Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blake's Place BBQ in Anaheim

Blake's Place BBQ Cafe and Catering
2905 East Miraloma Ave
Anaheim, CA 92806

  A family dinner is always a good thing and a family dinner at Blake's Place BBQ Cafe is an even better thing. I can remember when I used to work for my Dad delivering print jobs I would always drive by Blake's Place and wonder how the food was, last week I finally got the chance to try it out. My daughter ordered the macaroni and cheese kids meal, my son ordered beef ribs and pulled chicken, my wife ordered baby back ribs and chopped beef brisket, I order smoked sausage, pulled pork and beef brisket. With drinks, the meal was about $50.

  My daughter liked the mac and cheese because it was "super cheesy", her words. She also devoured her french fries, this girl loves her french fries. My son said the beef ribs were good and he liked the BBQ sauce used on them. He also said the mac and cheese was really good and that he liked the pulled chicken.

  My wife said her ribs were tender and pulled off the bone easily. She said the flavor was good and the BBQ sauce was also good. She said the chopped brisket was tasty but a little dry. She also said the BBQ baked beans were delicious. Overall she said she enjoyed her plate of food.

  I dove into this plate of food so fast I almost forgot to take a picture. I started with the side items first. The mac and cheese was super cheesy and pulled strings of cheese when you lifted your fork out of it. The cheese seemed to be a mix which made it really good. The BBQ beans were full of BBQ flavor and bits of pulled meat. Next I went after the smoke sausage which reminded me of a kielbasa sausage that was smoked. The sausage was good and full of smoke flavor. The brisket was my next target and it was juicy and had a good smoke to it but, it was a bit chewy. It needed more BBQ sauce on it when served and I was too lazy to get up and get some from a different table. The pulled pork was also full of that smokey goodness but a bit dry. It too needed to be served with more BBQ sauce. The pork was tender and the flavor was really good overall.

  I enjoyed my meal and Blake's Place but in my opinion the BBQ sauce was a bit too sweet. I enjoy a little bit of a kick to my BBQ sauce and all the sauce served on the meat was sweet. It might partially be my fault for not getting a different BBQ sauce but I like to try food the way it is served to me. Don't get me wrong Blake's Place is good food and I would recommend anyone go there but for me I like my BBQ a bit more on the spicy side.
Blake's Place on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Freebirds World Burrito in Orange

1632 E. Katella Ave
Orange, CA 92865

  Freebirds World Burrito just opened a few weeks ago in Orange and I have been telling my wife that we need to go check this place out. I had heard it was like that other burrito place but better. So a Friday night without the kids was the perfect night to go and try it out. I ordered a carnitas with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, cheese and Mexican rice. My wife ordered chicken, refried beans, tomato, sour cream, guacamole and cheese. We both ordered the Freebird size but they do have a few different sizes to choose from. We both made our meals combos so my wife got chips and salsa and I got a pot brownie. These two burrito combo meals cost about $20.

  My wife's burrito looked good but I would never take a bite of it because of the sour cream. My wife said the burrito was good and she liked the salsa that came with the chips. My wife said the chicken was bit over cooked which made it dry. She enjoyed the burrito but she said it was not the best burrito she has ever had.

  My carnitas burritos was good and stuffed full. The refried beans were creamy and smooth. The pork was cooked well and juicy. The rice and veggies added a tooth feel to the burrito that it needed. The guacamole came out of one of those caulking gun things and they only put two shots. A squeeze of lime before each bite of the burrito added a nice citrus flavor and overall it was a good burrito. The burrito was tasty but nothing I'd write home to Mom about. The pot brownie is not what you may be thinking. They call it that because it is cooked in a pot. However it is a really good brownie, moist and tons of chocolate chips.

 I did enjoy Freebirds World Burrito much better then that other burrito chain. Freebirds has a lot of additional items that can be added to the burrito but it will cost you. Overall I would say Freebirds World Burrito is good food but a little pricey for the quantity of food you actually get. If your like me and money to food ratio is important they this may not be the place for you. If you want a good tasting burrito and don't mind paying for it then I would recommend Freebirds.
Freebirds World Buritto on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inka Mama's a Peruvian delight

Inka Mama's Peruvian Cuisine
26676 Portola Parkway, Ste. B
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

  It's a rare occasion when I go out to lunch during the week. Time and money are thin when it comes to going out to lunch on a workday and when I do, I want to make sure neither is wasted. I have been hearing friends at work talk about Inka Mama's for months and finally decided it was time to try it for myself. I ordered the lomo saltado and a drink, this meal was about 15 bucks.

  When you first sit down the staff at Inka Mama's brings you some cut pieces of sour dough, butter and this green sauce in a plastic squeeze bottle. I am not sure what this green sauce is made of but I taste basil, cilantro, maybe some mint and some kind of green chili pepper. I squeezed a dollop of the sauce on my appetizer plate, covered a piece of bread in butter and went to town, this sauce is crazy addictive. You get this herb flavor that fills your mouth with each bite and the kick of spice hits you in the back of your throat. The spice level is not high at all but enough to let you know it's there. I bet you could put this sauce on an old shoe and it would taste good.

  The lomo saltado is thinly sliced beef that is sauteed with onion, tomatoes and french fries. Yes I did say french fries, the menu calls them French cut potatoes but lets be real they are French fries. The lomo saltado has a sauce that I assume is just the cooking liquids and marinade from the beef and this sauce is full of flavor. The dish is served with a side of white rice. When placed in front of me I proceed to cover the rice and lomo saltado in the green sauce which added another level of flavor and a bit of heat. The mix of beef, onions and french fries is great. The onions were still a bit crisp, the beef tender and the tomatoes are warm yet firm. It is a dish I have had in the past but this version is superior to the others.

  I heard Inka Mama's can get busy during lunch hours so plan accordingly because this restaurant is worth the wait. I would gladly wait in line to enjoy this plate of food again and would kill for the green sauce, not literary of course but that green stuff is that damn good. If you are near this location then take a lunch break, or go for dinner and you will not be disappointed.
Inka Mamas Peruvian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Philippe's The Original home of the french dip

1001 N. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

  When in Los Angeles there is one place I must always stop to get a bite to eat and that is Philippe's The Original. In fact I will eat small meals during the day to ensure I have plenty of room to enjoy a couple sandwiches from Philippe's. This is the place where the french dip sandwich was originated and it is still done very well to this day. The floors are covered in saw dust, the seating is first come first seat and the menu is simple. I was at Philippe's with my buddy and together we ordered two beef dips, one pork dip, one pickle and four lemonades. The entire meal was about $23.

  The beef dip sandwich has got to be my favorite of all the sandwiches that are served at Philippe's. The beef is slow cooked until tender and then thinly sliced. Those slices are then piled on the crusty french roll that was first dipped in the beef au jus. The beef is seasoned enough to add flavor but not so much that you still can not taste the meat it self. The beef is not fatty but still full of flavor. The french roll has a thin crisp layer on the outside and the inside is soaked in the beef juice but not so much that the bread falls apart. With each bite of the sandwich you get the a bit of juice from the roll which adds a nice of moisture. This sandwich is amazing.

  Next was my half of the pork dip sandwich. This sandwich is just as good as the beef dip. The pork is slow cooked, thinly sliced and loaded on the roll. The pork is seasoned just right to bring on the natural flavor of the meat. The pork is a bit more tender then the beef and a little more fatty. It adds that taste of fat to the sandwich that makes it richer in flavor then the beef. Again the roll is dipped in the pork au jus which then adds the perfect amount of moisture to each bite. This sandwich is awesome in it own right.

  If you happen to be anywhere near Union Station or Olvera Street make sure to make a trip to Philippe's. Heck this place deserves a trip to LA just to enjoy these sandwiches. Philippe's is a must stop for anyone in LA or OC area as it is a legend in the food world and delivers a sandwich that you will never forget and crave for all time!
Philippe, The Original on Urbanspoon