There have been a few memorable restaurant experiences in my life. Most involve our time in Los Angeles…not because LA has better restaurants, but because we had money then, and my job at my very fancy corporate employer required me to throw parties at very fancy restaurants while they picked up the tab.
1) An Italian meal at a Venice California restaurant called Via Veneto. Even if I had a thousand lives, I would live them all over again just to take the first bite of their caprese salad and handmade asparagus ravioli. They use a locally made bread and a burrata cheese that would make you kick a bunny; it’s THAT good. Without exaggerating, I hated tomatoes until I took that first bite.
2) A ramen experience on Sawtelle Blvd in a non-descript noodle house that I can’t remember the name of, but you had to walk through about four different courtyards, take a left at a dry cleaner, and then there was likely a secret knock or something.
3) Before Troy and I were married, we went camping with a group of people near the Olympic National Forest. On the way home, tired, stinky, and covered in s’more residue, we all stopped at some random little roadside restaurant. I had a Dungeness crab eggs benedict that wasn’t even playing fair. It was that good.
4) Recently while visiting my friend in Colorado, we went to a ho hum noodle house. The bowls were kind of meh, and definitely needed some kick. Anne grabbed a variety of hot sauces, and we got to pouring. I grabbed one with a label that said Ying Yang and put a few drops on my rice noodles. Then I took a bite, and put a few MORE drops on my noodles. Then Anne put some on, and before we quite knew what happened, we had used half of the bottle on our lunch. The sauce had every single thing I look for in a hot sauce: heat, unique flavor, smoke, and hints of sweet vinegar. Oh, and did I mention they’re certified organic?
While trying not to sweat too excessively, we looked up the company and found they were local to Colorado, and certain Whole Foods in the state carried the products. I promptly bought nine bottles and shipped them home to Washington.
That night, Anne and I consumed another half of a bottle by putting the Yin Yang on pizza and roasted Brussels sprouts (seriously). We had to have a bowl of yogurt (her) and ice cream (me) just to keep our lips from burning off. We knew we were in too deep, but we couldn’t stop.
The next morning, Anne informed me that during the night she had a dream that she was pregnant, in labor, and wandering around the hospital looking for help. She was about to be the proud momma of a delicious little hot sauce baby.
Upon my return to Washington, I gave a bottle to a friend, and within 48 hours, she had bought herself a whole case.
I can’t underestimate to you that this sauce is life changing. It’s epic. And soon…it can be yours.
I contacted Yin Yang when I got back and asked them if they might be willing to partner with me in a giveaway. Not only did they agree to help get some sauce in your hot little hands, they’re giving away a crap ton of sauce to one lucky reader. The good folks at Yin Yang have generously offered an entire case of their liquid magic.
To enter, use the rafflecopter widget below. You’re required to enter a comment about your favorite way to enjoy hot sauce, and you’ll get an extra entry for following Yin Yang on Twitter.
And if you are the lucky winner, here is my suggestion for the best way to enjoy this nectar of the gods. Super sorry for the horrible photos. It was early in the morning and I wasn’t awake. And, as you know, I’m a terrible photographer.
Smoked Cheddar and Ying Yang Hot Sauce Omelet
3 small slices of smoked cheddar
Sliver of butter
Ying Yang Hot Sauce
1) Heat a stainless steel skillet (I have this one and love it) over medium heat until you can feel the heat by holding your palm over it.
2) Whisk your eggs until well combined. Set aside.
3) Add your sliver of butter to the pan and swirl it around the pan to completely coat the bottom at the lower part of the sides of the pan.
4) Add the eggs and then LEAVE THEM ALONE for a good minute or so.
When they’re looking firm, swirl the pan around to redistribute any of the liquid egg.
Add the cheddar to one side of the omelet, and wait a minute or so until it starts to look melty.
5) With a silicone spatula, gently lift the edges of the eggs away from the pan, and then lift the middle to fold over on to the cheese.
6) Cover with Yin Yang Hot Sauce, and rejoice in your good fortune.