Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Burgers, Fish, Comfort Food, and Wine - Traveling Tuesday

We made a weekend pit-stop in Los Angeles to pick up my brother, Jared, before heading to New Zealand. There are several restaurant chains that are not in Connecticut, In N Out included. As we headed to The Huntington Library, we passed an In-N-Out Burger. I seized the opportunity to stop for some lunch. For those of you who have never experienced In N Out, I would compare to a mix between Five Guys thin patties, and Chic-fil-A’s friendly service. As we pulled up to the drive thru, I stared at the sign and said to my brother, “What do I do?” – The menus are nothing like the ones you order off of at a typical fast-food joint. “One double-double animal style with grilled onions and no sauce,” he said to Robert, the young man walking through the drive thru line taking orders. He proceeded to order “animal style fries,” and three more burgers. I asked Robert several rookie questions, which he patiently answered with a smile. Overall, I was a fan of the burgers, however, the buns and the French fries from Five Guys are better. The gentleman and who took our order, the cashier, and all the workers that we interacted with were friendly and very helpful.
That night for dinner, we met friends at Il Barone, in Newport Beach. As we waited for a table, the host offered us a drink from the bar and hustled everyone along to get us seated. After looking over the wine list, my brother and I decided on a bottle of Chianti Classico (my favorite!) Although they had run out of the classico, they were happy to supplement it with a bottle of the Chianti Superiore for the same cost.
My father and I split the tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and white truffle salad. Honestly, I was too hungry to wait to take a picture, sorry! My main course was the Branzino and my father had the sole. Both fish were very light, and garnished nicely with fresh vegetables and greens. All three dishes were on the specials that night. If given the choice again, I would reorder. My brother and his girlfriend had the fried ravioli for an appetizer which they both enjoyed.
For dessert, I, per usual, was the only one to order. I had the chocolate chip cannoli. It was garnished with fresh fruit.
The next morning, we meandered around my brother's law school campus, and headed to Watson's Soda Fountain and Cafe. I had a meatball grinder (sub, or hoagie!) with a side of mac and cheese. My brother had a short stack of pancakes with a side of scrambled eggs and bacon.
After living in the south for so many years, I hold my mac and cheese to a high standard; this particular dish at Watson's did not pass the test, however, the rest of the food we ordered was delicious! Bathrooms were clean, service was attentive and they even had cold brewed coffee. 
All of these restaurants are places that I would revisit and recommend to others!

What are some of your favorite places to eat when you're traveling?

As always, I love to hear from you guys! Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email: notsetinsilverstone@gmail.com

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