Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"I put ketchup all over my Coney's!"

The second Darin did that Jim’s jaw dropped in shock. I guess it is the equivalent of dipping an Oreo in mayonnaise… You just don’t do it!  With the LA auto show wrapping up Darin the creative director from Car and Driver Magazine and Jim Fets the Audi photographer, both from Detroit, were only here till last Sunday. I was on a mission to make sure they went out in style. I knew the Wings were here in town so it was only fitting that I take them to the Kings game at the Staples Center.

That morning at 9 am Darin hit me up for breakfast to watch the Michigan, Nebraska game. Both Darin and Jim were staying at the London just across the street form the Detroit Style Coney Dog. It was only fitting that we all start the day off with 2 giant chili dogs and some chili cheese fries.

10 minutes after I got off the phone I left to meet up with them. As soon as I arrived I looked in the window and some how they were all ready eating. My only guess was that being on Detroit time was still working to their advantage.  I entered to the smell of fresh hot dogs. That smell woke me up faster than coffee (I don't even drink coffee). I turned around and there they were giving me shit about wearing a Kings jersey and they hadn't even said hello yet. Fuckers!

I sat down and the first words out of Darin's mouth were "This is awesome!" "Who would have thought I could travel half way across the country and find a place that would make me feel at home."

Darin was telling me there is a place in downtown Detroit called the Layafette Coney Island in downtown Detroit made by Winter's Sausage in Eastponite, MI and taste just like this hot dog. This restaurant truly was all out authentic. Family run and very hands on. I spoke to the owner and it turns out everything is sourced right from Detroit. Actors Adam Sandler and Tim Allen are some of the investors. How cool is that! This is the reason I love living in Los Angeles. The entire city is made up of people from all over the world. You could have two places right next to each other and both are authentic. One could be Indian and the other NY Pizza. It truly is a blessing living in such a culturally diverse city!

After sitting down for a few minutes Darin has these 2 chili dogs with mustard and onions on top. They were, and I hate to say it, too darn cute… Cute enough to stick right in my mouth. The waitress then asked what I would like. I didn’t even have a chance to look at the menu and I said the obvious… “I’ll have what he is having!”

I got the Coney Dog and the Coney De-lux. Both are chili dogs with mustard and onions, just one has the ground beef in the chili. Normally in LA I feel at home with my Kings jersey on but not around these two. Little did I know it I was gonna feel like a bullied kid. ALL. DAY. LONG. Thank God the food came it was time to take one for team "Sean’s Stomach".

These dogs were awesome. Just a pure mesh of chili, onions, mustard, and of course hot dog. I have an issue with a lot of hot dog places out here most of them are really rubbery. You have to bite hard and almost pull the hot dog right out of the bun.  Places like Pinks and Carney’s are a lot like this. This hot dog was no work at all. It was a real pleasure.

Now I had always held my Coney Dog from the bottom before I put it in my mouth. Jim was quick to point out that I was holding it wrong. I was supposed to hold the hot dog from the top, not the bottom. How stupid could I be! This was not explained to me but I am guessing it is so the topping falls on my plate instead of my hand. I am sure if Jim knew me a little better he probably wouldn’t have wasted his breath. It doesn’t matter how I hold my food it is guaranteed to get on me no matter what. Sure enough before long I had chili all over my Kings jersey. I was hoping it was good luck but later I found out it was not. Damn you CHILI!

After I finished the regular Coney I went right on to the de-lux. The 2 really complemented each other. Normally I don’t like onions on anything but thanks to this blog I have been pretty open to trying new things. The onions really made this meal complete. They added a richness and a spice that kept the flavors alive.

Jim ended up ordering a plate of chili cheese fries that quite honestly looked like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I really didn’t know what to say. It is over whelming when everything is this good. How do you top perfect with perfect?

Great college football, Michigan ended up beating Nebraska. Their selection of beer was right on with what they have to offer in Detroit. An epic meal and with rowdy company how could you go wrong? The Kings lost to the Wings 1-4, that's how. I had to hear about it all day long (I think I can still hear it now).

If you are looking for good college football, great hockey and the best chili dogs in Detroit. I recommend the Detroit Style Coney Dog. Spend 30 minutes here, you’ll get the best Detroit has to offer without having to go there.

I still want to go to Detroit to see what all the hot doggin' is about and hopeful watch the WINGS go MEAT ME!!!

Find out more about Detroit Style Coney Dog at:

Hold your fuckin' hot dog right,
Sean Rice aka MEAT ME!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

“Fuck Thanksgiving that’s a good lookin’ burger!” – Steve Cooper

That’s exactly what I was thinking. I wish thanksgiving were about hunting for my own food, skinning it, barbequing and then celebrating with the men I hunted with. Don’t worry the women there too… they’re were just pampering us (I know… It’s a wish remember?). Instead we dress up a turkey, sit around a table with a bunch of people we can barley tolerate, and complain about the people who aren’t there suffering with us. Just shut up and EAT.

I had no idea that there would be so much pressure around the holiday’s blogging about food, especially with the biggest foodie holiday being Thanksgiving. I had not prep time and no idea what to write about. I didn’t have holiday tips or tricks. My job is to eat the food and that’s it. So I invited my good friend Steve Cooper out to have lunch with me and shoot the shit over some BBQ. Steve lives in Burbank, CA not exactly a place known for great BBQ let alone great food. To me Burbank is known for places like Bob’s Big Boy and the Coral CafĂ©.

The only place known for its BBQ is The Handy Market. It is a deli and they only BBQ on Saturday. So I went strait to Yelp and typed in great BBQ in Burbank. A few places came up and The Hollywood Way was one of them. The pictures of the food were not doing this place any favors. I had lived in Burbank for about year and never heard of it so I was a little skeptical. I texted Steve our options and with out a doubt he chose The Hollywood Way.

We decided to meet on Tuesday around 3 pm right after he was done recording his radio show. I pulled up an the parking lot is attached to car wash. I got out and started taking pictures. It was kind of a mess out side. I am not gonna lie a little dumpy looking but since I am aiming for a good review will call it “divey”.

As I am standing there waiting I see this guys pull up in his Lance Armstrong bike and helmet and walks right in. Only in the valley do people exercise and then and then drink in the same hour… Drinking and well anything go together. At this point I am hoping he made the right decision.

Steve pulls up in his… lets just call it a red car. His head shiny as ever and it looks like he is ready to eat some good food. We walk in and it’s a little empty but that’s to be expected. I see the beautiful waitress come and greet us as we walk in. I look right at Steve and I am thinking, "Did he pick this place because of the view or because they actually have good barbeque. Oh well I am sure I’ll find out."

We sit down and get our typewriter style menus.  We got to chatting and right away the waitress comes up and I ask her the usual what are you known for on your menu. She said the, “ Pulled pork and the Tri Tip!”

They have those items pretty much any way you want them tacos, quesadillas, and sandwiches. I ask her what am I going to get the most meat out of and she recommended the center stage, which is just a big slab of meat. She also said their sandwiches are pretty good size. As she is building up this food I can see Steve’s eyes getting bigger and bigger. "If you’d like I would recommend the Memphis Burger", she says, “It’s a Cheeseburger with BBQ pulled pork on top of the beef with grilled onions!”

It was like my brain hit a wall. What did she say? Pulled pork on top of a cheeseburger! How the fuck was this place barley empty? This idea was so genius I had a hard time hearing anything she said after that. I was still trying to wrap my mind around this phenomenon. Steve looks at me and says, “I’ll have whatever you order!” He's pretty much overwhelmed at this point.

I can see it in his eyes. The meat humbled him. So I ordered the Tri Tip sandwich and the Memphis Burger. Of course at a BBQ joint you have got to get an appetizer and that has to be a meat as well. You can only complement meat with meat... It't the MEAT ME way! So I order the Rib appetizer. At this point I can’t wait...

Steve has an online radio shot called Cooper Talk at http://www.925kyhy.com on Wednesday’s at 4 pm you should check it out. Steve has a lot of celebrity guests and he’s one of the funniest guys I know.

We spend a little time catching up and in minutes the ribs are here. You can really tell right out of the gate that they really take the time to smoke these ribs and do it right. The taste was spent on with what great ribs should taste like. The hickory flavor can be strong but these were just the right amount. We dipped the ribs in the sauce and it was pretty much quite time after that. We both had a nice umm… umm… umm… conversation back an fourth until the main course showed up.

Our waitress shows up and the first words out of Cooper’s mouth are “Fuck Thanksgiving that’s a good lookin’ burger!” This burger was amazing. The burger got the same look Steve gave the waitress when she walked by a few minutes earlier. To me that was all the confirmation I needed that he was happy with what I ordered. The sandwich and the burger were just amazing and totally worth dying for. We decide to share halves of each sandwich and if Steve wasn’t such a nice guy I probably would have eaten his halves when he wasn’t looking.

Aside from the fact that he hilarious (I almost chocked) he’s a good spotter. I couldn’t count the amount of times this guy said, “Your dripping!”

How often have you been out and come home with an entire meal on your shit? I don’t think I have a completely clean shirt in my closet. My girlfriend gave up on me long time ago. So thanks to Steve she have to ask me about my day rather that just look at my shirt.

Not only had this place earned my respect it was affordable too. Steve was so put in his place he was ready for a nap and a colonic! Why was he screaming for a colonic? Who knows some people just can’t handle their MEAT.

You can find out more information about The Hollywood Way’s website @:

You can check out some of Steve Comedy! http://www.925kyhy.com

I'm thankful for Steve,
Sean Rice aka MEAT ME!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

reMEAT – Hole in the Wall Burger Joint

I could not resist not knowing what the burger would actually taste like with the BACON in it. Ever since I posted "Where's the BACON?" at the Hole in the Wall burger joint, it has kind of become a big deal. The blog post soared to the top of my charts. I thought that going back there and taking some nicer photos would help give it the respect that it deserves.

Rather than degrade the images with my words I will let them speak for them selves. I ordered the beef burger with the pretzel bun, chipotle mayo, cheddar cheese, apple wood smoked bacon, and French fries.

I got their custom made ketchup and thousand island sauce. The thousand-island sauce is so unbelievably amazing that it could be used as currency. I am that fucking serious!

Remember just like In-N-Out Burger get a spoonful of the thousand island and put it on the burger before each bite and you can never… ever... go wrong. It’s a sin to not do this.

Soak it in!

I know I am sure you are wondering, "If I am making it all about the food then why are there pictures of me in there?"

Because! You need to know that this food even makes me look good... Thats how good it is.

You can read the first review at:

For more information and locations check out;

Remember - CASH ONLY!

Don't even think about it... Just MEAT IT!,
Sean Rice
aka MEAT ME!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wolfen Down Burgers with the FETS!

These burgers fell under the category of “bigger doesn’t always mean better”.  A lot of places start out great and get so comfortable with a constant flow of customers that they forget to do a quality check. The day you open you explain to the head cook exactly what Wolf Burgers is all about. After a few years and a few chefs later, you walk in to only see the numbers and get lost in the everyday operations. Forgetting that there is a customer behind those numbers.

I do these write ups for fun. They are my hobby and what I love to do. For my real job I retouch and composite digital images, serve as a digital tech and on the occasion… Production assist for car photographers. This week is the LA Auto Show. Working here from Detroit is my good buddy and professional photographer Jim Fets. Jim has shot for numerous car companies and created endless amounts of beautiful imagery. This man has a vision and he only brings you the best.

Jim may not consider himself a foodie… But I know deep down in his bear of a heart, he is. I meet Jim in 2005 we did some retouching together for some magazines but hadn’t really met in person. On one job Jim flew out from his hometown Detroit, MI and we met up for dinner. That is when he told me he made it a point to hit up an In-N-Out every time he was out here. It almost seemed religious as he spoke with so much passion. This man might even change a flight just to make sure he doesn’t miss that burger. From this point on I knew he was the type of person I always wanted to work with. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship (that involved amazing food).

Yesterday Jim and I had some shots to take in Pasadena, CA. The home of Art Center College of Design the college we are both alumni at. It was only a matter of time before we started reminiscing about the good ole’ days. He remembered all these amazing places that he ate at. I only remember beer, more beer, and Top Roman Noodle Soup. I spent so much time at the campus I never really experienced any of the food Pasadena had to offer. I let Jim take the lead on this one… Actually he was paying so he takes the lead most of them.

After tossing a few ideas around it came down to Wolfe Burgers. Jim had remembered it from back in the day and the place had opened right around the time he started college. We walked in to a huge menu and a place buzzing with excitement. That was until I saw how big it was. Most of the time at a new place I ask what they are known for but this time the place said “burger” on the outside and that’s exactly what I was going to have.

The crowd was your usual business lunch. Jim ordered the double burger with jack cheese, grilled onions and a side of onion rings. I got the double chili cheese burger, french fries, with mustard, chili, and cheese only of course.

We waited about 10 minutes max and the food was ready for pick up. The presentation was not all that great for a burger joint what was I to expect. My chili came on the side. Normally I like to control the amount of chili in each bite but I was tired enough to just pour it all on top.

At this point I was ready for the food to start pleasing me. I dove right into the fries, scooped up some ketchup and they turned out to be very nice. They were a great introduction to the burger. Nice and soft… Almost like snowflakes, not too hard with just enough crispiness to hit the spot. This initiated the consumption sequence. I took a big bite of the burger and it was like the entire patio got quiet and the audience in my head said, “ohhhhhhh!”

Not the fire works show I was hoping for. The chili really lacked any luster. It had the same look and consistency as Tommy’s but no zest. Just kind of a Blah. The burger definitely had that charbroiled taste to it, just was over cooked. You can tell when the meat wants to stick to itself. If you grab a burger by both ends and tear it apart it should come apart slowly. If it stretches and then snaps… It has been cooked to long. Spongy… Very rubbery.

I was bummed that I wasn’t amazed. Jim on the other hand was totally content. Not to much, not to little… Just right. Then I start thinking I ordered the wrong thing. May be I set myself up for another disappointment. On the ever-determined quest for burger perfection… I have failed once again.

It is the next day and at this point I was planning on posting this review. I didn’t think the write up was complete, but I had to leave. So I left it for when I got back. I needed to head down to the LA Auto show to meet up with Jim for Press Day. Because of parking the client had me driven down to the convention center in one of their cars. On the way down I explained my dilemma to the driver. I was still stuck on my theory that the restaurant overtime, had let itself go. The menu was exciting and offered so many cool options for a burger. Not to mention the layout was huge like they were expecting a lot of people. Some of the counters and doors were worn down and in some area’s it was down right disgusting.

As it turns the driver George turned out to be a retired policeman that worked in Pasadena. He worked there from the time Wolfe had opened till a few years ago. The restaurant opened during the 80’s by a Mexican woman named Josephine. 10 years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and had to sell the restaurant. Unfortunately since then the restaurant had gone down hill. George explained to me that she was a very kind and sweet women who cared so much about the quality of the food and the services she was offering.

Unfortunately things change because this place was happening back in the day. Oh well MEAT happens!

To check out awesome Jim Fets photography go to:

Here a really cool video about Jim Fets

You can check out Wolfe Burgers at:

Stay hungry,
Sean Rice aka MEAT ME

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Secrets Revealed: The Path To Chili Enlightenment

Featuring Doze the guest master himself. Ever since I was in high school I have always had a love for music. Some of my fondest memories were in band. I played the tuba and I was proud of it. I was not your typical band dork (at least I like to think that). I was in great shape, on occasion I rode a motorcycle and I carried the appetite of the entire band on my shoulders. On Wednesday nights we had band practice from 5 to 8:30pm. What was a high schooler to do with all that time? Study? Nope, EAT!  

My band director and mentor Marcos Mendoza (aka Doze) shared my love for food and music. Often times there were only a hand full of us hanging out after school waiting for practice. Doze would offer to take us out for food. These places included McDonalds, In-N-Out, and Tommy’s. I remember on one occasion I wanted to get a 9 by 9 at In-N-Out Burger, he thought I as crazy and said, “If you eat the whole thing I will pay for it.”

Not only did I finish this thing I got French fries and a drink to show I had the gut for glory. I have so many fond memories of not being able to move during practice because of what I ate for dinner. Like any champ I never had any issues with it coming back up. Unless you count the time the wrestling team turned me upside down into a trash can (which was not by choice) I had a perfect record. The unfortunate benefits of having the band room next to the weight room.

Thanks to playing tuba any cool factor I may have possessed was gone. Food challenges were nothing to be ashamed of. In high school you might be able to make fun of me but I could have devoured your lunch before you were done beating me up.

Since I have started this blog I knew it was missing something and that thing was advise of Doze. He taught me everything I know about eating at Tommy’s. When I was a young freshmen in high school we often went on afternoon trips to Tommy’s. Being the noob that I was I would order the double chili cheese burger with extra chili, chili cheese fries, and a large diet coke. Doze would sit there and laugh at me as bite after bite the chili would fall right off of the burger. This often left me with barley any chili and more meat and cheese than I new what to do with… I would look at Doze and say, “I don’t get it... what am I doing wrong?”

He said, “Oh you have so much to learn young grass hopper!”

And I am thinking what is this guy talking about? He said, “Sean you’re doing it all wrong. Don’t order extra chili on your burger. Your just going to waste it. Order the chili boat (a side of chili) and grab a spoon. Peal back the burger paper, get a spoon full of chili, and put it right on top of the burger before each bite. Do this each time and every bite will be filled with happiness!”

It was like the clouds opened up and I saw the light. From that point on my life had been changed forever. Not only that, but I had extra chili for the fries that did not have any on them. Never was I robbed of chili again.

With eyes wide open I could see the genius that was Doze. I had no idea why all these kids followed him around doing whatever he wanted them to do… The myth of the legend was true... Doze Knows. This man had the answers to everything, and being the sponge that I was... I needed to know.

So what better way to honor and respect him than break chili burgers and diet cokes over dinner. Having read the blog Doze agreed to do dinner and let me share his secrets of chili enlightenment with the world.  I arrived around 8 pm and he was about 30 minutes late. Which is normal and would not have been the same if he was not. We ordered the trifecta. Double chili cheeseburger, mustard, chili cheese only, french fries, and a large diet coke. Not to forget the chili boat with cheese only (for me). In a matter of minutes the food was ready and we carefully escorted it to the table. Doze, the master that he is, grabbed the paper towels. It was bad enough we forgot our bullet proof vest to this part of town… No paper towels could have been fatal!

Step one: Pull the burger paper back. Step two: Get a scoop of chili. Step three: Place the chili right over the area where you are going to bite. Step four: Enjoy! Step five: Repeat steps one thru five. It was awesome! It felt just like that musical montage from Zoolander where all the male models are laughing hysterically and pouring gasoline all over each other. I felt just like that. We looked and smiled at each other after every bite visually confirming the epic-ness of our oral satisfaction. After the second scoop I said, “This is just like reloading a gun…” he replied, “Pointed directly at your heart!” We both laughed.

Tommy’s is so life changing that everybody and there mom is trying to rip them off. There is Tomy’s Tommies, Tomee’s the list goes on forever. There is only one way to know you are at The Original Tommy’s. When you get the chili boat let it sit for about 60 seconds, you will notice a 1/16 of an inch layer of grease over the top of the chili. That is Original Tommy’s. That is the sign of perfection. Not to mention about an hour after you have eaten... you should feel a slight chili hangover. The sign is being a little sluggish in your step.

Our dinner eventually came to an end. As sad as it was for both us, happiness was consuming every ounce of joy on our tray. As time passes some of the best memories I have were over food. To be honest I would not trade it for anything anything in the world.

Who knows what memories our future will hold until we MEAT again.

To find your Original Tommy’s Locations go to

Meat Memories,
Sean Rice aka MEAT ME

Monday, November 14, 2011

Where’s the BACON?

This burger was so amazingly juicy that I was 90% through it before I realized there was no bacon. I turned around to the happy go lucky owner Bill and said, “I think they forgot the bacon?”

He said to me, “Really there is no bacon?”

I said, “Yea!”

He turns around and looks right at the cook and says, “Thank you… Thank you so much! He’s here to write about the restaurant and you forget the bacon!”

I just about died laughing! Bill, the owner of the Hole in the Wall Burger Joint, said this in the sweetest possible way. He’s a funny guy, Bill! Probably the nicest owner I have met till this day. Trust me… I was not dying with out the bacon. If it needed it, I would have noticed and saying something sooner.

My girlfriend and I set out to go get something healthy from Whole Foods. That lasted about 4 to 5 blocks. I looked over and saw this new place called The Hole in the Wall Burger Joint. It grabbed our attention, we looked at each other, and knew it was meant-to-be.

We walked in around 3pm it was nice, clean, and all to our selves. Not to mention new, it has only been open for 3 weeks. This place was as exciting as morning on Christmas Day. Who knows what it was going to be, but I could not wait to get it.

When I go out to eat I never tell people I am writing about the restaurants until I am on my way out. There is not point. I do not want special treatment; I want to be treated just like everyone else to bring you the most real experience possible. If I tell them it can influence the experience and change the out come. I am not doing this for FREE SHIT! I am doing this because I LOVE food and I want you share the best experience possible.

Bill, the owner, picked up on me right away. I walked in, took one picture, and knew exactly what I was doing. After about 30 seconds he asked, “You a blogger?”

I said, “Yep!” Gave him my card and we talked the MEAT. I found out he is very in tune with his customers. He kind of reminded me of a retired NY fire fighter who knew what people wanted and just wanted to give that to them. Enjoy life and skip all the bullshit.

I looked at his menu and it reminded me of the Counters but it did not give me the 250 ways to screw up a burger. It had 3 – 4 options in each section. It was perfect. I could order in under a minute and I wouldn’t have to pull my hair out trying pick all the options!

I got the beef burger, pretzel bun, chipotle mayo, cheddar, bacon, and the fries. Bill was kind enough to offer drinks on the house. My lady kept it safe and ordered the Burger of the Week not to mention the beef is all natural.

The food was done before I even had a chance to finish talking to Bill, under about 5 minutes, and my girl had torn into hers before I could get a picture off. The burgers came in cute little brown bag with a sheet of paper to throw the fries on.

Everything here was made from scratch, from the burgers to the sauces. They cared enough to make every option perfect. We dipped the fries in each sauce and were getting up to get more before we could even finish.

It only took a few bites to realize I had found something special, or that something special had found me. The bun was a super fluffy pretzel that hugged the meat in between. To top it all off the burger was as juicy as ever. JUICY! That was it! This is what I had been missing for so long. I forgot that burgers were supposed to be juicy. You could even see the thin layer of juice between the meat and the bun. It was every carnivore’s lubricant and the holy water of all sacred meat!

The fries were the perfect compliment to go with the juiciness. Between all of the amazing sauces, the thousand island was my favorite. I was in total bliss! Not only was I going home fat and happy, I had made a new discovery along the way. I was dipping my burger in the thousand when I finally noticed there was no bacon.

Normally I would kill for bacon, and at some places visualize myself picking up throwing them out of disrespect. Not this time, bacon had something to compete with. What are you gonna do bacon? Huh Huh? That’s what I thought. I was having such an awesome moment and I did not want the bacon to rain on my parade. I tasted it, it was great, and I was back to my burger the way a mother protects her child.

With that said, I cannot wait to go back and neither should you. Get there… Get there now, before it is too late and there is a line down the street. Bill knows what he is doing, and he came loaded with a serious burger to prove it.

On my way out I thanked Bill for such a wonderful burger. Out of BACON guilt he throw me some of his pudding. As full as I was… I knew I could not pass up another chance to feel special. I did. The pudding was like a hug and a kiss on the way out the door. It reminded me of decadent chocolate ice cream. It was beyond creamy and everything pudding should be.

So I don’t care if you are in an igloo in Alaska or in a box under a freeway… You cannot die without trying this burger. If I don’t explode I hope we MEAT again.

For more information and locations check out;


Feel special,
Sean Rice
aka MEAT ME!

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