Posts Tagged ‘burger’

Breakfast Munchies

June 7, 2015

If you’re on the hunt for a filling breakfast in a hurry, look no further than Phanny’s at 1021 S. Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach. Calling themselves the “healthiest fast food in town since 1982” might be a stretch, but they do serve up authentic breakfast burritos, omelettes, burgers and specialty sandwiches.

The building is fairly non-descript and sits between a variety of other local haunts, so it’s best to program this one in your GPS to ensure you don’t miss it.  There isn’t true table service here, so you’ll want to ensure you place your order at the front.  While it isn’t a place to choose for ambiance, it’s quality and you can tell by the volume of many locals in and out the door, opting to sit in for a quick bite or pick it up on their morning strolls through the area.

I opted for a Ham breakfast burrito with eggs, potatoes, cheese and salsa. You could definitely split this if you’re not too hungry, or eat the whole thing if you’re really ravenous.



Phannys 4

Phannys 2

Phannys 1

Looking for other great breakfast spots in LA and outside the city?  Try these:

  • Tops Burgers – 1792 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA – Offers a great selection of breakfast plates, sandwiches and burritos and of course, burgers. There’s something about the butter they use in the potatoes that just makes it taste extra special.  Again, nothing fancy here, just take out or sit down in a low-key, off the grid building.
  • Grand Burger – 710 S. Grand Street, Glendora, CA – Like Tops, this spot offers a variety of breakfast offerings, though they’re most famous for their burgers. I’ve been for breakfast and lunch and you can’t beat it. They also recently opened for 24 hour drive through service, so whatever time you have a breakfast craving or otherwise, you can swing through.
  • Manhattan Bread and Bagel – 1812 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA – Can’t beat bagels if you’re on the go, but they also offer a wide selection of breakfast items from french toast to frittatas, oatmeal, “sinful scones,” “marvelous muffins,” and breakfast pastries. It’s also close to the airport so it’s a great place to swing through if you’re coming from the South Bay to LAX to beat those lines and overpriced breakfast sandwiches at the airport.
  • Uncle Stavros – 201 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA – Cute (and small) so be prepared to wait for a table as it’s also right by the entrance to the beach. As it’s family run, service is a little slow, but enjoy a mix of greek dishes, traditional breakfast fare and sip a mimosa before you head to beach for a lazy day.

Have a recommended can’t miss breakfast spot? Let me know in the comments here.


Thanksgiving in the Buckeye State

December 6, 2010
Nothing says home like an amazing cooked meal by mom, and as she’s responsible each year for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t miss traveling back to Ohio to enjoy her delectable homemade goodies and spend time with family I hadn’t seen during the year.

The table set

Mom cooked the best (huge!) turkey I’ve had in years – it was moist and fell right off the bone:

The big bird

Of course my favorite – green bean casserole – was perfectly situated in front of me at the table where mom created cute place cards for the seating arrangements – pumpkins made out of binder clips (ingenious!)

Green bean casserole

The place cards Mom created

I also enjoyed the homemade mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce (I only do out of the can, sorry Grandma!) and sweet potato casserole:

My plate

It seemed the highlights of the meal were my aunt’s homemade pies. Each year she brings a pumpkin and pecan pie, but this year she added a pumpkin cheesecake with a homemade gingersnap crust – it was amazing (and a huge hit). 

Homemade pies

Recipe below (thanks Woman’s Day)!


  • 1 box (7.05 oz) ginger snap cookies
  • 2 Tbsp melted light butter
  • 2 tubs (1 lb 8.3 oz each) refrigerated cheesecake filling (cream cheese)
  • 1 can (16 oz) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  •  Recipe Preparation:

      1. You’ll need an 8 x 3-in. springform pan coated with nonstick spray. Place cookies in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add melted butter; process until crumbs begin to stick together. Press over bottom of prepared pan.2. Stir 1 tub cheesecake filling in large bowl until smooth; spread onto crumb layer.3. Stir remaining tub of cheesecake filling, pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice in same large bowl until blended and smooth. Evenly spread over plain cheesecake in pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until set.4. To serve: Remove pan sides and place pecans around top edge of cake. Put caramel sauce into a small ziptop bag, snip a small tip off one corner and pipe sauce on top.Plan Ahead: Make cheesecake 2 days ahead, then top with pecans and caramel sauce just before serving.

    The following night, Dad wanted to do it up special since I was in town so he took us to the Oakwood Club – 2414 Far Hills Avenue in Dayton, Ohio. This restaurant is one of the few chains in ye olde Buckeye State and was established in 1962 by Ray and Margie Stewart. According to the website, “Since that time [1962], we have maintained one goal – to provide the finest quality service and food to our customers, in a warm and friendly atmosphere.”

    Minus the ambiance (super dark and in need of some more modern furniture), the food was excellent.  We enjoyed a sesame crusted yellow fin tuna for an appetizer and for dinner I enjoyed the Oakwood Club Roquefort Steak Burger. I am making a bold statement when I say this, but the burger was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had and certainly on par with any of the best burger joints here in the city. I also enjoyed a side of the roasted garlic rosemary mashed potatoes:

    Sesame crusted yellow fin tuna

    Oakwood Club Roquefort Steak Burger

    Rosemary garlic mashed potatoes

    And to top off the trip, I got to see (on TV, not in the stands unfortunately) the Buckeyes (Ohio State) beat out Michigan in the huge rivalry game on Saturday 37-7. Go bucks!

    OSU Coach Tressel and Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez

    B is for Black Iron Burger Shop

    August 1, 2010
    When two of my friends said they were craving a burger and they wanted to go to the East Village/Alphabet City on Friday night, I knew I had to find something that was not only non cost-prohibitive, but that also stacked up in terms of good burgers (reference my previous post on my favorite burgers in the city; FYI: I would now add this place to my list).  With this in mind, I took to Google and, two of my favorite reference tools, and stumbled upon the Black Iron Burger Shop , 540 East 5th Street and Avenue B.

    Black Iron Burger Shop is simple – cash only, bar stools and highboy tables, front and back page menus, napkins, ketchup and silverware to the side of each of the tables, and food served on aluminum foil – and there was just something perfect about the simplicity I enjoyed. The beer selections are all written on the mirror along the bar and they serve up a variety of specialty brews (and malts and shakes if you’re feeling non-brewsky).

    Black Iron Burger Shop

    I opted for the House Burger topped with their specialty horseradish cheddar and bacon, although our server noted house favorites include the Iron Burger which is topped with carmelized onions and the Black and Blue Burger with cajun seasoning and blue cheese (note: fries are a separate side order and I also highly recommend the onion rings and blue cheese dressing as a dipping option):

    House Burger at Black Iron Burger Shop

    Onion rings at Black Iron Burger Shop

    In keeping with the alphabet, no B’s here – A for a job (not burger) well done.

    These are a few of my favorite … burgers

    January 31, 2010

    When you live in Manhattan, the choices for cuisine are so vast, you get spoiled.  That’s why I’m super picky when it comes to burgers because I truly believe I’ve had some of the best the city has to offer.  In fact, a couple of these places seem to have the perfect formula down  – and not just because they have two letter initials in their names and red or green checkered table cloths (hint, hint, wink, wink), although I’m convinced there must be something to this.

    1. J.G. Melon – 1291 Third Ave (at 74th Street) – By far, the best burger I’ve had.  A few things to keep in mind: They don’t take reservations, it’s cash only and the space is tight, so you’ll have to wait quite a while to get a table here. But if you hit it at the right time (around 1 or 2 a.m.), or don’t mind sitting at the bar, you can get in reasonably quickly.  Plus, I can say it’s definitely worth the wait.  I opted for the burger with bacon and cheese and you can’t pass up the side of cottage friend potatoes.  (Green-checkered tablecloths here).

    2. P.J. Clarkes – 915 Third Ave (at 55th Street) – Any location will do, but I personally like midtown. This place was established in 1884, so you know they’ve got something going on. The Web site says, ” Its colorful history has entertained the famous, the infamous and everyone else who appreciates the ambiance and food of a real saloon,” which is certainly fitting. One of my native New Yorker friends refuses to sit with his back towards the door here as legend has it some of the most infamous mobsters often ate here (a.k.a. if you know what’s best for you, you have to see who’s walking through the door).  I recommend the burger with blue cheese (medium), a side of fries, and the creamed spinach, which is to die for. Finish it off with a Hoegaarden on draft and you’re set. (Note: Red checkered tablecloth).

    3. Upstairs at Bouley – 130 W. Broadaway (at Duane Street) – Chef David Bouley just knows how to do it right and I won’t ever forget the “Bouley Burger” I had here over a Sunday brunch. The burger is made on a toasted english muffin and served with cucumber, lettuce, red onion, fresh herbs, french mustard and ketchup with cheese (swiss, cheddar or blue).  Amazingly delectable.  (FYI: Upstairs also serves up sushi, sashimi and a selection of sake if you’re not craving a burger). 


    4. Five Guys  Famous Burgers and Fries – I like the one on 296 Bleecker Street (near 7th Ave.). Burgers and fries (and a few other selections like grilled cheese if you’re not feeling meaty) – tasty, simple menu and you see the stacks of the bags of potatoes from the outside … I like it.

    5. The Burger Joint  at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel – 119 W. 56th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Aves.) – Don’t be confused that it’s in the Le Parker Meridien. It’ s not fancy at all, but there is some weird charm to this place because people are all lined up in a small corridor inside a luxury hotel since there are only about four booths inside. Fun fact: Time Out New York’s recent issue says that they go through 150,000 pounds of beef per year.

    Some other burgers/burger joints still on my list to check out:

    • Pop Burger – 60 Ninth Ave. (at 15th Street) – It’s in the Meatpacking District and it’s called Pop Burger. Curious.
    • DBGB – 299 Bowery (between Houston and First Ave.) – I can’t wait to try “The Yankee.” (FYI: The Web site music is kinda rad).
    • Noho Star – 330 Lafayette Street – The “Popeye Burger” comes recommended.
    • Burgers & Cupcakes – 265 W. 23rd Steet (at 8th Ave.) – I think this is a fascinating concept.