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Hail Tequila!

Posted by Caveman Cooking on July 26, 2012

Redskin Shot Glasses and Chinaco Anejo Tequila“Hail to the Redskins! Hail Te-qui-la!!”
That’s what we were singing as we toasted the start of Washington Redskins NFL training camp with my brand new logo shot glasses, tonight. My dear, lifelong friend, Rich, dropped them and a bunch of other Skins’ swag off the other day. These cast logo glasses, encased in a beautiful Rosewood box, were the centerpiece of my incredible windfall.
Of course, I wasn’t going to pull just any old alcohol out of the bar. After all, it was National Tequila Day on Tuesday. I had to go tequila, and I had to go top shelf, all the way! Which is why I reached for the Chinaco Anejo tequila. My introduction to this fine, nutty brand of Agavé juice came about 20 years ago courtesy of a blues rocker named “Doc”. Haven’t found one I’ve liked better, since … and, believe me, I’ve tried! Whether poured straight out of the bottle, or gently shaken on ice and strained (a la James Bond’s martini), it’s unique flavor and smoothness will appeal to any tequila aficionado, and will even convert those nose-turners who cringe when offered a shot of “Ta-kill-ya”.
My hope is that Robert Griffin III (aka RG3) and the rest of the Redskin crew will give us many reasons to repeat tonight’s ceremony, and that the 2012 season, and beyond, will be filled with spectacular highlights, Super Bowl victories, and some inductions in Canton, Ohio! Hail to the Redskins! Hail victory!! Hail Tequila!!!

©2012 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at https://cavemancooking.wordpress.com authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Birthday Burgers & Bass

Posted by Caveman Cooking on May 1, 2012

Yesterday was my birthday. I won’t divulge my actual age, but let’s just say that I clearly remember when my weight was the same number! 😉
Marty's Double Chili Cheese BurgerOne of my birthday traditions is to make a double-chili-cheese-burger pilgrimage to Marty’s Hamburger Stand in West LA … a little classic So Cal food shack tucked in between a fire station and a gas station. I have been frequenting this place since I was 15 years old … and somehow feel cheated that I didn’t know of this place during those preceding years. Yeah, it’s that good! And, every April 30th, it takes an event exceeding armageddon to stop me from my appointed rendezvous with two burger patties (medium rare), two slices of cheese, shredded lettuce, thick tomato slice, dollop of mayo, grilled onions and “a little extra chili”. Even the 1992 Los Angeles riots couldn’t keep me from burger bliss!
This year was no exception, despite the 40+ mile trip and the nosebleed price of a gallon of gas. As usual, the first bite was nothing short of ecstasy, and the last bite pure sorrow that this gastronomic gala was coming to a precipitous end. Nonetheless, I left this oasis with what was left of my Orange Bang in my hand, and a huge chili-eatin’ grin on my face, and headed towards one of my other B-day customs … FISHING!
I met up with big fish guru Mark “Chief” Torrez at Westlake for 2.5 hours of birthday Bassin’. It was sunny, warm (80°), and clear with a slight breeze. We found a few bedders, but they were very reluctant to strike anything we offered, yet were very willing to blow up recently hatched fry that came too close to their lairs. Finally, Chief got things going with a nice 3.5 pound chunk on an 8″ swimbait (picture is on his camera).
4 Pound 14 Ounce Largemouth BassNot too much later I got on board when a Malibu-rigged 5″ Senko (194) got ticked on the drop of a “dinnertime” cast to a dock piling. When the line began to tighten, I dropped the hammer … BOOM! Had an extended fight and several aerials from this 4-14 battler.
I farmed one other, a big bedding female on the hookset, before we decided to spend our last half hour on the other side of the lake. Soon after we got there, I had two nice fish flash on my Custom Cave jig but couldn’t connect. I switched back to the Senko and got a nice 3.5 pounder (no pic) to the net, and then had another pick-up and drop before I had to call it a day … a great birth-day!
I said “Chula vista” to my fishing partner, but not before he bestowed several nice fishing goodies upon me for my big day. Always nice to receive gifts from a fellow angler … they just know exactly what to get you! 😉 Thanks, Chief!!

©2012 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at https://cavemancooking.wordpress.com authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Road Trip Hit: Ranch Hand BBQ & Grill (Newbury Park,CA)

Posted by Caveman Cooking on September 18, 2010

Ranch Hand BBQ & GrillAnother installment of Road Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series features some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.

Okay, so this technically wasn’t a “road trip”. Just a quick lunch stop between picking up the Cavegirl, who gets out of school at 1:30, and corralling the Caveboy, who gets out an hour later. But, Ranch Hand BBQ & Grill (NOTE THEIR NEW ADDRESS: 1015 Broadbeck Drive Suite A Newbury Park, CA 91320 805-375-4252) is truly your typical road-house type of establishment (also known by such names as “greasy spoon” or “hole in the wall”), offering tasty, hearty food at a reasonable price.
Having spent the entire morning and lunch hour in a voice over session, I hadn’t had a chance to eat a thing yesterday. Since my stomach was talking louder than I could speak, I thought it might be a good idea to appease the belly-beast. Ranch Hand has been on my radar to try ever since we moved into the neighborhood. Though, it was always an afterthought as I would drive by and say, “Oh! We should have gone there!!” after munching at some other local spot. Yesterday, however, that little light bulb went off over my head as I drove to the school and I eagerly awaited my introduction to the local Q-house.
As we walked in, I noticed the old authentic Western saddle by the door … nice touch. There was one small table and two chairs outside, but a few more tables with chairs inside – enough to seat several families at once. The guy behind the counter, Chris, was very nice and couldn’t have been more kind to the Cavegirl, giving her a lollypop and one to take home for her brother. Behind him, the lunch special board had seven or eight options on it. Being that I’m always looking for a deal, this seemed like the way to go. The only problem was choosing between all the possibilities like the Pulled Pork sandwich, 1/2 a BBQ Chicken, Burger, etc. I opted for the Tri-tip Sandwich special, which also included one side-dish (I went with the Coleslaw) and a refillable fountain drink, all for $7.95.Tri-tip Sandwich
As we sat and waited for the food to be prepared, I noticed that the walls were covered with notes and drawings from previous customers. I knew instantly, that this was a very Cave-friendly place. Chris also came by our table and asked the Cavegirl all about her school and her favorite things to do, which made the wait seem to go by in an instant.
When the food did arrive, I was pleased by the amount of meat that was piled onto the soft, fresh sandwich roll. Too often these days, places will slap one slice of meat on each half of the sandwich and call it good. This one was packed several layers high – the perfect amount! As you can see, it also had a nice basting of their proprietary sauce. I took that first bite … oh my, was it good! The Tri-tip was amazingly tender, full of wonderful flavor, and complimented by the zesty sweetness of the sauce. I offered the Cavegirl a bite … BIG mistake! As she proceeded to eat almost half of my sandwich despite the fact that she had finished off a full lunch just over an hour earlier. 😯
CavegirlI then took a bite of the slaw and was pleasantly surprised by the unique sweet tang it possessed. I then started piling a little onto each bite of the sandwich and then topping it off with a little squirt of their homemade BBQ sauce in the spicy variety and I was absolutely in gastronomic heaven. While it really complimented the Trip-tip unbelievably well, I imagine it must be otherworldly when combined with some of their Pulled Pork which, I am told, is as good as anything you can get down in the BBQ Belt
All together, it was one of those sandwich experiences you just never wanted to end. In one of the late Warren Zevon’s last interviews, just before his impending passing, he said, “Enjoy every sandwich”. If he had gotten the chance to taste one of these he might have added, “… as long as it’s a Tri-tip sandwich from Ranch Hand!”
After some fact digging with Chris, it turns out the owner, Arnold, and his family used to live in the Santa Ynez valley, the place where grilling this cut of beef originated. In fact, they apparently had a BBQ joint there for years where he learned his trade and, obviously, learned it well. I can’t wait to go back and give the Pulled Pork, chicken, ribs, House Chips, mac salad, and deep fried Twinkie a try … but not all at once! 😉 The Cavegirl can’t wait either, as you can see by the delight the Ranch Hand BBQ & Grill left on her face. The only drawback is that they don’t really offer anything vegetarian other than their side dishes and a house salad. So, the Cavewoman is out of luck on this one. You’d think, especially being a So Cal establishment, that they’d throw a Veggie Burger or Grilled Cheese sandwich on the menu. But, until they do, at least the Cavekids and I have a new Road Trip Hit right in our own backyard. Gotta love that!

UPDATE: I have since found out that they do indeed offer a veggie burger for the herbivore crowd … it’s just not officially on the menu because meat is their obsession. But, if you ask for one, Arnold swears he’ll gladly throw a veggie burger on the grill for you!

UPDATE #2: They updated their menu when they recently moved to a bigger and better location … and the “Garden Burger” is now proudly on it! Plus, they’ve added a stone pizza oven … and their Zah is gooooooood!!

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Manna BBQ

Posted by Caveman Cooking on February 11, 2010

Manna BBQIf you head to Koreatown (affectionately known to LA locals as “K-town”) you can find any number of tasty, authentic Korean barbeque restaurants. But, if you are on the Westside of town craving kimchi, fish cakes, marinated meats, and a table with a big round grill carved into the center of it for you to cook the meats yourself, then you were out of luck. With the remodel of Culver City’s old Fox Hills Mall into the new Westfield Fox Hills has come a slew of new food establishments, including Manna BBQ. From the numerous grill tables, to the call buttons to summon your waitperson, to the traditional menu selections, Manna is as authentic as they come. Yeah, that’s right … real sit-down, full serivce Korean BBQ in a mall!
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Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 1, 2010

Nate 'n Al Delicatessen The “Deli Wars” of Los Angeles have been legendary over the years. Junior’s, Jerry’s, Art’s, Factor’s, Brent’s, Roll ‘n Rye, The Stage, Fromin’s, Izzy’s, and numerous others that have come and gone over the years, have all vied for New York Jewish-style delicatessen glory in So Cal. While many of them are fine establishments which I frequent, the clear winer in this “Borscht Battle” is Nate ‘n Al’s located in Beverly Hills (and now with a location in Thousand Oaks). READ MORE >>

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Kaya Sushi

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 13, 2009

A trip to either locale is a treat for the visual senses, from the glass waterfall entryway, custom hand-built sushi bars, intimate booths and low lighting, to the original intricate designs of the edible art they serve.
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Marty’s Burgers

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 10, 2009

If you’ve lived in or visited Southern California you’ve probably heard of or even patronized an Original Tommy’s Burgers … and, hopefully, experienced a late night Chili Burger run to THE original location at Beverly and Rampart near downtown LA. It’s definitely worth trying in order to get a taste of some legendary street food, and great people watching, in the City of Angels.
But, if you are in search of the BEST Chili Burger in town, then you have to head to West LA, before 6 pm, and order up a Double Chili Cheese Burger from Marty’s Burgers.
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