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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Brisket, Beer and Beachwood BBQ

Greetings, Readers!

As my love for beer increases over the years, I believe it's fairly obvious that I will be visiting more brewpubs and breweries that serve food in order to satiate both of my loves.

This week, and next week's post, will serve to underline that mission.

On a cool Saturday evening recently, we headed down to meet some friends for an Art Walk and dinner in Long Beach.

My prior visits to Long Beach hadn't been very detailed, and usually involved a visit to a local comic book store, so being able to take in the sights and feel of this town were a great way to spend the evening with friends. Even better, we had dinner at a spot that has been on my list for quite some time: Beachwood BBQ & Brewing.

Settling down with their fantastic Mocha Machine Porter (a dark beer with coffee and chocolate flavors), it took awhile to decide between all of the fantastic sandwiches listed on their dinner menu. After debating back and forth, I finally decided on the simplistically straightforward Brisket sandwich.

But just because I phrase it like that, don't expect that it's just plain ordinary.

The sandwich is slow cooked and served on a toasted potato roll with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. The sandwich is filled with a healthy helping of the shredded brisket soaked in the barbecue sauce. Each bite fills your mouth with competing flavors of smoky and tangy. The meat is tender and cooked so long that it melts in your mouth with each bite. This is barbecue at nearly its finest.

The roll, didn't add too much but was a perfect vehicle for the brisket and held together until the end.

I also added Blue Cheese Grits my side, and I cannot recommend getting these more. Creamy with a little texture, and a mild blue cheese flavor, it's a great complement to the heavily flavored brisket sandwich.

The brisket, combined with delicious grits, amazing beer (besides the Mocha Machine, I tried their hop bomb IPA, Hop Ramen), and a great night out with friends in a great town make this stop at Beachwood BBQ and Brewing a must visit in the city of Long Beach.

Next week, I have a review about a great little Pub in the heart of Sherman Oaks. Until then...

Brisket Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
Beachwood BBQ and Brewing
210 E. 3rd Street
Long Beach, CA 90802

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Trip Down Sensory lane

Greetings, Readers!

Temperature have been really heating up here lately in Los Angeles, so summer has officially and finally descended upon the city. As I've said in past years, one of my favorite foods to eat and grill at this time of year is the hot dog/sausage.

While spending time at Tony's Darts Away this past weekend, enjoying a beer and sausage, I started to reminisce about all of my favorite outings since the blog began. So let's take a look back at some of my favorites from previous year.

Hit up the links below!

The Hot Dog Days of Summer

North Hollywood's Hot Dog Heaven

So Long, Summer

Pinch Me, I'm In Beer Heaven

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A New Summertime Favorite

Greetings, Readers!

As I showed last week with revisiting two places that I had eaten at and reviewed previously, there is an inherent problem with this blog: While trying to bring you all fresh new experiences and sandwiches each week, I sometimes don't get the chance to repeat at some of my favorite places.

Take for example Sweetsalt in Toluca Lake. I love this place. It's fantastic, with a great atmosphere, and it's right in the middle of a lot of great shops and stops on the main street of Toluca Lake.

So on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we headed back to this quaint lunch spot.

The previous sandwich I reviewed from them, their duck confit, is still a standout sandwich, but this time around something new caught my eye. Something I've been wanting to try for quite sometime anywhere I could find one: A lobster roll.

Stacked between two halves of a brioche bun, this sandwich is packed with thick chunks of Maine lobster, topped with cucumbers, shallot, dill, and sundried tomato aioli. The creamy smooth texture of this sandwich is punctuated with the pop of lobster chunks and the crunch of the fresh, green cucumber. The lobster is smooth without an overpowering seafood flavor, and the cucumber helps to cut through all the other flavors offering a complementary taste.

The brioche bun, with its buttery flavor, held together until the end.

Overall, this was excellent and gives me hope for the future of lobster rolls to come. So if it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon (which for the next few months here in LA it will be), drive on down to Sweetsalt, pick up a cool drink and a refreshing summer sandwich like their Lobster Roll.

Until next week, Readers...

Lobster Roll
**** Stars
10218 Riverside Drive
Toluca Lake, CA 91602