Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Big Cali Bite

Hey there! I got back late last night from the California stop on Guy Fieri's Roadshow and spent most of the day resting and preparing for the big snowstorm everyone keeps warning us about up here on the northeast side of the country. I was only there for 24 hours, but I did manage to pack in some fun.

First things first, how neat is it that you can finally wifi during a flight? I can never sleep for a long period of time on a flight and just loved surfing around while I was on the way there and back. Right when I landed at LAX all that I could think about was Pico and LaBrea, the corner I had many a meal at and from when I lived in Rancho Cucamonga, CA ... yeah, look that place up, it exists in more than just Next Friday. Ok, so I got to the corner and it was a choice between Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles or my fave Los Angeles taco stand. I decided to go with instant gratification and not wait to be seated or any of that mess, time was of the essence ... I made a run for the stand.
Lucy's, that's the name of it ... funny how I can go there about a jillion times and never think to check the name. I do that often, just like the cheesesteak place in Philadelphia (Max's). I accept my foodie faults, we all have em. Here's a look at Lucy's from across the street.
If you look close or click on the photo to enlarge you can see the ledges on the outside of the street windows, the best thing is to walk up and eat it right there! I just totally love street food. Started back in Germany, followed me through my time in South Korea and it's with me now in Brooklyn. Nice. Ok, here is the other place to eat there ... on the patio.
With only a little wiggle room in my schedule, I chose the drive-thru ...
Where to start ... so much to choose from. Well, here is where I went from memory. For the longest my favorite combination in a burrito is chorizo and bean. No more, no less. I don't even think it's on the menu in that manner, but I always make sure that when I say it the emphasis so on point, they know what I mean. No tomatoes, no cheese, no lettuce. So, just minutes later I had a bag full of goodies and If I weren't alone I would've torn through it in the car. We pulled out of the drive-thru and as we passed Roscoe's I just couldn't help it so I stopped in to see if my fave guy was there and he wasn't so I left a note that I'd stopped by. When I was eating there years ago between taping pilots and having meetings, he'd sit with me occasionally because I was by myself and probably looked lonely. I'd talk to him about my dreams and goals and how I really wanted a cooking show on Food Network. A few years later and here I am. Great to eat somewhere that feels like more than just a business, it has heart.

After thinking mostly about the burrito for the entire ride, I finally got to my hotel room and arranged my long awaited meal ...
That's my baby right there! It comes with chips, salsa and a pickled jalapeno ... just $5 and some change. I set everything up on the coffee table, turned the television to the news and I felt so happy! I forgot to tell you before, when I pulled up to the window to order, I teared up a bit. It took me back to a time when I was struggling in so many different ways and it just felt great to be back under different circumstances. Plus, food is just an emotional thing for me, I LOVE it. There are scents and flavors that take me back to some great places I've been, great memories. There are times I have to control my emotions when taping Cooking for Real because sometimes food and the story behind it is just so emotional. Ever feel like that? Wimpy over food? So anyway, I was happy to be back in my room alone to enjoy the burrito ... I massacred it!
That's halfway through. The chorizo they use has such a unique spice and flavor profile. See the onions? It's spicy, smokey and has a nice sweet note to it. The beans are creamy and not a touch dry, but they have substance too. Just really yummy. The tortilla has a nice chew to it and nothing is soggy, just perfect even after the 15 minute ride to the hotel in West Hollywood.

After I finished I had to get ready for the show so I cleaned up and headed over to the venue. I was excited to meet Robert Irvine because I knew he was going to be on the show, but I walked around to the backstage area to say hi to people prepping the stage for the show and ran into someone else I'd never 'met' ...
It's Jeffrey Saad from this past season of Next Food Network Star! I was a guest on the show twice so I've tasted his food, but we had minimal contact during the taping, because I judged and made comments along with the other guests. He was there to open up for Guy. That's something Guy did in every city, have a local chef come out before him and do a cooking demo. Very cool, he also hosted a pre-show cooking class for young chefs. BTW, did you know Jeffrey still works with Food Network?? He has a show called The Spice Smuggler and there are 4 webisodes available to view. After we chatted and I met his wife, I headed off to find Robert ...
Big guy huh? His muscles are huge!!! He's a really nice guy. Before we went on stage I went to go tell him my version of break a leg which is break a cream sauce and I found him on the floor doing push ups! I told him I was gonna tell, but I've seen guys do this before. It's the pre-shoot or pre-beach pump-up, but does it really work? I don't know, but it looked funny.

About an hour before he goes on Guy does a walk through with everyone in his dressing room. He discusses the order of events, who does what, when we enter the show ... everything. Here he is getting down to business ...
That guy to his left is "Panini", after I met him I told Guy that I want a Knuckle Sandwich nickname, there are so many. Anyway, his whole crew is just the best. Nice, hard working guys. After the pre-show run through we all just broke off into segments to get ready and then when the time was right, we headed on stage for the fun. I came out with a bottle of tequila for the margarita machine and treated it like a baby and cradled it. Then I sang a lil lullaby to it and poured it into the big machine I showed you from the last time I joined Guy. Then Robert headed out with two more bottles to pour in. The ladies really roared for him! Then we all got behind the counter for some cooking ...
Robert and I helped out a bit and left the stage ... but fell before we completely got off stage. It was pretty funny and he fell on top of me, all I could think was for such a big guy, he wasn't that heavy. Anyway, it was such a fun experience and the last show is tonight in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel. The guys worked so hard and to see them in the beginning and see how the show progressed and they all stayed happy and vibrant, put a smile on my face. Guy announced at the show that he has a game show on the the way with NBC and it's something for the whole family, so look for that in the future!

Ok, time to look out the window and see if there's more snow! Have a great weekend and I'll leave you on a sweet note ...
If you are a cookie monster like me, it's worth clicking this picture and getting some detail. It is THE BEST bakery cookie I've had in years. Can't even tell you the last time I had a non-homemade cookie that was worth talking about. I got this last week at The City Bakery just outside of Union Square in NYC and was a bit upset I had to share it with my guy when I got it home with me. I know it's good when I'm selfish. :-)

Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

16 comments:

Mary said...

I'm like you - cannot sleep on a plane for the life of me. Sure can't sleep in a car - don't much like being a passenger. I'm pretty sure it's a control thing LOL!

OMG that drive thru menu! I could NEVER choose. I love Lucy's though - oh lol... I mean I like those kind of places too. :) Bet that's some rocking food - the burrito looks amazing! I'm with ya on the emotional thing - I'm the same way. I wear my heart on my sleeve, get real sentimental, cry at the drop of a hat...

Robert is cool! He did a Dinner Impossible here (Biloxi) as a thank you for some Katrina volunteers, cooking them some traditional southern favorites since most of them were from up north. I loved that show!

I heard Guy is doing some kind of game show on NBC. I was like a game show? Huh? Guess we'll have to see what that's all about!!

Be careful with all that snow! If it's anything like the flooding rain we got out of that system, you're in for a weekend of indoor cuddling! (How did you not buy at least a half dozen of those cookies???)

Oh yeah, thanks for the reminder about the pralines. My brother in Texas and my sister in Illinois both got a box of combos for Christmas thanks to that post! :)

Sunny Anderson said...

mary, we have so much in common, i don't like being a passenger at all and often get car sick, plane sick, all of that. only a train is comfy for me. i can sleep on amtrak for hours. it's totally control and an air circulation thing. not enough head room in planes or cars. and ita, that menu ... i've never ordered off of it, it is too much to take in. i just know they have what i want and i ask for it lol. glad i'm not the only one that cries about food. i am overly emotional about so much in life, i just really feel things ... very annoying at times, don't you wish you weren't so wimpy sometimes? people looked at me crazy in the kitchen when i cooked my granddads ribs for them because as soon as i tasted them, the memories rolled in and i was a ball of tears. all that from a vinegar sauce! anyway ... yeah robert is a nice guy. people have said things ... but none of us are perfect humans and as long as you aren't here to hurt the fellow man, i think forgiveness of faults is cool. bottom line, he's a great chef with a heart. also can't wait to see guy's show, i heard the name and quickly forgot it, but i know it'll be a winner winner chicken dinner :-P ....i just finished shovel duty on the snow outside (did the neighbors too, cuz they are always a bit slow on it) ... i had a bowl of nat'l coney island chili from detroit via airmail lol and now i'm chillin back in bed reading the paper. glad your fam got some sweets courtesy of nola and me :-) happy holidays mary!

Lys said...

You are all over the place Sunny! Manoushka from Single Servings hit up the Road Show and raved about it. I'm sure she was thrilled to see not only Guy but also you and Robert and Jeffrey!

This snow is crazy! I'm about ready to pack up and head back to Florida (j/k). Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

NikiTheo said...

I'm a lucky one... I can sleep ANYWHERE. Including a plane, train, car, movie theater, concert (oops)...
Yep, I am a sleeper.

And omg, I now want a burrito and a cookie. Now. Although I'm not sure which I'd eat first...

And omg, I know he looks huge on TV, but dang! he looks like he is crushing you!!!

The Duo Dishes said...

Ahhhhhhhhh! Was so in the audience and interviewed Jeffrey Saad for an online article. Didn't get to meet you though. :( You looked great up on stage though. You and Robert were CUTTING UP! So funny. When are you coming back to LA??? It'd be great to catch you at another event!

Sunny Anderson said...

lys, yaaaay single servings! tell manoushka i said hi! the snow is good stuff to me, hope it snows on friday!

nikitheo, i'm jealous. i've known a sleeper that lost a gig cuz he just couldn't stay awake ... even at work! and in the race btwn burrito n cookie, burrito will get devoured first every time with me!

the duo dishes! i am SOOOO MAAAAD! ok, next time, just tell jeffrey to find me! or whoever you run into! i would have loved to meet you!!! yeah, robert and i had fun ... first time working with him and i look forward to the next. he's way less serious than i expected. am i the only one that knows the jose cuervo song??? :-)

ken said...

Hi .......

Sunny aka Amigo ....... I just wanted to make sure ....... I wish you and your family and friends ....... A HaPpY-hOLidAy ....... And a Bless New Year ....... (xoxo) to you ....... from mee .......

Ken aka Amigo ....... LoVe U gIrL .......

Lisa said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!! I was in shock at first thinking, this can't be the real Sunny from Food Network??? How exciting!! I didn't even know you had a blog - how fun! Thanks again - love your show and look forward to trying more of your recipes.

Jessica {The Novice Chef} said...

I am so jealous! I hope one day to get to travel to all of those places! And all of the other places on your blog! I just found your blog today, and can't wait to read through all of it! So fun! :-)

LaDivaCucina said...

Awww, you were only there for a day? Man, that's tough! I would have had jetlag fo sho! I would have chosen the Mexican over the chicken too. I remember Lucy's and I also remember Rancho Cucamonga on my way to Palm Springs! Dang, that's far out!

Here in Miami, we got the storm first from the Gulf and had major storms and flooding on Friday. I was cooking for a cocktail party and my gal pal couldn't wade through the floods to get to my house to help! Then it went up to the East! Bet you are happy to be back home safe and snuggly with your honey.

Have a nice white Christmas Sunny!

Jojo said...

I'm a sleeper too and even though I am a MAD foodie, will often choose a nap over a snack! LOL

Sunny, you have the patience of Job! I never would have been able to wait that extra 15 minutes driving home with take-out wafting up to my nose. I would have pulled over (gotta be safe afterall), pushed back the seat, spread out my feast, turned on the radio and gone to town!! I think I may have said too much... LOL Do you still respect me?? tee hee

Sending you warmest Christmas greetings to you and yours from Canada!

Lana said...

Killer lookin' burrito! The best part about working late night with bands is hitting those Mexican places that stay open all night. Man, that's some grub.

Huge fan of Jeffrey Saad's. It's been a while since I visited his blog - I'll have to bop over there and say hello. I'm hoping FN continues to work with him.

Brilliant timing to have Robert Irvine in Guy's show; they just had a Share Our Strength Dinner Impossible air a week (maybe two?) before this show. Brilliant.

I have really been impressed with the crew Guy has working with him. Did you meet Gorilla? *giggling* You can read http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=242695586426 for a funny story and http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=244533806426 for a bit more. I really did have fun at Guy's show, and am glad to hear you did too!

Sunny Anderson said...

ken, happy holidays back atcha! hope the detroit cold isn't killin ya!

lisa, of course, i'm just honored you are watching! foodies rock, i think there are more food-laced blogs out there than anything. food makes us wanna talk and share! thanks again and welcome to my blog!

jessica, don't be jealous! teeheehee, the least i can do is share some stuff. and none of the travels come easy, plenty of work in all my careers that moved me around and got me to those places. glad you found the blog! i'm just sharing stories and stuff. happy holidays and thanks so much for the support!

ladivacucina, yup, 24rs exactly! lol ... i almost went back to the taco stand the next morning, but thought that would be overkill. and jet lag was bad, really hard to get up the next day, but i did! hey, so speaking of miami, we should get a drink when i'm down there in feb for the food n wine fest! let's plan on it! and yes, happy to be home. happy holidays!

jojo, i'm the person that says, wake me up for the meal lol. i usually just eat parts though, can never eat the whole airplane meal. i really wanted salad the last flight and it was so dry like, the veggies were in a weird state, totally couldn't eat it. i was glad i packed some hummus and crudite. and trust me, although i want so much, i do have patience. i knew the pay off was the right environment for the burrito reunion :-). merry christmas to you too!

lana, yeah it was so good. so so good. if i were hero i'd blink my eyes and transport back for one. i like jeffrey too, his descriptions of food are great. good word usage. yeah, robert and guy were still talking about that show and how much fun it was to tape. they are both nice and hard working guys. glad u had fun at the show when you saw it!

Dolphinfanhg said...

Sunny, I lived in LA for 9 years and I never hit up Lucy's...I guess I never knew what I was missing! I just always went straight to Roscoe's, the #13 (I think!) is the bomb! Thanks for the trip down memory lane...and for commenting on my blog the other day! My other foodie friends are all jealous now! :) Happy New Year!
xoxo,
addictedtothefoodnetwork

Sunny Anderson said...

dolphinfanhg, lucy's is soooooooo good! so good! and fast! i used to look forward to my trips into the city just to eat there and roscoe's, you'd never know i had a biz mtg scheduled. glad you enjoyed the trip to the past, does the block look the same to you? gosh, i'm going to defrost some chorizo i have in the freezer today and make a burrito!!! welcome to my blog and thanks so much for the support! tell your foodie friends i said hi and if they haven't caught the show yet to take a look ... it may be their kinda food. i'm also here at my blog regularly. alright, lemme get to the kitchen to defrost! happy new year!

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