Restaurants »Smash Burger

Various Locations

I went all the way to Minneapolis to have Smash Burger, which I have learned has a location in Brooklyn, but every menu is customized to its location, so if I want a grilled pastrami burger, I can go locally but only in Minneapolis can I get the delicious Twin Cities (cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese and garlic grilled onions).

Another difference is that locally one can order a glass of wine with their burger, which back in the Midwest, I was thrilled to find beer on the menu – complete with frosty mug!

The burger is juicy and flavorful, the sides excellent. We shared onion strings and fried pickles (Yum!).

Good stuff  – for chain fast food especially.

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Posted on August 21, 2011

Restaurants »Bonchon Chicken

325 5th Ave and Various Locations

Korean fried chicken has been on my to eat list for ages and I finally managed to meet up with a friend for lunch at the newly opened Bonchon on 5th ave st only just days ago. While this particular location still seemed to be working out some kinks (three irate to-go men where fuming for over 30 minutes before their orders arrived) we fared better seated in the unfashionable black leather booths. The timelessness of the ambiance –  in a karaoke joint kind of way – was further enhanced by a large screen that played videos from the past few decades from solo Nick Lashay to Lady Gaga to Sarah McLaughlan. All of this matters not to the food though, and who goes out for fried chicken to be surrounded in sophisticated elegance anyway?

The chicken is great – must be that “secret taste” they brag about on their site. We split a medium (plenty for two people with normal appetites, small for those that want to pig out) platter, white meat, half and half soy garlic and sweet spicy glaze. The difference to KFC or similar is significant. This is crispy, almost light (at least by fried food standards), with non of that face shining greasiness. This is because they remove the fatty skin before frying.

The glazes, which I worried would be sticky and overwhelming are sparingly applied and quite good – not gooey or too saccharine. I preferred what we believe was the garlic glaze and the kimchee coleslaw makes for a nice side – and that’s coming from someone who does not count herself a fan of the  cold (usually bland) picnic staple.

I plan to try and compare with Kyochon, the space agey place up the street which I’ve been told does Korean fried chicken in a totally different way. While I may be very late to this culinary trend, I am happily won over by it.

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Posted on August 22, 2010

Laughs »The White Castle Candle

The Aroma of Tiny Burgers

Whether it’s reservation only candle lit red rose Valentine Dinners or vampire claims, I like the style of White Castle’s stunts as much as I like their little square sliders (by which I mean, quite a bit). The newest pr oddity is their candle that promises the aroma of hamburgers (but according to this article doesn’t quite succeed). Still, like all the crazies that snagged these up right away (they are totally sold out online), I’d love to have one of these.

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Posted on June 27, 2010

Recipes »Homemade White Castles

white castles homemadeWhen I came across this White Castle recipe on A Hamburger Today, I immediately forwarded it to kitchen-experimenter extraordinaire, Mike. Just a few days later he offered to make the teeny sliders for us and you can't imagine how excited I was!
I heart White Castles and, even if it grosses you out, I eat the frozen ones all the time – especially if I've had some booze before bothering about dinner.

This recipe mimics the flavor and consistency of the originals pretty well thanks to the inclusion of some less than common hamburger ingredients. Even the usually die hard, let's-do-it-right dudes of AHT couldn't stomach the idea of adding beef baby food to their burgers (wusses!), but Mike went all out and the results were great.

He used mini potato buns, which worked perfectly size-wise, and fried up some finely chopped onions to complete the clone. As the latter batches of onions browned and caramelized, the home-made burgers tasted even better than the original.

Here's the recipe on AHT

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Posted on August 17, 2009

Laughs »KFC’s Famous Bowl

kfc famous bowlWhy do I mention it now?

Because the even grosser pasta bread bowls are now available, making these gut busters seem quaint.

Here's what I said on 1/14/08:

Never been a huge Patton Oswalt fan, he's like a friend's boyfriend you kind of like but just can't manage to get along with. However, when my coworker (the very same one that introduced me to the splendor of Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk) sent me a link to this article from the Onion, I read it with an open mind. After all, a story devoted to KFC's Famous Bowl sounds funny?and, in fact, I don't think a piece of writing on this subject could be any funnier. His talent for grotesque description is astonishing:

“Everything inside the store—including the employees and customers—looked like it had been rubbed with sad ham.”

“The corn tasted like it had been dunked in fake-corn-flavored ointment, and the popcorn chicken, breaded to the point of parody, was like chewing a cotton sleeve that someone had used to wipe chicken grease off their chin.”

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Posted on June 15, 2009

Restaurants »Chick Fil A

chick fil a brittany hagueYou have never, ever known the sweetness of silence until you've been imprisoned in the Paramus Park Mall food court while a cacophony of children and shlumpy 30 year old radio DJ's from Radio Disney do the hockey poky and yell/sing along to Hannah Montana songs. It felt like it lasted forever and, reverberating off the walls, it left Jim and I with nothing to do but stare at each other in silence, pain and horror waiting for it to stop.

Still, I suffered through this willingly. Willingly I say! For just a taste of the sweet sweet Christian meat nuggets of Chick fil A. I initially tried to find an NYU student to bribe into taking me to their student only cafeteria that houses the only f-ing Chick Fil A in all of the state of New York, a seriously messed up fact that has even sparked very high flying dreams and rumors of other branch openings. For now, though, it's off the Jersey for you and me. I guess I'm just not in the god fearing west anymore where a Chick Fil A could be found easily – more often than not surrounded by power lines.

A reliable source once told me that pickle juice is their secret to perfection and as you'll read in my drink section this week, pickle juice is already a very good friend of mine. Jim likes the sandwich that comes with a couple slices of pickle on top, which is great, but I am most fond of the nuggets.

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Posted on March 30, 2009

Desserts »Dunkin Donuts Kreme

dunkin donuts kremeLook I may not be the skinniest miniest in the room but I'm no orca and to be honest, it's kind of amazing considering the stuff I used to eat. Dunkin Donuts features these tasty treats called Kremes : take one powdered sugar donut and stuff it full of really, really sugary icing. I used to eat two, count them two of these for breakfast as a teen. Good lord..

I decided, despite the possibly hairy eyeballs from kids who thought I was betraying my beloved Peter Pan Bakery, (recently endorsed by Liz Lemon) to head over to the local Dunkin that displaced Greenpoint's only good Thai spot a few years back and try this treat once again. The adorable polish kid who (as I overheard), was nice enough to take Anna's shift yet again, informed me that there was only one left. I am lucky, because according to bloggers, some states have discontinued the vanilla kreme indefinitely.

Apparently a three hundred and forty calorie breakfast bound to give you cavities is a local favorite. It wasn't quite as stuffed with icing as I had remembered as a kid, I blame the economy and Dunkin cutting corners, but despite a cry of protest from my tummy, I have to say, it was still good in a very, very guilty way.

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Posted on March 30, 2009