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