Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Afternoon Delight at Fuji Burger

Well well well, what do we have here?

Could it be, another installment of the saliva inducing segment known as Afternoon Delight?

Why yes it is my carnivorous friend so stop gnawing at your calf and mosey on up to the computer screen while I push in your stool because this one is sure to grab your attention.

While driving around this afternoon contemplating what it was I wanted to stuff my face with I ran through the options in my head:

First I thought why not a sandwich, maybe a nice teriyaki chicken on squaw. Sounded nice, appetizing even, but my mind kept racing.

Next I thought why not just a regular burger. Maybe the classic double-double, no lettuce, no tomato, onions, mustard on the bun and some chopped chilies. mmmmmmmmm, that still sounds good, but that wasn't it.

And then it came to me. It was obvious. Why had it taken this long in the first place, how could I have wasted two tanks of gas driving in circles contemplating when it was right in front of my eyes. Combine the two. Yes that's right. The Teriyaki Burger with Avocado. Oh yes, I thought, she will be mine.

(Fuji's Avocado Teriyaki Burger)

Just look at her up there, those perfect teriyakied buns glistening in the sun, taunting you, asking you to rub more teriyaki on her hard to reach places.

(The insides)

Here we are halfway through and taking a time out to enjoy the perfect combination of teriyaki marinated burger, cheese, lettuce, and our very own California avocados.

(I want another)

And so I leave you with the final bite and with it the perfect combination of East meets West in an atomic explosion of taste.

Sayounara friends, and don't forget to fix your hair because you've just experienced another segment of, Afternoon Delight.

Drop Burgers Not Bombs

Wasted On Steak

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Clearman's North Wood's Inn

I have to admit I'm a bit apprehensive to sit down and write this one. I've been putting it off for a couple days now, because, well, this is a big one. In fact THE biggest that we've tackled so far. I mean, this is it, this is where the namesake Wasted On Steak was birthed. So you can understand my nervousness to bring this to you.

But it's game time now. Time to step up to the plate and like the Sultan of Swat, call the shot. And so from the deepest, darkest dungeons that are our small intestines, Wasted On Steak presents to you, the one, the only, Clearman's North Wood's Inn.

Now up until this post there's been a lot of talk about "great" and "heavenly" and what not, but today is where we separate royalty (that would be us) from mere peasants (yeah, you guessed it, YOU). It used to be a well known fact that the bigger the belly, the sweeter the juice. Those were simpler times. When a man wasn't measured by his wallet size, but by his belt size, and by the fact that he couldn't see over his round, mound of a gut. Well, walking out of Northie's you're guaranteed to feel sweeter than a chocolate souffle covered in pixie-stix (yeah, I know, sounds amazing right?).

Enough talk of walking out, lets make our way in. And when you do burst through those heavy, wooden double-doors, underneath the snow-covered roof of the North Wood's Inn, you find your first step into a puddle of peanut shells. Yes, that's right, peanut shells.

Don't waste any time my friend. Flatten that fanny on a beautifully carved tree stump, grab a paw full of peanuts, and follow the rules. Throw those shells on the floor with some attitude and slug it down with a quick beer while you wait for your operating table.

As you head to your work station the warm, comforting sound of peanut shells crunching beneath your boots may distract you, don't let it, be sure to take in the stuffed Moose head mounted on the wall next to the rifle that killed it. Welcome Home.

It's time to get serious now. For starters, a 32oz Newcastle Brown.

(The lifeblood of man)

Take a quick glance at the wood-carved menu of meat and get ready to order.

"Good evening, I will be masticating on the Prime Rib Eye. Yes, medium rare is fine. And a baked potato bursting at the seams with your finest buttery cheese sauce."

(Prime Rib Eye & Baked Potato with Cheese Sauce)

"My turn? Fine. Lumberjack Large. Medium Rare. Potato. Butter. Sour cream. And more beer."

(Lumberjack Large & Baked Potato stuffed with butter, sour cream, and salad)

Hold on sweetheart, don't go choking on that prime cut just yet. We still have some minor things to get out of the way first. And by minor I only mean the best damn salad you'll ever curse yourself for eating. Times two. That's right two bowls of bottomless salad. One bowl holds the greens, and the other the purples, cabbage that is.

We here at Wasted On Steak have our own food consuming dream. In which our salads play together on the same plate, get picked up by the same fork, and go down in the same bite. So follow us on this crusade of desegregating salad bowls and mix those two beautiful colors together. It is well worth it. And while you're at it pick up a lonely cheese bread to spread it on.

(Purples, Greens, and Cheese before)

(And after)

After three plates of literally the best salad you'll ever have, accompanied with three slices of perfectly toasted cheese bread you may be wanting to tap out. If you do, just get up and walk home now because you don't deserve a ride.

Steak. Steak. Steak. And one more Steak. And a rack of ribs. Here we go. Not much to say, just slide into a pair of your favorite stretchy pants and enjoy the ride. Go ahead and click on a pic for an extreme close-up.

Let's start the ride with the tenderest of cuts, the king Filet. Are you kidding me? Look at that. Sooo Noiiiiiccccceeee!

(Filet Mignon & Baked Potato with Cheese Sauce)

Or maybe you're feeling like you want to dress it up a bit. Maybe put a little lipstick on that cow. Well I think you've found the perfect shade of Golden Onions to paint on that Sirloin. Oh Papa.

(Ground Sirloin Steak with Grilled Onions & Baked Potato)

Just take a long look at these beautiful ribs. Oh Babu! What more could you possibly want. And onion rings!!! Get out of here!

(Rack of Ribs with Onion Rings & Baked Potato with Cheese Sauce)

I know what you want, maybe some more of the Lumberjack Large. Ok. Well here you go, take a look at it's innards. You could slice through this with the dullest of axes.

(Inside of the Lumberjack Large)

Or maybe you want to sneak another peak at the Prime Rib Eye. I know I do. Look at this bite jumping off the screen at you. Watch out. Imagine if this was in 3D. You'd need a bib to stay dry.

(A bite of Prime)

Well folks, I think you've had enough for one day. Maybe even the week. This was one for the record books, without an asterisk. So take your time and enjoy, eat and drink and be happy, because after all, life is too short to not eat meat.

We leave you with some parting shots.

(Game Face)

(Mangled on Meat)

Until next time.
Wasted On Steak

Monday, May 10, 2010

Afternoon Delight at Philly Grille

Good afternoon ladies and gents. Having just returned from an afternoon snack, I thought I wouldn't waste any time to water some mouths out there.

I know things can get a bit slow on a Monday afternoon, maybe that hangover from your beer pong marathon with mom is wearing off and all you can think about, besides how she was able to drain those shots from cross court with two ice cold silver bullets in one hand, a cigarette clinging to her lips, and an eye patch over her right eye from last years 4th of July incident, is damn it's only 2:30.

Well don't worry because unlike that godawful commercial, I'm not going to offer you up a shot of 5 Hour Energy.

I am however going to offer up a shot of a gloriously sliced steak sandwich oozed on with all American cheese and lit up with sweet and hot peppers. Oh Babu!

Courtesy of Philly Grille on Beach Blvd. these cheese steaks were the perfect afternoon snack. We decided to venture outside our comfort zone of the traditional Cheese Steak and opted to dress it up a bit with some freshly chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers.

What a decision it was. As your teeth, or tooth for some of you, dig into those luscious buns and hit that crunchy lettuce and juicy tomato you think, "Oh no, I didn't sign up for no stinkin' veggie sandy."

But don't worry, because like my grandpappy used to say, "Don't dook in your Dickies yet." What comes next is a birthday present of thinly, but not too thinly, sliced steak wrapped up in melted cheese and tied with a ribbon of peppers, both hot and sweet.

Yes, you heard it right folks.

(Original on the left, with lettuce and tomato on the right)

And of course you can't go wrong with the original Phildo Chez Steak. Toss some peppers and onions on there and you'll think you've been transported back to Philly, minus the terrible sports teams (sorry Lizzie).

(Original with peppers and onions)

All in all I have to say Wasted On Steak enjoyed some damn fine afternoon delight.

(Our vegetable intake for the day)


John's Philly Grill on Urbanspoon

Ravaging With The Gods

There's a famous quote by Hubert Selby Jr. about what it takes to be an artist. He says it takes "everything you got," in not so many words, it's a life/death symbiosis that allows you to "transcend all this meaningless gibberish and hang out with the gods."

We here at Wasted On Steak like to consider ourselves eating artists. And here to attest to the skilled craft we've come to perfect is a first hand account of what it's like to ravage with the gods. Enjoy.

Ravaging With The Gods

Brandon Russell

I’m in the back seat of little miss White Lightning, racing down the 605 toward Taco San Pedro, with Kyle riding shotgun. It’s a beautiful car, immaculate and well kept for its 300,000-mile age. It’s familiar and comforting, and Sako won't let you forget that.

Sako sinks in behind the wheel naturally and rarely moves. They speak in hushed voices up in front, or so it seems with the wind whipping through the tilted sunroof. Every now and then they’ll bust out in laughter, belly laughter too; throw back the head, stomp the feet laughter.

This is the way it is much of the time with the two of them, a lot of back and forth, the way Will Smith and Martin Lawrence bicker in Bad Boys, though I’m not sure who would be who.

I just sit back and enjoy all of it.

The Band pulsates through the car’s honeycomb speakers, lights glide over the highway from passing traffic. Kyle belts out a few lyrics, tapping his fingers against the passenger door, belches, scratches his face, and continues on with the music. Sako debates out loud to no one in particular what we should order as a group.

“I’m thinking fully. And a Burrito. And a Ques…” he says.

I’m not sure if I should answer, so I remain silent, and after a while that’s all there is: a silence, a calm. The two of them, with all the belching and growling and laughter, look ready to eat.

“Almost there,” Sako says as a reflective Hawaiian Gardens city limit sign passes.

“Oh Babu1,” Kyle replies in earnest. “Can’t wait.” His voice raises a few pitches.

Taco San Pedro is a small, cash-only place just off the 605 on Carson St, an earshot from the Hawaiian Gardens Casino. If not for frantic Southern California traffic you could almost hear the clanging slot machines releasing and devouring up people’s money. The parking lot is like most hole in the wall places, with little to no room and an ever-deteriorating pavement being overtaken by weeds.

It’s 9:45 when we step out of the car, and immediately we’re welcomed by the incredible smell of TSP: Carne asada, tortillas, guac, salsa, all of it seducing our taste buds and inviting us inside. This just about drives the two of them wild, sending both into seizure-like fits of giddiness. Witnessing their excitement I come to realize that over the years eating with these two gentlemen isn’t just about enjoying the food, or chugging smooth, cold beers, or talking shit even; there’s a spectacle involved, an almost subconscious ritual complete with dancing and animalistic calls and chants, like a primate offering himself up to a female in heat.

“Ohhs” and “Fuuuhs” are heaved out with great conviction, and we aren’t even through the front door!

The loudspeakers clamor with Hispanic music, metal spatulas tap dance over the open countertop stoves. My stomach churns and growls. An assortment of customers are seated in booths along the walls, their meals set before them.

“No line?” Kyle says.

The inside has been redone since I last came, with a clean, waxy looking hardwood lining the bottom half of the walls along with a medley of bright, cultural paintings. It’s homey, cozy. I’m not sure what to do with myself, so I just stare up at the menu on the wall.

Sako throws his shoulders back and strides to the register where he proceeds to order what seems like the entire menu – and all in Spanish: Carne Asada burrito, Asada quesadilla, Asada flautas (extra crema), and a dish that resembles a sort of hamburger; all for twenty-four dollars. Not bad when split three ways, especially for such quality and quantity.

“Nooiiiice,” Kyle says, “cheeks.”

As we wait for our order, the conversation never strays too far away from food. “I can’t waaaaiiiiiit to eat this burrit,” Kyle says, opening up his camera bag. He examines the body and adjusts a few settings. “And that ques with some salsy rojo,” Sako says. I nod, unsure if I should chime in. Kyle takes a picture of our receipt, for the good of the blog, and Sako lays into him on his use of flash. They bicker, I jump in, we talk about food some more, laugh, grunt. Our number is called, and almost in unison our heads whip toward the register.

“Ohhhhh yes,” Kyle says like he’s won some special award.

I know how he feels.

Sako’s mouth almost drips with saliva.

It’s a mauling. As soon as the trays of food hit the table, Sako swoops up the burrito and proceeds to stuff his face, hard, with big, snarling bites. Kyle does the same, only with the flautas, carefully picking them up so the lettuce and crema stay on top. Every so often he stops and snaps a photo of the action. If a mom had been there she would have told them to slow down, chew their food, breathe. But this is Wasted On Steak we’re talking about, grizzly, hungry, smelly men, forget breathing.

I join in, first with the burrito that is being passed around like a stogie, then with the flautas and quesadilla.

“Oh my God,” Kyle says, his mouth full. “Just, oh. Incredible.” Cilantro and lettuce and crema hang onto his beard.

“Amazing,” Sako says.

I smile.

Kyle takes a drink of Pepsi. “That burrito’s got some kick to it,” he says. “I love it.”

Food is passed around, arms are tangled up, forks and knives are lost and shared, napkins are used, a frenzy of chewing and gulping. In the end, there’s practically nothing left. The table is smeared with guac and salsa and bits of tortilla (mostly on Sako’s side), but the plates are absent of any food. I sit back and admire our work, what the crew is capable of, like Spartans taking out an entire army. Kyle belches and snaps another photo. Sako sighs heavily, dejected that it is over.

There’s a satisfying tranquility, one of those special moments reserved for only the best meals, where the silence speaks volumes.

“Round two?” Kyle says.

A belch flies across the table and I take that as a yes from Sako.

Forget silence. That just wouldn’t be their style.

1 Babu is a term of endearment often used to express feelings of intense pleasure.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Taco San Pedro (TSP)


Feliz Cinco de Mayo hermanos y hermanas!!

How fortuitous it is that we bring you yet another fantastico post covering the most fantastico Asada eatery on the most fantastico American holiday and subsequently the best excuse to drink margies and tequila during the week. You know what it is. Say it with me now...


We here at Wasted On Steak don't like to delve too far into the vast septic tank that is the political spectrum, we consider ourselves to be democratic in our food consumption, non-discriminatory in what we clog our arteries with, in essence we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunity employer of what gets us Wasted On Steak. Therefore it seems only fitting that amongst all the commotion in Arizona, we give a shout out to our brothers from the south for the best thing to come our way since California. Carne Asada.

Taco San Pedro

(The Starting Lineup)

Nestled away in the majestic city of Hawaiian Gardens lies this hidden gem. It may be easy to get side-tracked on the drive in, with all the glitz and glamour of such an illustrious gambling hall as that of the one and only Hawaiian Gardens Casino, but trust us, stay focused and you'll make it to the Holy Land.

Insider's Tip:
If you, by the grace of the devil, make it to TSP, count your lucky stars for the opportunity and go ahead and thank your mama for carrying your lazy ass for nine months because everything else you've done in your life means nothing. And then park behind the restaurant. It's usually less crowded and the spaces in front are quite small.

Back to business.

Recent renovations, new tables, benches, and interior paint, have taken away from some of this hole-in-the-wall's charm, but don't worry, just like MJ's transformation, the meat was left untouched.

Walking through the doors of TSP is like walking back into the womb. The Asada scent hypnotically dances up and around and curls under your neck like a loving boa constrictor waiting to devour you whole. Because at TSP, you don't eat the meat, the meat eats you.

Enough hyperbole. Let's eat.

First up: The Fully.
Six taquito-sized carne asada flautas layered with chopped lettuce, dumped on with a load of guac, and doused in the creamiest of creamy cremas (not sour cream), and generously sprinkled with queso blanco. This is what we live for. The Fully has been in the repertorio since day one and like any mustachioed Mexicano, only gets better with age.

(Carne Asada Flautas)

On deck: The Quesy.
A three slice tower of Carne Asada Quesadilla. Ingredients: A brick of cheese. Roasted meat. Tortilla. What else could you possibly need? Nothing I tell you. Melt that brick down all over the roasted meat and slap it between the cheeks of that tortilla and watch as the artist with the spatula in his hand flips up this year's Mona Lisa.

(Carne Asada Quesadilla)

In the hole: The Burritskees.
Whew. I have to take a deep breath just to write this. A hand grenade of Asada and guac with a nuclear explosion of taste. This one has a little kick to it so keep that ice cold pepsi close at hand. This baby arm of meat will sit nicely in what little space is left in your food sack of a stomach.

(Carne Asada Burrito)

Batting clean-up: The Tortskas.
Following the policy of full disclosure, this was my (Kyle) first time wrapping my lips around this Asada concoction. So it's only fitting that a grizzled veteran like my meat-master partner Sako take the mic to describe the Carne Asada Torta. "Fresh avocados, jalapenos, cheese, and lettuce. The Mexican BLTA if you will, but for men of course.

(Carne Asada Torta)

And so it is my friends, another glorious day at the ballpark of eating. The final score: Wasted On Steak - 4, TSP - 0.

Let it be said that any meal ordered at this particular establishment must, and I do mean must, be generously dipped into a cup of salsa roja y verde.

Unfortunately no beer is served here, but don't let that deter you, the horchata will slosh in your mouth before wrapping your belly full of gifted meat.

And so we leave you with more gratuitous pictures of meat.

(Team Picture)

(Carne Asada Quesadilla)


(The Damage Done)

(Perfect Form)

Cheers my friends. Until next time, I hope this leaves you, Wasted On Steak.