Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Best Burger

Last night for my birthday my husband and I went to 25 Degrees in located in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. A new twist on a burger joint created by Tim and Liza Goodell, proprietors of Dakota, Troquet, and the Red Pearl Kitchen concept. I was wondering about the name, 25 Degrees, and I found out that the name refers to the temperature difference between a medium rare and well done burger.

Sitting in the cozy half-moon shaped leather booth, looking at the rich textured wall coverings and chandeliers, we felt like we were transported to another world. But another world that served something very familiar--burgers.

As we settled into the relaxed atmosphere we looked at the menu and imagined what our unique burgers would taste like. The wonderful thing about the sirloin burgers at 25 Degrees is that you can choose your toppings. And since my husband and I have different tastes in burgers we were able to decide what we each thought would be the best burger ever!

The burgers were incredible! I got the sirloin burger topped with midnight moon goat cheese, garlic aioli, avocado, prosciutto and arugula. He got the sirloin burger topped with smoked mozzarella cheese, bacon, chili and jalapenos! The burgers were served inside an incredible bun, much like a brioche and they were hot and juicy. And huge! It took us quite awhile to finish the burger.

And what is a burger without fries and onion rings? We had to share the 1/2 & 1/2 (1/2 french fries and 1/2 onion rings) which was served in a large chinese take-out container. Instead of the traditional ketchup we went with dipping sauces for the fries and rings--garlic parmesan and horseradish cream. So good!

I had to save room for the chocolate shake which was a wonderful ending to the perfect meal. The waitress did recommend the Guinness float and we will definitely try that next time.

If you are looking for an outstanding burger and a unique dining experience you should definitely try 25 Degrees. My husband said that it was the best burger he has ever had and I would have to agree. Oh yeah, and they were showing "Legends of the Fall" on the flat screen televisions...interesting choice!

25 Degrees is located at 7000 Hollywood Blvd, inside the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Open for breakfast daily 7am-10:30am
Monday to Wednesday 11:30am-1am
Thursday to Saturday 11:30am-3am
Sunday 11:30pm-10pm

Monday, April 2, 2007

H&H Nursery

In planning my vegetable, fruit and herb container garden this year, I found out about H&H Nursery in Lakewood. I wanted find something different than Armstrong, Home Depot or Lowe's and this is a great find! H&H has so many different varieties of trees, flowers, fruits and vegetables that it was hard to choose what to bring home!

In lieu of a large orchard, I buy the semi-dwarf or dwarf fruit and citrus trees and keep them in containers. This year I added to my collection with a Fuji apple tree, an almond tree and a papaya tree. The 5 gallon apple and almond tree were $30 each and the 2 gallon papaya tree was $20. I also bought most of my herbs and vegetable plants from there as well. The price for the 4" plants were $2.49 each--just a little more than you would pay at the grocery store and you don't have to drive to the store for just a little sprig.

They have very reasonable prices for organic gardening and potting soil. 1.5 cu ft for $7.99 for the potting soil. I also saw the cocoa shell mulch and if you are wondering if it smells like chocolate, yes, it does! I was tempted to get it but since my dog loves to eat almost everything, I wasn't sure if the cocoa shells would harm her so I resisted. But I will do some research to see if it would be dangerous and if not, I will get some cocoa mulch!

Check out their newsletter for news, tips and a recipe of the week.

H&H Nursery
6220 Lakewood Blvd
Lakewood, CA 90712
Mon-Fri 7:30-5:30
Sat 8:00-5:30
Sun 9:00-4:30

Laurel's Heirloom Tomatoes

I love the look of heirloom tomatoes. The odd-shapes, unique colors, a variety of types and tastes are what draw me to them. The prices for these in the grocery store can be quite expensive and are a little better at farmers markets. But for those who want to try their hand at growing them, keep reading!

A friend recently told me about a local grower of heirloom tomatoes and since I am starting my vegetable & herb garden this year, I had to check it out. Laurel from Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants offers 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, from small cherry tomato varieties to the huge beefsteaks. Her website lists each tomato along with a picture and a description and lots of good notes on each variety. This past weekend she had a plant sale where I picked up the green zebra and san manzano plants. I can't wait to pot them and see the beautiful fruits! She ships the plants from Gardena, with a minimum order of 1 plant, and she has tons of tips on her site for first time tomato gardeners (like me!). If you live close enough, you can also pick up your order at the nursery.

Most of the 4" plants are $4.50 and some very unique varieties are a little more. She also offers some pepper and basil plants as well.

I'll keep you updated on my tomato plant progress as the season goes on!


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