Food Adventure Collage.

carnitas snack shack. c-level. world famous. woodstocks. terra american bistro. buddies. corbins. casey's cupcakes. mandarin beijing. nazca grill. eiffel tower restaurant. gordan ramsay burgr. in-n-out. bankers hill bar and grill. los primos. bistro sixty. ruth's chris.


... to a place I like to call my very own. *waving hello*

I invite you to enjoy reading about the food adventures that I have with friends, family, and colleagues.

I adore food and I cannot just choose one particular food that is my fave.

Food is really is my favorite. Enjoy!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q - Chandler, Arizona

Rudy's, hands down, has the best BRISKET.  I can endlessly eat pounds and pounds of the brisket here and I will not be ashamed.  

I was first introduced to Rudy's on a trip to San Antonio, Texas, where M went to college.  I immediately fell in love with their brisket.  I have not yet found a place in San Diego that has excellent, moist brisket, so if you know of a place, please, please, PLEASE let me know!  

When Rudy's Country Store and Bar B-Q came to Arizona, I knew I had to visit so my taste buds can do a happy dance, once again.  The location in Chandler is about 15-20 minutes away from where the in-laws live, so it wasn't too much of a drive for delicious, amazing food.

The set up at this location is the same from what the San Antonio location had, except the fact that it is not connected to a gas station (YUP, you heard me right).  You have to walk up, fall in line, grab the cold sides from the refrigerator cases, and place your meat order at the register.  All the meats are priced by a 1/2 a pound, with the exception of the sausages (whole link price).  You can also order sandwiches with any of the BBQ'd meats they offer.  

As you can see, they tear a large piece of parchment paper and weigh your meats on a scale, like they do at the grocery store.  The meat prices can range from $4.99 (pulled pork or chopped beef) for a 1/2 lb. to $9.99 (prime rib) for a 1/2 a lb.  Prices to follow on our items later....

I love it.  They place all the meats, your sides, and a handful of slices of white (or wheat bread) in a plastic basket and that is your "tray" to bring to the long, family style picnic tables.  

This is a picture of their condiment bar from far away.  They have pickles, jalapenos, different peppers, all the utensils, straws and napkins.  The beverage bar in the back serves Coca-Cola products and their delicious sweet tea and unsweetened iced tea.  They do not provide plates, only parchment paper, which I didn't get in the picture.  A large roll is located at the end of the condiment bar, that is where you tear off large sheets for your "place setting."  They also provide you with little cardboard dishes for your sides, the ones that ballparks use for nachos.  Here is what we ordered:

One pound of baby back ribs ($7.49 for 1/2 lb.) - these are M's mom's favorite, but I found them to be a little tough for my liking.  The flavor was there, smoky, but I wished they came off the bone a little more and that I did not have to struggle eating it.

One pound of smoked turkey breast ($6.99 for 1/2 lb.) - this is M's favorite, as it reminds him of his days in Texas.  I liked it; it was flavorful and moist, especially when you put Rudy's BBQ sauce on it and sandwiched a large piece between pieces of white bread.  Yum!

THIS.  My favorite... one pound of the moist brisket ($7.99 a 1/2 lb.).  The brisket comes in lean ($7.49 a 1/2 lb.) and Cutter's Choice ($6.99 a 1/2 lb., which leads me to believe it's whatever the guy/gal cutting wants to give you).  We always go for the moist because it absolutely melts in your mouth.  For most bites, I did not have to put on any sauce but it was so flavorful on its own.  

THIS is my second favorite.  A whole link of the smoked sausage ($4.99).  I don't know how they make it but it has the right amount of spices.  It has a wonderful snap to it, as well.  It is very addictive and it is a must to order the smoked sausage every time I come back.  

As far as the large sides go (they also serve individual sides for one person), we got the potato salad ($3.69 / pint).... creamy, delicious and perfect.  No complaints here.

....the cole slaw ($3.69 / pint).  It was okay.  I loved the crunch, but it was really bland and didn't have much "dressing" (mayo/vinegar).  

....and my third favorite item here, the CREAMED CORN ($4.29 / pint).  I mean, it is what it says it is.  Creamy, sweet corn.  The flavor of the corn is apparent and that is all you taste.  It is exceptional and a wonderful side with the BBQ'd meats.

They have bottles of their homemade 'sause' on the tables, their original sauce and their "Sissy" sauce. The original has a little spice to it, but not too much, and the Sissy sauce is pretty mild (hence, the sissy part of the name).  I liked them both, but I am partial to the original.

This is not the best picture of my meal, but I was hungry and started eating.  Rudy's is awesome.  I love it for the "country style" feel to the place, and of course, for their brisket, sausage and creamed corn.  Yup, I will certainly be back and hoping they will open up one here in San Diego.  *crossing fingers*

Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q
7300 West Chandler Blvd.
Chandler, Arizona 85226

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Pink's Hot Dogs: Harrah's Resort Southern California - Valley Center

WHOA, I'm back!  Happy New Year to everyone! I look forward to a fabulous 2015 and wish you all the same. *smile*  

With that, let's talk about hot dogs, shall we?!

The in-laws planned to stay a couple of nights at Harrah's Resort Southern California (formerly Harrah's Rincon Casino) out (way out) in Valley Center in October, so we went out to spend quality time with them.  We arrived in the late evening to meet them and it was dinner time (my favorite meal).

Harrah's has a nice range of dining options; their 24-hour eatery, The Cafe, Earl of Sandwich, Fortunes (a noodle place), 'Ritas Cantina, their buffet, an oyster bar, a fancy steakhouse, Starbucks, and... PINK's. Yum!  Golly gee, the obvious choice for me was a Pink's hot dog. M and I haven't had Pink's since we visited the original location back in 2006, so I bee-lined to their counter (and everyone followed, haha).

At this location, the prices are a bit higher than the original location in Los Angeles (ex: $4.85 vs. $5.99 for a 9" stretch chili dog), but I thought it was priced okay for what we get. All 'regular' dogs are 9 inches, unless stated otherwise. They also have limited menu items, but it was still a good selection of hot dogs, burgers, and sides.

Here we go!

M ordered the Mullholland Drive Dog ($7.99). *insert emoji of the surprised face with big eyes here*  It was topped with three strips of bacon, grilled onions, nacho cheese, and grilled mushrooms. Oh, it looked amazing.  I didn't have a taste of his.  There was so much on top, I couldn't even see the hot dog!  

M's stepdad ordered the Guadalajara Dog ($5.99) with diced tomatoes and onions, relish and sour cream. He said it was "delicioso."  He didn't say it in Spanish (that was all me).  It looked really good, but these are not my type of flavors on a hot dog. 

M's mom ordered a plain hot dog with ketchup, mustard and grilled onions ($5.99 + $0.99 for grilled onions). The onions looked yummy. They piled it on! 

Speaking of piling on... here's MINE!  At the LA location, I had the nacho cheese chili dog and I remember it was so good that I had to have another one. Only, I ordered the original Stretch Chili Dog ($5.99) with mustard, onions, sliced American cheese and meaty, yummy chili.  I heart chili dogs. I really do.  Especially this one -- the beefiness from the hot dog and chili was so delicious together, plus the crunch from the mild, diced white onion and the tang from the mustard made this chili dog one of the best hot dogs I have had. Ooh, if I order it with the grilled onions next time.... yes. 

We all shared two sides to compliment our dogs: onion rings ($3.49) and french fries ($2.79). The onion rings were crunchy and had a nice ratio of batter and actual onion. They didn't seem like the frozen kind.

Personally, I have always thought that fries belong with burgers and hot dogs and potato chips go hand-in-hand, but these french fries changed my mind. They are so crispy, seasoned perfectly and so addictively delicious! I couldn't stop eating them. They reminded me of Rally's fries, but crispier (not soggy) with more flavor.  They went really well with my chili dog.  

Pink's Hot Dogs was a great treat. Driving all the way to Valley Center may be too far for a yummy hot dog, but if you're in the area for any reason, I would recommend that you check it out.  Here is the link to the Harrah's Pink's menu (PDF).  

Harrah's Resort Southern California
777 Harrah's Resort Southern California Way
Valley Center, CA 92082

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