Posts tagged ‘fried food’

January 7th, 2012

When size meets taste…

A friend of my husband’s sent him this photo.

It’s a hammered pork sandwich from a restaurant in Las Vegas called Hash House a go go.  What made a mere sandwich so noteworthy?  The plate is as big as 3 adult faces!  On a recent trip to Japan, this one picture helped bridge the language gap as my non-Japanese speaking husband was able to ‘wow’ my Japanese friends and family with it, as they marveled at the sandwich’s size.   Both amused and appalled, Japanese people already think American portion sizes are huge, but this picture was beyond their imaginations.  Immediately, they asked if this was something we ate in the States everyday.  I knew the answer they wanted to hear, was ‘yes’, as that pretty much goes in line with how they already picture America–huge EVERYTHING, but the answer, as you could guess is a realistic ‘no’.  Sure, compared to Japanese food, American portions are usually twice as big, but to find truly huge portions like that, you have to do a bit of searching.

When we were in Las Vegas, my husband suggested we go to Hash House a go go, for breakfast.  I was reluctant because usually the best part of a big portioned meal is its size and not its flavor.  Also, call me a snob, but who’d believe a restaurant found in a dingy casino on the strip would be good?  As we walked over, I was thinking, “There are many, many great places to eat in Vegas, but marriage is a give and take.”  Since he took me to a four star restaurant the day before, I should let the next meal choice be his, right?  My stomach clenched in horror as I realized that my next stop would be home to something I’m still learning to appreciate, big portioned, hearty American food.

Talk about surprises!  Oh my goodness.  Fried Chicken with bacon (!!) waffles, where the waffles and chicken were bigger than an adult male’s enlarged heart.  But what about the taste?  The waffles were delicious; very dense, yet fluffy, and not airy at all.  It tasted great with the fried leek garish that came with it.  The fried chicken was delicious, with a moist inside and crispy outside, and as an added plus, it was kindly de-boned!!  Sure, having actual strips of bacon instead of bits, baked into their waffles and preparing well seasoned fried chicken shows that the chefs cook with care, but serving de-boned chicken demonstrates that bit of extra love that’s so often lacking.  Without a doubt, I can say that this is possibly some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.  I’d never thought I’d say this, but I’m so glad my husband took me to that diner in that run-down casino!    Since we got back, I’ve semi-seriously suggested several times, that we drive to Vegas just for one more taste.  I found there’s the original location in San Diego, which is shorter drive from Los Angeles… totally doable.

Sure, they might laugh at a picture of what I’ve just described, but would Japanese people actually like this dish?  The one hurdle to overcome is the combination of sweet and savory, which Japanese people usually don’t like.  In this case, serving fried chicken alongside maple syrup might seem scary at first, but with a dish like this, I’m confident that this huge plate of food will please their senses of taste as much as it dazzles their senses of sight.  Viva America!

August 9th, 2011

Tater Tots

I’m not Larry David, but when my husband excitedly mentioned “Let’s order tater tots!” I had to curb HIS enthusiasm by asking,”What are tater tots?”  “They’re delicious, crispy, golden balls of hash brown!” he explained.

How were they?  Well, as advertised, they were indeed delicious, crispy, golden balls of hash brown.  No, I didn’t thaw out the frozen Ore-Ida kind, instead, we were lucky enough to find them on the menu at our favorite L.A. restaurant, Stefan’s L.A. Farm, owned by Top Chef contestant Stefan Richter.  The adult version of this kids’ favorite comes with creamy ranch dipping sauce providing a delicious way to cool things down. With every bite, I had to ask myself, why was I so late to the tater tot party?  Growing up in Japan, we had french fries, but never these delicious, crispy, golden balls of hash brown.

Thanks to a quick google, I found out that they were created in 1952 by the Ore-Ida founder as a way of using up potato slivers.  By adding flour and seasoning, a new side dish favorite was created.  Tater tots have made their move to the center of the plate as well, thanks to some recipes I found, posted online.  One popular use of the product seems to be in casserole form. As I began to read one of the casserole recipes, I had to admit, I was expecting a pile of tots and cheese, (a delicious pile of tots and cheese, mind you).  But upon further research, it seems the tots are the topping in a shepherd’s pie type of dish.  Receiving that information, I have to say, I was relieved and disappointed at the same time.  I was relieved that the recipe didn’t require lots of cheese, but disappointed, secretly fantasizing that with lots of cheese and some onions, I could have a fattening but delicious potato gratin like dish.  Maybe if I find the organic, non-fried (taste free) version, I’ll try it out…but until that day, tater tots will be a Stefan’s treat.

My next adventure with tater tots, will be following them into the school cafeteria, where they sit alongside some interesting entrees…on trays.  (to be continued)