong – the reason I like the chicken snack wraps is not because they are [relatively] healthy; I get them as a backup second “entree” when I worry that my two cheeseburger value meal  isn’t enough food but McNubs sound too effortful (with the sauce and dipping and whatnot).

In this instance, I got a Filet-o-Fish (because it was Friday!  Alliteration!) and fries (more!) and sat down excitedly with Daniel, who was visiting.  I looked down, however, and saw this:

Why was it wrapped in a sausage McGriddle wrapper?  No matter.  I tore it open and was psyched when I got a gander at the shredded iceberg; common denominators to both the beloved Big Mac and Snack Wrap.

But.  Wait.  The Mac Wrap in my head was supposed to be a beef version of a snack wrap.  It is not a beef version of a snack wrap.  It’s like a shitty version of a Big Mac stuck in a tortilla.  I mean, the thing could NOT have been more phoned in.  Literally it’s just a hamburger patty cut in half, which made me sad.  I wanted a mini-fied and oblong (and to mix metaphors) hash-brown-shaped patty peeking out at me (in my fantasies, with edible googly eyes – hey that’s a good idea make it and market it!) like a swaddled infant so I could say “Imma eatchoo bebeh” and nom it like a monster.

I nommed it like a monster anyway.  And…I must admit it was great.  A tiny Big Mac punch!  When prompted to offer his thoughts, Daniel said “Ummm just that it is perfect for when you want the Big Mac taste without feeling like you should kill yourself after?”  Well said, my friend.

And well-played, my McDonald’s.  In the end, I must admit that the Mac Wrap is exactly what McDonald’s wanted it to be.

OC SuperFair!

Monday, September 14th, 2009

YEEEES.  That’s a good lookin’ fried basket of fried fried-ness combo platter with fried stuff, fried objects, and fried things topped with some fried items!  Simon and I kick-started our day with this at the OC Superfair earlier this summer.  I went despite vowing that I would never return to any county fair for half a decade, because I (a) didn’t think my arteries could handle it [after all, I am turning – gasp! – thirty this December] (b) didn’t think I had the wherewithal to do another five-part blog post in me.

But Simon did puppy eyes at me and his puppy Payback did puppy eyes at me and Simon added on the guilt trip of the fact that I was moving away and his puppy Payback licked my neck so what could I do?

We went on Day 1, hour 1, because they were offering both free parking and free admission.  We walked to the end of a line that quite literally had over a thousand people in it, and ended up in the dirty back corner of the parking lot, squished in line between annoying chitlins to the front and a hot-girl/ugly-friend high school duo behind. We got to hear about the hot one’s exciting night last night when she totally went over to Tyler’s house even though he’s kind of shady and it was super shady because he busted out a bottle of wine and she was, like, GOD, but then they toootally finished the bottle anyway even though it was SO OBV that all he wanted to do was, like, hook up with her and she tooootally wasn’t into it.

The ugly one asked very sensibly at this point: “So did you hook up?”

And the hot one said, “Ewww NOOO NO WAAAY!  I mean, maybe, like, a little, but like, yeah.”

Classic.  Anyway, we got into the fair, which is probably about 5/8ths of the size of the LA fair.  Much more manageable.  We got, at Chicken Charlie’s, the fried combo platter above, but that wasn’t the main event at that booth.


DEEP FRIED WHITECASTLE.  Are you fucking serious me?  I am not sure why the picture is so sickly pink, but it’s a very accurate reflection of this item’s grossness.  The problem was this: the bun was already bready, so breading a bready thing just doesn’t work.  It ended up mushy and just SATURATED with grease.  In fact, the most refreshing part of this was the cheese, which should indicate something to you.  I think what WOULD have been delicious in a fair-type way would have been to batter a Whitecastle burger and onions wrapped in a little cheese cocoon, so that the batter BECOMES the bun, you know?  Hmmmm.  We need to try this, Simon.

You may already know about my irrational frog phobia/hatred.  Isn’t it a thing in some cultures to eat the thing you want to conquer?  I was quite sure of this, so naturally I had to eat frog legs.  Since I’ve already made the “what’s up? turtle butt.” joke on MTFB I can’t really make an analogous “what’s up? frog butt.” joke but LOOK at it!  It looks like a mutilated miniature human’s lower half, deep fried and thrown on the basket butt-side up for a good spankin’.  Me, Simon, and Vic (who had joined us by this point and was the actual procurer of the frog legs) kinda just sat there for a while, looking at it.  Then, suddenly, Vic picked it up and brutally tore the legs apart, splitting the butt cheeks clear in half!  Then, equally as suddenly and brutally, he stuffed the leg, butt-end first, into his mouth and tore it off the bone!  Horrifying and unsettling but I couldn’t stop laughing.

A frog leg prepared meticulously in a French restaurant is no doubt a delicate, elegant, and moist little morsel of food.  Frog legs dragged to a hot fair in bulk, probably low quality since that shit’s just getting deep fried anyway, well…it was an excruciatingly nausea-beckoning taste that was perfectly between fish and meat.  Fishy, soggy meat with hideous black veins running throughout the whole thing. Shudderrrr.

It was time to get, like, just a regular item of food.  Thank goodness for hot dogs, because there’s nothing that screams “regular!” like bits of lips and hooves and gristle and unrendered fat, right?  You’ll have to ask Simon about this because before I could even take a bite it was gone.  That poo face.  I’m still bitter about it.

Do you guys remember our epic quest for a fryloaf at the LA County Fair?  We went on Quest Part II here, to no (initial) avail.  We finally had to ask at the information booth, where the woman said, “You want a fry…loaf?” in the tone of voice and with the timing of that one ridiculous scene in that ridiculous movie Face/Off where John Travolta is talking to a lackey and he’s like, “I’m gonna take my face…off” and the lackey says “Face…off?” and John Travolta says, “Face…off.”  She was utterly confused so we had to find one on our own, which we DID!  Apparently they are not called fryloafs, but rather Juicy Fries (???).  Unlike last time, we did not demolish our JuicyFryloaf.  Fail.

Instead, we trounced over to the goldfish booth to score a fish for Christopher.  Which was awesome, except, well, yeah.  We all know how that turned out.

Apple Pan

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Those in the know pshaw at McDonald’s.  They know that In-n-Out is the king of hamburgers.  They know to order their burgers AND their fries Animal Style there.  They know that purchasing the meals is not a better deal – In-n-Out just adds up the price of a burger, fries, and drink.  Duh.

Those REALLY in the know pshaw at In-n-Out.  They know that the real gem of a burger joint in California is the unassuming, swinging-screened-doored Apple Pan.

Quality Forever, folks.  Believe it.  Perhaps the only burger joint in all of California with nary a Latino in sight, this place is staffed by super old white men.  It’s set up like a U with the kitchen in the middle – all counter seating and no air conditioning, natch.  It’s always crowded, with a ring of people waiting around on the periphery and breathing all over your burger-nomming neck.  The aforementioned polite but gruff (just like grampy!) white men ring you up on an old-fashioned punchy-punchy cash register – cute and old-timey!

But what am I doing already talking about paying the bill when I haven’t even blogged the food?  The clear thing to get here is their cheeseburger.  Specifically, their Steakburger with (Tilamook) cheese – original since 1927, OMG.

This burger is perfect.  You aren’t annoyed while eating it unlike the strident Six-Dollar C-Jr burger.  You don’t feel weirdly icky because you might be supporting the bible-bangers like at In-n-Out.  You don’t feel morally horrible like you do when you eat at McDonald’s.  You didn’t get a crazy, foot-shooting weird burger like you always end up getting at The Counter.  It’s just a clean, simple, utterly satisfying burger that leaves you feeling happy, not gross.

Also strangely refreshing is their apple pie with buttermilk ice cream.  You’d think full fat full buttermilk would be cloying, but eating this ice cream made me realize that what garners the “bleh” reaction in ice cream for many is probably too much sugar.  Here, since the buttermilk is so good, they don’t need a shit-ton of sugar to make it taste delicious.  The crust on the apple pie is less like regular pie crust and more like…crumbly pita?  So that’s different, but still good.   One request I have for them is please stop serving this to me with a fork.  The ice cream melts FAST and as a result, the only way for me to eat the melted ice cream + apple goo drizzle is to tip the plate into my mouth – very rude.

Apple Pan

10801 W Pico Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90064-2105


8 oz Burger Bar

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

I was being suuuuuuper lazy today (on account of the whole “I-got-a-Ph.D.-now-I-be-lazay” thing) and was watching some Top Chef reruns (PS – how amazing does Top Chef Masters look?!?  And with a hot EAST Asian chick host!?!) and the episode from the one-balled CJ season came on with Govind Armstrong as the guest judge.

Which made me think “Oh shit! I really need to blog my visit to 8 oz Burger Bar…” and prompted me to open iPhoto to dig the pictures out, at which point I remembered why I hadn’t done so – because the pictures were kinda shitty.  Oh well.  The story behind my trip there is worth a couple blurry shots getting out there and ruining my limited photo cred.

They do not take reservations, but the chick on the phone assured me that the wait would only be 10 minutes at most.  I said REALLY?  On a Friday night?!?  And she said yes.

So we rolled up at around 8:30, and the hostess said it would be about a 25-minute wait.  Ugh.  Everyone was roaming around the entrance so I told her we would be at the bar.  She said great.  I said “Will you remember that we’re over there?  We’ll be at the bar.  Will you remember?” and she said yes.  Alrighty then.

We waited and waited, and, being cognizant of the time crunch given the show that Christopher and I were going to, we decided to just eat at the bar.  Pictured top are the Fried Olives Stuffed With Chorizo, which I found heavenly but C said they merely tasted like fried olives stuffed with chorizo.  And the problem with that is…?

We also ordered the Suds & Slider Sampler, which came with three 5oz beer pours and one each of Triple Prime Beef Slider, Wild Boar Slider, and Niman Ranch Lamb slider.  I have long forgotten what kind of beerz they were, but all were either super hoppy or dark.  The boar was on the dry side but had really nice flavor, and the lamb slider made me say, muffledly, “Oh! Oh! Oh!” and shove the other half in Christopher’s face so he could eat the deliciousness, stat.  He, however, was continuing on his Scrooge train and was like, “Meh.”  Meh?  MEH?  [After heated discussion, he came around to the much more defensible viewpoint that perhaps he is just not a sliders kinda guy.  I understood.  He’s very large so it would be as if I were forced to eat a burger the size of a truffle – how good could that be?]

We both, however, could get behind the yumminess of this monster – the 8oz Burger, consisting of their house blend of sirloin, tri-tip, short rib, and chuck cured in their Himalayan salt-tiled locker (schmancy!), iceberg, tomato, pickle, white onion, and 8 oz. special sauce.  We rehashed our lettuce sheaf conversation but otherwise I loved the dark toast on the bun and of course whatever magic the salt-tiled locker imparted into the patty, which, like a zit (in a good way), gushed out juice when you squeezed it.  Mmmm.

I was midway through enjoying my burgers when the bartender went CLANK! and spilled a full glass of water onto the bar, which drizzled a bit into my lap.  Boo hiss.

Then the hostess came by (now a full 65 minutes after we had arrived) and said, “Oh, THERE you are!  I’ve been looking for you guys!  Your table is ready.”  I told her we had long since given up on our table and that we were (clearly) already eating.  She seemed miffed but jeez – you saw how I had anticipated this problem and made SURE she knew where we would be, right?  Dummy.

So I took a big breath, re-tousled my hair to look pretty, shot the rest of one of the 5 oz suds, and snagged the arm of the guy who I thought might be the manager.  I said, “Are you the manager?” and he said, “Yes” and I said, “I’m so sorry to bother you, but we were told our wait would be 25 minutes, and the hostess just now told us our table would be ready, which is FORTY minutes after she said.  We have tickets to a show so we couldn’t wait so we just had to eat here at the bar.  And on top of that your bartender just spilled an entire drink into my lap, and I was just wondering…” and he said, “Oh, yes, I talked to the hostess and she said she couldn’t find you guys,” and I dug in my heels and said, “NO, I made certain that she knew we would be waiting at the bar.  I told her three times that’s where we’d be and this place is not that big” (it really isn’t – it’s miniscule).  And he said, “OK, well I’ll see what I can do to accommodate you.”

GOOD JOB JANET!  Especially as an AZN who has been brought up with the Japanese adage “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”  I was proud of myself.  I turned back to Christopher, who was nomming away at the big burger and had missed everything.  I was hoping for our drinks & app to get comped.  But when the bill came, the balance said ZERO DOLLARS.  Our entire meal was comped?!?  Chalk one up to the American adage “Squeaky wheel gets the grease!”  This made me instantly love Govind Armstrong, and I vowed to give him a nice review here on MTFB.  Sorry that it’s seven months later, Govind…chalk it up to another American adage – “Better late than never.”

8 oz Burger Bar

7661 Melrose Ave



Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Admit it. NO?! OK fine I will. I’m one of those people who are like, “God I LOVE finding a hole-in-the-wall restaurant! I’d MUCH rather prefer that to some Cheesecake Factory shit!” but secretly, I am skeeved when place are too hole-ey. And the Crispy Spicy Beef at Cheesecake is a salty/sweet/fatty/crispy orgasm with shiitake mushrooms on top.

Anyway, my point is this: I like to be fake indie and gush over holes-in-the-wall, but I much prefer if that hole is not actually “C” rated, overcrowded, and dirty.

Enter gr/eats.  It’s a tiny little speck of a restaurant in the Little Little Tokyo area at Sawtelle and Olympic.  It looks like it might be an art gallery but it’s a resto, a true hole-in-the-wall, but…immaculate.

Airy, blindingly white, clean.  The song playing was Song for Sunshine by Belle and Sebastian, which was so goddamn perfect I couldn’t even handle it.

I got my Japanese on and ordered the Miso Nasubi – a staple Japanese home dish, executed here flawlessly.  To be more specific – the eggplant was peeled, but not all the way peeled.  The eggplant was also perfectly glazed in an intense but somehow mellow salty and sweet miso sauce (which they call “tasty” in their menu – ummm understatement of the century).  The eggplant was also BLAZINGLY hot.  To the point where if you dipped your chopsticks in the sauce just to taste it while the eggplant cooled, you would still burn the shit out of your mouth off your chopstick sauce.

Lord.  Just looking at the photo at the top is making the saliva jets at the rear of my mouth go crazy.  The rest of my body is confusing this with a just-before-you-puke response.  It’s like, “Oh, wait, alright I didn’t think we were on an alcohol bender tonight but if we’re drunk and it’s vomming time, that’s cool – where’s the nearest toilet yo?”

Pictured immediately above is Tofu “Meatballs” – perfect orbs of fried tofu, with a little shit thrown in.  The sauce here was citrusey – kind of like if Japan did the Panda’s Orange Chicken thing, but more refined (duh).  Both the dishes were vegan, too.

The gr/eats burger has gotten some complimentary chatter on the food blogs, so it was a must-try.  It’s described as grilled Angus beef cooked medium, with a slice of Jarlsburg cheese, grilled onion, arugula, tomatoes, and our own sauce on a roll.  With it were mixed fries – described as a lightly fried mix of shoestring potatoes, yams, and bananas.  I thought they were actually bananas, and got into a mini-fight about it with Des (“Yes, I KNOW what plantains are, but I think these are actual bananas!” “You are crazy.” is how it went) and indeed, our server confirmed they were plantains, not actual bananas.

Taste = A++.  The bread – ah, the bread!  Also A++.  The temperature of the entire ensemble…lukewarm lame-o.  Perhaps it was our fault for taking time eating our appetizers, but then that’s THEIR fault for making the eggplant so lava-hot.  How dare they.

The Japanese like to super-flavor their patties (we prefer to put grated daikon radish on top, drizzle/douse it in soy sauce, and eat the patties alone with rice) and truly, there was no ketchup necessary here.  Des just kept saying, “The MEAT!”  “The MEAT!”  “The MEAT!”

Our second entree was Fried Chickenlightly fried chicken thighs dipped in our tasty teriyaki sauce, served with vegetable ribbons and seasoned rice.  Some people think that “tasty” is too generic a term to use to describe food, but I actually think it has a very specific definition.  You would never say “MMmmmMm this brownie is tasty!”  You would also never use it to describe, like, butter.  I think it describes something that is savory sweet.  Like bacon-wrapped dates – tasty is the best word to describe those.  And “tasty” works nicely here with their teriyaki sauce and perfectly moist thighs (hott).  The bummer was the tepid temperature, yet again.

The check accompaniment.  Cute cute cute.  Doesn’t it look like if you tore the fruit from the skin and put the respective parts together, it would make two hearts?  Well it does, cuz I did.


2050 Sawtelle Blvd

LA CA 90025


The Counter: Adventure in Blind Dating

Monday, October 6th, 2008

In case you missed the awkwardness [you know, the jumping around of ConsumerMachine, this new MTFB site, etc.), I have now been single for seven months.  Being single, apparently, is completely intolerable to all of my friends who insist on pushing me to fall in love with someone and have babies yesterday.  I had been reluctant until I got an email from Saxy, who has impeccable taste in men (well, man – her husband is a doll) and is smart and usually has good judgment.  Her email extolled the virtues of her friend Christopher [“surfing, yoga-ing, bass-playing lawyer” who is “a total catch”] so I agreed to be set up on a blind date.

A BLIND DATE?!  I have never been on a fucking blind date!  My boss at the gym found me flat-ironing my hair in the locker room in preparation and said, “Good for YOU for putting yourself out there!”  I thought that was kind of a weird thing to say and I felt somewhat like some sort of elderly divorcee who is weary of men but was encouraged by her therapist to be brave and meet new people.

Christopher and I had agreed to meet at The Counter – an excellent choice on his part!  Cute, casual, but with a full bar – critical to socially lubricate the situation.  I got there 15 minutes early and then my brain started freaking me out.  I realized I had no idea what he looked like (he knew what I looked like kind of because apparently I had been at a party where he was?).  How was I supposed to figure out who he was?  I dreaded the awkward moments of making slighty-too-long eye contact with every youngish guy in the restaurant to see if it was him.  I sat in my car and wailed “Why DID I put myself out therrrrrrrre?!?!?”

I indulged the panic for 5 minutes, listened to some soothing NPR for 5 more minutes, and walked in. There were no guys hanging out by themselves so I figured he wasn’t there yet.  I waited outside, Facebooking on the trusty iPhone, until someone walked up and said, “Versatile black dress?”

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I had told him that even though I should be wearing, according to blind date custom, a dress in a distinctive hue or holding a book with a rose as a bookmark, that I would be wearing a black dress which is sooo versatile that it would surely work for a blind date.

Anyway, I looked up… and up, and up to see a super tall, extremely cute guy.  Phew.


We went inside and sat down with our burger checklists.  Oh, great.  An opportunity to reveal the depths of my neurotic indecision craziness within 2 minutes of the date starting.  I mean, a choice of ten cheeses, EIGHTEEN toppings, ten premium toppings, another EIGHTEEN sauces?  Jesus. Good start, good start.

Luckily, however, C was just as much of an indecisive freak as I was, and we struggled over our choices for many many minutes.  In fact, the table next to us sat down after us, ordered, got their burgers, and started eating before we even figured out what we wanted. I wavered between Danish blue cheese, horseradish cheddar, Tillamook chedar, back to blue, then to Gruyere, then on to herb goat cheese spread, then back to horseradish.

Then toppings? Avocado (a premium topping) was a strong contender.  4 toppings are included, and I had to resist the urge to exercise my right to all four.  I saw myself easily creating some disgusting monstrosity of a burger by combining pickles, cranberries, roasted corn & black bean salsa, and sprouts or something.

As C veered sensibly off into traditional burger territory with cheddar, bacon, lettuce, pickles and roasted garlic aioli on a turkey burger, I ended up somewhere completely weird (despite my intense efforts described in the previous paragraph) with Danish blue, dill pickle chips, tomato, grilled pineapple (which I planned to take off and eat as dessert – a plan which he copy-catted), and apricot sauce on a turkey burger.  C politely cheered on my choice of pickles, saying that the crunch of a pickle is essential for a burger.  A TEXTURE EATER?! A man after my own heart!

We also got the “fifty-fifty” which required ANOTHER devastating choice – fries & sweet potato fries OR fries & onion strings OR sweet potato fries & onion strings.  Here I bucked up and made us get the two fries, pictured above.


So here is the burger, after I dragged off the pineapple. The blue cheese was SO INTENSE – it looked more like guacamole than cheese! It was so sharp it made my mouth tingly~!  I scraped off a little more than half of it and doused the whole thing with the runny, sticky apricot sauce, which was super with the turkey.  The turkey may as well have been veal, with that smoooth nice texture.  Still, the whole thing was weird and I regretted all my crazy choices.

Christopher enjoyed his more, I think, though he took issue with the lettuce, which was not a nice sheaf of lettuce but rather shredded strips.  Once again I silently approved of his nuanced appreciation of crunch, not to mention his knowledge of the word “sheaf.”

Anyway, there were no awkward silences, except for a moment where I looked like a total fucking douchebag when I left to pee right before the check got there and returned after he had paid. I was intending to go splitzies, I promise!  Then we went to the Joker, a nearby super dive bar (“A great place to go if you don’t want to talk to anyone” says one CitySearch reviewer), where he scored major points by putting More than a Feeling in the jukebox in honor of the blog (singing more than a food bloooooooog).  All in all, a total success – so glad I put myself out there.


The Counter
2901 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica CA 90405

The Joker
2827 Pico Blvd Santa Monica
CA 90405-1919

Original Del Taco: Barstow, CA

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

In anticipation of our semi-annual Vegas trip, my pal Mini told me about a mythic Del Taco – the original Del Taco, purportedly in Barstow, that has secret menu items not attainable elsewhere, and giant-ized favorites like MY ultimate favorite, the Chicken Soft Taco (which is perfection!).


I could barely believe my ears. I HAD to go. James said there was no way it was true, but Mini told me that his friend with the expensive boobs said it was true, and that he had great faith in expensive boobs. After several confirmatory phone calls to said boobs, we got off at Outlet Center Drive in Barstow, turned left at the end of the exit, made a U-turn, and sped along the road towards the Del Taco….


OK, so the original original one is in Yermo, but all the Barstow locations have the special items.

Behold, the tostada, only available at Barstow locations. Photographic evidence. Eat that, James.

Behold, the carrot cake, only available at Barstow locations. James has been whining for carrot cake lately so this victory was especially sweet.

I didn’t want any of that shit, though. I wanted a gigantor-ified CHICKEN SOFT TACOOOOO!

But, I felt guilty not ordering something special so I ordered the Bun Taco, also only available in Barstow locations.

Eggroll ordered the tostada, which actually looked quite delicious. Don’t the tomatoes look so fresh?

Simon, on the other hand, ordered these lethal deluxe chili cheese fries, of which I partook and got an unfortunately large dollop of sour cream in my mouth, ewwwww.

And, finally – the BUN TACOOOO. It was, in a word, gross. It looks all benign, like it might be a sloppy joe or a regular burger with looser meat. (Your mom has loose meat.) However, the damn thing was all…weird…and tasted very very wrong.

I forced all of the boys to take a bite, and escaped having eaten only one bite. Mini finished it off, totally taking one for the team. (Later in this trip, Mini would be the first to puke, and then, the next night, he ended up puking AND having a bloody nose at the same time. Poor Mini, but LOL.)

Almost-Original Del Taco
In Barstow, near the outlets

Thirsty Bear

Friday, September 7th, 2007

I expected Thirsty Bear, right near the Moscone Center in SF, to be like a BJ’s. A schmancy Denny’s, in other words.

But what’s this? Ceviche? Interesante…

Oh, and a delicious Sangria? The plot thickens.

Turns out TB is much better than bullshit BJ’s. Its Spanish-themed small plates and drinks are far superior to their brews. I would know – I tried ALL of them (see top). I quite enjoyed the science-experiment-looking presentation of their beer sampler. The standout was the Golden Vanilla, which doesn’t sound that great in theory but was amazing in taste. If you take the harsh tang of beer away and replace it with a mellow vanilla flavor, the end product is remarkably delicious.

This other drink was M-azing, too. Gosh, I wish they had their cocktail menu on their website, because I don’t remember what this was called, or what was in it. It tasted as if you took all the gross artificial taste out of Kool-aid but kept that addictive kid-catnip flavor in.

The best part of the night was this lamb burger, with tomato jam, feta, and pickled red onion, ordered by my pal Captain. Until this night, I didn’t like lamb. I liked the texture but hated that distinctive “LAMB! LAMB! I AM LAMB! I AM NEITHER BEEF NOR CHICKEN BUT LAMB!” taste, you know?

But with the jam and the feta and the onion, HOLY SHIT! I am a convert. It could have also been the quality of the meat, which they proclaim as “100% natural, free of growth hormones, antibiotics, and synthetic additives.” In any case, TB seems famous for their beers, which is a travesty because the chef Amy Voisenat knows her shit and this restaurant should be worshiped for its food.

No longer will lambs look cute to me. Now they will look purely like food. Juicy, delicious, infantile food.

Thirsty Bear
661 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94105

SF Saloon

Monday, August 27th, 2007

For Sharisa’s good-bye dinner (NOOOO, SHARISA DON’T GOOOOO!), we all gathered at SF Saloon for some fun burger lovin’. This place is super laid back and has tons of parking – very low maintenance and good for huge groups. The time interval between when the first people came (James and I were third to come) and the last people was, like, three and a half hours, so it took us a long time to order. Thank goodness for their yummy fries. They are crispier than your average fry, though not in a disgusting Burger King fry way. WHICH, by the way, according to James, have a mind-blowing sixteen grams of trans fat. Insanity.

The late ordering was distressing because my perfect food-shooting light shining down from the skylight was going to go away. No one at the table seemed to care too much about it, though, and everyone took their sweet old time ordering. By the time my food came – total darkness. Betches.

And yet, people were absolutely fascinated in an angry sort of way when I started taking pictures of the mustard. I thought Extra Strong Dijon Mustard would be interesting for the CM readership; it’s something you don’t see every day, and how cool that a restaurant wants something with actual kick and flavor to go with their burgers! But my fellow companions at the table couldn’t stop grumbling about it, and shaking their heads in disbelief. I’m just misunderstood.

See? See the difference between this photo and the good-light fry photo above???

Ever UCLA-faithful, I got the Bruin Burger – lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon, & cheese. It was an easy choice. I cut it in half, intending to only eat one part, but by the time I noticed the whole thing was gone. You can’t really go wrong with these types of ingredients, but I still think it was yummier than most burgers I’ve encountered.

Sigh. Good-bye, Sharisa! The only silver lining of this is that you will re-open your blog and tell us about your yummy eats in Pittsburgh. Best of luck!

SF Saloon
11501 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064