Mendocino Farms again

I forgot my lunch, which was a sandwich, at home, so I came here because I’m never in a good mood if I’m promised a sandwich and end up having to eat something else.

 

Beef BLT. The tomato is roasted! That worked really well with the earthiness of the beef.


Another winner! A nice, meaty sandwich with robust, but still balanced, bread. I added blue cheese crumbles, which are an extra ¢50, and while I could imagine this sandwich still being great without that, but why would anyone purposely deprive themselves like that? This is America, man!
Unfortunately, I ate it in the place, so UCI’s Sociology department (do I even have a sufficient readership to justify a flogged joke?) will have to wait until next time for their next set of data or whatever.

Mendocino Farms

I used to be one of those people who distrusted people who were (what I considered) overly nice to me. It’s a good thing I grew out of that, because this place has stellar customer service.

Now, for those of you that don’t already know me well, sandwich assembly is one of the few things I get snobby and elitist about. But, it’s not coming from my ego. It’s because I grew up on my mom’s expertly assembled sandwiches, with even distribution to all edges and structural integrity (a favorite term of hers). And of course they are delicious. 

Kurobota Pork Belly Bành Mì

“So what are you doing for lunch today?” “I’m just brown baggin it. With this here $12 sandwich.”


This sandwich was, as you can see, well assembled. That surprised me given how fast it came out after ordering. The overall flavor profile is basically that of a Westernized bành mì, perhaps due to a lighter pickling on the vegetables, but therich and not overly hoisin-y pork belly itself was excellent. The ciabatta proved to be a worthy vehicle for the filling, as well as a neat window into an alternate Italian Indochina history.

A solid 10/10.

As good as this sandwich was, it didn’t really do anything for the curious squirrel. 

 

Paris Day 2 (September 2)

We woke early and refreshed. A quick, very French-y French breakfast and we were out the door.

Had to settle for a confiture avec pectine. My mother's pectin elitism knows no borders.

Had to settle for a confiture avec pectine. My mother’s pectin elitism knows no borders.

We had a very simple plan:  walk.

From home we took the most direct route to the Seine and turned left (West). I was reveling and vibing and overall thoroughly enjoying myself when Place de la Concorde suddenly appeared before us! But ya, whatever. Just an Ancient Egyptian obelisk between two gorgeous fountains in the middle of a traffic circle.

I’m writing this in the evening of my third day, and I still don’t understand how all these Parisians go about their lives without having theirs minds constantly blown by all these awesome things just laying around this city.

Once I tore my gaze from the obelisk, I was drawn to this long, almost axis-like road heading away from Concorde. It was very nice. More statues, shops, and some sort of…Arc at the end. A lot of people seemed to be heading for it so we just sort of followed them. After alighting to the top, I felt rather…triomphant.

Picture taken just as I was about to don my sunglasses.

Picture taken just as I was about to don my sunglasses.

And from the top of this…”triumphant arch” we could see this big metal tower. We decided to head for that, stopping for some excellent sandwiches de poulet et jambon crudité on the way.

We later saw that PeGast is a chain. Still, excellent sandwiches.

We later saw that PeGast is a chain. Still, excellent sandwiches.

From the Tour Eiffel we again followed the Seine back Eastward, passing too many points of interest to list without making a huge run-on sentence. I do want to showcase these cool benches, though, from the area around Pont de l’Alma.

IMG_9764

I like a bit of industrial architecture.

This stretch of Seine shoreline, between Pont de l’Alma and Pont Royal, has been recently developed into an ecology-showcasing park-type area. It’s a wonderful walk.

As what was meant to be the last thing, we took a quick walk through the Marché Couvert St. Germain. I ended getting inspired by the beautiful fish, so I grabbed a filet de Grenadier, a couple of potatoes, and a head of rougette lettuce for dinner.

Could always use an excellent tomato, too.

Could always use an excellent tomato, too.

This in turn prompted another quick Monoprix run for heavy cream, red wine vinegar, and more Badoit. I also happened upon Badoit Rouge, the intensément pétillante (intensely sparkling) version of regular Badoit.

I did my usual simple, creamy mash with the potatoes and sautéed the fish in (lots of) butter. The Monoprix brand red wine vinegar was excellent—almost as good as Vilux—and there was a good Italian olive oil left by the last renter of this apartment.

I had a pretty major "moment" while preparing and eating this.

I had a pretty major “moment” while preparing and eating this.

Dinner energized me, but the local disquaires (record stores) were all closed, so I went out for a beer.

The Grilled Cheese Spot

I had originally planned to go to The Grilled Cheese Spot while I was waiting out my jury summons in Santa Ana, but I ended up getting sent to Westminster. Hardly a death sentence, eating wise, but I prefer to avoid sudden changes in plans. I had a free day Saturday, though, after helping my grandparents out with some work in Brea, and The Grilled Cheese Spot was pretty much on the way home. I lucked into great parking just two blocks away with 20 minutes left on the meter, and after giving myself an hour, I was off.

GCS was conspicuous with the crowd of people―some eating, some in line―around its front. Right away I liked the look of the sandwiches I saw in people’s hands. I was struck by indecisiveness, but then I saw the build-your-own menu. There, the only way is up! With the occasional upcharge, of course. I immediately zeroed in on the fried eggs and grilled onions, but aside from those, I circled white bread, cheddar, tomato, and bacon. I also ordered the Government Issue, american on white, to try a classic grilled cheese, the house potato chips, and the house onion onion rings.

I loved both sandwiches! Not as crusty as the ones my mom made me when I was a kid, but the fillings were well heated and activated and all that.

My custom sandwich on top, the Gov't Issue on bottom.

My custom sandwich on top, the Gov’t Issue on bottom.

As good as the sandwiches were, I have to admit that the fried offerings somewhat overshadowed them! The onion rings are obviously handmade, and very well, too. The membrane was removed, the crust was crispy, and the onion tender. The crust had some sort of aromatic flavor that neither I nor my mom could place with certainty, but whatever it was, it was really good. The chips, slightly simpler, were just overall excellently prepared―thinly sliced, seasoned well, fried crispy, and properly dried afterwards. I’ve encountered a good amount of chips that were not subjected to that last vital step.

Nary a grease spot to be seen on the bags.

They were still crispy hours later when I finished them at home.

I’d go back here any day.