Friday, April 12, 2013

The End: In-N-Out 4x4 Animal Style

In hundreds of trips to In-N-Out, from those childhood visits courtesy of my grandmother, who would pick up me and my brother from elementary school and take us to the In-N-Out three blocks away, to my freshman year of college when I often ate lunch and dinner at In-N-Out, to the years in Pasadena when In-N-Out always served as a great option when Elizabeth and I couldn't decide on dinner, I have never ordered a burger larger than a Double-Double.

So last week in Pasadena I decided to try the 4x4: four patties, four slices of cheese, all of it Animal Style. It was glorious. (It was also, if we're being honest, gilding the lily: the Double-Double is every bit as good.)

And it seemed like the perfect last post.

Take care,

- Justin

Thursday, April 11, 2013

#2: The Crab Cooker Lobster

There is no food in the world I love more than The Crab Cooker's lobster, threaded onto a skewer, brushed with butter and spices and grilled over mesquite charcoal, double cole slaw on the side and a thimble of superfluous butter. I ate there last month with my parents and they remarked that they had been coming there together for almost 45 years. I would consider myself lucky if I could have that many years of eating this lobster.

(Here's some photos of the rest of our lunch, just for the hell of it.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

#3: Pommes Frites

Three times I had been to Pommes Frites: on a trip to NYC in 2006; when Elizabeth and I were here in 2010 for her sister's wedding and we took a respite from an afternoon pub crawl to eat some Belgian fries (probably one of the top 10 most fun afternoons we have ever spent together); last summer when my parents were visiting.

(I often get asked if I have a favorite post out of the 1100+ I have written. I do not. But if I were choosing a top 5, my notes on that 2010 trip to Pommes Frites would certainly be on the list.)

The older I get, the less I like fries. I find fault with 90% of them. But I still love good Belgian fries. So the other day Elizabeth and I stopped in one more time. We had the smallest order (the "regular") and again it was too much for the two of us.

The sauces we tried were roasted garlic mayo, lemon-dill mayo, and "curry ketchup especial," a mixture of curry ketchup, raw onions, and mayo.)

There have been perhaps a half-dozen places in my life where I have had better fries on at least one occasion, but none as consistently as Pommes Frites. In four trips now, they've been great every time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

#4: Yang Chow Slippery Shrimp

On the surface, the idea of cornstarch-battered fried shrimp tossed in a sauce of ketchup, sugar, garlic, vinegar, and ginger is not something that sounds all that good to me. But there is almost no food in the world that I love more. My friend Bryce had never tried them, so I made sure to remedy that on my last trip home.

"These are like candy," he said.

Indeed. I suggested we give some to his three-year-old daughter but he said no. Maybe because they wouldn't be good for her, or maybe just because she wouldn't appreciate them. But probably because that would have meant less shrimp for us.

I don't know how many foods there are that I could eat every single day. Not fries. Probably not lobster. Certainly not bacon. Hell, my freshman year of college I think I actually tried to eat In-N-Out every day and I even got (slightly) tired of that.

I could probably eat pizza every day if it were a good enough slice. And these Slippery Shrimp. That's the list.

Monday, April 8, 2013

#5: Del Taco Chicken Soft Taco

When I wrote about these a couple of years ago, I titled the post "A Somewhat Irrational Love Affair," because I am perfectly willing to admit that there is nothing too special about them. But I love them still. I always end up eating more than I should and they have saved me from more hangovers than anything except... well, not drinking, I guess.

I've heard stories that at the oldest Del Taco, in Barstow, they stuff these things full of chicken. While it might not be a quest on par with my plan to one day see the Midnight Sun Baseball Game or drive the entire length of the Great River Road, some day I will make it there.