Once upon a time a place named Hopdoddy burst onto the scene in Texas. No one quite seems to understand the name, but they seem to like it because it has blazed a westward path of burgers, beers and fries ever since. Finally, it arrived in Playa Vista and I accompanied my buddy to try it out.
Duluth Grill is a restaurant that may as well have been created for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It’s off the beaten path not just in the fact that it is in Duluth, but because of the part of Duluth it is in. Plus, while it is clearly a diner, it is more than just a diner, serving unique, local and organic fare with an eye for people with food allergies. Guy seems to love that kind of stuff, which is why he paid Duluth Grill a visit and why, despite all of my nostalgic connection to Duluth, I felt good about going there as well.
Buffalo is still considered an exotic meat in the USA. Never mind the fact that bison are native to these lands and the cattle we chow on come from Europe and Asia. And because it is “exotic” it often fetches a high price at restaurants and is given the gourmet treatment. This is not the case at Billy’s Grill, a tiny diner-style joint in Sherman Oaks.
After an awesome Michigan Football game, I was a happy and hungry unvegan. Fortunately I had dinner plans outside of normal Ann Arbor at a restaurant called Carson’s American Bistro. Although it was still in Ann Arbor, it was far enough from the Big House that it wasn’t hard to get a table. The name, Carson’s, evoked thoughts of some sort of a cowboy steakhouse, but when I walked in, I found it was anything but. Also, there is no such thing as a cowboy steakhouse in southeastern Michigan. It was actually a pretty upscale place with a nice selection of food. I wasn’t exactly ready for something huge (having partaken in some cheap pizza while leaving the stadium), so I looked to the burgers.
As a child with an appetite pickier than a vegan, I remember going to The Moose Preserve in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and being amazed by the selection of interesting foods on their menu. I always went with a burger because I wasn’t adventurous yet, but as I grew up, I tried some more things. The Moose Preserve was the first place I ever tried a buffalo burger, and I loved it. In fact, at the time I tried it, I had never seen buffalo on a menu anywhere else. Despite trying buffalo, there was one thing on the menu I was always in fear of. This was the Road Kill Grill. Although not actually composed of road kill, this meal had enough strange (to me) animals on it to keep me away. On my last visit to Michigan, though, I decided it was time to take on the road kill.
I had been hearing about a glorious and semi-new restaurant in downtown LA for months and finally I gathered up the strength to make the trek down the 10 and check it out. This new restaurant is called Wurstkuche and although there are multiple fun and interesting pronunciations for such a place, the one thing that is certain is that it means “sausage kitchen” in some Germanic language.
Arriving on a Sunday night, I expected the place to be packed, but was happy to find a relatively short line at the counter that gave me just enough time to decide what I wanted. The menu is limited to a wide variety of sausages and french fries. Although this seems kind of limiting, there is a sausage in their extensive list for everyone (even those dastardly vegetarians and vegans). The most intriguing part for me was the exotic sausages.
Making its way into the custom burger scene in Arizona is a place called the BluBurger Grille. Similar to places like the Counter in California, BluBurger gives you a list of burger styles and loads of toppings available for them. BluBurger, however, takes customization to a new level.
Rather than restricting itself to one beef burger option, BluBurger has pulled out the stops by offering Kobe Beef (which I can only assume is actually Kobe-style beef) and Bison. Since I typically love me some buffalo, I ordered that with sharp cheddar and BBQ sauce. Adding anything else would have masked the flavor of the buffalo, so I kept my burger pretty simple.
For a nice night out on the town, I went to the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica. After about twenty minutes of waiting, we were finally shown to our table, in an outdoor patio area. I always love eating outside, so this was a definite plus for the restaurant.
Although the menu had a bunch of good-looking options, the buffalo burger really stuck out to me. I always enjoy a good bison, so I hoped the Library would continue that trend. Plus, I try to eat like Native Americans as much as possible, and we all know how much they loved their buffalo.