For the first time with this blog, I wasn't quite sure where to start with the writing. I knew how I wanted to finish and what pictures to put up, but the opening lines.....I drew a blank. I couldn't think of a witty line to open with or a famous quote that would tie into this. In fact, I'm not really a "Quote" person. Some people have quotes for every day of the year. I mean, I know a few quotes, but I don't go around spouting them off like some....wait a minute. Where am I going with this? Oh yeah, FOOD! That's what's I'm trying to get at!
Papa Hassan's Grill is the name of the place. It's located on Brookhurst St. in Anaheim, CA. It's in a tiny strip mall sandwiched between a Sizzler and a tobacco shop. I had been to this place once before and found it by pure luck. I was driving around looking for a place to eat and stopped in the shopping center. At first I was just gonna do the salad bar thing at sizzler. But I saw the place next to it and took a chance. Turned out to be a pretty good find.
My first time there I had a beef shawerma sandwich. If you know me on Facebook, you probably saw me post a picture like this sometime ago.
As soon as you walk into the place, that is what you see. Aint it just gorgeous???
As awesome as that looks, I wanted to try other items on the menu to see what this place is all about. The menu had a nice variety to it. A good number of vegetarian options as well as a few things thrown in to ease curious americans into trying something new. Example: Burgers.
Now, my first thought seeing burgers on the menu was "BURGERS?? Why in the hell would I wanna order a burger here with all this other good food here?". But upon reading the descriptions for the burgers, I saw that they are heavily spiced and nothing like the run of the mill burgers so many of us run into. Next time I go there, I'm probably gonna try one. I might not write about it though. I may keep that just for me. :)
So, when it came time to order, I decided to try an appetizer and a panini. First up, the app! I ordered the Batata Harra. It's diced potatoes that are fried and tossed with cilantro and garlic. It comes with a small cup of hummus and a few slices of pita.
Truth be told, I felt that this dish fell flat. I was expecting a strong flavor with the spuds, but it wasn't there. I thought the hummus was ok, but they could've done more the potatoes. More cilantro, more garlic, more SOMETHING! Not quite the way I wanted to get this going.
Next up: Sujuk! That is the name of the panini on the menu. Armenian sausage with pickles and tomatoes.
Now, lets be honest. This is probably NOT the picture you had in mind when I said panini. You probably had an image of something that you might get from Corner Bakery or Panera. A square sandwich that has perfect grill marks and could make the cover of any food magazine. Guess what? This aint that kinda place.
I can't recall ever having Armenian sausage before. I have had ground lamb patties from some Indian and Pakistani friends that I had. This sandwich took me back to that. Very simple at first glance, but the flavor was a bit complex. I couldn't put my finger on the spices in it. What I do know is that it had just a hint of heat to it. After a few bites, you would start to feel it. Overall, I liked it. Good flavor and filling. You can't ask for much more.
What I forgot to mention at the beginning is that this took place before I went in for work. By the time I finished the sandwich, I had about 20 minutes before I had to leave. I looked at the menu a bit more to see what I might check out next time. Next to the register, written in pencil, they had a short list of drinks they served. One of them was Turkish Coffee. I asked the guy how it was, and he told me it was like espresso, strong, but with a hint of sweetness. I still had some time, so I went for it.
The place got a little busy, and about 7 or 8 minutes later, I got my coffee. As a rule of thumb, when I try new foods or coffees or teas, I don't add any salt or sugar on first taste. I want to see how it is on its own. I took a sip of the coffee and.......it was amazing. AMAZING!!! My eyes widened, my jaw dropped a bit and I sat back in my chair. I could not believe how GOOD this was! The guy at the register was not kidding around. It was super smooth with a slight hint of sweetness that just slides across the palatte. The little silver pot next to the cup? More coffee!!
I added a little sugar to it, and it was perfect. All I wanted to do at that point was get my sudoku book and put my headphones on and CHILL THE FUCK OUT! Then I looked at my watch and I only had 6 minutes before I had to leave to go work! Shit!
With what was in the little pot, I got about 3 shots of coffee, and drank all three. Lets just say I had more than enough energy for work!
That's all for this post. Now I think I'm gonna run a marathon until I come down from this caffeine high! Haha! Just kidding! I'm out!!!