Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Eats (And A Happy Thanksgiving To You)

When Elizabeth got home on Friday night, we decided to go pick up some fast food. I suggested Burger King - other than McDonald's, it's the closest place to us, and I know she likes their Original Chicken Sandwich. But she knows BK is my least favorite chain by a long shot.

"Are you sure you will get something there?" she asked.

I assured her I would. I've been curious about their new "Chef's Choice" burger. From pictures I'd seen, it didn't look too bad. When I unwrapped it, I had to laugh at the bun: the "artisan bun" they advertise was a crushed, sticky little thing. Maybe it looked nice when it was freshly baked, but that wasn't any time recent.

The toppings, however, looked surprisingly good by BK standards. The bacon was pretty crispy, there was red onion, and the lettuce wasn't horrible looking. (Man, I have low standards when it comes to Burger King.)

But the burger was merely okay. I certainly prefer it to any Whopper I have ever had (save one) but it still wasn't all that good. The bun was what killed it for me; if it had been fresher it would have improved the burger a lot. (Not enough to justify the ridiculous five-dollar price tag, though.)

I read on Grub Grade the other day that Burger King is selling new fries. And I indeed received thicker, crispier fries than I am used to at BK, which has always had my least-favorite fast food fries. They are certainly an improvement, although, like Wendy's has done with their new fries, they were overloaded with salt.

On Saturday morning I made breakfast: buttermilk biscuits with fried chicken, pepper gravy, and Potatoes O'Brien. The chicken biscuit was awesome but the potatoes were too bland for me so I added some Gates BBQ sauce.

I saw this for the first time at Target: Chex Mix with a taste of Worcestershire sauce in it. I love Worcestershire sauce so I had to get a bag. They are a very tasty snack.

After Target, we needed some lunch. We were going to go get carnitas tacos at La Estrella, but then I remembered that Elizabeth hasn't had the Popeyes crawfish yet this year. So I went into Popeyes and got us each a "Crawfish Tackle Box." We ate them in the car so I could listen to a football game on the radio.

"These are such tasty little bastards," Elizabeth said. And they were.

After watching UCLA win what will almost certainly be their last victory of the season, and USC also win on the one day of the year when I cheer for them (when they play Oregon), I sat outside and had my first Sierra Nevada Tumblers of the season. It's an autumn brown ale that tastes wonderful on cool fall evenings.

A couple of weeks ago I felt a craving for a chicken pot pie. So I decided to go to Moffet's in Arcadia and get four - two for us to eat that evening and two to stick in the freezer. (They freeze perfectly and the restaurant even gives you instructions for cooking them from frozen.) That day I mentioned to my mom that I was going to do that and she asked me to get four for her and my dad, too. So now I was looking at getting 8 pies. But when you buy a dozen of them you get a bit of a savings - you're basically paying for 10. So I got a dozen and stuck a couple extras in the freezer. I busted one out on this night.

These pies are just fantastic: white meat chicken and gravy. Nothing else. This isn't one of those pies that tricks you into eating vegetables by hiding a bunch in there.

We'd been cleaning for hours and it was time for lunch. Elizabeth wanted a burger but something better than just a regular fast food burger. (And since I'd cleaned the kitchen I didn't want to make one myself.) I suggested In-N-Out and she happily agreed.

Double-Double. Animal style. $3.20.

Think that's a better deal than that five-dollar BK burger?

Were there animal fries, too? Yes, there were.

After several more hours of cleaning, we didn't want anything that took much effort for dinner. And, actually, Elizabeth wanted what has become her Sunday routine: Trader Joe's frozen pizzas. That always is just fine by me. She can pick up some things at TJ's to take for her lunches during the week; I can pick up a few new items to write about for my next Trader Joe's post. (Last night I found three new things that I am REALLY looking forward to trying.)

We got the two pizzas that we normally do - I don't even need to say what they are at this point, do I? And I cooked them and sat down to watch Ken Burns's Baseball on MLB Network. I mean, come on, it's been three and a half weeks since baseball season ended.... I'm going crazy here. ("People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do: I stare out the window and wait for spring." - Rogers Hornsby)

Okay, my friends. I have a really busy week ahead: Elizabeth's parents are coming into town tonight for a week and we have several things planned with them. Wednesday is my parents' 40th anniversary and we have a dinner. Thursday is, of course, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. I've written a couple of posts on fast food items that I may publish over the next two days, but even if I do I probably won't be checking the comments or anything.

So I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

- Justin


Michelle said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Can't wait to read about your week when you return to posting.

Fritos and Foie Gras said...

Animal Style Fries. HELL YES! Happy Thanksgiving!

mindful mule said...

Regrettably, I never got around to trying animal style at In-N-Out. Looks delicious! Is that a pickle I spy under the tomato? Yummy.

I guess I better learn from the past and try that Sierra Nevada Tumbler soon.

Bekah said...

DAMN - I need an In-N-Out here!
Have a fabulou Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

you made "buttermilk biscuits with fried chicken" for breakfast?


yes, im a man
no, im not gay

and i love it when you say (in some variation) "that was just fine by me"