My wise wife once said, “You can take the man out of Detroit, but you can’t take the Detroit out of the man.” When I was living in LA, one of the most exciting things to happen was the opening of Coney Dog, a Detroit-style chili dog spot. Due to probably a number of circumstances, that business failed. In Phoenix, however, a spot called Detroit Coney Grill seems to have made all the right decisions because it now has THREE locations in the area. And for some reason the Tempe location closes at 7:00, so I made my way out to Mesa to try it out for myself.
Could there be a more inviting name for a sausage spot than Bike Jim’s Gourmet Dogs? You’d be hard-pressed to find one, but that only partly explains the rise of this brick and mortar that began as a simple (and yet gourmet) hot dog cart. I went to the location in downtown Denver and struggled to find the right sausage for me.
Every city has its share of iconic places to eat. In Atlanta, one of those places goes by the name of The Varsity and has been around since 1928. They still do the paper hat thing and the people taking orders are famous for asking “What’ll Ya Have?” As far as the food goes, it’s basically what you would expect from 1928: hot dogs, burgers, fries and onion rings.
Torta is Mexican for sandwich and there is a sweet semi-new spot in Pasadena that deals pretty much exclusively in that hand food from south of the border. It’s called Tortugas, and is either a reference to turtles, an island in Haiti or a national park (the dry one). Regardless, the place has a great variety of Mexican sandwiches and one in particular screamed out to my unvegan belly.
Thanksgiving is nigh, and I have a lot to be thankful for this year. You see, one of the perks of being a meat blogger is getting free meats! This year I have been graced with free meats from a number of sources, and there is no better time than now to go through them all and point out a few great meals I’ve put together with them. Plus, if you’re looking for a gift for the meat lover in your life look no further! I swear I don’t get any kickbacks.
Throughout the LA area are places called Tom’s, Tommy’s and any other variety of that name. They all specialize in chili-covered food and while Tommy’s is supposedly the original, Tom’s has done pretty well for itself. Tom’s just opened up a Pasadena outpost that is pretty much a diner, but also claims to have Greek roots. Thus, I was hoping this could be like the Coney Islands of Detroit in my youth.
When it comes to late-night snacking, it can be tough to find a good spot after 1 am in Las Vegas. It’s surprising, because I would assume places would make bank with the after-club crowd, but alas, Gordon Ramsay’s BurGR (see what they did with the G and R there?) was one of the few spots open near my hotel. I had never given much thought to visiting a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, but I supposed there was no better time than the middle of the night.
Usually when a restaurant name includes something that I hate very much, I go into that restaurant expecting the worst. Yet, while I have never had any need for slaw, I somehow knew that The Slaw Dogs in Pasadena was going to be an experience to remember. Sure, there were all sorts of options that made my mouth water, but it was the throwback to Oki Dog that really got me excited.
Around the LA area and the surrounding region is a small group of hot dog spots called Dog Haus. Despite the fact that this seems to portray some sort of Germanic hot dog spot, it’s really just a place for some creative hot dogs and burgers. And while the burgers were actually looking mighty fine, I just had to stick with the hot dog part of the menu.
Oh the park at Echo Park. While it is unquestionably a Mecca for local Hispanic family picnics, it is also unquestionably working hard to attract the local hipsters. Hence, Square One at the Boathouse exists literally in the boathouse where people can rent paddle boats and serves up some good-looking if not exciting-looking food.