Tag Archives: video review

Bacon Quest: Bacon Bacon Truck in San Francisco Reviewed! (with video)

Gentle Readers, it has been too long since The Practical Cook broke out the video review. Fear not, she is reunited with her camera and on the road. Better still, she is stalking that crowd favorite, bacon.

I learned about the famed Bacon Bacon SF food truck a few months ago, when I was, well, talking about bacon at a Tweetup. You would be shocked how often that happens to me. They have everything from your standard bacon grilled cheese to bacon popcorn and chocolate bacon.

The Menu at the Bacon Bacon SF Food Truck

The Menu at the Bacon Bacon SF Food Truck

Accompanied by fellow bacon fan, whom I shall call Semper Fried, we decided to try as much as we could across the menu, for science of course. In our meager defense, we walked to and from the truck, and that was some reasonable distance.

Pork Belly Taco and Pork Belly Fries: Delicious in a box

Pork Belly Taco and Pork Belly Fries: Delicious in a box

I had the Bahn Mi and Chocolate Bacon, he went for the Pork Belly taco and Pork Belly fries (they made me think of Southern BBQ, a win). The bacon was exceptional. I am in the process of determining where it came from. My sandwich was good, the pork meatballs were nice, but I’ve had better pork belly. The money is really on the bacon here, it is outstanding, thick without being jerkylike, not overly hammy or salty, very balanced with a pronounced bacon flavor.

Pork Meatball Bahn Mi with Bacon!

Pork Meatball Bahn Mi with Bacon!

Would I go back? Absolutely, if only to buy more chocolate bacon. Yeah, it’s good, don’t try to kid yourself about that. Go early, the line forms fast. I think I’m going to try the vegetarian option next time, with bacon.

Chocolate, Meet Bacon.

Chocolate, Meet Bacon. ❤

Will you go out of your way to eat bacon? Tell me your story or issue a bacon challenge in the comment box below!

The Bacon Bacon Food Truck in San Francisco! Hunt it down today!

The Bacon Bacon Food Truck in San Francisco! Hunt it down today!

Food truck recommendations, kudos, and culinary challenges can be sent to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Friday, Roasted Spring Vegetables Recipe.

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Turkey Talk: Restaurant Review of Bosphorus in Cary, NC (with video)

Gentle Readers, when fellow adventurous eaters say “get in the back of the car, we’re leaving,” The Practical Cook hops in without question. Though I would like to tell you this was the getaway vehicle (a la Jack Bauer):

This was not the getaway car, though it should have been.

This was not the getaway car, though it should have been.

It was not. However, the destination, Bosphorus in Cary, NC, is worth the trip, no matter your means of transport. So delicious, I had a moment at the table in regards to the eggplant. Apologies to dining companions Buttercup and Waldorf for bearing witness, but as the tape indicates, I’m lucky I got any food at all. Let’s investigate, shall we?

And here’s what we ordered, in translation:

The Bread: It just came to the table, unbidden, but you do want to try some with the mildly spicy dipping oil. Take that Dr. Atkins.

Turkish bread with peppery oil dip. Do not cut carbs on this one.

Turkish bread with peppery oil dip. Do not cut carbs on this one.

Bosphorus Meze Platter: The Sampler Platter, not to be missed. Everything was good, the  baba ghanoush was not to be missed. I do heart eggplant, but this was perfectly balanced, smoky without being bitter or overly chunky.

The Meze Platter at Bosphorus

The Meze Platter at Bosphorus

Cigar Bourek (Sigara Boregi): These are the taquitos or mozzarella sticks of Turkey, apparently. Deep-fried phyllo dough stuffed with feta, served with marinara. I liked these, but wanted a slightly more pronounced feta taste. The Juniors will love them, I might save my fried quota for the next item.

Turkish Deep Fried! Because that is what I do. (Cigar Bourek, phyllo wrapped feta.)

Turkish Deep Fried! Because that is what I do. (Cigar Bourek, phyllo wrapped feta.)

Fried Eggplant & Green Pepper (Patlican Kizartmasi): And then I had a moment at the table. This was the first dish I tried, ordered because of my love of the eggplant, and I was not disappointed. It was warm and crispy, yet smooth with the yogurt. It was a veritable vegetarian party in my mouth. Hunt this dish down and eat it. Try to avoid sharing.

Turkish Fried Eggplant at Bosphorus: I must have dimmed the lights for this photo so I could be alone with it.

Turkish Fried Eggplant at Bosphorus: I must have dimmed the lights for this photo so I could be alone with it.

Lahmacun: Ground beef with spices atop a thin dough. This isn’t crisp like a pizza, more like a really good tortilla or roti. And these things rock. I almost didn’t get to eat one, because I was too busy communing with the eggplant/photographing for this review, that’s how good they are.

Lahmacun (or Turkish Beef Pizza) at Bosphorus in Cary, NC

Lahmacun (or Turkish Beef Pizza) at Bosphorus in Cary, NC

Ali Nazik: Beef and lamb kofta-style kebab over a bread salad. OMG. I would order this for the bread salad alone, drenched in tomato sauce on one side, and yogurt on the other. With my texture issues, this isn’t one I would’ve ordered on my own, but was one of my favorite items. Take the leap of faith, order this, then tell me what you think.

Ali Nazik with Bread Salad: Try this!

Ali Nazik with Bread Salad: Try this! It tastes like delicious.

Bosphorus is family-friendly, delicious, and not hard to find, even by Cary standards (I find the place unnavigable, forgive me). The wait staff was amazing, the food arrived almost before we ordered it, and I left just wanting to eat more. Put it on your short list to try. Thank me later by sending me a picture of your dinner.

Have you tried Turkish food? Post your thoughts in the comments section, or Tweet at me. I’m standing by, waiting for your call.

Got ideas for the blog? Want to challenge The Practical Cook? Email practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today to stay current on all of The Practical Cook news!)

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Tomorrow, Hoppin’ John, Simplified.

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Fried Chicken Friday: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles Review (with video)

Gentle Readers, never has The Practical Cook been so please with an ongoing research project. The quest for delicious fried chicken now promises to take her from coast to coast. So if you’re not in Durham, NC, take comfort. If you are, get in your car and go immediately to Dame’s Chicken and Waffles.

Dame's Chicken & Waffles in Durham, NC: Do not miss it!

Dame's Chicken & Waffles in Durham, NC: Do not miss it!

So how was it? Let’s roll the tape, shall we?

The chicken was off the charts good, and the waffle was quite delicious, too. Since I’m a dark-meat fan, I went for the chicken legs, on the bone, and they were seriously fantastic. Crispy, juicy, well seasoned, and hot to the table.I would put this on the list of things I might want to eat for my last meal. Not kidding. That good. Great plain, with syrup, or with hot sauce!

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame's. Wow.

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame's. Wow.

There were no green veggies available the day we went, so it was a carb-fest, but with a twist. The cheese grits also rank amongst the best I’ve ever eaten, and believe you me, I’ve made a life study out of cheese grits, in my kitchen and beyond. Delightfully herby and cheese, these grits never stood a chance, even after I polished off the waffle.

Cheese Grits from Dame's Chicken & Waffles: Possibly the 8th wonder of the Southern Culinary World.

Cheese Grits from Dame's Chicken & Waffles: Possibly the 8th wonder of the Southern Culinary World.

If you’re in the mood for something different, or boneless, that’s covered to. Please see the chicken breast and sweet potato waffle ordered by my friend in fried, who I shall call RockStar, because it fits. Her meal was a bit easier to eat as a unit, while mine was more a study in components, going back and forth between the tastes and textures. The mac and cheese was also herby and cheesy, good to the last drop.

Sweet potato waffle and fried chicken breast from Dame's Chicken & Waffle.

Sweet potato waffle and fried chicken breast from Dame's Chicken & Waffle.

Big thumbs up, I’ll be returning soon. For the people who asked me if chicken and waffles actually go together, my answer is this: are you kidding me? Eat them separately if you must, but I dare the non-vegetarian (and I see some of you eyeing that chicken, let’s not lie) reader to tell me those two things aren’t delicious. Why not try them together? Just go to Dame’s, then thank me later. I won’t say I told you so, pinkie swear.

The story of Dame's Chicken & Waffles

The story of Dame's Chicken & Waffles

Where do you stand in the chicken and waffle debate? Post a comment below!

Send field research options, maple syrup, and napkins to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next: Cookbook Review!

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Deep-Fried News: Kool-Aid and Bubble Gum at the N.C. State Fair (with video taste test)

Gentle Readers, good news, The Practical Cook is not under a Deep Fried Embargo: she can tell you what is frying at the 2011 N.C. State Fair! Prepare to return to the days of Saturday morning cartoons (at least for me), it’s Deep-Fried Kool-Aid and Bubble Gum, with a side of Lemon Sticks. Wow, let’s get started, shall we?

Yeah, I think there are tickets available.

Yeah, I think there are tickets available.

First came the update on what’s new at the fair. Good news, more family-focused rides, and more rides in general. Perfect stops between snacks or more opportunities to lose your fried, depending on your level of tolerance.

Deep Fried Warmup with Murphy House Fried Chicken (and salad!): Awesome!!

Deep Fried Warmup with Murphy House Fried Chicken (and salad!): Awesome!!

Second we learned that there are more entries in almost every category. That’s basically more fair for your buck, think about it. Just good basic math at work there. So you’ll need a plan of attack, and possibly a buddy system. For the plan, download the N.C. State Fair App (called the Food & Fun Finder, yes please).

Look what's frying at the N.C. State Fair!

Look what's frying at the N.C. State Fair!

And now, here’s The Practical Cook, your Deep Fried Ambassador, with a special video sneak peek at the Fried:

What are you going to eat at the fair? Is there anything you will not eat? Post a comment below, or Tweet me with #ncstatefair to challenge me to try something on air!

Send your questions and double-dog dares to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, Bringing the Fair Home: Biscuit Doughnuts!

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Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco Treat (video review)

Why, oh why do I agree to take on all challenges that won’t kill me? Reading the Rice-A-Roni box gave me heart murmurs, as generally my dinner is not comprised of a litany of yellows and reds with numbers. But a faithful reader (with a devilish and fab sense of humor and irony) challenged me to taste it on air. Can this classic supper be saved? Let’s find out, shall we?

Surprisingly, the pasta and rice part of this boxed wonder is pretty tasty.

Toasting the Rice-A-Roni per Box Directions

Toasting the Rice-A-Roni per Box Directions

The problem starts when you open the spice packet. It gets worse when those special flavorings and spices warm up enough to hit the olfactory nerves. And when you taste them, it takes you back to those horrible Lipton Cup-o-Soups. Additionally, the aftertaste is bitter and lingers, coating the throat in something akin to sleeping for 8 hours with your mouth wide open.

Inside the Special Seasonings Packet of Rice-A-Roni Butter and Herb Flavored

Inside the Special Seasonings Packet of Rice-A-Roni Butter and Herb Flavored

Since this blog is posting while I’m in California, I make you the solemn promise that I will be seeking out the true treats of San Francisco, not falling for anything with a trolley on it.

Rice-A-Roni Herb and Butter "Flavor"

Rice-A-Roni Herb and Butter "Flavor"

In the end, this supper could not in fact be saved. The only salvation is if you throw out the seasoning packet and just toss it with some nice stock and a few fresh herbs.

Are you a fan of Rice-A-Roni? Post a comment below, or Tweet your boxed pasta love.

If you’re not a certain cousin of mine, send suggestions for foods to review to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, actual food, Sartori Salad with Apples and Walnuts.

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