Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Do a Beach Barrel roll

The Beach Barrel
3305 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663

  Another PR event allowed me to try The Beach Barrel. I scanned the menu before hand and decided I wanted to to try the Playa Cubano but when I arrived I was delighted to learn that I would be able to try more then just one item on the menu. I was able to enjoy the Playa Cubano, the BBQ chicken flat bread, the barrel burger, the street dog and finally the sticky buns.

  I started with the BBQ chicken flat bread which is house made sriracha BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, apple wood bacon, mozzarella cheese, red onion and cilantro. The flat bread was crisp while the BBQ sauce brought a spice to the party, but it wasn't so spicy that your taste bud are screaming for water. The chicken was tender and the cheese was stringy, melted goodness. This was definitely a good BBQ chicken flat bread and I really liked the heat from the BBQ sauce.

  Next I dove into the sammy I came for, the Playa Cubano. This sandwich is citrus glazed pork, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, house made pickles and dijonaise which is all placed on french bread that is then grill pressed. My first bite was such a burst of flavors. The citrus from pork comes through first and comes on heavy. Then the sour pickles and the tart dijonaise kick in and balance everything out. The pork it self was moist and tender. I could not contain the juices running down my hand from this sandwich. I can easily say this is by far one of the best three Cuban sandwiches I have had to date.

  The street dog was next in my sights. This is a 1/4 pound all beef dog that is then covered in apple wood bacon, caramelized onions, and grilled jalapenos. Then come in with mayo, mustard and a mix of chedder and mozzarella cheese. This is not my typical choice for dogs but I was diggin' this dog. The crunchy bacon, spicy jalapenos and creamy toppings all blended well together and made an awesome bite of food. My only suggestion to make this better would be that they should look into getting a different type of dog, something with a natural casing to give you a snap with each bite.

  Burger time! This is the only burger Beach Barrel does and they do it well. This seasoned beef patty is loaded with grilled bell peppers, Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onions, avocado, house made thousand island dressing and cheddar cheese. This is all stuffed between a toasted brioche bun. The beef patty was luscious, the bell peppers where soft and the lettuce was crisp. The avocado added a velvety consistency that helped to cut some of the richness from the beef. The other thing I noticed is that the bun was toasted perfectly, just enough to add some bite to the bun but not enough to kill the roof of your mouth.

  Lastly I finished with the Hawaiian sticky buns and scoop of ice cream. These were your standard Hawaiian buns but done up like you have never had before. The buns are layered with marshmallows and smothered in the homemade pecan caramel sauce. The bun is toastey on the outside and stays soft on the inside. The caramel sauce is gooey and sweet with the ice cream adding a coldness to each bite. If you follow food trends Hawaiian buns have been used in a myriad of ways. I must say this is by far the best way I have seen them used. The sweet buns are complimented perfectly with the rest of the ingredients.

  The Beach Barrel is a bit of drive for me to visit all the time but what I do know is that I will be back for that Playa Cubano sandwich. For me this sandwich was the highlight of my visit. Everything I tried was excellent and I had zero complaints. The Beach Barrel chefs know what they are doing and they do it well. I can easily recommend The Beach Barrel and suggest you take the time to check them out. Make sure to visit the website because if you are within the delivery range you can get all this awesomeness delivered right to your door!

The Beach Barrel

The Beach Barrel on Yelp

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blake's Place Revisted

Blake's Place
2905 E Miraloma Ave
Ste 3
Anaheim, CA 92806

 I took advantage of another opportunity to try Blake's Place BBQ in Anaheim. I have been there before and even posted a review on here. But I am sucker for good BBQ and figured what the heck, why not? The last time I ate at Blake's Place was years ago but I remember it being okay, not bad by any means but nothing that rocked my socks. Well let me tell you, this time I was pleasantly surprised with my visit and thought there was a clear improvement over my last meal.

  I do have to say this was a PR event so my kids and I got our meals comped to us. My daughter ordered the kids baby rack ribs. Like almost every other time she tries something new, she was hesitant but went ahead with that order. My son ordered the Blake's One Pound Bomber. I ordered the three meat plate and for sweet treat we got some bread pudding.

  My daughter picked up her first rib and messed around with it for a bit before taking her first bite. Once that bite was taken she was in BBQ heaven, she just kept saying how good the ribs were and how much she liked the sauce. She chowed down all her ribs without any complaining which I was fully stoked about. In fact she had a BBQ sauce "smile" from ear to ear from her lacking of caring what she looked like and simply enjoyed the meat on bone goodness.

  Blakes's one pound bomber consists of beef brisket, pork, turkey, Swiss cheese, pickles, red onion and BBQ sauce on a French roll. This sandwich is loaded to the brim with smoked meats and requires you to unlock your jaw like some kind of serpent. My son said the meat was tender and had a good amount of smoke to it. He felt like the meat was a little dry but nothing some of Blake's house made BBQ sauce couldn't fix. My son was able to easily take down one and half of the second half. As we were leaving Blake's I asked my son if he remembered his last trip and how it compared to this trip. He felt like there was clear improvement in the quality, taste and overall tastyness of the food.

 I went with the three meat plate so I could try and bit of everything. I ordered beef brisket, turkey, and pork loin. The beef brisket was tender enough to be easily cut with a plastic fork. The turkey was smoked in such a way that is almost had a ham kind of flavor to it. It too was super tender. The pork loin was my favorite of all three meats. The smoke on the pork was just enough to let you it was there but not overpowering at all. It was like eating BBQ sauce covered thick sliced bacon. Who wouldn't love that? The beans and potato salad did not get as much of my attention as they should have. I picked at them not because they were bad, in fact the potato salad was really good and the bean were very well made. Just too much meat for me and that's all I was about. Plus I had to save room for the bread pudding.

  I chose to have my bread pudding cold. I had already eaten enough hot foot with the three meats plate so I went for the cooler desert. This bread pudding was dense but in like the best possible way. The custard had soaked through all the bread which brought plenty of cinnamon flavor to the party. The raisins added tiny pockets of sweet that really helped to break through some of that cinnamon spice. I could only image how awesome this would be hot with a bit of bourbon sauce on it. I don't actually know if Blake's does it that way but they should if they don't.

  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Blake's Place and my kids had a great BBQ experience too. It may be a bit out of the way but you should definately take the time to seek out and try Blake's Place.