Showing posts with label hot dog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hot dog. Show all posts

Monday, June 28, 2010

Croquer: Yaki's

Sometimes simplicity is best.
After years of discounting the teriyaki bowl as a Yoshi-no-no, a recent lunch in Burbank rekindled my appreciation for a basic meal of charbroiled protein, veggies, rice, and sauce.
I have no idea how pioneering Yaki's the Original Teriyaki Bowl actually was in the history of the Americanized beef bowl, but I do know that people still LOVE the place. A small booth sitting on the corner of Alameda and Main, Yaki's is fast but hardly menial, with remarkably friendly service. And is seemingly rather health conscious. Their menu touts "Eat lean. It's your body." Further stating that Yaki's uses no MSG, only skinless boneless chicken and lean beef, and that Yaki Sauce & Yaki's Bravo Sauce contain no fat.
The fresh and tasty bowl does hit the spot without overfilling. My favorite is the Suicide bowl - charbroiled chicken over steamed rice and cabbage topped with Yaki's sauce and spicy cilantro-y Bravo sauce. Splurge and add grilled fresh pineapple for fifty cents.
And if I'm feeling naughty... I get the Bull Dog - A hot dog with cheese and mustard wrapped like a spring roll and deep fried. The mayo-ribboned teriyaki dipping sauce makes the treat a truly sinful delight. Because nothing says "eat lean, it's your body" like a cheese-oozing-deep-fried-Asian-pig-n-a-blanket. Also available by the 3-pack with fries, aptly called the Dog Pound. Woof!

904 W Alameda Ave. Burbank; 818.845.1016

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Croquer: Trails

My first two years in Los Angeles were spent living in west Los Feliz at the base of the Hollywood Hills, a stone skip from Griffith Park. The shame is that I can probably count on my hands how many times in those years I made it up into the park. I read once about a gourmet snack shack nestled up there in the trees, but that quickly evaporated into the cloud of LA to-dos. Years later, now situated a few more stone skips south, I have finally embraced Griffith Park, hiking as many Sundays as I can with Julia up to the Observatory and back down. Our meeting place is Trails Café, that "snack shack" I had always meant to check out. Truly a rustic little walk-up snack bar of yore, surrounded by lazy trees, picnic tables and trail heads, Trails wouldn't attract much attention on its own. But reputation plays a big part here, and word of mouth. The scene consists of a good number of hikers sure, but largely in-the-know east-siders spending their leisurely mornings somewhere a little more pleasant than a crowded coffee shop. It also doesn't hurt that Trails was opened by societal music producer Mickey Petralia (Flight of the Conchords, Beck). A glance at the Trails menu immediately lets you know this is not your typical state park snack bar. The food is largely of a sustainable vegetarian and vegan slant with a French bakery flair. The tarts, galettes, pies, scones and shortbread might make the post-exercise set uncomfortable - but the Lavendar Shortbread is worth the sin, you've earned it. The apple pie is a sight to behold.The menu's savories include an infamous vegan chili with blue cornbread, a sprouty avocado and veggie-bacon sandwich, quiche du jour, and "snake dogs" (pastry-wrapped hot dogs on a stick).While everything I've had at Trails has been lovely, the portions are on the small side and tend to leave my post-workout hunger unsated. Especially at the price point (a small snack and beverage will likely run you more than $10). Yet I return, perhaps for the ambiance, or the convenient locale for an exercise reward. Or because, despite these things, I just love to be there. Besides, where else in LA can you sit in the sun, in the forest, and have free wi-fi?Open Tuesday - Sunday, 8am - 6pm

2333 Fern Dell Drive, Griffith Park; 323.871.2102
The Trails Outdoor Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 28, 2009

En Vitesse: More Sonoran Dogs!

Check out this great NY Times piece delving deeper into the history of the Sonoran Hot Dog I recently covered on my last trip home to Tucson.
“THE problem with American hot dogs is that they’re American,” said Tania Murillo, standing beneath a pink and blue bunny-shaped piñata, as she rang up an order of tortillas at Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory.
“A ketchup-and-mustard hot dog is boring,” continued Ms. Murillo, a high school senior. “They’re not colorful enough. You’ve got to make them colorful, and pile on the stuff. The best hot dogs come from Sonora,” the Mexican state immediately to the south. “Everybody knows that.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

Croquer: Franken's

I learned about this promising new vegan hot dog cart on my friend Saucy's beautiful blog Cigarettejeans. Like Halloween everyday for Smartdog-loving hipsters, Franken's is a roving 100% vegan spooky-themed hot dog stand "taking plant-based food to the streets" outside of cooler-than-you spots like guerilla drive-ins, Pehrspace and the Smell.
Dressed like a Disneyland goth landing his dream job at a concession cart outside the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square, Frankens' b/w striped vendors come armed with a mission statement:
We are a Spooky-Theme Mobile Cuisine. Serving up 100% Plant-Based Gourmet Franks Fresh off our Franken-Stand. Dress them with your choice of trimmings! We carry, Mustard (Regular & Spicy Brown), Ketchup, BBQ, Vegenaise, Hot Sauce, Relish, Jalapenos, Kraut, Diced Onions, Freshed Chopped Cilantro, & Pickles. Hand-Cooked Potato Chips and Baked Goodies! Wash it all down with a selection from our variety of healthy and savory sodas.
I'm down, curious what menu item "the Witch" would taste like!

For location follow on twitter and/or myspace (whoa, what's that?)
or contact:

Thx for the tip, Saucy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Croquer: El Guero Canelo

Known as the best place to get a Sonoran hot dog outside of Mexico, El Guero Canelo's cult status came about as a bit of a Tucson Cinderella story. Opened as a 6x8 taco stand in 1993 by the Contreras family following a trip to Mexico, Guero Canelo El Segundo Restaurant‎ now fills a massive 20,000 square foot lot on Oracle at Grant. The original cart sits out front in the parking lot as a 'modest' reminder of their success.Inside the warehouse-like space, diners voices and order numbers being called echo off of the corrugated aluminum roof, green/white/red piñatas and metal-topped picnic tables with Mexican flag painted benches. An ordering counter lines the east wall, the rest of the space wide open seating, divided only by a massive condiment counter that is more like a salad bar buffet of Mexican delectables. Freshly grilled whole jalapeños, onions and mushrooms sit beside several varieties of salsa, pico de gallo, cilantro, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, pickled jalapeños, cheese, and mesquite-smoked green onions.I stuck with the staple and ordered a Sonoran Hot Dog (only $2.29), an unsplit soft baguette-like bun stuffed with a bacon-wrapped frank, pinto beans, tomatoes, jalapeños, shredded cheese, salsa, ketchup, mustard and a staggering amount of mayonnaise. I sliced up a grilled jalapeño to add on top and bit into the drippy goodness. By bite three I was full, but still enjoyed every last bit.Compared to an LA street dog, Guero Canelo's franks are smaller and less succulent, but the giant stuffed bun, pinto beans, and topping options weigh heavily in its favor. Next time I would opt for the Sammy Dog (2 franks), but then my friend's giant carne asada burrito on fresh tortilla looked incredible, and by his satisfied grunts and thumbs up, I sense he thoroughly enjoyed it.Guero Canelo also has a hefty array of Mexican beverages including all your favorite aguas frescas and Mexican glass-bottled sodas.2480 N Oracle Rd Tucson, AZ 85705-4322; 520.882.8977
5201 S 12th Ave Tucson, AZ 85706-2339; 520.295.9005

Monday, March 2, 2009

Croquer: Let's Be Frank

Is it the recession? The food cart is the IT way to 'dine' these days in LA, especially with cheap gourmet the likes of Kogi steadily on the rise. Not that I'm complaining.
My current haunt is Taqueria El Pastor (5179 Santa Monica Blvd, just West of Normandie, LA 90029; 323-644-9806) where the late-night Carnitas and al Pastor are scrumptious, but the extra spicy house-made hot sauces take the cake.
On the other side of the lake, brought to you every Thursday night courtesy of Silverlake Wine's hookup, another special brand of affordable delight is double-parked. Behold Let's Be Frank gourmet dogs. From San Fran comes this purist for the Pink's set, hand-making delicious brats and dogs with the highest quality ingredients available. AND at the cart they're only $5 a pop. I swung by last Thursday and stood in line between zin-lipped couples during Silverlake Wine's Thursday Night Flights for a taste of the dog.I opted for the bratwurst - always do (which felt like cheating so close to the Red Lion Tavern). The extra long brat came topped with freshly grilled onions and homemade bread and butter pickles (YUM), to which I added saurkraut and deli mustard. I must say that I was NOT disappointed. The best part that I really didn't expect was the bun - obviously homemade as well, chewy and soft, steamed to perfection. More substantial and less spongey than your average bun. The brat was perfectly spiced, beery and smokey; a touch of sweet anise to leave the last bite as satisfying as the first.
Though there was no way I could try the hot dog on the same night, on my drive home I realized I would be passing Scoops at Melrose and Heliotrope.. A phenom so revered in these parts that I am literally embarrassed and don't often share that I have NEVER HAD IT. Not for the sake of not trying, however.. In fact, I have tried to go to Scoops on MANY occasions, often after a filling jackfruit faux-pulled-pork sandwich across the street at Pure Luck. I have even begged for the famous Brown Bread ice cream through the gate being pulled in front of me at 10pm on the dot. But there was no sympathy in the icy scoop-slinger's eyes on the other side. I would have to come back, again. So on Thursday night when I turned onto Heliotrope at 9:45pm and saw some people still sitting on the patio and the gate only partially pulled out to signify closing time, I held my breath, parked and RAN. I made it inside, breathing hard, and the silent room turned to look at me blankly, licking their tiny plastic spoons. The lanky casual guy behind the counter seemed unphased as I began checking out the daily selection in the cooler case. Deciding would be too difficult, especially since the Brown Bread container was emptied, so I asked what was good today and set my destiny in Cool Hand Luke's chilly palms. He pointed to the near-empty Oreo Marscapone pan, said though he doesn't eat ice cream ("if [I] can believe that"), this was easily the fluffiest, cheesiest, lightly sweet treat available. I took him up on it, and boy.. was it tasty! Basically cookies n' cream.. but with smooth Marscapone-cheesiness. Delish.
Yes, it was a two for two Thursday! I can't wait to go back to both!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Croquer: Street Dogs!

Nothing cures a post-rockshow alchohol-only-filled-belly snack attack quite like a greasy condiment-dripping bacon-wrapped roadside-roasted Mexican Hot Dog. Best $3 you can spend.
Like, ever.