Friday, December 18, 2015

West Coast Fish N Chips

I ate here years ago, and had a rather average experience and didn't post a review.  Went back today and had very nice experience.  The facility is clean, smells nice, and the staff was very friendly.

I ordered the 2 piece fish + 4 prawns, which comes with 1 side.  For my side, I went with the fried okra.  I had a side order of pickle fries.  After an appropriate time for a chip shop, my food came out and I was pretty sure I may have ordered a bit much.  Everything tasted great - fish & prawns had a nice breading on them, not too thick, and it didn't pull away when you started to eat it either.  The fish fillets were a good size, too.  The breading on the okra was a little different, and it was also well prepared. Not super greasy, which sometimes fried okra can be.  I think my favorite part of the meal was the pickle fries.  I've had pickle chips before, and enjoyed them, so I figured this would be about the same.  These were pickle spears that were sliced down a bit to fry size.  They weren't as thin as like a shoestring fry, with a little more thickness.  The breading was similar to the fish.  Tasted great.  Still had some snap to them, and weren't all floppy like a sliced pickle can be.

My only drawback to the meal was the plastic fork.  If I was getting my order to go, fine, give me a plastic fork because I may need it, or I may have a better fork where I'm headed.  But if I'm eating there, give me a real fork.  Really, this fork struggled to cut the breaded fish - that's good on the fish, bad on the fork.

Overall, very good experience.  I'm stuffed from my meals, and I'm writing this like 2 hours later.  I'll definitely go back.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

trader joe's south african style chips

i was a fresh & easy shopper. i liked quite a few of the products, they had some great prices on cheese & such, and they were a great option to grab stuff in addition to the place i buy most groceries.  but, they spread themselves to thin, and tesco sold off the franchise. my closest location closed, but there were still some open. then, almost all the locations in the valley closed.

so, i've begun to shop a little at trader joe's. the other day i saw these:

i was like, "what makes south african style chips?" and "i wonder what my family in south africa would think of these?"  so i bought them.  today, i opened them up with lunch.  they were pretty good, too.  here's how they're described:

so, theyr'e barbecue flavored then?  yeah.

Friday, March 06, 2015

lunch review - todd's cookhouse bar-b-que

i was out & about, looking for lunch in all the wrong places. and then it hit me that a new bbq place had opened in clovis. i loves the bbq so i drove over a few streets to get some.

like many local bbq places, they have a order at the counter system, with the menu on some large boards & hand held menus - worked fine, and they had enough counter help to keep it moving along. their staff was friendly and it took about 10 minutes after ordering to get my food.

i ordered the 2 item combo - brisket & sausage. it comes with 2 sides + bread. with a soda & tax it was just over $18. not terrible price, but a little more than some other local places.

the brisket was very tender, and that made me quite happy. it had a good flavor.  but what really did stand out to me was the tenderness - a lot of places fail at this. i could easily cut it with my plastic cutlery.

the sausage had a nice casing, and still had a good snap to it when i bit down. now, i have to admit that the sausage also confused me a bit. yes, it is clearly labelled as sausage, but in my head i figured it would still be a hot link or something spicy. nope, just a sausage. tasted good, but nothing special.

onto some other details: sauce - they have their own sauce, i think they call it's todd's memphis sauce or something like that. it's a sweet sauce, that has a slight kick to it. good, and they put a little on the meat itself and give you some on the side. i'm pretty sure that all of their meats are cooked without it, or with very little. i'm fine with it that idea, because a lot of times bbq places will hide their meat in too much sauce.  but what really stood out to me was what was missing from both the brisket & the sausage - any smokiness. now, i don't need or want to be overwhelmed by fake smoke flavoring, or for it to taste like i'm eating a campfire, but really, there was nothing about these meats to tell me that this meat was actually barbecued. and i also didn't see any smokers or grills outside (i could've missed it, or they could prep off site).  for example, the brisket, which was super tender, really lacked any sense it being barbecued, any smell or taste of being slow cooked on any sort of wood.

final bits - the sides. i had the hush puppies & the onion rings. both were good, and complemented the meal well enough. they had several others, and these sides probably are a little better suited to some of their other meals, but i liked them.

give it like 3/5 stars
  • 1414 Clovis Ave
    Clovis, CA 93612

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Arsenal Art Hop

this week @ arthop, check out artwork inspired by by far the greatest team the world has ever seen: arsenal f.c.

drop by peeves, check out some art, grab a pint, talk some footy.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

richie's pizza & hot dogs

Had a slice of pepperoni & a Euro dog tonight for dinner.  Both were decent.  I felt that the slice was a good size, and I love folding a NY style slice and chomping away. I thought the flavor of it all worked well.  But shoot, it's a slice of pepperoni. Pretty hard to mess that up.

On to the dog: the Euro Dog is their all beef sausage, topped with sauerkraut and a spicy brown mustard.  I was pleasantly surprised by the spicy kick the sausage had.  I liked the mustard as well.  The sauerkraut wasn't my favorite, but it was okay.  I have to admit, boiled dogs aren't my preference, but it was still good.

The food didn't blow me or my wife away, but I would go back again. Also, I'm sure this would be some great eats late at night.  My only real complaint is that the prices seem a little high, but it's not insanely high.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

home made chili

shhhh, don't tell anyone, i read the pioneer woman cooks blog.  anyway, i saw this recipe for a frito chili pie, and thought i'd try it out, but also modify it a bit.

the first change i made was to buy my own meat, cut it and grind it myself. (remember my tri tip hamburgers?)  i like the idea of buying better cuts of meat and using it over your generic ground beef.  also, it helps eliminate the idea that ground beef, especially company packaged beef, has a ton of different cows, feces, and whatever else in it.  this ground beef was just that, beef i ground.

anyway, after grinding, i browned it in a cast iron pot - my first time using this one.  i seasoned it a while back, but this is my first cooking in it.

the recipe calls for a canned tomato mixture, but i used fresh romas and a cut up red pepper.

anyway, cook it all, simmer it for a while, add some stuff, simmer, taste, season, simmer, and so on.  see the full recipe below.  here's the chili after it was all done.  so tasty.  but, to be honest, i made this chili today to freeze.  the really good thing, heather liked it, and she's not a big beef person.

so, i bagged up around half the chili, then added black beans to the remaining mix.  more simmer.  bagged up.  freezer.

the full recipe and directions:
  • 2 pounds Ground Chuck
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced (optional)
  • 1 can (12 To 14 Ounce) Tomato Sauce (16 oz)
  • 1 can (10 Ounce) Ro-tel (diced Tomatoes And Chilies) (i subbed in 4 roma tomatoes, diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin (i used less)
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (more To Taste) - (i added more at one of the simmer stages)
  • 1 can (14-ounce) Kidney Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 can (14-ounce) Pinto Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Masa (corn Flour) Or Regular Corn Meal
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water

Preparation Instructions

Brown ground chuck with garlic in a pot over medium-high heat. Add tomato sauce, Rotel, salt, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Mix masa with water, then add to the chili. Stir to combine and simmer for a final 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

brown bear's hot dogs

i've never hid that i enjoy a good hot dog.  in fact, i wouldn't mind owning a hot dog shop.  a bit back i saw a new shop opening near my work.  sadly, i didn't try it that day and it was months before i made time to get back there.  yesterday i did, i visited brown bear's hot dogs.  it's a former drive through coffee shop type shack, and so it's a walk up venue.  but, they had part of their parking lot set up with tents and tables, so you can sit and eat.

i didn't know their menu, and it's decent sized.  they have twelve different dogs and one that you build your own.  they also have three types of nachos.  i'll be honest, they have some strange sounding combinations (pineapple on your bbq dog?) but i wouldn't knock them without actually trying it.  they also have a breakfast dog & burrito on menu in the morning.  the dogs are $5 or $6, which sounds expensive, but they all come with chips and a soda as well.  the combo makes sense if you're just having one dog, but if you want to try multiple dogs out, the combo part is a bit much.  since it was my first time there, i wanted to try out two different dogs, which meant i took home two bags of chips.

after perusing the menu, i thought i'd give the bacon dog and the taco dogs a go.  i had the taco dog first, which has lettuce, cheese, taco sauce, salsa and the dog.  the buns are bigger, which is good because there is a lot of toppings on a good sized wiener.  i was surprised how tasty this dog was.  the taco sauce had a really good flavor to it, the wiener a nice snap, and it all worked very well together.

the bacon dog was a bit of a disappointment.  well, it was good, but it seemed like it would be fabulous.  it has grilled onions, mustard, cream cheese, pinto beans, and of course, bacon.  the bacon is a good, thick cut, but it's also previously cooked and cold.  this dog actually seemed to have too much on it.  i'd say it was good enough, but i really thought the taco dog was better.

overall, i'd recommend the place, although in more inclement weather it may not be a great place to eat, but still good for takeout.

7040 n fresno street,
fresno, ca. 93720

6:30 am - 9 pm m-f
8 am - 4 pm saturday
closed sunday.