Archive for June, 2009

Chili Cheese Fries Testing, Photos and Reviews.

June 30th, 2009 1 comment

sonic-022Have you seen our Chili Cheese Fries Comparison post?  We just added these Chili Cheese Fries from SONIC Drive-In to the post.  The report is linked below.  ALSO, we still need an address from two SONIC Drive-In Gift Card Giveaway Winners.  Hurry and get back to us or we’ll need to draw two new winners on July 10th, 2009.  All prizes need a home.

Chili Cheese Fries Comparison Post:

SONIC Drive-In Gift Card Giveaway:

Las Fajitas Restaurant On & In Newport.

June 29th, 2009 1 comment


import-003A fast pop into Las Fajitas Restaurant yielded great service, one of the better Salsa Bars (It includes Sour Cream and Marinated Carrots), and a Carnitas Taco that I would definitely have again.  Las Fajitas Mexican Grill Seafood Catering Restaurant is on Newport Boulevard in Newport Beach.  We’ll be going back to try more.  So far, so very good.

Las Fajitas Restaurant direct link and related report.

Easy, Fast & Tasty Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

June 28th, 2009 1 comment


One Red Bell Pepper makes a fair amount of Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.  This Sauce is a variation of several recipes I reviewed online.  And it turned out to be a simple and tasty combination.  I halved and charred a Red Bell Pepper in the toaster oven until completely black, then with the oven off I kept it in there for another 15 minutes to steam/loosen the skin.  And it peeled right off like nothing. 

To make the Sauce, add the Roasted Red Pepper to a mini food processor with the perfect balance of Olive Oil, White Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Juice and S&P — It doesn’t take much of each.  Puree all, then taste and add more of the above (if necessary) to dial in the flavor.  This small batch was so good — I ate the extra Sauce as Gazpacho.  Before that, I had it on some Lingcod I poached.

Related Link: /FoodBlog/2009/06/02/lingcod-fish-its-green-its-blue-its-white/

The Italian Torpedo Sandwich From Quiznos.

June 26th, 2009 4 comments


This is a good Sandwich and the Bread is excellent for it.  We stopped in for a quick Italian Torpedo from Quiznos.  It’s only $4 — Love that.  And since I walk by a Quiznos a few times a week, I was bound to try one at some point.  It’s thinner than I thought it would be, which I liked.  And it’s made on very soft Ciabatta Bread, which makes a Toasty Torpedo tasty.  We highly recommend it.

Congratulations SONIC Drive-In Gift Card Winners.

June 25th, 2009 1 comment


torpedo-sonic-026First, thanks to ALL who entered.  I wish I could give each of you a $25 Gift Card to SONIC Drive-In.  It was my pleasure hosting this contest and I hope to present more great FOOD Giveaways in the future on Nibbles of Tidbits — Keep checking back.  Until then, this time the (10) lucky WINNERS are…

1.)  Katie D. (Reno, Nevada)
2.)  Shannon C. (Bondville, Illinois)
3.)  J (Bakersfield, California)
4.)  JC (Norwalk, California)
5.)  E-Dawg (Cypress, California)
6.)  Kristen (Gilbert, Arizona)
7.)  Erin DiCarolis (Melbourne, Florida)
8.)  Pam (Rancho Cucamunga, California)
9.)  Richard Halvorson (Graham, Washington)
10.) Andrea Bohn (San Clemente, California)

We’ll be contacting you to learn where to send your Gift Card.  It’s time to eat.  Thanks to all participants and sponsors.  It’s been fun.

Related Link:

Lavender Pound Cake With Lemon Glaze.

June 23rd, 2009 No comments


For my Birthday a dear friend made this Lavender Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze.  She knows I like trying unique food combinations and Lavender in Cake is good, especially this Cake.  The recipe is put out by C&H Sugar and linked below — It makes two loaves or one Bundt.  After a few slices, she wrapped it in wax paper and foil for me to take home.  It kept so well and was a treat for breakfast all week.  Now I have to make it and wrap it the same. 🙂

Recipe PDF: lavender-cake

Recipe Link:
(FYI: If you use this link, you must then search the Cakes to locate the Lavender Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze recipe)

The Next Food Network Star, More Should Go.

June 22nd, 2009 1 comment

family-food-network-022After the 3rd episode of The Next Food Network Star, I voted for Teddy to go, but it was Eddie who got the boot.  I’m okay with that too — Both should go.  I’m noticing that several season 5 contestants are competing as if they’re on a one time reality show, instead of putting forth their integral best.  Although the show is reality based, the prize requires good relationships, not ruthless play for a single monetary pay-off.  My favorites thus far are Jeffrey, Melissa and Katie.  The above photo includes Jeffrey, Teddy and Michael (l-r).

More INFO:

Let’s Stop For A Moment Of Branding.

June 21st, 2009 No comments


I Need Text Company, Nibbles of Tidbits’ main site is being overhauled.  It’s basically getting a new look and we’re hopefully making it easier for clients to obtain the information they desire.  The change will happen overnight during the first week in July.  Until then, we remain open for business.  Thanks for your inquiries.

Two more announcements, Happy Father’s Day today — And don’t forget to ENTER a comment on the SONIC post to win a $25 Gift Certificate to SONIC Drive-In.  We’ll be drawing the winners from the commenters and mailing out (10) Gift Cards in 4 days.

Win a $25 Gift Card to SONIC Drive-In.

June 18th, 2009 67 comments


Nibbles of Tidbits is giving away (10) $25 Gift Cards to SONIC Drive-In.  Have you ever been to one?  If you haven’t, we’re giving you a few reasons why you should — If you have (and many would say of course), we would like to give you a $25 Gift Card to enjoy your next meal there.  All can enter to win by simply leaving a comment on this post.  On June 25th, we will randomly draw (10) winners from all who commented.  For better odds, you may enter/comment once a day, but you can only win once.  GOOD LUCK!


SONIC Drive-In is now in South Orange County looking a little different after passing a few stepford regulations imposed by the City of Mission Viejo.  Although the exterior isn’t traditional, they’re serving the same food by carhops on roller skates.  I LOVE that about SONIC — It’s nostalgic and fun.


Although SONIC has been around for more than 50 years and has over 3,500 locations, I had yet to pass one during my travels, until its appearance in Mission Viejo just over two weeks ago.  This was my first visit.  You can consider the items below as potential prizes in the $25 on the 25th SONIC Gift Card Giveaway.


sonic-044These days all fast food restaurants are working to serve healthy choices.  SONIC is serving a Grilled Chicken Sandwich on a Wheat Bun — It was one of the better ones I’ve tried.  We also appreciated the Fresh Apples with the Low Fat Caramel Dipping Sauce and a Banana as a Side option.  On their website is an itemized calorie meal builder, which can be helpful too.


A few of us gathered to try a lot of food and were happy to learn that Breakfast is served all day long.  The Texas Toast options are different — We chose the Bacon Cheeseburger Toaster, which comes with an Onion Ring.


And we had to get the Tots, since that’s one of the Sides they’re appreciated for.  The Tots were perfectly crispy, but we really liked the Onion Rings that are freshly battered each day.  They’re not frozen — That’s a good thing. 


We were completely stuffed after the Sausage Biscuit Dippers & GravyFrito Chili Cheese Pie Wrap, Turtle Pecan & Caramel Bundt Cake and famous Cherry Limeade (aka giant Shirley Temple).  In addition to what’s pictured here, there was more and we particularly loved the Banana Cream Pie Shake.  SONIC’s Drink options are crazy good.  How can you pick one?  We all left with three each, HA.  It appears many will drive for miles to eat at a SONIC.  One pictured below drove all the way from Connecticut.  Okay, she didn’t drive to California just for it, but she did pass many along the way.


Overall, I found SONIC Drive-In to be more than just a fast food restaurant.  It’s a fun experience.  You can sit on the patio or stay in your car parked in one of the Drive-In stalls, to be served by a skating carhop — Or just drive through.  They have a Happy Hour (2-4 PM), $1 Menu and more, but you’ll need to learn the rest from them.

FYI:  The SONIC Drive-In $25 Gift Card Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM (Pacific) on June 24th, 2009.  Enter a comment on this post NOW for a chance to win.  The lucky winners will be notified via e-mail on June 25th and we’ll mail out the Gift Cards the same day, or as soon as an address is provided.

I Love A Mango! Why Do I Keep Saying That?

June 17th, 2009 No comments

misc-0051I love a Mango, but they are so darn hard to cut.  It’s the seed.  I can never tell where it is, and sometimes it’s thin and sometimes it’s wide.  Does anyone know the secret?  I haven’t researched it yet.  This post simply mentions its benefits — It’s high in Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene, but I’ll leave that to the health experts.  We’re just posting a couple helpful links to assist with healthy living through FOOD and more.  I appreciated the information.  And now it’s time for a Mango Smoothie, as recommended and linked below.

101 Healthy Smoothies For Your Health
101 Ways to Detox Your Mind, Body & Home
Best Foods for Weight Loss & To Feel Great

Post Title Inspiration — Sorry, there’s a 30 second commercial preceding it.

50 Best Foods For Weight Loss & To Feel Great.

June 16th, 2009 No comments

Radiography Schools report the 50 best foods to eat for weight loss, to feel great and stay healthy.  All are terrific to eat, even if you don’t need to lose weight.  Coincidentally I enjoyed (11) of them yesterday.  The linked report includes some helpful information.

The Largest Taco In The World Is At Taco Town.

June 15th, 2009 No comments

Would you eat this Taco?  Check out the commercial for Taco Town’s New Taco.  It’s gigantic and hilarious — Bon Appétit.

Shorebreak Hotel In The Heart Of Surf City.

June 14th, 2009 2 comments


Nibbles of Tidbits was invited to the Grand Opening Party at the New Shorebreak Hotel in the heart of Huntington Beach (aka Surf City).  It was a pretty hip and happening par-tay, but here we emphasize the fashions of the food.  And must mention the spectacular view of the Huntington Beach Pier and Pacific Ocean — The above photo was taken from one of the hotel rooms.  Surf City accommodations don’t get more ideally located than this.


Our invitation included an amazing Family Style Dinner at Zimzala, the Shorebreak Hotel’s Restaurant.  Their unique and high quality dishes offer your taste buds a flavorful trip through the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. 


As a starter before dinner, we shared a Zimzala Mezze Plate.  Our multi-level serving plates included a Moroccan Carrot Salad, White Bean Salad, Hummus, Cheese Filled Moroccan Cigars and more.  Each item had its own intense flavor.  I’m craving the Carrot Salad as I write this.



Prior to dinner we were greeted at the door with a Glass of Cava and a cute guy holding a plate of appetizers, and then several more which included “real” Crab Meat on Cucumbers (that’s refreshing all around) and Mini Salmon Cakes.  During dinner we were served some of the best Salmon I’ve ever had — I believe it’s Zimzala’s Pan Roasted Wild Salmon.  And I didn’t get a piece, but my friend raved about the Moroccan Chicken Tagine.


For dessert we had the Warm Strawberry Galettes with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and the Chocolate Ganache, which is uniquely served with Grilled Sourdough Bread, Olive Oil and Sea Salt.  The combination works and it’s fun to try.


Shorebreak Hotel hosted a fabulous Grand Opening Party.  After the appetizers and before the dinner, we enjoyed the BBQ Grilled Shrimp, Lamb and Chicken Skewers in the courtyard.


And one of the Ballrooms was filled with Oven-Roasted Bacon Wrapped Dates (We LOVE ’em), Fingerling Potatoes, Fried Artichoke Hearts and the various Mediterranean Salads we enjoyed at dinner.



In addition to the after dinner desserts we shared, Zimzala set up a dessert room that included Fresh Coffee and my favorite Cookies, Madeleines — These were Lemon and I’m kicking myself for not taking one (or 5) to go.  I was stuffed at the time, but wish I had them now.  And above right are the room goodies offered with the view in the first photo.


As if the above isn’t enough for a successful Grand Opening Party, the Shorebreak Hotel hosted a Fashion Show, Live Band, Acoustic Performances, Simulated Surfing, Wine Tasting and Sand Castle Building.  It was a fun time and the service was excellent.  We like the airy and sophisticated feel of the hotel and would love to go back for more of everything.

Bolded food items are known to be on Zimzala’s everyday menu.

Jimmy’s Burger Joint Hawaii and Kobe Beef.

June 13th, 2009 No comments


Jimmy’s Burger Joint took the place of Carm’s Coneys — I had just got to liking the Dogs at Carm’s Coneys, then all of the sudden it was gone and Jimmy’s Burger Joint was there.  It happened in a flash.  My minimal understanding is that Carm and Jimmy were partners who disagreed on the restaurant’s emphasis.  Jimmy’s Burger Joint majors in Burgers and minors in Dogs, whereas Carm’s Coneys did the opposite.  Aside from that, there are a few menu similarities.


Although we miss the Original Coney from Carm’s Coneys, we think Jimmy’s Burger Joint makes an amazing Burger.  And we specifically love the Hawaii Burger with Teriyaki, Grilled Pineapple, Grilled Onions and Swiss Cheese.


This day we had the Hawaii Burger ($9) and the Kobe Beef Burger ($11).  Both were good, but (again) we prefer the Hawaii Burger and Bun.  The 1/3 lb. Burger size is the same, but we found the Kobe Beef Burger Bun top too thick.  And so far I haven’t been bowled over by any Beef labelled “Kobe” anywhere.


We’d definitely go back for a good Hamburger and we look forward to trying Jimmy’s N.Y.C. Dog, Chicago Dog and Sweet Potato Fries.  We’ll report about them next time.

Previous Report re Carm’s Coneys
More INFO and Comments

Interested In A Dads Only Cooking Class?

June 12th, 2009 1 comment

In honor of Father’s Day that’s fast approaching, Lucca Café Owner, Chef Cathy Pavlos will lead a group of Dads through a course dubbed “Manly Meats on the Grill.”  Dads will have the opportunity to learn about grilling various Meats — Marinating, brining, sauces and more.  Each attendee will get to feast on the fruits (Meats) of his labor, while sipping wine paired by Lucca Café’s General Manager and Sommelier, Elliott Pavlos.  The price is $50 per Dad and includes tax, tip, FOOD and Wine.  It sounds like a good time if you can get your Dad to go — Mine won’t, HA.  He already knows how to BBQ and prefers his Budweiser.  It’s just the way it is. 🙂

Lucca Café: (FYI & UPDATE: If you click on this link, you will not be able to use the back arrow to return to Nibbles of Tidbits, not even if you double or triple click it — It appears to be programmed that way.  For the record, I don’t appreciate that in any site and will not be linking to similarly programmed sites in the future.  It’s not convenient for the readers.)

Manly BBQ Grill:

Sunset Dinner Menu at Orange Hill Restaurant.

June 10th, 2009 1 comment


Have you been to Orange Hill Restaurant?  You’ve had about 40 years to get there.  It’s on the top of a steep hill in Orange, California.  It’s a bit scary driving up there, but the views are spectacular.  And it’s been a great place for wedding receptions, prom dates, special events, romantic dinners and many good times.


Right now, from 4:30 – 6:30 nightly, they’re serving a Sunset Menu for $19.95 — It’s a prix fixe menu that includes a choice of the Orange Hill Salad or Maine Lobster Bisque, and an entree of Prime Rib of Beef (above), Fresh Atlantic Salmon, Chicken Dijonnaise (below) or Portobello Mushroom Ravioli.  And all is served with a slice of House Made Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis.


It’s an excellent deal for really good food and amazing views — A perfect date place.  I was wishing I wasn’t with my friend, HA.


Orange Hill has seamlessly been remodeling room-by-room over the past few months and has just one left.  It’s more up to date than it once was, but has no major changes — They do have a showcase kitchen you get to pass through on the way to one wing of the restaurant.  That’s fun to see.


And you’ll see tons of Koi Fish in the pond as you walk across the bridge towards the restaurant.  It’s pretty cool.  We were there to see the daylight view and watched the sun go down as we dined.


I’d love to go back for the Sunset Menu — It’s a meal deal on a hill.  Others hang out sipping cocktails near the outdoor fire pits.  Orange Hill Restaurant has much to enjoy, once you get past the drive up.

FYI:  Orange Hill Restaurant is not related to the Orange County Mining Co. Restaurant, which is on a different nearby hill.  Some have confused the two.

Rubio’s New All American Taco – Tasty But Tough.

June 9th, 2009 3 comments


misc-0033Have you heard about Rubio’s New All American Taco?  It’s a Burger in a Taco.  I fell in love with the idea and Rubios’ photo of it.  My Taco wasn’t as pretty as the model, but it tasted good.  I especially like the Soft Flour Tortilla and Smokey Garlic Chipotle Mayo, but the Burger Meat on the Taco I had was pretty darn tough — That’s not good.  Overall, with a better Burger the All American Taco could be a home run.  And it’s worth trying again to see if the next one is less chewy.  I hope so.

The Next Food Network Star Premiers – It’s Time To Vote & Win.

June 8th, 2009 5 comments


The Next Food Network Star Season 5 officially started.  Vote for who you would have eliminated — I did.  Voting will also enter you in a sweepstakes to win a Grilling Oasis Package.  It appears my first vote is with the majority for Debbie, who remains on the show.  So far the public differs with the Food Network Judges.


Above from left to right, Jen who was the first to be eliminated, Debbie who most people voted should be eliminated, and Jeffrey my favorite so far.  We’ll see what happens next week.

Related Links:

Cafe Nordstrom Serves A Mean Mall Lunch.

June 7th, 2009 No comments


Cafe Nordstrom or Nordstrom’s Cafe  should be sought out at many malls.  Where there is a mall, there may be a Nordstrom, and where there is a Nordstrom, there MAY be a Cafe — Some have them and some don’t.  These photos are from our lunch at The Brea Mall.  Cafe Nordstrom is one of our favorite eating spots there.  We like the comfortable environment and food.  This visit we had the Artichoke & Chicken Salad (above), which includes Organic Baby Greens, Romaine, Chicken, Goat Cheese, Artichoke Hearts, Tomato, Red Onion, Basil, Kalamata Olives and a Red Wine Vinaigrette.


And we got the Margherita Pizza again — My Mom loves it.  Below is the Cafe’s Side Salad, which comes consistently colorful.  We always seem to get at least one of them.


This visit we had our ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ kids with us, thus opted for the Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Tomato Soup (swapped for the Soup Du Jour).  All kids’ meals include Fresh Fruit and Milk, Soda or Juice.  The Grilled Cheese combination is only $4.95, and my Sister says it’s the best Grilled Cheese Sandwich around.


You’ll order your food at the counter where the Desserts are displayed — Then choose a comfortable booth or table and all that you’ll need will be delivered to you.  It’s a tasty escape from a busy mall.


The Irvine Spectrum Nordstrom Cafe Bistro:

Kids in the Kitchen INFO:

Taking A Break To Enjoy This Cute Cake.

June 5th, 2009 No comments


It’s a Cake Break and this one is from French’s Pastry in Irvine.  They’ve got 4 locations throughout Orange County and many people LOVE them.

Del Taco’s Jalapeno Rings With Secret Sauce.

June 4th, 2009 No comments


I like the novelty of Del Taco’s Jalapeno Rings, but you can only eat so many.  A few of us ‘spicy food lovers’ recently tried this new menu item at Del Taco.  The consensus of 3 was that — They’re too hot and greasy.  As you may or may not know, some Jalapenos aren’t hot enough and others are way too hot, and you never know what you’re going to get.  Our taste included most of the hot ones, HA.  And we thought we were so tough.

As for the “Secret Sauce” they serve with the Jalapeno Rings, it’s best that it be kept a secret, since it’s basically just Mayonnaise — Yikes.  That’s what they told me.  Now we know why it’s called Secret Sauce.  And $1.99 is too high for this item — For $0.99, in conjunction with a Sauce change, we might include them in a future meal.

Nibbles of Tidbits is on Twitter as FoodBlog.

June 3rd, 2009 No comments

Dare I say, I think Twitter is way over-rated, but nonetheless we’re on there as FoodBlog.  We appreciate our fair amount of followers, but you’ll get more information here than over there.  Ciao.

Twitter Link:

Lingcod Fish — It’s Green, It’s Blue, It’s White.

June 2nd, 2009 1 comment


I always thought Lingcod Fish was a kind of Cod, but it’s not Cod at all.  The related links will tell the rest of the story.  I was also amazed to see that frozen the Fish is green (above), uncooked it’s blue (below), and cooked it’s white.  It was fun seeing the colors change.


Although Lingcod can be blue, green or white, it always cooks up white.  I received a few pieces from a couple local fishermen friends.  I poached ’em in a wine-herb combination that’s really not worth mentioning.  And ultimately Lingcod won’t be one of my favorites — It’s okay, but I’d rather they catch something else next time.


Related Links: