Monday, October 25, 2004

Food void

Lake Forest, CA

Black holes exist, and I have proof. Somewhere in this quiet inland town, an ominous vortex sucks any compelling dining experience into its massive, swirling void. If someone has eaten at a really good Lake Forest restaurant, please tell me about it. Nory's Peruvian - tried about 3 dishes there once, and wasn't excited enough to return. King's Fish House at the El Toro mall - merely ok for a chain place. I cut Peppino's some slack - I actually like their New York style pizza. Most places I try in Lake Forest just disappoint me.

Case in point: Kill Devil's, a West Coat franchise of a North Carolina chain that sells pulled pork sandwiches and frozen custard. I suppose it's possible in the Carolinas to sell a pulled pork sandwich that doesn't taste at all of smoke. I suspect a place like that would shut down pretty quickly where pulled pork is king.

Note to Kill Devil's Lake Forest franchisee: pulled pork = barbecue = meat smoked for long hours over wood embers. Perhaps a visit to the home office in Kill Devil Hills is in order. If y'all came to the Chowfiesta potluck put on the Los Angeles Chowhounds this past weekend, our man Buddha would've shown you how it's done. Kill Devil's cold, shredded pork is meekly schpritzed with a vinegar based sauce and piled on a hamburger bun with some uninspired coleslaw. Interesting? Not.

Kill Devil's also sells frozen custard. I didn't grow up with this stuff, so it seems like soft serve ice cream to me, and it doesn't lift my kilt. I admit my ignorance. However, if you appreciate this stuff, they have an extensive menu of their custard desserts painted onto a surfboard.

Frozen custard menu

The surfboard menus showed up in the past month. Prior to that, they sold a sandwich made from the best Italian sausage made in our local area, from Sabatino's in Newport Beach. It's no longer on the menu. Go figure - they get rid of the one really interesting item on their menu. Damn you, black hole of Lake Forest!
Kill Devil's
23842 El Toro Rd
Lake Forest, CA

Epilogue: As of summer 2005, Kill Devil's Lake Forest location ceased to exist.

Want a good pulled pork sandwich in Orange County without tending a wood fire for 8 hours ? Head up to Huntington Beach and give Smokin Mo's Barbecue a shot. Their pulled pork has just a faint taste of smoke, and it's the one thing on Mo's menu that I really recommend. Their excellent coleslaw is based on a highly regarded recipe from The Pantry in downtown Los Angeles.
Mo's Barbecue
301 Main St. #107 (across from Avila's El Ranchito restaurant)
Huntington Beach, CA

Want to try that Italian sausage I mentioned? Go to the wharfs of Lido Peninsula and try it at the source. Take home a big coil of Italian sausage studded with cubes of cheese and flecked green with parsley. It's on the salty side, but damn fine if pan fried then simmered in a tomato sauce!
Sabatino's Restaurant & Sausage Company
251 Shipyard Way
Newport Beach, CA


Blogger jeff lowe said...

Now that you have your own WSM you are going to think of mosbbq as dog food. Of course it will take a little more time but that is what those overnight cooks are for....bbq as you's a good thing....

10/29/2004 09:52:00 PM  

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