Archive for the ‘fries’ Tag

Cluck Cluck   2 comments

The idea of gourmet fried chicken may seem to be an oxymoron. It isn’t. It’s simply a great rendition of this comfort food. I’ve previously written about Bouchon which several years ago began offering the crispy fare, using its sister restaurant Ad Hoc’s recipe, on Monday nights. This is why I was pleased that my recent visit to Los Angeles included the first day of the work week. My enthusiasm was quickly dispelled when a private event closed Bouchon abandoning us to seek different dinner plans.

Beast sign

Fortunately, there’s more than one hen house in Southern California. Monday also happens to be fried chicken night at Little Beast in the Eagle Rock area.

Beast chicken

Little Beast fills the space of a comfortable, craftsman style house. The menu features small plates and seasonal dishes. Happy hour includes drink specials and half-price appetizers. We ordered the charred peaches with burrata. Grilled halved peaches are smoky and summer sweet. The soft, creamy cheese provides a nice balance, while croutons add texture. Slices of prosciutto help send this over the top.

Back to the raison d’etre. Fried to a golden caramel color, four pieces of chicken share the plate with cole slaw and two thin, but surprisingly, flakey biscuits. The crunchy coating is peppery and the meat is juicy. The slaw is made with a vinegar-based dressing featuring sliced almonds. The biscuits can be slathered with the accompanying whipped butter and amber honey.

The servings are large, which makes Tuesdays the day for leftover fried chicken.

 Little Beast

Four-and-a-half Plates

1496 Colorado Blvd.

Los Angeles


On a Lark   Leave a comment


It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes there is nothing I want more than a good burger. One pink in the middle and so juicy I have to wipe my mouth after every bite. I’d heard that hamburgers at Larkburger were cooked to order, but I wasn’t sure about the messiness potential. I needn’t have worried.

Made with 100 percent all natural Black Angus beef, the burgers come in two sizes: the Little Lark, which is slightly larger than a slider, and the 1/3 pound Larkburger. Lettuce, tomato and red onion are standard; other toppings include bacon and three cheese options.

No burger joint is worth its salt without fries. Of course, Larkburger serves French fries, but it also offers what can only be described as a gourmet variation. Truffle and Parmesan Fries, fried in truffle oil and dusted with Parmesan cheese and parsley, are even better than they sound. They’re downright addictive.


The menu provides plenty of variety including a vegetarian sandwich, BLT and Turkey Burger, among others. Three salads are also available.

One thing that caught my eye was The Five Dollar Shake; that’s not just how much it costs, but also what it’s called. I couldn’t bring myself to indulge this time, but such forthrightness suggests it might just worth the five bucks. Prices are on the high side, but quality does come at a cost, as does supporting a company’s efforts to be green.


My Little Lark was a three-napkin burger: every bite was a dripping mess.

Four Plates
1904 Southgate Road
Colorado Springs, Colo.

A Dive By Any Other Name   Leave a comment

Having an open mind and an empty belly are important when dining. I admit I struggled with the former when my family wanted to have breakfast at The Dive. They loved it; I was less enamored. I couldn’t tell how much of my reaction had to do with the name or if I let some minor problems overshadow the meal.

When five of us order and only three get our food at the same time, I take issue. And, toast should be toasted, not simply dry bread. That was the downside – mostly.


I confess that, once it arrived, I enjoyed my vegetarian omelet. The onions, green peppers and mushrooms had been sautéed before being added to the eggs. Along with fresh tomatoes, this extra step made for a very flavorful dish. My husband and two of our sons ordered traditional scrambled eggs and bacon – along with the marginally toasted bread. They were pleased with the plentiful serving sizes.


The Dive is open 24 hours and serves breakfast and burgers all day/all night. With this in mind, my youngest son opted for a burger. His nod to the time of day was to have it topped with an egg. His French fries were better than my too-crispy, somewhat oily hash browns.


For most of the meal the only other female in the joint besides me was the server. Maybe men don’t care what a place is called as long as the food is good. Maybe I should try to follow their lead.

The Dive
Three Plates
3040 W. Pikes Peak Ave
Colorado Springs, CO

Good Food, Good Beer   1 comment

Although the window into the kitchen of Trinity Brewing Company is small, diners can almost see food being prepared. On the other hand, larger windows provide spacious views of the brew master at work. Brew pubs shouldn’t get a pass on food just because beer is their primary focus. Fortunately, Trinity appears to agree – even if the observation point is restricted.

Of course, we ordered beer. I was in the mood to sample the pumpkin saison, but it was only being sold in much larger quantities than we cared to consume. We settled for the Flo, the in-house I.P.A. Trinity brews its beer on premises, but also features around 35 different “guest beers” on tap.

I ordered the Soul Gouda Soup and Forest Salad of organic spinach, red onions, walnuts and mushrooms with a tangy Tahini-lemon dressing. The soup arrived at the table looking like a bowl of peanut butter topped with pretzel pieces and green onions. It’s the kind of thing most five-year-olds would push aside and refuse to taste. My palate is far removed from that kind of disdain, and while I agree it didn’t look very appetizing the soup was decadently rich, creamy and full of flavor. The buttery, smoky gouda was augmented by the Soul Horkey Ale.

My husband’s Balsamic Chicken Wrap was good but messy. We shared an order of Belgian Fries. These twice-fried potato sticks are served in a paper cone and come with a choice of sauces. The homemade Ketchup was a good pick.

Trinity Brewing Company
Three-and-a-half Plates
1466 Garden of the Gods Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO

Celebrating National (Cheese)burger Day   Leave a comment

National Cheeseburger Day was this week. The place for burgers, just good old fashioned burgers, is Cy’s Drive-In. It’s an anachronism. Not just because of the carhops, Formica tables, and Elvis and James Dean posters; it’s the food, especially the messy burgers and thick shakes. Cy’s has been serving traditional drive-in fare since 1953.

The menu board features variations on burgers and includes a few items requiring explanation like Texas Toothpicks. Green chile and grill sandwiches such as BLTs and Pork Tenderloin add variety, but the burgers are the way to go. With or without cheese, the “top of the line” beef patties are juicy and substantial; lettuce, tomato and onion, with mustard and catsup, on a standard bun round out the flavors.The fries are just okay. In fact, they’re weakest part of the menu. The shakes, on the otherhand, truly stand out and are made with fruit and whole milk. Bits of bananas, cherries or strawberries clog the straws, so it’s helpful to have a tall spoon ready to scoop out the thick, rich goodness. A variety of other fountain treats includes sundaes, cones and floats.

The dining area is often full, but picnic tables line the exterior, and there’s always that carhop service that started almost 60 years ago. Overall, the simple food’s pretty tasty, which is no small feat for take-out, dine-in or eating in the car. By the way, those Texas Toothpicks are deep-fried thin strips of onions and jalapenos served with Ranch dressing on the side. Who knew?

Cy’s Drive-In Restaurant
Three-and-a-half Plates
1833 W. Unitah St.
Colorado Springs, CO