Cuisine Scene: Uniquely Long Beach Dishes
Given that Long Beach not only offers a wide range of cuisines and food styles, but a welcome landing spot for the innovative, it’s not surprising the city produces many one-of-a-kind, culinary creations. Whether enjoyed at cafes, coffee shops, holes-in-the-wall or traditional favorites, Long Beach produces an amazing array of unique dishes. So, whether Weasels or Cuties, Maharajas or Macs, here are a few of the unique dishes that add to the flavor of the International City.
MAC & CHEETOS, THE ATTIC
Deliciously, almost deviously simple, it’s a wonder that no one thought of this gooey-crunchy combination until the folks at The Attic (3441 E. Broadway). Arguably the most popular item at one of the city’s most popular eateries, the housemade pasta is coated in creamy cheddar, mozzarella and jack cheese sauces, then topped with crumbled Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and green onion. Though ostensibly an appetizer, you can add the likes of bacon, fried chicken, chorizo, crab, etc. to turn it into one fantastic, unforgettable entree.
CUTIE PIES, PIE BAR
UNCLE MARCEE’S OMELET CASSEROLE, THE BREAKFAST BAR
It’s not easy to pick a single unique dish at the Breakfast Bar (70 Atlantic Ave./3404 E. Fourth St.), regularly recognized as one of the best breakfast/brunch spots in the nation. From its Hung Over breakfast poutine to Naked Cakes whole wheat pancakes, the whole menu is distinctive. Still, Uncle Marcee stands alone as its recipe has been passed down over several generations. Made with bread, jack cheese, milk and egg, and prepared 24 hours in advance for best flavor, it is individually baked, drizzled with spiced sour cream, and served with a potato pancake.
WHITE PIE, LITTLE COYOTE
THE WEASEL, CHUCK’S COFFEE SHOP
It’s not unusual to see puzzled expressions when someone new to Chuck’s (4120 E. Ocean Blvd.) sees “Home of the Weasel” painted outside the Belmont Shore landmark and wonders, “What, or who, is the Weasel?” The correct answer is that the Weasel is delicious. Created by founder Chuck Tinkler himself for a customer who said he needed something substantial after a late night, the dish combines two scrambled eggs, smothers them in Chuck’s famous chili and tops them with onions and shredded cheese, then serves it with thin-sliced potatoes.
MAHARAJA BURRITO, APPU’S CAFE
SALTINE DREAM, LONG BEACH CREAMERY
For nearly 10 years, Long Beach Creamery (222 E. Broadway/4141 Long Beach Blvd.) has been reimagining what ice cream can be, using the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients in such handcrafted creations as ice cream bread, Fennel Cashew and Oolong Tea ice creams. And though they are always experimenting and producing new flavors, Saltine Dream (formerly known as Long Beach Crack) stands above them all: a vanilla ice cream mixed with caramelized saltine crackers then covered in chocolate and a rich fudge swirl. It’s sweet. It’s savory. It’s one-of-a-kind.