Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Phast Phood Philly Style

Dear Seekers of Danger,

I must apologize in advance if this week's blog disagrees with your developed and refined palates. It is only because of my quest to search every delicious nook and cranny that I would even consider to review Fast Food on this blog.

Early on, I reviewed the double down, and I have been known to partake in the McRib when it is available locally, but please do not think that suddenly my tastebuds have become crude and uncouth. It is only by tasting everything, that we can fully tell what is good and what is bad.

With that being said, I figured there was one fast food monster burger that I should try, as the commercials for it have called out my name on numerous occasions.

The Carl's Jr. Philly Cheeseburger.

Yes, you've read that correctly.

While I plan to continually review cheesesteaks on this blog in order to find the best one, not only locally but in the world, this was not something I ever expected to hear about, let alone try.

So after seeing the burger shop guys with terrible "Philly" accents discuss this strange amalgam of meat, I saddled up and ordered.

First of all, like all fast food, the sandwich does not look like it does in the commercial. Whereas in the advertisement, the chopped steak meat is piled high atop a juice burger.

When I opened mine, I was surprised to see no steak at all. It wasn't until after I bit into the sandwich that I discovered the cheese formed a pocket on top of the burger, containing copious amounts of meat, fried onions and green peppers.

Out of all of the fast food places, I find Carl's Jr. to have the most flavorful and delicious meat. It's light years beyond most other fast food places. Even the steak here had more flavor than some of my previous cheesesteak experiences.

The onions and peppers though were too mushy. Almost soggy.

The bun, like most fast food places is a standard white bread bun. Nothing special.

I did enjoy the fact that this cheesesteak burger was made with provolone cheese and not the Communist supporting cheese wiz.

Just saying.

Overall, is this worth seeking out?

Like my previous review on the double down. It's neither good, nor bad. If you're at Carl's Jr. and you're interesting in trying out a good fast food sandwich, by all means, go for this one.

If you have to drive any sort of distance to try it (East Coasters can look for a Hardees...if they're still around), then I'd say it might not be worth your time. Try looking for something that is truly DANGERous.

Not just something that your heart finds DANGERous.

** 1/2 Stars
Philly Cheesesteak Burger
Carl's Jr.

and for your enjoyment...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Little DANGERous Competition

Welcome back, readers of DANGER!

In order to further my quest towards the elusive Danger Sandwich, this past weekend I decided to throw a dinner party where every guest would bring their own special sandwich to share with the group.

And I was lucky enough to be the judge.

Imagine that!

The sandwiches ranged from Savory to Sweet, but everyone of them was delicious.

But since you were all not able to attend this delicious expedition into the soul of a good sandwich, I will provide you with a quick guide to our entrants and their sandwiches:

1.) Strawberry Morning (May Wong) - delightfully sweet, and refreshing. Perfect for breakfast. Whipped cream cheese, strawberry preserves and diced organic strawberries on a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel.

2.) Spicy Chicken Sandwich (Charlene Cowler) - Spicy Chicken nuggets in a sweet hawaiin bun with honey mustard and a dill pickle. The fun and deliciousness of a trip to Chick Fil-A miniaturized!

3.) Peanut Butter and Jelly Cooked (Mischelle Vreeman) - Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches pressed into hot pockets in a sandwich press. The Peanut butter and jelly mix so well together when warm.

4.) Bet On Black Turkey Sandwich (Nate Anderson) - Black Pepper Turkey, Pepper mayo spread, munster cheese, and alfalfa sprouts on toasted sourdough. An excellent blend of ingredients, and the sprouts add a nice contrast in flavor.

5.) Hunka Hunka Fried Up Love (Yours Truly) - my homage to the King of Rock and Roll. Just like Elvis enjoyed them: butter fried sandwiches filled with creamy peanut butter and sliced bananas. Dusted with a sweet sprinkle of powdered sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon.

6.) Sloppy Jenna (Jenna Freyenberger) - smokey, spicy sloppy joes packed between two delicious slices of garlic bread.

7.) Italian Beef (Melanie Folk) - Slow cooked Italian Beef with onions, peppers, and provolone cheese in a hard Italian roll.

8.) The Giant Phillie (Chris Lightbody) - east meets west in this Bay Area inspired take on the Philly Cheesesteak. Roughly chopped steak with provolone, onions, red pepper aioli stuffed into a thick sourdough roll. Philly native approved.

After we had all sampled the sandwiches, I asked that everyone in attendance vote on their favorites. After the votes were tallied, here are the top three audience favorites:

1.) Italian Beef Sandwich
2.) Sloppy Jenna
3.) Hunka Hunka Fried Up love (thanks for the votes, everyone!)

But you have come to this blog to read what I have chosen to be number one!

As you may have read above, all of the sandwiches were very delicious, each with a different flavor. So it was very hard to narrow down, but I think I agree wholeheartedly with my fellow voters.

The Italian beef sandwich takes first place. The beef was incredibly tender, full of flavor, and fell apart in your mouth. the combination with onions, peppers, and melted provolone cheese added with a italian roll made this an excellent treat, and eating the leftovers the following night was just as delicious.

The Sloppy Jenna came in a very close second. I'm a big fan of sloppy joes, and this sandwich had the right combination of BBQ flavor, smoky taste, and the garlic added from the garlic bread was a nice contrast that really brought this sandwich to life. Make it for yourself at home!

Well, that is all for now followers of Danger. I hope that the sandwich entries above inspire you to try to replicate one of these or to create your own concoction. Either way, be sure to leave comments below about your ideas, and wish the winners well!

Until next week readers...Ciao, DANGER!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Delicious Find

Dear Readers!

There is something you should know:

Sometimes in life, when we are not even in search of the Danger Sandwich, a potential candidate will find you. Sometimes those instances can lead you to greatness, even when you don’t expect it.

Could this be ones of those surprises?

Recently while on a trip to Torrance in search of home brew supplies, I was greeted with an unexpected surprise. After drinking a significant amount of homebrew with the shop owners, I wandered across the street and found The Red Car Brewery.

While not particularly special looking, I did enjoy the idea of some microbrews with great pub foods. I also needed a sandwich that would help me back into a state in which I could drive again.

And boy did I find a great pub sandwich. A wonderful BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich.

The BBQ pork had been cooked to perfection. The pork easily fell apart in my mouth and almost melted away.

The only detraction from the pork was the sauce. While it was delicious, smoky, a bit spicy and really an excellent pairing with the pork, there was just a little too much BBQ sauce added to the pork and the sandwich. Some bites were almost overpowering because of the strong flavor. A little less sauce would have been spot on.

The roll was very well prepared. Lightly grilled on the inside, It added quite a bit of support without being too tough. The problem that you can have with sandwiches like this is usually one of two things: 1.) the bread is too soft, and it falls apart because of the sauce and heavy filling; or 2.) the bread is too tough or thick and detracts from the tender insides.

This roll managed to walk the line between the two.

The side of garlic fries were an excellent addition to the sandwich as well. Crispy, golden brown on the outside with a soft and warm inside, these fries would be delicious on their own, but when you add a ton of grilled garlic on top, it can’t be beat.

Overall, the sandwich was delicious and was a nice reminder of the summer months on a cool autumn day. Is it worth driving the 40 minutes from Los Angeles just to eat? Probably not, but at least I’d try to find some other things to do in Torrance to make the trip worthwhile.

Until next time, FOLLOWERS OF DANGER!

*** ½ Stars
Red Car Brewery
1266 Sartori Avenue
Torrance, CA

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Which Came First? (Part 2)

Well, Hello Dear Readers!

Welcome back for part two of my DANGERously insightful look at French Dip Sandwiches.

In last week's post, I tackled Philippe The Original's in downtown Los Angeles, and so this week I traveled a few streets west and found myself on Cole's French Dip Sandwiches front step.

I have tried Cole's before, but never in comparison to Philippe's, so I cleansed my palate, and ate's Cole's French Dip as if I never had before.

In order to accurately compare the two sandwiches, I again ordered the Lamb French Dip with Bleu Cheese

Despite what I've been told by so many people in Los Angeles, I have to say that Cole's is my preference, and for a number of reasons.

So, please dear Readers! Hear me out before cursing my excellent taste!

The chopped lamb was exceptional at Cole's. It's chopped much thinner than at Philippe's, is thoroughly cooked without being burnt (unlike an occasional piece at Philippe's), and was intensely flavorful and tender.

Advantage: Cole's

The bleu cheese was much softer, and more like a spread on this sandwich, compared to the solic brick on Philippe's. While both were delicious, dry, and pungent as aged cheeses are known to be, I have to say Cole's was much better as it became a part of the sandwich, instead of being a separate component.

Advantage: Cole's

Oh, did I mention that you are allowed to dip your own sandwich at Cole's? You are given a small cup filled with savory, slightly salty, meat sauce for your sandwich. An excellent complement to an already amazing sandwich.

Advantage: Cole's

The bread at Cole's was the only part of this sandwich that I was slightly disappointed with. Philippe's was soft on the inside, golden and flaky on the outside, and would be great for dipping as it would soften the bread up perfectly.

The bread at Cole's was a bit tougher and thicker, so it was able to hold more au jus that I would normally care for. Easily remedied by dipping less.

Advantage: Philippe's

I also want to make a quick note about the sides at Cole's. The atomic pickles are spicy, crunchy, and overall delicious. Order a side of them, but also ask for an extra glass of water.

The bacon potato salad is probably one of the best potato salads I've ever had in a restaurant. Just the right amount of mayonnaise: not too moist, not too dry; full of flavor; and covered in delicious bacon.

And don't forget their horseradish mustard to put on each bite of your sandwich after dipping in au jus. Just remember though, for most people, a dab of this mustard is more than most people can handle. So use it sparingly if you're sensitive to hotness.

I don't want anyone to think that I didn't enjoy the French Dip at Philippe's

I really did.

It's just that when laid side by side with its famous competitor, Cole's comes out in front, by a few roll lengths.

Until next week....


**** 1/2 Stars
118 E. 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014