Category Archives: Road Reports

Road Report: The Rob at The Independent in Tampa, Florida

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This entry represents the convergence, in a way, of several separate narratives. Continue reading

Postcard from LA: Little Jewel of New Orleans

Shrimp Po'Boy

The Crescent City Fried Shrimp Po-Boy at Little Jewel of New Orleans, Los Angeles.

A few Saturdays ago I visited the Little Jewel of New Orleans, a relatively new Southern-inspired deli oddly situated in an off-the-beaten-path pocket of downtown Los Angeles’ Chinatown district. After sitting through Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest (and sadly underwhelming) two-plus-hour film “Inherent Vice,” I made the right move trying out this gem, pun intended.

Walking in, we were immediately greeted by the gracious proprietor, who welcomed us to his spot and directed us towards the register to order our picks of Southern goodness. Though the menu is vast, with nearly twenty Po’Boy varieties along with other types of sandwiches, platters, and fried bites, I landed on a Muffuletta and the Crescent City Fried Shrimp Po-Boy. Continue reading

On The Lobster Roll, The World’s Greatest Sandwich

Made from the best stuff on Earth.

Made from the best stuff on Earth, the lobster roll at Thurston’s Lobster Pound

The culinary principle that the best meals start with the best ingredients — garbage in, garbage out, you might call it — applies to a much greater extent to steak tartare or trout amandine than it does to a sandwich. Sandwiches, at least the good ones, are inherently greater than the sum of their parts. They rely on technique, proportion, construction, and contrasts of flavor, texture, and temperature. By and large, getting these things right matters far more than whether a cheesesteak is made with shaved truffles and sliced Kobe beef or grocery store sirloin. Continue reading

Dispatch from Abroad: Chicken Döner in Istanbul

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Scenes from Beyoglu.

Dateline: Beyoglu, Istanbul—The call to prayer warbled from a nearby mosque as I walked down the southern part of Istiklal Caddesi toward the Bosporus. Istiklal is a long footpath stretching from Taksim Square down to the water, effectively separating the “stylish” and “European” Beyoglu shopping district from the iconic ancient city where the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque dominate the skyline. Footpath is a generous name for a collection of roughly hewn and worn-down cobblestones winding down a precarious hill with pedestrians, stray dogs, bold seagulls, and irritated taxi drivers paid enough to make the attempt. Continue reading

Gulf Coasting: The Veal Schnitzel Reuben at Mr. Dunderbak’s

Breaded veal cutlet, Thousand Island, sauerkraut and swiss on grilled rye.

Breaded veal cutlet, Thousand Island, sauerkraut and swiss on grilled rye.

I know I’m not the only one who watched the Berlin episode of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and was totally sold on schnitzel. Right? Not the only one who thought to myself, “Pounded, tenderized, breaded, deep-fried veal, and somehow I’ve never given this dish much thought,” right?

On another note, it’s a great feeling when you discover that “signature” item on a menu, and you know it’s what you will go to that restaurant for, you almost come to identify that place with the meal and nothing else. It might be the crispy szechuan pork at Rice Bowl in Tallahassee, or the lamb tibs at Dukem in Washington, D.C. In this case, it is my sandwich discovery of the year in the Tampa area: the Veal Schnitzel Reuben at Mr. Dunderbak’s. Continue reading