Oh, Balut! It’s a staple in Vietnamese and Filipino cuisines, yet many other cultures consider it a ‘bizarre food.’ I’ve always loved Balut. For those unfamiliar with the dish, it’s fertilized eggs with partially developed duck embryos. The description just adds to the ickiness for those unadventurous eaters. What they should really call it is an eggy, goodness explosion!
If you want to try Balut, it’s really important to go to a resturant that serves the dish. If they know how to pick the Balut, then you will never encourter the problems mentioned above. A perfectly cooked Balut tastes like chicken soup. You shouldn’t even be able to tell you’re smashing up a duckling with each bite.
I have found the Balut at Banh Xeo Quan to be quite consistent and delicious. They are only avaiable there on weekends for $2.50 a piece. Make sure to add herbs and some salt and pepper!
If you’re still not sure about Balut, I’d suggest ordering one and just drinking the soup and eating the yolk. You can totally just scoop out the duck and work your way up to it!
The 626 has seen a spike in thin crust pizza lately with places like Blaze and 800 Degrees, but Pitfire Pizza stands apart from the rest. While other fast-fired places seem to be geared towards those who want to grab their food and go, Pitfire caters to those who want to linger. Their newest location opens in Pasadena on Thursday, and boasts a wide menu that includes appetizers, salads, and pastas as well as pizza. This location will be the second Pitfire to also have a full bar, so there’s definitely something for everyone.
The menu has specials that change several times a year to reflect what produce is in season locally, and a commissary kitchen makes the doughs, sauces, and dressings for each of their seven locations by hand every morning.
The salads and pastas are delicious and not to be missed, but the showstopper is the pizza. They’ve mastered the art of pizza dough and the result is a chip-thin crust that manages not to buckle underneath the weight of its toppings. The pizza menu includes a build-your-own option, but even if you stick to the menu you can’t go wrong. The Wild Mushroom is particularly delicious; savory and cheesy with the right amount of crunch from the crust, it’s pizza perfection.