In N Out Cheeseburger

At one time in my life I thought In N Out was the Alpha and Omega of fast food burgers. At one time I guess it has. But the burger Renaissance which began about a decade ago, has left In N Out behind. Don’t get me wrong- it’s much better than Wendy’s or McDonald’s or Burger King. 

But Five Guys is better. 

The bun is light, similar to challah or a brioche. It was not greasy at all and I could have easily eaten two of them. Vegetables are an afterthought and the thin leaf of lettuce was sad. 

The fries were too dry. 

It’s over between me and In N Out. I’ve moved on to better cheeseburgers. 

Spotburger with Cheese

A few weeks ago I found myself in Carpintería, California.

Since The Spot appeared to be a local institution, lunch there would mr the most blogworthy, I reckoned. 

It was a decently cooked cheeseburger served with romaine lettuce, a slice of tomato, ketchup and mustard. I believe there were pickles in the sandwich, of the sour variety. The patty had a nice char on it. The bun was toasted perfectly. 

They had a minimalist condiment bar and I availed myself of sport peppers, the provenance of the name both eluded me then and now. 


I don’t remember if I had ever eaten this cheeseburger from Wendy’s long ago or not.

Coming back from a family event with my brother who lives in Hollywood we pulled off somewhere around Huntington Beach to get something to eat.

While I prefer steak to be cooked rare, the charred well doneness of this burger pleased me. The cheese was waxy, the bacon cheesy, but I devoured it. It wasn’t great by any means, but hunger is the best spice, as they say. 

There were no vegetables at all in the burger, not even the idea of iceberg lettuce. 

Poutine (加拿大的起司炸薯条)

I can’t remember the time before this I had had poutine, but it might have been eight years or so ago on a pub crawl through San Diego.

If not then, then it would have sometime in the late 20th century in Windsor, Ontario.

It had been a long time. I was hanging out with one of my brothers and I thought why not and we went inside this place, apparently a chain, next to Danny Trejo’s taqueria. 

I was impressed. The fries were hand-cut (or appeared that way to my amateur eye) but more importantly were fried twice, so the outside was crispy and the interior light and almost fluffy.

The gravy tasted like it was made with fresh ingredients. I appreciated the black pepper. I had ordered the classic poutine and I thought that they served a generous portion of cheese curds. 

I wouldn’t exactly call this junk food as it was made with good ingredients, but a case could be made that this is.

I recommend this place for an occasional indulgence, unless you don’t worry about your weight and or are bulking up. 

Kung Pao Chicken 

I was in Santa Clarita, a week ago and after I had a brief meeting I was hungry and there weren’t many good options in the area. So I went to Pick Up Stix, a vaguely Chinesoid restaurant and ordered Kung Pao Chicken. 

It wasn’t bad at all, although the zucchini is an American addition. The sauce was sweet and tangy and the chilies were present. Sichuan peppercorns weren’t invited to this party. 

The rice was too dry to eat with chopsticks, so I had to eat it with a fork. 

I would rather not have to eat and Pick Up Stix again, but I’d eat there before I’d eat at Chikn Filet. 

Steakhouse Nachos

Great marketing by Taco Bell enticed me to get these a while ago. I have been seriously slacking on this blog, but have no fear, when I move up to Los Angeles in two weeks I will post more often.


I mean steak on Nachos sounds great, right? In theory it could have been great.

In practice it was disgusting. The ‘steak’ was chewy and vaguely steaklike in flavor. It was most likely highly processed Grade D beef. The retried beans were most likely made with hydrogenated vegetable oil instead of lard. They were a tasteless paste. Even the hot sauce couldn’t save this slop.

  • The picó de gallo was lacking in cilantro.
  • Overall a sad experience. 

The quesadilla was okay, but I’m afraid I’ve fallen out of love with Taco Bell.