Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Pastrami in the Hat (LA/OC)

Up in Los Angeles/Orange County there are a chain of fast-food eateries by the name of The Hat. It started out as a real small take out joint where they have roast beef sandwiches and their "world famous" pastrami sandwiches. It expanded to a few more locations and starting having chicken sandwiches and burgers (why oh why?!). Huge portions, Orange Bang, and tons of different condiments (pepperoncini! Deli mustard!) make it absolutely delicious.
And just like any good California fast food (aka in-n-out) they have a "secret" menu.

Gleaned from inked words on tattered robes of Chinese Monks high up in the Himilayas, there are rumors that on said robes that The Hat makes something along the lines of.. Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries. These monks are all currently dead from heart problems due to these fries.

Since Kathy and I are gluttons for punishment (food) we decided to try the pastrami chili cheese fries.

Before we get to the sole picture, I want to give you some background on these fries.
#1. They are not cheap. We're looking at $5-6 dollars if I remember correctly
#2. They hold VERY true to the Hat's philosophy that all portions must be immense, and there should be enough pastrami to feed a small family.
#3. If the person at the counter looks at you funny when you order it, just say "I want chili cheese fries with an order of pastrami on top". The words pastrami chili cheese fries may confuse people.

Now on to the sole picture!
Kathy's hand is there just to let you see the IMMENSITY of the fries. Okay, she's a small Chinese girl with small (cute) Chinese hands but do not believe for one moment that these fries are not a monstrosity. If you go into this unprepared I guarantee you will be defeated. The funny part is that the fries are actually in a very small container, one of those small trays you get at Hot dog on a stick.

Initially we couldn't figure out how to eat it. We were so afraid that if we pulled one fry out from under the giant pile of meat that it would all tip over. But pull we did.

I poured mustard on mine and it was oily gluttonous heaven within my mouth. This isn't your sissy lean pastrami, this is big pieces of pastrami curled with fat and dripping with oil. I do wish the fries were a crispier. They use those really crappy cheap supermarket style fries. The fries that aren't quite steak fries and not quite normal fries? Just kind of a mish mash of starch.

If you were able to add some tomatoes to cut through the grease and crispier fries this dish would be PERFECT.

So if you want to find yourself a Hat near you (8-10 convinient locations) please follow this link!

The Hat.


imTSENsational said...

Ah the good ole Hat. It made a great after-school snack way back in my high school days.

I do miss the ginormous chili cheese fries, but my god, to top them with pastrami? Totally worth the clogged arteries for sure!

Nicholas said...

orange bang! that looks like the brea location

J@VLG said...

My office is across the street from the Brea location ... and we do wine tastings there about every 4-6 weeks ... and we usually eat The Hat! Although we often stick to burgers as the pastrami will decimate many wines.

If your in the area you are welcome to join us.

J@VLG said...

I meant "you're" ... not your :-)

Charlie Fu said...

j@vlg: Thanks for the invite =) I'm usually only in the OC during weekends and probably only once a month. But I've been keeping an eye on the OL's. Fallspectacular looks amazing =) Too bad i have finals

roger: no potential for heart attack = no taste

nick: yep.

Kathy said...

YUM. That photo makes me want some artery-clogging pastrami/chili fries again

robwonton said...

Drool...a must have, on my trips up to LA. The last time I was there, the table next to us had Onions extra crispy, cheese and extra brown gravy. As my cousins and I were digging into our Chili cheese fries with pastrami they noticed that I kept looking over in curiosity and insisted that I have a bite. Pretty good stuff. I dont think I would make a meal of it but great as a side to share.