The Oinkster- OMG!

9 06 2010

First, I must start this post with an APOLOGY that I’ve been MIA for so long!! Life has been so crazy and I let it get the best of me. All excuses aside, I’m back!!

— Now on to the good stuff—

So I recently traveled to The Oinkster in Eagle Rock to discover their alleged amazing pastrami. I headed in and ordered the Oinkster Pastrami Sandwich, which included Gruyere cheese, caramelized onion and red cabbage slaw. This combination alone made my mouth water. However, I still had my doubts. Primarily because it is a $9 sandwich, so it better be darn good!

I needed to eat this sandwich fresh, so I took a singular bite before I headed home, assuming that I had self-control. First mistake! After this bite, I immediately started apologizing to the sandwich for doubting it’s awesomeness! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I apologized to a sandwich. It was that melt-in-your-mouth good. The pastrami and Gruyere melted together while the slaw gave it some crunch. Neat-freaks be warned: this is not the sandwich for you. It is large, messy and a bit difficult to eat. I personally believe it’s well worth the mess.

The Oinkster Pastrami

At this point, you may be wondering what’s the deal with the Usher video. No, I’m not that big of a fan. After my first bite, I behaved myself and put the sandwich away, ready to drive home. Being in the beautiful city of LA, I got stuck in the usual traffic. That’s when the pastrami called my name and I gave in. As I began to devour, Usher’s “OMG” came on the radio and everything seemed in sync. It was like my own fat kid music video. With every bite, I was saying “I found you finallyyyyy! you make me wanna say o-o-o-o my gosh!”.

Thanks to The Oinkster, I have hit my fat kid rock bottom and I liked it. The only question is, where do I go from here?

If you would like your own fat kid moment…

The Oinkster

2005 Colorado Boulevard
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
(323) 255-6465


Oh KFC: You’ve Really done it this time!

12 04 2010

So I don’t know whether to salute KFC or to put a cardiologist on speed-dial, but they have truly embraced their inner fat-kid. I would never have doubted the Colonel’s fat-kid status, but in case there were any naysayers out there after the release of his grilled chicken, doubt no more! In case you haven’t heard, KFC released the Double Down “sandwich” today. I say “sandwich” because they have replaced the bun with two pieces of fried chicken.

They stuff it the chicken “buns” with cheese and bacon. If you want to be “healthy”, you can even get it with grilled chicken. I use quotes yet again because was so nice as to provide the health info and ummm…yea…

Sandwich Calories Fat (g) Sodium (mg)
KFC Original Recipe® Double Down 540 32 1380
KFC Grilled Double Down 460 23 1430

Nutrition info aside…this sandwich made me ponder a few things…

First, how did they think of this creation? I personally have two possible theories:

1. After a long night of drinking, the Colonel came home hungry and was out of buns and voila! Who needs a bun when you have as much fried chicken at your disposal as the Colonel??


2. This is a pre-emptive tactic that the big-wigs at KFC thought of to profit off the legalization of marijuana in CA. They saw an opportunity for lots of future munchies and they seized it!

So my second thought about this “sandwich” is the question of whether or not it should be called a sandwich at all? I’m all for taking liberties now, but I think this may be going a bit too far. Does a sandwhich require bread of some sort or can it be any filling shoved between two barriers? Clearly…I think entirely too much and too deeply about food. If anyone is thinking as much as I am on this matter, please feel free to comment on this dilemma!

On a somewhat random but related note… I saw this article on some interesting spins of sand which classics. I’ve actually made Wolfgang’s Shrimp BLT before and yum!

Uniting 2 great loves: French Onion Soup and Grilled Cheese

8 04 2010

So I give you my personal tribute to the Grilled Cheese Sandwich:

The French Onion Sandwich

1 medium sized yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
¼ cup beef stock
a couple of slices Gruyere cheese
Sliced French bread


Heat a skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil. Place sliced onions in pan and cook on medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes until caramelized. About ½ way through, add butter. When caramelized, add beef stock and cook until reduced. Place slices of cheese on both slices of the bread—this prevents the bread from getting soggy. Place caramelized onions in the center of one slice, close and place in a panini press until golden brown.

23 days of happiness

7 04 2010

February was Black History Month. March was Women’s History Month. And now, April is National Grilled Cheese Month. This sounds like a completely logical order to me! Is is just me or is this a month that needs to be celebrated every day for the rest of the month? I’ve already missed the first 7 days, so I give you…. 23 ways to celebrate Grilled Cheese Month!

1. Grilled Cheese Night at Campanile

2. Special Grilled Cheese Menu all month-long at Clementine

3. Check out recipes and tips at the Grilled Cheese Academy

4. Special GC menu and yummy recipes on the website created with Nancy Silverton at La Brea Bakery

5. Gather your friends for a GC party! Bring various types of breads, toppings and of course, cheese!

6. Or…you can try a deconstructed GC party. Commonly known as a fondue party (taking some liberties here)

7. Head out to the Grilled Cheese Invitational on the 24th. Tickets are only $10 to sample some of the best grilled cheese sammies LA has to offer.

8. Create a $4 custom GC sammy at Patinette Cafe @ MOCA

9. Because we can’t get enough of the gourmet food truck trend: Check out the Grilled Cheese Truck

10. Try the Afterschool Special at Doughboys– A grilled cheese sammy and big bowl of tomato soup

11. Or try the soup INSIDE the sammy

12. Or if you are like me and LOVE French Onion Soup, try my French Onion Soup Sammy Recipe

13. Because I love braised meat: Short Ribs and Grilled Cheese Sammy at 8oz Burger Bar

14. Grilled Cheese for Breakfast! If you can make it to Disneyland, you must try the Monte Cristo Sandwich at the Blue Bayou Restaurant

15. Grilled Cheese for Dessert! Sweet GC Sammy’s at Syrup Desserts

16. Vegans can have grilled cheese too! At Madeleine’s Bistro

17. My favorite podcast: The Sporkful. Check out episode 1: Grilled Cheese

18. A classic twist on the grilled cheese: the Patty Melt. I must admit I don’t have a fav place to get one. But here are some good options

19. Mexican Grilled Cheese! I LOVE mulitas at La Taquiza

20. Embrace your inner fat kid: has plenty of Grilled Cheese options. Check out the Pepperoni and Grilled Cheese Pizza or the Deep Fried Grilled Cheese

21. My favorite website that makes me hungry: and their many grilled cheese options

22. Answer the question: Where does the grilled cheese and and panino begin? Try a panino at Mozza2go

23. If you  can’t get enough cheese: Andrew’s Cheese shop has a cheese of the month club.

I’m stuffed! I think the next post will have to be healthy food! I’m open to suggestions.

The Meat-to-Bun Ratio

1 04 2010

Yes…I know what you are thinking, I can only be talking about one thing… hot dogs. Giggles aside, I believe the meat-to-bun ration is a crucial consideration for hot dog consumption. The M2B ratio was a discussion that I had with friends at a recent trip to Wurstkuche. Many Angelenos might be mad at me for saying this, but I was unimpressed with Wurstkuche. Maybe my hopes were too high, but I was let down by the low M2B ratio. I appreciated the wide variety of sausages and adventurous combinations, but thought the flavor was lost among the bun.

I prefer a very meaty hot dog, where the frank slightly hangs outside of the bun, showcasing the meat. I view the bun almost as a convenient (yet tasty) utensil. To me, the hot dog is all about the meat. My friend, on the other hand, prefers a low M2B ratio. She is a bread-lover and cherishes a delicious bun. I see her point, but as a carnivore, I cannot agree.

Which brings me to my new favorite hot dog place: The Slaw Dogs in Pasadena. They have a good variety of tasty links and a ton of toppings. You can either create your own or go with one of their custom creations. I went with the Original, which included chili, cheese, mustard, onions and cole slaw. It sounds like a lot to handle but everything was perfectly proportioned. There were a lot of flavors, but they blended together beautifully. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of slaw, but theirs is fresh and adds a tangy crisp to the dogs. The real test was when my friend added pastrami and guacamole to his Original dog. This was a clusterf*ck of flavors but they STILL blended together. Needless to say, I was impressed.

The Original

Original w/ Pastrami & Guac

The Slaw Dogs

720 North Lake Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91104
(626) 808-9777

My latest craving: Monday nights at Citizen Smith

31 03 2010

If you haven’t already been to Citizen Smith, Go. Better yet, go on a Monday night when food is 50% off. That’s right, no catches, no gimmicks, just half off anything you can chew. However, drinks are regular priced. Some of the martinis sounded yummy, but at $15 each, I’ll just stick with my water.

Citizen Smith is this heavenly piece of Southern comfort food but with a refined, California flair. Maybe I’m a little biased because I think it’s just like me: an LA girl with some New Orleans roots.

In terms of what to eat, I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve eaten there with only one exception: the sweet potato fries. Be warned they are actually sweet potato CHURRO fries. Normally, I am a huge fan of the SP fries and churros, but  I like to keep my dinner and dessert separate. If you’re into that sort of thing, do it! Just know what you are getting yourself into.

I would definitely recommend the Cajun BBQ shrimp as an appetizer. One note: it is no longer on the regular menu, but you can still request it from the sauce with a baguette, this is the appetizer for you. It is basically shrimp in a cajun bbq butter sauce complete with a baguette for dipping. The sauce has the perfect amount of spices– just enough for some kick but not too much so you still get the flavor.

2 shared appetizers and an entrée later…I only spent about 20 bucks. Love it!

Citizen Smith

1600 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028-6202
(323) 461-5001

Ode to Doughboys

24 03 2010

I feel like I’m in a dysfunctional relationship with Doughboys. I like to think of it as my own personal “Mr. Big”. Yea, he did me wrong, left me heartbroken, only to come back in a new location then disappear AGAIN. But he’s back in his original location, and I’m hoping this time, it’s for good.

So now, I’m giving him another chance and I’m back in that blissful stage of the relationship. As I sat awaiting my food, I couldn’t help but be that rude person starring at everyone’s plate. Everything looked amazing! Me being the adventurous eater that I am had to order the “scrapple with dirty eggs”. It’s WAY more appetizing than the name sounds.

pan-fried grits mixed with shredded braised pork. served with spicy eggs scrambled with caramelized onion and potato, served with our corn cake. no substitutions, please, you won’t be sorry

I took a bite and immediately thought of my southern grandma’s cooking. All of the spices were just right. The cornbread could have been a little sweeter, but I’m used to my dad’s cornbread, which is more like cake.

Speaking of cake! Don’t forget dessert. Normally, I love the red velvet cake, but ventured out with the dark chocolate cupcake. It wasn’t pretty, but it melted in my mouth! A must for a chocoholic like myself.

In summary…you won’t be sorry with basically anything off the menu. Good food, large portions and good prices. Yea, he’s definitely worth another chance! Yum!

 Doughboys Cafe & Bakery

8136 West Third Street

Los Angeles, CA 90048

Ph: 323.852.1020