y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: October 2013

Mo Better Burgers is Still Mo Better

As far as food goes, I don't usually get too nostalgic about the past because there is so much in the present to discover and taste. Over the years each time I had one of the fancy, designer burgers in town, I kept thinking back to my former favorite.

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It was then called Mo Better Meatty Meat Burger. What a great name, isn't it? I love the redundancy. 

Photo appears at WSC When Saturday Comes site: http://www.wsc.co.uk/forum-index/28-world/441477-who-likes-looking-at-maps?limit=20&start=220

Back in the day I used to live in the area of the original location, off of Fairfax & Pico in L.A. The white stand with neon sign always had a line and nobody could try it without becoming a regular customer.

They were known for their quality of meat and produce as well as their very popular veggie burger.

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A couple of months ago I drove down La Brea and saw a sign in a strip mall for Mo Better Burgers. I wondered, could it be?

Yes, it was. A quick web search later I found out the beloved burger was back! Apparently the original founder's daughter, Eve Fouche, is part of this glorious comeback. Evidently they use an organic angus chuck blend, organic turkey and non-GMO produce.

Because I no longer live in the neighborhood and they close relatively early in the evening, I tucked this idea in the back of my head.

Well yesterday at work, we successfully completed a large and long term project. As a celebration, I drove past my old apartment (my first one after college). It happened to be 4 blocks away from Mo Better Burgers.

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I couldn't resist going in and having a taste. There was just 15 minutes before I had to meet a friend so I reigned myself in and had the small 3" burger without fries. From what I remember their seasoned fries also delivered.

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I used to enjoy it with raw onions, but since I had to be somewhere I went for the grilled. And even though I don't eat much dairy anymore, I had to go for a slice of cheddar for old times' sake.

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It tasted just like I remembered. Just a great, finely seasoned burger, as you can see from the multiple spice tins by the grill. Always made fresh to order, the meat gets grilled in its own juices.

The veges are fresh and crisp, not the limp and processed stuff you get at a fast food joint. The potato bun is light and fluffy giving it just the right ratio of meat to veges to bun. One of the few burgers where I do not have to remove one of the buns nor add more meat to taste it.

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Although perfect as is I usually add a few shakes of their house made hot sauce which also tastes uniquely flavorful. After my first bite I regretted getting the smaller size.

The clientele seemed to consist of regulars and each person who walked in after me was greeted by name. It's a wonderful touch you do not see much these days.  They asked me how I heard of the place and greeted me by name when I left.

There is a special Magic Johnson burger on the menu, as well as his signed memorabilia throughout the store as well as mementos of the earlier burger stand.

I cannot wait to go back for another nostalgic bite.

Mo Better Burgers on Urbanspoon

Gourmet Cobbler Factory

Even though we haven't seen true autumn weather in Southern California, this time of year it's hard to avoid the fall temptations.The other day I had an hour to kill before a volunteer assignment, had to eat something and was not ready for dinner.

I drove by the Gourmet Cobbler Factory and remember hearing several recommendations for it in the past. Fruit pies are very dear to me and this sounded like a great afternoon snack.

I'm not sure what the difference is between a pie and cobbler. Possibly it has something to do with the crust - no crust on the bottom of a cobbler? Either way, they both taste great and hit the spot.

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The shop has a really casual, local vibe, not to mention the welcoming sight of mini sweet potato and mini pecan pies. It appeared that most of their orders were for large cobblers but they do have "singles", which could easily feed two people. Service was prompt, friendly and no nonsense.

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This cobbler did have a very thin crust at the bottom, brimmed with fruit slices and the filling was a bit on the runny side. It was like the most awesome peach soup in a way. They serve the cobbler a la mode as well if desired.

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The fact that the cobblers had just come out of the oven and were warm in the center made me giddy. In fact, they were expected to stay warm for over an hour. Not that I knew because I dug in within minutes.

Just another great example of a neighborhood gem doing what they do just perfectly.

The Gourmet Cobbler Factory on Urbanspoon

New Urth Caffé in Pasadena!

Last month, Pasadena added yet another impressive entity into its foodie scene -  Urth Caffé.

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Along with Intelligentsia, Jones Coffee Roasters, Zona Rosa and other solid coffee options, many residents have been delighted to welcome Urth's organic, fair trade coffee from around the world to the Pasadena Playhouse District.

In late August they held an early grand opening celebration for area residents, which a friend kindly told me about.

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To their credit, they created quite a bit of buzz. The local Police had the streets closed down and one could spot the long lines of excited people on Colorado Boulevard and Madison Avenue from far away.

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Frankly, many locals couldn't help but notice months earlier that they were planning to open. Having worked in the area for several years, it gets more and more exciting to witness the increase in quality of food and drink in the neighborhood.

Since they are right across the street from very popular Tender Greens, hopefully they will obtain plenty of foot traffic as well. 

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The tiled downtown LA Urth Caffé always stood out, as well as the high energy West Hollywood branch, but this new site might have them both beat in beauty with handmade tiles, iron work, art and plenty of green plants.

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For the opening, they generously served at no cost their organic coffee, a seemingly endless supply of sandwiches, desserts and pastries.

I grabbed some snacks behind the shop where tables were also set up, and have been waiting till full opening to sample my favorite beverages - Matcha latte, Spanish latte and of course my favorite Hello Kitty foam, which you can find here.