I'm not sure how this happened, but over the past few days and nights, I have eaten several meals that were, shall we say, "detrimental" to my overall caloric intake. I consider myself generally in tune with my dietary requirements, and while I haven't stopped eating the good foods (greens and fruit and nuts and such), I recently decided to add some bad ones into the mix. The #1 culprit this weekend was without a doubt bacon, which I am quite sure is the only reason I am not a vegetarian. The worst meal I've had recently must surely have been the submarine I ate for lunch today, which I got from a cafe on USC's campus. That'll teach me. The second worst was the Pantry Cafe omelette and hash browns I had at some wee hour of Saturday morning in downtown LA....it tasted OK at the time, but I now look back on the event in horror that I would A) eat such a thing, and B) pay tourist-fleecing prices for it. The best thing I had all weekend was - no joke - a chicken quesadilla from a taco truck near the corner of 9th and La Brea. Even now as I type about it, I want another one. I have no idea what was even on it, save for chicken and cheese, but it was probably the best quesadilla I've ever had.
The second best meal I had this weekend would have been the first had I not tasted the quesadilla from the taco truck of the gods. It was brunch at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock, a neighborhood north of downtown LA. I found out about Auntie Em's via the LAist, whose "Wake Up LA" series of posts has me anxious to get back into my normal brunch groove. First, the ratings:
Quality of food: 3.5
Quality of coffee: 3.5
Overall value: 4.0
Alcohol: I don't even think they had any, but I wasn't paying attention
I ordered the Honey Orange French Toast with a side of bacon (below), and for an appetizer I had a taste of the cupcakes that Auntie Em sells straight out of its front counter. The french toast honestly wasn't the best thing I've ever had, but the food rating is bumped up by the bacon, which was delish and probably about 1/2" thick; the cupcakes, which are as good if not better than the Sprinkles cupcakes in Beverly Hills that people wait 45 minutes for; and my friends' entrees, which all looked positively yummy.
The coffee was self-serve but tasty, and I drank it out of a chunky mug that briefly made me think I was in my own kitchen, except with actual cooking taking place. The service was fine, although I think our waitress may have been drunk, which did not impact our orders at all, though it was comical. The atmosphere was jovial, so much so that there was a LOT of hugging going on. Not just hugging good-bye either....there seemed to be people coming in from the street for the sole purpose of hugging someone in the restaurant. I wondered if I hugged a stranger, what might have happened.
For overall value, I have to give this place a 4. We drove far to get there and we waited a while to be seated, but it never felt like a chore, and the staff was entirely gracious the whole time. Plus those cupcakes....and that bacon....if anyone invents bacon cupcakes, I may never return to a life of healthy eating! Eh, maybe not, that sounds kind of gross.
To top it all off, I arrived home today to find a shipment of (Cincinnati favorite) Skyline Chili waiting at my front door. Guess my healthy eating routine will have to wait yet another day....