Red, White and Blue series: Nothing like a burger!

My trip to America wouldn’t be complete without eating hamburgers and drinking milkshake. So off we went to the only hamburger cafe in town where I was visiting.

After watching program after program on the best eateries in the US, I almost felt like I was in search of the best burger in town, minus a TV crew. This was the only burger restaurant in town, where the other competitors were MacDonald’s and Burger King.

Upon entering the eatery, one would write down exactly what one wanted in their burgers on white food wrap papers where the food would be served in. I was happy because for once I did not have to tell them not to put pickles in my burger. They also served sweet potato fries which I decided to try. They added salt to them. Had I known that, I would’ve asked them not to add salt as I liked my sweet potato fries, well, sweet. But the salt did bring out the contrast between the sweetness and the saltiness and I can understand why some people may actually like that.

The burger was made of 100% beef and it was good; finger-licking good! I liked that it was all beef and not mixed with stuff to look like it was all beef. I was a little unsure about the raw onions and sure enough, the taste lingered in my mouth way passed the burger, fries and milkshake and I had to drink something strong to get rid of the taste eventually. Clearly, fried onions agreed with me better. What really looked good too was the chicken burger and I will try that the next time.

Altogether, it was a jolly good American meal with a jolly good American family!

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Sweet potato and potato fries.

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My juicy burger. It has got to be juicy!

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A vegan burger.

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The milkshake which was very thick. I could hardly suck it up the straw. I don’t know if that’s the way it was meant to be even though I’ve had ‘thinner’ milkshakes before.

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I came back another day for the chicken. Yum.

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Red, White and Blue: Yak and Yeti, no, not their meats!

We were longing for Indian food and my friend brought me to her favourite Indian restaurant in town. So off we went to this place. A yak, I know. But a yeti? Two drawings on their signboard showed a deer or goat-looking animal and a gorilla. The yeti must be a gorilla, or something similar and a Google search resulted in another term, ‘apeman’. Since both animals are known in the Himalayas, I concluded that the food must be North Indian, if it is Indian. As it turned out, some of the food was Nepalese and Tibetan, housed in the oldest Victorian house in Arvada! We ordered Indian.

Being more familiar with Indian food in South East Asia, I was especially surprised at the size of the samosa, which was about twice the size of what we got in Singapore. But food portions are usually larger in the USA to begin with. The taste of several of the dips seemed less pronounced than what I was used to. I liked the meat dishes though the meats were cooked just right and not overly spicy. The weather too played a part as the dryness made some things like the pappadams taste really nice. I liked the Naan bread as well.

Yak and Yeti, 7803 Ralston Rd. Arvada, CO 80002. Te+1-303-431-9000. http://www.theyakandyeti.com

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Pappadam entree with four dips

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The pappadams were great – crunchy and fragrant with spices.

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Vegetarian Samosas that were larger than what I was used to.

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I am used to skin that are thinner as the skin or wrap here was rather thick. But I do not know if such skins are the standard here in the USA though.

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This was like set meal for one person but we ordered it to share between two people which turned out to be a great idea. The rice was of good quality and fine. The meats were not too spicy – we asked for medium spiciness – and the dessert of rice pudding, which I did not know was a dessert at first, balanced out the meal perfectly. The sweetness of the dessert balanced out the spiciness. I then wondered if perhaps in Indian food, the dessert was eaten at the same time and not later, like in western meals.

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Chicken masala

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Plain naan bread which was nice too.

Red, White and Blue series: French Quarter Beignets

A friend made this and I thought fried dough were an Asian thing. Boy, was I wrong! I found out it was French as well. My guess is there is probably a fried dough recipe in about every culture. The French Quarter Beignets (isn’t that a nice name?) recipe here is from Paula Deen. The photos show how my friend made the beignets.

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Preparing the dough

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Breaking the dough into smaller pieces and rolling them out

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Testing the temperature of the oil with a small piece of dough

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Cutting the dough to size

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The smaller pieces were for testing the oil temperature.

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Frying the dough. They rose nicely.

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Draining the extra oil off onto paper towels

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Putting the beignets into a paper bag with sugar and shaking the bag to evenly coat the beignets. Close the bag before giving it a good shake while the beignets are still warm hot so that the sugar will stick nicely to the beignets.

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We tore a piece of beignet which was coated with cinnamon sugar to show that the inside was hollow.

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Powdered sugar coated beignets

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Cinnamon sugar coated beignets

I asked for smaller pieces of beignets to be made and we tried some. The smaller pieces tasted more chewy as there was slightly more dough in them and I did not feel like I had had too much carbohydrate after eating them.

That girl is an awesome baker and cook as well!

Red, White and Blue: Country BBQ

This place is an example of food that is unique to the state that it is found in. This restaurant is quite well-known in Missouri. The portions are usually very generous and we tried not to order too much as the extra food tend to get doggy-bagged.

I especially loved the large juicy mushrooms and was very happy with my salmon and salad meal. And yes, I even pinched some burnt bits of meat off my friend’s salad with burnt bits.

A great place for BBQ meats!

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Jack Stack BBQ
There are four outlets in Kansas City, Missouri. Please click this link for any of the outlets.

Red, White and Blue: Yankee noodles

I was craving for some Asian food to take away when I came across this franchise. I ordered the Pad Thai and my craving for Asian food was satisfied. This little franchise serves decent noodles and the noodles are authentic enough considering that they serve many different types of noodles, not all Asian. It was good enough to satisfy my cravings but not as authentic as what you would get in a Thai restaurant, and understandbly so. Portion wise, it was huge!

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Noodles and Company may be located via here.