Monday, January 31, 2011

Recon: R & D

Santa Monica, CA

The Canuck and I popped into R&D for a quick bite to eat, and while I opted for breakfast, the Canuck went for broke with the R&D burger and a large glass of Stella.  He was nice enough to cut me a little wedge so I could get in on the action.  What I love about the R&D burger is that its all classic ingredients- nothing out of the ordinary- but the quality of ingredients is so high that it elevates the burg, giving it a clean, refreshing flavor.  I also appreciate that they shred the lettuce. The one thing both the Canuck and I didn't love was the sog factor.  The burg was cooked medium, but there wasn't any char to hold in the juice, and no topping layers between meat and bun to prevent the bun from soaking up all the juice.  

Comes with a side of fries, and by side they mean giant serving.  I was ok with their fries- a little soft for my taste, but I like that they left the peel on the potato, kept them salty and cut them skinny. Could have been crispier, and if we order them again I will ask for them to be well done.  The Canuck prefers thick cut fries, and in addition to being a Canuck he is also Dutch, and considers himself something of a fry expert, so he was a little disappointed. (But this didn't stop him from eating them...)

R&D has a great menu and bar.  The cocktail and wine lists are fantastic.  I recommend the 13th Street cocktail which has basil and crushed grapes with vodka.  They also have amazing guacamole, which I will once again attribute to the high quality ingredients.  Its usually very crowded starting around 4 on the weekends so go early, or plan on drinking at the bar while you wait for a table.  R&D is on the more expensive side for drinks and a burger so check the menu, or go for a special occasion.  Delish... 


Park City, UT

I flew into Park City for the Sundance Film Festival with a nicely sized posse and after our long journey and fantastically chauffeured suburban ride into town, we needed some hearty food.  We marched straight over to our old, get-drunk-in-the-afternoon-stand-by favorite, the No Name Saloon and binged on the local fare.  We started with mozzarella sticks, french fries and onion rings, which we scarfed down before they could be photographed (we were starving!) but trust me when I say they were delicious.

We ordered buffalo burgers, which are- yes- made out of buffalo meat.  Apparently the buffalo is not endangered like I thought.  Or maybe I just ate an endangered animal.  Let's go with not endangered for conscience reasons.  I opted for bleu cheese and bacon.  Murph, Court and Kate went for the classic Saloon burger- one with cheddar, and one with grilled onions.  No Name serves all their burgers with lettuce and tomato, and their home made potato chips.  (George Michael ordered a wrap, so not really worth mentioning...)

We needed so much diet coke the waitress finally just brought over a pitcher.  I went with a hefeweizen.  Hey, I was on vacation and I was going to have alcohol with every meal even if it killed me.  I thought the burger was great.  Meat was tender with great flavor, grilled to medium, with a nice char on the outside.  Bleu cheese wasn't overwhelming.  Could have used more bacon, or a better way of organizing the bacon to ensure bacon in every bite.  I made my usual spread of ketchup, mustard and mayo- which was also an excellent dip for the chips.  They serve salsa with their potato chips which must be a Utah thing, because salsa is for tortilla chips, dip is for potato chips.  Duh.

No Name is a great place to take a breather at Sundance; the food will fill you up and they have a massive bar.  Decor is all western, and vintage advertising, with plenty of tables, one long bar and good sized restrooms.  It gets crowded, so that is an important plus.  Definitely stop in here if you're in Park City, but don't try to be dainty about what you order, go for the jugular and you won't be disappointed.

Mini-Recon: Q's

Los Angeles, CA

We have all spent a night of some sort in this sports bar, but until recently I didn't know they had such adorable sliders on the menu.  A patron on the bar stool next to me ordered them, and I bothered him for a picture, so I can't attest to taste, since I thought asking for a bite of each mini burg might be inappropriate... But now they're on my radar and he is clearly giving them a thumbs up.