Crap I Eat (And Drink)

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Jam this Food in your Face Immediately

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I was starvinating for lunch the other day after a hard workout, no doubt after doing upwards of 1000 pushups (including about 12 in real life and 9988 in my mind) and I was trying to figure out a new spot to eat. I had a major dilemma. I wanted to eat something quick, but I didn’t want something boring or that I’d had many times before. Luckily, I managed to find this place: The Big Front Door

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Now ok, I’ll give you that this place is “just” a sandwich place. But, it’s a really damn good one. That sesame slaw up there? Flavorrific. Everything else I ate? Mindblowingly tastetacular.

You ever eat something that is so good that you barely stop for air? That’s how I felt about this sandwich:

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Yes. That is a sandwich made with ribs. Which, frankly, is the only way I want my sandwiches from now on. The sandwich was made with smoked baby back ribs taken off the bone with a house made bbq sauce that was sweet and a little bit tangy, oven roasted onions, shredded cabbage, oil and vinegar, all served on a torpedo roll. Everything together was just heaven. The ribs were succulent and flavorful, and the cabbage and onions gave it a great crunch. All in all, I breathed approximately three times while eating the entire sandwich. Sadly, its currently only a temporary item. However, I figure if all of the people who visit this website (yes, all twelve) write them an email it will undoubtedly be permanently on the menu as the CrapIEat special. 

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Ps if you don’t like bread (weirdo) or you can’t eat it, just get it as a salad. Rib salad! Now that’s a salad I can get behind.

Now of course a meal isn’t truly complete without chocolate. And yes, chocolate and ribs go together, don’t worry about it. If you go to The Big Front Door, you absolutely have to get their chocolate pistachio cookie. Best…cookie…ever:

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This, much like the rib sandwich, should be rammed into your face as soon as you get it. I guess you should do some chewing too while you’re at it. It’s incredible. The chocolate is high quality and there isn’t too much sugar. The outside of the cookie has a nice crunch on the bottom but its still moist and soft and chewy. And the best part is the saltiness of the pistachio nicely compliments the chocolate. I’m not kidding, it is one of the best cookies I have ever had. Go eat twelve…thousand.

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Nom Rating: NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM (Eight Noms - Sauce all over your face and you don’t care nomming)

'Honest' food is the stupidest phrase ever. Food has literally never lied to me.

Fennel Rubbed Pork Chops with Beer and Brussels

I got some fennel spice rub as a gift for Christmas and I had been trying to think of what to use it with when I picked up some pork chops. Perfect, I thought.

I took two pork chops and seasoned them liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and the fennel spice rub on each side. Then I chopped up a giant pile of onions. Why? Because I feel that giant piles of onions are an excellent accompaniment to any meal-especially a big chunk of meat.

I got my trusty enameled cast iron dutch oven out and went to work. Expertly searing the pork chops to the golden brown perfection you see below:

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Mmmm. Looks delicious right? The next step was to create a pan sauce for the pork chops. I started off by browning the giant pile of onions to bring out some sweetness and caramel flavors.

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Now you might say, that looks gross, it’s just a giant pile of onions. OR, if you are someone I would call a friend, you’d say, holy shit I love onions, that looks delicious! After this, I added some Dos Equis Ambar [apparently this is how you spell it, see the picture below if you don’t believe me!] to deglaze the pan and incorporate all of the sucs [technical term for the browned bits of flavor explosion on the bottom of the pan] into a sauce. I probably should have added more liquid, like perhaps some chicken stock, but I went with just the beer and the leftover juices from the resting pork chops. I ended up with a nice thick glaze that coated the pork chops nicely and added a ton of flavor.

To go along with this I made one of my favorite things-roasted brussels sprouts. Every time I go to a restaurant and have amazing brussels sprouts I wonder why mine can’t be as good. I got pretty close to restaurant quality by getting these nice and brown, and then finishing them off with a delectable pecan balsamic vinegar that I picked up in Austin when I was eating my way through a lesser man’s lifetime supply of BBQ.

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The end result was a great, slightly sweet, slightly tangy flavor that really complimented the fennel rubbed pork chops nicely.

I put it all over some quinoa, and I feel it looked pretty sharp:

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All in all, a great way of showcasing the flavors of the fennel (thanks for the gift!).

And of course, a good excuse to drink some beer: 

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Nom Rating: NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM (Six Noms - Quite Nomalicious)

The Weirdest Thing I Ever Ate… Part 1

There’s nothing like spending a day around L.A. just driving around…and eating giant piles of food. So much food that you are bound to slip into a deep, deep food coma immediately afterwards. I call this a food run. On my last food run I tried a whole bunch of places, but two in particular stood out. For very different reasons.

The first place that stood out in my mind was The Oinkster. They’re famous for their pastrami and slow roasted pork, and believe me, it is oinktastic. 

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I don’t know why they mention hamburgers on their giant sign. Who cares about their hamburgers? Nobody. Hamburgers, while delicious, are not what you should be ordering here. You don’t go to Red Lobster and order a steak, and you don’t go to the Oinkster and order a hamburger. You’ve been warned.

What you SHOULD order:

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Boom. Seriously, I am salivating as I write this. I am contemplating driving to The Oinkster right now and getting one (or three). Pastrami on the right, the slow roasted pork with caramelized onions on the left. Both were heaven. Succulent, flavorful, soft fresh bread, just absolute sandwich perfection. The pastrami is cured for two weeks to ensure maximum deliciousness (anything less would be an absolute insult to the pastrami community), and then smoked over applewood. Meanwhile, the pork is brined with soy and honey and then smoked. These things are fantastic. Absolutely delicious and you should eat one right now.

Nom Rating: NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM (Eight Noms - Unpretentiously Delicious)

But my last food run was more than just a chance to eat amazingly tasty food. I also wanted to try something unique. Something so bizarre that I had never ever seen it before, and frankly, was a little afraid of it. What is it? Here’s a sneak peek:

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Stay tuned…

I stole this idea from Jonathan Gold’s excellent article 99 Things to Eat in LA Before you Die.

It’s live octopus, at least, it’s live when you get there, then dead, very very dead. The dish is called San Nak Ji, and this is as fresh as it gets.  In fact, as you can see, they brought it out to us to prove it. I had no clue what else was on the menu here because literally everything in the restaurant was in Korean. 

It looks insane to eat this without cooking it, but I had been assured that it was highly delicious, and hey, I wasn’t about to shy from a challenge. How terrible could this pulsating blob of grey goop be? Hmm…on second thought.

How was it?

Stay tuned for part three…