As I travel and dine abroad (last night led me to LA’s Jar, the terrific steak retreat on Beverly) I often think and compare dishes… this leads me to expound in a ranting sort of way about things I love to eat, and where I eat them. In this blurb which I’ll call Andre’s “Like I Like It” , I’ll share some of my favorites meals and where they can be found.
Here we go.
Sushi has become a new passion in recent years as I recently discovered I could put a piece of raw tuna in my mouth and actually eat it without passing out. That said, I now love the stuff. Without question, one of the greatest rolls on the planet can be found in LA at Sushi Katsu-ya on Ventura Blvd.
This roll, now imitated by dozens of sushi bars across the city, is the “crispy tuna roll”. You know its good, almost by the fact that every single table in the joint has a platter of them on the table. What is it? How about a finger sized rice cake, grilled on a smoky grill, topped with a spicy tuna mixture, and garnished with a tiny slice of jalapeno. It is insanely delish and highly addictive.
BBQ has been a long favorite, and without question, the world’s best BBQ is in Kansas City, Missouri at Gates Bar-B-Que. This long standing chain has it’s own “Rib Tech” school, which teaches it’s cooks how to smoke and grill (why didn’t I apply for a scholarship here?). The truth is the food is simply fantastic. The ribs are a solid choice, smoky and tender.,,, but what steals the show is the thinly sliced smoked ham and brisket, resting on 2 slices of wonder bread with sour pickles. Dunk this into the one of a kind Gates BBQ Sauce (original is the best, get it here: ( http://www.gatesbbq.com/store.html ) and you start laughing like a giddy school girl. If you were wondering how good the sauce is, well, I can drink the stuff.
There are crab cakes, and then there are crab cakes. And then, there is Faidley’s. Yes, Nancy Devine is the Queen of Crab Cakes, and she shapes her baseball-sized cakes daily in Baltimore. Yes, I said baseball. It is simply the best crab cake in North America… and Nancy has won local and regional competitions for years. She doesn’t compete much anymore because, well, it just ain’t fair. People drive hundreds of miles to get them in person, but you can order them overnight only directly from Nancy. Get ready to pay mucho dollars and abide by her strict shipping rules, but trust me, you have never eaten anything like it… ever. Get them here ( http://faidleyscrabcakes.com/story.html )and invite friends over. You’ll be the talk of the neighborhood.
Live in New York? Feeling depressed? You need Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs. If you haven’t had them, close this web browser, grab your MTA card, and take the C train to West 4th. Steps away at 5 Carmine Street is Beard Papas( http://www.muginohousa.com ) home of the cream puff. These crispy and chewy shells are baked hot and fresh in house and filled with an amazing vanilla custard… then dusted with a wisp of powdered sugar. Daily specials abound with caramel and green tea custards finding their way into the cream puff as well. Sure, it’s a heart attack waiting to happen, but what a way to go. Oh yea, if ya live in LA… they have an outlet in Hollywood and Highland…..