Monday, April 21, 2014

Los Angeles Institutions

I'm not even kidding when I say that I have a Los Angeles bucket list. It ranges from restaurants to museums to just plain places I want to see. Naturally, whenever I have the opportunity, I try to cross something off. Last Wednesday, my boy and I went on a date and crossed a few things off the list!

We started the night with Pink's Hot Dogs. B loves hot dogs, so our recent outings have focused on these super glamorous and romantic foods. (Can you feel the sarcasm?) We went out to Wurstküche a few weeks ago, and we were kind of curious to know how these two famous LA sausage joints stacked up against each other.

It's a pretty cool place--Pink's just a little stand off La Brea, where six or seven workers are bustling around the grills and fryers. It's the original building from 1932, and it's such an authentic-feeling place. These hot dogs have such a reputation that, even at 8:15 on a Wednesday night, the line was pretty long! While we waited, we watched the assembly line and deliberated about what to order.

After we ordered, we rounded the corner and paid. It was a quick transaction and we were handed our meal on a tray. We headed outside to grab a table, and tucked in!

In true LA fashion, even a hot dog stand offers a vegetarian-/vegan-friendly option, which makes my culinary exploration a lot more fun! I ate the Baja Veggie Dog, which was a pretty standard veggie dog topped with guacamole, tomatoes, and onions. While the dog was a little rubbery, it was very passable in conjunction with the squishy bun, flavorful guac, and chunky veggies. It wasn't exactly the most graceful meal, but certainly tasty!

B ordered the Chili Cheese Dog, without mustard or onions. In his words, the first bite has a great "crunch", and a very solid taste. The chili, while quite a fine mix, was allegedly on-point both flavor-wise and texture-wise, and complemented the taste of the dog. Finally, the cheese, while nothing more than a simple slice of the good ol' processed stuff, was apparently subtle and added just the right amount of creaminess to the overall experience. B really enjoyed it! He said that it was just a very good, classic hot dog.

Finally, the fries. Mmm, the fries. They were a little greasy, perfectly crunchy, and so well seasoned. While I am known for never meeting a potato I didn't like, I could have eaten these fries all day. After we ordered, we noticed that you could actually order your dog with fries ON TOP. Whoah, game changer! While we obviously weren't in the know for that, I'm certainly intrigued about future possibilities...

With lots of outdoor seating, I can just imagine Pink's jam-packed on a summer Saturday. While we may have gone on a less-busy night, there were still lots of families and youths (ha) enjoying their meal. In regards to how Pink's compares to Wurstküche, B and I agreed that it's like comparing apples and oranges. They are very different experiences, in that Wurstküche definitely has a hip vibe and focuses on gourmet and exotic sausages as well as an extensive beer selection. Pink's is really where you can get a classic dog--no rabbit and rattlesnake dogs here, just a good old-fashioned frank!

After we finished our very classy and dignified hot dog dinner, we hopped back in the car and kept on truckin' over to the Bigg Chill. Now, I've seen this in about a million Instagrams, and I've heard about their legendary frozen yogurt. While it may be a little too close to rival territory, it's rumored to be worth the invasion.

Located in a small strip mall, this small cash-only store also carries an assortment of convenience-store foods, as well as their famous froyo. They have a small selection of flavors, but also offer items like pie, muffins, and other fun things like that!

In true Katherine fashion, I ordered the chocolate with jimmies and Reese's. I debated a few other flavors, including the roasted almond, graham cracker, and cafe latte, but who can resist a classic chocolate? Not me! The consistency was a lot like soft serve ice cream--it was super creamy and delicious. We both got the small size, which are 6 ounces, but it felt like a decadent treat.

B got the simple peanut butter flavor without any toppings--hence the slightly smaller cup! I stole a bite and really enjoyed my sample. It was a bit lighter in texture than my chocolate (do you see the air bubbles?) but it was really excellent in both flavor and consistency. The nuttiness wasn't too overwhelming, and it was a very balanced bite.

Even though we visited late on a Wednesday night, the Bigg Chill was so busy! We somehow made it right before the crowd, but as we left, our table was immediately snagged by other customers. I stopped for a quick picture and Instagram, and we headed back to school, with a greater understanding and appreciation for these classic LA eateries.

I've actually done a fair bit of foodie exploration lately of Los Angeles with B, but I thought I'd be considerate and spare him the camera-wielding, photo-op-focused Katherine for a little while. However, prepare yourselves! He's a great sport and actually looks forward to reading this post, so fingers crossed the camera will emerge some more as we continue to cross some things off of my LA bucket list!

Also, follow me on Instagram @kat_herine_w to see more of my Los Angeles explorations, and the other awesome foods I make and eat!

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