Tuesday, February 7, 2017

You Can Has Cheezburger: A Semi-Definitive Tier Ranking of Burgers Across America

God bless you, cheeseburger, especially ye what hail from In N Out
Photo Credit: TH
The hamburger/cheeseburger has roots in German cuisine (look up the Hamburg steak), but the sandwich as mostly everyone knows it is an American invention. Whether you believe it was created in Texas or New Haven, CT or wherever, the burger is in the American Food Pantheon along with the hot dog and the apple pie. It's perhaps the most ubiquitous fast food in the country, whether in pure fast food places, mid-tier, quasi-sitdown joints, or as the "fast" or "cheap" option at a regular restaurant. So needless to say, America has an overabundance of burgers. Granted, everyone has their favorite local burger joint. Every town has a great place to get a piece of ground-up meat slapped inside a bun with cheese and possibly other toppings. However, some joints are nationwide or at least partially nationwide. I will attempt to rank the ones you can get in more than just a few locales.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Food Power Poll: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

The king of Thanksgiving sides
Photo Credit: TH
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it revolves around food. In unrelated news, I have no idea how I've gotten to be over 300 lbs. in weight. Oh well. Anyway, for most households, turkey is the main attraction, although some people may substitute ham, strip loin, goose, or some other protein. However, everyone knows that Thanksgiving is all about side dishes, as far as the eye can see. I will now rank the top ten side dishes in descending order. These rankings are final, and if you argue with them, I will kill you*:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

TH Cooks: Creamed Chipped Beef

Call it SOS at your own peril; this stuff is GOOD
Photo Credit: TH
Creamed chipped beef is a staple if you're one of two people: military adjacent or a native of Pennsylvania. Its nickname, "shit on a shingle," is far from flattering. I don't know how well it usually gets made in army mess halls to get that name, but it's not a diner staple in the Philadelphia area because it tastes bad. When made right, creamed chipped beef is a hearty, creamy, delicious breakfast. In fact, it's like sawmill or country gravy, only with tangy, salty beef in it. You can also put it on nearly anything: toast, home fries/hash browns, waffles, or my personal favorite, donuts. However, the biscuit is probably the most appropriate means of conveyance.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jack's Delicatessen: Philadelphia, PA

The Chosen People know how to eat
Photo Credit: TH
What: Jack's Delicatessen
Where: 8500 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA (northeast corner of intersection with Tustin Street)
Order: Jack's Special (Corned beef special) with Swiss cheese, onion rings

American Jewish people have quite the amazing spectrum of culinary offerings. One end contains things that I might generously called "acquired tastes." Gefilte fish and chopped liver, for examples, that I might need amazing amounts of coaxing - or alcohol - to even think about trying. But it's not all weird offal and seafood. In the hands of a seasoned bubby, roasted brisket is amazing. Matza ball soup has curative properties. Kugel works both as a savory side and a sweet dessert. Blintzes, latkes, various pastries... the Chosen People certainly know how to eat.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cheeseburger Paradise - Lucky's Last Chance: Philadelphia, PA

When you can get the tots, always get tots
Photo Credit: TH
What: Lucky's Last Chance
Where: 4421 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA
Website: luckyslastchance.com
Order: Bacon Egg and Cheese Burger, Classic Tots

Philadelphia is a sandwich town, but the sandwiches its most known for are the cheesesteak and the roast pork sandwich. Both are noble creations, don't get me wrong. However, Philly can definitely stake a claim as an A+ burger town as well. Whether it's the proliferation of mid-level chain places like Bobby Flay's Burger Palace and Shake Shack or the various mom 'n pop joints that dot the landscape, one can do no wrong getting a burger in and around the City of Brotherly Love. Main Street in the Manayunk section is one of the hippest streets in town, so you know it has to have a joint for beef patties in between a bun. Lucky's Last Chance fits that description.

Friday, August 28, 2015

TH Cooks: Homemade Salsa

SALSA!
Photo Credit: TH
Salsa is one of those foods that has become a staple at parties. A lot of people get it at the supermarket out of jars, or they may splurge and get the fresher-looking pico de gallo that comes in those plastic containers. But honestly, making salsa is one of the easiest things you can do, and the results are almost always better than what you'd get on average, unless you're buying the artisanal stuff or are going to a Mexican restaurant and getting it on the table. Truth be told, most people aren't doing that. I've been making my own for almost a decade now, and unless everyone I know has been lying to me, they all seem to love it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sweet Lucy's: Philadelphia, PA

YES
Photo Credit: TH
What: Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse
Where: 7500 State Road, Philadelphia, PA
Website: sweetlucys.com
Order: Brisket platter with macaroni and cheese, cheesy creamed spinach, Tennessee string beans, cornbread, ginger ale

In Northeast Philadelphia, the holy trinity of spots for good eats consists of Las Margaritas, Blue Duck Sandwich Co., and Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse. I've been to all three several times, especially since I called the section of Philly my home for the first 25 or so years of my life (even though Blue Duck got there after I moved out). In a city with a heavy Mexican population, Las Margaritas is a no-brainer. Philly is a hotbed for hipsters and college kids, so Blue Duck makes sense. But finding barbecue outside of the South can be risky. But trust me, after years and years of eating at the joint, Sweet Lucy's is the real deal. My latest meal was just another piece of evidence to its bona fides.