Wednesday, June 27, 2012

America, The Delicious

 Greetings, Readers!

Let it be known to all, that I am a huge fun of the summer: sun, fun, and American-style food on a hot barbecue grill.

Well here we are, closing in on the biggest summer holiday so it seems only fitting that I should tackle American-style pub food in honor of it.

I have passed Tinhorn Flats in Burbank an innumerable amount of times over my tenure here in Los Angeles, but prior to this past week had never felt the urge to stop in and have a drink or meal. Going on a recommendation, I stopped by this past week after hearing how great their burgers are.

The menu at Tinhorn Flats looks delicious all around, offering a wide variety of American style favorites, but being here for a burger, I settled upon the Bacon Blue Burger.

Bacon is delicious. You all know that. It's usually a deal closer for me and this situation was no different.

A thick beef patty topped with two thick-cut sliced of bacon, a healthy handful of blue cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes topped on a sesame seed bun, this burger was delicious.

The beef patty was thick, juicy and just a little bit greasy, adding some great flavor to the beef. The bacon even overpowered the flavorful beef by adding its own distinct flavor with the blue cheese contributing its contrasting pungent and dry flavor.

The vegetables on this sandwich not only provide a good crunch (the bacon wasn't really crispy as it was so thick), but they are also effective in offsetting the strong flavors provided by the bacon and blue cheese.

The bun was a fairly standard sesame seed bun. Not too much in the way of flavor, but definitely up to task of holding together until the end.

Overall, a very delicious and stand-out burger.

The only negative thing about my experience at Tinhorn Flats was sitting outside on the back patio. The atmosphere was fun at first. A bit secluded and with one of the Heat/Thunder games on TV, but that quickly changed when I realized that people were allowed to smoke there.

By the time I left, there was a very noticeable smoke haze. If second hand smoke isn't your thing, definitely avoid coming here, or at the very least, avoid sitting outside.

So, as July 4th is only one week away, what are you planning on eating/cooking for this year's Independence day parties?

Until next week, Readers!

Bacon Blue Burger
**** 1/2 stars
Tinhorn Flats
2623 W. Magnolia Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91505

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Home Again, Pt. 2

Greetings, Readers!

I was wondering this week, what is your favorite local place for eating? Sandwiches or not, I imagined all of my dear Readers showing me their favorite restaurants and imagining it would take years to visit them all.

Three Monkeys Cafe has become a bit of a favorite place away from home (although it's technically home since I am from Philadelphia).

Visiting this place three times in a long weekend probably could solidify that statement.

On the Sunday that I was heading back to Los Angeles, I sat down at the cafe and perused the specials menu. Today something definitely caught my eye: The Caribbean Pork Sandwich.

The sandwich consisted of a slap of roasted pork topped with a healthy dose of sweet mango salsa. The pork and mango pair incredibly well, and this sandwich is no exception. My only problem with it was that the pork wasn't as tender as I would have liked. It wasn't exactly tough, but a longer roasting/marinating time could have made the pork a more standout component.

The roll was a lightly toasted sesame seed roll that didn't add too much to the mix, but wasn't bad either. I definitely preferred the Blackened Tuna Steak sandwich from their regular menu, which is also much more frequently available. If you make your way to Three Monkeys sometime, I can highly recommend that sandwich instead.

Despite this sandwich not living up to the promise of their other offerings, It is very easy to see that the standards that Three Monkeys' menu lives up to a very high, and delicious standard. It is absolutely worth the visit the next time you are in the Philadelphia area.

Until next week, Dear Readers...

Caribbean Pork Sandwich
*** 1/2 Stars
Three Monkeys Cafe
9645 James Street
Philadelphia, PA 19114

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Home Again

Greetings Readers!

I recently headed back east to Philadelphia for my brother's wedding this past weekend, and what a whirlwind tour it was.

When I usually head back home, I tend to have ideas of places to visit, like a massive list of places, but I never really get to many of them because of time constraints.

One day, I'll spend two weeks back home eating sandwiches. Followed by three months in cardiac arrest.

So to keep it simple on a great, but thoroughly busy weekend, I met with my brother and his friend Nick for lunch at Northeast Philly hotspot Three Monkeys.

I haven't been to this place in years, and when I was there, I don't think they had an outside eating area nor a decent sized food menu. But much has changed over the years.

Enjoying the slightly humid June afternoon, I ordered the Blackened Tuna Steak sandwich, a good change of pace from the copious amounts of red meat I've been eating lately for the blog.

Topped with a spicy remoulade, lettuce and tomato on a lightly toasted Le Bus roll, this sandwich delivers.

The tuna steak was thick and juicy, full of flavor but not too 'fishy'. The spicy remoulade added a nice spicy cream flavor to the sandwich while the lettuce added a crispness to the sandwich. Though the name 'blackened' seems a little misleading, as you can see in the photo. When I hear that term used in a sandwich I usually think some sort of Caribbean influenced cooking that chars the outside. Sadly, not the case in this sandwich.

While it didn't disappoint in flavor, I was disappointed that it was not the flavor I was expecting.

Regardless, finish this plate off with old bay shoestring fries and you have an excellent choice for lunch.

If you live in the Philadelphia area and you haven't been to Three Monkeys, you should definitely make your way there. Even if you're not interested in food, their beer selection is pretty decent to enjoy on a hot and humid summer afternoon.

Until next week, Readers...

Blackened Tuna Steak sandwich
**** Stars
Three Monkeys Cafe
9645 James Street
Philadelphia, PA 19114

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's Been A Long Time...For Some Short Rib

Welcome back, Dear Readers!

After having survived freefall on my 30th birthday, I was reminded that I still had so many sandwiches to taste yet in life, and what better time to take on one I had been postponing for quite some time.

Having relatives visiting me for my birthday, I decided to take them to a swank little eatery known as Joan's on Third in West Hollywood.

Taking a seat at one of the sidewalk tables, I anxiously awaited my Short Rib sandwich. Now Joan's has an amazing selection of sandwiches, and from what I hear, most are amazing. So if you are interested in trying this place out, but not dying for a short rib sandwich, you have plenty of excellent options.

Pulled short rib, melted jack cheese, arugula and sweet red onions stack up between two slices of grilled country bread. The short rib had definitely been cooked down the right amount of time. It just about fell apart when I bit into it, without being too mushy or ending up too dry.

Since the rib meat was pulled, the melted jack cheese permeated the whole sandwich from bread slice to bread slice.

The country bread was lightly buttered, lightly grilled, and highly delicious, adding a bit of crunch to the otherwise softer insiders of the sandwich.


I'm still not sure why I delayed so long in eating this sandwich as it was definitely highly enjoyable, delicious, and worth a second trip. The sandwich is very similar to the sandwich i reviewed at 8 oz. Burger Bar back in December 2010, but I feel like Joan's version of the sandwich slightly edges out that one.

Like I mentioned before, Joan's has an incredible deep menu listing that can satisfy almost any customer, so if you're in the area you should absolutely check it out. But if you're looking for what most people (including myself now) consider the pinnacle of their sandwich mastery, you'd do well to try the Short Rib Sandwich.

In other sandwiching news, I will be heading back to Philadelphia for my brother's wedding this weekend will hopefully get at least one sandwich in for you east coasters to read about.  Congrats to Evan and Liz on their big day in advance.

So, Philly, what's the sandwich that is a must have?

Until next week, Readers...

Short Rib Sandwich
Joan's on Third
8350 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048