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Lunch At The Yard House & Happy Hour Information Links.

April 15th, 2010 2 comments

Yard House Parmesan Chicken

For years my friend has raved about the Parmesan Crusted Chicken at the Yard House, which I finally tried (above).  It’s served over Garlic Mashed Potatoes and a Sundried Tomato, Three Mushroom Sauce.  She’s right, it’s good, especially the Sauce, but I wanted a lot more of it.

Yard House Penne

Under the House Favorites portion of the menu, we also enjoyed the Penne with Chicken and the Summer Salad with Chicken from the lunch specials menu.  We always enjoy the food at the Yard House and have no complaints about this visit.  And we particularly like to go there during Happy Hour, when most appetizers are half price.

Yard House Salad

Past Happy Hours attended by Nibbles of Tidbits and more Yard House food photos are linked here.

Note:  We’re experimenting with a new-ish camera, thus the photos above are a little bizarre looking and don’t do the food justice.

Lunch At The Irvine Spectrum Yard House.

July 7th, 2009 No comments


After meeting a work deadline, we were happy to finally be sitting down for a late lunch at the Yard House.  This day we tried the Penne Pasta with Chicken and a Grilled Pastrami Sandwich.  The Garlic in the Pasta overtook our table and car, a little too much — And we were hoping for more of a Marsala flavor, since that’s how it’s described.


The Yard House BBQ Chicken Salad is huge.  Their portion sizes are always generous.


Below is the Portabella Burger, although not its best side, the Eggplant, Roasted Red Peppers and Feta make it a tasty Sandwich.


misc-0062The Summer Salad includes fresh Strawberries, Avocado, Oranges, Candied Walnuts and Leeks, a fun combination of ingredients.  A White Balsamic Vinegar might be aesthetically better on this Salad than a brown one.  Overall, the Yard House serves a lot of excellent dishes.  Our preference is Happy Hour, when the appetizers are half price.

More INFO and Yard House food photo LINKS:

More Yard House 1/2 Price App’s In The House.

November 27th, 2008 4 comments

This time we tried the Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza and Moo Shu Egg Rolls.  Both were top notch, just like most dishes at the Yard House.  The price and quality are there.  And the varied menu items are consistently good.  There’s more photos of other fabulous Yard House appetizers linked below.  We’re getting around to trying them all.  Why not?

Related Links:

The Yard House Happy Hour Food Pictures.

November 10th, 2008 3 comments

Most of The Yard House’s Appetizers are half price Monday through Friday from 3:00p.m. to 6:00p.m.  Here’s a few we recently tried at the Fashion Island location.  The Lettuce Wraps are really good – I like the accompanying Sauces.  The Chinese Garlic Noodles are okay, a little boring, but the unique California Roll made up for it.  It’s flavorful and different than any California Roll I’ve ever had.

We finished with the Pint Sized Trio Sampler with included a Chocolate Souffle, a Lemon Souffle and a Peach Apple Cobbler.  It was a dream combination for me.  WOW!!!  I want it again.

Related Links:

Happy Hour at The Yard House.

August 22nd, 2008 2 comments

Most of the appetizers at The Yard House are half price during Happy Hour, which is 3:00-6:00pm (M-F).  It’s a great deal on good quality food.  We got the Crab Cakes, Ham and Pineapple Pizza, Sliders with Bearnaise Sauce and French Fries, plus a Hefeweizen and Dirty Martini.  We liked it all.

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Related Links:

Merry Christmas From Nibbles Of Tidbits.

December 25th, 2009 No comments

Seared Ahi

Merry Christmas to you and God bless us ALL!  We thank the Lord for all the amazing nourishments on earth and for so much more.  Have a wonderful Christmas.

* Photo is of the Seared Ahi Sashimi we recently enjoyed at the Yard House.  Its colors are vibrant like a joyous day.

Fajitas At Tequila Jack’s In Shoreline Village.

May 24th, 2009 1 comment


OMGosh, I’ve missed the LBC.  I lived in Belmont Shore and Belmont Heights in Long Beach for several years before relocating to Huntington Beach, then Costa Mesa.  I have a lot of great food and fun memories there.  It’s a cool city with vast food finds.  We skated the Long Beach Bike Path beginning to end, from Ocean/54th Place to Shoreline Village, like I have hundreds of times before — It’s nicely paved for skating.  


We had Shrimp, Chicken and Beef Fajitas, Side Salads, Chips & Salsa, Coronas and Margaritas on the Tequila Jack’s patio in Shoreline Village, which offers a few good restaurants to choose from.  This visit we attempted to eat at The Yard House, next door to Tequila Jack’s — BUT instead had an incident.  Since we skated, two were in socks and one in shoes.  Nevertheless we received an electronic transponder after reserving a table at The Yard House.


We secured 3 chairs at the bar to wait for a table to be available, then the YH Manager came over to tell us he couldn’t serve us due to the socks and we had to leave.  Real cool huh!?  I know there are rules, but was it necessary that we essentially be kicked out?  We weren’t walking around, we were going to be sitting outside, and looked and acted respectable otherwise.  He wouldn’t even allow us to wait outside until our patio table was ready.

I think the Manager’s non-flexibility was ridiculous — Our socks were gorgeous and would ultimately be under the table.  His fear of litigation and lack of case by case discretion lost our business.  THUS we had a lovely lunch at Tequila Jack’s, where they plainly saw our same state yet sat us without question.  Aside from this experience I like The Yard House and its food, but today we liked Tequila Jack’s much better.  The service was terrific.


More INFO:

Taco Tuesdays at Tequila Jack’s:

Newport to 17th Street, Costa Mesa Eateries.

January 16th, 2009 No comments

Our walk on this warm afternoon in January started at Borders Books on Newport Boulevard with a Latte and Thumbprint Raspberry Scone — Then it was on to 17th Street “Promenade” and back.  We’ll show a few places to eat along the way.

From left to right, top to bottom, here’s a few edible options along the way — Starting with Border’s Books Pastry Case, The Yard House, BC Broiler Chicken, Dippity Donut, El Matador, Roman Cucina, Kura Sushi Revolving Sushi Bar, Mother’s Market & Kitchen, Panera Bread, Garduro’s Ristorante Italiano, Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Bar, and Pierce Street Annex Music-Dancing-Grill.

Then trekking on with an Iced Raspberry Chai from Starbucks — YUM, btw.  It’s got a good punch of flavor.  I had a coupon to try one for free, and of course we passed a couple Starbucks along the way. 

We’ll try a beverage from Buon Giorno Coffee next time.  It was then on to Ruby’s Diner, Haute Cakes Caffe, Susie Cakes, and Promelis Westcliff Market, a must stop for local grocery shoppers. 

And La Cave, a very cool dark underground restaurant, The Beach Pit BBQ and Marie Calendar’s.  As noted, these are only a few.  There’s a lot more eateries in between that’ll be featured in future posts.

UPDATE 01/07/10:  Borders Books on Newport Boulevard will be closing this month.  Mother’s Market & Kitchen will be opening up there soon.

Grateful To Grow: The Start Of This Year’s Garden.

April 29th, 2017 No comments

Last year we planted six Tomato plants in one raised bed and this year we only planted four.  Though we love an abundance of Tomatoes, we could hardly get to them.  It became a Tomato jungle we had to forge through.  They look sparse now, but we hope to have the same luck this year.

In our other raised garden, we planted Jalapenos, Poblano Peppers, Japanese Eggplant, Red, Brown & White Onions, Cilantro, Curly Parsley, Purple Basil, Lime Basil, Pineapple Sage and Thyme.

We’re seeing at least ten small clusters of Grapes growing on the old Grape vine.

We bought a two-inch Boysenberry vine from Knott’s Berry Farm last year and we’re happy that it continues to grow.  We hope to see Boysenberries on it some year down the road.

Matt has a green thumb, and especially a Pineapple green thumb — We have one starting above, one maturing below, and four others that we’re hoping will do something.  He’s grown several.

Wild Blackberries grow on the other side of the house — They’re great to have, but VERY thorn-ey.

Serrano Peppers grow throughout the year in a couple other pots, whether we want them or not.

Zucchini is growing in another corner of the yard.  I have not grown it before.

And Oyster Mushrooms are growing in the house — In a Mini Mushroom Farm we got from Home Depot.  We soaked its internal plastic bag in water for a day, cut an ‘X’ in the front of it and returned it to its box to grow.  Pictured below is five days growth.  It’s fun to watch them grow so fast.

For non-edible enjoyment, flowers grow in the side planter below.  We planted hundreds of miscellaneous flower seeds to yield a flower-grab-bag to surprise us all summer long.

I had the sign below made for our garden shed — FW stands for Freis West.  Most of the Freis live back East.  In Michigan and Wisconsin.  They’re Freis East and we’re Freis West (FW for short).

We’re also growing Meyer Lemons, Limes, Tangelos and Rosemary (not pictured) and tend to our gardens daily.  We’re grateful to see all grow and will share the abundance in a few months.

Taste Of Temecula Wrapped Up With Samplings On SOCO Patios.

September 2nd, 2013 No comments

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We took a short trip to Temecula to celebrate our engagement.  Thanks for the engagement gifts and money.  We didn’t expect anything and finally cashed a few checks sent over a month ago.  Sorry.  We were set to spend it on backyard lounge chairs, but couldn’t find one long and comfortable enough for Mr. 6’4″, then considered it towards a new dishwasher, until deciding to spend it on a spontaneous weekend of eating and exploration.  Thanks for the fun!

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It started with Coffee, King’s Hawaiian Rolls and a Lottery Ticket from 7-Eleven in Fullerton.

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Without any research, we stopped at various places of interest along the way and all day.

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Once in Temecula, we started with a Mango Margarita at Rosa’s Cantina.

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Where next?  We picked on a whim.  If it sounded good and had AC we were in.

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One of our favorite stops was at Crush & Brew, where we sniffed and tasted Wine.

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We liked #3 (above) best and contemplated buying a bottle, but wanted to stretch our bucks to try more places and things.  Crush & Brew also offers the largest Flat Breads we’ve seen.

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We had the Greek Flat Bread, which filled us up good (and we were trying to save room).

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We take a moment to thank you for this opportunity — On to more Temecula finds…

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I’m not sure what Death Paste (above) was/is — We didn’t want any. 😉

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Soro’s Mediterranean Grill was our next stop for Dolma (aka Dolmades) and Iced Tea.

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Blackbird Tavern is below — It’s a large, super-cool, indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar.

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What a great space they have — You wouldn’t know it from the front.

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All this outside is hiding inside — Blackbird Tavern is the place I miss living next to the most.

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I’m not sure what you call the toss-the-beanbag-game, but we played it — See it in flight?

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I liked the starter (below) so much, I recreated it at home — See the recipe here.

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It’s called Olives & Almonds on their menu.

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Menus are inside album covers — I don’t know Lee Evans.  Also pictured is The Blackbird.

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We finally scratched our scratcher and won nothing — No worries, it’s a great day.

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All pictured above are located on or off Old Town Front Street in Old Town Temecula.

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Stopped at PALA Casino with only $20 of our $250 designated towards hopeful multiplication.

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It was instead hijacked from the bunch after a short time in play.  Adios.

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On the road again… We bought Avocados off the side of the road.  I always want an Avocado.

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On the way home, we stopped and walked around Oceanside — View from its pier on an overcast day.  The sun disappeared awhile, but do you see the giant bubble?  Some guy was making them.  Since we still had adventure money to spend, we planned to stop at The Beach House in Laguna Beach to exhaust the rest, but there was an hour wait and we didn’t want to.  Instead, all was saved for the next day’s escapades in the SOCO District of Fullerton.

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We started at our favorite Tea LoungeTranquil.  Iced is always refreshing and flavorful.

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Ended up at Joe’s No Limits! Bar & Grill — We sought to eat and drink on patios only.

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Had ‘Joe’s Picks’ Sausage selection — I liked the Chicken & Jalapeno Sausage, primarily.

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Though the menu doesn’t say, we were glad the above came with really good French Fries.

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After Joe’s, we went to The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen (below).

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Cheers to more food and drinks on SOCO patios.

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The Slidebar offers a long list of Opening Acts (they call ’em) aka Appetizers.

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We had the Smothered Tots and Deep Fried Pickles — Well prepared and different.

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And the Deep Fried Mac N’ Cheese — Not the healthiest options, but it just so happened.

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Do you know where this heart is found?

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It’s at Fullerton Train Station.  We considered eating there, but opted for Hopscotch Tavern.

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We were down to our last few engagement-dollars and almost done eating.

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On our final SOCO patio of the day — Hopscotch Tavern we had a shot of Tequila — Mezcal.

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And Donuts with Lavender, a dessert special — I like the Hopscotch menu and will go back.

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We appreciate the weekend journey — It was worth it all and so much more.

Matt & Me

Smiling faces here. 🙂

Time Is A Great Teacher: It’s That Time.

June 27th, 2011 No comments

Time is a great teacher, too bad it kills ALL its pupils.  Where did I read a variation of that?  Inedible Dahlias are on sale again — I just spoke with the nice gentleman that sells them.  He and his wife have a lovely garden of spectacular Dahlias in Costa Mesa.  Stop by before sundown, call if you can, or just park and walk towards their backyard.  They’re usually there.

Don’t Forget To Take Home Your Leftovers.

April 14th, 2010 No comments

Don't Forget Your Leftovers

Next time I’ll have to pin this note to my shirt instead of posting it on my office door. 🙁

Trick Or Eat Zombie Dinner Show At The Cellar in Fullerton.

October 31st, 2009 No comments

The Cellar

We dared to descend the darkened stairway (freight elevator) into the depths of The Cellar Restaurant to celebrate their 3rd Annual Trick or Eat Halloween Dinner Party.  They report that the lore of haunted restaurants is talked about, but nowhere is it truer than in The Cellar.  The space in which The Cellar inhabits was home to untold mysteries and the haunting of The Cellar is a closely guarded secret that’s only revealed once a year.

Course One:  Radioactive abductor muscles in a pool of gamma charged ooze, black goop, and unearthed fungus AKA Pan Seared Sea Scallops with a Zesty Basil Sauce, Balsamic Reduction and Enoki Mushrooms.

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Course Two:  Dissected alien seed pods, toxic forest leaves in slimy secretions, with rotten and moldy milk AKA Mission Fig Salad with Baby Oak Leaf Lettuce, Maple Vinaigrette and Aged Gorgonzola.

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Main Course:  Fire charred boat deck aged fishing chum, steamed maggots, and finished with a gangrene and puss (yuck) sauce AKA Grilled Mahi Mahi with Savory Rice, finished with an Herbed Butter Sauce.

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Or decayed cow muscles with slaughterhouse drippings and fungal growths AKA Grilled Flavorful Rib Eye Steak, with a Merlot and Mushroom Reduction.

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Dessert:  Graveyard mud soufflé with dried blood and bloody sacks AKA Chocolate Soufflé with Melted Dark Chocolate and Fresh Raspberries.

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We thought the $49 price for all was pretty great and the show was entertaining.  The Scallops were just okay, a little rubbery, but the Mahi Mahi and Rib Eye Steak were definitely The Cellar’s usual caliber.  It was so dark that we didn’t know the sauce on the Mahi was bright green, until viewing the photos — Sorry a couple are out of focus.  Overall, it’s a good deal and a fun experience.  It’s sold out for tonight, but worth booking next year.  Luckily we survived the zombies.  Happy Halloween!

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Can I PLEASE Tie This Amazing Song Into Food?

February 4th, 2009 2 comments

food-show-flowers-yard-house-005I have to share this song.  I’ve thrown in a food photo — Is that enough to tie this magnificent song into a food blog?  I’m eating right/write now and playing it.  Music is the best addition to food, isn’t it?  This song has been part of my YouTube Favorites for some time.  It is LIVE’s piano version of They Stood Up For Love.  It’s uplifting and hits me each time I hear it.  I’m feeding my soul.  That’s it!  There’s the tie in — I’m feeding my soul right now with music.  Feed yours too.

Update 07/09/10: Nibbles of Tidbits can now add video, thus post this favorite song below for easy access.  We never get tired of it and LOVE Live.

Orange County Chili Cheese Fries Comparison Report.

November 6th, 2008 6 comments

Where’s your favorite place to get Chili Cheese Fries?  We’ve been trying a few around town and would love to know whose Chili Cheese Fries you like BEST.  Some are extra good and some are just okay.  We describe a few, but want you to be the judge too.  Each photograph will have a brief description and related restaurant link directly below it.  And we’ll be adding more Chili Cheese Fries photos and observations, so keep checking back.

The Hat’s Chili Cheese Fries with Pickles & Tomatoes – You get a lot of them.  It’s heavy.

Tommy Pastrami’s Chili Cheese Fries – It’s got nice Steak Fries, but the Chili is a bit Tomato-Paste tasting.  It has big chunks of Beef in it, which is ok, but generally not preferred in a CCF.

Carl’s Junior’s Chili Cheese Fries – They’re not bad.

Fatburger’s Chili Cheese Fries – For some reason I expected more, but they were good.  Fatburger offers a choice of Skinny Fries or Fat Fries.  Pictured here are the Skinny Fries.


SONIC Drive-In’s Chili Cheese Fries – I haven’t tried these yet, but others like them.

Orange County Fair’s Chili Cheese Fries – You can only get them during the OC Fair.

Wienerschnitzel’s Chili Cheese Fries – Unfortunately they’re not one of my top picks.  I’d have to go with Carl’s Jr.’s Chili Cheese Fries before these (above).


Pink’s Chili Cheese Fries – Very good.  Second favorite to Original Tommy’s Chili Cheese Fries.

Del Taco’s Chili Cheese Fries – I’d pick them over Carl’s Jr. ones, since the Fries are better.

EZ Take Out Burger’s Chili Cheese Fries – I liked them, especially the French Fries.  Their Hamburgers are similar to In-N-Out’s Burgers, but dare I say I like EZ Take Out’s Fries better.  And Chili Cheese Fries don’t appear to be an option at In-N-Out Burger.

Johnny Rocket’s Chili Cheese Fries – They’re acceptable.  Nothing to rave about, nor rag on.  On a separate note, their Hamburgers are very good.

Original Tommy’s Chili Cheese Fries – They still stand as my favorite over all those pictured.

Wendy's Chili Cheese Fries

Wendy’s Chili Cheese Fries — It’s made with Chili that should be served in a bowl with a side of Buttered Crackers, but instead it’s dumped over French Fries and topped with Cheese.  I don’t think so.  They’re not recommended.

Chili Cheese Fries - Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box Loaded Chili Cheese Wedges — Good with the Onions picked out.

Portillo's Chili Cheese Fries

Portillo’s Chili Cheese Fries — Portillo’s Chili has a really good flavor that goes well with their crinkled-cut French Fries and a little melted Cheese.  We’d have them again.

Santa Fe Cafe Chili Cheese Fries

Santa Fe Cafe Chili Cheese Fries — They’re best had on their outdoor patio with a Pitcher of Beer.


The Breakdown Of A Chocolate Bean.

August 19th, 2008 1 comment

Chocolate’s progression on its way to your mouth.  I didn’t get to see the entire process, but the HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE links below will show you more.

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Related Links:

2008 Celebrity Food Show Cake Competition.

August 18th, 2008 2 comments

It was a Cake Making Competition among culinary students from The International Culinary School at the Art Institute.  The participants represented a few different schools, including Orange County, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Texas. 

The theme was America’s Best.  On this first day of the competition we saw the makings of a Liberty Bell, Luggage, a Hamburger and French Fries, a Stadium, the United States, and a few others we couldn’t make out at the time.

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And the winner is…


We didn’t see all the Cakes in final, but do have a picture of the WINNER.  This picture was sent to me by one of its creators, Michael Hadobas, who is coincidentally the one piping the playing cards above.  He did a great job on them.  He and his partner Dorthy Sepcic made the winning Cake.  As you may guess, they’re from The Art Institute of Las Vegas.  Congratulations!

Related Links:

2008 Celebrity Food Show Review.

August 17th, 2008 2 comments

The event was touted as the 2008 Celebrity Food Show.  It was heavily promoted and looked enticing, so I went with a friend.  We didn’t stay for the Ace of Cakes Show because the food exhibit area was way too small.  We had reservations to see Duff and the rest of the gang at the 4:30 show, but left before it started.  The picture is from a peak at the 2:30 show.

We had arrived at 1:30 to first experience the Cake Making Competition and Food Exhibits, but there wasn’t enough to see to fill the time.  Overall we weren’t impressed.  It seemed more like a glorified swap meet or Costco’s on a Saturday, plus a fair number of vendors weren’t fabulous or even set up.  And we saw way too many Salsa booths.  

All didn’t seem worth the $25.00 entry fee — And no one even asked for our tickets.  People were just wandering in and out of all the open doors.  The pictures below are of a few items we sampled or purchased, and a couple displays that caught our eyes.  The Cake Making Competition pictures will be featured in a future post, since it was the best part of the event.

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Related Links:

Beautiful Summer Dahlias in Costa Mesa.

August 16th, 2008 No comments

Some flowers are edible, but these aren’t.  This post is for the locals, but you can certainly enjoy the pictures.  If you’re nearby it’s a fun find.  Dahlias can be fresh cut from our Costa Mesa neighbor’s backyard from June to September.

Just point to the one you want and Mr. or Mrs. Banks will cut it for you.  They’re located at 1589 Riverside Place in Costa Mesa, California 92627 – (949) 642-8107.  The Dahlia prices range from $3.00 – $8.00 each.  If there’s a ‘Dahlias Today’ sign out front, feel free to walk back to see the beautiful flowers.  They’re gorgeous.

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