The Joy of American Food

How true and yet so funny – found this and had to repost.


How To Eat Like A God-Damn American (Just In Time For Thanksgiving)

4 months ago by

US-Food-girl-hot-dogDJ-BBQ-US-headerOur resident food columnist, DJ BBQ, tells us why it’s time us Brits started eating like Americans:

“As far as I’m concerned American food is about passion. Look at the success of Man Vs Food. What makes that show great is the enthusiasm people have for the food. And it has nothing to do with gourmet ingredients.

Sure, in Britain you over-indulge with the occasional kebab or fish and chips. But you’ve got some real catching up to do. Get a proper fridge, for starters. Secondly, your portions are tiny. Our bags of potato chips are roughly 20 million times the size of yours.

Go to a supermarket in America and you’ll see we have three whole aisles just for corn chips and salsas. And your extra-large pizzas are like the size of our small pizzas. I once ordered a pizza in San Diego and we had to tilt it to get it through the door it was so big.”

Let’s get started…


The Goober Burger & Rodeo Burger

goober-rodeo-burgerWhat is it?
Think you know burgers? You’re a beefy-beginner until you come face to face with one of these meat-monsters. First up, the mighty Minnesotan goober (see previous page): a cheeseburger enhanced by a fried egg and a generous portion of melted peanut butter. Then there’s the rodeo burger (above). Another mutant, the rodeo is achieved by cramming a load of deep fried onion rings on top of the meat and then slathering the whole thing in BBQ sauce. Yee, and indeed, haw.

Christian Stevenson’s Burger Bonus:
“These guys still aren’t cheesy enough for you? Rock some cheese from inside, it will be oozealicious! Make two burger patties, then put a couple of Monterey Jack cheese squares folded up in the middle. Seal the cheese in between the two patties. Crack some fresh pepper and salt onto the burger and give ’em a good BBQ or grill. You can also pop a jalepeno pepper inside to party with the cheese.”


Bad-Ass Buffalo Wings

bad-ass-buffalo-wingsWhat is it?
“A lot of restaurants refer to their wings as ‘buffalo’. But they’re not,” says Darul Rahman, the owner of StickyWings in Lewisham, London. Buffalos don’t have wings – we’re talking about chicken, here. Darul’s wings were recently recognised as being the best in the UK. “They have to be exactly how they cook them in America,” he says. “People get addicted to my wings. They tell me that they wake up at two in the morning craving them.”


Darul’s four steps for making perfect wings
01  “Season a bowl of uncooked chicken wings with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little flour. Place them in a fridge for 20 minutes.”

02  “Prepare a blue cheese dip by mixing up a few hunks of blue cheese, a dollop of sour cream and some mayo in a bowl.”

03  “Deep fry the wings for 12 minutes at 190ºC. Be accurate with the time.”

04  “Melt some butter in a pan. Take the wings out of the oil and toss them in a bowl with the melted butter and some Frank’s hot sauce. Enjoy.”


The Double Down Burger

double-down-burgerWhat is it?
A semi-mythical food, the Double Down was originally a Photoshopped April Fool’s joke until a few particularly unhinged branches of KFC in the southern states decided to make it a reality. Essentially it’s a bacon and cheese filling inside a “sandwich” of fried chicken. The fact people are willing to burn their fingers to eat it is testament to how delicious the Double Down actually is.



Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich

krispy-kreme-burgerWhat is it?
Fried chicken is America’s most popular home-cooked food. Therefore it was only a matter of time before some bright spark had the genius idea to combine it with that other staple of Stateside snacking: the glazed jam doughnut. Americans love three things: freedom, guns and deep-fat friers. The thinking is simple: if something tastes good then it stands to reason it’ll taste even better dunked in boiling oil.


Pile Of Pancakes

bacon-pancake-stackWhat is it?
A teetering tower of starchy goodness, the traditional pancake stack is one of America’s greatest innovations. Yeah, the French might go on about how they perfected the crêpe, but whose idea was it to pile them up to the height of a small child, drench them in maple syrup and garnish the whole thing with delicious crispy bacon? U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

It’s not hard to make your own from scratch either. Mix together some self-raising flour, two eggs, a bit of icing sugar and a large glass of milk. Pour some of the mixture into a frying pan on a medium heat and once it starts to set (after a few minutes) flip it over. You’re done.


Arctic Nachos

arctic-nachosWhat is it?
Americans take sports seriously. How seriously? The arenas where their college teams play American football are bigger than most Premier League stadiums. When it comes to game-day snacks they don’t mess about either. We don’t know whose idea it was to combine nachos with ice cream and chocolate sauce, but we’d like to buy them a drink.



Deep-Fried Butter Stick

deep-fried-butter-stickWhat is it?
What do you mean, “What is it?” It’s a deep-fried chunk of full-fat butter, drizzled with a cinnamon glaze. And before you accuse us of making this stuff up, the Dream Stick (as we call it in the FHM office) is absolutely real. Scotland produced the first telephone. China invented gun powder. Italy was responsible for momentous breakthroughs in painting and sculpture. But only the United States can lay claim to the deep-fried butter stick. God bless America.


Philly Cheese Steak

philly-cheese-steakWhat is it?
Get a big roll and cram it full of onions, beef and lots of cheese. The key to a good Philly cheese steak, according to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, is cheapness. “The first mistake people make is that they use good meat,” he said recently. “You need the fattiest, stringiest meat to get a proper taste.” And as for the cheese: “You have to use Cheez Whiz,” says Ed. “Real cheese doesn’t melt right.”


The Ultimate Deli Sandwich

ultimate-deli-sandwichWhat is it?
Katz’s Deli in New York, owned by Luke Katz, is the best place in the world to eat pastrami and corned beef in a sandwich. Katz’s get through 15,000 pounds of pastrami every week. “I’m a traditional deli guy,” says Luke. “I like pastrami. I like it on rye. I like mustard. That’s it. But if someone likes our meat so much they want to pile it all into the same sandwich? It’s an honour.”

How to do it yourself
The meat: “Both corned beef and pastrami are cured, but only pastrami is smoked afterwards. That’s what makes it pastrami. It’s important you make sure yours has been smoked properly. Otherwise your sandwich is going to suck shit, excuse my French.”

The mustard: “Don’t use yellow mustard. What colour is mustard? It’s mustard colour. It ain’t yellow.”

The bread: “It’s gotta be rye. It lets the meat flavours shine. You need a tough bread. Do not make this sandwich with white bread. When I hear someone order white bread I just wanna slap the shit out of them.”


Photography: Dan Matthews / Conor Sheehan
Typography: Joel Holland

The night I met Billy Blazes. Joe Torrillo. A story about 9/11.

billy blazes

I met this guy on 9/11/2015. I happened upon him at The Gopher Hole that is directly next door to Tuscany Hills Retreat/Resort . . . or whatever it’s called just off the 15 freeway at the Castle Creek Country Club. His friend (another retired fireman from NY) tells me to get my recorder ready. In less than 2 minutes I was in front of this guy, and all I can think of is to use my video, so I shoot. The video is completely dark, but listen to Joe’s story. Much of the story is about why Joe was there that day when the towers fell.

If you make it down this far, you probably wonder . . . ok why was I there at my local watering hole, The Gopher Hole?

The Gopher Hole has been hosting several Americana musical artists from around the globe. Americana music (genre) is about living life, with a country, blues, folk and rock influence. It’s a genre that has meant so much to me lately as my stories unfold . . . about my recent trip to Oklahoma, or nights like this.

This evening I met Bex Chilcott (Ruby Boots) and her guitarist Lee Jones. These amazing artists were visiting from Perth, Australia and played a show in Los Angeles the night before (9/10), and the next evening at The Hole (9/11). Kinda ironic, that these Americana artists are not from America. Bex and Lee were on their way to Nashville, TN to play shows at the Americana Music Awards. Cattle Call Events  intercepted them and brought them here to North San Diego County; and my jaw was open in awe as this 9/11 evening progressed. Once we (Bex, Lee, Jimmie of Cattle Call and I) had realized the significance of who was amongst us on this 9/11, none of us could keep our mouths closed.

It all started with meeting Bex. She’s a feisty gal from Perth Australia. Hey, I have been there. So we immediately hit off our conversation. I told her I was an American Sailor and there began the multitude of things she and I discussed. Perhaps those stories at another time.

Bex is a very warm-hearted interesting gal that has found herself on a brink of success since sobriety. She admittedly says 3 months; and this new clarity has helped her realize that she’s a very talented individual and been given this great opportunity of success from Australia. She needs to think clearly to seize the moment. Not that she was a heavey drinker but she might have a couple before a show. She admittedly said that she realizes her performances have changed dramatically from her perception because she is more able to perform at stellar levels, like tonight. I think Bex is going to find that success here in America this trip.

And Bex can tell a story or two . . . she even finished next to her end of set with “Middle of No-where”. I later told Bex that song is her money song as it talks about dejection and should be sold for most any movie.

Lee is a remarkable guitarist (now on steel) that helped her flawlessly send a chill my way. I think the whole crowd, for that matter. The applause she received this evening was the most pleasant full-house whistling and coo’s that seemed to fuel her more and more with each song. Lee would yank strings once in a while to help set the off-beats of her very unique style of Americana. I spoke with Lee later about his obvious “Telecaster” and the Ernie-Ball strings; his quick and constant tuning (un-noticeable to most, then I caught him . . . he’s fast) perfections never missing his riff or cue as each song played through to the next. These guys were great, I mean awesome as evidenced by driving dancers to the floor. Lee had an obvious advantage of his snappy licks emitting clearly to blend their flair of sound. Then it even got better as Sumbucks joined in toward the end of the show. IMG_3444

As the Sumbucks were kicking off their additional set I happened upon Tom, a retired FDNY (I just learned) fireman that I never got his last name; and once he found out I was a writer, he immediately set me up in front of Joe Torrillo in literally 2 minutes. I had my video to record the event, but didn’t know how to just do voice, so I just started the completely dark (except for one or two moments) video above. At the end I bought them a drink and they were gone back to their  room at Tuscany Hills. Before they left I questioned as to why they were there at The Hole. Tom and Joe do shows across America with a message to bring pride back to this great nation by allowing Joe to tell his story. Another significant feather in this evening’s cap of significance.

Tom and Joe are from New York, Tom wore this medalion. and had the nice thick Bronx accents and attitude. I bet they could tell me where to eat in NY. Anyway, after hearing Joes story personally and thanking them both, I asked them, “how did you find The Gopher Hole?” Tom replied by explaining that they were next door at Tuscany Hills, as Tom held his flashlight up . . . meaning, he’ll find it. A couple of great firemen from New York that made me say . . . “the night I met a New York fireman”. Wow, what an evening. Give a listen, your life will never be the same. Just remember, I met him after Ruby Boots performed and I was dying to tell Bex and Lee. What a damn shame we missed his opportunity to really have set this 9/11 performance from Bex and help promote Joe’s quest as an American Warrior.IMG_3445

FDNY Rocks!


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