Friday, July 9, 2010
So I paid another visit to the fair before it left San Diego. Part 1 can be found here. My first trip to the fair every year seems to be a mad frenzy to try all the new fair foods. My second trip is usually to cover the foods we didn't get to sample and to visit some of the other exhibits at the fair.
We went on July 4th, which was the first time we had done so. I was worried it would be really crowded, but it wasn't too bad. I think it was more crowded on our first visit a few weeks back.
We started out with the food of course.
First was the tater dog twister. I loved how this item looked when I discovered it last year, and so I got it again. A thin sausage dog is on a stick and wrapped in a spiral of deep fried potatoes. It basically tastes like a sausage with potato chips. I thought the seasoning was a bit too thick, making this too salty. It's fun to look at, but it's not my favorite fair food.
We got some cow pie. I remembered really enjoying the cow pie a few years back but couldn't remember what it looked or tasted like. It's basically your ordinary ice cream sundae, set inside a waffle bowl dipped in chocolate. In this case it was more like a waffle plate…which made the waffle portion hard to eat. It tasted fine, but it was nothing special, and so I was somewhat disappointed.
Next we had the Mexican fried ice cream, a treat we had enjoyed a lot last year. The ice cream is not actually fried, but it's made to look like it was. Crunchy cereal glazes the ice cream (it tasted like honey bunches of oats), and then there are some cinnamon flavored tortilla chips as well. The ice cream itself has some cinnamon flavoring. The ice cream is pretty tasty with the chips and you do kind of feel like you are eating fried ice cream, without having to worry about your ice cream being a melted mess (I'm looking at you deep fried klondike bar).
After two rounds of ice cream, we were ready for some salty again. This brought us to Juicy's. I love Juicy's giant western sausage. It's one of the few fair items that I must get every year. Before discovering Juicy's, I tried quite a few of the sausage sandwich offerings from other vendors, but they don't compare in my opinion. The giant western sausage is about a foot long. It's placed in a thick roll, and topped with sauteed onions and peppers. The combination is delicious. It's also definitely meant to be shared.
While eating, we watched people doing the death drop.
After eating our sausage sandwich, we opted to try the churro funnel cake. Long Churro strands are wrapped in circles to resemble a funnel cake. You can also top it with whipped cream and strawberries to give a true funnel cake look. I first saw the debut of the churro funnel cake last year. They have this enormous one, where if you can finish in an hour, it's free. I tried to get a shot of it. It's ridiculously big. I saw one person try and fail. Then I saw another person right after he had finished it, so I didn't actually see him eat it. I was still really impressed though.
Three of us shared a regular sized one, and failed to finish even that one.
It was good, but way too sweet. The contest one is about three times as big. I really can't imagine being able to finish that.
Next up we had the hash dog and also got the sweet potato dog again. I didn't enjoy the sweet potato dog as much as I did the first time. I liked the hash dog, but I wish it used the spicy sausage that is in the sweet potato dog instead of the plain hot dog. I did like the taste of the crispy and soft potato batter though.
One of the prizes I kept seeing people carry was this giant banana:
We had contemplated getting the Australian battered potatoes, but we were out of room by this point. BF suggested we could bring it home, but I didn't think they would taste good anymore.
We also enjoyed looking at the giant blooming onion and the giant onions used to make it:
Done with eating, we went to check out the flowers and the animals.
At the end, we had to swing by Tony's for their giant turkey legs. A few years ago, we learned that you can get the giant turkey leg to go. They'll wrap it up in plates and foil for you. Since we've never been able to finish the turkey leg at the fair, we started getting it to go when we are about to leave. Since it's not fried, it still tastes good later on. Tony's is my favorite place for turkey legs. I've tried a bunch of the other bbq spots, which offer turkey legs at about $1 less than Tony's, but they always disappoint me. The turkey leg is definitely the specialty here. You can tell my the huge crew that man over the turkey legs, constantly rotating them, sticking thermometers in them, etc.
Our second trip to the fair was definitely more calm and leisurely. We had fun and I enjoyed taking Baby Bro to his first fair and watching him eat his first smoked turkey leg. See you next year SD fair!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
After my dinner at Providence, I just had to visit a few dessert spots even though I was pretty stuffed. But I wanted to make my trip worthwhile since we had driven so far.
In the last few years, I've become pretty obsessed with ice cream, especially with trying different unique ice cream flavors that you can't normally find. So I did a search for good ice cream spots in LA and found two that looked promising.
Our first stop was Scoops.
712 N Heliotrope Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
Scoops has gotten thousand of rave reviews. It's a small spot that makes fresh ice cream daily. The laundry list of flavors this place has created is incredibly impressive. The only downside is that they only offer about a dozen or so of their crazy creations each day, so you never really know what you are getting.
The staff here is friendly and generous with the samples. The "scoops" are generous as well. One scoop is actually two big scoops. You can also get a refill for $2 if you keep your cup.
On the night I arrived, a bunch of the flavor bins were already empty. The ones offered were definitely unique, but not necessarily ones that I would enjoy. Some of the offerings included brown bread, oyster, goat cheese lavender, roasted rice with white chocolate, chocolate pomegranate, salty chocolate, roasted corn, vanilla jim bean, mango pineapple coke sorbet, pear plum wine sorbet, banana marsala wine. I ended up getting the goat cheese lavender and the brown bread, which is their most popular flavor.
I really liked the brown bread. It had crunchy grape nuts inside and it reminded me a lot like the secret breakfast from Slocombe that I enjoyed so much. I was lucky that I got the last scoop of the brown bread. I wish there was more left so I could have taken some home. I didn't love the lavender goat cheese. I felt that the lavender
flavor was too strong, even though I usually like lavender flavored
BF got the roasted corn. It reminded me of corn puffs.
When we were in line, we tried quite a few samples. BF was really curious about the oyster ice cream. It tasted exactly how it sounded: ice cream mixed with oyster water. I really didn't like it..and it seems like most people didn't since it was the most full bin.
The ice cream here is very soft and melty. It is a lot like the ice cream that comes out of my ice cream maker. I like the friendly atmosphere and I can see why this place is so appealing. I wish they had more flavors that day that appealed to my palette. I'll have to try this place again.
Next, we went to Milk.
7290 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Milk has homemade ice cream also, but it seems like it is most known for its blue red velvet cake. It also offers lots of homemade ice cream bars and an ice cream sandwich which uses macarons!
I thought Milk was overpriced, especially after visiting Porto's and Scoops the same day. I ended up getting one slice of blue velvet cake (it was almost $5) and a chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwich.
The blue velvet cake was moist, flavorful, and not too sweet. It doesn't taste anything like red velvet cake. Instead, this cake is made with blueberries.
I also liked the ice cream sandwich. I love french macarons, and seeing giant ones sandwiching ice cream was so exciting. I did find that it was a bit too sweet, but other than that, it was enjoyable. There are quite a few ice cream sandwich flavors, I chose the vanilla and chocolate one.
I enjoyed the stuff I got from Milk, but I still feel it was expensive.
1525 N La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Mashti was on my maybe list of places to try, depending on how the night went. Since I didn't get many flavors I liked at Scoops, I decided to try my luck at Mashti's. I was surprised that it was in an almost empty plaza and the store was pretty empty too. Since Mashti is so well known, I expected it to be packed.
The storefront is pretty humble. Mashti serves Persian ice cream, and is an institution in LA, having been around for over 20 years. The store is full of pictures of celebrities enjoying its ice cream. When we were driving over, BF commented "Now we are in Hollywood area, we are guaranteed to see a celebrity." I just laughed, since we don't usually run into anyone.
But sure enough, when we got there, there were only two other customers, and one of them I recognized from a show that I watch. He's also been in a few movies I've seen.
To my delight, the flavors offered were much more to my liking: lavender, green tea, lychee, creamy rosewater, coconut pineapple, saffron rosewater. I tried several samples,. and I liked them all. Of course it doesn't taste like regular ice cream flavors, especially the Persian flavors, but I really enjoyed them. They all have a "taste" to them, using herbs/spices like the ones you'd find in the cuisine.
There were also some more American traditional flavors:
A hand packed pint is only $5, a lot cheaper than other ice cream places. Apparently there are also quite a few grocery stores that carry Mashti's ice cream. I'll have to look for it in San Diego. My favorite was the creamy rosewater. I''m glad I visited Mashti's. It satisfied my ice cream cravings that night. BF didn't like the taste of any of the ice creams though, so I guess it's not for everyone.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
One of my favorite blueberry baked goods is definitely blueberry muffins. I've been wanting to make blueberry muffins for a while now, but I kept not having time.
Once I started baking them, I remembered again how quick they are to make. They are even quicker to make if you don't go through with adding the streusel topping. I personally like how the muffins look without the streusel. The streusel hides some of the bright bleeding blue berries. But once I tasted them with the streusel, I knew it was worth the extra step. The streusel adds a whole new dimension to the blueberry muffins and makes them really delicious.
I could eat these all day long. This was the first recipe I ever used to make blueberry muffins. I know I should try out some other recipes, but it's hard to go away from such a great recipe. I'll try out some other recipes later, but I had to make this one first.
Blueberry muffins (recipe from Colleen on allrecipes)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
- Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full, and sprinkle with streusel topping mixture.
- To Make Streusel Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking. (I mixed with fork and then mixed with my hands, pressing the mixture together and then rubbing it between my fingers to make it crumbly)
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.