Advertisements

Category Archives: diner food

California Eatin’!


This place has been a little quiet lately due to some serious traveling on my part and then the holidays. I took 2 trips, one to Disneyworld, which will be an upcoming post, and then to Los Angeles, which is the subject of this post!

I’m just gonna come right out and say it: the food in LA is pretty great. From fast food to fancy food, they have it covered. So let’s get to it, shall we?

We (me and the gang (Aubrie Williams, Jess Ross, Kaitlin Thompson and Briana Kelly) from the sketch group ManiPedi) literally picked up the rental car and went directly to the shining star of fast food in LA (plus, it was a long 4 hour plane ride): In-N-Out Burger! For those of you hiding under a rock, In-N-Out Burger is THE west coast burger chain. It’s not franchised, they have serious control issues (they don’t freeze or reheat) and it makes every single outpost shine in deliciousness. If you had to compare the burgers to a national chain, the closest that comes is Wendy’s, but that’s like saying Florida is kind of close to Canada because they are both in North America. If I never was allowed to eat burgers again but could have 1 kind of burger, I would eat this. That’s how good it is.

a 3x4 and fries, both Animal Style, with Chocolate Shake

a 3×4 and fries, both Animal Style, with Chocolate Shake

They have your basics: burgers, fries and shakes. While I am not the biggest fan of thier fries (they do not double fry the fries like most burger places, just single fry, so that they tend to get a little…hard…if you don’t eat them right away), if you order them “well done” they are a lot better. You order the burgers by how many patties and how much cheese you’d like. I got a 3×4 (“3 by 4”) which was 3 patties and 4 slices of cheese and I got that (along with the fries) “Animal Style”. They have a not-so-secret secret menu, where you can order your burger Animal Style (If applied to a burger, the meat is grilled with mustard, with sauteed onions, pickles, and extra special spread added. If applied to fries, it comes with melted cheese, sauteed onions, and spread.) or Protein Style (wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun), along with a bunch of other stuff including a Grilled Cheese (two slices of melted American cheese, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread with or without onions on a freshly baked bun). The shakes are chocolate, vanilla and strawberry and they are all 100% ice cream, not a powdered mix. The best shake I have ever had, hands down. It was an awesome kick off to a great trip!

IMG_5325

Avocado Benedict- 

Next up was brunch! We met up with JP Boudwin, a Philly comedy transplant, for brunch at the Sunset Junction Coffee Shop in Silver Lake. Silver Lake is like hipster central in LA so I knew there’d be some place with some great food, and JP didn’t let us down. SJCS is bright and airy, with high exposed beam ceilings and a big glass front. We all slid into the big booth in the front of the place and ordered up from the friendly waitress (did I mention the service was amazing? and we had 8 people with us, which is always a pain in the ass).

The menu had a few different kind of Eggs Benedict, which was cool, along with all kinds of pancakes, hashes, sandwiches and egg dishes. It was really hard to choose, everything looked so good. I knew I was going to be eating a lot of, shall we say, artery killer food soon so I went with something light: The Avocado Eggs Benedict. It included two poached eggs with sliced avocado and fresh tomatoes, on an English muffin topped with capers and Hollandaise sauce. I decided to not get breakfast meats and got tomatoes instead of that or hash browns. Then I got a little nervous. Would that be enough food? Could that get me to my next meal without me chewing my arm off? The answer was yes, yes it could. The poached eggs were a large size and done perfectly (I want runny yolk. GIVE ME RUNNY YOLK!), the tomatoes were deliciously juicy and they were not skimpy with the fresh, firm avocado. The best part was the Hollandaise. It wasn’t scooped out of a pot that’s been in a Bain Marie for 5 hours. No, they whipped it up and plated it, and you can tell how fresh it was. Could a simple brunch dish be delightful? Because, frankly, this was. I almost want to smack myself for typing that but yeah, it was great.

Disneyland Mac and Cheese Dog

Disneyland Mac and Cheese Dog

We took a side trip in our LA trip to go to Disneyland! How can you not visit the place where it all started? If you are used to Disneyworld and the overwhelming monstrosity that it is, Disneyland comes off as almost quaint. That’s ok tho, I like quaint. Also, if you are any sort of pop culture junkie like myself, it’s neat to see all the original stuff. At one point I found myself alone, waiting for my friends to get off Space Mountain, and I wandered over to The Refreshment Corner (which, if you are familiar with Casey’s Corner in Disneyworld, is right at the end of Main Street in the same spot), which is an old timey spot sponsored by Coca-Cola, with great stained glass Coke Lamps and whatnot.

Mickey Pretzel

Mickey Pretzel

They have a menu consisting of a mac and cheese dog, a chili dog (or you can get the chili in a sourdough bowl), some Mickey pretzels (stuffed with cream cheese or cheese and jalapeno!), and of course, Cokes. Since it’s sponsored by Coke, you know the mix for the soda is perfect! I got the Mac and Cheese dog, which comes with a big fist full of bacon bits and a bag of chips. I also got a Mickey pretzel because…why not?! The dog was really large and tasted great. They were not at all skimpy with the Mac and Cheese (yes, it tasted just like Stouffers Mac and Cheese and I am ok with that), to the point where I was sort of taken aback to how much was on there. Theme parks are not noted for their generosity with toppings, so this was a nice change. I actually ate it with the plastic knife and fork, it was so hefty. The pretzel was warm, chewy and hit the spot after walking a million miles around the park all day! That says a lot because I come from the Land of Soft Pretzels. Even the chips were quality kettle chips, not just a half filled bag of air with some potato dust, as happens sometimes. I could not have been happier with my choice, altho the Corn Dog cart is still in my “What if..?” file. Next time!

The Fairfax!

The Fairfax!

I went out to brunch with my friend Sean and his awesome fiancee Sarah at a place in the LA Grand Central Market called EggSlut. Yes, EggSlut. Sean suggested it and I was intrigued. It started as a food cart and now this is thier first brick and mortar place. It’s more of a stall in the giant market (which is like Reading Terminal Market or Grand Central Market in NYC). They specialize in, shockingly, eggs! I love good scrambled eggs but if there is a hint of brown on them, I can’t eat them. I like a loose scrambled egg made with milk not water. I ordered the Fairfax and it didn’t disappoint! It comes with scrambled eggs, chives, caramelized onions, Tillamook cheddar and sriracha mayo. It was warm with just a hint of spice from the sririacha and buttery carmelized goodness from the onions. It went quickly into my mouth and left only a smile. Just as the egg gods intended.

Strawberry Sweet Hand Pie from Valerie Confections

Strawberry Sweet Hand Pie from Valerie Confections

But I didn’t stop there! I also got a strawberry hand pie from Valerie’s Confections. it was just about the size of your hand (hence..the name…and stuff…) and this one was stuffed with strawberry. The dough was so flaky, but it didn’t crumble when you took a bite. No, it just showed you it’s inside goodness and invited you to go on and destroy it. Who am I to argue? I destroyed it like a a toddler domineering a bowl of spaghetti. This was easily one of the best things I had on the trip. If you live anywhere near Downtown LA, get ye to Valerie’s!

We wandered over to the La Brea Tar Pits (underwhelming) and saw a bunch of food trucks parked outside the LA Art Museum. One of which was the Bool BBQ Truck, a Korean Fusion BBQ truck. I could not resist, and got the Short Rib

Short Rib Burrito

Short Rib Burrito

Burrito (white rice, cabbage asian slaw, special sauce, hot sauce, pico de gallo and short rib meat). The burrito was excellent! It was just spicy enough, so that the tip of my tongue was a little lit up but I could still taste the sweetness and the delicious meat. The people working the truck were so nice and quick with the food, it stayed on my mind the whole ride home! I highly recommend them if you are over by the Art Museum or hit thier page on facebook and see where they are. Totally worth your time to look them up and more then worth the money!

Speaking of burritos, you can’t go to the west coast without eating some fantastic Mexican food. We happened to stumble upon a great place called Machos Tacos. It’s kind of a shack on the corner of Vermont Ave in Los Feliz, yet another hipster area, and it’s next to a car wash. Oddly enough, I got to look at thier kitchen. I know kitchens. I know dirty kitchens and clean kitchen and kitchens you should pretend don’t actually serve food. This one was cleaner then I’ve seen in awhile. It also serves some amazingly kick ass Mexican food!

Machos Tacos Chicken Mole and Chicken Tacos!

Machos Tacos Chicken Mole and Chicken Tacos!

First up they make thier own chips (and the salsa is hearty with a parade of flavor!) and aren’t skimpy about it (so don’t ask for extra for free, this isn’t the welfare tortilla chip line!). Secondly, they aren’t skimpy with ANYTHING! Here are 2 tacos: the Chicken Mole and the Regular Chicken. Yeah, no skimpiness! The Mole sauce was dark and hearty, it didn’t just pour right out of the tortilla. It had a job to do AND IT WAS GONNA DO IT! I appreciate hard work.

Machos Tacos Wet Machado Burrito

Machos Tacos Wet Machado Burrito

I also got the Machaca Beef Burrito,and I got it wet. Wet, for all you pervs out there, is

Inside the Burrito

Inside the Burrito

when the burrito is covered in sauce. First off, this thing was heavier then my first car. It was half covered in a green chile sauce and half covered in a red sauce but it was all covered in AWESOME! The meat was slow cooked and when it hit your tongue it blended with the rest of the sauce and did the Macarena the rest of the way down. There was very little talking while we ate at this place. There was a lot of dancing in seats tho. So very, very good!

Double Pier Burger

Double Pier Burger

As a tourist in the City of Angels, you have to take a trip to the Santa Monica Pier. It’s just one of those things. It’s a cute pier (that’s now 100 years old and they are really fixing it up) with rides and a fishing pier at the end. They also have a bunch of churro carts and other oddball food. Of course, I would find the burger place. Wouldn’t you know it? Pier Burger! They have burgers, fries, shakes, a fish sandwich that Jess and Kait really liked and other odds and ends. But I went for the burger. I was on a burger mission, and this burger did not disappoint! In fact, I found it to be a In-N-Out competitor! I know! Shut my mouth! But it’s the truth! It’s a burger that tastes really fresh and is seasoned just with some salt and pepper and grilled up on a flat top. It was flat out F-ing great! I got the Double Pier Burger and I am going to come out and say…I liked it better then the 3×4. I know I’ll burn for saying it but it was that good! All I need now is a Pier Burger shirt! (they only had mediums when I was there).

One of the things I did while out there was attend a taping of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I love him and his silly show, but I had gotten there so early, I had to eat before the almost 3 hours of being tied up in line and in the studio. So, on the corner of 3rd and Fairfax I found this big sandwich place called Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market. It’s an interesting place, where they give you a menu while you stand in line and order before you even get to the counter. Once you get to the counter, you also order sides. Perhaps you are not sure about the sides? You can try all of them! They encourage it! No one rolls an eye at you because you have trouble ordering! It’s pretty great. Oh, and grab a beer too. Not a shitty Miller Light, but one from a collection of accessible but delicious beers. Then you slide on down to the end of the counter and wait until your pager buzzes and BANG! Sandwich heaven!

Steak Bahn Mi

Steak Bahn Mi

I always have trouble ordering food. I can never make a decision and then when I do, I am always second guessing myself. It’s a horrible thing and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I couldn’t make a decision as to what to get so I asked the line order taker girl what she liked and she told me the Steak Bahn Mi. I flew blind and ordered it. Normally, I don’t like ciabatta bread because it’s so thick, I feel like it sucks up any kind of moisture in the ingredients. But they make the ciabatta fresh and it was still warm, so it absorbed some but it was soft, warm and chewy. All the Bahn Mi flavors (chili aioli, housemade sweet chili sauce, pickled daikon & carrots, cilantro, jalapenos and cucumbers). It was delightful and just enough to fill me up without making me feel like I just ate a lead weight. The girl who recommended the sandwich to me even came to find me as I was eating to make sure I liked her suggestion. I thought that was a nice touch.

Sushi in a boat

Sushi in a boat themed on Titanic.

Finally, one night we wanted to go to one place but it was full, so JP suggested we go to this sushi place that’s themed on the movie Titanic. It’s in the shape of a boat. Seriously. When I say they had a Japanese version of the Titanic theme playing, I’m not kidding. They even had sushi with cheesesteak in it. It was really good too!

This trip definitely was good times and I can’t wait to go out again and see what else is out there to eat and explore! Give my love to the Coffee Bean! I shall return! Here is a picture of all (well most of) the Philly Comedy people living in LA now with some of us who haven’t made it out yet. Keep an eye out!

Philly Comedy Goes West!

Philly Comedy Goes West!

Advertisements

Stick Em Up For Mugshots Diner


I grew up in the neighborhood next door to Fishtown, and frankly, it has come leaps and bounds from where it was when I was a kid. Let’s just say teeth were optional back then. Anywho, there are so many new places to eat, it’s hard to even keep track of what’s opening. So when I heard there was a new diner opening, I had to check it out, because, man, I love diner food.

I Assure You, We Are Open!

I Assure You, We Are Open!

Mugshots opened, a bit behind schedule, in the 2424 building on York street. It’s actually not a free standing diner, it is on the first floor of the building, with office and artist spaces above it.

Hot Mess Hess went with me to get some dinner before we hit a local comedy show at Urban Saloon in Fairmount. And yes, we were HUNGRY.

Inside the Diner

Inside the Diner

Walking into the diner, I was struck by how clean, happy and bright the place was. Yes, they did just build it, but I am used to diners where the years of grime are part of the character. Plus, do you really hear the words “new diner” often? Nope. The motif of this place is, yes, mugshots. So the walls are littered with celebrity mugshots. I sat under Bill Gates. The booths are cool vinyl blue and yellow and really are reminiscient of 50’s diners without being too in your face Happy Days retro.

Pork Tostadas

Pork Tostadas

The menu was large but not too big, with interesting appetizers, which is always a favorite thing of mine. We decided on Pork Tostadas ($9) to share for an appetizer. They stack 3 shells and fill them with chipotle cream, sour cream, diced tomato, red onion, sliced cabbage, cilantro and pork. They were pretty great. The pork was full of the bbq sauce and it was really messy to eat, not that that is a bad thing. The waitress didn’t give us plates for it tho, so we got it all over the place. Looking back, we should have asked

Side View of Pork Toastadas

Side View of Pork Toastadas

for plates. All the ingredients were fresh, bright and delicious. There might have been some hand stabbing for the last few bites. It was nice to see a place understand that you can fry your own tortillas and not just grab them out of a bag.

I should mention here how nice the wait staff was. The plate thing aside, our waitress was really on the ball, and everyone who worked there was pleasant, but not in a stepford wives sort of way. Any questions I had about the menu were answered promptly, and when I asked about food she had not eaten, I was given a great answer of “I haven’t had it but *soandso* (pointing) did and they like it”, which I like better then I lie or a shrug with an “I don’t know”.

Reuben

Reuben

For our dinners, I got the Reuben Sandwich. The rye bread was nice and warmed from the melted cheese and there was a nice amount of delicious, medium cut corned beef (too thin and it disappears and too thick and you are chewing for 3 days). The cheese was, as cheese always is, delicious (it knows it’s role) and plentiful (sometimes when you order a Reuben, they skimp on the cheese). The kraut was basically out of the bag, but it worked with the sandwich. What I found peculiar was that the russian dressing was on the side. Normally on a Reuben, it’s on the bread, under the kraut. I just used all that was there and covered the whole thing before I dug in. Yes, it looked odd to me, but was still great.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Hot Mess Jess got herself her standard grilled chicken sandwich with mayo. A grilled chicken sandwich is a grilled chicken sandwich, there’s not too much you can do to pretty it up.

It’s a (not so) secret in the food biz to buy meats with grill marks that are frozen and then just warm them up either in the microwave or quickly on the flat top. That chicken seemed to me to actually have been grilled. It was also (yeah I had a bite) juicy and a thick piece of chicken. Even the roll was a bit toasty. Finally, I go out to eat with Hot Mess quite a bit, and we always ask for extra mayo (we ordered fries too, which I didn’t take a picture of because, well, fries are fries. They were hot, they were cooked perfectly, they were delicious) for fries. Sometimes that means a small shotglass of mayo. Sometimes that means they wheel out the 5 gallon jug of Admiration mayo (my fave but still a bit much). Our waitress brought us out a big dish for each of us. Gold stars for her!!

Oreo Cheesecake

Oreo Cheesecake

Finally, because we are gluttons, we had a piece of Oreo cheesecake. It was everything it says it is: cheesecake with Oreos in it. It was smooth, creamy and hit the spot.

Not to say it was easy to pick a dessert, apparently they make all thier desserts in house and they have a truckful! Pies, cakes, cookies, all sorts of stuff.

Desserts!

Desserts!

On our way out, we walked past, who I believe is the owner, who was visiting with all the tables asking if everything was alright, if they enjoyed thier food and stuff. When he asked us if things were ok, we told him yes, and then I asked him why the dressing for the reuben was on the side, that I found that odd even tho I still enjoyed it. He told me that they were finding that some people liked the dressing on there, and some people did not like the dressing at all, so they decided to just put it on the side. It was nice to see a place listen to thier customers, like the gang over at PYT.

Finally, our bill was about 35 bucks, which is acceptable for 2 people, in my opinion.

So, if you find yourself in Fishtown, check out Mugshots. The food is good, not too expensive, there is ok parking around the building and the owner is on top of stuff. Good stuff.

Here is thier new commercial, check it out!

Ten Questions with Comedy, Food, Sports Host Patrick Dodd


Patrick Dodd- Host of Comedy, Food, Sports

Patrick Dodd- Host of Comedy, Food, Sports

Patrick Dodd is a man with three passions in life: Comedy, Food & Sports. Luckily, he is also hilariously funny, so he balled all that up into a great late nite live show called, suprisingly, “Comedy, Food, Sports“. Patrick brings in local and national comics, food celebrities and sports know-it-alls to talk about the holy trinity of awesome.

Patrick was nice enough to do our very first “10 Questions with…” segment! Please go see his show this Friday Night, March 29th at The Twisted Tail (2nd & South, Phila. PA). The guests are James Hesky (host of the new “The Monthly Hour with James Hesky” at the Philadelphia Improv Theatre) and 97.5FM The Fanatic Radio Host Jason Ashworth.

Food, Sports & Comedy are the three things that more or less run my life. How did you decide to combine those three things into a show instead of, say, just doing standup and talking about food and sports?

It’s my three favorite things in the world.  I’m a sports nut and I’m an above average cook and I’ve been doing stand up for about 5 years.  In the past couple of years I got married and we had a kid about 9 months ago, so I can’t really hit the open mics and work out new material.  I knew I still wanted to utilize my creative side, so I threw some ideas around and thought why don’t I just blog about these three topics.  I wrote a couple reviews and op-ed type pieces and I realized I should be interviewing the pros in these three arenas.  I reached out to Jim Florentine (I featured for him a few times down in Atlanta so we had somewhat of a relationship) and he turned out to be the perfect person to use as sort of template as to how these interviews should go.
The blog really took off and I knew I wasn’t taking full advantage of the potential here.  What is now our production team (The two hosts of the NQAPodcast) and I started talking about the idea of a live version of the blog.  It started with the concept of just a live podcast and it eventually developed into “Conan O’Brien-esque” talk show.  There is still plenty of tweaking to be done, but the concept is rock solid and we’re really happy with it.

We here at DidjaEat? want to punch people when they use the term “Foodie”. How do you feel about the evolution of that stupid term and the explosion of people being interested in cooking, eating and culinary stuff in general?

I HATE terms like that!  Everyone in the US that can afford to be a foodie; is a foodie.  You know where there aren’t any foodies?  Sudan!  Terms like that enrage me.  There is just this combination of narcissism and abusing of food combinations that has taken over the culinary world and it’s pretty annoying.  Every place is now a “gastropub” and serves up some sort of over the top “pork belly and banana burger with chocolate bacon and a fig and absinthe reduction” that they over charge for, but every trendy “foodie” goes there for brunch and writes some shitty blog about it (of course DidjaEat is not one of those blogs!).

Also, I hate when people use the term “well it takes an educated palate to enjoy that.”  So you have to teach your mouth and taste buds to like something that it naturally doesn’t?
That felt pretty liberating…great question!

Your hometown is Rochester. Are there any regional foods that you miss (isn’t Genesee Cream Ale from Rochester?) that you just can’t get here (or if you did, they just destroy it, like getting a cheesesteak outside of the Philly area)?
The “garbage plate.”  It started at a place called Nick Tahou’s in Rochester, but now lots of places in the greater Rochester area make their own version of it.  It’s amazing drunk and/or hangover food.  The “classic” and probably most popular one is the cheeseburger place.  Half the plate has home fries and the other half has a pretty bland macaroni salad.  On top of that are two cheeseburger patties with no buns.  The toppings are onions, mustard and what people from Rochester call “hot sauce”, which is actually like a spicy, fatty, greasy meat gravy of sorts.  You cover the thing in ketchup and cut up the patties and start heaving it into your drunk or hung-over mouth and the comfort and flavor is unexplainable.  Instead of patties, you can get hot dogs, sausage, eggs, fried fish, veggie burgers, and a ton of other stuff.

The previous chef at the Ugly American was originally from Rochester and he made a garbage plate that they still have on their menu.  It’s kind of deconstructed, almost “sober” version that is good, but much different that the Rochester version.  It’s very tasty, but much smaller and it’s missing some crucial elements.  It’s more of a gastropub version of it for lack of a better term.

As a comic, do you feel like traveling comics have the most interesting (good and bad) food stories? The horror stories are aways the most interesting. What are some you have experienced or heard?
Surprisingly, the stories have been pretty tame.  I’ve been lucky enough to interview mostly A-list comedians and they kind of have somewhat sophisticated tastes.  Bobby Kelly had a great story about waking up from a Chick-fil-A coma.  He was eating healthy 6 out of 7 days every week, but he splurged hard on the unhealthy day.  He actually shot a video of himself, at a Chick-fil-A drive-in, buying three chicken sandwiches, a twelve piece chicken nugget, an Oreo shake and a large fry.  He passed out after he finished everything off and had some crazy dream about shitting in a garbage can at a family picnic and trying to get his maid to blow him.  Needless to say, he’s one of my favorite comedians to talk too.
Sports are always linked to food. While we would stab our mother for a Schmitter at Citizen’s Bank Park (sorry, Mom), are there any particular foods, tailgate or at the park, that you connect to memories of being a kid or with friends at the stadium or ballpark?
I’m more of just a beer drinker at games, but I usually do something somewhat traditional like a hot dog or sausage at the games.   It kind of depends on what city I’m in.   Fenway and Wrigley have ridiculous sausage rolls.  Yankee Stadium food pretty much sucks.  Hockey and basketball games are pretty much the same everywhere…very blah.  The Union actually have some decent stuff that’s pretty reasonably priced.  I think the overall experience there (specifically the Sons of Ben section) is very under the radar and underrated, but that’s a bit off topic I guess.

As a kid, I always remember getting ice cream right around the 7th inning stretch.  They would put it in the little batting helmet and that was always my favorite part of the game.   I don’t do that now, but I remember almost counting the outs and potential batters to figure out how long it will take until it’s ice cream time.  It was usually the Triple-AAA Baltimore affiliate that we would go see in Rochester, so if they weren’t playing the Pawtucket Red Sox, I didn’t really give a shit if they won or not really.

Are you a fan of the tailgate? If so, what sport and what is a favorite thing to eat while there, bought or cooked. If not, how about just while hanging out at home or at a bar to watch a game?

When I interviewed Rory Scovel, he said he wishes he could just tailgate all the time.  Even if you’re just grilling and drinking beers behind a car in their driveway with no game associated with it.  I always thought that was a hilarious take on it, because tailgating is the best.  Everyone is drinking and eating and trying to one up each other by having the most over the top set up.  I lived in Atlanta for a couple of years and I had season tickets to their games, because anyone can get season tickets basically anywhere they want there.  Anyway, the tailgating was out of control.  People would have huge tents, with DJ’s, competition size smokers, huge RV’s decked out with Falcons logos, and the food was unreal!  Every type of pork imaginable and legitimately some of the best BBQ in the country.  Even though Atlanta fans are pretty fair weather and most people down there aren’t even from Atlanta; it’s kind of a must see.  When the Eagles came down a couple of years ago (Vick’s first time back to Atlanta), you would’ve thought you were at an outdoor concert and BBQ competition.  It’s hard to even explain to be honest.

At a bar, I’m a major sucker for good nachos.  Unfortunately, bars fuck this up all the time.  First off, lettuce has no business being in nachos! I can’t stress that enough.  I would need a full page to explain the rest of my problems I have with most how most bars in the city, and all cities for that matter, serve nachos.  McGillin’s Olde Pub probably makes the best overall nachos I’ve ever had.  I can’t say enough good things about their nachos or the place itself.  Definitely a great spot to watch the game!
When I’m at home watching a game, I try to make everything from scratch.  So I’ll usually make a pizza or two with some nachos or wings or something of that sort, but I try to make sure to create everything from scratch. During the NFL season, I usually make something that’s kind of an all day event.  I’ll make my meat gravy or chili or something like and just let it simmer till midway through the first games.  Meatball sandwiches or just meatballs in sauce are definitely in my top 3 game time at home foods.

Do the comics you have on lean more towards food or sports in their interests?

I’ve somewhat handpicked the comedians I interviewed that I know are into sports and potentially pretty knowledgeable about food, so it’s not super easy to answer that accurately.  Florentine knows tons about sports and not much at all about food, while Nick DiPaolo knows a lot about both and then Dan Levy, literally, knows nothing about sports and is really into crazy types of unique foods.
If I had to guess, comics generally are probably more into food.  It seems like a lot of comics grew up a little bit more on the nerdy side and that’s a big reason why they are so funny and successful, but their sports knowledge is usually pretty below average.  Philly and Boston are probably excluded from that list, because of how into their local teams they are.

You have a little kid under the age of 3, and it is notoriously hard for parents of young kids to eat out. What kind of food do you and the Mrs. go for when you have some time to yourselves?
There are a handful of places we love, depending on how much time we have. Taqueria La Veracruzana is definitely our quick fix for amazing and affordable Mexican food.  That place is an absolute must for people that prefer their tacos not to be wrapped in a nacho Dorito’s shell.  The Royal Tavern is a place that we probably wish we went to more often, but is definitely high up on the list of places that we love.  Kennett So. 2nd is right next door to our place and they really serve up some great stuff and they have a great craft beer selection.  Dimitri’s is our go-to seafood spot if that’s what we’re shooting for.  Outside of our neighborhood, we love Lee How Fook in Chinatown.  That place has never steered us wrong.

You are a member of Red Sox Nation. What foods would you cast as Bill Buckner and Roger Clemens (pre-jerkoff steroid Clemens).

I hate to be “that guy”, but Buckner was a total scapegoat.  There were so many poor coaching decisions that put them in that awful situation.  That being said, I’ve give him some sort of acai berry, blueberry, super fruit smoothie so he can wake up his brain to have some hand-eye coordination to make a play on a simple grounder that my fucking 9 month old son could’ve made.
For Clemens, I would give him some steroid infused pulled pork.  He’s a redneck, so he loves his BBQ and he supposedly started doing roids after he left the Sox.  I think the issue was that no one in Boston was giving him his juice.  He won back to back Cy Youngs after he started pumping needles in his ass cheeks.  The Sox should’ve been feeding him roids from day one!

What is your favorite thing to cook at home and the thing you loathe the most to cook at home?

I love making anything from scratch.  I think it’s just a pretty cool feeling when you create something delicious that came from completely unprocessed, raw items.
I’m really started to love the “low and slow” techniques.  Something like braised short ribs that just cook all day in just a cornucopia of tasty juices.  A lot can be said about how much flavor and texture can be almost perfected with that “low and slow” method.  The comfort level is through the roof if it’s done properly!
I really don’t loathe cooking anything.  I hate working with processed items, but that’s pretty easily avoidable.  I’m not big fan of baking mostly because every measurement has to be so precise.  There isn’t much that you can play around with outside of adding a flavor here and there.  I really don’t measure anything, so it’s tough for me to follow a recipe completely but you pretty much have to with baking.

Thanks again to Patrick for being our guinea pig for “Ten Questions with..” and check out his monthly show!

Flyer for the March 29th Comedy, Food, Sports

Flyer for the March 29th Comedy, Food, Sports

Shore Eats


Last July I finally got to get down to the Jersey Shore. Say what you will about those twits on tv, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the shore, as well as the eats you can find there. Here are a few shots I took on my getaway.

Sausage & Mushroom Pizza from Mack and Manco's in Ocean City, New Jersey

Sausage & Mushroom Pizza from Mack and Manco's in Ocean City, New Jersey

When I get to Ocean City, my car immediately drives to Manco & Manco’s Pizza (formerly Mack and Manco’s). This place has been around since 1956 and as far as I can tell, they haven’t changed a thing. The sauce is sweet, the toppings are plentiful, and you can still watch them make every single one (drooling is optional, but usually happens anyway). The large pies are the size of a buick and the kids who work there are always right on top of things. You might have to wait a bit for a slice or a pie, but the people watching makes the time fly. My dad used to complain about the price, but let’s face it, the days of a 99 cent slice are over. You get what you pay for at Manco and Manco, and I am quite alright with that! I cannot wait to get back down there for a slice of awesome! Hit up Manco and Manco on Twitter at @MancoMancoPizza

Club Deluxe from the Vegas Diner, Wildwood, NJ

Club Deluxe from the Vegas Diner, Wildwood, NJ

I am also a sucker for a great club sandwich. In North Wildwood, there is an old school diner, complete with fun old ladies with a little attitude and a stand when you check out that sells postcards and a full range of lifesavers and gum, called The Vegas Diner. You know a diner has something going on when it was voted Best Diner 12 years running! The breakfast is awesome (and served till 3pm) but I have a soft spot for their Club Deluxe: Turkey, Ham and Swiss Cheese! A lot of times when you get a club sandwich, it’s all lettuce and tomato and slim on the meat. This thing is brimming with turkey, ham and swiss, along with some lovely fresh lettuce & tomato. They throw in some fresh coleslaw, a pickle (yeah, I ordered extra mayo, which you can see on the plate in the corner of the picture) AND a plate of fries! It couldn’t get any better if you made it yourself, and the price is quite reasonable. Quite possibly the best club sandwich I have ever had! I can’t wait to get down there this year! (PS: try the homemade desserts!)

Chocolate and Vanilla Twist from Kohr Brothers, Ocean City, NJ

Chocolate and Vanilla Twist from Kohr Brothers, Ocean City, NJ

Back to the Ocean City Boardwalk. After stuffing my face with pizza, I walk off the calories by walking towards Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard. I can take or leave most desserts for the most part. When I was a kid, I used to think water ice and popsicles were a cheap substitute for ice cream (yeah I had kind of an attitude, whatever). A step above ice cream is frozen custard and Kohr Brothers does it just right every single time. I managed to get there twice the last time I was down the shore. The first cone I got was a chocolate and vanilla twist. Smooth, creamy and chocolatey good with vanilla to smooth it out.  It’s flat out fantastic!

Chocolate & Mint Twist with Chocolate Jimmies from Kohr Brothers, Ocean City, NJ

Chocolate & Mint Twist with Chocolate Jimmies from Kohr Brothers, Ocean City, NJ

I also like to take have a different kind of custard sometimes, beyond the chocolate and vanilla. This time I went with the chocolate and mint twist. Awesome minty flavor and chocolate fantasticness. Of course to take this monstrosity to the next level, I had the thing covered in chocolate jimmies. Some people call them sprinkles. Those people would be wrong. They have always been jimmies and they always will be jimmies. And they will always be the perfect way to top a delicious dessert involving ice cream. Some people go for rainbow jimmies. I can take them or leave them, but chocolate jimmies, well, they rule all.

So now that winter is slowly crawling to the finish line, these tasty summer foods are waiting for me and you, to help your getaway make it’s way to legendary status. Come see them, they will be happy to help out!

Whiskey and Waffles


Over the July 4th weekend, I had a huge order for work. I worked like a fiend the whole time and then a straight 24 hours up until the deadline. After I dropped it off, I walked over to Darlings Diner and had their Belgium Waffle and a Jameson and Ginger Ale.

It really does cure all that ail’s ya!

Whiskey and Waffles

Whiskey and Waffles

(click to embiggen)

%d bloggers like this: