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The "Lou"

  

During my recent visit to the Windy City, my friend T and I had lunch at the world famous Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.  Oh my goodness, was this pretty darn, outrageously good! We ordered “The Lou” deep dish style, which consisted of fresh spinach, mushrooms, and roma tomatoes covered with a blend of mozzarella, romano and cheddar cheese. Also had some of their specialty sausage added for some additional oomph and to crank up the delicious factor just a bit.  Coming from Los Angeles where, may I dare say Pizza Hut is one of my goto pizza hangouts, this visit to Lou Malanati’s was a definite treat.  Even my friend T, a self-proclaimed pizza snob, ranks LM high on her list of Chicago pizza joints.  And if you aren’t so fortunate to take a trip to Chicago yourself, Lou Malnati’s also ships their pizzas to anywhere in the U.S.A.  Now how culinarily cool is that?  

  

"How about a nice, thick slice?"

Lou Malnati’s has various locations in Illinois but we ate at the branch in Evanston.  

1850 Sherman Ave  

Evanston, IL

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Mouth Watering Yumminess!

Mouth Watering Yumminess!

A quickie post to share.  This morning my good friend D and I met up at Europane for breakfast.  Europane’s a little cafe/bakery here in Pasadena that’s become a favorite place of ours to relax, catch up with each other’s lives, and of course, indulge in some delicious treats that Europane is known for.  We shared a vegetable quiche (not pictured) as well as a sea salt caramel macaroon.  The macaroon was pretty heavenly–crispy with just the right amount of sweet and salty.  The creamy middle was melt-in-your-mouth light.   I ended up ordering a few more to go: pictured are the  sea salt caramel, pistachio, and strawberry macaroons, and a juicy lemon bar.  I call this the breakfast of champions.

Visit Europane at:  950 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA.

 

064Okay, I know that I have been blogging-delinquent for the past, uh, couple of months or so.  But,  I have a good excuse.   I needed to take a break from blogging.  That’s it.  I didn’t run off to have a baby or move to another country or suddenly become computer illiterate.  Nope.  Just needed a little break is all.  And now that I’ve had my blogging hiatus, I’m ready to go to it again!  For this post, I’d love to share with you a  visit I took to Hot Doug’s, the self proclaimed Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium  in Chicago.  My BF was born and raised in Chicago but surprisingly, he had never even heard of Hot Doug’s which was recently profiled in Anthony Bourdain’s Travel channel show as well as being written up in a slew of other publications.  Of course, when you’re in Chicago you have to indulge in a good dog, right?  Well, I’d describe Hot Doug’s dog not only as pretty darn good, but also as pretty darn creative and unique.  I mean, where else can you eat a hot dog made from foie gras and sauternes duck sausage with truffle sauce?   I enjoyed the 4 succulent slices of foie gras set atop the duck sausage which were neatly tucked away on a softest bun I think I’ve ever eaten.  We also ordered Doug’s Chicago-Style hot dog that had all the trimmings including the familiar neon-green sweet pickle relish, tomato slices, mustard, and a pickle spear.   What else can I say? Maybe that I’m looking forward to my next trip to the Windy City and another stop at Hot Doug’s.

Take a bite!

Take a bite!

Foie Gras Hot Dog

 Eagle Rock's Oinkster
 A visit to the nearby town of Eagle Rock, California brought my boyfriend and I to Oinkster, a hip and hopping place that touts itself as a “slow fast food” eatery.  This basically means that they serve “gourmet quality” food at fast food prices in a casual atmosphere.  I loved the retro look of Oinkster with its big, bright, neon sign and the comfortable, red leather booths.  Don’t expect fine china or silverware here. Instead, you order at the counter, take a number, find a table, and your food will be delivered to you by one of the wait staff. The menu consists of a wide variety to choose from including pastrami sandwiches, pulled pork, burgers, salads, and rotisserie chicken. They even have some yummy looking desserts like PBJ cupcakes! I decided on the pulled pork sandwich and my boyfriend chose a hamburger, cooked medium-rare. It was a Saturday and the place was indeed busy so our order took awhile to get to us. My stomach was growling and I was getting a tad impatient, but I enjoyed the people-watching and peeking at the other orders whizzing by me. Finally, my pulled pork arrived.  I had expected and pictured a messy mess of pork sopping with barbeque sauce but instead, the sandwich consisted of a French roll with neatly stacked pulled pork and red cabbage slaw inside. No sauce to be found on the plate. I grabbed some of the “Carolina BBQ sauce” on the condiment counter and slathered some on my sandwich. After taking a couple bites I thought the sandwich was just okay. The meat itself was a little on the dry side and really didn’t have a lot of flavor despite being brined in a honey and soy mixture as the menu stated. The BBQ sauce was also not to my liking,being a little more on the watery side and a bit strong on the vinegar.  I did enjoy the fact that the sandwich was dipped in what appeared to be an au jus sauce which reminded me of the delicious sandwiches from Phillipe’s in downtown LA. My boyfriend on the other hand, enjoyed his burger, cooked perfectly to his liking. The meat was juicy and flavorful and ranked a close second to his all time favorite burger from Carney’s in Hollywood. This was my second visit to Oinkster and my boyfriend’s first. Will there be a third visit for me? Probably not. Though I loved the environment and the funky atmosphere, the food did not impress. Though I might have to go back for that PBJ cupcake.
Oinkster
2005 Colorado Blvd.
Eagle Rock, CA
Tel: 323-255-oink

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