Sunday, April 20, 2014

review - Farmer Boys Downtown LA

  • 726 S Alameda St Downtown
  • Phone number(213) 228-8999
  • Business
    I had never eaten at this delightful place before Saturday when we were on our way to the Mark Taper Forum to see The Tallest Tree in the Forest. The portions are huge, and the discounts are great. I had a ham and cheese omelette with hash browns, toast and a side of bacon plus a large cookies and cream shake - yummy - for only $11+. Unbelievable! I'm going back Wednesday before we attend Porgy and Bess at the Ahmanson. I highly recommend Farmer Boys for their great portions, prices and all around good eating. They also specialize in a fish and chips platter - with 4 pieces of pollock - (pictured) which is to die for...and burgers, sandwiches and their specialty milk shakes, made with real ice cream.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Slaw Dogs

chatting in Woodland Hills with founder/owner Ray Byrne
The Slaw Dogs
Est. 2010
Open 7 days a week
at 3 locations:
Pasadena                            Woodland Hills                       Duarte
720 N. Lake Ave., #8         19801 Ventura Blvd               1355 Huntington Dr.
626-808-9777                      818-887-8882                          626-358-8898

Hot dogs are an American institution. We do not want to live without them. Everyone loves them outdoors or in. When Raymond Byrne was barbecuing hot dogs and hamburgers at home a few years back, some onions, cabbage and other vegetables happened to tumble all over the meat, giving them a snazzy, extra special taste. A light bulb flashed- would people agree and want to buy them? And so was born one of LA's best hot dog eateries The Slaw Dogs, first in Pasadena in 2010 and then in Duarte and Woodland Hills. Slaw Dogs' ultra-innovative approach to creating dogs and burgers places it on a new frontier of the restaurant scene.

I visited Slaw Dogs in Woodland Hills late one Sunday afternoon for dinner. What I walked into seemed a 'hole in the wall' - tiny but comfortable, clean and almost familiar, like a little diner, local food stand, or pleasant hometown hangout. On hand to greet my friend Jim and me was owner/operator Ray Byrne, who offered us an array of samples, which he prepared and cooked himself. Customers may watch their food being prepared, which is another appealing feature of Slaw Dogs. 

Slaw Dogs is family oriented, and Byrne offered a young girl at the table across from us a coloring book which absolutely delighted her as she and her young parents awaited their meal. On tap for us? We sampled a scrumptious bratwurst dog with cherry balsamic dressing. Mmm! Next up came a macaroni and cheese burger. Yes, Slaw Dogs does specialize in hot dogs of all kinds, but it is as popular for its burgers. Mac and cheese on the burger and around it with everything else on it like tomatoes, lettuce, onions, bacon and dijon mustard. Delicious! Did I mention that Byrne makes all of his own sauces from scratch, including curry ketchup, dijon, BBQ, spicy sesame aioli, chipotle mayo, roast garlic aioli, horseradish mustard and buttermilk ranch? Yes, indeed! may build your own dog or link... in four steps. First, you choose your link from among Vienna all beef, turkey dog, kosher beef dog or worlds best veggie. You also have a choice of spicy chicken, chicken apple, Bavarian bratwurst - which I had - or ghost pepper pork hot link. Step two is to choose from among the homemade sauces above. Step three is to add three items for free from among diced onions, relish, jalapenos, sauerkraut, cole slaw, diced tomato, celery salt and garlic salsa verde, among others. Step four is to pile on custom toppings for a mere .99 cents each from among beer chili, bacon, pastrami, ground beef, fried egg, cheddar, swiss, pepper jack, parmesan, nacho, goat cheese, feta, mushrooms, bell peppers and onions, truffle oil and garlic pieces. The build-on dogs are a mere $3 or $4.99 each with additional add-ons for only .39 cents each.

There are wonderful salads for only $7.99 and fabulous sides like garlic fries, sweet potato fries, beer battered onion rings, slaw dogs' special tots - just sumptuous, potato salad or regular fries. Most sides range from $1.99 to $3.99.

If you decide not to build your own, you may choose from the main menu. Most dogs on this first menu range from $4.99 for the traditional to the Mac and Cheese Dog at $6.99 onto the TNT Super Dog at $8.88. If you make it a combo meal, you have a choice of potato salad, coleslaw or fries, a fountain drink and a hunk of yummy homemade fudge made by Amy, Ray's wife. The add-on price is $2.99-$3.99. Burgers, all made with pure angus beef range from $4.99 to $7.99. I also sampled the pulled pork burger (photo below) which is to die for.

If you are a hot dog or burger lover, you cannot afford to pass up The Slaw Dogs. Reasonably priced and so very delicious, its totally original hot dog and burger creations are the best anywhere. So, go on over to Woodland Hills, Pasadena or Duarte (addresses above) and enjoy! I sure did and I'll be back for more!