When some people think of
Disney they think of bland made for the masses park food. Well my friends the food at Epcot that could not be farther from the truth.
Epcot is made up of future world which is rides as well as a fantastic food based pavilliom called ” the land” (more about that in another post).
The other part of Epcot is the World Showcase. There are areas from places like Italy,Japan, China and Morroco. The people that work there are actually from the countries in which they work, including the chefs!
Tonight I had a fantastic dinner of Morrocan spicy sausage, chicken kabob and beef. The soup was complex yet fresh with tomato beef and a fresh lemon wedge that just took it home for me.
I will be posting some pics and updates during my trip (using iPhone or ipad so there will be spelling etc issues). If you are a fan of food, and you are able to
do it, you owe it to yourself to check out some of the great food at Epcot.
I love a challenge in the kitchen, like today when I was stuck at home nursing my back injury and my wife and kids split for the beach…Well hell, I am hungry but there is not much to eat at Chez Cognac! I take that as an Iron Chef or at least a Tinfoil Chef moment and rummage through the fridge and here is what I find.
1 Wheat Tortilla
2 Nathans hot dogs
3 slices thick sliced bacon
leftover beef chili
leftover green onions
Well, I guess since I have the tortilla I am making a burrito, I fry the bacon and split the hot dogs lengthwise and place them right into the bacon grease next to the dogs….fry them up till they get crispy!
Cover the tortilla with a smooth layer of the chili, the place the thick bacon, then the slit and now crispy Nathans dogs. Top with Shredded Cheddar and Green onions and slight dollop of sour cream.
Oh yea, its so perfect, just roll it up and secure it in foil so you can eat the top end with out it falling all over the place….
EAT its tasty hear killing goodness, the snap pf the hot dogs and crunch of the smokey bacon….you are the lord of leftovers and no empty cupboard can stop you, for you are the master!
I know that lots of people love the show “Hells Kitchen” on Fox. I really loved watching it back in the day, but the last 2 seasons have pretty much been the “same old crap”. I know that l when it first started it was a guilty pleasure for many, in fact Anthony Bourdain even admitted to me that he enjoyed it (although we had already had several drinks at that time). We used to sit glued to the TV to see what the latest creative name Chef Ramsey would call one of the pitiful contestants (Donkey is my all time favorite).
I was surprised to learn that most people think Hells Kitchen is an actual “restaurant” and you can just go there for dinner. Well folks, this is Hollywood and like everything including most of the tits and faces in the city, its fake!
I managed to “score a reservation” using my D – food celebrity status and off we went along with our friends John and Sally Lee for a dinner of unknown and sometimes unwanted. The location is as hidden as it can get in Hollywood and I guess that’s so Japanese tourist and “Marge and Murry” from Green Bay Wi don’t just stumble up to the door expect that snobby French guy to give them a table.
Upon arrival if you are beautiful enough they will valet your car and film you going into the restaurant , you guessed it, we were not, so I parked the car myself. You are led upstairs to the green rooms and told to sign a ton of forms stating you will not talk about the show until after it airs, blah blah blah. You are also told that you “might not get all or any” of you meal once you are in then dining room. When you finish signing your life away, you get to go back into the green room and then the best part of the evening starts, BOOZE and lots of it! The production staff makes sure that the wine if “free flowing” in order to loosen everyone up so they will relax on camera (actually a good idea as I feel I filmed some of my best stuff for my show, “nicely toasted”).
We drank a shit load of wine and ate tons of pretty decent finger food and by the time it was time to go eat, we were pretty much sauced. The restaurant/studio itself is actual really nice, Fox spared no expense in building it. The kitchen/s are in the front and covered with a soundproof plexiglass to keep the yelling from Chef Ramsey in and the drunken dining patrons noise out.
There are mic’s everywhere, in the flowers on the table, posted throughout then dining area and such. The “middle table” is where the “chosen drama person” of the evening appears to always be seated. Tonights was a very loud prissy gay man who bitched about everything and made a total scene every time the cameras were near. We got seated in the “Fat Ugly Guy” section along the wall. This evening it had been chosen that half of the contestants were to act as the wait staff and the other half as kitchen. We were waited on by a long haired hippy guy who would end up winning that season. We got a simple menu with 3 or 4 choices, none were that difficult to make. It was “Steak night” much to the delight of John and I, I mean really how bad can they fuck up a steak! We got our first course of an actually pretty decent salad and then we waited. We waited some more, and some more….and then a bit more. I kid you not that we sat there for at lease 2 hrs waiting, and the shitty part was we couldn’t get any more wine! I managed to grab the contestant/waiter guy amongst the many production crew members who were dressed as waiters but would not bring you shit (not that it was they’re job). I was ravaged with hunger for actual food, the bread was long gone so I begged our contestant/waiter “please kind sir, can you just manage to bring us a main course before Chef Ramsey calls Donkey and shuts the place down”. He must have taken pity on us since we had been begging for bread all evening. A few mins later he arrives with sizzling flat iron steaks, which looked amazing and told us the Ramsey had just shut it down and we got the last ones! I cut into the meat and could tell it was a quality cut of beef, no cheap crappy leather for Hells Kitchen! I took a bite, and chewed the succulent gift from the gods ….what the fuck, salt…salt,there was more salt on the steak then on the rim of a 2 dollar margarita at Hooters! Oh the horror, a perfect steak given to a hungry fat man, was ruined by some dumb ass reality show contestant with no palate. Man I was pissed, cause I was starved and the steak could have been cooked better by a monkey!
I was pissed, but what was I going to do, it’s a tv show, and reality show or not, it’s all fake! We got up and walked to the exit, my nice free booze buzz long since gone….was I disappointed? A little, but hey, look at the bright side, I drank a ton of booze, had a fun time out with my friends and it didn’t cost me a dime!
How have I not heard of let alone eaten at this fantastic Italian place in the middle of the industrial area of the unincorperated area of Gardena. I mean come on, who doesn’t go to “Chuys Tires” or “Bitches and Switches hydraulics at least once a week. you don’t? Well neither to I and unless you frequent the grimy industrial area east of the 110 fwy around Alondra Blvd you are never gonna run into this place. Now that I have told you about it, read the rest of this on your iPad, get in the car and drive to 15500 Broadway in Gardena and get a table at EatItalian!
This place is the real deal! Inside the hospital clean white interior is an open kitchen including a pizzeria that makes ultra thin, burnt edge Italian style pizza with a vast list of toppings (I had artichoke , tomato and fresh mozzarella. Next to that is the pasta factory where a guy
is handcrafting fresh pasta to be served with any number of sauces. I chose the carbonara which was to die for! The pasta was perfectly cooked and al dente, there were nice sized pieces of panchetta tossed in, the sauce was creamy yet smokey…it reminded me of the pasta I ate in the North End of Boston. Oh yea, not to be outdone, right next to the Pasta factory inside, is the Gelato factory…about 20 flavors, all fresh, flavors like biscotti or vanilla oreo. Did I mention that there is a cheese factory built into the place, when it starts soon it will be making fresh mozzarella and Parma cheeses!
EatItalian has got it going on, the only thing I cant figure out is why in the hell did they out it in such a crappy area? Well who am I to complain cause its only 15 mins from my house (guess you now know I don’t live in Beverly hills).
I really , really recommend going to check this place out…its worth the trip and my iPhone pics don’t do it justice!