Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Swimming Upstream to Boulder

Greetings, Readers!

Last week I told you about the first part of our adventures in the great state of Colorado. Denver and its Beer Festival were fantastic, but there is so much more to CO than just great beer it seems.

Though to be fair, the beer is spectacular. But as could be seen from last week's entry, their food can be equally enjoyable.

Especially after a lot of beer.

Preparing to leave Denver, we decided to round out our trip by visiting Boulder, specifically at The Corner Bar on the main floor of the Boulderado Hotel.

The hotel itself is gorgeous and definitely worth taking a peek inside to see its architecture. A definite look back in time, the classic look will take your breath away. The outdoor seating at The Corner Bar is enjoyable, presenting the relaxing atmosphere of downtown Boulder.

While everything on the menu definitely sounded delicious, how could I ever skip on ordering a sandwich noted as "Boulderado's Famous Salmon Sandwich"? Not only am I a fan of that specific fish, but when something is listed as the top sandwich on the menu, I must have it.

A thick portion of salmon is topped with horseradish aioli, spinach, and red onion marmalade on a roll in this offering. The salmon was delicious, tender, moist and incredibly savory without the typically overpowering fishy flavor usually associated with this fish.

The horseradish aioli offered a bit of kick while also providing that umami sensation while the spinach and red onion marmalade offered contrasting, slightly bitter flavors to the mix. Overall this sandwich was a knockout combination textures and complementary flavors.

The roll was fairly standard, though it did hold together until the end and offered a slightly sweet flavor to the mix. I think a ciabatta roll would have worked slightly better though, but this was still an enjoyable component of the sandwich.

Enjoying this sandwich, taking in the feel of Boulder, and sitting out with the impending approach of Autumn in the air all combined to make an incredible combination that I look forward to repeating sometime in the near future.

If you happen to be in Boulder at any point in your life, I highly recommend you make this stop.

Until next week, Readers...

Boulderado's Famous Salmon Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
The Corner Bar at The Boulderado Hotel
13th and Spruce Streets
Boulder, CO

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Next Evolution Barbecue

Greetings, Readers!

I write to you after surviving the onslaught of food and beer that I was subjected to in the great state of Colorado.

But I am not complaining. What I did find out firsthand this past weekend is that not only does Colorado have numerous fantastic craft breweries, but their food is also worth the trip.

While I did not find any sandwiches I would say were specifically from Colorado, I did find two excellent places that I would revisit in the future.

The first stop, which came after a day of driving through the Colorado countryside and visiting three breweries (New Belgium, Odell, and Grimm Brothers), was Smokin' Daves BBQ and Taphouse in Estes Park.

After an exhausting day of sampling 12+ beers at each stop, we all took our time with the menu and relaxed in the atmosphere of this barbecue joint in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. A  I had a hard time deciding between all of the great options, but our waiter easily put the issue to rest.

"So what would you recommend? The Texas Beef Brisket sandwich or the Pitmaster?" I asked, and without hesitation he responded:

"The Pitmaster. It's got three meats." As if the choice was self evident.

Well, good enough for me.

The Pitmaster comes on a fresh hoagie roll and is packed with Carolina Pulled Pork, Texas Beef Brisket and Elgin Cheddar Jalapeno sausage. It's just as intense as it sounds.

Despite the three different meats, the barbecue sauce, and the tangy barbecue mustard I added to it, each bite showed off the three different meat flavors. The overall sensation was filled with tangy, spicy and smoky notes with the savory combinations of the brisket and pulled pork and the kick of the jalapeno sausage.

The roll was a standard hoagie roll that held together well until the end, but it wasn't entirely a noticeable part of the sandwich, not because the roll is bad, but because the barbecue was so good. It was a collection of balanced flavors, textures and smells.

It's also a pretty hefty sandwich, one large enough to help cure a hangover, though you'll probably be taking some home in the end for your next hangover. Now, if you're not huge on barbecue, this may not be the sandwich for you, as it is truly the next stage in the evolution of barbecue excellence.

But then again, if you're hanging out in Colorado for the weekend, why not go for gold?

Our first sandwich excursion in Colorado turned out to be an incredible success, and I think all of us would agree it was a great way to wrap a day of exploring Colorado's beers, but could next week's entry from Boulder top this delicious barbecue offering?

Until next week...

The Pitmaster
**** 1/2 Stars
Smokin' Daves BBQ and Taphouse
820 Moraine Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Denver On My Mind

Greetings, Readers!

While I am anxiously awaiting the return of "Autumn" here in Los Angeles, I do have an incredible upcoming adventure that is quickly approaching: The Great American Beer Festival.

I have been wanting to go for the last few years so I'll be making sure to go all out not only at the Festival itself, but in the Denver metro area as well.

Which means: sandwiches.

So I reach out to you my faithful readers, where should I head to for a good sandwich in Denver? Is there a style that dominates the sandwich scene in the Mile High City?

Until next week...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Place By Any Other Name...

Greetings, Readers.

This past weekend, I was out looking at houses for sale all around Northeast Los Angeles, so it's only fitting that following a long afternoon of house hunting that we ended up at a restaurant called Home.

I previously reviewed Home's other location in Los Feliz with their Hawaiian Burger, but this time I was drawn quite quickly to their meatloaf sandwich.

These past few days have been incredibly hot for Los Angeles, so while waiting for our food, and trying to cool down after a a day in the sun, it was great to cool down with a pint of Alaskan Amber. This beer has quickly become one of my favorites not only because it's delicious and malty, but because of how refreshing it is for a medium-dark beer.

On this particular Saturday afternoon, Home was mostly empty allowing us to kick back, relax, and chat while waiting for our food. Despite being right next to the I-5 and sitting on a major intersection, Home's interior is incredibly quiet and relaxing.

The food arrived quickly, and the meatloaf sandwich smelled incredible. A thick slice of their house-made meatloaf topped with caramelized onions, melted pepper jack cheese, and a red pepper aioli sauce between two slices of deliciously grilled sourdough bread.

The meatloaf is sliced thick, evenly spiced and thoroughly juicy. The red pepper aioli complements the spices in the meatloaf with a slight pepper kick while the pepper jack cheese ups the heat a little too. Despite this, at no point does that sandwich become too hot to handle, even for those who are heat sensitive.

The grilled sourdough bread added a contrasting flavor to the savory inner ingredients. The slightly sour, slightly buttery flavor popped through and provided a great bookend to this sandwich.

Overall, this was an excellent sandwich, and definitely on par with one of my favorites of this type, the meatloaf sandwich from Little Bear. Add in the relaxing and comfortable atmosphere of Home on a hot Saturday afternoon, and you have an excellent lunchtime experience.

You should definitely stop by the next time you happen to be wandering around on the east side looking for a little relaxation and a little comfort food.

Homemade Meatloaf Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
Home Restaurant
2500 Riverside Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Place Like Home

Greetings, Readers!

Lately, I've been in the process of working on the changes coming to the blog here, and os have had less time to actually pursue new and exciting sandwiches.

But that doesn't stop me completely.

Nearly three years ago, I wrote about a place called HyMart in North Hollywood. It's a great Mediterranean sandwich shop tucked into a strip mall at the south end of the North Hollywood Arts District.

It's a fantastic place, and while I've visited it numerous times since my review, I've never had the urge to write about them again since because I usually get the same sandwich.

While different from the initially reviewed sandwich, The Chicken-iliki is a real stunner. It contains hummus, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, cucumbers, Greek olives, avocado, feta cheese, lemon, olive oil, mint, basil, pepper, tzatziki yogurt, and tahini sauce all on display with the delicious and tender pulled chicken.

The sandwich is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Each flavor complements the other without being overpowering, and the chicken is flavorful, tender and
juicy. Despite the amount of ingredients, this sandwich is light and refreshing, perfect for a summer afternoon in valley heat.

I could go on about the sandwiches here at this excellent small business, but really the amazing added touch, and the other reason why I will always share the secret about this amazing sandwich shop, is the service.

The people who run and work in this shop always offer up a happy greeting when you walk in. From the second you step inside their door, everyone is happy to see you, as if you're a member of their family and they haven't seen you for weeks. Every time I walk in their, one of the owners always greets me by name (though most of the time it's not the right name, I thoroughly appreciate the extra welcoming).

If you get a chance to check out HyMart (also known as Georgi's Place), definitely stop in. Not only are the sandwiches delicious, but you'll immediately feel at home.

Until next week....

**** 1/2 Stars
HyMart Sandwiches
4795 Vineland Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91602

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Conquering The Meat Mountain

Courtesy of
Greetings, Readers!

Look, sometimes sandwich shops come up with crazy ideas that actually end up being quite interesting, innovative, and indescribably delicious.

Sometimes, it's like they set out to create Frankenstein's Monster between two slices of rye bread.

Take for example a new sandwich that was brought to my attention this week: The Meat Mountain, a new secret menu item at sandwich chain Arby's.

The Meat Mountain lives up to its title. Composed of two chicken tenders, 1.5 oz. of roast turkey, 1.5 oz. of ham, one slice of Swiss cheese, 1.5 oz. of corned beef, 1.5 oz. brisket, 1.5 oz. of Angus steak, one slice of cheddar cheese, 1.5 oz. of roast beef, and three half strips of bacon between two halves of a bun.

The sandwich is a mouthful. Literally.

I haven't tried this yet, but I have been thinking, maybe this sandwich truly is dangerous. Something that I should seriously pursue.

Not really to rate it (because I'm sure we all know about how many stars this will probably receive from me), but just so I can say I've pursues sandwiches from all sectors of dangerosity.

I mean, I did the Double Down years ago for the blog. Maybe this is the next stage in the progression.

What say you, Readers? Maybe I could tackle this to raise money for charity, or for my impending medical bills after sampling it.

And one last note, as if The Onion isn't already on point with their satire, here is an article they wrote about Arby's over two years ago.  

Until next week, Readers...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Evening Local and Pleasant

Greetings, Readers!

If you're like me, you also like going to a great local spot, for some delicious food, conversation and atmosphere. Personally, I prefer the pub-style spots, where I feel at home and the servers know a lot about their food and their beer. 

It's a place I can feel comfortable asking my server to surprise me in regards to my beer choice. 

Recently hearing about a gastropub in Sherman Oaks called The Local Peasant, I quickly checked out the menu and their website and was thoroughly drawn to trying out dinner there. 

Upon arriving, Charlene and I were greeted by a full house. People seated at the bar watching the Dodgers game or seated at small tables lining the walls of the pub. Open windows allowed the sounds and air of Sherman Oaks enter the pub, without being intrusive.

Settling down with my first Belgian beer for the evening, we perused the menu which sounds a lot easier than it was. Every option from the appetizers to the desserts looked amazing. I decided to go a different route than I had been lately by sticking away from red meat and instead opting for the Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich. 

My problem with fried food is that in the end most of those foods leave a very distinct fried oil aftertaste. They're usually thickly covered in batter and take away from the flavor of the actual meat being fried. 

This was not the case with this sandwich. 

The light batter covering actually complemented its counterpart, keeping the juices sealed up inside while adding a secondary flavor of batter and spices with a light crunch follow through. On top of the generous cut of chicken was an heirloom tomato, red wine vinegar, lettuce and jalapeno dill spread, all offering lighter flavors than the fried chicken, creating a delicious contrast between two halves of a brioche bun. 

This well crafted and balanced sandwich is a winner from top to bottom, with contrasting textures and flavors sure to leave your mouth happy. 

Besides the sandwich though, the beer selection is phenomenal providing a number of local favorites as well as some excellent Belgian inspired offerings (my absolute favorites). For dessert, I couldn't recommend the Bread Pudding anymore if I tried. It is fantastic and will blow you away. 

So if you're looking for a great place to have a night out and enjoy some good food with a great atmosphere, make sure you stop down at The Local Peasant. 

It's one of my top picks in the Valley at the moment. 

Until next week...

The Local Peasant
14058 Ventura Blvd. 
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423