I love going to the States. For a number of reasons, but a main one is that it is the land of junk food: anything you could possibly fathom that is fried, sugary and fatty can be found, and in gigantic portions nonetheless. This post I’ll be talking about the amazing bakery I visited in Ventura, California, my first Chipotle experience and my favourite food trucks from Hollywood, Florida.
To backtrack a little, after I spent over a month in Central America this summer, I stayed in Hallendale, Florida for just over two weeks. Even though my travel buddy had to go home to start school in the fall, I decided I wasn’t quite ready to go home so I continued on to Los Angeles, California on my own. I chose LA because my step-brother and step-sister live out there. I don’t get to see them very often, so I decided that once I was already traveling, why not stop by for a visit.
Another side note: when I travel, some people love to sight see, some people love the fashion, me, I love the food. I eat my way through my travels. So, it only makes sense that I was greeted at the airport with a burger from In N’ Out. As it was my first In N’ Out experience, I have to say I was quite impressed. The only down side was that there was no cheese or bacon, apparently they call it a ‘Double Double’- so I’ll just have to go back there and try it one day! But I digress.
This trip was a lot of firsts, and another first was trying Chipotle. I had heard about Chipotle, and how delicious it was, so I decided I needed to try it while I was in LA (Chipotle has yet to make its way to Montreal, where I’m from). I had a chicken burrito, and dressed it up with all the fixings: pico de gallo, cheese, rice, beans, guac and lettuce. It was pretty delicious! I do have to say though, that Burrito Boyz in London, Ontario (also other locations in Southern Ontario) have probably the best burrito I’ve ever had. Aside from the fact that they are huge (the “small” size is one pound) the ingredients are fresh, the burrito (tortilla?) itself is really good and I was able to order a chicken and sweet potato burrito, which was unreal.
Another first, was my visit to Sticky Fingers bakery in Ventura, California. My brother and his wife happen to know the owners, and every once in a while they drive the hour or so to get some delicious baked goods. It was my last day in California, so we decided to go the bakery and then to the nearby beach. On Sundays, the bakery makes sticky buns, and so since it was Sunday, we called ahead and got them to put a couple aside for us. By the time we got there around 11 am, they were almost completely sold out of sticky buns; they started with a batch of 50. When I tell you these were delicious sticky buns, THESE WERE DELICIOUS STICKY BUNS! I ate an entire one to myself. Oh, we also got a lemon cupcake and a coffee cake muffin to share, I definitely had some of those too. What I loved about this bakery, other than it being absolutely delicious, was that they make vegan and gluten free goods, along with being a ‘small batch’ bakery. I had never heard of a small batch bakery, but they have a sign that lets you know why the display case may look a little sparse. They only bake small batches, they bake everything fresh in the morning, and they close when they’ve sold out. They do this so everything they sell is fresh and to avoid waste. I really thought this was an amazing concept, and more food establishments should do this. We waste too much food, so doing a small part to avoid wasting, is something more businesses should consider.
Before heading down to LA, and after our adventures in Central America, my travel buddy and I decided to retire to Hallendale, Florida. Luckily, my travel buddy’s family owns a condo there, so we had a great place to stay. I have to say, you really take advantage of the little things when you are so used to them everyday. After being in a developing country for over a month, you really start to appreciate small luxuries, namely air conditioning and hot showers! While we were in Florida, we learned about a food truck event that happens every Monday night in Hollywood (about a 15 minute drive from us), and so decided to go for all three Mondays we were in Florida. There were two big winners for me at these foods trucks. The first, was a dessert truck that served gelato popsicles (Hip Pops).
It was really a simple concept, great gelato in the form of a popsicle, you pick a dip (milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate dip) and then a topping. The first combination I had was a salted caramel pop, dipped in dark chocolate with toasted hazelnuts. The second was a strawberry pop, dipped in white chocolate and then in chocolate sprinkles. The third, was a coconut pop dipped in white chocolate. They were all delicious, but I think the simple mix of coconut gelato and white chocolate dip was the best one.
My favourite food item that I had from the food trucks was fried chicken and waffles (it was actually a fried chicken and waffle sandwich). I unfortunately can’t remember the name of the truck, but it was so good! I love fried chicken and I love breakfast food, so fried chicken and waffles is basically a match made in food heaven for me. A nice piece of crispy fried chicken between two fluffy and kind of sweet waffles, drizzled with maple syrup and green onions. What made it extra special to me, was that the top waffle was sprinkled with a bit of salt. The contrast of the sweet maple syrup and the salt just made the flavours pop. So good!
So if you’re ever in Ventura, California or Hollywood, Florida, look these places up! You won’t be disappointed.
The Particular Eater