Eggslut

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Fairfax

Last year I visited Grand Central Market for the first time. I’m a huge lover of marketplaces that showcase today’s newest food adventures. Toward the end of my day, I saw this huge line of people waiting for a sandwich from a place called Eggslut. I had heard of this place before on a food show and made the connection. I made it a point to come back someday to try one of these delightful breakfast sandwiches and see what the hype is all about. Today I’m in LA and took a stroll down to the marketplace to jump in line with everyone.

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I don’t think it is a mistake that this place is called Eggslut. It’s risqué, sexy and it grabs your attention. A West Hollywood food truck converted to a restaurant (and owned by chef Alvin Cailan), Eggslut showcases their love and passion for eggs. They only use cage-free eggs in their menu items (cage-free hens have shown to produce more of an orange color to their yoke due to the abundance of greens and insects in the birds’ diet). In 2014, Eggslut was named one of the top 10 new US restaurant’s by Bon Appétit. Being located in the heart of LA’s foodie scene (Grand Central Market) has been the perfect start for their first endeavor as a restaurant.

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Cook preparing some Sluts

Their signature menu item is the Slut. It’s a coddled egg served over a potato purée in a glass jar and served with slices of baguette. My wait time was approximately 45 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t horribly long and I enjoyed people-watching the marketplace and observing the cooks do their thing at the grill. Because it was my first time eating here, I went with their popular Fairfax (eggs, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and sriracha mayo on a brioche bun). I would say it took about ten minutes for me to get my sandwich after ordering. I was also fortunate enough to get a seat at the counter. The Fairfax is freaking amazing! The cage-free eggs are really light and fluffy and the flavors of the sriracha mayo and onions really come together nicely. I hope someday to try the Gaucho sandwich too (seared wagyu tri-tip steak and eggs on a brioche bun). So is Eggslut worth the long wait? For me, I didn’t mind because I planned a couple of hours into my day to eat here. Even though the sandwich was outstanding, it still only took me a few minutes to eat it. So it really depends on the person and their day. For any die-hard foodie out there, definitely make a stop here someday in your lifetime.

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Eggslut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Sriracha Burger

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I was excited to made my return to Slater’s 50/50 while visiting here in Pasadena. I had my first burger in 2013 and I try stop here every time I am in town. You can read all about them on my post. Slater’s is known for their 50/50 burger patties – made of 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef. I had a quick stop here for lunch and tried their popular Sriracha Burger and Frickles (fried pickles). It’s a specialty item so I had to try it. The patty rests on Sriracha coleslaw and is topped with Sriracha sautéed mushrooms, pepper jack cheese, thick-cut bacon strips glazed with Sriracha mayo on a brioche bun. That’s a lot of Sriracha and it was delicious! I also got a Kona Big Wave beer. See you next time Slater’s!

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Sriracha Burger, Frickles, and Kona Big Wave

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Sweet Potato Squash Kale Hash

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This is a dish I made that was inspired by an Instagram post I saw the other day. I’ve been eating pretty healthy these past few months and have been trying new ways to make vegetarian meals taste super good. Roasting vegetables has definitely changed my approach to them. This sweet potato hash is perfect for the upcoming Fall season.

Bake cubed small sweet potato and squash at 400 for ~30 minutes. Set aside. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 diced bell pepper and 1/4 cup diced onion for 5 minutes until onion turns clear. Add in the sweet potato and smash cubes, 1 handful chopped kale, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, paprika, 1/4 cup water or veggie broth to keep it moot. Heat until kale wilts and serve immediately with red pepper flakes and sriracha.

  • – I modified the recipe with what I had in my refrigerator

Hummus

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I like this recipe guide from Epicurious on how to make hummus. Its simple but delicious. I usually like to add red peppers or black beans. But of course Sriracha is always a must!

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Devilish Hot Deviled Eggs

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INGREDIENTS

12 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 cup Sriracha Mayo (recipe below)
1/3 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Split the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the egg yolks. Using a fork, break up the yolks in a mixing bowl. Stir in the Sriracha Mayo, mustard, salt and pepper, blending well.

Fill a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe the yolk mixture back into the egg whites. Top with chives. Serve, or cover and refrigerate immediately.

SRIRACHA MAYO

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Sriracha
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the Sriracha Mayo. Feel free to adjust the amount of lime juice to bring the thickening to your liking. Refrigerate promptly. Store, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks. Can be used as a spread or dipping sauce for your favorite recipes that call for mayo.

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Lettuce Wraps

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* – from Today 

1 head of sturdy lettuce such as bibb, romaine or iceberg
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
1 small bell pepper (green, red or any other color you prefer), finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup finely sliced scallions, light green and dark green parts only (from about 2-3 scallions)
Sriracha or other hot sauce for serving

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1 to 2 days ahead: Prep the lettuce and make the filling

Prep the lettuce: Separate the head of lettuce into individual leaves. Rinse and dry, either with a salad spinner or by hand, using clean kitchen towels or paper towels to pat the leaves dry.

Refrigerate the lettuce leaves until ready to assemble and serve, either inside the salad spinner or between layers of clean, dry kitchen towels or paper towels in an airtight container to wick away excess moisture. (Lettuce leaves can also be stored in individual serving sizes for lunches on the go.)

Cook the meat: Whisk the broth, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.

Add half the ground meat in handfuls, distributing it in a single layer in the pan. Cook without stirring until the meat starts to brown, then stir and start breaking up the meat into smaller pieces.

When the meat is no longer pink, transfer it to a bowl. Add the remaining oil and meat to the pan and cook in the same manner.

Finish the filling: Return all the meat to the pan and add the bell pepper, carrot, garlic and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

Whisk in the reserved broth and cook for a few more minutes to thicken the broth into a sauce.

Remove from the heat and stir in the scallions.

Store the filling: Transfer to a lidded container (or multiple containers, if you’re sending the wraps off to school or work for meals) and refrigerate until ready to eat. The cooked filling can be made up to 2 days in advance.

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Ready to eat? Reheat and serve!

Reheat the meat in a covered skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through, or zap in the microwave in minute-long increments, stirring between each to warm evenly.

Spoon the warmed filling into the lettuce leaves (about 1/3-1/2 cup filling per leaf, depending on the size of your lettuce) and drizzle with Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce, if desired.

Spokes on Southern

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This is a great neighborhood restaurant in Tempe that encourages you to ride your bike to it. They have a nice big patio area where you can park your bike (or inside if you want) and hang out for some good food and drinks. The decor inside has a bicycle theme to it and there is a nice pond next door to the outdoor patio. Spokes on Southern is a great place to watch a game and grab a beer. They have over 24 beers on tap that includes several local favorites. I got the S.O.S. Queso Sauce Dip that has a spoke design on it made from Sriracha. The dip wasn’t bad, but The Carver burger was what hit home for me. I grabbed a Lumberyard Diamond Down Lager (Flagstaff’s very own) to drink. The staff was very friendly and welcoming and I look forward to another stop in.

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Lumberyard Diamond Down Lager

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S.O.S. Queso Sauce

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Carver Burger

Spokes on Southern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Taste of Muslim Culture

I have been taking this class on Muslim culture and I wanted to spend my week engaging with the people. I figured being a foodie, the best way to start is with Middle Eastern cuisine. Along Apache Blvd in Tempe are a ton of restaurants that represent different cultures. You see little pockets of communities of people all over the place trying to make a living. It’s a wonderful thing and I loved eating the food and asking stories about how each place started.

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The first place I went to was Haji-Baba. They are located in a little strip mall and have both a restaurant and a small marketplace. I went at lunchtime and it was packed. It was good to see a bunch of Americans enjoying their food and supporting the business. I had the gyro and hummus (with some Sriracha of course) plate. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bit of it. Very good price too!

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Gyro

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Hummus

Haji-Baba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Then I traveled to Cafe Istanbul. They too have a marketplace and have a bigger restaurant. They are known for their lunch buffet and their hookah lounge. I’ve done their buffet in the past and it is very good food for a good price. They also have live belly dancing on the weekends. The people who run the place are from Lebanon. I had the chicken shawarma and it was fantastic!

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Chicken Shawarma

Café Istanbul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I decided to try a little Indian food and made my way to the Bay Leaf cafe. It definitely smelled like curry when I walked in. The restaurant was really nice and the food was authentic. I enjoyed talking to my waiter as he lives not too far from where I visited last year. I had the Chicken Tikka Masala – chicken barbecued and cooked in a tomato based curry with herbs and spices. I also had some chai. Wow – I forgot how much I love Indian food. I even ate with my hands like I did in India.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

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Curry Bowl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My last stop was for some desert and chai in a place in Tempe called the Phoenicia cafe. I had a pistachio baklava and the chai was awesome. This place is located next to a popular mosque. I really enjoyed coming here because I spent a lot of time talking with a gentleman named Hakim. We talked for a good hour about culture and our worldview of people. I appreciate how genuine he was and I know we as Americans can learn a lot from other cultures.

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Baklava and Chai

Phoenicia Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Today I purchased a huge bottle of Sriracha. This is seriously my favorite hot sauce. I love pouring it over my sandwiches and hummus at Pita Jungle. You also see it at middle eastern restaurants. It is a type of Thai hot sauce and it has a sweet but hot flavor to it. It’s so good!!

From their site: Sriracha is made from sun ripen chilies which are ground into a smooth paste along with garlic and packaged in a convenient squeeze bottle. It is excellent in soups, sauces, pastas, pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers, chowmein or on anything else to give it a delicious, spicy taste. Like all our sauces, we use only the highest quality ingredients and never any artificial colors or flavorings.