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MMMMM-Good!!! The Food Thread Returns


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On 1/4/2020 at 6:10 PM, christopher.annino said:

So burger joints...

In September I drove from Manchester, NH to Anaheim, CA and back for work, and I made it a point consume many burgers I wouldn't otherwise find in New England. It was awesome and terrible, and round 2 is coming up in a few weeks. So, where do I go? 

I should probably mentioned what I tried last time...

* Culver's was the absolute best, double butter burger with bacon fuck yes. I think I actually tried it a different trip, been to the Midwest a lot as well as down to AL and TN recently. Definitely a go to every trip since they don't exist up here.

* Of course I had In-N-Out, tasty but man people make it sound like a religious experience. Probably gonna go again this time because I have no idea when I'll be out that far again.

* Whataburger was good but I was far from blown away.

* Hardee's fucken rocked.

* Steak & Shake was solid but the fries are a bummer.

* We have Five Guys here but it tasted better on the company dime, still pretty damn good though! Same with Red Robin.

* Wings and a burger at Quaker Steak & Lube? Heavenly.

 

Stuff I haven't tried but am curious about: Shake Shack, Rally's, Krystal, Freddy's, BurgerFi, Hopdoddy. Anything else I should definitely check out?

 

They have Red Robin in Cali? Wow, I did not know that. This will make me sound incredibly old, but I remember when Red Robin was a tavern on Lake Union that served a plethora of great burgers (and some really, really odd ones that turned out tasting far better than they had any right to; such as the Peanut-butter Burger (re-christened as the Jimmy Carter Burger in the late 1970s); anyway, I digress... But the original Red Robin, (the tavern with the great burgers), had over thirty specialty burgers on the menu, an amount that was severely reduced when they sold out to Great American Food & Beverage, the first company that saw the dollar signs on the wall and began their expansion. I don't know how many mergers and buy-outs that the chain has been involved in since, and maybe I'm just old and cranky, but it seems like with each change of ownership the quality has dropped just a little bit. A small enough change that you would barely even notice, but if you were to compare the current menu with the original... Holy shit! Now there's a palpable difference, so much so that comparison between the current chain and the original tavern makes the current product just seem to be a grotesque and ghoulish farce. "But wait!" you say; "They still make great burgers!" Well, yeah; sort of... If we are comparing current Red Robin to Five Guys, Whataburger, or New Mexico's gold standard, Blake's LottaBurger; they come out looking pretty good. However,  if we're comparing the current incarnation with the early 1970s tavern with great grub, the early 1970s beer joint wins and wins easily. It was one of those really rare taverns where you would actually go for the food, just as one would go to the Northlake Tavern for the pizza, and one went to Funky Broadway East for the Bar-b-Q, one went to Red Robin for their burgers.

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Red Robin is eeeeeeeeverywhere, and yeah it's basically on par now with TGI Friday's and Chili's. I've been able to hit up a few quality pubs in my travels too, it hasn't all been fast food/casual dining.

Speaking of which, I hadn't heard of Blake's Lotaburger til that mention - I'm staying in Gallup on my third night out so I guess that's something to check out.

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1 hour ago, christopher.annino said:

Red Robin is eeeeeeeeverywhere, and yeah it's basically on par now with TGI Friday's and Chili's. I've been able to hit up a few quality pubs in my travels too, it hasn't all been fast food/casual dining.

Speaking of which, I hadn't heard of Blake's Lotaburger til that mention - I'm staying in Gallup on my third night out so I guess that's something to check out.

Hell, give me a call when you're in town! Given a choice between Blake's Lottaburger and the Rocket Cafe, I'd opt for the Rocket. Blakes is basically a build your own burger joint where pretty much any add-ons are available and will cost you extra, so your basic burger jumps from $3.00 to $6.00 with a quickness that is mind-boggling in both efficiency and avarice. You look at the menu prices at the Rocket and your first thought is $11.00 for a plate of pasta, WTF? $11.00 for a burger? Well, it's a huge plate of pasta, much of which is going home with me and there it's good for two additional meals. $11.00 for a burger? Well, for starters it dwarfs Lottaburger and there's no screwing around with nickels and dimes for "extras". You want onions? Fine. You want extra pickles? Fine. You want bacon? Sorry, that's a protein, we have to charge you fifty cents. Swiss cheese instead of American? Sure, don't worry about it. Red or green or both? If you aren't familiar with this question, you ain't from around these parts. The proper response is "Christmas" (This means that you want both red and green chillies with your food.)

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Guest The Magnificent 7

Heed this advice. Don’t ever go to Rally’s even for curiosity’s sake. Food is only that cheap for a reason and their slogan “Because ya gotta eat” tells you what they think of their own burgers. 
 

Marketing saying you will starve if you don’t ingest food ain’t exactly a ringing endorsement. 
 

We have some good local burger joints but I do like Five Guys quite a bit for chains. 

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34 minutes ago, The Magnificent 7 said:

Heed this advice. Don’t ever go to Rally’s even for curiosity’s sake. Food is only that cheap for a reason and their slogan “Because ya gotta eat” tells you what they think of their own burgers. 
 

Marketing saying you will starve if you don’t ingest food ain’t exactly a ringing endorsement. 
 

We have some good local burger joints but I do like Five Guys quite a bit for chains. 

I am dubious about any marketing strategy that pretty much says, "we aren't even trying to fool you about the quality of our product."  Coors Light, "tastes as cold as the Rockies"...so basically the best thing about your beer is that you can put it in the fridge?  Subway $5 foot longs...All I hear, "if this shit cost $6 you'd never dream of eating it."  

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6 hours ago, The Magnificent 7 said:

Heed this advice. Don’t ever go to Rally’s even for curiosity’s sake. Food is only that cheap for a reason and their slogan “Because ya gotta eat” tells you what they think of their own burgers. 

Not that one is particularly close by, but this is good to know since I was curious, mostly at why they were so cheap. Now I have an answer.

22 hours ago, OSJ said:

If we are comparing current Red Robin to Five Guys, Whataburger, or New Mexico's gold standard, Blake's LottaBurger; they come out looking pretty good.

They do not. They came out rather average compared to Whataburger which I actually just find solid. I do like the amount of variety, but the few times I went the the last two years I found Red Robin decent if kind of forgettable.

Edited by Eivion
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16 hours ago, The Magnificent 7 said:

Heed this advice. Don’t ever go to Rally’s even for curiosity’s sake. Food is only that cheap for a reason and their slogan “Because ya gotta eat” tells you what they think of their own burgers. 
Marketing saying you will starve if you don’t ingest food ain’t exactly a ringing endorsement. 
We have some good local burger joints but I do like Five Guys quite a bit for chains. 

Checker's is pretty much the same place as Rally's and that's what we have around here.  So I can't agree with this enough as while it's cheap even when I was between jobs I wouldn't dare go near it.  Shit, I'll take McDonald's or Burger King any day over that and by no means would I consider them good burger places.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you are a Pop Tarts fan then I would go out of your way to get the new Fruit Loops version 🤤

Apparently there are Pretzel versions out now.  I am a little hesitant on those 

Edited by hammerva
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I'm surprised it took them this long to do that.  I've been combining hot sauce with Old Bay for a little while so it'll be interesting to see how this turns out.

EDIT:  Well, they're already out of stock.  I guess I'll stick with what I've been doing which for all I know might be better than theirs anyway.

Edited by NikoBaltimore
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1 hour ago, NikoBaltimore said:

I'm surprised it took them this long to do that.  I've been combining hot sauce with Old Bay for a little while so it'll be interesting to see how this turns out.

EDIT:  Well, they're already out of stock.  I guess I'll stick with what I've been doing which for all I know might be better than theirs anyway.

Sriacha and Old Bay on shrimp is to die for.

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1 hour ago, OSJ said:

Sriacha and Old Bay on shrimp is to die for.

Haven's used Sriacha but I've have decent luck with a good medium-hot hot sauce depending on what I have in the pantry at the time.  Last time I used that was for an omelette and it was pretty damn nice.  I'll have to try your method next time I have shrimp, for all I know it may be next week.

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3 minutes ago, NikoBaltimore said:

Haven's used Sriacha but I've have decent luck with a good medium-hot hot sauce depending on what I have in the pantry at the time.  Last time I used that was for an omelette and it was pretty damn nice.  I'll have to try your method next time I have shrimp, for all I know it may be next week.

Sriacha is what my Asian friends call "white boy hot-sauce", it's really pretty mild, even Mrs. OSJ, who cannot abide overly spicy stuff uses it when we make meatloaf. Pretty inoffensive  stuff, all told. Now if you want to kick it up and cook like OSJ, we can discuss things like Da Bomb.

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10 minutes ago, Eivion said:

What is Old Bay?

Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is marketed in the United States by McCormick & Company, and originally created in Baltimore, Maryland. The seasoning mix includes celery salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and paprika

Best known for its use with crabs and crab cakes. But used to flavor many things now, including potato chips and French fries. 

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1 minute ago, odessasteps said:

Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is marketed in the United States by McCormick & Company, and originally created in Baltimore, Maryland. The seasoning mix includes celery salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and paprika

Best known for its use with crabs and crab cakes. But used to flavor many things now, including potato chips and French fries. 

Ah, must be one of the ones I normally skip over. Maybe I should check out what else people use it on. My older brother and myself are always looking for new things to try in cooking.

6 hours ago, OSJ said:

Sriacha and Old Bay on shrimp is to die for.

How do you normally cook said shrimp when you do use this?

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The guys I work with found a little hole in the wall restaraunt, there are literally only three tables in the entire place, in the tiny town of Loving, NM. As in the whole 'downtown' area is less than one mile.  But, the food is amazing! I always get the same thing. A chunky red and chunky green burrito. It's asada, cheese, and either red or green chilie sauce. But, they're the best fucking burritos I've ever had.  Our joke is that we don't know what it is that they put in their sauce, but we're reasonably sure that it's crack.

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17 hours ago, Eivion said:

Ah, must be one of the ones I normally skip over. Maybe I should check out what else people use it on. My older brother and myself are always looking for new things to try in cooking.

How do you normally cook said shrimp when you do use this?

The only proper way to cook shrimp (other than making salt & pepper shrimp, which I will detail upon request), is to steam them with a generous dusting of Old Bay. This is coming from a Seattle boy, not an East Coaster. When my pal Edward Lee stayed with us (he's from Maryland), he introduced us to Old Bay and it's been a staple ever since. Unfortunately, the only thing we can get here is shrimp. People in Gallup, NM wouldn't know what a fucking crab was if it pinched them.

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17 hours ago, Eivion said:

Ah, must be one of the ones I normally skip over. Maybe I should check out what else people use it on. My older brother and myself are always looking for new things to try in cooking.

How do you normally cook said shrimp when you do use this?

Actually I'll mix the Sriacha with a bit of ketchup if other folks are eating, if it's just me, I'll add three drops of Da Bomb and damn the torpedoes.

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All that talk about Da Bomb and I remember years ago one drop of that fucking me up for a good hour.  Would be curious to try that again but damn was that a motherfucker.

Can't speak for the likes of Odessa, but I put Old Bay on damn near anything I can think of within reason.  It's amazing on fries and if you're going to do shrimp then may I suggest shrimp in a salad with Old Bay ranch?  I had it one time and with the right food and ratio of Old Bay to ranch it was absolutely delightful.  Too bad I'm blanking on where we had it.  Heck, I even put a tiny pinch on some vanilla ice cream and it turned out surprisingly good for that sweet-and-salty vibe.

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6 hours ago, NikoBaltimore said:

All that talk about Da Bomb and I remember years ago one drop of that fucking me up for a good hour.  Would be curious to try that again but damn was that a motherfucker.

Can't speak for the likes of Odessa, but I put Old Bay on damn near anything I can think of within reason.  It's amazing on fries and if you're going to do shrimp then may I suggest shrimp in a salad with Old Bay ranch?  I had it one time and with the right food and ratio of Old Bay to ranch it was absolutely delightful.  Too bad I'm blanking on where we had it.  Heck, I even put a tiny pinch on some vanilla ice cream and it turned out surprisingly good for that sweet-and-salty vibe.

My brother, this is spoken like a true foodie. Shrimp in a salad with Old Bay sounds wonderful! I shall have to try it! If I'm going to put shrimp in a salad I usually go the route of Ceasar dressing  and go from there (adding anchovies, of course). Shrimp salad sans anchovies would be a new thing, but hardly unwelcome. 

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  • 3 months later...

Anyone ever use a CSA? I had one a few years ago, stopped because I was too busy doing stuff after work to cook enough to use it but I signed up again this year since I'm home more now and probably will be for a while now.

The one I'm using give you a choice of what you want each week and they'll deliver it to you as well so it's pretty great. And the veggies are really good. Although the two ears of popcorn I got didn't really pop that well.

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  • 1 month later...

This probably deserves its own thread because it is so awesome, but I have just discovered the greatness that is Ginger Beer. I'm not big on overly sweet sodas, so we buy a lot of different seltzer waters, but they get boring rather quickly. Ginger Beer on the other hand will make you stand up and salute, it has an afterburn that feels like you just put a full tablespoon of ground ginger into your mouth, wow! Good stuff!

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  • 1 month later...

Ginger beer is pretty fucking great, and for us drinkers, an excellent mixer!

I just discovered the joy that is BonChon Korean fried chicken, after hearing about it on Doughboys*. Looked em up and luckily enough there's a handful in Mass, grabbed some in Lowell yesterday and it may still be the honeymoon period but I've never had better take-out fried chicken. 

* - this podcast is an absolute blessing for somebody that travels the country, eating on the company card. I definitely love to try small, local restaurants wherever I'm staying, but sometimes you need the reliability of a good chain.

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