Tag Archives: reviews

THE San Diego Cheeseburger

Hodad's, San Diego, Cheeseburger, Onion Rings, Fries, Milkshake

In San Diego there is an ongoing debate in the city, not about politics or the environment, but simply about where to find the best burger.  The two contenders are Hodad’s and… that other burger joint in Pacific Beach.

For the honesty of journalism I will say that I have never eaten at “that other place in PB”. My theory is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, in this case, if you find the perfect burger, why go anywhere else!

Hodad's, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Menu, Cheeseburgers, Frings

It’s not even so much the burger though, it’s the combination of a piled high juicy burger with a side of thick and crispy homemade fries and freshly battered onion rings. And oh yeah, the ringer, the chocolate milkshake which is flown down by little angels from Heaven every time one is ordered. Yes, that is how amazing this milkshake is.

Hodad's, Chocolate, Milkshake, San Diego, Ice Cream, Syrup, Milk

It’s chocolate ice cream with chocolate milk with chocolate syrup, blended up and topped with more chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Hodad's, San Diego, Chocolate, Milkshake, Ice Cream, Syrup, MilkDo I look happy here?

Hodad's, chocolate, milkshake, whitney bond, san diego, straw, ice cream, shake

Blissful maybe? I think ecstatic would be the word I’m looking for. And who wouldn’t be with this deliciousness in front of you!

Hodad's, San Diego, Chocolate, Milkshake, Ice Cream, Syrup, Milk

Yes, that is two spoons you see.  I actually shared this little piece of Heaven with my Mom.

After all, I did have to save some room for the real deal, THE San Diego cheeseburger.

Hodad's, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Bacon, Cheeseburger, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomato

This is the MINI bacon cheeseburger. Yes, Mini.  There is also a single and a double with the increase in size to boot.

Don’t be fooled, I have taken down a double before, but with the double there is generally no room left in the belly for the scrumptious sides, and that is just a crime.

Hodad's, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Food Network, Diners Drive Ins and Dives, Cheeseburger

Although I may not go for the “can’t even wrap your mouth around the whole burger” double, I definitely don’t skimp on the toppings. Delicious American cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and their thick cut white onions, which takes me to my next topic of discussion, the almighty onion rings.

I will admit, I did some Onion Ring battering during my 9 month stint of working at Sonic when I was 16. It’s not a fun job, but it has to be done to get those super fresh, never frozen, crispy bites of delicious fried onion.

Hodad's, San Diego, Onion Rings, French Fries, Fresh, HomemadeSee what’s hiding below that massive pile of crisp onion goodness, yeah that would be their fresh-cut fries. Thick cut, well seasoned and, you guessed it, delicious!

Don’t just take my word for it.  My man Guy thought it was pretty good too!  So good, that he did a little show about it.  Maybe you’ve heard of it, Triple D, AKA Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

Guy Fieri, Diners Drive Ins and Dives, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Food Network, Hodad's, Restaurant

THE San Diego Cheeseburger originated in Ocean Beach at the first Hodad’s location. Since then they have opened a second location in Downtown San Diego.  Now, I’m all for expanding successful businesses but I will admit I was weary of trying out the “non-orignal” Hodad’s.

Would it be the same?  Would those little angels be able to find the new location to drop down my heavenly milkshake? Was there something about the ocean air coming in off the beach that made the burger so juicy and fries so crispy?

I can now say for a fact that the downtown location is just as good as the original, the little angels found it just fine and you can expect the juiciness, crispiness and same friendly-in-a-bad-ass-sort-of-way service that you expect at Hodad’s!

Hodad's, Downtown, San Diego, Broadway, Restaurant, tenth avenueVisit the original Hodad’s at 5010 Newport Ave. Ocean Beach CA 92107 or Hodad’s Downtown at 945 Broadway Avenue San Diego CA 92101. You can also visit them online at hodadies.com. Dig in and enjoy!

Kangaroo and Lamb Tips Too!

The #1 item on my summer bucket list was to complete the “food list challenge”, a list of 100 interesting foods everyone should try at least once in their lives!  I got to knock another item off the list while in Boston by eating some delicious, meaty Kangaroo.

There was a new bar and restaurant that had just opened by my friend’s house called the “Tip Tap Room” which features various meat tips and over 30 beers on tap.  Yeah, get it, tips and taps, I’m not going to lie, I think the name/concept is pretty dang creative, I kind of want to steal it as a theme for one of my dinner parties!  Meat and beer, my kind of place!

They serve up more traditional meats such as chicken, steak and lamb, but also offer a “game of the day”, the day we were there, you guessed it, kangaroo! The obvious first choice of tips was Kangaroo, it was a mark off my food list challenge and a new scrumptious meat to try, but what other tip would we get…. we went with the lamb in a mint & shallot marinade with a minted glaze, chèvre mashed potatoes, sautéed greens and tzatziki sauce.

Lamb Tips

The potatoes were rich and creamy and the lamb was super flavorful!

As for the Kangaroo, the meat was similar to that of a sirloin steak. It was cooked to medium rare and nice, tender and juicy on the inside.

I loved the crunchy onions on top and light roasted potatoes on bottom.

I just looked at their website and the “Game of the Day” today is horseradish truffle marinated ostrich with foie gras blue cheese mash. Now if that doesn’t make me want to jump on a plane to Boston right now I don’t know what will!  I miss Foie Gras, can we get over this whole ban thing in California already?

I digress. If you’re in or around Boston, check out the Tip Tap Room at 138 Cambridge St. Boston, MA 02114 in Beacon Hill or online at www.thetiptaproom.com.

All Star Buffalo Cheesesteak and Hell Fries, Oh My!

Boston, Cambridge, Sandwich, Bar, All Star, Massachusetts, Front, Sign

After discovering Boston Magazine’s article on the amazing Grillo’s Pickles, I went on past the article I originally attended to read on the best burgers in Boston and continued on to the best fries in Boston.

Just 2 blocks down from Grillo’s was one of Boston’s best french fry spots. This spot was the All Star Sandwich Bar where they’re serving up delicious fried potatoes known as Hell Fries.

These cayenne pepper, cilantro and hot sauce topped fries live up to their hellish name. Order an extra ice-cold beverage on the side, you’re gonna need it!

Spicy, French Fries, All Star, Sandwich, Bar, Boston, Cayenne Pepper

Although I am a glutton for delicious, spicy potatoes, I knew I shouldn’t lunch on them alone. I decided to take a peak over at the sandwich menu,  I mean the name of the spot is All Star Sandwich Bar, they must make some pretty killer sandwiches. And do they ever.  I wanted to try one of each! Fried Poblano Cheeseburger, BBQ Fried Chicken Bacon Melt, American Fondue Cheeseburger, how would I pick just one?

Upon the recommendation from my excellent server Brad and my crazy obsessive love for Buffalo sauce I went with the Funky Daily Special Buffalo Cheesesteak BLT. Say what?  A sandwich with multiple meats, blue cheese and buffalo sauce, I’m so in!

Buffalo, Cheesesteak, BLT, All Star, Sandwich, Bar, Boston, Blue Cheese, Sauce

I really can not express the excitement and anticipation that overcame me when this sandwich arrived!

And the anticipation was met with overwhelming joy after just one bite.  Crispy bacon, juicy burger, creamy blue cheese and spicy buffalo sauce, quite the perfect combination and balance of amazingness!

They have tons of daily specials that I wish I had more time in Boston to try each one!

If you’re in Boston, check out your favorite daily special and let me know which you think is the best!

I’m thinking Wednesday’s Pastrami-Nater sounds right up my alley! I do have a slight obsession with the almighty pastrami sandwich though!

The decor in this little sandwich shop is cool and casual and the service was excellent. See Brad, awesome server, hard at work!

If you want to break a little sweat with some Hell Fries or chow down on an amazing sandwich special check out All Star Sandwich Bar at 1245 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA.  To view their entire menu visit their website at: AllStarSandwichBar.

Yankee Dog vs Fenway Frank

As a chef, foodie, food blogger extraordinaire, culinary creator, girl who loves to eat, whatever you want to call me, I almost hate to admit that one of my favorite foods is yes, the hot dog!

There’s something about a delicious, juicy grilled dog nestled in a nicely toasted, warm bun with a slight drizzle of ketchup that makes my mouth water every time!

While in New York I was lucky enough to attend a game at the beautiful new Yankee stadium!

First stop: obvi, hot dog and beer!

This is me, taking my “ketchup-placing-strategy” very seriously!

And now the ultimate moment has descended upon us. The time for Yankee Dog consumption.

Um ya people, that was delicious. I don’t think I even made it away from the condiment counter before the whole thing was gone and I was back in line for numero dos!

A little background on my Yankee Dog.  While downstairs at the stadium there are Nathan’s hot dogs, upstairs there are Hebrew National.  I’m telling you all, that’s the good stuff! Something about that “kosher-ness” that really makes for a delicious dog!

Just in case you’re not a dog lover like myself, never fear, Yankee Stadium has their own sushi.

Yup, they’re high-class in New York.  I mean you can’t expect Jay Z to eat a hot dog, can you?  Are you now picturing Jay Z grilling up a dog for Beyonce, because I definitely am!

But never fear Zooey Deschanel, you and the other Celiac peeps can eat at Yankee Stadium too!

All in all, a beautiful evening at the ballpark!

Two weeks later, the challenge was on. It was time for me to cross #10 off my bucket list and attend a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

While checking this item off, I felt another blog post coming to me, the show down between the Yankee Dog and the Fenway Frank. New York vs. Boston. Yankees vs. Red Sox. Who would win in the best darn dog contest?

After eating dinner at two different restaurants prior to arrival at the game, I still felt it was my duty to take down a dog and complete the challenge. So I maneuvered my way around the most confusing sports stadium in America to find my perfect Fenway Frank.  One frank purchased, a squirt or ketchup and I was ready to go.

Chomp, chomp, chomp.

And the winner is…

The Yankee Dog, by a mile!  No offense Boston, your city won my heart, but your Fenway Frank was a disappointment!

Barely warm, no juiciness to be found and the flavor just wasn’t there!  Must be that “all beef Kosher-ness” that really puts the Yankee Dog over the top!

The battle is not over, I still must try dogs at each and every baseball stadium in America before I can name a true winner. But for now, the Yankee Dog has my heart!

Authentic German Sausages in Where Else But… Oklahoma

In America, we do BBQ, in Italy they do Pizza and in Germany they do Sausages so when two German girls recommend a German restaurant, you eat there and you eat sausage!

My Dad used to work with these two girls and they would frequent Ingrid’s Kitchen for lunch. So of course while I was in town I met him for lunch to see what all the hype was about!

Since appearing on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives Ingrid’s has expanded their restaurant and their menu, but there’s one thing that’s remained the same and that is their homemade, authentic German sausages.

My Dad got his “usual” the #50 Smoked Sausage plate with sauerkraut, red cabbage and those amazing little German potatoes.

His Sausage was great but those potatoes were amazing, light and packed with flavor, I’d come back for a giant bowl of those alone!

I decided to try the Sausage Sandwich with ground veal and pork sausage, grilled onions and peppers.  The sausage was exactly how they described it, flavorful! The homemade bread was fresh and toasted perfectly with a light layer of peppers and onions.

I’ll be heading back to Ingrid’s for another dose of potato amazingness next time I’m in Oklahoma!

If you’d like to join in, visit Ingrid’s at 3701 N. Youngs, Oklahoma City, OK.

Tilapia Tacos, Gourmet Tots and Free Beer

Live music, delicious food and free beer make for a great little spot, but let’s be honest you had me at FREE BEER!

Before I left Oklahoma my brothers girlfriend invited me to lunch at this little spot known as Cafe Nova. It wasn’t until I arrived that I found out about the free beer at happy hour. Had I known about that prior I would have suggested a late (like 4 pm late) lunch!

Yes, from 4-7 PM Mon-Fri if you purchase a $5 appetizer you receive as much free domestic draft beer as you can drink. That could make for a fun Wednesday evening next time I come to visit 😉

But enough about this amazing happy hour that I didn’t get to experience, let’s get to the delicious food that I did experience while lunching with the “FSIL” at Cafe Nova!

We ordered The Fish Taco, Super Nova Salad and Tilapia, as well as their famous happy hour appetizer, the Gourmet Tots!

The Fish Taco was my favorite! The poblano aioli was killer and the tilapia was seared perfectly.

The salad was also delicious.  I give them mad props for loading it up with tons of blue cheese and dried cherries!  Nothing worse than a skimpy salad 😉

I won’t lie, I wanted to hate the Gourmet Tots just for the sake of our otherwise decently healthy meal being ruined.  But those little golden nuggets of goodness, filled with cheese and ham, fried to a golden perfection were pretty outstanding.

Dipped in the homemade ranch… not too shabby, even for this weirdo over here who doesn’t like ranch! (I know, I know, call in the authorities, there must be something wrong with me!)

And finally the Tilapia, served with whipped potatoes and wilted spinach.  While this was delicious, I felt the cream sauce and potatoes were a little heavy for lunch, but if you’re looking for something to fill you up mid-day, this would be the plate to get!

Come for the great food at lunch or the ultimate combo of great food and FREE beer at Happy Hour, either way Cafe Nova is a great place to go in OKC!