Friday, November 07, 2008

Burger Basket, Salem, OR

After an exhilarating but tiring hike through Silver Falls State Park in Oregon, my daughter and I headed into Salem for a late lunch.

We happened upon the Burger Basket, which claims to have the best burgers in the world. It was just what we were looking for -- something local and quick.

I don't agree that they have the best burgers, but they were very good, hand-formed patties. The place is filled with retro signs and the like. The onion rings and fries were unfortunately of the machine made frozen variety, but good enough, and the slaw was very nice. While it wasn't outstanding, it was a fun place and the burgers were "real food". I would stop there again.

The Magic Is In the Hole

Sarah pauses mid-donut.

That's the slogan of Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon.

I was there recently with my daughter who grew up in Portland, Maine and now lives in Eugene. This is a strikingly weird donut shop, but the stuff is really really good!

The Roadfood review has some great pix.

Here I am enjoying their famous maple bacon donut. It sounds and looks, well, gross, but it is sublime!

And here's the segment Anthony Bourdain did:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In a Swirl Over Fried Clams

Amazingly, I read about Sea Swirl in Mystic Connecticut on the Roadfood site just days before I would be in that neck of the woods this summer.

True to Michael Stern's words, I had the best fried clams of my life there. I lived in Maine for nearly twenty years, so that's saying a lot! The clam bellies were light and sweet, the fries and cole slaw just fine. True to the location's legacy as a Carvel stand, they also sell soft-serve ice cream, so a complete dinner can be had there.

Monday, June 02, 2008

What's Missing?

Here's the complete food menu for a California Pizza Kitchen stand at LAX:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Egg Rolls

Steven Shaw writes in Saveur about egg rolls he enjoyed growing up in New York.

"Though these pudgy, cabbage-stuffed snacks didn't actually originate in China...they're the authentic cuisine of my boyhood."
And, boy, can I relate! Chinese food for me growing up was egg rolls, spare ribs, wonton soup, egg foo yung, chicken chow mein, and at the fancy House of Chan downtown, pressed duck.

It's been years since I had a good egg roll. It seems that most Chinese joints just don't know how to make them anymore. Perhaps as the quality and authenticity of Chinese food in America has improved, the made-up stuff has been left aside.

After many years of seaching, I've finally found great egg foo yung at a local take-out place here in Denver. But their egg rolls are not inspired.

The best egg rolls I ever had were from a take-out place on Church Avenue in Brooklyn in the mid-70s. I think it was called Star Kitchen. The egg rolls were large and oily, but in a good way, crisp with a flavorful filling. I would dip alternately in mustard and duck sauce, but never mixed the two. They looked like the one in the picture - click on it to enlarge it and make your mouth water!

Next time I'm in New York, I'll try to get to Empire Szechuan (that Shaw writes about) and try theirs.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2nd Avenue Deli is Back!

Great news last month: A bit more than a year after the demise of the original, the 2nd Avenue Deli has re-opened. It's now close to midtown. Unforch, I have no NY trips planned for this year but maybe I'll figure out a way to get there.

It's run by the nephew of the founder, Abe Lebewohl, and judging from this interview, I'd say the spirit and quality of the old place will live on.