State Fairs are often an afterthought. A relic of times past when most of us lived in rural areas and guessing the weight of a pumpkin was the best entertainment of the month. They offer variations on the same rides, foods and entertainment that you find at your local Memorial Day Carnival or County Fair and, I mean, how many people even go to those? But the Minnesota State Fair is so far from an afterthought that it seems to be on the minds of Minnesotans for the 50 weeks of the year in which it is not in operation. Plans are made, new foods are devised and longed after; then, just like that, it’s over again. This year, however, the Unvegan paid a visit to see how it would all stack up.
There is no denying that much of my heart belongs in the state of Wisconsin, where I spent many summers of my life. So when Michigan loses a football game to Wisconsin, I may hate it, but I’m also weirdly more okay with it than I am with losing to just about any other team. But what does this have to do with food? Well, Wisconsin produced a fast food place called Culver’s, which is actually in Phoenix. So afters years of not being in Wisconsin, I revisited the Scottsdale location of Culver’s to see if it could bring me back to my days in Wisconsin.
One of the greatest regrets of my life is failing to capture a better picture at lunch at Little Daddy’s. You see, Little Daddy’s is a Greek-style diner in Southfield, Michigan, with locations in Taylor and Bloomfield Hills as well. It’s kind of like a Coney Island, but more Greek, which means they serve up saganaki. Saganaki is not a misspelling of the Japanese city of Nagasaki. No, it is a flaming cheese.
There are few places in the world (if any) that I have been fixating on visiting for as long as The Squeeze Inn. The trouble is that despite all of my years in California there is rarely a reason for anyone to visit Sacramento. This, by the way, is not meant to be a knock on Sac Town, but the State Capitol isn’t exactly a big draw. Finally, though, some random couple I know got married up there and I convinced them to invite me (solely so I could hit up The Squeeze Inn).
A lot can happen in 7 years. You could meet a woman, call her your girlfriend for a while, then fiancee, then wife and then mother of your child. You could move from LA to Pittsburgh to and then to Pasadena, with a brief sojourn into Buffalo. Or you could, you know, start a meat-centric food blog and keep it going for as long as Brad Pitt spent in Tibet.
Where were you when you ate the greatest meal of your life? Until I went to Liverpool House in Montreal I wasn’t quite sure. You see, Liverpool House is the sister restaurant to Joe Beef, which is often considered one of the best restaurants in the world. Yet, after paying a visit to Liverpool House I can’t imagine how Joe Beef could be any better.
In a desperate search for good, authentic Puerto Rican food before leaving San Juan, we made our way to El Patio de Sam, once again in the old city. There we were greeted by perhaps one of the best waitresses in San Juan, as she not only made us feel welcome, but convinced us to start our meal off with an appetizer.
Steakhouses are generally reserved for special occasions, which are few and far between. On one hand, this is a good thing, because steaks are meant to be appreciated. I, of course, would appreciate a steak everyday but I get it. On the other hand, it makes it tough to truly compare steaks. I mean, how does a steak tonight measure up against one from months back? It’s hard, but I try my best knowing that my steak from Mastro’s is where the bar is set. Enter: Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas.
Tar & Roses doesn’t exactly sound like a restaurant name. Rather, this restaurant in Santa Monica sounds like a bad indie movie or an alternative to being tar and feathered. But a restaurant it is, and one that my wife and I made our way to when she decided she was craving some bone marrow (insert innuendo here). Apparently the place has become quite popular because our only option was to take a seat at the bar, which was actually fine because it brought us closer to the blackboard.
EDIT: This review is of the original. The new Salt’s Cure is apparently bigger and better. We shall see…oh yes…we shall see.
My continued quest for amazing burgers took me to a place called Salt’s Cure in West Hollywood. At this particular intersection, only one of the corners lacks burgers, as the other two are populated by Fatburger and Astro Burger. And while Salt’s Cure isn’t strictly a burger place, a quick look at the high priced menu on the wall when I walked in all but guaranteed I would be eating their burger.