Tag Archives: hot dog

Portillo’s: A Midwest Tradition on the Far West

The problem with loving to eat is that I’ll often find myself ordering a meal that could probably feed two because I’m afraid I won’t return to the same restaurant in my desire to eat everywhere. I did it again, this time in Buena Park.

Portillo’s is a well known restaurant from the Midwest, known for its hot dogs. California is fortunate enough to have two out of the three locations outside of Illinois.

I noticed when they took my order they just wrote it on what I thought was a plain sheet of paper until I received my meal. Whether you order to go or to eat in the restaurant, they give you your food in a bag. That’s what they write your order down on. Brilliant.

This is the hot dog. A lot of places claim their wieners are unique, but I really can’t tell unless they’re custom sausages. This is no different, but the toppings make it special. When you order it with everything you get mustard, relish, freshly chopped onions, sliced red ripe tomatoes, kosher pickle and sport peppers piled onto a perfectly steamed poppyseed bun. The toppings are fresh so they have some bite to them, not smooshing down and taking a back seat to the wiener.

This is the Portillo’s Italian Beef Sandwich with everything and hot peppers. They recommend the sweet peppers on their menu, but I have to admit that my taste buds have been change because of Michelle. I crave a little bit of heat on almost anything I eat. The hot peppers are definitely low on the scale of heat, and they compliment the sweet beef juice nicely.


Argentina: Not just for steak.

When people find out that we’ve returned from Argentina, they immediately ask us about the steak. The steak is incredible, but I feel like Buenos Aires is starting to offer so much more. Eat steak, but here are some other things you definitely want to check out.

Azema is a restaurant, named after the head chef and owner. This place is a fusion restaurant, combining foods from his travels to Vietnam and Morocco. Michelle’s favorite part in all this is that you can tell them how spicy you want it, and it actually ends up with a good bit of heat.

Fried dumplings. They’re like Asian empanadas.

Shrimp curry. They tend to overcook their shrimp in Argentina. The shrimp were a bit softer than I’d like, but it was great to taste some different flavors.

Michelle went with a Moroccan style lamb curry, and based off the sniffles she got the spicy she had been missing.

Los Inmortales, a pizza joint that’s very popular. If you ask for it by name people know.

Pizza is a pretty big deal in Argentina. It works out well for them, because cheese, olives, tomatoes, ham, and pepperoni are regular items in their diet anyway.

Pepperoni and mushrooms. The crust on their pies is well balance. It’s light but not too doughy.

You can’t see it, but under the layer of cheese is ham, covering every square inch of the crust. The sweetness of the ham against the saltiness of the olive and cheese worked well.

We checked out Sudestada, an Asian fusion joint. I was impressed with how many people were using chopsticks.

Hopefully they recount the orders for hanging chads.

Dumplings for starters.

Chicken curry. Beautifully presented.

Pork chow fun. This dish is okay. It was nice to get some familiar Asian flavors that we were missing during our trip, but it’s nothing too special.

Michelle loves hot dogs, so even though we had just eaten a couple hours before, she had to try an Argentinian hot dog. They call them superpanchos.

They offer all kinds of toppings to garnish their hot dogs, but to Michelle’s dismay none of them were jalapenos.

Whether or not you’re a fan of beef, you should visit Buenos Aires for a food vacation. There are enough restaurants challenging the traditional standard of parrillas. They’re doing it well too, combining the leisure eating style with different types of foods. This gets a big thumbs up in my book.

Sunday Lunch in Culver City

My friend Lorenzo has been taking GMAT classes on the West Side on Sundays so he and I decided to grab some lunch together. I threw out a bunch of options, but he liked the Let’s Be Frank idea. I was very pleased because this hot dog stand is only open during the day, closed at nights. I’ve never known a place to g0 get hot dogs, except grilled on a shopping cart outside of a club at 1:00 AM.

The cart.

They offer the usual fair to garnish your dogs, but they also offer this sauce to top your dogs.

Here is the hot dog, juicy and well grilled and garnished with some onions and sauerkraut.

Still hungry but wanting to try something different, we strolled over to Pinches Tacos.

The decor is very authentic Dia de los Muertos.

This was a solid taco. The steak was perfectly charred and still very tender.

The fish taco was mediocre. I wish I was still hungry after this taco. I would have had another asada taco.

Check out Let’s Be Frank for a good hot dog, and make sure you try their Devil Sauce. If you’re still hungry, Pinches Tacos is right around the corner. Go with the asada tacos. They’re delicious.

Goodbye America, you fatass!

Tuesday after we came back from Palm Springs, Michelle and I went to the airport to see our friends off. Her sorority sister and her husband moved to Singapore, at least for the time being. While at the airport, we were looking for a place to sit down for a while, and in front of our eyes was Pink’s. I knew they’d opened a few new location including one at the airport, but I didn’t know where it was until now. What better way to leave America than with an artery clogging hot dog and some chili cheese fries?

While it was sad to see our friends go, we know they’ll be back. If they don’t miss us I’m sure they’ll miss the feeling of having diarrhea from Pink’s, especially on an 18-hour long plane ride

The time I ate and drank Vancouver.

Canada’s immigrant population is heavily Asian. It’s odd being from Southern California and having the working class not be Hispanic. It does have one drawback. There aren’t any taco trucks, but there are plenty of awesome Asian joints. Plenty of other delicious things can be eaten as well.

The izakaya scene in Vancouver is awesome. The next series of pictures are from Hapa Izakaya. I don’t even remember what we ordered, so just use your imagination when you see the pictures.

Do you know what time it is? Sake Time!

How can we really call the izakaya scene a scene unless we stopped into more spots. This next spot was called Gyoza King.

The place lived up to its name. These gyoza were stately and royal.

Of course one of the Koreans had to order kimchi ramen.

Not into the Asian food? There’s still plenty of other things to snack on in the city, with drinks of course.

This is poutine, one of Canada’s national dishes. It consists of french fries covered with beef gravy and cheese curds. It’s serious business in Canada. I personally don’t think  much of it, but I would definitely give it another go as there are all different styles of this dish.

This was the dinner I woke up on the table for at The Keg Steakhouse & Bar. The steak and seafood were cooked perfectly.

Don’t forget the drinks. Shot! Shot! Shot! Shot!

You might not be able to tell, but I am grimacing. Why?

See that stuff floating on top? That is hot sauce…in 151. So it burns going in and coming out.

Last but certainly not least was Japadog! It combines the need for Los Angeles ghetto dogs with Asian flavor. It’s just too bad these guys aren’t open when the bars and clubs let out. They would make a killing.

So who else wants to hit up Vancouver for a food marathon?

I’m With Stupid

Michelle came out to the car and I was already standing there, rubbing my chest and wincing in pain. (That’s another story. I have a chest. Apparently my torso has been screwed on upside down for 25+ years.)

Michelle: “What happened?”
Me: “Your gate attacked me.”
Michelle (confused): “How did that happen?”
Me: “Your gate swings open.”
Michelle: “It’s always swung open.”
Me (realizing no matter how I explain it, I am just an idiot): “Your gate attacked me. I’m suing your and your family for all you’re worth!”

I have a really bad bruise on my sternum now, a reminder that I am an idiot. Still I take solace in knowing that birds of a feather flock together.

Michelle (leaving the bar by Pink’s): Let’s go to Pink’s!
*Everyone dismisses her, because we don’t want to wait in line.*
Kayne (walking by a car with two dogs in it): Look at those dogs. I want a dog!
Michelle: Me too!
Kayne: Really, what kind of dog?
Michelle: Pink’s hot dog!
*silent stares of confusion and disbelief*