The Unvegan

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The Food Event 2016

Decent scenery.
Decent scenery.

There is, perhaps, no prettier place in the world to host a food event than the Saddlerock Ranch. LA Magazine knows this and that’s why I found myself at Saddlerock in Malibu for The Food Event on October 16th, 2016. I arrived a bit late so a few stalls were already out of food, but I immediately set to work on eating and drinking.

Below are the highlights:

Big and Bold at Duluth Grill

Mmm buffalo.
Mmm buffalo.

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 Billy’s Grill

Sweet buffalo.

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.

Drying Buffalo at Carson’s

Oh no pickle!

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.

A New Level of Custom Burgers at BluBurger Grille

Nothing blue (or green) about this burger.
Nothing blue (or green) about this burger.

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.

Buffalo-Style at the Library Ale House

Just like the Native Americans
Just like the Native Americans

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.