Archive for the ‘Fast food’ Category

Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza: Two MM’s cuz its MM MM good!

November 2, 2008
Mammas Margherita Pizza Slice. Yummy!

Mammas Margherita Pizza Slice. Yummy!

My food inspirations initially came from the foodie site www.yelp.com . Real reviews from real people. None of that self advertisement crap meant to exploit the good natured honesty of the real foodies of the world. And so i happened to stumble across Mamma’s brick oven pizza in nearby pasadena. the pictures on the site was enough to stoke my curiosity, so much that on a casual sunday morning, my foodie buddy and I headed over to this joint to begin our enjoyment of a good slice of new york style pizza. the rest as they say, Is History.

Former KFC off of Fair Oaks

Mamma

 

Look at the red and white checkered table clothes

Look at the red and white checkered table clothes

Notice something similiar about the building? well, after a bit of digging around and talking to the owner, we found out that this actually use to be a KFC building, recently in the last few years taken over by mamma’s. Mamma herself, Jamie, spent her time remodeling the place to give it her own homely, non-kfc, appeal by stitching the draperies herself against the windows and a few other things.

 The pizza was so good here, after sunday a couple of co-workers and I came again, friday night after the rush where we were met by the hospitable and friendly owner steve. Curteous and warm, steve is truly a man that enjoys his job and shows it with his customers. upon entering, he set us right with our table, cleaning the table away and rushing us some free garlic knots for us to try before we made our order. Now thats service!

Yummy Garlic Knots

Yummy Garlic Knots

Notice the thin layer of olive oil and garlic over each piece

Notice the thin layer of olive oil and garlic over each piece

 As you can see, the garlic knots come with a glistening of what could only be olive oil with a strong hint of garlic. moist and light,  the knots were also put in the oven for a few minutes for good measure. by the end of the night, i could still smell the garlic and i’m sure anyone that was within a few feet of me could as well. Now thats good garlic.

Look at the brick oven plus the girl trying to hide from the shot. LOL

Look at the brick oven plus the girl trying to hide from the shot. LOL

Now this pizza joint is a fast food/sit down restaruant type of vibe. You order and pay up front, choosing from either the plethora of different pre-made pizza slices or rolls, or the made to order pizzas and pasta. As you can see, their gourmet pizza slices come in a variety of toppings, from the usual fare of pepperoni and sausage, to others such as the Margherita which have fresh mozzarella, basil, zerty margherita sauce, parmigiano, with extra virgin olive oil. All of which is put into the brick oven to heat for several minutes. the overall affect is that of a tasty slice of new york thin crust pizza thats piping hot and tastes like it was just made to order.

The Margherita Slice

The Margherita Slice

I ordered the Magherita slice.  As you can see, they have different types of cheese generously applied to the whole of the pizza, with basil spread throughout. the slice of pizza came out piping hot, melty and long strips of cheese dangling from my mouth. To my suprise, the pizza was actually somewhat crispy, a welcome suprise.

The Brick Oven slice

The Brick Oven slice

My friends ordered the brick oven pizza (pepperoni, salami, italian sausages, mushrooms, olives, onions and resh mozzarella).  You can actually see the mozzarella ( the white patches on the pizza).  this pizza wasn’t crispy, but not suprising due to all the fat and grease coming off the meat, but still a tasty slice for meat lovers.

Mama Jamie and Steve. Suprise mama is asian?

Mama Jamie and Steve. Suprise mama is asian?

it was a joy to see steve interacting with his patrons, seeing him walk up to his customers asking how their meal was, having repeat customers telling him how much they loved his pizza. definitely one of those mum and pop joints that cater to repeat customers. oh, it also turns out steve is a big James Dean fan, thus his request to have his picture taken in front of the james dean photo.

Hazel Nut Gelato

Hazel Nut Gelato

 

at the end of the night, after a good few minutes of conversation, steve was generous enough to offer us some gelato to try. wow, first free garlic knots and now gelato!?!?! score. i have to say, the gelato was a little bit of a dissapointment. i ordered the hazel nut, and looking at the gelato, you could tell that perhaps it was left in the freezer a little too long. the gelato was a little hard to scoop, showing in the layers of gelato and the freezer burn taste. the sample of blueberry i tried was much better, it being the best selling so obviously had not been in the freezer as long as the others. But hey, its free right?!?! best bet for you if you feel like a little desert is to sample all of them first, then make your decision. The worker was more than happy to help us with that. The blue berry was very good overall though.

Overall, great pizza. the gelato leaves alittle to be desired, but hey, i go to a pizza place to get great pizza, and thats exactly what you get here at Mamma’s brick oven pizza plus a good helping of friendly hospitality.

Food: 4 outta 5 stars

Hospitality from steve the owner: 5 outta 5 stars.

710 Fair Oaks Ave
South Pasadena, CA 91030

(626) 799-1344

Yelp reviews
http://www.yelp.com/biz/mammas-brick-oven-pizza-south-pasadena#hrid:JGym1f12AwC1LcQgOIwhnQ/query:mamma’s

Waiola Shave Ice: Tropical Paradise Treat!

October 26, 2008
Waiola Shave Ice

Waiola Shave Ice

This past week i ended up on the lovely island of oahu in hawai’i. My cousin invited me to try this awesome shaved ice place that apparently has been around for a while. Wonder how i never discovered this place before?!? The place is called Waiola Shave Ice and in my opinion has the best shaved ice i have ever had in my life. Wow you might think to yourself, it must be really good shaved ice. well you know what? it damn is. it damn well is.
Click for a better view of the menu!

Click for a better view of the menu!

This original location (there is two in all) is found on a small side street on whats pretty much one of the local corner shops. there you can buy all your small little snacks and drinks. the side window however is where the action really is. on a sunny and warm day in hawai’i (which is plenty and often!) you’ll find lines and lines of people outside waiting to devour this nice cold chilly treat.

One of the locals biking to get some shave ice

One of the locals biking to get some shave ice

My cousin, as the local that has been here before, already knew what i wanted. it was to be the small cup with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom, followed by mochi balls, shaved ice topped with pineapple and strawberry syrup and a nice thick dash of Li Hing Mui powder to top it all off.

Conclusion. absolutely delicious and refreshing. As you can see, the shaved ice is so finely carved, that it resembles not so much shavings as more like a snowy powder. the result of which, applied with a generous amount of fruit syrup ( in this case pineapple and strawberry), you’ll realize that every single part of the shaved ice is drenched with flavor, tasting more like ice cream/popsicle then anything else. The syrup is itself was strong and well balanced, covering up any possible ice taste.  Topped on the shave ice, is Li Hing Mui. its a traditional chinese food, made from salty dried plum. In the bottom picture, you can see it as a red powder on top of the shave ice. From wiki, “The li hing mui is said to be an acquired taste because it has the combination of sweet, sour, and salty taste. Some people also say that it tastes tart, and some even tangy.” Well that quote is pretty much spot on. I’ve had the actually li hing mui seed plenty of times before, but shamefully i have to say this is the first time i’ve had the powder with ice cream, and i’m so upset with myself that it took me so long to find out!

The syrup penetrates every single part of the shave ice

The syrup penetrates every single part of the shave ice

As i dug deeper down, i finally hit the mochi and the vanilla ice cream. the mochi for those of  you that are not in the “in”, is a glutinous rice which is pounded into a paste and then molded into shape. In this case, the mochi were rectangular shaped. The mochi came out nice soft and slighty chewy, exactly how mochi should be. Along with a nice helping of vanillia ice cream (probably generic store brand), the mochi came out tasting delicious.

You can see the mochi in this pic, probably pinkish from the red syrup

You can see the mochi in this pic, probably pinkish from the red syrup

Scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom. still want more!

Scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom. still want more!

Now combine the vanilly creamy ice cream, soft chew mochi, flavorful shave ice, and the tangy li hing mui powder into one scoop and wow, AWESOME!

Parking lot of waiola

Parking lot of waiola

They actually have a parking lot for this place that can handle about 10 cars. must be useful over the weekends. But, now that i think about it, it is a pretty big parking lot for such a small mum and pop joint. Maybe it belongs to someone else?

Oh wells. This place as you probably can already of tell, is great treat. the whole cone cost about 3.50, which is about the cost of a starbucks drink and definitely a good change up from all that caffiene.

I’ll definitely be back here again and i hope i’ve managed to convince some of you that will be heading to oahu hawai’i to hunt this little gem out for yourselfs.

Aloha!!

2135 Waiola Ave corner of Paani Street
Honolulu, HI 96805

(808) 949-2269

Yelp site

Pages: 1 2

The Hat’s : Pastrami & Chili Paradise

September 21, 2008
Chili Cheese fries. $4.59

Chili Cheese fries. $4.59

Most of you that have been visiting Yummy Monterey Park food blog probably have come to a certain conclusion of my eating habits by now. That being, i am inescapably and inevitably addicted to fast food! But most of all, i love burgers and fries. Theres something magical about holding that burger in your hand, being able to taste all the various condiments found in a burger, differeniating between lettuce, tomato, onion, meat, bun, ketchup and all the plethora of possible combinations found within a neatly packaged (though sometimes messy) wrapper. And to top it off, whenever you feel like you need a slight change in your taste buds, you can switch off to french fries for a quick salty change.

That being said, i would like to mention one of my all time favorite establishments of the burger domain. The Hats. The hats is pretty much an icon of the 626 area  having three locations in alhambra, monterey park and temple city, including 7 more establishments within southern california.  Their first location was established in 1951, which is quite an achievement for a small burger joint.

corner of Valley and Garfield in Alhambra

The Hat's : corner of Valley and Garfield in Alhambra

If you’ve lived in monterey park or alhambra, you’ve seen it. Its that place on the corner of vally and garfield. the one with all the people in front of it at all hours of the day and night. hahah.

Always a constant stream of loyal patrons

Always a constant stream of loyal patrons

Parking lot in the back.

Parking lot in the back.

Click for a closer view of the menu.

Their claim to fame is their “world famous pastrami”. ahem. quite a hefty title to go by. i hope they can handle my critique! hahah.

How would i describe ‘The Hat’s’. one word: ALOT…. (or is that two words?!?!?! i never could bother figuring that out. hahah).  for a decent price, they give you alot of food. i typically only order two things from the hats which are their awesome ‘Chili cheese fries’ and their ‘Pastrami burger’. Sounds good already ya?

Eating chili is a messy affair...

Eating chili is a messy affair...

As you can see, their chili cheese fries that cost $4.59 is anything but little. sometimes me and my buddies would come here for a late night snack. 3 or 4 of us will tackle this single gigantic monstrosity and barely finish it ( of course its just a midnight snack, so we chose not to eat that much). They serve it with a heaping stash of golden cut fries. They use the thick potato cut style of french fries which allows for a higher proportion of potato taste to fried taste in every single chip, which any french fries connoisseur will know is what makes a frie a good frie. 

Look that that thick chili

Look that that thick chili

Now for the perfection da resistance! the chili. look at dat chili  man! i ain’t talking about no frilly little watered down eat before bedtime chili. I’m talking about a heart attack inducing, takes an hour to slide down your throat, can’t sleep with your girlfriend type of chili. Absolutely marvelous. the chili is thick, with plenty of of chunks of ground meat in every bite. the texture is what chili should be, the chili itself isn’t spicy, but has a strong and vapid smell to it, and the color of it is a nice bold cyan red that in my opinion gives the chili a even more pleasant appearance. On top of the chili is a handful of cheddar cheese that melts into the chili giving it even more flavor and fat to go along with your already clogged up arteries. PERFECT!

Patrami burger. dinner for two. $6.99

Patrami burger. dinner for two. $6.99

Now if we really want a meal, i also order a pastrami burger. At 6.99, its pretty expensive considering a burger iself is around 2.00, that would mean the extra pastrami they heap onto the burger is another 4 or 5 bucks. pricey…. i didn’t know the going rate for pastrami was that high. hahah.

As you can see, its pretty big, usuall good enough to split into two. Its a typical burger, however as you can see they add quite alot of pastrami onto it. enough that i can’t quite exactly put my mouth over the entire burger. i gotta tackle it in two bites. lol. the pastrami is overall pretty good. Sometimes i get good moist pastrami and other times i’ve had some lackluster pastrami that was a little on the dry so, so overall its a hit or miss on their part. That being said, even when the pastrami is a little too dry, you could still smell and taste the pastrami, indicating they have quite a good recipe in terms of seasoning and curing the beef.

Stop by sometime, you are definitely in for a treat!

4 outta 4 stars!– Gotta try it!!

The menu and location can be found online their website.

http://www.thehat.com/index.htm

My First post!

August 24, 2008

Welcome to Yummy  Monterey Park.  I know its been quite a few months since i started this blog and yet without a single post, you can’t really call it a food blog then eh?   I didn’t do a single thing since then. i was just absolutely AWOL.   SORRY!!!! =) on the plus side, throughout the months i’ve been quickly compiling a list of restaurants and pictures so that you’ll have a complete and compiled list of great MPK foodies on a regular basis. ENJOY! ANd so lets get started!

 Originally i wanted to start off with one of my most recent discoveries, Bollini’s a pizzeria in Monterey Park that served some of the best Napoletana style (thin crust) that i’ve ever had. Unfortunetly, they wouldn’t allow me to take pictures of their food , WTH?!?!, so i’m gonna have to review it another time once i go ninja photographer on their ass. hahaha. Until then, heres…

  BELLY BUSTER SANDWICHES

Pastrami

Pastrami

 I have mixed reviews about this little mum and pop’s sandwich shop located near the corner of atlantic and valley in alhambra. My fellow food critics on other sites have praised the heck outta this place. Telling me they have been going to this place for decades, that the bread is sooo soft and tender, and the tuna sandwich is to die for. To die for eh? Well I’ll decide whether I’ll take a bullet for this sandwich or not, thank you very much!

 

Me and my buddy decided to hit up this ghetto yet relatively clean joint after a good long hike through eaton canyon falls. A must if u live in the 626 area. More on that in another post. Lets just say at the end of the hike is a pretty darn good looking waterfall, that for the most part (hot summer day’s excluded when the rain water dries off).

the outside on valley blvd.

the outside on valley blvd.

There’s only outdoor seating, a few benches here and there to serve the local lunchtime crowd. As you can see, they don’t quite care for the athestics… Look, there are bars on the window! But wait! We can’t really call this Alhambra without all the Asians, so where are they?

 

 Oh wait, there they are. They are behind the counter taking our orders! It’s a mum and pop joint, the daddy making the food and the mummy taking the orders. Now, I don’t wanna be stereotyping, but heck, I have to because it’s pretty true, and that is, Chinese people are all business. The mummy was polite, but straight forward, offered good suggestions for food, but never really offered a smile. Really she just wanted to take our order and get it over with. Heck, I can live with that. If I wanted good service with a friendly smile, I would of gone to a really really expensive steak house, where I pay for them to smile. Hah!

 

As you can see, they have a huge menu board located to the right of the counter. They are most famous for their namesake, the belly buster, which is a foot- long sub containing a bunch of meats and imported cheeses. We got that with a side of small fries and onion rings.

 

Footlong Belly Buster w/ onion rings and fries

Footlong Belly Buster w/ onion rings and fries

As you can see, when we ordered small fries, what they really meant was small… for an elephant. They gave us a lot of fries for 1.49. Not the stringy shoe string kind, but the kind with a thick potato inside that gives you a good amount of taste. Personally I thought the fries were a little too cooked for me, but my buddy told me it was some really damn good fries in his opinion. I chose to ignore his opinion, because well, compared to my fast food expertise, he doesn’t know jack shit. Hah dude. Take that!

 

 

 

The onion rings were good but they didn’t give as much as the fries, and really, how can you screw up onion rings right? As for the main food, the subway, I was very dissapointed in it. Everyone was telling me how good the bread was, how soft and warm it was. When we got it, it seemed cold and somewhat hard. The buddy said this sandwhich was premade, which I had to reluctantly agree with because it had a cold temp to it throughout the entire sandwich. So sad. On the plus side they had salami, pepperoni, ham, turkey and a few other meats that really gave the sandwich a really good meaty kick. Elsewhere this sandwich, say subway, would go for close to 7 or 8 bucks.

 

Chili Cheese Fries!

Chili Cheese Fries!

 Moving forward, I decided to give the joint another try a month or so later. This time I wanted to try the hot sandwiches such as the pastrami in the very first picture and some chili cheese fries. The fries look good right? Meh. Looks can be deceiving. Though the fries were nice and crispy, they really skimped on the chili. The chili itself was watery and barely contained any ground beef at all. The Hats on valley and Garfield is head over heels better than this stuff. I can’t recommend this chili cheese fries. The pastrami itself was okayish. Pastrami was decent, a decent flavor to it but the texture was a little too dry for my taste and also the bread was kinda hard. I could only finish half of it, and later on in the afternoon, when I re-toasted the pastrami, it actually tasted a lot better than the first time around. Hah. Go figure.

 

 

3 outta 5 stars

 

Overall, I’d give this place a go every once and a while. Its cheap, fills you up, and overall not bad. Just another average sandwich shop.

 

Neighborhood: Alhambra
1142 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803

(626) 284-2083