The Astronomer and I shared our first ShackBurger® in the spring of 2007. If memory serves me right, he was a newly-minted college grad, while I was attempting to cross off as many items on my East Coast to-eat list as possible before moving to Vietnam. We had taken the Chinatown bus from Philly to New York City for a Memorial Day weekend getaway, crashing at my brother’s Lower East Side apartment. Ah, those were the days…
Fast forward to the spring of 2016. The Astronomer and I are back at Shake Shack for the first time in nearly a decade. This time we’re at its first West Coast location at The Park, Las Vegas’s first community green space.
Even before checking into our room at Aria, The Astronomer and I high-tailed it to Shake Shack for a very late lunch. Four hours of driving can really work up an appetite.
Continue reading ‘Shake Shack – Las Vegas (New York-New York)’
Everyone loves to hate Yelp, but I have a confession to make: it’s the most used app on my phone. While individual restaurant reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, I have found the “Hot & New” and “Nearby” functions surprisingly useful for discovering under-the-radar spots like Super Burger.
With 300 glowing reviews and a very respectable 4.5 star rating, Super Burger kept appearing whenever I searched for notable restaurants within a mile radius of my home. Once I perused the bevy of burger-licious images and skimmed through the write-ups, Super Burger’s charms could not be denied—I needed to eat here immediately.
Super Burger, which is located on the corner of Altadena and Villa in Pasadena, has been around for years. However, it wasn’t until Jean and Ben Khe took over the al fresco stand in 2009 that word began to spread about their incredible burgers.
Continue reading ‘Super Burger – Pasadena’
With its tremendous reputation, tiny space (just 1,400-square-feet), and no reservation policy, Au Cheval is one of the more difficult seats to snag in Chicago. After failing to score a table without a tortuously long wait several evenings in a row, I decided that dining right when the doors opened at 11 AM was my best bet. Sure enough, I was seated without a hitch at that early an hour.
Opened in 2012 by restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff (Gilt Bar, Doughnut Vault, Maude’s Liquor Bar, Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf), Au Cheval is the quintessential upscale diner. Sodikoff and Executive Chef Jason Vaughan (L20, A16) have dreamed up a sensational menu featuring updated diner classics and globally-influenced fare. The execution is phenomenal, surprising and delighting diners at every turn.
Joining The Astronomer and me for our super-early lunch was our friend Britta. More bellies means more smiles and more food—everyone wins!
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When A Hamburger Today discovered burger “greatness” in my neighborhood a few months back (“Classic Burger Joint Greatness at Jake’s of Pasadena“), I immediately bookmarked the spot with a future lunch date in mind.
I’ve walked past this ruby red, burger-slangin’ hut in Old Pasadena dozens of times over the years, but it wasn’t until reading this piece of positive reportage that I was motivated to sit down for a meal. It was just the nudge I needed.
I am not sure what Jake’s menu was like when it first opened its doors in 1947, but these days it’s a build-your-own-burger situation supplemented by a half dozen composed “Signature Burgers.”
When my lunch date and I entered the restaurant, we were greeted with order forms on clipboards and pencils to make our mark. A friendly waiter slash cashier picked up the forms from our table as soon as we finished filling them out.
In addition to burgers for each of us, Nastassia and I shared a basket of truly fantastic onion rings ($3.49). The batter, crazy-crisp with nary a trace of grease, made these irresistible.
Continue reading ‘Jake’s Burgers – Pasadena’