Monday, September 14, 2009

A taste of home

Confession: I'm not a HUGE cheesesteak fan. I mean, I eat them and I enjoy them, but I don't really crave them, I don't have strong opinions on what people put them on, and (gasp) I usually eat chicken cheesesteaks over beef. Oh, and I never order them like a Philly native. BUT I'm always excited about anything from Philly, so I couldn't wait to try out the South Philly Experience truck. (Follow them on Twitter)

So, yesterday after work, LPR and I headed to Melrose & Curson. The menu is limited, and from what I understand they're having trouble with the fryer so there are no fries. I got an American with (but I totally ordered it as "a cheesesteak with American cheese and onions, please") LPR got a Provolone with.

I really really wanted to love these. Like, love them the way LPR loves Steve's Prince of Steaks (I actually order beef instead of chicken there. They're melt in your mouth amazing)

Alas, South Philly Experience is no Steve's. But they're not bad. They use Amoroso rolls, which is delightful. LPR thought the bread didn't taste fresh, I disagree. My big beef (hahaha) is with the meat. It was way greasy and had a slightly "off" flavor. Not "rotten-off", LPR described it as tasting like a food-truck cheesesteak, which is not at all an insult.

Overall, it did the job. Since I've never been a regular cheesesteak eater, I can't say when I'll return. Perhaps when I get another bout of homesick-ness. Especially because they have Tastycakes!! (and I was so excited to order that I forgot to ask if they had soft pretzels. Looking at the online menu, it would appear that they don't)

Perhaps they'll add a chicken cheesesteak?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Autumn, and you know

Fall is, by far, my favorite season. Turns out Southern California doesn't really have Fall. I sort of knew this but it really hit me today. It was like, 87 degrees. And all I could think of was pumpkin spice, turtlenecks, scarves, and perfect sleeping weather. Luckily, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has their Pumpkin Ice Blended out, so I was able to indulge in my first of the season.

As a side note, Coffee Bean doesn't have the nutritional values for their seasonal items on their website, so I emailed them. In less than an hour and a half, Rochelle Jones, a
Customer Relations Representative had replied with everything I wanted. I love good customer service!!!

My favorite summer salad

I love watermelon. A lot. And I'm a bit late to the whole "watermelon as part of a savory salad" thing. Last summer, I discovered it at Valanni in Philly. I had a salad with watermelon, feta, and...that's all I remember. (There's a picture of it on the website but I don't see it listed anywhere on the menu) But it was delicious, whatever was in it.

Anyway, I started making my own version with cubed tomato, watermelon, Parmesan, some balsamic vinegar (I like this one from DiBruno Bros. And yes, it moved with us) and salt and pepper. Delicious! This summer, I've been making it, but subbing in cucumber for tomato (nothing compares to a Jersey tomato, and LPR isn't a fan of tomato in salads) and sometimes adding in green onion and some lettuce. It's salty and sweet and creamy and oniony and so so so good. Like, make noises while you eat good. It would be even better with arugula though. Or some sort of pea sprout! Oooh that would be good! You should try that.