Favorite dishes, part 1

April 8th, 2014

I have a friend that I tease whenever we have dinner. If it’s an Italian restaurant, I’ll ask, “getting the chicken alfredo?” He’d then feign shock. “How did you know??”

You see, my friend chooses one dish at each restaurant that he orders every time. He pretty much picks where he wants to eat based on the dish he wants to get. So, following the same idea, I decided to list some of my favorite dishes rather than some of my favorite places :)

Reuben with Pastrami – Katz’s Deli (NYC, NY)
I have not been to Katz’s in 2+ years, and this is still my favorite sandwich. Living in Texas, it’s been hard to find pastrami that is as flavorful, juicy, and tender as the one I had at Katz’s. Every Yelp review that claims a place here has pastrami “as good as NY deli’s” has been a lie so far. Top it with some sauerkraut and cheese, and it makes for an amazing sandwich.

Reuben with pastrami

Tonkotsu Original – Ramen Tatsuya (Austin, TX)
Austin was actually lacking good ramen places until Tatsuya came along and hyped it up. The hype for Tatsuya was worth it though. The Tonkotsu Original uses a creamy and rich pork broth, and Tatsuya makes their own noodles. Plus, I like that they use pork belly for the pork pieces. It tastes better and since it’s so tender, it’s easier to break apart and eat.

Tonkotsu Original

Hukilau Burger – Hukilau Cafe (Laie, HI)
If you ever find yourself on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, you should drive away from the touristy and crowdy area of Waikiki. At the quiet, north end of the island, you’ll find Hukilau Cafe, home of the Hukilau burger. What’s a good topping for a beef patty? How about more beef. It’s topped with beef teriyaki and of course, a fried egg, because a fried egg makes everything better.

Hukilau burger

Boquerones Nigiri – Uchiko (Austin, TX)
I feel like many people would not be willing to try anchovy sushi, but it’s actually one of the best sushi I’ve had. The boquerones at Uchiko are small and bite-sized, yet they pack a punch. Rather than a fishy flavor, it’s a strong, salty flavor. Even though I’m usually not a fan of really salty things, I enjoy this sushi every time we’re at Uchiko.


Hot Lobster Roll – Neptune Oyster (Boston, MA)
A friend introduced me to the hot lobster roll the last time I was in Boston, and now I can’t go back. Rather than a cold mayo filling, this uses hot pieces of lobster in a butter sauce. The lobster roll at Neptune Oyster serves it with large chunks of lobster and with a roll that soaks up all of the buttery goodness.

Lobster Roll

I have many more to share, but I’ll stop here for now :) I will have more next time!

13 Responses to “Favorite dishes, part 1”

  • Tara says:

    OMG. All these nomminess . . . and I just woke up, so now all of these photos are making me hungry! Especially that ramen! I haven’t had Japanese ramen in ages. I need to remedy that now!

  • Vermillion says:

    These dishes look awesome! I’m drolling looking at the photos haha.

    The Reuben with Pastrami looks amazing. It’s my first time hearing those words so I had to look them up.

  • Nancy says:

    It’s amazing how your friend is able to stick with a specific order per restaurant. I always want to try out something different or the same thing but with a twist. If you love pastrami, there are some good pastrami places in LA; one of them being The Hat. The pastrami in the picture looks amazing with all of the toppings under the bread! I’m wondering how someone could eat that without a mess, haha.

    It’s great to hear when a restaurant can make their own main ingredients like the noodles (and tortillas for taco places). Considering how so many things are made by the restaurant vs using seasoned packs, it sounds great already! Beef is delicious :D. That hamburger must be mouth-watery goodness in every bite, haha.

    I have never heard of anchovy sushi before. Do they take out the bones too? That’s the only thing that draws me back, but if they do I would give it a try (and my boyfriend too since he likes to try out things people normally don’t like).

    Lobsters with bread are getting really popular these days! Everything in the post looks delicious! Thanks for sharing :D!!!

    • Cat says:

      The reuben with pastrami is pretty messy to eat, haha. I’d be surprised if someone could eat it without a mess!

      Yep, like other sushi, there are no bones in the boquerones sushi :)

  • Jessica says:

    Oh, goodness! Everything looks so delish, and I love the idea behind this post…especially since I have a tendency to order the so things when going to my favorite restaurants. I look forward to reading the next part.

  • Michelle says:

    All of it looks amazing! Yum! I’m so hungry now. Lol

  • Uglyfish says:

    I’m really picky with food, I hate trying new food because I’m really scared of sauces! It’s weird I know, but it means I stick to certain dishes for months at a time. However, the Hukilau Burger looks incredible! Today I’ve eaten a piece of toast, but now I’m hungry for a burger!

  • Tiff says:

    Yum!! :D Everything looks really good. I’ve never had the boquerones nigiri before, quite interesting. I’m not a huge fan of spanish mackarel so if it’s anything like that, I’m gonna have to pass, but I do love trying new things.

    Josh tells me how California lacks good pastrami too, so I’m always on the look out for delis that sell great pastrami even though I don’t support eating meat hahaha. I just want him to like California more! But alas, NYC does have the greatest delis. Can’t even compete sometimes.

    I followed you on Tumblr, but your posts never show up on my dash. Either that, or I never check Tumblr when you post. Probably the latter!

    • Cat says:

      I actually like the different mackerels, but the boquerones doesn’t taste like them :) I recommend it if you ever see it!

      haha, it might be because I’ve been lazy about posting to my food tumblr, so there hasn’t been much activity. I have photos queued up for the next few days this time!

  • Liv says:

    I have never seen anchovy sushi before. That’s awesome and kind of creepy at the same time, LOL. There seems to be a good number of Japanese restaurants in Austin because the Tonkotsu Original is making me hungry. Can’t find that anywhere here.

  • Carrie says:

    O M G! This looks so tasty! I am so down for trying different foods. I’m starting to hate fast food such as McDonalds and such. Yuck!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Kim says:

    Hmm, interesting! I’ve been unaware about anchovy sushi. I love sushi & I know that raw fish tastes completely different from cooked fish so I’ll keep my eye out for anchovy sushi so I can try it :)

  • Carolynne says:

    I am totally like your friend! I go to a particular restaurant because I want a particular dish. Haha, so funny. Once in a blue moon I will try something new. But why venture away from something you know you love! It’s good to take a risk once in awhile, though. That lobster roll looks amazing!!

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