Food Photography – Earth, Wind and Fire Scramble

Every time I go out on travel my usual diet goes out the window; it’s not really an option. For most restaurants vegetables in general are just an after thought, never mind an actual complete meal. It can be a bit frustrating, honestly, but on the upside it provides me with an “excuse” to sample cuisine I wouldn’t normally expose myself to; and that is a must when traveling. Exposure to different (and tasty) meals is a highlight of many trips.

Earth Wind Fire Scramble

This past weekend some friends and I went down to Orlando, Florida for a wedding. Disneyland World to be exact. But instead of flying, we decided it would make a great road trip; so we rented a car early Friday morning and embarked on a 15 hour drive. With two other people to rotate driving responsibilities and those two people being friends, it turned out to be a pretty fun trip. We crashed at a friend’s place who happens to live in the city and had a really good time (and ate a lot of really good food).

Earth Wind Fire Scramble Close Up

Sunday morning before the wedding Ben, Lindsey, Carolyn and I went out for brunch at a local spot called HUE and had some really excellent food. On the third Sunday of every month they feature something called Disco Brunch with a DJ and some horribly designed menus (the typographer in me died a little), giving each item some clever name like Billie Jean and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I ordered the Earth, Wind and Fire scramble which was scrambled eggs, smoked ham, Gouda cheese and potato hash. Delicious. If ever in the area for brunch, I strongly recommend HUE.

Travel Day 2 – A Little Mexican, A Little Hype

The food theme for this trip definitely has a strong affinity for Mexican, which makes complete sense given our southern location. Breakfast at the hotel was lousy (fail, Super 8). So lousy that I turned to an apple and some nuts in my pack as a substitute. After a morning of seeing animals at the zoo, we set off for Phoenix with our eyes peeled for potential tasty lunch locations. We turned to Guy Feiri’s site, Flavor Town USA, for suggestions but were too far east of San Diego for anything recommended. After some quick Google Map searching, we settled on Albert’s Mexican Food in Lakeside.


Albert’s was a no-fills stop in a no-frills shopping center not far off Interstate 8, known for their rolled tacos. After ordering, you wait in the dining area for your number to be called, munching on chips as is standard in just about every Mexican joint. You spooned your own salsa from a cooler-like bin along with sliced carrots. I wasn’t really sure what to do with those, so I just dipped them in the salsa and chowed down. Being the Mexican poser that I am, I ordered the Albert’s Plate, which gave me a bit of everything: a standard soft taco (beef), a rolled taco (chicken) and a tostada (vegetarian). The rolled taco, fried, was good but the tostada was what hooked me. I’d never had one before and was told to eat it like a pizza slice. Very messy, but good in its simplicity with refried beans lettuce and cheese on some sort of tortilla.

Albert's PlateTostada

After arriving in Phoenix, we hit the famous In-And-Out Burger for dinner. It seems like everyone you talk to that’s from or been to California says you must eat at this place, so eat here we did. Now, my flexitarian ways aside, I love a good burger. When done right, cooked to perfection, it hits the spot like nothing else. But there are plenty of “meh” burger joints out there. Not bad (though there are those too), just not something you’d ever crave. As far as I’m concerned, In-And-Out Burger is one of those places. The burger was fine, the fries were fine, but that’s it. To quote my travel partner, “Once you’re had one [meh] burger, you’ve had them all.” Oh well, we’ve got plenty of great burgers in the DC area anyway.

In And Out Burger

On day three we’ll be heading north to the Sedona/Flagstaff area. What tasty morsels will we sample there? Time will tell.

Greetings From The West – Day 1

Greetings from far away DinnerCakes HQ! Chef Edwin reporting to you on the road to Phoenix. Day one was pretty rockin’. I picked up Krissy, my travel partner, Tuesday morning and we went to get some grub (priorities). We’ve agreed on a no-franchise policy so we ended up driving around Hawthorne for some tempting looking eateries. We found a place that roughly translated to “my favorite taco” which amused us immensely, so we decided to try that. Unfortunately, my LA driving skills are somewhat lacking and we ended driving around it several times trying to figure out how to actually get into its parking lot. We then found some place called Mi California, with the i’s replaced with palm trees. We had a good feeling about that, which was confirmed by our waitresses’ limited English vocabulary (that is always a good sign).
Wet Burrito

We got chips with salsa and some bean dip which was really a light-ish chili. The salsa was very fresh and the chili was a great combination of beans and beef for a dip. They had this special for the day, a wet burrito which we both ordered. Steak. Oh yeah, so my vegetarian ways have taken a back seat for this trip. Let’s face it, that’s not an easy lifestyle on the road.
Ruby's DinerRuby's Diner Statue
After after a full day of non-foodie related matters (mission beach, dome imax, etc), it was time for dinner. My not-as-trusty-as-I’d like tour book suggested an enticing place called Corvette Dinner in the downtown area. After circling its alleged block several times, we were disappointed to discover its empty wooden frame. Alas, the Corvette Diner is no more. We were in a diner mood, however (Krissy had a hankering for breakfast), so we eventually found a place called Ruby’s Diner. Pretty cool decor and good food. I had a turkey club which wasn’t anything to write home about, but still good. Their shakes, however, were amazing. I love a good shake and the peanut butter cup I had was a perfect concoction. So thick it collapsed the straw. Mmmm…. We filled up on the shakes so much that I couldn’t finish half our meal. We were ok with that. After a busy day and a filling meal, we lost steam rather quickly and didn’t make it out to sample the nightlife. Instead, we went to the hotel and passed out, looking forward to another day.
Turkey Club
Right now, I’m writing this while on the road to Phoenix, our next destination. We’re still not sure what we’ll be sampling while their, so if any of you have suggestions for Phoenix or Flagstaff, send em my way! Most cities you can’t throw a rock without hitting a place for food, but most of them aren’t worth even considering. We want the good stuff.
Mmmm, milkshake
That’s all from me for now. I’ll share day two as soon as I get a chance!
Chef Edwin, the traveler!