Growing up in San Francisco I never had a chili burger, so when I first moved to L.A., my roommate and I were both surprised to find that so many burger places in L.A. pile chili on their burgers. Whether chili burgers are more popular in Los Angeles than they are in San Francisco, I'm not sure - but I've come to think of chili burgers as an L.A. thing; right up there with waitresses who're actresses and everyone and their mechanic writing a screenplay. While I've yet to become a chili burger girl, I am definitely a chili cheese fries fiend... and I believe I've just found my chili cheese fry nirvana.
My daughter turned me on to Daglas Burgers, 20036 Vanowen St. Canoga Park (near Winnetka Bl.) Knowing that I'm a sucker for a good corn dog, she told me I have to go to Daglas - a place I've passed by for years. The Daglas sign and exterior, growing dingy over the decades, never called out to me. But, now that I think of it, I've notice there usually are a lot of people inside where the tables and arcade games are, and waiting in line. Silly me! Lines of people usually mean... good food - of course.
With my daughter's good review in mind, I ordered a corn dog and chili cheese fries for me, and a chili burger for my husband. While ordering, I watched the cooks hustling over sizzling grills - that's when I eyed a huge pan full of peeled, fresh potato wedges. They make them fresh there! Not frozen. The Daglas motto is: Where every day is Fry day!
After eating their fries, I'd like to bow down to them and say... yes! Daglas, you've made the best darned chili cheese fries I believe I've ever had. The fries were fresh, sprinkled with seasonings and salt, then topped with really good thick, beef chili.
And my daughter was right, Daglas does make a good corn dog - a juicy dog wrapped in lots of corny-sweet batter, fried golden crisp.
My husband, a man of few adjectives, said he liked the chili burger more than any he's had in a while, including our local Tommy's.
Here it is - January, just days after the weeks of rain finally stopped, and the weather's warm enough to barbecue.
Sunday, we headed over to Jim's Marketon Fallbrook Ave. in Woodland Hills, becauseI'd always heard they have really great meat. I don't eat steak that often, so I'd never made the effort to go over to Jim's - but I'm glad we finally did. The two rib-eyes we bought turned out to be better than any I'd had before. Both were nicely marbled throughout and barbecued to sizzling, juicy perfection. Ooh..they were so tender.
Grilling artichokes -
Along with the steaks, we made mushrooms and grilled artichokes. I sauteed mushrooms with shallots and a bit of madeira. The artichokes, I parboiled until the stems were tender enough for a fork to slide through. Once out of the boiling water, I sliced them in half, drizzled olive oil and sprinkled them with some creole seasoning and put on the grill until some of the outer leaves became slightly blackened. I made a dip of mayonnaise and the same creole seasoning. Delicious... If I do say so myself.
We felt like we had a meal as good as any restaurant we'd been to, except for the sink full of dishes, of course.
Jim's Market - 5947 Fallbrook Ave. 818-347-5077 or 347-5525
The weather here in Southern California is absolutely spectacular! Every day this week the sky has been clear - thanks to the Santa Ana winds - and eye-popping turquoise blue.
I took this photo this morning at Pierce College.
Even with this warm weather I've been getting in the Christmas mood with a little help from a can of spray snow and some holiday decor.
Here's my front window sprayed with faux-frost. Now who'd guess I could get a killer tan in December -if I didn't care about skin spots, cancer and wrinkles, that is... Merry Christmas! And to you Californians...don't forget the sun block.