The Unvegan

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Duluth Grill’s Rolled Flank Steak
A Juicy Breakfast at Eggslut
Rocking Brisket at Rocklands Barbeque
The Best of 2015

Breakfast with Blondies

That there is a beautiful blonde.
That there is a beautiful blonde.

Many people wake up in the morning craving breakfast food. Not me. Just like any other time of the day I crave burgers. It could have something to do with the fact that I try to wake up more around lunch time than breakfast time, but that’s beside the point. Thus, I found myself at Blondies in Las Vegas’s Planet Hollywood ordering a burger as my first meal of the day.

Bad Snacking at BurGR

Gordon likes it this way.
Gordon likes it this way.

When it comes to late-night snacking, it can be tough to find a good spot after 1 am in Las Vegas. It’s surprising, because I would assume places would make bank with the after-club crowd, but alas, Gordon Ramsay’s BurGR (see what they did with the G and R there?) was one of the few spots open near my hotel. I had never given much thought to visiting a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, but I supposed there was no better time than the middle of the night.

A Wicked Good Brunch at Wicked Spoon

Too many good things for one plate.
Too many good things for one plate.

I don’t know about other people, but when I tell someone I just went to Las Vegas, the first question is “Where did you stay?” The next question, though, is “Which buffet did you eat at?” Perhaps it’s because I’m a food blogger, but I tend to think it’s because the buffets are just so damn good that gluttony in Vegas is just a more interesting sin than gambling. Thus, on my most recent outing to Vegas the buffet of choice was Wicked Spoon in The Cosmopolitan.

Getting My Kicks at Apollo

My oh my.
My oh my.

Route 66 is one of those legendary American “things,” like baseball and winning wars, which helped define our country once, but have since been replaced by other American “things,” like the interstate system, football and losing wars/diplomacy. Once upon a time, the route was dotted with the best America had to offer, but now there are mostly ghost towns. Some, like Victorville, California have been propped up by continuing to be a main route. In Victorville’s case, it just happens to be right on the way to Las Vegas.

A Belated Breakfast at Baja Mar

Mmm breakfast nachos.
Mmm breakfast nachos.

Sometimes you go to a Mexican seafood spot to get seafood. And sometimes, despite it being the middle of the afternoon, you go for breakfast. It wasn’t exactly the plan, but when I entered Baja Mar in Monrovia, I just couldn’t get my eyes off of the chilaquiles. Thus, I forewent shrimp and fish tacos for those delicious breakfast nachos.

A Pizza Sandwich at Broadway Pizza

Best combination ever?
Best combination ever?

While the Twin Cities are certainly renowned for the Jucy (or Juicy) Lucy, they are not without other culinary creations. I stumbled upon one of these accidentally when ordering from Broadway Pizza. You see, this is a pizza and sandwich place, but one item on the menu was a combination of the two, calling itself the Pizza Sandwich. My curiosity got the best of me and I ordered it.

Juicy with an “i” at the 5-8 Club

Sweet Lucy.
Sweet Lucy.

In the grand scheme of the genius of humanity, the Juicy Lucy (a burger stuffed with cheese) must fall somewhere on the spectrum of wonder and destruction as the atomic bomb. Unlike the atomic bomb, however, there can never be too many and there is a bit of confusion about who invented the thing. I already reviewed Matt’s Bar, which spells it without the “i” and with a recent visit to Minneapolis I decided I had to try the 5-8 Club, the other claimant to the origin.

1928 was a long time ago.
1928 was a long time ago.

After a chat with my waitress, I opted to get my Juicy Lucy stuffed with Amablu blue cheese (unlike Matt’s Bar, the 5-8 Club has more than one option) and without pickles on top. The waitress recommended fried onion strings on top and I took her up on that, then upgraded my fries to jojos (potato wedges).

The burger took a surprisingly long time to arrive and then my waitress disappeared before I had the chance to let her know the onion strings were missing. Nonetheless, I pressed on and did my best not to scald my mouth with the molten cheese. I found the cheese to be nicely distributed as far as such burgers go, but the beef itself was utterly lacking in flavor. It was almost as if the place relied on the cheese to carry the burger and unfortunately it couldn’t. Couple that with the fact that such a burger needs to be cooked all the way through and this was a recipe for disappointment.

The jojos were a nice addition and had been cooked to a soft brown on the outside and an even softer inside.

Truthfully, the 5-8 Club’s Juicy Lucy can hardly be labeled bad. If it was my first, I likely would have left impressed. But having taken down Blue Door and Matt’s Bar in the past, the 5-8 Club just couldn’t hold up. It sure is pretty though!

Breaking Eggs at Courtyard Kitchen

Who the hell put arugula in this?!
Who the hell put arugula in this?!

Courtyard Kitchen in Santa Monica is not in a Courtyard by Marriott hotel. In fact, it is actually in a courtyard, which makes the restaurant itself pretty unique even if it’s name is simply a description of what it is. It was said to have a solid brunch, so I found myself all the way on the west side of town at an ungodly hour hoping to eat some sort of culinary revelation.

Herding Sheep at the Pasadena Sandwich Company

No sheep here.
No sheep here.

It’s no secret that Pasadena isn’t quite flush with Jews. That might be related to the fact that the Hebrews were banned from living in the place until more recent times, but who can really know. What is know, though, is that without Jews there is a certain lack of amenities like good bagels and Jewish delis. Fortunately, the Pasadena Sandwich Company is there to at list fill part of the niche of the Jewish deli.