Finger Lickin’ Good!

Michael of Smoke & Mirrors has tagged me on a food meme. Imagine that, me and food – who’d a thunk? The deal is that I am supposed to list five of my fav eateries here in my neck of the woods, then I tag five more bloggers to do the same. So here goes:

Pink’s Hotdogs: Pink’s has been around forever in a day. Once you see the place, you definitely envision starlets and wannabe’s of the 1930’s & 1940’s standing around eating their dogs and sipping their creme soda. It’s clearly a Hollywood favorite, as evidenced by all the signed 8×10 glossies of Hollywood luminaries, that cover the walls inside the tiny dining area. But oh, my, God…they have the best chili dogs on the planet. And there is nothing quite so fun as running down there at midnight to stand on line to get a couple of these greasy, ooey, gooey, chili, onions,cheese dogs. 100% kosher beef dogs, on perfect squishy white buns, served by zophtic maidens. Get a Dr. Bonner’s Creme Soda to go with and you are set.

Barney’s: Barney’s is a fixture in Pasadena’s Old Town and has been there for quite a while. It’s a morph of an old-time saloon and a yuppie cafe. The food is good, hearty and reasonably priced, especially for its locale. My all time favorite dish is their toast-taco-salad. An enormous dish of fresh greens, topped with taco meat, shredded cheese, onions, sour creme and freshly made corn chips. Enough to feed three people unless you’re feeling really piggy. It’s served with a boatload of fresh salsa and vinegarette. Their potato salad is perfect. Burgers, great. Also have a mean kielbasa samich served with sourkraut on a big bakery bun. Have it with a diet coke, coffee or any one of the millions of brands of beers they serve. Afterwards, go for a stroll through Old Town, look in the shops, stop at the movies or just mill with the rest of the crowd.

Al Read’s: Al Read’s is a little hole in the wall place a mere 1/4 mile from my house. It sits on a corner across from a liquor store and a grocery store. Nothing remarkable about the little white building it is housed in but wait til you go inside. The decor is early 1970’s with white walls and red vinyl booths. To your right a tiny bar that is always rocking and to your left the dining room. You slide into one of the booths, and are given a giant red menu to peruse. Steak, seafood and ribs. Man oh man, the ribs. The sauce is to die for and I’ve yet to wheedle the recipe out of any of them. My two favorite dishes: Fried clams – can’t get enough of them. And the prime rib – unbelievably huge (covers most of the plate) served with twice baked potatoes and hot cheesebread – for under $20. A-yup, that’s what I said. You can go in your sweats or your fancy duds, makes no difference to them. The food is to die for and the service is friendly, casual and you never feel like they are just waiting for you to leave. It’s like going to your Aunt Edna’s for dinner but the service is better and so is the food.

Da Franco’s: Da Franco’s is the classic neighborhood Italian restaurant. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid there were always the family style neighborhood Eye-talian places that we would go to and gorge until we couldn’t move – and still have tons of leftovers to take home. That’s this place. Alfredo that is light, creamy, perfect. Marinara, home-made and garden fresh. They also have this chicken dish that is layer with cheese, ham and eggplant that is amazing and in ‘pink sauce’ – no idea what that is, but it melts in your mouth. Again, another casual, easy going place that serves the hell out of you. Oh and the cannolis can’t be beat. One other thing that I love, is that they serve you a basket of fresh soft bread sticks with marinara on the side, the minute your fanny hits the seat.

The Elephant Bar: The Elephant Bar is a cool kind of yuppy place in the heart of Burbank. The walls are painted in leopard print and zebra stripes, the waiters and waitresses likely all actors and actresses looking for their big break. They have a nice patio that faces the mountains and you can sip your iced tea or passion fruit iced tea as you watch the sun go down. Don’t worry about getting cold because they have those great big patio heaters that they will light on request. Everything on the menu is delicious. Everything. And the chef will alter dishes to your specs if you’re on a diet or want to swap one item out for another. They have everything from fried calamari, chinese chicken salad to pot roast. The portions are huge, you will be taking home leftovers. My favorite dish is the pot roast. Fork tender, in a perfect brown sauce that just melts in your mouth. Make sure to top it off with a huge slab of Chocolate Blackout Cake. And then call the paramedics, because you’ll have passed out by then.

And any time y’all want to come out to sunny California, I’d be pleased as punch to take you to any of these places.

Okay, that’s my five. Now, on with the tags…who shall it be??????



16 thoughts on “Finger Lickin’ Good!

  1. I knew you would have Pinks on your list..nothing like a great bad some people out there are making a stir about the “Dodger Dogs” because they don’t like the way the little piggies going in them are treated 😉

    Hey Ger,
    That must mean that you have partaken of the poifect chili dawg, then? I thought about mentioning Tommy Burgers too – because they were awesome – but it seems nowadays they are cutting back on the grease and they just aren’t the same without them. Just as well, I guess, my arteries need a break. 😉


  2. Hi WC,
    I’m glad to see you included at least one BBQ item. As to the sauce, I’d advise you to quit asking. There is a secret society, S&L (Slow and Low) for barbecue cooks, and we’re all in it. The second rule is that we have to kill anyone who learns our sauce recipe without taking the blood oath 🙂
    the Grit

    Hi Grit,
    Yes, I know about the secrecy with which bbq recipes are guarded. These particular ribs are called ‘bones’ and they’re from the prime rib area. Their juicy, messy and melt in your mouth. So rich you need a nap afterwards. But…I would be willing to take the blood oath – maybe I should tell them that. 😉


  3. Al Read’s sounds like my kind of place.
    Sign me up for the fried clams.
    Honestly, they all sound really good.
    Maybe someday… 😉
    Thanks for doing the tag. It was a food riot.
    Be sure to visit the others I tagged.
    Some great food out there.

    Oh yeah, you’d like it there. So when you and the family come out to California – we’ll go there and chow down. 😉


  4. Almost forgot, the sign for Al Read’s is awesome.
    They sell t-shirts with the sign?
    That would be worth sending you some $$$$ to get me one.

    You know what, I have no idea, but I’ll ask next time I go. You’re right, it would make an awesome tee shirt.


  5. Deliciously done, WC. Has a waiter or waitress at the Elephant Bar mistaken you for a director or producer and dropped their headshots with the bill? I think I saw that in a movie once and have wondered if stuff like that ever really happens. Good stuff, again, and I’m off to work on my five. Thanks for the tag. I’ll see what I can do.

    LOL Puddlehead, I guess I don’t look like a producer or director because nothing like that has ever happened. But I suppose it could. Anything is possible in whacky L.A.

    Look forward to seeing your culinary choices.



  6. i like the Elephant Bar for cocktails- mojitos are my “girls’ night out” breverage.
    i’ll post mine tomorrow.

    I wonder sometimes, if we passed each other in the street when you lived back here. For all I know, you were at the bar having mojitos while I was on the patio eating pot roast. Look forward to yours.


  7. I have always wanted to go to Pink’s Hot Dogs. The name just has a great ring to it.

    Well, my friend – if you ever get down this way, I’d be happy to take you. Creme sodas are on me. 😉


  8. i saw a food network special on Pink’s, what a cool place! they all sound yummy, with all these food blogs, i’m gettin hungry!

    Hey Reggie,
    The next time I come home to see ‘my people’ in Michigan, I’ll have to look you up. You ever get out this way, we’ll go to Pink’s – it is a fun place.


  9. Pink Sauce=1/2 Marinara sauce mixed with 1/2 Alfredo sauce….learned that one 2 years ago. Your places & descriptions beats anything i can come up with, so i give…….

    Hey Thanks hon,
    I had no idea – but now that you say that, I can see it, yes that was the combo. See, you learn something new everyday. No favs out your way? No favorite burgers, pizzas, italian or steak place you like? There was that italian place that Pop liked – they made the hand-made noodles and hand-made gnocchi…do you remember what it was called?


  10. Yummy Pink Hotdog sounds yummy!!! Barney’s sound like a very old fashion sort os place….and million of brands of beer?? Wooo!!! And Al Read’s and fried clam??? Hungry now!
    Ps thanks for doing the tag. I hope you enjoyed it.. If you know of anyone else doing it please feel free to send me a message and I’ll update them too on the updated list of tag doers

    Hi Nicole…
    So, you’re the lady who started this international meme, eh? Well it’s traveled well and we’ve all learned of many yummy places to go and eat all over the place. I’d have to give you a hand for what you’ve created.

    I’d be happy to buy you a dawg at Pink’s if you’re ever out this way. They just can’t be beat.

    Check the end of my post for those I tagged – all but Ham took on the meme and had some pretty great places in their lists as well – I was especially intrigued by the Thai Restaurant/Blues Bar that Jess mentioned.

    Thanks for dropping by. 🙂


  11. i know the EXACT place you’re talking about (it was on Woodward) but for the life of me I CANNOT remember the name of the restaurant…As for food places (here) I’m sure there’s lots, but i don’t eat out much, and when i do, it’s usually like coney island or cheap like that (this is gonna sound really crazy…but home depot has a little hot dog stand that has like the BEST hotdogs and there only a buck!) So i guess that would be my pick for now…hehehe…

    You know, coney island isn’t bad when it comes to junk food. I remember them fondly – nothing even comparable out here. And oh yes, the Home Depot does sell a fine dawg out here as well. But come on out and I’ll take you to Pink’s. It’s an experience and a damn fine dawg. 😉


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