Inside Oside: Experiences at In-N-Out

I’ve lived in Southern California all my life, which means I’ve had the luxury of In-n-Out available all my life. Even though In-n-Out is a “normal” thing to me, it still never ceases to hit the spot. Any time. All the time. Most Californians I know are loyal to this establishment, even after trying the famed Shake Shack, Five Guys, or gourmet burger joints.

In-n-Out has wallpaper downloads on their website

In-n-Out has wallpaper downloads on their website

There is currently one In-n-Out in Oceanside and it happens to be 3 stoplights away from where I live. I have gotten food there at least once a week since I’ve moved here. I’ve seen a couple knockoffs in Downtown Oceanside, which are named Angelo’s Burgers, and this is extremely funny to me because I encountered these while my friend Angelo was in the car. Downtown Oceanside will be getting it’s very own In-n-Out soon, probably to the dismay of Angelo’s Burgers. Angelo’s serves a bunch of other stuff, but they might want to look into rebranding.

Photo courtesy of Darrell P. on Yelp

Photo courtesy of Darrell P. on Yelp

During a recent trip to my beloved, I opted to go inside instead of braving the drive-thru filled with 15+ cars. While in line, I learned that you can add pickles to your burger. WHAT. I never order the “Animal Style” burger (only Animal Style fries), so it never occurred to me to get pickle slices. This was mind-blowing. While tweeting this experience, I also learned that you can get chopped chilies and fried mustard on your burger as well. Thank Heavens for fellow In-n-Out lovers on my Twitter feed.

My high was quickly diminished by a conversation I overheard while waiting for my order.

If these beef patties were just a little bit bigger, I’d be all about this place.

Excuse me, sir… you mean, you’re not already all about this place?! Fine, I get it, nobody is perfect. But how dare this person not be all about In-n-Out! I gave him my meanest side-eye, hoping this would someone bestow my wrathful thoughts on him. If he wants bigger patties, he should go elsewhere. His negativity is not welcome is this haven of fresh ingredients, friendly service, and relatively cheap, delicious food. This place is what “a hamburger is all about.” I refused to stand by and let this man disgrace this institution… so I took my order, and proceeded to enjoy my burger (with pickles!) and Animal Style fries in the comfort of my home. Foodie high restored.

zazie san francisco storefront brunch cole valley

Baes in the Bay | Ladies Do Brunch

It’s been a while, friends! I’ve got some thangs in the works, but life hasn’t stopped and I haven’t stopped living it. Got a passion project coming soon and I think you’ll enjoy it :)

As life goes, impromptu trips are necessary. This past weekend, I hopped on a bus to the Bay to see a friend who was visiting from NYC. Yes, this seems a little extreme for a brief reunion, seeing as I’ll be in New York in 2 weeks. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this post-grad life, it’s that you should do anything and everything to maintain relationships that are important to you. Spending three days with fabulous, inspiring folks was beautiful, necessary, and refreshing. We caught up with each other and rolled with the punches, making plans on the fly.

Saturday morning cravings called for brunch. My tourist instincts sought out the best brunch in every single SF neighborhood and one of the girls chose the spot in Cole Valley: Zazie. We knew it was meant to be when a parking spot opened as we pulled up to the packed restaurant. A 45-minute wait with no reservation at noon on Saturday was reasonable enough.

zazie san francisco storefront brunch cole valley

Zazie was this chic little french bistro with some outdoor seating, a handful of indoor seats, and a sweet garden patio in the back. The five of us were seated in the middle of the restaurant’s hustle and bustle.

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The place was lined with French production posters and artwork. High ceilings made for a comfortable, sunlit setting to meet up with friends.

zazie san francisco brunch cole valley thrillist

Ain’t no shame is Brunch Spirits! I had the Le Metro, which is Zazie’s signature champagne refresher finished off with real lavender. Great way to start off a weekend.

zazie san francisco cole valley brunch drinks

A cup of delicious butternut squash soup helped me get acclimated to the SF chill–it was nice to get out of the SoCal heat for a while! The creative paper garnish was much appreciated.

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I did one St. Trop poached egg (wild smoked salmon, capers, and red onions), which was the perfect portion after starting with a drink and some soup. Everything was super nomz, but I’m no food critic–as evidenced by my choice of adjectives. Their choice of flatware rounded out the cozy, welcoming vibe.

zazie san francisco cole valley brunch foodporn foodie eggs benedict

Catching up with these fierce womyn over brunch was amazing–and in the perfect setting! [Not to mention this place was built up by some powerful ladies as well!] We definitely felt grown discussing child-rearing techniques, cooking hacks, and career trajectories over brunch. Post-grad, who? Zazie serves brunch everyday (I know, right) from 8am-2pm. Definitely worth the stop, whether you’re a local or just visiting.

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Love these ladies!

IRL: The Pizza Burger

A few weeks ago, this photo surfaced in my Facebook feed:

pizzaburger

Folks “liked” it, shared it, even commented on it regarding their excitement or disgust. But luckily for me, I have friends who take initiative. My good friend and culinary expert, Kevin, brought this monstrosity to life today. He used biscuit dough–definitely a good call.

photo 1 (1)

Photo (1)

Thanks for the heart attack, Kevin! Nomz.

LA Restaurant Week 2014

I am a sucker for a good deal. Heck, I am even a sucker for a “good deal” that makes me spend money that I wouldn’t otherwise. And then there is Los Angeles Restaurant Week. Or as we Angelenos like to call it, “dineLA.”

The spiel:

dineLA’s Restaurant Week is a 12-day dining event showcasing Los Angeles as a premier dining destination, highlighting the diversity of culinary experiences LA has to offer. Locals and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a selection of specially priced prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus from some of LA’s best restaurants.

Despite my crazy travel schedule, I was able to visit two restaurants with some friends. It’s always best to browse menus and make a reservation beforehand. Also, don’t forget to ask for the dineLA menu! A lot of the nicer restaurants don’t mention it off the bat when you’re seated. I usually browse restaurants by neighborhood and and then by price. The $35 dinner is usually the best bang for your buck, assuming you choose a menu you know you’ll love. [Other options are $25 and $45 for dinner.] I also like to choose the menus that have 3 courses (appetizer, entree, and dessert). It’s all about the deal here, okay? Lastly, I’ll peep the Yelp reviews to see if folks would normally recommend the restaurant.

I am not the best food critic–I like everything! Also, I can’t smell… and I’ve heard that affects taste, so there’s that. I just really wanted to share some foodie pics with y’all.

The first restaurant was Enterprise Fish Co. in Santa Monica. For $35, I had seafood ceviche, a 2-pound Maine lobster, and a mud pie. Yes, the lobster was TWO POUNDS. I ate both sides of the tail and one claw and was absolutely stuffed! I didn’t touch the body, one of the claws or any of the other little legs. I’m so ashamed!

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For the second go-around, we hit up Tam O’Shanter in Atwater Village. This place has been around for 92 years! It is actually the precursor to Lawry’s The Prime Rib. For $35, I had a delicious salad, a 6 oz. prime rib (with mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and creamed spinach), and an ice cream sundae with toasted almonds. Holy moly… this meal was heavenly! Dressed up as a Scottish lodge, this restaurant is an LA-must. Walt Disney was a regular here so I definitely had to snap a pic at his table as well.

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Can’t wait until next Restaurant Week!