The Unvegan

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Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame 2017
One and Another Citizen Public House
Media Night at SanTan Brewing Company
Spicy at Sauce

‘Bar Food’

Kind of a Burger at Highland Park Brewery

Yeah, that’s actually meatloaf.

It seems like just yesterday that I packed up my bags in Michigan to move to Los Angeles, but alas it was nearly 10 years ago. A lot has changed in those 10 years, and aside from housing prices and traffic much of it has been for the better. Take, for example, breweries. Michigan was littered with them and I found LA barely had one (San Diego was strong, though). Now, they are much easier to find and have even come around to serving brewery food instead of fancy stuff (I’m looking at you, Golden Road, but glad that you have also fixed yourself up!) Highland Park Brewery is one of the new entrants and I set out to test both its food and booze.

Blind Ordering at Olde Blind Dog Pub

Fried up good.

Sometimes when I go to a restaurant I get pretty torn on what to order. In times like these I lean on the professionals (aka waitstaff) to help me out. Such was the case at the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub in Brookhaven, a suburb of Atlanta. The pub serves much of what you would expect from pub food, and I love that stuff so much that I’m inclined to eat it all up.

Melty Delight at Black Iron Burger

All the stuff.
All the stuff.

When you’re in New York, it’s probably not the best idea to decide where you are eating based on the proximity to your hotel. Yet, when I walked by Black Iron Burger, right around the corner from my hotel in Chelsea I was immediately drawn in. The place claimed to have been voted as one of the best burgers in New York, and I was in no position to disagree.

Fox and Goose and Brunch

Capitol idea.
Capitol idea.

While in Sac Town, it’s advisable to check out the State Capitol. It really is a beautiful building with a sprawling grounds showing off some of the best flora of California. And just up the street from there you can find what seemed the be the coolest place in town to grab brunch: Fox and Goose. With a dingy interior and pretty sweet patio, this British Pub drew me right in.

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.

Beers and a Burger at Yard House

Not a beer.
Not a beer.

Yard House is one of those places that, before entering, you can’t decide if you want to love or hate. On one hand, it has one of the biggest beer selections a bar can possibly have and bar food to go with it. On the other hand, it’s more than a little bro-ish. Yet, the first hand was the dominant hand and I entered the LA Live location hoping for the best.

A Boxty at Monterey Pub

Big Mac!
Big Mac!

Just when I thought I knew everything about old school Pittsburgh food pots, Monterey Pub in the North Side was thrust in my face by multiple sources. As an Irish Pub, the place is famed for its Guinness Shredded Beef, which it manages to drop into dishes at every level – nachos, burgers, shepherd’s pie and whatnot. I like Guinness and I like beef, so I was hoping Monterey Pub would satisfy my hunger.

Pigging Out at the Tipsy Cow

Hey Porky.
Hey Porky.

The bar and restaurant once known as Stack’d II quickly became The Ave and has in turn finally become the Tipsy Cow – still in Shadyside of course. And while Stack’d II and The Ave slung cheesesteaks instead of burgers, the Tipsy Cow has taken the original Stack’d’s custom burger concept and upgraded it to make burgers that actually taste like something you want to eat.

A Chicken Kicker at Mirabella’s

Kicked up a notch.
Kicked up a notch.

Saugerties is one of the bigger small towns of Upstate New York and is also one of the weirdest-named. Nonetheless, it is home to a bar and grill called Mirabella’s that I found myself in for dinner while I was up there. Looking a whole lot like the Waterfront in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, I had high hopes that the place could deliver some good food.

Going Bananas for Burgers

Always plantains.
Always plantains.

It all began with a quick stop for some Medalla Light beers and some appetizers, but after taking a look at the menu and seeing the food our fellow customers were eating, it became apparent that Bananas in Esperanza would become our dinner that night in Vieques. Bananas, like Duffy’s from the night before, is kind of like a beach bar with mainland American influence.