Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sweetsalt Food Shop

When it's this blasted hot, BLTs always sound good. After a quick internet search, Sweetsalt on Riverside in Toluca Lake - on my drive home as a bonus - came to the top of the list. From the menu, I knew my BLT wasn't going to be anywhere close to standard white bread. Bring it on!

Sweetsalt is one of those restaurants where you order your food, grab a seat and patiently await the delivery of your food. (I got mine to go.)  Here you see my Kumquat BLT with kumquat marmalade, goat cheese, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato on ciabatta with the side of good lettuces. Deeeelicious!!

I also got an heirloom tomato/watermelon/feta/arugula salad for lunch tomorrow, lavender shortbread and a chocolate/peanut butter whoopee pie to sample tonight. All had fun flavors playing off another, and all were fantastic. I'll be back. Who wants to join in?

Click here to go to Sweetsalt's Web site.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jongewaard's Bake-n-Broil

How's this for a social idea: meet up with my friend and go for a run before getting breakfast?! Woohoo, pancakes as recovery food!

These lemon blueberry smiling cuties are from Jongewaard's Bake-n-Broil, a Long Beach institution since 1969. That's raspberry syrup in the bowl to the side. Delicious!! I also got a side order of scrambled eggs, but they did not have a face. My friend's breakfast burrito and fruit cup looked tasty, too!

With full bellies, I must admit that we walked back after chowing down, each carrying a to-go bag of extras. Next time, I want to try the chicken pot pie or liver and onions, and maybe take a stab at the desserts. The strawberry pie looked fantastic, and I hear the red velvet cake is off the chart!

Anyone up for a run to LBC, either by car or by foot?

Jongewaard's does not have a Web site. Their address is 3697 Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach. Phone is (562) 595-0396.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

It was time to catch up with one of my SGV chums, especially since two of our mutual married friends just packed up and moved to Portland. What?! We both felt totally out of touch.

She decided on Din Tai Fung in Arcadia. Strangely, they have two shops there, just  a few storefronts apart. I think this is a testament to the success of their dumplings. These two, plus one in Seattle, are the only U.S. locations in their international collection.

Don't freak out at the massive line to get in, as it moves fast. They also give you the menu ahead of time, so your order is taken as soon as you sit down. We went with: juicy pork dumplings (with soup inside!), noodles with spicy sauce, string beans and Shanghai rice cakes with pork. We devoured the deliciousness while sharing the juicy details of our lives and those of our friends. It was great to reconnect over fantastic food. Who else needs a catch-up?! As I like to say "'til we eat again,  my friend."

Click here for Din Tai Fung's Web site.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Four 'N 20 Restaurant

This month's burger is brought to you by Four 'N 20 in Valley Village. I discovered Four 'N 20 because of a surprise freeway detour on my drive this morning. My reroute on Laurel Canyon back to the 101 took me right past the restaurant. A quick looksie at their Web site brought me back on the way home.

Four 'N 20 is old school family restaurant. Be prepared that you are faced with the pie case as soon as you walk in. I heard other customers talking about their favorite dishes while trying to choose what to order. I went with the classic burger with grilled onions and 1000 Island dressing. The fries are meaty with skin on. Delicious! Their chili and corn bread or chili 'n spaghetti are on the agenda for my next visit.

Remember the pie tease?! This is their phenomenal banana fudge! I brought it home to enjoy with a glass of milk in my comfy PJs.

Anyone need a detour?!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Indiana 2013: Toast on Market

It's my final day in Indiana, and I'm meeting my big brother for some chow before heading to the airport. I did some research, and it looked like Toast on Market (the New Albany location) was my kind of joint. Mom and pop shop, and, if nothing else, they had pancakes.

As I've shared, my pancake face adventures have delivered a number of surprises. Toast's is way at the top of my list: griddled-in blueberries! Woohoo, I haven't been served that before.

And, it turned out that my brother played high school football with the owner. So not only did we enjoy a delicious bon voyage breakfast, but we got to truly support local business and have a small world encounter. Toast also has a location in Louisville. Give them a try if you're in the Hoosierland!

Click here to go to Toast's Web site.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Indiana 2013: Polly's Freeze

Polly's Freeze is a hometown institution, with more than 60 years under their belt of deliciousness. It's a teen hangout spot, as well as a fun family place, all mixing and mingling around the tables. I'm a regular when I'm visiting my family in the Hoosierland.

Here you see my favorite: their peanut butter and jelly shake. Man oh man, is it fabulous! Strawberry jelly, and the peanut butter is smooth enough that you really can drink it. The only way I could possibly make this better is to have the classic parrot neon sign lit up. Argh!

Click here for Polly's Web site.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Indiana 2013: Squire Boone Caverns

Woohoo! As some of you know, my snowglobe collection has taken a back seat to other compiling interests. Well, unless I can find a super swank one like this winner from Squire Boone Caverns!

Squire Boone is Daniel's younger brother and partner in lots of pioneering and wilderness exploration activities in the late 18th century. Squire and Daniel discovered these caves; they hid from raiding Indians inside them. Squire decided he wanted to make this area of southern Indiana (outside of Corydon) his home, so he built the grist mill you see artfully represented here. His little village has shops making soap, candles and candy the seriously old-school way. But, I was there for the cave and the new zipline!

Now 90 feet below the ground, this is the column captured in the snowglobe imagery. Note the tourist in the lower right corner for perspective.

And more perspective on the massiveness of the cave. The tour takes about an hour, and every view is amazing!

Then, 50 feet up in the treetops, some ziplining. My apologies that I don't have a better picture from this adventure, but photography wasn't an option while hanging on for dear life, screaming at the top of my lungs and zipping along at up to 35 miles an hour. That's me on the suspension bridge, still harnessed to the cable. It was quite a rush, and I look forward to more zipping adventures! Who wants to join me?!

Click here to go to Squire Boone Caverns' Web site.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Indiana 2013: Amazing Glaze Donuts

It's National Donut Day again! Remember my post from Randy's Donut in 2009? Take a looksie for some background on why we're celebrating donuts today. As if we need a reason...

This year, I'm in Indiana for Relay for Life with my family, and I'm carbloading for tonight's laps around the New Albany High School. Of all the donut options, Amazing Glaze Donuts was my natural choice. I had a terrific turtle long john and a chocolate-drizzled glazed, plus a song in my heart. DELISH!

Click here to go to Amazing Glaze's Web site.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Indiana 2013: Point Blank Brewing Company

Back home again, in Indiana...and I'm having some fantastic wood-fired, brick-oven pizza with my Mom at Point Blank Brewing Company on the Corydon square. (Remember the Butt Drugs post from 2011? It is right around the corner.)

This is Kim's Pick with chicken, bacon and ranch. Kim just happens to be my niece, and I know she knows some good food!

Point Blank opened in November, and they're making their mark on the southern Indiana pub and craft brewing scene. Set your sights on Point Blank. You will not be disappointed!

Click here to go to Point Blank's Web site.