Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I wake up for: The Texan at Pat & Oscar's

 Hello sunshine!

My favorite brekkies typically revolve around local joints: Break of Dawn, Plum's Cafe, 'Carolyn's Kitchen', etc.. However, I don't discriminate when it comes to my favorite meal, so I'll check out a franchise if it's tasty fare. That's how I ended up at Pat & Oscar's (a.k.a the San Diego breadstick folks).

One rainy morning, I ran into my local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (or was it Jerry's Wood-Fired Dogs?) for some nourishment, when I spotted a sign in P&O's window "Now Serving Breakfast". Of course, I inquired. They started offering this quite recently - in the past month or so. The selections include:

  • French toast kissed with vanilla and orange
  • 'Pat's Veggie' burrito filled with mushrooms, green chiles, green onions, scrambled eggs, mozzarella, and topped with pico de gallo and avocado
  • and 'Ronnie's Special' pizza utilizing housemade dough, country gravy, mozzarella, cheddar, tomato slices, scrambled eggs, bacon and basil (Whew!)
    What took my breath away, though, was a pic of the Texan skillet scramble, which I ultimately ordered a few days later. Bits of brisket, green chiles, green onions, cilantro, avocado, pico de gallo and cheddar. Oh my. Thank you to the kitchen for making my dish even though it was 20 minutes after service ended.

    While I typically don't enjoy condiments with my food (unless we're talking hot dogs), the pico de gallo really brought together all the components. Cilantro gave a bright flavor. Avocado cut through any heat. The brisket was rather subtle, but gave the dish enough meatiness for me to savor. 

    Oh, and I forgot to mention it being served over breakfast potatoes. Everything was so tasty, I didn't really notice them, but I did love my cinnamon breadstick it came with. There's also a garlic and toast option, but I needed a little sweet treat to end my Sunday brunch.

    Brekkie is served on the weekends only, from 7:30-11 a.m. For a list of their Southern California locations, click here.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Japanese Bread darn cute!

    My acquaintance (I say that because we've never met, but are friends on Facebook, thanks to a mutual) Michelle posted this on her Wall earlier, and I just didn't think it was cool enough for the freelance blog. Looks like something one would find if Daiso and Andersen Bakery did a collaboration. 

    All together now, "Awwww!"

    *(Thanks to the folks at this website for making my day even better!)

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Sam, I am (a fan).

    Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting a culinary personality that I admire.  His name is Sam Zien, but is better known as Sam the Cooking Guy.  Now before you wonder why I'm not talking about a restaurant I ate at, I wanted to take time out and acknowledge a guy who is not only inspiring, but entertaining too.  Oh, and he has 12 Emmys for his hard work, so show some respect!

    Sam was like a lot of us, working at a place where he wasn't exactly happy at.  He wanted to do something he was passionate about, and so Sam quit his job and began working on an idea he had.  It was a travel show that would educate viewers on how to familiarize themselves with the food, culture, transportation, etc of a foreign country.  His first series of segments would be on Tokyo, and he was preparing to film a demo when 9/11 happened.  That changed everything.

    Having no current employment, a show idea that wasn't really feasible anymore, and bills to pay, Sam was at a bit of a crossroads: Settle for some other job, or try a different show?  With the support of his wife, he decided on a cooking show (despite the fact he had no formal cooking experience whatsoever).  What would make him stand out in a sea of cable and PBS broadcasts?

    His approach was to make food that was simple, yet delicious.  I wouldn't compare him to anything semi-homemade, but Sam makes a point of utilizing ingredients viewers can find at their local grocery store.  He also has some straightforward cooking techniques, which would make even the most novice of cooks feel at ease.  Sam the Cooking Guy was picked up by a local San Diego television station, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    A second show, Just Cook This!, is a national series on Discovery Health channel.  He's also got three  two cookbooks published, with a third on the way focusing on grilling.  Sam also (normally) holds monthly cooking classes, but at the moment, I believe he's on hiatus preparing for the newest addition to his family.  He did a live version of his show last month, where part of the proceeds went towards the Salvation Army Kroc Center Scholarship Fund.

    Why am I a fan of Sam?  He's a regular guy who likes to cook.  He has a recurring habit of burning his mouth when trying his dishes (it's called patience, Sam).  He's the Jewish guy who taught me how to make adobo I get compliments on.  I'm reminded that cooking is both fun and rewarding.

    If you are in Orange County, you can catch him on Cox channel 3.  Sam the Cooking Guy is 100 episodes strong and is broadcast throughout the state, as well as in Nevada, Arizona, Virginia and Georgia. Here's the link to find your local station.

    Yes, Sam.  I am a fan.  I also ate green eggs and ham in kindergarten.  That's probably why I love brekkie so much.