Endless Road Trip Seattle: Clucking Great Fried Chicken

Most people think of salmon as Seattle’s prime protein, and while it’s true that seafood is a Northwest mainstay, this city can cook up some fried meat just as well as any southern hotspot. Thanks to Oprah, Seattle has been lauded for Ezell’s chicken, but I have a different go-to for fried bird: Skillet Diner in Capitol Hill. Famous for their cult hit bacon jam, Skillet started out as a small food trailer that became so popular they were able to afford a brick-and-mortar place in Capitol Hill; prime real estate.

Skillet’s burger and grilled cheese are amazing, but to me, nothing beats their fowl. I’m most fond of the fried chicken sandwich on fresh potato bread with pickled and charred jalapeño aioli and kale. It’s served with another Skillet signature, their ridiculous poutine, a giant pile of fries smothered in a gratuitous amount of herbed cheddar sauce:

Read More
Sponsored Content

Beet Fries, Pork Belly and Tongue Buns

Pork belly is having a serious moment in Austin. I know it’s been a trend for awhile now (what, the past 3? 5? years…?) and I know I recently gushed over Tacodeli’s pork belly tacos. But seriously! I had never seen SO. MUCH. Pork belly love until I moved down here. This is evident in the popularity of East Side King, Top Chef winner Paul Qui’s Asian fusion food truck with three locations in East Austin. Ask anyone what they like about ESK and the answer is always the same: “oh my god, the pork belly!”And yes, it’s good. Really good.

I’ll happily state that East Side King is one of the best, if not THE best, food trailers in Austin. Their original trailer at The Liberty is my favorite. To be slightly controversial, though, I will say this: I think the ESK pork belly hype unfairly overshadows some of the other delights on their menus. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely amazing, but I feel as though most people discount the fried chicken and even some other less obviously delicious options like the tongue buns and beet fries.

Want to see what really, really, REALLY good food from a truck looks like? Of course you do. (I’m really trying hard to restrain myself from making any sort of obvious “food porn lol buns” remarks here.) Photos a the j.

Read More
Sponsored Content

The Endless Road Trip — San Diego’s Top 10 Eats: 8. Endless Porker

I am normally extremely skeptical of any Mexican food that is billed as high-end, farm-table, or just generally cooked by white people. It’s not that Mexican food can’t be creative or fancy, it’s just that in my experience I have found “modern Mexican” to generally mean smaller tacos, higher prices, and less flavor than the taco trucks (and of course — the dreaded no free chips and salsa).

So of course I was hesitant when I head that San Diego’s hot taco spot of the moment is Carnitas Snack Shack, a new venture from Chef Hanis Cavinserves (red alert – chef!) that serves slow food-inspired, pork-centric American cuisine, snacks and locally sourced craft beers. But then again, I’ve never turned down any meal described as pork-centric. I’m almost embarrassed to report that this was the best taco I ate in California.  Slow-cooked salmon creek farm pork carnitas are layered on fresh, hearty homemade tortillas and topped with a vividly green mound of guacamole. The crispy-on-the-edges, melty on the insides strands of pork are like a weird, amazing fusion of southern BBQ and traditional Mexican. Fine, maybe Mexican food is allowed to get inventive after all.

But that was only the begining of a pork party that would know no bounds…

Read More
Sponsored Content

The Next Pig Thing: Pork Belly Tacos

So. I’ve been in Austin for just about three months now, and I’m sure y’all are just DYING to ask me this one burning question: Emily, what is the best taco you’ve eaten so far?!

Well, I’ve dutifully done my research. Of course we have the classics: al pastor, barbacoa, chicken tinga. We can’t discount the ATX-ubiquitous breakfast tacos, with their myriad combinations of eggs, beans, cheese, chorizo and potato. Seafood tacos have made an appearance in my meals: grilled fish, spicy scallops, even shrimp katsu. Okay, I’m making myself hungry just by recounting all of these. Let’s cut to the chase. What is THE BEST?!

May I present… the DeliBelly from Tacodeli.

I’m not the only one who carries a torch for these amazingly flavorful pork belly tacos. Yahoo! recently named Tacodeli‘s DeliBelly as one of the ten best tacos in the country. That’s a pretty tall claim in Austin, where a taco stand lurks on every corner, but hey, they were on to something.

Read More
Sponsored Content