Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Queasy Pollo Campero Protein Fix

Found myself starving before opening the concessions stand for our theatre group in Hollywood and knew that if I didn't get some dead flesh in me I was liable to o.d. on chocolate chip cookies so I picked up a two piece (leg and thigh) meal which came with a side of coleslaw so vile I will not speak of it. I added a side of (soppy but flavorful in that greaseball way) fried bananas. Yes. I am an asshole to order fried bananas on a chocolate cookie avoidance mission. The buzz on Campero has so died down, I forgot it was a fried, rather than grilled (ala Pollo Loco) product. I haven't eaten KFC in many moons but in the realm of taste and sensory memory this gnarly, gristly, grease soaked stuff was reminiscent of the Colonel, only with more chili powder and salt. And my 2 pieces of chicken, green regurgitation that will be not be named, gushy bananas and a beverage cost over 9 bucks.

The Lives I've Spent at Porto's

I am one of the concessions girls for the Silverlake Children's Theatre Group and because were running a show called, Havana, Porto's seemed a logical choice. I hadn't been to the Glendale location since the expansion and now it is truly city sized. I noticed that they even have their own food manufacturing plant as the white chocolate slabs used to add text to a cake, were labelled a Porto's product. It takes a long time to get through to Portos via phone but when I did my order was taken efficiently. We had 6 individual orders over two weekends. The parking was difficult most times. From checking in to receiving pre-ordered products look less than a half hour on the best day and nearly two hours on the worst. Once my order was still not ready, even when I arrived after the scheduled time. Twice my order was not wrapped according to my (quirky albeit clearly delineated) specifications. Considering the amazing volume of business I guess the operation is surprisingly efficient and that staff are pleasant natured.

We ordered feta and tomato and medio noche sandwiches. The feta sandwiches were surprisingly good but the Porto's bread has a dry quality and doesn't blow me away. We also ordered beef, cheese and chorizo empanadas. The beef were quite popular but the word of mouth on the chorizo wasn't good. This is not food I would drive out of my way for but it is inexpensive and good to order in high volume for events and occasions . During my wait I saw many elaborate cakes. These are reasonably priced attractive but commercially produced bake goods and nothing from the bakery I've tried has been even marginally delicious. I bought a showy fruit tart as a birthday surprise and while it had a pornographic presence, the custard tasted like a canned product and the fruit was so unctuous with glaze it passed out of the realm of fresh and into something that should float in jello.

Portos in a phenomena and such a pulsing center of action and energy I can't really fault it but there isn't a food or bakery treat that really calls to me, it's all seems rather work-a-day. I have yet to try the Burbank location. I am told the crowds are far smaller but they have less of a production area and less flexibility with regard to certain food and bakery orders than Glendale.

Glendale Location

315 North Brand Blvd.Glendale, CA 91203 tel. (818) 956-5996

(818) 956-069
Burbank Location

3614 W Magnolia Blvd.Burbank, CA 91505 (818) 846-9100

Raul's Highland Park-Muy Amable! Tacos & Wi Fi

Obscenely fat little tacos of delicious chicken and beef that was thoughtfully seasoned and complicated. Also, really satisfying is an incredibly earthy sinewy rich and funky birria. Enchiladas seem often available as a special and I have a hankering to try them next. Rightous owners.


4017 N. Figueroa


Closed Thursdays

Monday, June 11, 2007

New at the Atwater Farmers Market

Because I'm such an early bird I usually do the Hollywood Market but Atwater, which starts at ten, is really great because the parking is so easy and the selection gets better every week.

I was thrilled to see the South Central Farmers--who believe in growing their vegetables BIG and selling them CHEAP and nothing is ever short of delicious--have a booth now with wonderful greens and radishes. Delmy, the famous Pupusa maker at Hollywood has sent her absolutely adorable daughter to spin off a satellite in Atwater. There was no line this week but I predict that shortly to change.

I have never tried the locally roasted coffee sold at Atwater because I am turned off that samples are served with non-dairy creamer. Is it worth tasting anyway?