The Slider: Delicious Burger Innovation or Small, Sad Excuse for a Sandwich?

Categories: Food Fight

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jeffreyw via Flickr

We had so much fun chucking Chow Bella contributors Ando Muneno and Lauren Saria into the ring over Alton Brown, food trucks, movie theaters with food pho and Matt's Big Breakfast that we put them back at it again.

This week's topic: The Slider.

Ando: What are the strengths of the hamburger? Opinions on this matter boil down to two basic camps:

1. Toppings
2. Patty

Adherents to the first camp believe that the toppings make the burger. They want to see some smoked Gouda up there, some arugula, roasted chiles infused with Gordon Ramsay's tears, etc.

The meat within their burgers is an anchor. Adherents to the second camp believe that meat is king. These are brave souls who hand-grind steaks into ground, who select ingredients solely to exalt that meat, framing it in all its glory.

Both paths are roads to the promised land of burger Nirvana. I wish only peace and safe journey to either.

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Is Matt's Big Breakfast Really Worth Getting Out of Your PJs For?

Categories: Food Fight

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Matt's Big Breakfast

We had so much fun chucking Chow Bella contributors Ando Muneno and Lauren Saria into the ring over Alton Brown, food trucks, movie theaters with food and pho that we put them back at it again.

This week's topic: Matt's Big Breakfast.

Lauren: A few weeks ago, I was sharing a perfectly enjoyable breakfast at one of downtown's favorite spots, Matt's Big Breakfast, when I had a sort of epiphany. You see, I realized the thing about going out to eat breakfast -- even at the greatest eateries -- is that spending $10 on eggs and bacon and toast seems like a waste, when I could use that money for a more unique eating experience.


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Point-Counterpoint: Is Pho King or Is It Pho-King Awful?

Categories: Food Fight

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Flickr: toolmantim
Vietnamese Pho Bo Tai

We had so much fun chucking Chow Bella contributors Ando Muneno and Lauren Saria into the ring over Alton Brown, food trucks and movie theaters with food, we put them back at it again.

This week's topic: Pho, Vietnamese beef noodle soup. Pho joints have been growing in popularity throughout the Valley and we've reviewed more than a couple of them.

Ando: Pho is pretty much the best thing ever. I rank a good bowl of pho up there with a hamburger, pizza, and CoCo's curry. When I was in the Navy, stationed in Okinawa, Japan, I had all the curry I could eat, but I longed for a competent hamburger, a slice of pizza that didn't also have squid and corn on it, or a simple bowl of pho with all the fixings. Just as a hamburger is the culinary equivalent of the golden mean, balancing meat against bread against condiments, pho is the perfect confluence of noodle, broth, and just enough meat bits to keep it interesting. It's fresh, it's filling, and when it's done right, it'll feed your soul and clear your sinuses.


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Point-Counterpoint: Dine-In Theaters Destroy the Moviegoing Experience

Categories: Food Fight

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We had so much fun chucking Chow Bella contributors Ando Muneno and Lauren Saria into the ring over Alton Brown and food trucks, we put them back at it again.

This week's topic: Dine-in movie theaters.

Lauren: A few weeks ago, a friend invited me to a screening of a movie that I would never have paid $9 to see otherwise. "It's free!" she begged, adding, "And besides, it's at one of those fancy theaters where they serve food!"

So I went. And while the movie was actually pretty damn funny, the theater Studio Movie Grill was a nightmare!

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Point-Counterpoint: Alton Brown Is the Man and I Challenge You to Say Otherwise

Categories: Food Fight

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Alton Brown: "the man" or...a menace?

We had so much fun chucking Chow Bella contributors Ando Muneno and Lauren Saria into the ring over food trucks, we decided to do it again. This week's burning topic: Alton Brown.

Ando: Alton Brown is the man and I challenge you to say otherwise.

Lauren: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Ando: Seriously, what is not to love about Alton Brown?! I'm specifically speaking of his work on Good Eats. I'm not a huge fan of Iron Chef America so it's difficult for me comment on the merits of his work there, but Alton Brown has done more than any other human to break me free from the false restrictions of a recipe and embrace that cooking is about using a handful of techniques to make magic with whatever you have on hand.


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Point-Counterpoint: We Are So Over Food Trucks. (Or Are We?)

Categories: Food Fight

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troll.me
First World Problems....
Just utter (or type) the words food and truck in close proximity, and some people freak out -- while others drool. It's the same among Chow Bella's staff, which is why when we decided to unveil our first "Point-Counterpoint" (with thanks/apologies to our sister blog in Houston, Eating Our Words) the topic was a no-brainer. Two of our smartest contributors and most experienced food truck diners -- Ando Muneno and Lauren Saria -- volunteered to go head-to-head. So here you go. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.

Lauren: Ok, ok, I get it. People are sick of food trucks. BUT that doesn't mean we need to banish them forever. The bottom line is that in this horrible economy a lot of potentially great food concepts would never have the chance to materialize except in food truck form. They're a low(er) cost way for creative people to bring good and interesting food to the rest of the world.

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