Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

Happy Filet Mignon Friday: It’s Fish Friday’s Rebel Cousin.

November 4th, 2011 No comments

Filet Mignon with Cognac Sauce — Each Steak was cooked beautifully by The Turnip Rose Elite Catering.  We recently attended a “Taste of Turnip Rose” at the Grand Newport Plaza and everything was over the top in the best ways possible.  We were almost paralyzed by the quality and perfection of food, style, hospitality, service, detail and coolness.  What an evening!  Will you marry us?  A full report of the event will soon be posted.  Thank you for all.

We stumbled upon the best wedding venues in town — Celebrations and more.

McCormick & Schmick’s Supplemental Happy Hour Report: Go Monday.

October 20th, 2011 No comments

One of the Best Happy Hours in town is at McCormick & Schmick’s Pilsner Room in Irvine.  We’ve now tried almost everything on McCormick’s Happy Hour Menu and the $2.95 full size Cheeseburger and French Fries will always be a must.  It’s filling, cheap and tasty. 

We highlight it and supplement our previous post with Ceviche.  It’s good too, though not as delicious as Mary Sue Milliken’s Ceviche had a couple days prior, but enjoyable in its edible bowl for $4.95.  Their Happy Hour is generally between 4 – 7 PM.  This day we practically killed ourselves trying to make the 7PM cut-off, then learned that HH is all night during Monday Night Football.  Cool, we didn’t need to order everything at 6:55PM.  It seems that Monday is a good day for some things.

Crow Burger Kitchen Fine Food + Beer (Now Open In Newport Beach).

October 10th, 2011 1 comment

We liked the Crow Burger Kitchen, whew.  Pre Nibbles of Tidbits we ate and drank at The Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona Del Mar and haven’t been back.  Didn’t have the best experience at the time — Food was not as described and we didn’t like their touted Bloody Mary.  We like unique, but tasty too.  We had high hopes for their distinctive menu and may need to give it another try.  We’ll definitely go back to Crow Burger Kitchen for the Green Bean Fries.

It’s a limited menu at Crow Burger Kitchen — Mostly Burgers, matchless Fries and Beer.

We had the Cheeseburger Cheeseburger Cheeseburger, which includes Black Pepper Cheese, Cream Cheese and Goat Cheese.  It’s rich but good and comes on a Wheat English Muffin, but we opted for a Buttermilk Bun.  And a friend previously had the Green Label Burger, which was described as “excellent” — It’s 3 ounces larger than their other Burgers.

All Burger meat is fresh and ground in-house and we love the Fry Sauce selection.

And must also mention that the service at Crow Burger Kitchen was outstanding this day.  We will be sure to try The Crow Bar in CDM again, as they must be doing something right — We’ll just have to find and eat [it] next time.  Caw, caw.

Fancy You Say Schmancy Steakhouse Burger: Take Ten.

September 20th, 2011 No comments

Fancy Smancy or Schmancy who cares, it’s not really a word anyway — This story is most likely played, but it’s still September so the floor is mine.  Available this month only is the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger at Hof’s Hut.  Have you read about it yet?  You can here.

This is our first time purchasing it at the restaurant after having it at the photo shoot.

It was cool to see my name on the menus and table tents as Winner of the Burger Contest.

It’s a splendid tasting Burger too — Hof’s Hut does a great job with it.

Try it before September 30th.

Long Beach Post Article Announcing Winners of Burger Contest.

September 15th, 2011 No comments

I once lived in the LBC, Belmont Shore to be exact, walking distance from a Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery, now a Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, a new favorite, and I worked across the street from the view above.  Will always have a special place for Long Beach, near most of the remaining Hof’s.  Read about the Burger Contest — Long Beach Post quotes me

HH’s 60th Anniversary promotions — Grateful the FSSB Won!

Unauthorized (Nevertheless Appreciated) Stolen Table Tent Insert.

September 15th, 2011 No comments


I didn’t order the hit on table tent inserts at Hof’s Hut, but appreciate having one with my name on it.  For the record, my parent’s friends actually asked if they could take it.  I should’ve photographed it instead of scanned it — It’s hard to read, despite its wannabe size progression.  Only 15 more days to get the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger at Hof’s Hut.  Still celebrating

Extra Extra Read All About It: Today’s A Fancy Smancy Day.

September 1st, 2011 No comments

A BIG THANKS to Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery on this official day — The availability of the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger.  I can’t wait to have it as good as YOU make it!

Thanks For The BBQ Hof’s Hut: Ready For The 60th Anniversary Burger.

August 22nd, 2011 No comments

Be sure to mark your calendar to try the Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery 60th Anniversary Burger scheduled to be available this September.  It’s called the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger and it is damn tasty, if I do say so myself — It’s so tasty in fact, I won a fancy smancy (aka schmancy) Jenn-Air BBQ Grill (below) for creating it.  Thank you Hof’s Hut and Happy Anniversary to such a fine establishment.  See you soon…

It’s Super Melt: A Burger Between Two Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

August 12th, 2011 No comments

Would you want a Grilled Cheese Burger?  It’s a Burger sandwiched between two Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and it’s currently available at Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery for $9.99, with French Fries or Onion Rings and a whole mini Pie — A good deal for a lot of richness.

We prefer Hof’s Fancy Smancy (mostly Schmancy) Steakhouse Burger.

Pick a Pie.

Photo Shoot For Hof’s Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger.

August 11th, 2011 5 comments

I still can’t believe I won Hof’s Hut’s Burger Contest — It’s been previously reported here.

And I was invited to its photo shoot where I learned that Burger modeling is a serious job.

Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger — A perfect blend of A-1 Steak Sauce and Horseradish Mayonnaise give the Grilled Beef Patty a steakhouse flavor.  Served on a Brioche Bun, it’s extra fancy with Onion Strings, Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Baby Greens and a Tomato Slice.

The Burger was created in honor of Hof’s 60th Anniversary — It was (1) of approximately (300) submissions in their Burger Contest.  They narrowed the competition down to (10) and made them all, and then (5) to ultimately choose mine, which will be available during the month of September at all Hof’s Hut Restaurant locations.  And it’s worth having too.

Me smiling proudly with the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger.

It’s a serious job building a perfect Burger for its modeling debut.

All determining what looks best — Trying to make it look as good as it tastes.

Working with food, angles and lighting — I learned a bit.

Would you want the Burger with French Fries?

Or Onion Rings?

It’s all about the Burger, not me.

Hope to see you at Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery in September.

Try it!

Will The Real Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger Step Right Up?!

August 10th, 2011 No comments

It’s almost time for the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger to make an appearance at Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery.  In celebration of their 60th Anniversary, Hof’s will be featuring the pictured Burger during the month of September.  It won a Burger Contest and I created it, as previously reported here.  I was elated to learn the news.  In addition, I won a BBQ and $100 Gift Card.  More will soon be reported about the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger coming your way — Stay tuned to learn about its ingredients, the Burger’s photo shoot, the BBQ to be delivered next week, Hof’s Bakery and the amazing taste of the Burger.  It really is a winner.

Thanks to all the nice people at Hof’s.

Hof’s Hut Burger Contest: The Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger Won.

August 8th, 2011 2 comments

In May we reported about the Hof’s Hut Restaurant & Bakery Burger Contest, linked here.  In addition to posting about it, I entered 5 Burgers in the contest.  The challenge was to create a Burger worthy to become Hof’s 60th Anniversary Burger to be featured during the month of September — Having forgotten about the entries, last week I received a call from a Hof’s Hut VP who informed me that I’d won the Grand Prize in the Burger Contest… It’s my Burger, the Fancy Smancy Steakhouse Burger that’ll be featured at Hof’s in September.  I’m attending its photo shoot tomorrow.  It’s unbelievable and exciting.  Can’t wait to try it — Thanks HH!

Note:  The pictured Burger isn’t it.  More to be reported about the actual soon.

It’s Twenty Five Degrees In HB: Bordello Meets Burger Bar.

July 29th, 2011 No comments

They say it’s not just another spot to grab an ordinary Burger — Bordello meets Burger Bar.

We finally tried one of Twenty Five Degrees raved about Burgers, the Number Three with Mezzo Secco Jack, Green Chilis, Chipotle and Avocado.  Be prepared, it’s pretty spicy.

The Sweet Potato Fries are good, though our batch was slightly overcooked this day.

We like the dark, cozy environment and the prices aren’t bad either.

Enlarge Menu for a better view — We’re going back to try a lot more.

Twenty Five Degrees in Huntington Beach is a cool place.

What’s Cookin’ On The 4th Of July? It’s Gonna Be A Hot One!

July 1st, 2011 No comments

Having Carne Asada, Hot Dogs, or both and more?

Lamb Chops?

Will there be Watermelon?  I want a Watermelon Mojito.

How about backyard fireworks, if legal, or on the DL? 😉

A happy and safe holiday weekend to all and God Bless America.

Slater’s 50/50: Burgers Designed With 50% Bacon & 50% Beef.

June 15th, 2011 2 comments

At Slater’s 50/50, it’s an option to have a Burger made with 50% Bacon and 50% Beef — And if that’s not enough, add a Fried Egg, Avocado Mash, Pepper Jack Cheese and Chipotle Mayo and you have The 50/50 Burger, one of Slater’s Signatures.  We had to try it.

A partner at the fantastic law firm that employs me had been raving about it for months.

It was worth going there just to see the giant Burgers pictured above.  We’re not sure if the guys were able to finish them, since we left beforehand, but all nearby tables were watching.

While waiting for a table and perhaps inappropriate for a minor, Chef Lexi of Kids in the Kitchen pretended to pick up Kegs — Inconsequential to the report, but entertaining and cute to its publisher.  Back to the food and on to The 50/50 (blurry) photo below… 

The Burger was certainly interesting to try, but we prefer Bacon in its crispy form.  The Burger seems a bit dense and less juicy than an all Beef Burger and was too rich tasting for us. 

Regarding the sides… I wanted the Fried Dill Pickles (a unique option), but we settled on sharing the French Fries and Fried Macaroni N’ Cheese for the Pick 2 Combination Plate.  The French Fries were good, but we think Slater’s 50/50 may get their Fried Macaroni N’ Cheese from the same supplier as Del Taco.  Not saying it’s true, but it sure looks and tastes identical to the ones they sell and we don’t care for either of them — Too greasy.

We hoped to provide a more favorable report, but didn’t fall in love.  Sorry Mike.  HOWEVER, the service was great and we liked the feel of the place, thus may go back to try a different Burger and side, and probably more Beer for the non-driving adults.

Slater’s 50/50 is in a strip mall in Anaheim Hills and smells terrific from the parking lot.

We’ll try something different next time.

The Capital Grille In Beverly Hills: It’s South Coast Plaza Next Time Baby.

June 9th, 2011 No comments

I contemplated posting this report, since our handy dandy Guest Blogger, Bonnie focuses more on getting lost than the food, but I don’t blame her — I’m sure I would’ve been frustrated too, thus do post her account below, mostly so not to stymie the amazing food and professional photographs provided by The Capital Grille in Beverly Hills.  Although pissed about the drive, she loved the food.  I’ve yet to dine at The Capital Grille and will most likely opt to do so at the South Coast Plaza location.  A photo of the Bar is posted first, because Bonnie needs a drink after telling her story…

The Capital Grille in Beverly Hills — Having had such a wonderful meal at the Capital Grille in Costa Mesa only a week before, I decided to start my night in Beverly Hills at their brand new, sister restaurant in the Beverly Center. 

It wasn’t their fault that I got totally and completely lost. I should have known better than to make the drive from Newport Beach to Beverly Hills at 5:00 p.m. on a Thursday night without anydirections on me at all. But heck, I’ve been to the Beverly Center before. Indeed, I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so I know it quite well. And geewhiz — I have GPS — so why would I need directions?

Because — truth be told, I haven’t lived in LA for thirty years, so I completely forgot how to get to the Beverly Center. And the directions my girlfriend’s daughter gave me over the cell phone were quite detailed, but…


Plus, nobody at the restaurant could figure out where I was when I told them what cross streets I was passing.


Adding final insult to injury, my GPS would not “accept” an address on Beverly Boulevard beginning with the number “8”.


Once I finally arrived though, we were treated to the same fine service and attention from the Capital Grille’s staff, along with some delicious food and drink. Our server, Charles, graciously apologized (even though he didn’t have to!) for my hour and a half of misfortune, and then served us a beautiful Steak with Béarnaise Sauce and Crab, Macaroni and Cheese with Lobster, and Sautéed Spinach on the side.

We didn’t have time to take a tour of the restaurant that was offered to us by Managing Partner Gina Doyle, but we sure appreciated the fact that they treated us to another Exceptionally Distinctive Guest Experience.

Thank you — Charles and Gina — and next time I come to LA, I promise to bring directions.

Thanks Bonnie — I’m glad I wasn’t with you, though I am ready for their SCP location.

Slater’s 50/50 Burgers By Design: The Preliminary Burger Report.

June 6th, 2011 No comments

These were our neighbor’s Burgers at Slater’s 50/50 Burgers by Design in Anaheim Hills.  I’ve never seen one that big.  We were there to try The 50/50, Slater’s Signature with 50% Ground Beef and 50% Ground Bacon that comes with a Fried Egg, Avocado Mash, Pepper Jack Cheese and Chipotle Mayo.  It’s a crazy Burger joint — One gnarly report coming right up.

It’s National Burger Weekend, Deemed By Groupon: That’s American.

May 28th, 2011 No comments

Why not have a National Burger Weekend, especially if it saves people money?!  It’s 50% off through Groupon.  And Memorial Day Weekend is a good time for it.  Burgers are American and I’d love to buy one for a Veteran — Thank you and God bless you past and present soldiers.

Note:  The pictured Burgers are from Jimmy’s Burger Joint.

How To Cook A Roast Fork Tender Every Time: Long, Low & Slow Baby.

May 22nd, 2011 No comments

Long, low and slow baby was my answer to a friend who asked how to make a Beef Roast turn out fork tender cooking it in the oven.  She wanted a recipe, but I didn’t have one.  I just know the framework.  I experiment too much, a big reason for Nibbles of Tidbits… to document successes and failures, to remake successful dishes and learn from the misses.  And luckily most Beef Roasts in my past have turned out tender, but you need to have the time (and patience) — It can easily be achieved in a Crock-Pot in 8 – 12 hours, or in the oven with a little more maintenance in 3 – 4 hours, depending on Beef size.  The provided recipe uses the oven.

It’s not an original recipe, but one made by my Mom throughout my childhood — It’s not uniquely her recipe either and perhaps you’ve seen or made it before, HOWEVER it can be relied on to yield a consistently fork tender and tasty Beef Roast every time.  It’s easy too.

I made it a lot when I first moved out, though still had to call Mom to verify its simple ingredients (Beef, Beef Broth, Wine, Lipton Onion Recipe Soup & Dip Mix, Oil and S & P), as detailed in step-by-step photos and instructions.  Both Red and White Wine work well.

Trim the fat — You know, the area hidden at the grocery store, inevitably on the bottom.

Over the years, I’ve found almost any cut of Beef works with this recipe.  I usually buy what looks good, what’s priced well and what expires last.  The one used here is 2 1/2 lbs.

RECIPE:  1 Beef cut (2+ lb. Top or Bottom Round, Eye, Chuck, Sirloin, Tri-tip, etc.), 2 Cups Beef Broth/Stock, 2 Cups Wine, 1 Packet of Lipton Onion Recipe Soup & Dip Mix, Oil and Salt & Pepper.  Combine all as shown and noted below to make a perfectly tender Beef Roast.

Preheat oven to 325° — S & P Beef and sear on all sides in a little Oil.

Turn off burner and add Lipton Onion Recipe Soup & Dip Mix to the pot.

Add the Beef Stock/Broth.

Add the Red or White Wine — Note that Red Wine will darken the Beef a bit, which is sometimes a good reason to use White Wine.  It could make final presentation prettier.

All is combined and ready for a 3 – 4 hour oven tour — At this point, I need to point out a major faux pas… The pot I used to make the pictured Roast is way too large/tall, which allows excess air around the Beef, thus drying it out.  It was still flavorful and flaky, but drier than preferred.  For best results, prepare the Beef Roast in your smallest Dutch oven.

Cover and bake in the oven.

Turn Beef every 45 minutes or so.

Turn again.

After 3 1/2 hours, remove Roast from pot, wrap in foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Make a quick Gravy by boiling the remaining liquid with a little Flour and Water.

RECIPE Alternate:  Mom prepares her Roast in a smaller pot, as recommended, and simply combines (1) Can of Beef Broth, (1) Can of Wine (using the Broth can) and Lipton Onion Recipe Soup & Dip Mix — Cooked at 325° for 3 – 4 hours depending on Beef size.  Need more info?

It pulls apart easily, ideal for Sandwiches, Tacos, Burritos and more.

Or just shred and top with favorite Gravy — It’s how I like it best.

This post was prepared in response to a friend’s question and for submission in the Orange County Fair’s Culinary Arts Food Blog Post Competition.  And the next Beef Roast will be tender (a happy given) and less dry with a smaller pot to fix it — An educational reminder that sometimes size does matter.  And now it’s documented to further success.

Bonus:  Another Beef Roast recipe, a Chipotle Baracoa Beef copycat I developed is linked.  It’s pretty darn good, if I do say so myself, and others think so too.  Always good, bad and funny.

Prime Rib And A Tribute To Frank Sinatra At La Cave On Monday Nights.

May 16th, 2011 1 comment

Fly me to the moon and give me a flashlight — Prime Rib and David Kinwald’s Tribute to Frank Sinatra is at La Cave on Monday Nights.  With Soup or Salad, Potato or Rice, and a basket of the best Garlic Cheese Bread in town, it’s a steal at $19.95.  Make a reservation or go early to be guaranteed a slab and keep tabs on the tab.  Otherwise choose from the above.

Outside La Cave off Irvine Avenue and 17th in Costa Mesa.

Entry looks like 1970’s VIP.

Menu, hours and entertainment schedule (above).

La Cave festivities are underground — Take the elevator (left) or stairs (right) down.

David Kinwald is a good singer and Cool Cat — Enjoyed the show and meal.

As reported, La Cave consistently serves some of the finest Prime Rib in the OC.

We ordered an add-on King Crab Legs, but for $24 it seemed sparse — I want fat legs!

You’re looking at the menu (above), shown with a flashlight and explained by the server in the very dark lounge.  I was happy not to trip walking in and it’s amazing the photos turned out, but do LOVE the old school aspects about the place.  There are no prices to look at, which I don’t love, because I like to know and don’t want to ask — We’re not cheap, but know La Cave isn’t either, but strategically it can be.  Closed Sunday, go Monday or Always, Frank.

Unexpectedly Discovered One Of The Best Burgers At The Daily Grill.

May 13th, 2011 1 comment

Didn’t plan to write about our leisurely lunch at the Daily Grill, but may have stumbled upon one of the Best Burgers in Town.  It put out like a hunky beefcake — Lip smackin’ taste-TEE!

And the Sourdough Bread was served warm — Love that too.

Apologies the above photo does not do the Burger justice — It was the Burger Special of the day that had Roasted Green Chilies and Jalapeno Mayo.  Two shared it and couldn’t stop raving.  We’ll be going back sometime to see if their everyday Cheeseburger is as fabulous!?

Entrance to the Daily Grill in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

Reminiscent photo on their outside patio wall — Recognize anyone?

The Capital Grille At South Coast Plaza: God Bless American Beef.

May 3rd, 2011 No comments

Guest Blogger, Bonnie wrote that she had “the most fabulous lunch” at The Capital Grille at South Coast Plaza — Too bad she didn’t have her camera on-hand to do her glowing report justice.  I told her to keep it on her person.  From a camera phone one photo barely survived.  We’ll hopefully supplement it by going again.  Until then, her review can be read below…

“Like a good book, a good menu is hard to put down, making it tricky to eat your Porterhouse.”  Quote from The Capital Grille’s Menu

On a whim, we decided to try The Capital Grille at South Coast Plaza. Here is how they describe each guest’s desired experience:

 “Each and every contact with a guest is an opportunity to provide food and service that exceeds their expectations, thereby creating an Exceptionally Distinctive Guest Experience. At The Capital Grille, EDGE is how we work together every day, thereby creating an extraordinary atmosphere for our guests and our team members.”

And true to their word, we had an EDGE! Our exceptional lunch was made so by our outstanding server, Laura Kirchner and Manager Shannon Jones, who graciously welcomed us at our table.

Although it was still technically lunch time, we opted to order our steaks from the dinner menu. Thus, we ended up with a bone-in, 18 ounce Dry Aged Sirloin and a 14 ounce Dry Aged Sirloin which is also known as a New York Strip Steak. Both were absolutely delicious and perfectly prepared. 

From the lunch menu, my nephew – who was celebrating his 13th birthday – ordered the very sophisticated Crab and Lobster Stuffed Shrimp and pronounced it suburb. As for the Parmesan Truffle Fries he had this to say: “The truffles bring out the taste in the French Fries and with every bite, the flavor counterbalances and contrasts each other for taste perfection.” Well put, Bryan!

We were also treated to the finest Sautéed Spinach with Garlic that I have ever had. I would go back for that side dish alone. (In fact, I am going to go to their newest restaurant in the Beverly Center this upcoming week and I will order it again). Other delicious sides were the Creamed Spinach and Sam’s Mashed Potatoes.

Our server, Laura, made sure to treat Bryan with a special birthday dessert consisting of Coconut Cream Pie with Caramel Rum Sauce and Macaroon-style Crust. And she also treated us to a Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake which was wonderful. 

Lunch lived up to their motto and was truly an Exceptional, Distinctive, Guest Experience (EDGE) thanks to Laura, Shannon and the Chefs in The Capital Grille kitchen. I look forward to an equally distinctive dining experience at their newest restaurant in Beverly Hills later on this week!

Thanks Bonnie – I hope to SEE it sometime!  Semi-related, but not really, and partly because I’m a patriot (and The Capital Grille made me think of it), I post this photo of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial taken by my friend and DC Correspondent Steven Woo.  It’s so beautiful.


Kiss Me Already: I’m Not Irish, But Eat & Drink Like Many On This Day.

March 17th, 2011 No comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  If you’re looking for a simple Corned Beef recipe, one is linked here.