Hi, I'm new to LA from Alabama (big change!), and I have some specific chow questions that I'd love some help with. I've already done tons of reading on the boards, but I'm thinking I'll get more of the answers I'm looking for this way. If I seem like I'm only looking for certain things, or asking too much, it's not that so much as I don't know where to begin looking, so I'm just describing the kinds of places I'm used to eating.
My husband and I live near downtown Burbank, so advice about our area would be particularly helpful.
First, of course, is the question of good bbq. Now, I know everyone's definition of "good" in this area is entirely up for debate, so here's what we are looking for: Pulled pork sandwiches with sauce (mix of sweet and vinegar-ey, I think) AND good fries is absolutely required. Given that, pork ribs and great pies would be a bonus. We should be overpowered by the aroma of smoked meat as we approach the restaurant.
Second: we have been fighting to find a good Mexican/Mex-American place. From what we've tasted so far, I think our problem with being in Southern California looking for Mexican food we like is that honestly, I think maybe it's just too authentic for our Southern country tastes. We're not really looking for food like your Mexican grandmother made, we're looking for whatever kind of Mexican food we left in Alabama. Our ideal Mexican restaurant would be a strip-mall type sit-down place with tasty, cheap margaritas (bonus if they're a little strong), free flowing chips with red, smoothish, spicy salsa, and cheap taco/bean/rice combo. Maybe it's asking too much, but a margarita each, plus free chips and salsa, plus tacos for each shouldn't be more than about 20 bucks. The best we've found so far is Barragan's (knocked out by the 2.50 margaritas!), but we didn't love the salsa and the rest of the menu seemed kind of expensive. We're looking to find a place we can afford to go on a weekly basis. I read some promising things about Don Cuco's (both the Glendale and Burbank location are close enough to us), but I haven't been able to track down actual prices for the margaritas or anything else on the menu.
Third, being from Alabama, we need somewhere with good country cookin'. Fried catfish, fried chicken, biscuits, grits, fried okra, buttery green beans, mashed potatoes, corn bread, blackeyed peas, etc. If there is anywhere in this city that serves real sweet tea, point us that way!!!! A place that would have apple butter somewhere in the kitchen?I know it's a chain, but we love Cracker Barrel, so use that as a frame of reference for the type of food we're aiming for.
Those are the most important things we're desperately seeking out, but other recommendations are welcome! Just keep in mind that we are very poor newlyweds who nearly have a stroke every time we have to pay our rent. We're trying to be kind to both our taste-buds and our bank account!
And if you're ever headed to Birmingham (can't imagine why you would be...), or Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, or even Auburn (WAR EAGLE!), let me know and we will steer you to GREAT local chow!
Thanks so much in advance for all y'all's help!