Ah, the fabled Rose Bowl. Host of UCLA football games, THE Rose Bowl, a monthly flea market and now the annual Masters of Taste. As a blogger extraordinaire, I was invited to cover the event, which took place on May 7th and I found it a much easier way to set foot on the Rose Bowl field than winning the Big Ten Championship (and some might say it was much harder than winning the Pac-12 Championship, huzzah!). Food and drink vendors appeared from all over LA to help bring in money for Union Station Homeless Services. It’s a good cause, and surely the now two-year old event is doing a much better job of drawing in money than the annual gala did before it. But enough, let’s talk food.
GBD in Washington DC’s Dupont Circle quite literally stands for Golden Brown Delicious. This, of course, is quite a claim, yet considering the place specializes in doughnuts and fried chicken, I had to imagine they were doing something right. Unfortunately I didn’t have my fancy camera to capture the place in all its glory, but that didn’t stop me from ordering some delicious food.
Back in the days when our nation was in the grips of civil war, a little French doughnut and coffee shop opened in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The year was 1862 and the shop was Cafe du Monde, which is still standing in the same place and seemingly serving the same doughnuts and coffee it was serving 150 years ago. Of course, being French the dougnuts are actually beignets and the coffee is cafe au lait, which are much more than just a translation.
No self-respecting meat blogger can go to Portland and leave without first paying a visit to Voodoo Doughnut. That’s because Voodoo Doughnut is no ordinary doughnut shop. Not content with simply making a few tasty crullers and eclairs, Voodoo Doughnut has come up with doughnuts topped with just about any ingredient that you could ever want on a doughnut, and some you might not. Think Tang, Cap’n Crunch and weird vegan things that simply seem necessary in Portland. Some are even shaped like dongs, but that’s a whole other story. In my story, the line in front of the place only took about a half an hour, which I was informed was not terrible despite that it was mid-afternoon on a Thursday.
Living in LA can make you jaded. Traffic. Obnoxious Hollywood crowd. Traffic. Sometimes these things can make you forget how damn cool of a city LA can be. Case in point: The other day I was watching Iron Man 2 in anticipation of The Avengers and saw Iron Man/Tony Stark chilling inside of a giant donut, eating breakfast. Two days later, I drove by that donut and knew I had to check out its edible cousins.
That giant donut sits on top of Randy’s Donuts, an LA landmark. Aside from Iron Man 2, it has been featured in plenty of other films. Truth be told, I’ve driven past it many times; considering its location in Inglewood on the way to the airport, it is a tough landmark to miss. But never before had it been breakfast time and I was hungry. The line was minimal, and unlike its depiction in Iron Man 2, there was no interior.
Da Burger Boss is part of the newer wave of food trucks and while they aren’t brand new, they’re still plenty new to me. Their schtick is naming burgers after mob terms like The Strongarm, The Collector and so on. It’s an interesting schtick that has produced some interesting-looking combinations, but the sole reason I found myself waiting for Da Boss was to partake in The Patrolman.
You see, The Patrolman is no ordinary burger. Sure, it’s filled with a half-pound patty, bacon and blue cheese dressing, but after that the burger goes in a frightening and exciting direction. First is the cran-apple reduction, which is not crazy on its own, but when you throw in the grilled glazed donut bun, things get goddamn nuts. Yes, I said a grilled glazed donut bun. I was unsure of how any degree of this would be pulled off and figure it was worth the 9 bucks to find out.
Another great unvegan guest blog from @RGSpiegel.
A few weeks ago, I was watching a Cubs game on WGN and, being too lazy and preoccupied with whatever the internet had to offer to change the channel after the game (presumably, the Cubs lost), a special about the best places to eat brunch in Chicago came on. Featured first on this special was Nightwood, a restaurant in the Pilsen neighborhood on the South side of Chicago that served up brunch on Sundays. Although I am not one to typically seek out special places to eat breakfast or brunch (which is really just breakfast eaten later in the day because of being too hungover to move any earlier), I knew I had to try Nightwood when I saw that they served up a special unvegan treat: the bacon butterscotch doughnut. When I saw that this creation even existed, I immediately channeled my inner Homer Simpson.
Though it is neither a restaurant nor meat related in any way, the Franklin Cider Mill is certainly blogworthy for its doughnuts and complete lack of vegetables. According to their website, the mill was finished in 1837, making it pretty much older than anything west of the Mississippi. Even more amazing is the incredibly short season that the mill is open, only from Labor Day to Thanksgiving, the peak apple harvesting season in Michigan. Any sort of establishment has to be pretty incredible to sustain itself year-round while only operating for a few months and the Franklin Cider Mill is certainly no exception.