Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Eats

No Kissin' Now For Me
A week ago on Olvera Street I purchased a small jar of "No Kissin' Now Garlic Salsa." Friday evening I felt like a small dinner so I made myself some chips and salsa. As some friends and I were just discussing the other day, I could probably live on chips & salsa for the rest of my life if it came down to it. This salsa was great but I'm not gonna lie: I wish it had more garlic in it.

Wish I Was Back On The Bayou
For lunch on Saturday we had planned to go to Target and eat somewhere on the east side of town. But then we hit a snag: the Doo Dah parade had the streets blocked off. It would be understandable that I forgot it was parade day... if I hadn't received a text from my friend Tim only one hour earlier that he was at the parade. I am an idiot most of the time.

So we decided to get some seafood. Elizabeth has seen my pictures of Pasadena Fish Market a few times and thought it looked great, but I'd never taken her with me. So we went. We started with a couple of cold cans of Arizona Iced Teas.

Elizabeth ordered the "shrimps" and I ordered the "fish & shrimps," selecting catfish strips as my fish. Both of us chose fries and cole slaw as our sides. The food was ready in less than 15 minutes and it was the same large portions of delicious food that I always receive here.

What The Doctor Ordered
It was a hot day and we both wanted something cold to drink, but something better than just popping in to 7-Eleven for a soda. So we headed down to Galco's for bottles of Dublin Dr Pepper. Have you ever heard of it? The Dr Pepper bottling plant in Dublin, Texas, claims to be the oldest in the world and still uses the original Dr Pepper formula: Imperial Pure Cane Sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. It was very, very refreshing. If you like Dr Pepper you must try this sometime.

And, let me say preemptively before I am asked: yes, you can read about the nail polish right here. (By the way, it's the one year anniversary of my favorite lil' blogger's blog.)

Our 30-Minute Boneless Wings
We wanted an afternoon snack. I suggested some of Church's great boneless wings. Elizabeth said that sounded great. So we stopped by in the late-afternoon. I ordered a ten-piece boneless wings in jalapeno-lime flavor. The woman behind the counter told me it would be ten minutes.

Ten minutes later the manager came out. "She only put in five wings by mistake," he said. "Sorry. I will give you those five but we're making you a fresh order of ten."

"Okay," I said.

Ten minutes later he presented me with the box and we took it to the car to eat. I opened it. They were bone-in wings. I went back inside. "These have bones," I said. "I ordered boneless."

"Sorry," he said. "Another ten minutes."

So ten minutes after that - 30 minutes after I had first ordered the boneless wings - we received them. They were correct this time, and they have given us some extra.

(The manager told me I could have those bone-in wings, which neither of us wanted, so I gave them to two ladies who were sitting inside Church's, and they were THRILLED to have them. Neither of them had ever tried the jalapeno-lime flavor before, and they loved them and thanked me repeatedly.)

The boneless wings were delicious, as they always are at Church's. Not really worth a 30-minute wait for an afternoon snack, but still very tasty.

 Cheese, Pizza, Beer & A View
Saturday evening, we went over to my friend Dave's house for dinner. He lives in the hills looking out over Eagle Rock (and beyond) and has a deck at the top of his backyard with an outstanding view, where I have spent some of the best evenings of my adult life.

When we showed up we found a special treat: our friend Carla was there with several cheeses, including Humboldt Fog, which she knows is one of my favorite.

A week ago we picked up a bottle of Framboise for Elizabeth's sister, but she never got around to drinking it, so we brought it with us and the ladies enjoyed it.

Okay, maybe I couldn't just live on chips & salsa... but chips, salsa, and cheese? I would be fine.

 It's a rough life, eh?

The original plan had been to get fresh dough and make our own pizzas. But we all got delayed in the afternoon and didn't get around to the grocery shopping, so Dave just went out and bought frozen pizzas.

"You can cook frozen pizzas on the grill?" I asked Dave.

"Yes," he said, "but you have to watch them carefully."

First up was the Trader Joe's BBQ chicken pizza, always a favorite of mine. We overcooked it a bit and some of the pieces were a little too black, but overall it was still good.

We decided to have some wine with dinner so Dave opened a Bogle Petite Syrah. I wasn't crazy about it with the first sip; it was very sweet. But it mellowed out with just a few minutes.

I'm not sure if I've ever had the Trader Joe's "Roasted Vegetable Pizza" - there are mushrooms on it, something I don't normally enjoy - but it was really good. The sauce was a bit too sweet for me to say I love it, but I would certainly eat this again.

Dave was telling us that he has a system down for cooking the CPK thin crust pizzas. And indeed he did an excellent job. The Sicillian was the first CPK thin crust pizza I ever had at the restaurant when they first introduced them several years ago, and it had always been my favorite. (Although I almost never eat there anymore and it's been years since I have purchased one of their frozen pizzas; there are far too many I like more.)

It was a beautiful night to sit out on the patio and relax.

Turkey @ The Wolfe
It's impossible to watch a baseball game lately without being subjected to numerous commercials for Carl's Jr.'s turkey burgers. And I love turkey burgers but, you may remember, I absolutely hated the one I tried from Carl's Jr. It was comical how bad it was, and I am completely confident in calling it the worst turkey burger I have ever had. It was the worst thing I have eaten in years.

Wolfe Burgers, however, has always had a good turkey burger, so for lunch on Sunday I went there to sit on the patio and enjoy the warm weather. As always, I was able to customize my burger from the condiment bar: this time I added onions, chili pepper strips, pickles, Thousand Island dressing, and A.1. sauce. It was a delicious, juicy burger, probably second only to Fatburger as my favorite turkey burger in town.

"Beer... Now There's A Temporary Solution"*
My friend Tim brewed up his own batch of stout, so Sunday afternoon I went over to his place to have a pint. It was outstanding. If you have ever been lucky enough to have Guinness in Ireland, you know what I mean when I say this was very reminiscent of those Irish pints: it tasted like a smooth, creamy milkshake, the perfect cool drink for a hot afternoon. 

*Homer Simpson

Sunday Evenin' Comin' Down
My problem with Sunday evenings, you may not be surprised to learn, is that I'm never all that hungry, particularly when I have had a weekend full of food and drink such as this one. I never want to go out anywhere, and I never want to make much effort cooking dinner. And with Sunday Night Baseball back in my life, these feelings are even stronger. So it's rare that I ever make anything too fancy.

Last night I took that nothing-too-fancy concept to the extreme: I rummaged through the fridge, coming up with the last slice of turkey, some pickles, and American and cheddar cheese. I put them all on an English muffin, heated it on the panini press for a few minutes, and relaxed in front of the TV.

And it was fantatstic.


Liz said...

The shrimp were really great. I really like the breading, spicy and just the right amount! And I think my favorite pizza was the roasted vegetable. Delicious.

SuperLarge said...

The weekend looks fantastic and tasty (especially Tim's beer, which I know to be the bomb diggity).

Anonymous said...

is that the 134 you can see from dave's house? i used to live in glendale.

JustinM said...

Liz: I really liked that you didn't finish your cole slaw so I got more of it.

SuperLarge: I'm hoping we can convince him to make a summer ale.

Anon: Indeed it is! From his patio you can see the 134 from Eagle Rock (the actual rock, not just the city) all the way out to the 2.