Archive for the 'Southern' Category

Dulan’s On Crenshaw – Los Angeles (Crenshaw)

Dulans On Crenshaw - Crenshaw - Los Angeles

For a taste of southern home cooking in Los Angeles, look no further than Dulan’s on Crenshaw. Here at this brightly lit and simply appointed restaurant, owner Greg Dulan follows his father Adolf “King of Soul Food” Dulan’s footsteps, delivering delightful down-home fare that hits the spot like nothing else can. Adolf, by the way, owns the equally excellent Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood.

Dulans On Crenshaw - Crenshaw - Los Angeles

Dulan’s is laid out a bit like a cafeteria, with Styrofoam trays and steam tables at the front. While all menu items are available a la carte, most diners choose a “meat and two” combination that comes with two sides and two cornbread muffins.

The roster of proteins includes fried, baked, and smothered chicken, fried and baked fish, oxtails, short ribs, smothered pork chops, and meatloaf.  The selection of sides includes macaroni and cheese, two types of greens (collard and cabbage), candied yams, cornbread dressing, red beans, rice, mashed potatoes, corn and okra, black-eyed peas, and potato salad.

Dulans On Crenshaw - Crenshaw - Los Angeles

While my lunchtime companions couldn’t resist the fried chicken, the meatloaf ($10.95) was calling my name. Served smothered with softened onions and a ketchup-spiked gravy, the meatloaf had a homey and hearty way about it. I was pleased with my selection. Continue reading ‘Dulan’s On Crenshaw – Los Angeles (Crenshaw)’

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee – San Diego (North Park)

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee - San Diego

I’ve been enchanted with the idea of gourmet fried chicken and doughnuts served under one roof ever since I got wind of Philly’s Federal Donuts and D.C.’s Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. After two years of praying to the deep-fried gods to bring this delightfully gluttonous trend to Southern California, my wish finally came true. Hello, StreetCar Merchants.

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee - San Diego

Opened by RaVae Smith and Ron Suel late last year, StreetCar Merchants serves up three things: fried chicken, doughnuts, and coffee. The Astronomer and I, along with Cousin Danny, indulged in two of the three specialties on a recent Sunday afternoon.

StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee - San Diego

Since the fried chicken takes nearly half an hour to prepare, we tucked into three doughnuts while we waited. The shop makes 12 varieties each day, all of which are brioche-based and fried in rice bran oil.

Continue reading ‘StreetCar Merchants of Fried Chicken, Doughnuts & Coffee – San Diego (North Park)’

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Boiled Chocolate Icing

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

Is it too soon to decide June’s first birthday cake? Even though we’re still six-plus months away, I can’t resist dreaming up confections that our little sweetie will have a ball “smashing” on her big day.

This Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting has been a Chaplin family favorite since The Astronomer’s father’s post-doc days. The recipe originated from a colleague of his named Katy, a gal who clearly had a penchant for unabashedly sweet sweets.

While The Astronomer preferred frosting-less bundt cakes for his birthdays growing up, his brother Daniel and sister Rosalind adored this simple sheet cake. And though I’m 33 years late to the “Katy’s Chocolate Cake” party, I love it all the same.

The batter of the matter, seriously moist and cinnamon-kissed, is finished with a classic, Southern-style boiled chocolate icing. Eaten together, it’s an unstoppable avalanche of buttery, chocolatey, sugary, sprinkle-y goodness!

If June’s palate is anything like her mother’s, this cake will get mauled to pieces in 60 seconds flat. I can’t wait.

For cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For icing

  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare cake

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, sift together sugar and flour and set aside.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

In a saucepan, combine butter, oil, cocoa powder, and water. Bring to a boil and pour over sugar and flour mixture. Add in buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Continue reading ‘Chocolate Sheet Cake with Boiled Chocolate Icing’

The Ordinary – Charleston

The Ordinary - Charleston, South Carolina

For our final meal in Charleston, an extra-ordinary dinner at The Ordinary.

The Ordinary - Charleston, South Carolina

Our party of six was seated on the second floor of the former bank building, offering expansive views of the “Southern seafood hall” and oyster bar. I do believe that the award for the city with the grandest dining rooms goes to Charleston!

Adam Nemirow and Chef Mike Lata, the team behind Charleston’s beloved restaurant FIG, opened The Ordinary last year. The menu highlights the “merrior” of the Coastal Carolinas and the East Coast, according to the restaurant’s website. 

The Ordinary - Charleston, South Carolina

I’m not quite sure how Hawaiian rolls ($4) fit into the local “merrior,” but no matter… As soon as I spotted them on the menu, I knew they had to be mine. Though not quite as sweet as King’s Hawaiian Rolls, these were warm, fluffy, and benefited from a generous slathering of butter.

Continue reading ‘The Ordinary – Charleston’

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