The Kroft – Poutine and Porchetta is Done

by Franklin on September 28, 2014

The Anaheim Packing district is a one stope destination for foodies. They have it all. Dare I call it a food court? Far from it, the space offers some amazing food and craft beers. The Kroft is one such establishment that offers amazing hand crafted sandwiches and poutine. I was pleasantly surprised by their delicious food. Orange County doesn’t really have amazing food, but The Packing District is changing all of that.

We started off with the original poutine. We opted out of the extravagant short rib poutine because we ordered the sandwich anyways. We wanted to get the original to get the pure essence of the poutine — to eat it as it was intended to, The fries were fresh and good on their own. The gravy though, was something else. It was perfectly salty and hearty. The cheese curds were melted perfectly from the hot gravy. The cilantro on top gave it a nice contrast and helped cut the fat of the fries and gravy. These were quite delicious and possibly the best poutine I had in a while.

The short rib sandwich was beefy and delicious. The meat was perfectly sauced and pulled away nicely. The addition of arugula was key to keep the grease in check. I did feel like it was missing something though. I added some hot sauce in between bites to keep it exciting.

The fried chicken sandwich was exactly how I imagined it to be. The chicken was fresh and meaty. The batter was light and crispy, and gave the sandwich the extra flavor it needed. The best part of this sandwich was the slaw on top. It gave a nice rounded flavor and gave it even more crunch. Fried chicken and cole slaw go so well together.

The best sandwich they have here, and one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in a while was their porchetta sandwich. These fly off the shelves quickly so make sure they have it in stock. The pork was so pure and flavorful, and the onion jam gave it a nice flavor profile. My favorite was the bits and pieces of chopped up skin inside the sandwich. I remember seeing them cut up the pork for the sandwich, and the chef peeled off the skin. Scared that they were going to discard it, I was almost going to request to keep that part. Little did I know that they were planing on chopping up the skin to add on top of the sandwich. This made every bite have that little crisp of fatty skin. Crisis averted.

The Kroft is really a nice spot and a gem inside the Anaheim Packing District. Located on the bottom floor, it’s not on the top floor with the good lighting. The restaurant pumps out some amazing craft sandwiches and their poutine is a must order. The ingredients are simple and of the highest quality. Each sandwich is created carefully and with flavor being the main focus. I really can’t wait to go here again — Poutine and Porchetta sandwich for me.

The Kroft on Urbanspoon


Being winners of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” there was a lot of expectation. With the new season of the food truck competition underway, it was good to try the last year’s winners. Seeing the truck on TV, it seemed to be almost a celebrity. The lime green was hard to mistake, and even more difficult to miss. The trio of chefs always pumped out amazing dishes and came out on top. I have been yearning to try their food and I finally had a chance. Though I weren’t able to meet the semi-famous chefs, getting a taste of their food was good enough for me.

Their carnitas fries are probably their most famous item on the menu. The pork on top, roasted for 12 hours was soft, but a little try. The help of the crema, guacamole, and chipotle honey slaw helped out a lot. The crunch of the slaw and the tender meet was a great match. The fries were a perfect to soak up all those flavors. The topping of cotija cheese gave it a nice salty flavor which it needed. In my opinion, the cotija was necessary and completed this dish nicely. I just wish I had more of this.

The Short rib sliders were amazing. The beer braised short rib was tender and flavorful as it should be. Topped with spicy ramulade and arugula, the sliders were impressive. Even the bread was soft and helped make these small sandwiches better. This was completely worth it and went perfectly well with the carnitas fries.

There comes a time when you get greedy and order something you regret. The adobo tacos were just that — money well spent. The adobo style pork belly was nearly dry — I was thinking pork belly, fatty, tender, and fatty. The pork in these tacos were lacking in quality and quantity. The green tomatillo, pico de gallo, and sriracha on top was tasty, atleast. The taco as a whole didn’t work for me. The tortilla was kind of cold, the protein a little off — it just didn’t do it for me, especially for 3 bucks. If you are a food truck, doing tacos right is a must. I mean, food trucks were born from this stuff.

The Lime Truck, the famous green gourmet food truck blew up. The semi celebrity status meant more eyes on them, more judging eyes at that. Honestly, if it weren’t for Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” would I even consider their food? Maybe, maybe not. The reality is, The Lime Truck pumps out pretty awesome food. The incident of the adobo taco might have been on the off chance they were having a bad day. Either way, 2 out of the 3 items I ordered were a home run, and I guess that is what matters. Look at me, showing favoritism to the celebrity food truck — I must be selling out. The reality is, the good items were really good, the bad items were just plain crappy. I guess you just have to order the right things. Plain and simple — carnitas fries / short rib sliders.

The Lime Truck on Urbanspoon


Dino’s is one of those spots in Los Angeles that is equally dingy as it is delicious. As weird as that may sound, it is true. The place is near on Pico, near Vermont — not the nicest location, but not the worst either. This one is the original that started it all. Even though it is called Dino’s Chicken and Burgers, everyone gets the chicken. I wanted to get the chicken and try maybe a burrito or burger. I asked the guy, “what else is popular?”. He gave me a puzzled answer which led me to believe that chicken was the way to go. I looked around the kitchen, and all I saw was chicken. No burgers were being made, no burritos were being rolled. It was all chicken.

You get a bed of french fries, half a chicken, cole slaw, and tortillas — it all came out to less than 6 bucks. That was an amazing deal for a delicious meal on the cheap. The chicken had a nice char to it, and the taste was intense at times. It has an orange pigmented marinade that turns your finger orange for days (imagine hot Cheetos fingers). The kicker though, is this sauce they pour over the whole plate, fries and all. It is a sweet, salty, vinegary, and spicy mixture. You can easily have too much and have heart burn right after. This was delicious though — it made the dish pop. The tortillas were soft and were actually tasty — they weren’t just thrown in there. The cole slaw was nice too, a good textural crunch amongst the meaty chicken and fries. All of this for 6 bucks is well worth your money.

So there you have it — delicious cheap eats. Don’t bother going to Dino’s and get a burger or Mexican food, though I am curious as to how it is. Do get the chicken plate, and if you don’t want a bed of fries, you can always substitute it with rice. Dino’s is expanding and you can find a few of them around Los Angeles County. Find one near you, bring it home, or enjoy it there — just be ready for orange fingers.

Dino's Burgers on Urbanspoon


When choosing what food trucks to try, I go by a lot of things. I see what I am in the mood for, if I heard some buzz about them, and the affordability and taste factor of their menu. Frysmith Truck serves fries that you can eat as a meal. They are all about quality and being humane. All of their meat are from free range, and they only use kurobuta pork. All of their utensils and drink containers are all biodegradable. They even reuse the fry oil to run the truck. Amazing. They go the extra mile to be better to the Earth and the animals. That kind of care shows in their food.

It seems like everyone is heading towards the Korean craze, especially with food trucks. At the Frysmith Truck, I could have had the regular chili cheese fries, or poutine, but I wanted something different. Fries and gravy? Been there, done that. I had a choice between the kimchi fries or the rojas fries.

Being Korean and all, and wanting to see what this is all about, I opted for the kimchi fries. The fries were freshly cut — it reminded me of the fries at In-n-Out. On top, they melted cheddar cheese and put a generous amount of kimchi. Though they could have added a little more pork on top, the quality was superb. The kimchi had a sweet, not too spicy aspect which was perfect with the crispy fries. The green onions brought everything together.  This hit home, yet it was so different for me. From the looks of the empty plate, it was delicious.

It was a great experience to try this food truck. Fries loaded with some of my favorite foods. What isn’t there to love? I wish I had room in my stomach to try the rojas fries which consisted of chilis, steak, and cheese. Definitely something for the future. Though the menu is small, they know what the people want. Fries with a bunch of tasty stuff on top. It doesn’t get any better.

Frysmith (food truck) on Urbanspoon


Mandalay Bay has some of my favorite things.  It is away from the busy party hardy vibe from the center strip, it has one of the best pools in Vegas, and it has Stripsteak. From the outside, it just looks and give off a normal steakhouse feel.  Once you dine there, you are treated so importantly — you are taken care of.

You know the caliber of a restaurant by the water.  If the ice is foggy and the water tastes like tap, most likely, the food won’t be good.  What amazed me at Stripsteak was that the water they served is bottled Fuji water. It was that good artesian water, and quite honestly, the best tasting water of all time.  For them to take the time and money to serve good water to the customers really impressed me.  I knew from there on out, the food would be amazing.

The bartender was helpful in picking a drink for us.  In our indecisiveness, he made us a pineapple mojito. It was good and special custom made drink.

Sadly, we did not get to try a full on steak here.  We were here for a late night snack and drinks, and this was perfect beyond words.  Thinking a table would be a bit much, we ditched our reservations and just sat casually at the bar. The vibe was very relaxing — No nose in the air kind of attitude here.

I asked the bartender. “Can we order the truffle fries trio?  I do not see it on the menu.”  He responded with, “Oh, those are complimentary, on the house with every order.”  For a restaurant to give complimentary fries was amazing to me.  It wasn’t the boring bread and butter here.  And it wasn’t just ordinary french fries either.  These were duck fat fries, done three ways with three dipping sauces — truffle fries, garlic herb fries, and cajun bay seasoning. I will say this — These were the best fries I ever had in my life.  The duck fat made it very rich and flavorful.  The truffle fries were amazing.  It had a light crisp texture, with a meaty and buttery depth.  The cajun and garlic herb fries were good as well, especially with the truffle aoli, house made ketchup, and cajun sauce.  I will definitely eat these every time I go to Vegas.  All for free, and amazing.

We just ordered the truffle mac and cheese.  It was alright.  It could have been more cheesy and less watery.  The taste was there, but I just wanted it gooey and cheesy.

The truffle flavor was there, something I don’t get to have a lot.  It was buttery, somewhat cheesy, and definitely truffled.  The broccoli inside was a nice touch, and it was especially delicious with the fries.

All in all, it was a great meal and snack.  Our mouths were open to the rib eye the guy next to us was enjoying.  Next time, after a good run on the craps tables, I will have my rib eye.

Stripsteak (Mandalay Bay) on Urbanspoon


It looks like the predominantly East Coast eatery has made its way well into the West.  Upon arriving, 5 Guys seems to have the color scheme of the very West coast hamburger joint, In-n-Out. The red and white tiles were really familiar.  Perhaps this is why there is much talk about 5 Guys vs. In-n-Out.  Without any suspense, let me just tell you.  In-n-Out is better.  Yeah, I am from the west, so of course I will be biased.  I’m not saying 5 Guys makes horrible hamburgers — they are amazing. I don’t want this post to be some sort of comparison test.  Maybe for a later date.

The taste of these burgers are one of a kind.  Condiments include the normal ketchup mustard, and lettuce, but I got mine with bacon and jalapenos as well.  The flavor profile was amazing — spicy from the jalapenos, and a little sweet from the grilled onions. I would have liked the bacon less crispy — I like bacon more on the chewy side than the cookie crisp side.  The meat was superb, grilled on the flat top with a perfect crust.  Though it was a little dry, I would have liked it a bit on the rare side.  All in all, it was a solid burger.

The fries were okay.  Yeah, just okay.  It was kind of soggy — no crisp at all.  The Cajun seasoning was really good on it, though not my cup of tea.  The malt vinegar was good — mixing it with ketchup really made it really pop. I even experimented and made a trifecta sauce – ketchup, malt vinegar, and Cajun spices.

Basically, 5 Guys is a solid burger joint.  Their burgers are flavorful and you have lots to choose from toppings wise.  Free peanuts too.  I wouldn’t say they have the perfect burger though.  Maybe it’s the west coast in me. Maybe it’s because they charge a lot more than the other guys.  Or it could be something as minuscule as them serving their burgers with cold buns.  It must be a sign — Keep trying it until it hits me.  Yeah, that must be it.

5 Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon


What is in a perfect sandwich? Before you start scratching your head or making a pros and cons list, let me just tell you. It’s pastrami. Come on. It’s salty, fatty, and meaty. Perfect recipe for some good meat right? Pastrami sandwiches at The Hat is the way to go. At the Brea, CA should be lucky to have this mini chain bless their city.

I always get the pastrami burger and gravy fries. Taking a bite from the pastrami burger is like meat heaven. Pastrami is probably the best topping any cheeseburger can have. The saltiness really rounds out the flavor of the burger really well. It is simply delicious.

Every delicious burger needs a side of fries. I always get their gravy fries — gravy on the side. We don’t want to eat soggy fries now do we? Something about the gravy at The Hat is so tasty. It is on the salty side, but it’s so good with the fries. Think of fried mashed potatoes and gravy that you dunk it in. The gravy is dark brown and thick. It really is the perfect gravy for almost anything. I literally grave these late at night. Dangerous, I know, but so good.

Eating at The Hat, I eat like a man. No calorie counting here. Pastrami everything, gravy everything. That is the way to do it when you go to The Hat. And for you lazy bums, myself included, the Brea location has a drive through — not something patrons of the other restaurants can enjoy. World famous pastrami, and you don’t even need to get out of your car. Awesome.

The Hat (Brea) on Urbanspoon


Slater’s 50/50 – A Pig and a Cow have a Baby

by Franklin on February 18, 2011

Imagine you have in front of you a perfect burger. What condiments are on it? Is the meat cooked rare or medium rare?  You also got to have cheese right?  Is there bacon?  At Slater’s you can have any of that.  This burger joint / bar lets you fill out a form (pencil and paper) and choose from different patty sizes, cheeses, sauces, and extra condiments. They even let you choose what kind of bread you can have that on. With all these combinations, you can have any burger you want, any way you want it. Their beer selection is pretty impressive as well. Having that perfect burger and the perfect brew to go with it is sometimes a difficult endeavor for some.  At Slaters 50/50, it is all there.

What makes this place special is what they do with their patties. You may be wondering to yourself, what is that 50/50 for? The 50/50 is their specialty patty made with 50% ground beef, and 50% ground bacon. You add that with their never ending list of condiments, and you have yourself a hamburger you won’t forget. The meat has that familiar bacon taste; it’s almost like bacon flavored hamburger patty. I think the patty itself won’t be what it is without the condiments.

As for the best burger combination, wrap your taste buds around this one — Take a 2/3 lbs. 50/50 patty on white bread, goat cheese, garlic aioli, sprouts, baby greens, grilled onions, and an over easy egg. Perhaps even adding thick cut bacon on a 50/50 burger would be in the cards (Yes, bacon on top of a bacon infused burger patty.). Well, remember that perfect burger I was talking about before? This should come in pretty close to that for any burger lover.

For some odd and unexplainable reason, some might say this is a bit of over-kill. “Who would want ground bacon in my patty?”, they would ask. For purists, they have a 100% beef patty option. The pure beef is just as good, especially for those who like their patties rare — with that said, the 50/50 is a must for first timers. Where else can you get something like that?

A good burger can’t be enjoyed without some kind of sides — Slater’s got that covered. Fries (sweet potato and regular), fried artichokes, fried pickle chips, vampire dip (melted garlic cheese and fried pita bread), bacon mac and cheese, and the list goes on. Other than the fries and sweet potato fries, the other appetizers seem a bit greasy.  You can’t go wrong with a burger and fries anyways right?  The bacon mac and cheese was bacon(ful), but lacked that cheesiness that everyone loves about mac and cheese. Coming here, stick with what they are good at and known for — their burgers.

If you are in the Anaheim Hills area in California, stop by for lunch or dinner.  They are always friendly and love serving new customers.  This establishment keep growing in popularity by the minute — it is clear as to why this is.  They give you a burger mixed in with arguable one of the best cures meats in the world, and let you have it any way you would like.  Add with some great sides and a plethora of exotic beers and you got yourself a pretty perfect meal.

Slater's 50/50 Burgers By Design on Urbanspoon

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