Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pinch Me, I'm In Beer Heaven

Greetings, dear Readers!

I have mentioned before on this blog that over the years I have increasingly become what one might term as a beer connoisseur. My love for finding a delicious beer or excellent pairing with a meal is only matched, or outrun, by my love of sandwiches.

As some people may know, I've even taken this secondary love home and have become a homebrewer of modest talent.

That being said, when I research my future sandwich stops, any bar or restaurant that makes note of their sizable beer selection usually catches my eye.

Imagine my sheer joy when I found that Tony's Darts Away in Burbank had 40+ beers. ON TAP, and none of them are the big name usuals you'd find at any other bar.

Not only is that impressive, but the beer selection is split into two parts: IPA and not IPA.

For those of you with an interest in beer, you may know of the sizable contribution to the beer world by way of the California IPA. It's a delicious, dry, hoppy type of beer that is found the world round, but is especially delicious when coming from the Golden State.

I started off with a delicious Hangar 24 Orange Wheat and let that work my palate until my sandwich arrived: the pork Hot 'n Spicy sausage.

Honestly, the sausage is one of the best I've ever had. Fresh, spicy, and with a little bit of a pop to it (but no too much as that usually does not sit well with me.) On top of the sausage, piled high, were pickled jalapenos, grilled red peppers with a spicy creole mustard and hot sauce spread around the bun.

As if the sausage itself didn't have a spicy kick, the additions took care of that. I tend to like spicy things though, so it was incredibly delicious, but for those wary of burned taste buds, you may want to avoid this.

The bun itself was fresh and fluffy on the inside and held together until the end, even though that didn't take too long to complete. It was delicious.

For a side, I highly recommend the homemade potato chips with sea salt. Better than what you'd get in a bag anywhere you go.

Tony's Darts Away is definitely one of the gems of the Valley. Not only is the atmosphere enjoyable both inside and out, the beer selection and sandwiches put this place over the top.

I definitely think I've found one of my new favorite hangouts.

Which makes me wonder, Readers: what's your favorite local bar/restaurant in your hometown?

Until next week...

Pork Hot 'N Spicy Sausage Sandwich
**** Stars
1710 W. Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91506

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Last Night Home At Liberty Bell

Greetings my Dear Readers!

All good things must come to an end, especially when it concerns visits home for the holidays.

So for my last night home on my Christmas vacation, I joined my family at the local Liberty Bell Diner which over the years has become one of my favorite places to visit when I'm home. Not only have I not prdered any bad selections previously, but the staff is awesome and always remembers all of their regulars, including us.

But would my luck be different this time around?

During this visit I decided on the Greek Wrap only after minutes of searching through their novel sized menu. The wrap was stuffed with substantive amounts of grilled chicken, tossed greens, feta cheese, kalamata olive and a dose of tzatziki sauce.

 The grilled chicken was delicious. Juicy on the inside with a finely grilled outside, it was in no short supply in this wrap. The vegetables in the sandwich were incredibly fresh and added a nice crunch to the sandwich while the olives and feta cheese brought those Mediterranean flavors into the mix with their pungent kick.

All in all, it was an excellent sandwich experience, and it's always a nice part of the trip when you get to hang out with your family, especially on the night before you're about to leave town.

Until next week, Readers.

Greek Wrap

**** Stars

The Liberty Bell Diner
8445 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19136

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Can The Golden Eagle Soar?

Greetings Readers!

As I mentioned with last week's entry, my trip home was filled with visits to friends and was also full of sandwich adventures.

One of my favorite types of places to visit, well in any city, are diners. None more so than Philadephia and New Jersey area diners. Maybe it's the fact that I grew up going to them after dances in high school, or in the middle of the night in college, or after nights of drinks on the town.

Regardless, diners have been a source of great conversation, and sometimes surprisingly good food.

When visiting home, I like to visit the Golden Eagle Diner in Bristol, PA, and usually for these visits I am joined with my college roommate Doug.

Interestingly enough, Doug stars in a webseries about two superheroes and his character's alter ego is named, of course, Golden Eagle.

So it's fitting that we would catch up at this diner.

Perusing the novel-sized menu, I wanted to change up my sandwich selection this week so as to find something new, but also to appeal to my dear readers looking for a variety in sandwich types.

I settled upon the crab cake sandwich., which normally are a favorite of mine. I love a good, hearty, spiced patty of crab meat, but this was not the case. The patty here was so much smaller than its accompanying bun  and would have been that much better had i trimmed off half of the bun.

The crab meat itself was overly-flavored, and not exactly in a tasty way. It was too much.

The tartar sauce was also too bland, and didn't add anything to the sandwich. If the tartar and crab meat got together one night and over drinks decided to switch spice levels, maybe they might end up with a better pairing, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Luckily the coffee was free flowing for three hours and the conversation was also great.

I've mentioned this before, but it really does seem like a sandwich experience does become more enjoyable with the right company. This whole journey to find the perfect sandwich is also the story about finding great company to enjoy food with. Even when the sandwiches are bad, the people make up for it.

Until next week. . .

Crab Cake Sandwich
** Stars
Golden Eagle Diner
300 Bath Road & Route 13
Bristol, PA 19007

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Motown Philly, Back Again

Welcome Back, Readers on this day of my 90th post here at The Danger Sandwich. Thank you so much for getting me closer to the century mark!

This week I delve further into the city of Philadelphia on a recent trip back home by trekking out to sample a sandwich at a trendy new eatery there.

Heading down to Kensington I stopped into the swanky Memphis Taproom as the word on the street told me that not only was their beer selection top notch, but their sandwiches would blow my mind.

I like hearing a challenge like that.

Being a beer advocate and homebrewer, as well as an obvious sandwich lover, I could not decide on my sandwich for a few minutes because I kept moving back and forth between the beer and food menus. Both have numerous tasty options available. Having settled on a pint of Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA, I realized that the most desirable sandwich option in front of me was the Porter Braised Brisket.

Now I've come to find that using beer, notably porters, as an additive or a cooking agent is an amazing idea, as I've noted from my visit to Deschutes Brewery in Portland with their Black Butte Porter Burger. So this sandwich obviously was calling out to me and had a lot to live up to.

The porter braised brisket was amazing. It had obviously been marinated and slow-cooked for quite awhile as the tender meat fell apart in my mouth with every bite. Full of flavor, the main portion of this sandwich was top notch, with only one snag: one mouthful I took had a large sum of fat in it.

But not to worry folks, since the brisket had been cooked so well, the fat melted away with a buttery flavor and in a way added to the taste of the sandwich.

Not saying I want a sandwich with a slab of fat in the middle next time.

The brisket was topped with roasted carrots, deliciously melted cheddar cheese and a beer gravy, all combining well to present a delicious brew pub sandwich.

The standard sesame seed roll even held together for the entire meal, which was pretty impressive for a not impressive roll.

So, people of the 215 (and surrounding areas), and visitors alike, I can highly recommend visiting the Memphis Taproom if you are in the area. But you should definitely hurry up and head there before it becomes even more of a local hit. Guy Fieri has featured this spot on his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives before, and the locals are already in the know about Memphis Taproom.

Don't be the last to check it out.

Until next week...

Porter Braised Brisket
**** Stars
Memphis Taproom
2331 E. Cumberland Street
Philadelphia, PA