Hot dogs and chicken burgers

This week I filled up on my "American" food!  I'm not talking about comfort food (which is oooh my goooosh, so gooood = mac 'n cheese, creamed spinach, and the like); I'm talking about hot dogs and hamburgers!  ... Er, chicken burgers, but we'll get to that soon ;)

Ooooh, new food truck! (plus creepy ghost girl in window ;P)

That's right, it's Papa Tom's!  They focus on hot dogs :)

I actually asked the nice lady at the window if they were a new food truck.  Her answer?  "Yes... and No."  Apparently they were called something else... I think it was "Gateway" something?  But they furnished themselves with a new truck and renamed to "Papa Tom's."  So interesting, right?  ^^

And I'm not going to lie; I'm not a hot dog fan.  Definitely not a hot dog fan!  @_@  When I was younger, my family was super busy with shuttling my sister and I to school activities, piano lessons, and of course, swimming practices.  So the go-to meal for those (many) days where we needed something to eat on the table in no time was hot dogs.  I'm not talking about these finger-like critters nestled in a toasted bun and drizzled (or drowned!) in ketchup and mustard.  Noooo, it was literally hot dogs from the package, boiled in water, and awkwardly placed in large white plates in the middle of the table like the worms I look at through the microscope during my time at lab.

Haha!  XD  I remember whenever we saw the boiled weiners in a pile on the plate, my sister and I would give one another a look.  We ate it so often, that we're all scared of hot dogs!  Well, I think my mom still likes them, but my dad, sister, and I may just run away from the sight of them. ;)

So I hadn't had a hot dog since those days, unless you count the one chili dog I've had in college and the handful of "super chili dogs" from Sonic :D  Now, *those* dogs are delicious :D

Anywayyyyys, while we were browsing through the four food trucks that graced Taylor and Scott, I saw people walking back indoors with these beautiful, beautiful-looking hot dogs!  They were piled with topping like bacon (!) and Parmesan cheese~  Om nom nom *drool*  Okay, when I saw that, I knew I had to break my cold silence with hot dogs.  I had to visit Papa Tom's!  ^_^

Papa Tom's hosts a variety of hot dogs, but I heard people getting the Texan Barbeque Dog the most often.  Jeff ordered that one while I got the Hot Papa Dog, and we watched the lady take orders from the never-diminishing line of people snaking from the food truck's window.  I can't believe so many people like hot dogs!  @___@  *hamburger fan!*

They also sell Ted Drew's frozen custard :)  I was really tempted to buy that, but after having Ted Drew's in situ, there's no way it could be better than freshly churned!  Our orders came out and we joined the rest of the lunch bunch inside with our warm lunch fare in our hands. 

Hot Papa Dog

Texas Barbeque Dog

Jeff and I split each hot dog in half and swapped a half with one another, so that way we could try both :)  We had little cups of ketchup and mustard (Jeff decided to fill the WHOLE thing with ketchup, omg, who would ever eat that much XD), but I didn't end up using any, because the food was so flavorful!  ^^

The Hot Papa Dog was definitely spicy.  The name "Hot" should have given me a clue, but I didn't even think this would be hot, and it was so spicy that my mouth was on fireeee~  Good one time experience for me, but definitely not getting something like that again!  Aside from the spiciness, I liked the flavor :3

But I think Jeff's Texas BBQ Dog won out.  It's probably because it's inspired by Texas... *Texas pride!*  Har har har :P  I loved the bacon and cheese inside, and the smokey BBQ sauce was yummy~  So good!  I think I could eat three of these for lunch.  But that's a $15 lunch from a food truck, so I'll resist ;)

Although I don't think I'll jump on the chance to eat a regular hot dog in the future (scarred for life, haha~), I think I'll have a difficult time resisting a hot dog from Papa Tom's.  Their menu is quite extensive, so check them out!  ... and definitely try a Texas BBQ Dog (mmm, bacon!)!  ^__^b

Papa Tom's Fancy Franks

And since we're on a roll with eating junk food, let's continue with a lab lunch!  We all went out to Tom's, a pub / sports grill in Central West End.  The interior walls are lined with televisions!  I couldn't decide which television to watch, so I went all jumble-eyed trying to watch seven programs at the same time.. XD

Yep.  It's a sports pub, all right.

The waitress seems to be the owner, super nice and friendly, dressed in a comfy tanktop, jean shorts, and tennis shoes.  Haha, such a different way than my last visit in Central West End at Drunken Fish!  :P  Tom's sells tons of hamburgers, wraps, sandwiches, wings, and sides.  Pretty much anything you can get off the grill~  I chose the Cajun Chicken Sandwich with fries (with the options being fries, chips, or coleslaw).  It was pretty massive, and I devoured it entirely!  ^^''  ... Is it still considered a sandwich if it uses hamburger buns?  Chicken burger?  Hmm...

Anyways, overall, the sandwich was pretty good!  I didn't want to scare away my lab with my table manners when I eat with my fingers (and shove things into my mouth!), so I opted for knife and fork.  The spices weren't as "kick'n" as I thought they should be, and the chicken was a little dry.  But I guess that's because it's a huge slab of chicken breast!  The grilled peppers and onions on top made me happy :)

Huge portions!  Fork and knife provided by Tom's without asking ^^

And the fries!  ... Ohh, the fries~  I like my fries thick and flavorful!  And Tom's fries were just that :D  I actually polished off a fourth of the fries before starting on the burger, and finished up half of what was left afterwards.  That's a pretty big feat, if I say so myself, because they give you a super generous portion of fries!  @__@  Om nom nom, very yummy! 

This was the first meal I've eaten with other people that I was almost entirely silent for the entire time!  I was sitting with the older members, and they were talking about big-adult stuff, so I concentrated on eating my sandwich as fast as I could in order to keep them from waiting.  *I'm (usually) a slow eater...*  I like eating quietly!  I get to enjoy the conversation (listening) and my food (no interruptions) XD  Haha, I'm starting to think that's probably the reason why I enjoy eating by myself on weeknights in my room.  I eat my food and look out the window the entire time.  It's peaceful.  And it sounds like what old people do =_=  Haha!

Tom's was almost entirely filled the whole time we were eating lunch.  But we came a bit late, so when it hit 2pm, the crowd started dwindling.  Hyun said he came here to watch the game (no idea what game he was talking about @_@) and that the atmosphere is really nice and inviting.  I definitely believe that watching the Olympics with friends here would be fun :P  So if you're in the mood for some stick-to-your-ribs grilled fare, head down to Tom's!  ... Their onion rings look as if they are to die for!  Om nom nom!

Tom's Bar and Grill
20 South Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63108


Meanwhile on the farm...  Haha, okay, no farm here, but it was a pretty productive weekend in the kitchen.  I made omurice and fish curry, both for the first time!  :D  

Omurice :D

Fish curry?

So the only fish curry I've ever had was at school, and it was pretty darn good (no idea if authentic), albeit hella expensive.  The server gave me like... 2 pieces of cod the size of my thumb, but the flavor was pretty good :3  My first attempt to make Indian food at home resulted in a soupy mess.  Is it supposed to be this watery?  @_@  The flavor was light, and I really like cumin and garam masala!  But it's quite unphotogenic.  So let's look back to omurice! :D:D:D  *diverts attention away from yummy but ugly fish curry* 

Omurice is rice wrapped in a layer of egg.  The rice can just be steamed rice, but it's usually a more fragrant rendition with vegetables and meats.  I didn't really know what to put inside the rice, because I didn't have ham or chicken on hand, so I sauteed mushrooms, onions, and garlic with the rice.  And of course, I squeezed some ketchup into the mix!  I think I should have added even more ketchup to make it a more red color, but I guess I'm learning ^^''

So when you're done, it looks like a football-ish shape!  :)  I cut it down the middle to show you what it looks like inside.  I made my omurice too flat; it should be dome-esque instead of this flat /linear thing.  Also, do you think the rice is red enough?  The ketchup definitely made a color change, but it's not orangey red like all the other omurices I've seen!  @_@ 

Anyhow, I'm happy with how the omurice turned out!  I was afraid I would break the egg skin and fail at wrapping the rice ^^''  Hooray for a culinary successful weekend :D  ... and don't worry.  I had a whole other bowl of veggies on the side ;)

One more thing!  I made these strawberry bar cookie thingie-ma-bobs, but I used a 9'' cake pan, so I couldn't really call it a bar if I cut them into wedges, right?  ^^"  Daniel said they couldn't pass as scones because they're more pastry-like... cakey??  @_@''  I gave a few boxes of them to Anna to distribute to Josh, Book, and Sean.  Hope they liked the pastries ^^b!~

Strawberry Lemon Bar... thingies?