The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Eating Like a Sconnie at Culver’s
Doing the Impossible at The Counter?
Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame 2017
One and Another Citizen Public House

‘Cured Meats’

Smoked Meat at Schwartz’s

Smokey meat.
Smokey meat.

The Jewish influence on Montreal’s food scene goes beyond the bagels and into the realms of meat. Specifically smoked meat and there is no better-known place to get the smoked meat than at Schwartz’s, which has been making the stuff since 1928. Today Celine Dion weirdly has some sort of ownership in the place, but I went hoping this had little to do with the popularity.

Stopping Over at Deli & Cia

I'll stop for you.
I’ll stop for you.

The Madrid airport sucks. There. I said it. It does have a cool rainbow spanning the entire building, but otherwise it has nothing going for it. Or at least that’s what I thought when I first rolled through the place. But when I came back again for another layover, I found Deli & Cia, which gave me a reason to not completely write off the place.

Little Piggies at Lucifer’s Pizza

Some fiery piggies.
Some fiery piggies.

At first glance, Lucifer’s Pizza seems like a sort of one-trick pony. Their schtick is having multiple heat levels for their sauces, hence the name. They don’t wood-fire their pizza and like most local pizza places claim to have fresh ingredients. Yet, upon visiting Lucifer’s on Melrose for the first time, I found they were more than just a pizza place with spicy sauce.

Boned and Choked at Tar & Roses

A board with options.
A board with options.

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.

Couponing to Campagnola Trattoria (CLOSED)

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The four food groups.

Sometimes it’s hard to decide where to eat. Sure, I have a list of places, but they aren’t always in convenient locations. That’s when I turn to things like Groupon, because if I’m going out to eat somewhere I’m unfamiliar with, I’ll be damned if I pay full price. On this particular eve, I found a discount for an Italian place in West LA called Campagnola Trattoria.

A Serving of Serbian at Metro Diner

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It’s good to be a Serb.

When I think of Serbia, things like Darko Milicic and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It’s just about never that the mention of Serbia gives me thoughts of food, but a little place called Metro Diner (or Cafe) in Culver City might just change that for me. Metro Diner is situated at the bottom of a Travelodge, and judging it by its cover, it would appear to be a dilapidated old diner. But while the majority of the menu items are reminiscent of a diner, it has a touch of Serbian.

Sandwiched by Handy Market

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You look familiar.

LA is a huge place and just when I think I know all I need to, it hits me with a surprise. Sometimes that surprise is unwanted, like closing a lane on the highway that I take to work every day. But more often, it is a pleasant surprise like Handy Market. This local market in Burbank has all the looks of any regular, old-fashioned grocer, but if you head to the back, that all changes. Back there is one of LA’s best-kept secrets, a meaty sandwich lover’s dream.

But first, I want to say that this place reminded me on many levels of another meat paradise called Superior Meats in Wisconsin. Whether it was the grill out front that supposedly is used in full force over the weekends, the friendliness of the staff, the selection of meats or the prices, I kept seeing signs of Wisconsin and the simpler life everywhere I turned.

Vague and Tasty Meats at Pinocchio’s

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Look at that meat.

Long before there was a Disney movie called Pinocchio, there was a classic Italian story featuring that classic wooden toy. Pinocchio’s (no relation) in Burbank is much more about those Italian roots than it is about the Disney story. And although that Disney classic has stood the test of time, there is one thing it certainly cannot do – feed you. That’s where Pinocchio’s comes in.

Terrorists Hate Meat

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No don’t harm the hot dogs!

In the aftermath of the botched terrorist attempt over Christmas, airports have beefed up security. This has made flying more inconvenient, which is fine because I would rather be inconvenienced and be safe than move fast through the lines and feel like I am in danger. When it comes to eating meat, though, this is more than just an inconvenience.