for June, 2012
I’m glad I live in a city where the mention of “vegan brunch” actually brings to mind more than a few delicious possibilities. Echo Park and Silver Lake, alone, have more full-on vegan restaurants (that are actually good) than most states in this country. It’s pretty exciting that, once sneered and rolled eyes at, vegetarian food’s hard-core sibling is becoming a cuisine like any other in L.A.
One of the best vegan menus in town, doing tons to make the cuisine more accessible, is at Sage Organic Vegan Bistro. Open for a little over a year—replacing their not-so-successful predecessor Mooi—Sage has evolved into a comfort food haven of non-meaty goodness. Think: bacon chili cheese burgers, eggplant parmesan, clam chowder, and bowls stuffed with everything from kale and quinoa to fried macaroni and cheese.
When I was a little kid, I perceived Carl’s Jr. to be fancy. It’s because my mom used to say Carl’s Jr. was too expensive, opting for cheaper fast food chains, like say, Naugles or, more likely, hamburgers cooked at home. So when I finally got to try it, as a guest of one of my more spoiled friends, I was pretty amazed at what I’d been missing.
At my friend’s urging, I ordered the Western Bacon Cheeseburger (her mom made us order juniors) and couldn’t believe there were actually onion rings inside a burger. That blew my mind while barbecue sauce danced on and dazzled my 8-year-old palate.
Now, I can eat a Western Bacon Cheeseburger any time I want, but I never ever do. For one, it probably wouldn’t be as good as I remember, and two, I generally shy away from fast food meat. That’s why I squealed when I heard The Oinkster was doing a tribute to this burger for Burger Week—if anyone could do this concept justice it’s The Oinkster.
I was not disappointed. Their rendition, the Northeast Bacon Cheeseburger, was outrageously good. The best part was the panko-encrusted onion rings, which were crispy and flavorful. The applewood bacon and tangy house-made barbecue sauce added a smokiness that the original could only dream of. All this was anchored by that thick Oinkster patty and the American cheese that clung to it.
P.S. There’s still more Burger Week to enjoy—check out the schedule on my previous post. I’ll definitely be lining up for the Big Max on Sunday.
UPDATE: Check out Burgergasm’s review of the Red Castle.
It’s finally here! Burger Week, “A Tribute to Classic American Burgers,” is on at The Oinkster. This year they’re parodying White Castle sliders, Big Mac, Sourdough Jack, the Double Double and more. I can’t wait!
Last year, I only got to try the Umami Burger, but this year, I won’t be held back. I think I’ll start Wednesday with the Western Bacon Cheeseburger.
Pictures to come. Here’s the schedule–oh, and if you eat them all you get a Joy Division-esque Burger Week t-shirt. If you can’t make that commitment, you can at least get a super cute button.
I have a thing for miniatures. I have a thing for pie. So, I guess I’m the target market for Cutie Pie That!, makers of single-serving pies. I was sent a few to sample and got quite a kick out of their just-for-one size. Taste wise, I was also impressed.
The crust, as you can see, is gorgeously golden and flaky. The kind you fork slides right through.
I liked how subtle the filling of this little guy was, so it didn’t overtake the crust. Pictured here is the Peerless Pear Pomegranate, which had a nice balance of sweet and tart. The fruit had body and firmness, and it wasn’t some mushy mess, which is a pie sin if you ask me.
Really, every bite was great, and the best part was that I had the whole thing to myself! I was able to indulge my greedy impulses without actually being a total oinker.
The specialty of this local micro-bakery is fruit pies, which change with the season. For summer, they’re serving up blueberry, apple, rhubarb and cherry. You can get yours or give one as a gift on the Cutie Pie That! website or at these Farmers’ Markets: Sierra Madre , La Cañada-Flintridge, Larchmont Village Farmers’ Market. The mini pies are only $6, and they also sell lollipies, pies for dogs, and full size pies.