May 24, 2012

Memphis Food Truck Festival, part two

Location: Court Square, Downtown Memphis
Cost: $5
Revival Southern Food Company on Urbanspoon

You didn't think I'd show up to a food truck festival and only sample from one truck, did you?  Silly rabbit, apps are what I do!  So let's move on from that deep-fried hot dog that (sadly) didn't live up to the hype.  The Revival Food Truck caught my fancy, what with their brightly colored truck and a long line of hungry people snaking around Court Square, waiting for a taste.

May 23, 2012

Memphis Food Truck Festival, part one

Location: Court Square, Downtown Memphis
Cost: $5
Memphis Munchies Food Truck & Catering on Urbanspoon

Sadly, we had to move on from New Orleans.  Kiss all the day drinking, Android parties, and incredible food goodbye, we're on the drive to Memphis!  We're hauling ass because we've got tickets to Game 5 of the Grizzlies-Clippers series later on, and we gotta get some food before we head in for the game.  As luck (or fate) would have it, we rolled into The River City on the day of the Memphis Food Truck Festival, and at lunchtime too!  This is gonna get interesting.

May 21, 2012

Verti Marte

Location: 1201 Royal St, French Quarter
Cost: $10
Verti Marte on Urbanspoon

Yien and I brought a ton of music with us on our road trip, and with good reason: 2 guys with more than 30 total hours in a car together?  Driving through the Midwest?  You get the picture.  As you can imagine though, after listening to more than a day's worth of music together, a few favorites bubbled up to the top of the queue.  We had party anthems, songs representative of the trip as a whole (next post), and ones that captured how we felt at any given moment.

May 18, 2012

Desire Oyster Bar

Location: 300 Bourbon St, French Quarter
Cost: $25
Desire Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

I'm almost ashamed to mention the song that became our anthem for this epic road trip, but it'll come into play later.  For now, I've gotta say goodbye to New Orleans, our home for the past couple of nights.  It's been an amazing time; perfect weather (note to self: don't visit New Orleans in the summer), insane parties (on Monday and Tuesday nights, even) thanks to CTIA, and of course the FOOD.  Before we left for good though, you know we had to have one last meal, and for our last meal, we chose Desire Oyster Bar.

May 15, 2012

Acme Oyster House

Location: 724 Iberville St, French Quarter
Cost: $20
Acme Oyster House on Urbanspoon

Day 2 of our epic New Orleans food run, and we're just getting to the good stuff.  Yes, beignets, rabbit jambalaya, and red beans & rice are good and all, but tonight, Yien and I are in the mood for a hearty helping of some Gulf SEAFOOD!  So, we headed to Acme Oyster House, our spirits already uplifted by the simple fact that one in every three words has to do with seafood at this joint.

May 13, 2012

Coop's Place

Location: 1109 Decatur Street, French Quarter
Cost: $20
Coop's Place on Urbanspoon

As it turns out, it takes more than 15 hours to drive from Chicago to New Orleans.  Something we didn't realize until halfway on our trip, after reserving a hotel room in New Orleans for the night.  Oops.  Thank goodness we started driving at 7 in the morning, because by the time we pulled into the hotel at 10:30pm, a couple of French Quarter kitchens were still open and serving food.  We dumped all our stuff in our tiny hotel room and made a beeline through the roach-laden streets for Coop's Place.

May 10, 2012

New Orleans Beignet Hunt

CafĂ© Du Monde on Urbanspoon Cafe Beignet on Urbanspoon

Welcome to the Capitol City Eats Southern Road Trip!  And by that I mean I've got a week to take a vacation and, like any self-respecting foodie, decided to design my trip around food.  What does that mean?  Look forward to damn good Southern BBQ in Memphis; Throwed Rolls, fried okra, and sorghum & honey in Missouri; and a whole mess of seafood, beignets, and cajun fare in New Orleans.  Let's fire up the car and get going!  And who better to have along during the countless hours driving through monotonous farmland than my good friend Yien?  He's been feeling a bit of cabin fever as well, so this is a welcome change for him.

I'll start things off with a decidedly unique New Orleans delicacy: the beignet.  This crunchy-yet-soft deep-fried New Orleans version of a donut is one of the major reasons I made New Orleans the destination of this road trip.  Since we have only a few mornings to spend chowing down on these puppies, I thought it'd be fun to go hunting for the best beignet in New Orleans.  That said, I only had a few mornings to go hunting, so it's altogether possible that I haven't stumbled across the best beignet yet.  Let me know if you know of a place better than what I've got below!

May 9, 2012

Kuma's Corner

Location: 2900 W Belmont (closest would be Belmont Blue Line, but it's a 12 minute walk)
Cost: $20
Kuma's Corner on Urbanspoon

Okay, after a minor pit stop, onward again with more of Chicago’s burgers!  This time around, having conquered the burger shops closer to home, I decided to go a little further out in search of the best burger in Chicago.  Our journey took us out to Kuma's Corner, hailed by many Chicagoans as the best burger joint in the city.  Me?  I wasn't so certain after having an altogether mediocre burger just a couple of days before at a place also known for great burgers.  Still, how could I say no to a place where the burgers are named after metal bands, the servers have more tattoos than piercings, and the whiskey (multiple brands, mind you) is always flowing on tap?  

May 8, 2012

Epicurious Entertains Chicago

Location: Chicago
Cost: $60

I randomly stumbled upon a Bloomspot email blast advertising coupons for Epicurious Entertains Chicago a few weeks ago, and in my infinite wisdom moved onto the next email before doubling back and going "whaaaaaaaaat?"  Epicurious coming to town, bringing their expertise in entertaining and cookin' up dinner with three of Chicago's best chefs?  Nuff said, sign me up.

May 7, 2012

25 Degrees

Location: 736 N. Clark (Chicago Red Line)
Cost: $20-25
25 Degrees on Urbanspoon

Continuing on with the burger theme!  And for that matter, celebrations all around.  You see, today was the absolute very last class of med school.  That's right, after this it's a couple weeks of relishing in the ability to do absolutely nothing for the last time in my life.  And then I get the MD, MPH added to the end of my name, and the whole game changes.  I would be more euphoric about the whole last class of med school thing if it weren't for the fact that I've been through a number of "lasts" these past few weeks...the last rotation, the last exam, the last paper, presentation...and the list goes on.  I've honestly become so used to it being the last [fill in the blank] that it probably won't hit me for real until that last day of med school, when we walk across the stage, get our degrees, and say howdy to the real world, many of us for the first time in our lives.

All seriousness aside, and having read this blog, I'm sure you know how serious I love to be, I decided to get some peeps together to celebrate this joyous occasion.  So I rounded up Ajwad, Dan, and Kyle, and we headed down the street to 25 Degrees for some burgers as big as our moment in the sun.

May 6, 2012

Burger Bar Chicago

Location: 1578 N. Clybourn (North & Clybourn Red Line)
Cost: $20
Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

I thought long and hard about reviewing Chicago restaurants on this blog.  After all, most people I met during my short trip to DC had never made it out to the Windy City.  It's so unfortunate though, because Chicago is hands down one of the best cities in America.  I've had an amazing time going to med school here over the past four years, and I'm really sad to be leaving.

In the end, I decided to make Chicago the second city (get it?) of my blog.  Call it a sister city, if you will.  Why?  It was all about the food.  In my opinion, Chicago is the best food city in America, especially for young foodies on a budget.  You can get Michelin-class food for less than $30 per ridiculous is that?  I've had such a great time eating through Chicago that I feel compelled to share some of my favorites with everyone.  So without further ado...

Minutes after landing back in Chicago, still high from accomplishing my mission in DC two days early (or maybe it was the combination of high altitude and a gin & tonic at 10am on the flight over), I went searching for my celebratory welcome-back-to-Chicago meal.  Called up one of my good friends Yien, who was craving a burger at the time, and we headed out on the Red Line to Burger Bar.

May 3, 2012

Devon & Blakely

Location: Multiple, but I went to 1331 F St NW (Metro Center Red/Blue/Orange)
Cost: $10
Devon & Blakely (Dc) on Urbanspoon

Today was a day of accomplishment.  For starters, I passed my required urine tox screen for employment.  I know...phew, close one.  After making sure I would actually have gainful employment for the next 12 months, I pulled the trigger and signed the lease on a new apartment after 3 arduous days of hunting across the city.  Not bad for a day's work, am I right?

Having knocked out two of life's criteria for becoming a real-life adult (the third being knowing how to iron your own clothes...and actually doing it), I decided to spend the rest of the day doing what my people are best known for: gawking at tourist attractions and taking lots of pictures.  But more on that later; first, I had to address the fire in my belly.  No, I'm not talking about the ridiculously spicy chinese food my relatives took me out to the night before.  It was 3pm and I hadn't had lunch yet - I was famished.

May 2, 2012

Pho DC

Location: 608 H St NW (Gallery Place Red/Yellow/Green)
Cost: $20
Pho DC on Urbanspoon

Day 2 of the apartment hunt, and today was a hot one.  Not in the way apartments (I only saw one).  But it was 84 degrees and humid.  94% humidity?  I haven't seen that since I was back home in Florida for the summer.  Today, I sweat myself into hunger and, in my infinite wisdom, decided to get hot noodle soup for lunch.

May 1, 2012

Ben's Chili Bowl

Location: 1213 U St NW (U Street, Green/Yellow)
Cost: $10-15, CASH ONLY
Ben's Chili Bowl on Urbanspoon

I've thought for many moons about how I'd write this all-important (hey, it's my mind, I can afford to be a little self-important, right?) first food post.  After all, first impressions are everything, right?  But after sifting through hours of admittedly mediocre ideas, I thought I'd pay homage to how I got the idea for this blog in the first place and post whatever came to mind late at night, in a half-delirious post-call state.

Rating Scale

Before I start posting, I should point out that I'll rate each establishment I eat at on a scale of 0-5 cherries.  I'll take a variety of factors into account, but how the food tastes is always going to be most important.  After all, why schlep out to a fancy-looking restaurant (or for that matter, wait in line for a grimy food truck) if the food's not worth it?

Here's a scientifically precise breakdown of each rating:

0 cherries: I'd rather go hungry than eat here. Given the nature of this blog, that's saying something.
1 cherry: Will do in a pinch (eg, to prevent death by starvation), but won't be coming back here.
2 cherries: I'll come back if whoever I'm eating with has a real craving. And if I like that person.
3 cherries: Now we're talking. Food worth coming back for, if it's convenient.
4 cherries: Food worth going out of your way to find.
5 cherries: The mecca! I'd be willing to fly back to this city solely for this restaurant.

Okay, enough business.  Time for the real posts!