UPDATED 11/30/09 Tripping through the San Fernando Valley

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mar52
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2008/12/13 17:49:11 (permalink)

UPDATED 11/30/09 Tripping through the San Fernando Valley

Yes, I'm a Valley Girl. At least during the daytime.

Thought I’d do something very different. I can’t get away from my store everyday so this took me two weeks to complete.

I had a chili dog everyday from different hot dog places around the San Fernando Valley. SFV is in Los Angeles County, California. I work in Sherman Oaks and it was my starting point.

I don’t normally eat chili dogs so this is where I strayed.

Here goes!


QT’s Chicago Dogs
4344 Woodman Ave
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403



http://www.qtchicagodogs.com/

1.5 miles from work

QT’s occupies the corner of a liquor store. Nice to be able to share the rent and possibly sell something to someone who didn’t know that they were hungry. Almost a captive audience!

If you didn’t know it was there, you could easily miss it. I search out hot dogs, so I knew!



Order: One Chili Cheese dog with mustard and onions and a small Diet Coke. $5.79 with the chili dog costing $3.39



I think it would have tasted the same with or without the cheese. It didn’t add anything to the taste.

I sat down at one of the plain Formica tables decorated with a small pot of fake flowers. There never seems to be anyone else there. I guess it could be because I eat lunch at 3PM.




I received the dog without mustard and I could count the pieces of diced red onion on one hand. Do you see them? They’re on top of the chili.

This was a Vienna beef hot dog which I remember loving. Not so this time. The consistency of the hot dog was a little soft. Maybe it was this way because for another $1 a natural casing dog was available. This wasn’t highly seasoned which for me is good. I needed to eat fast and run so I couldn’t wait for them to cook the natural casing dog. The other regular Viennas were sitting in hot water.

The bun was a poppy seed bun that was a little dry. The chili didn’t have much flavor at all. I’d go back because it’s convenient to work, but I’d ask for more onions and please… remember the mustard!


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Carney’s
12601 Ventura Bl
Studio City, CA 91604



http://carneytrain.com/main.html

2.7 miles from work.

What could be more fun? Eating a hotdog in a train car! These train cars and caboose were permanently placed for use as the restaurant. There are two cars side by side with a sort of tube connecting them. The one in the back is the kitchen and you order and sit in the one facing the parking lot. Very clean inside and if for some reason you don’t want to dine in the passenger car you could eat at one of the few tables outside.



Order: One Carney Dog (which is a chili dog with mustard, tomato and onions) and a small Diet Coke. $5.09 with the chili dog costing $3.55. I told them no tomato. Doesn’t belong on my dog!

What I found interesting was on the menu it said to choose between yellow and dark mustard. They didn’t ask me. I happen to like yellow mustard when it’s paired with chili. There was no mention of catsup/ketchup anywhere on the menu, but there was a squirt bottle on every table. I’m guessing it was there for the fries.




Looks great! The dog is longer than the bun which I always like. Covered with chili and diced white onions in a steamed bun. I wouldn’t be able to eat this one while driving. MESSY!



The chili is so good that it stands on its own. I could order a bowl of it with onions and be happy. I’m thinking that maybe there was some filler in it, but that’s quite okay.

However it was quite greasy.

The hot water dog had the perfect snap and was mildly smoky. The bun was steamed! I like steamed buns. However I don’t like them to stick to the paper. By the time I was finished scraping the bun off the paper I had to get up for a fork to finish the chili that was still on the paper. Wouldn’t want to waste it, it was that good.

Funny thing at Carney’s this time was that my Diet Coke had no flavor. Maybe they were running out of syrup or maybe they don’t buy the best grade. I don’t remember it being that way.

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Cupid’s Hot Dogs
9039 Lindley Ave
Northridge, CA 91324



http://www.cupidshotdogs.com/

10 miles from work

Let me begin by saying that I ate Cupid’s dogs for the entire time I was in College at Cal State Northridge. It’s right across the street from the campus. I either liked school or the hot dogs because I was there for 5 years and 2 majors.

Chili dogs with mustard and onions (AKA one with everything) and a small root beer. $5.50 total with the chili dogs costing $2.25 each including tax. Such a bargain, I had two!



They were just as I remembered. A good slathering of mustard sprinkled with diced fresh white onions and topped with the chili. Why can’t anyone else figure out that the onions go under the chili? Nothing seemed to have changed since the 70’s when I went to school there. Even the same concrete tables! I wonder if they had any damage from the Northridge Earthquake.



Cupid’s fare: Hot dogs and only hot dogs. You can get chips and a drink but that’s it.

The hotdogs were longer than the semi-steamed buns and a little thinner than others I’ve had at the other places. They had a natural casing with a little bite and a mild porkish/smoky flavor which was nice. They were served fresh out of a steamer… HOT!

I think it’s their chili that I love. It’s the carb lover in me. Cupid’s has some sort of starchy extender in their chili. No meat, just starch. YUM! I could eat just the steamed bun with mustard and their chili. It’s not greasy at all, probably because of the lack of meat….but I wouldn’t be able to eat it just on it’s own.

Cupid’s was worth today’s drive but I wouldn’t do it that often.


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THE INFIELD
14333 Ventura Blvd,
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423



Only a half mile from my store, but the parking is awful. It took a mile of driving to get this parking space. See the end of the sidewalk? That’s how far I had to walk (gasp) to The Infield.



They have 4 parking spaces which were all filled. I was the only customer. It’s nice that they care more about their own comfort than that of their customers.



I had issues with The Infield when they reopened. They were formally The Dip which sold French Dip sandwiches. I was upset that The Wiener Factory was forced out of their location by the landlord’s hope of Pinkberry paying a lot more in rent. I loved the CCO’s (Chili Cheese Onion) at the Wiener Factory and I miss it!

My issue was that they switched to hot dogs when the Wiener Factory closed. Seemed to me that they were trying to bank on another’s misfortune. It’s true that it’s business and it was the perfect opportunity, but they plastered a huge hot dog banner on the building, covering most of it. It felt to me like they were laughing at the WF’s demise and it was a big slap in the face.

Anyway I gave them a try when they first opened and was served a cold dog in a dry bun. I said I wouldn’t be back but it’s been a few months and I guess everyone deserves a 2nd chance.



The Infield is a baseball themed hot dog stand. They even have bleachers to sit on while you wait for your order and real stadium seats where you can sit and eat. Their hot dog offerings are Hebrew National, Dodger Dogs, Sabretts and Papa Cantellas.



The hot dogs are steamed and they are served on the same buns you can buy in the grocery store. Nothing special there.

Those seats looked uncomfortable so I opted for my CCO to go. I ordered my chili cheese dog without the tomato and a small diet coke. $5.57 What’s with the tomatoes As I was waiting I noticed that they also had Dr. Browns. I give them points for having Dr. Brown’s in the bottle. Add a dollar to my bill for switching drinks. I forgot about asking for mustard.

They don’t think much of their menu. Laminated paper stuck to the wall. Guess it’s easy to change this way:



I was handed my bottled drink and the dog wrapped in foil. No bag. I should have realized when walking back to my car that my lunch was cold.

I opened the foil. ICK! Grease everywhere. Forget about eating it while driving. There was no way I could even hold this hot dog.



Being the Roadfood sort of person I am, I have plastic utensils in my car. My chili dog was made with the Papa Cantellas dog. The dog itself was quite tasty, but lacking in the snap department. Well maybe it did snap. I cut it with a knife and ate it with a fork so how would I really know? It had a dense, not mushy at all kind of consistency. I liked the Papa Cantellas.



The chili was thick, greasy and tasteless. The bun was nothing special. I didn’t finish it because it was like eating an oil slick.

I won’t be back.


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Home Plate Burgers
7615 Reseda Bl
Reseda, CA 91335



9 miles from work

Found this place on the internet. Not real close to my store, but they advertise Foot Longs. How could I resist?

OMG they’re also advertising chocolate MALTS! (I love malts)

Looks like a foot long on the building, doesn’t it? I’d stop even if I wasn’t looking for it.



What? They don’t have foot longs. Boo Hiss! What I ordered was the Detroit Coney Island Dog and chocolate malt. What? The ice cream machine is broken? No Malt?

The Coney is topped with mustard, chili, onions and cheese. Perfect, just what I want. With that I had a small root beer from a machine. Price for both was $5.51. Their small drink is everyone else’s medium. The little extra on the menu that I noticed was that they also serve Vernor’s Ginger Ale. I haven’t had that in years. I wondered if it would still make me choke.



When I got it the server let me know that the hot dog and chili were from Detroit. I also read it on the menu.

It was delivered quickly with a little American flag. Cute!



HOME RUN! This hot dog was almost perfection! The Detroit Dog was heavily smoked, had a little snap and was quite delicious. It was topped in perfect proportions and placed in a nicely steamed bun. After a few bites to get anything loose that might fall on me, I ate it in the car on the way back to work.

The chili was as good as the dog. Too bad it’s so far from work.

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THE STAND
17000 Ventura Bl,
Encino, CA 91316



http://www.thestandlink.com/

3.1 miles from work.

Parked in the shared parking lot to the side of The Stand. Cute rear entrance.



I walked through to the front to try to take a picture of the building front. Not easy up close!

Very interesting inside. It looks like they’re trying to be the Starbucks of the hot dog stands. Lot’s of chrome, glass and display cabinets. I think the Ventura Bl location was the first, but now there are 4 locations. How many make a chain?


They have inside eating,



Enclosed patio eating.



Outdoor eating.

They have room to serve a lot of guests at once.

I was there after 3PM so there were just a couple eating inside and out. I was the only one ordering but they still gave me the vibrating disk to let me know when my chili dog was ready.



My order: Chili dog with mustard and NO tomatoes with a Thomas Kemper Bottled Black Cherry Soda. $7.85 The dog was $4.50 and the drink $2.75

OUCH! It cost way too much even if it is close.

You have a choice of steamed or grilled and I chose steamed to keep it like the others I’ve been eating.

I should have paid more attention. I wouldn’t have paid that much for a drink I didn’t plan to finish. (I’m a Type II type) I just wanted a couple of sips to try the flavor. I actually liked the deep cherry flavor of the Thomas Kemper better than that of Dr. Brown’s. When I was a kid Dr. Brown’s was much better. It tastes watered down to me now.


The vibrator buzzed and it was time to eat. I chose the covered patio. The server carried the hotdog out for me. Do I look that weak?

Guess I wasn’t paying attention to the large menu because the hot dog was served with “Stand Chips”. I’d never order chips, but they’re included. They were also very good, but I only ate a few.



My chili dog looked like a painting. It had a perfect line of hand diced onions running down the top on top of the chili with a fine squiggle of the requested yellow mustard over everything. My first thought was that I like my mustard on the bun, not on top.



I picked up my all beef chili dog and as I was raising the mildly steamed bun to my mouth the entire layer of onions (with mustard) fell on to the chips and the chili was now all over my hands. I had no utencils to pick them up with, but the thick chips worked just fine. Revelation! I found I like onions with mustard on chips. Good thing I wasn’t in the car. It would have been very bad.

I didn’t notice a snap to the dog, but the flavor was nicely smoked. Very flavorful. The chili had ground meat in it. Nice! The steamed bun however seemed ordinary.

Not bad, but I like my hot dogs for the taste, not for how they look. I also like everything to stay in the bun and a reasonable price.

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Fab Hot Dogs
6747 Tampa Ave.
Reseda, CA



http://www.fabhotdogs.com/

8.5 miles from work and I took the freeway

Located in a strip of businesses, Fabs is an Interesting place with lots of choices. There is a little seating indoors, one table outside and you get to watch them prepare your dogs.



It was crowded with just a few people inside. No where to stand while waiting.

Choices! They have steamed, grilled and deep fried hot dogs. The standard is steamed and that’s what I went with this time. They also offer a turkey dog and a veggie dog.



I asked the man who took my order who I assumed is the owner what kind of dogs they serve. He nicely told me that he doesn’t tell. However, he did tell me that they are all beef except for “The Ripper” which is a combination pork/beef dog. The Ripper is the dog that they deep fry. He told me that he flies in the beef dogs once a week from New Jersey. (A hint!)

My order: The Cheese Coney which is their chili/cheese dog and….. A Carolina Slaw Dog! I’ve never seen one before and just had to try one. I also ordered a canned Diet Coke even though they had bottled Dr. Brown’s. I was surprised that they didn’t have a soda machine.

The man/owner was very nice and plated my dogs for pictures and then he packed them to go.



I ate the chili dog in the car on the way back to the store. It consisted of without asking, chili, cheese, onions and mustard. WOW! What a dog! The taste of the hot dog was the best I’ve ever had. The snap was incredible but maybe a little too difficult to bite through while driving. What a great tasting wiener!

There was too much cheese on the dog, not enough onions or chili and the ordinary bun although lightly steamed was dry by the time I ate it. I ate the cheese off the top first because it never melted and could fall all over me while driving. It didn’t have the taste of a chili cheese dog because there was too much mustard. It just didn’t taste like a chili dog to me.

I tried the Slaw Dog when I got back to work. ICK! Not my thing. I love coleslaw on my French Dips and other sandwiches but something was wrong with this combination. Maybe it’s because I hate celery seeds and the slaw was loaded with them. That’s not their fault. BUT… Was this the same chili that was on my chili dog? It had way too much cumin in it and I hate too much cumin! Maybe if I heated it up it would be better. Thirty seconds in the microwave, I took another bite and had to scrape everything off the dog. I was able to eat the chili on the chili dog, but not on the slaw dog. Hmmmm. I guess that means that the chili is home made and maybe from another batch. But that dog! I love the taste and texture of that New Jersey Dog!



I will go back to Fabs because as I was waiting for my order the girls that were finishing up their first order placed another for the LA Street Dog. It looked like the dog of my dreams, a bacon dog covered by grilled onions and peppers. Reading about it on their menu board changed my opinion. I’ll have to alter it when I place my order! No tomatoes, no jalapenos, no mayo and NO Ketchup!

The item on the menu that I found interesting was their Fairfax Burrito Dog. I guess the name Oki Dog is copyrighted. This is an Oki Dog renamed for the Oki’s location… Fairfax Avenue. Ha!

Maybe I’ll even have a mustard and onion, split and grilled dog the next time. I can’t wait!

My new camera came yesterday. Guess I’ll have to read the book because it didn’t work right out of the box. Hopefully any future pictures will be clear.

Summing up my chili dog eating experiences:

Best chili -- Carney’s to eat out of a bowl, but the starchy Cupid’s is still my favorite.

Best wiener -- Tie between the New Jersey Dog from Fabs and the Detroit dog from Home Plate

Best Bun -- QT’s because it was a poppy seed bun. They just need to give it a little more steam

My favorite all around chili dog was from Home Plate. Sure wish it was closer to work!

For convenience I'll be mostly going to Carney's.
post edited by mar52 - 2009/11/30 19:02:07
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59 Replies Related Threads

    EliseT
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/14 04:52:22 (permalink)
    I think home plate (in Reseda?) used to be a bbq joint in the mid-1990s.

    I am still upset about The Weiner Factory!!!!


    #2
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/14 07:17:15 (permalink)
    What a great hot dog tour of The Valley, Marlene! How long did it take you?

    Those Infield dogs sure look like a mess. There's a local hot dog joint here that I thought I didn't like because I always ordered "to go". After everything is double-wrapped and bagged, and allowed to steam for 10 minutes, it turns into a gooey mess. Especially if you are starting with steamed buns.

    Fedex that NJ hot dog to Fox, he'll know what it is.
    #3
    TnTinCT
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/14 07:56:09 (permalink)
    Love the dog tour! Although I love living more "out in the country" there's certainly something to be said for having so many choices in drivable distance! Really enjoyed the report.
    #4
    leethebard
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/14 08:50:18 (permalink)
    Wow,,,so many places...so many hot dogs to try...what a great trip...that slaw dog looked awful good to me!!!
    #5
    ayersian
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/14 18:59:57 (permalink)
    mar52, this is a spectacular report -- and one that we've dreamed of doing ourselves! Thank you for the tips, as we'll be checking them out in a couple of weeks when we relocate for the holidays in Chatsworth. Maybe we can meet over lunch? Chris
    #6
    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/14 19:22:12 (permalink)
    Hi Chris.

    You've got a deal!
    #7
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/15 11:28:59 (permalink)
    Marlene, you and me could hang; I pretty much would get exactly what you got at every stop. Way to be for having utensils in your car! A tip for slaw-dog attempters: you should eat them right away. If there's any wetness at all to the slaw it will quickly sog the bun and be nigh on inedible. I know what you mean about the celery seed though; either you love it or you don't, very little in-between. Great report! I wish I could join you guys for lunch!
    #8
    douginvirginia
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/16 07:47:33 (permalink)
    Marlene,

    Your's was a great example of what a trip report should be. The "trip" was well planned, and the reporting top notch. Just the right amount of photos to convey the setting, and excellent descriptions and commentary. BRAVO!!
    #9
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/16 08:20:01 (permalink)

    I have to laugh at Carney's Limited. It will always remain one of those 'Only in Cali' moments. I went there for the hamburgers, those are good too.
    Anyway, as I was leaving, in pulled a Mercedes convertible with Rosie O'Donnell (when she was fresh from The Flinstones & cool). She was with her gurl gang. I went up to her and in the conversation got her to do a little Betty Rubble schitck.
    I have met enough celebrities, but that does stand out as kinda cool.

    mark
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    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/23 18:02:12 (permalink)
    I received the nicest invite to meet for a chili dog so....



    Ayersian!  AKA Chris and Amy met me at the Munch Box for lunch.

    Great little hamburger/hot dog stand situated right by the railroad tracks.  (Two trains roared by as we were eating)

    After studying the menu I opted for the Western.  I didn't have cheese this time.  I'm finding that cheese takes away from the taste of a chili dog rather than enhancing it. 



    With my Diet Coke it ran $4.20.
     
    Brought to my table by Chris, it was wrapped and ready to be eaten.

    But first pictures!
     


    Unwrapped:



    No damage to my lunch by unwrapping it.  That's very important.

    This chili dog had the perfect balance of chili, mustard and freshly cut onions. 

    I could easily have a bowl of this chili with a sprinkling of the onions and a few crackers.  Very good!

    The wiener itself was lacking in the texture department although the taste was good.  There wasn't any snap at all.  The bun was a standard, grab from the box kind of bun, but paired with everything else it was very good.

    If it had been a horrible chili dog it would not have mattered.   I enjoyed the lunch immensely due to these two:



    Thanks, Amy and Chris!

    If in the area I wouldn't hesitate having another one.

    The Munch Box
    21538 Devonshire St
    Chatsworth, CA
    #11
    ayersian
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/23 18:25:59 (permalink)
    Marlene, thank you so much for meeting us at the Munch Box!  You are so fast in posting this -- my food hasn't even settled yet from lunch!  Have a super holiday, and we'll see you again for chili dogs.  And if you're ever in Western Mass. or Iowa...    Amy & Chris
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    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/24 00:04:28 (permalink)
    Marlene, Chris and Amy are very good company over an RF meal indeed; I'm jealous I couldn't have joined you guys.  Glad you had a lovely day and some lovely dogs.  Chris I'm going to Edna's this week (/gratuitous rub in your face)  :)
    #13
    ellen4641
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/24 01:32:37 (permalink)
    Marlene!!! WOW, what a report!
    John Fox, watch out!! Marlene is giving you a run for the money!
    In NJ, we've got our John Fox, and in southern Cal,  we've got our MARLENE!

    You did your own little 2 week hot dog tour..
    Then for Part 2, you and Chris and Amy had the pleaure of "meating up".

    Those potato chips at The Stand look great!
    And I've enjoyed the hot dogs at Carney's
    been to that Munch Box in Chatworth;
    I just love all those independant little L.A. joints...

    And John Fox would go WILD over having FOUR brands of hot dogs to pick from at the Infield... there's gotta be  a less sloppy version in that place.. one would think..
    I guess with "just mustard" or "mustard and grilled onions"...

    You've really become a pro at this , Marlene...
    your Roadfood buddy,
    ellen

    p.s. Till we "meat up" again in L.A. !!


    #14
    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/24 15:14:17 (permalink)
    WOW!  Thanks, Ellen!

    I had so much fun doing this that I went out and bought myself a new camera.

    More to follow when I come up with a new idea.
    #15
    John A
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/25 07:15:31 (permalink)
    Hey Marlene, super hot dog report and pictures. Thanks.

    PS - I too carry plastic utensils in my car thanks to Wendy's.
    #16
    CajunKing
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/26 18:30:07 (permalink)
    What a great report, Thanks for sharing it with us.

    That trip would make Benzee of John Fox jealous.  Looks like you had a pretty good trip.

    Did you ever getback to get a chocolate malt?? (homeplate)

    It is great you got to share your adventure with Chris & Amy, it was good to see their smiling faces again.

    Great Job - Keep 'em Coming
    #17
    Voyageur
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2008/12/31 00:03:46 (permalink)
    Wow. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent on research every year, often at taxpayer expense, but lots, I bet, doesn't provide the value of this.

    Great report. Thank you.
    #18
    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/11 17:14:27 (permalink)
    Finally found my little camera. Phew!

    Here is my trip down Ventura Bl to Chili My Soul. I drove from my shop in Sherman Oaks to Encino staying on Ventura.

    http://www.chilimysoul.com

    It sits back in a strip mall and is not easy to see from the street. I bet they’d do much better in a different location.

    The clouds are your imagination.




    You order at the counter which is quite colorful. The girl behind the counter was as friendly as can be. She explained the coding system for heat level and offered me samples of the different flavors. They offer 14 different varieties of chili every day switching them up from day to day.  





    You sit in the adjoining room which is decorated with assorted chilies. When your order is ready, they bring it out to you.



    They also sell a few hot sauces. I believe way back in their beginning, maybe 15 years ago the owner bought his hot sauces from me when I was selling them.  


    How do I choose??? I opted for the "Chili Split" which is a bowl of two different flavors. I believe it was $12.95 which is a bit steep in my life.  

    I chose the:

    TEXAS PRIDE (5) The classic Texas-style beef chili brought "up-town" without all that fat. Lean bacon is simmered into this wondrous blend of thee rich, red chiles, black pepper, roasted cumin, and rich beef stock. The 5 means it’s right in the middle, heatwise.

    And

    VERY VERDE (3) Lean and tender pork loin is hand-trimmed and sautéed into a rich tomatillo and green chili broth accented with mild diced red chiles. A most unique and flavorful Southwest presentation. Top with onions and Monterey Jack for the perfect taste.

    The bowl comes with 3 free toppings and I could have more if I wanted to pay 50¢ each. My choice of toppings was the standard cheddar cheese, diced onions and then to be daring my third was the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) which I thought would be good on the Very Verde.

    I chose the cornbread for my side. I could have had fries but the corn bread sounded delicious. It looked delicious. It wasn’t. It was dense with little flavor. I’m guessing the colored it up with some annatto but there was no chili flavor to be found.  



    Both chilies were delicious. I liked the heat of the beef a little better than the mellow pork. There were small pieces of meat and vegetable in both. I don’t think there was any room for improvement. Both great!

    The pepitas on the chili wasn’t to my liking. The consistency wasn’t right. I was looking for crunch and they were lacking in that department. They didn’t enhance at all flavorwise either.

    I ended up dipping the cornbread to moisten it up. Couldn’t have eaten it otherwise.

    It the price were less I’d be eating at Chili My Soul all of the time. It’s that good.

    I really liked this and wish it was on my car:



    The MAR is for me!
    post edited by mar52 - 2009/03/11 20:05:03
    #19
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/11 17:23:59 (permalink)
    Oh that is an adorable little place--what are pepitas?
    #20
    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/11 17:31:27 (permalink)
    Finally fixed the pictures.  The pepitas are salted pumpkin seeds.

    Good right out of the paper holder, but not on the chili.


    #21
    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/11 20:06:33 (permalink)
    HUH?  No wonder you asked me about the Pepitas.  An entire section of my post was missing.

    Even the description of my two choices was missing.

    It's back.
    #22
    enginecapt
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/11 20:32:57 (permalink)
    Excellent reports. This is the first time I've read your SFV dog tour.

    13 bucks for chili? Holy crap, it better rock your world for that price.

    If the pepitas weren't crunchy, they weren't baked properly. Baked seasoned pepitas are my favorite part of Halloween/Thanksgiving.
    #23
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/11 20:43:59 (permalink)
    Oh, no it made sense the first time but even more so now!  I just assumed it was a California thing.  They both sound yummy--were they disappointing or good examples of what they were supposed to be?
    #24
    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/11 22:32:07 (permalink)
    Thanks. 

    Both chilies were very good.  Very different from one another.  I tasted a sample of the chipotle flavored variety and it may be my favorite.

    At this time they have 38 different kinds, some being vegetarian. 

    I would have liked to have had larger chunks of meat in the verde but it's their recipe.  The flavor was outstanding so there is no need for more meat.

    I also found the prices a bit high, but having paid rent on Ventura Bl for 15 years tells me that they need to charge these prices to stay open.  I find that sad.  I'd still be the owner of the shop I'm now an employee at if the rent was lower.

    As for my hot dog tour I've been back to the top 3 and now I have my #1....  Fabs holds that place!  Can't beat those all beef, natural casing Thumann's.

    I'll be back to Chili My Soul!  There are other varieties on the menu I want to try!

    #25
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/12 06:43:59 (permalink)
    Nice pics of your visit, Marlene!  One has to go to a diner or a sports bar to get a bowl of chili around here, pretty much.  Do you think that they'll stay in business with $10 per bowl chili?

    So, you weren't tempted to get the chocolate chips for one of your toppings?
    #26
    John A
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/03/12 07:32:39 (permalink)
    That's two winners in a row Mar, keep up the good work.
    #27
    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/11/30 19:00:19 (permalink)
    I needed something different for lunch so I thought I’d try Stevie’s Creole Bar & Grill.

    I’m not including the address here because:

    This sign has been calling to me:



    I LOVE gumbo!

    I have an hour for lunch and Stevie’s is about 2 miles down Ventura Bl from where I work.

    It was dark inside and there were 2 couples finishing up their lunch and 2 sitting at the bar.

    The hostess told me I could sit anywhere as long as it was in the section near the bar. Then she disappeared for 10+ minutes.

    I was getting agitated with the wait because my time was limited. My drink rant is on the Pet Peeve thread. Don’t normally drink when at work, but this was different.

    The prices were crazy! Had to have the gumbo so I opted for the cup which was $10 and an appetizer of Cajun Popcorn made with real crawfish instead of shrimp.

    Then I waited. I waited some more and finished that stupid drink. Did I mention that the hostess/waitress was also the bartender? Twenty minutes after ordering with no one else in the restaurant except for the two at the bar I got the waitress. I told her that it’s been 20 minutes since I placed the order and the gumbo should at least be ready.

    Her answer…. Everything is made to order.

    Gumbo is made to order??? I may have been a little loud when I said that because half of my lunch hour was now gone and I hadn’t eaten anything. I was thinking that maybe she’s also the cook.

    A couple minutes later she brings me my gumbo.  



    It was a thing of beauty!  

    It was at that very moment that I realized that every food item; one shrimp, one 3 inch section of crab leg that was split, a few slices of sausage and the chunks of chicken were placed in the bowl by hand.  

    Someone, probably waitress woman touched every bite of my gumbo!

    The bowl was filled with rice and topped with a gumbo, gravy sort of liquid. I also discovered what they meant by cooked to order. The one shrimp was boiled in one pot probably while the sausage was being sliced. The chicken looked and tasted like it was purchased in those cryovaced, nice, bite sized pieces. Nothing was cooked in the gumbo broth! Did they not ever look at their banner?

    I finished my pseudo gumbo and told the waitress that she’d better pack the Cajun Popcorn to go because I was out of time.



    They were very good.  I wonder if the fries were a perk.  Funny how the camera focused on the garnish and not the popcorn.

    The dipping sauce was probably sour cream and someone's Cajun spice blend.  Nothing spectacular.

    These were still hot when I got back to the store and so was I. The popcorn was $14 and they had the nerve to charge me $9 for the drink. I’ve never, ever spent $33 on a lunch and if I think about it, probably never on dinner, either.  That was before tip and tax!  I tried paying with a $50 bill.  Should have known... no change so I charged it.

    This is how she brought me the bill:



    Wonder if they wash those glasses. They’re the same ones in which the water is served.

    My take on Stevie’s: If you want Cajun or Creole or any kind of food… Avoid Stevie’s!


    #28
    enginecapt
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/11/30 19:16:46 (permalink)
    Dayum! Those are Westside prices, not Valley prices. You're rich, Marlene.
    #29
    mar52
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    RE: Tripping through the San Fernando Valley 2009/11/30 19:39:49 (permalink)
    Not anymore!

    It's baloney sandwiches for the entire month of December!
    #30
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