|4 tacos Mexicanos - two with carnitas and two with chorizo|
Monday, September 8, 2014
Dan and I happened to be on Route 17 and were going to stop by Panera for lunch, when we noticed an unfamiliar looking taco place labeled as "authentic." Inside was a pretty vast menu - tacos, tortas, fajitas, quesadillas, salads, bowls, etc. And many different types of protein available - steak, pastor, carnitas, chicken, shrimp, fish, chorizo, and possibly more I can't remember. Dan and I both ordered Mexican tacos - four tacos (2 meat options) with pico de gallo and avocado on corn tortillas. Somehow they messed up my order and gave me American tacos - 3 flour tortillas w/cheese and avocado. Mine was actually still excellent as I prefer flour to corn tortillas, but the latter is the only gluten-free friendly one. The meat was really good - between our two types we deduced pastor and chorizo were the best. Definitely planning to come back. Super cheap (like chipotle pricing) but many more options. They also had a seriously spicy salsa buffet. Too much for me but Dan loved it. Also they had actual Mexican people working there. All good signs.
We haven't been to Smashburger in a long time since Dan went gluten-free. I happened to be yelping and saw a recent review that mentioned a gluten-free bun at Smashburger. Imagine my surprise when I went on their website and saw a press release from May announcing a partnership with Udi's, which is arguably the leading gluten-free bread brand in the country. Apparently the gf bun option is at all Smashburgers, so of course we went there and I was reminded how this is my fav burger joint after Five Guys. I just love the bread-to-meat ratio and there is an excellent variety of toppings. I like both building your own burger and having some pre-made ones to use or to modify. And they have great sides, though the menu is limited. I still haven't had any of their shakes because I feel bad consuming as much in a tiny shake as in my entire dinner. Dan thought the bun was pretty good and seemed a little wider than the usual Udi's bun. Definitely excited that we can continue coming back here when I have burger cravings.
|Dan's bacon cheeseburger with pickles, onions, and a fried egg. Oh and gluten free bun of course|
|My NJ burger - blue cheese, bacon, haystack onion straws, lettuce, and tomato. I nixed the mayo and grilled onions|
|Sides of sweet potato frites and veggie frites. This was way too much food. Should've just gotten the veggie frites|
|Full view of gluten free burger. Pretty nice ratio|
|My NJ burger with beautiful onion bun|
Thanks to my parents and Trader Joe's I had some delicious garlic clam spaghetti. I chopped up some cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, then heated the clams, which are doused in garlic and butter, in the microwave. In retrospect I should've heated the clams in a saucepan, because not all of them opened in the microwave. But there were still plenty of clams, like an obscene amount considering the box wasn't that big. A great quick addition to a meal.
On my way home from Raleigh I discovered there was a Gordon Biersch at the airport. GB has the BEST garlic fries, at least that's what I remember from my paralegal days in DC. Fortunately my memory was correct, as the garlic fries + lobster bisque made for a killer combo. I also grabbed a seat at the bar and was served within 3 minutes of sitting down, which was amazing because I was a little worried I might not have enough time to eat. Fortunately I had plenty of time and both dishes were delicious and complimented each other. If only there were a closer GB to me so I could eat their fries alll the time.
|Bowl of lobster bisque|
|Perfectly hot and crispy garlic fries|
|The perfect combo. Also pretty gross that I ate all of this as my first meal of the day. Oh well it was vacation. YOLO.|