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Archive for the ‘Beverages & Spirits’ Category

Bacchus Bar & Bistro: The Roman God Of Wine Is In Irvine.

November 18th, 2014 No comments

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Bacchus Bar & Bistro — Classy is a word that comes to mind.  It may look small on the outside tucked in a corner, but there’s a lot of stylish space inside.  Their menu is impressive too.

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I’m happy to discover Bacchus Bar & Bistro (formerly Bacchus Secret Cellar) — It’s down the street from my Irvine office, in the Quail Hill Shopping Center, amongst other businesses.

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It’s a perfect place to gather with friends after work — A plan is in the works.

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There is comfortable seating throughout — Tall and short tables, couches and a bar.

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We tried a few menu items this visit — The Warm Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chinese Sausage, Shishito Peppers, Fried Garlic and Sesame Ponzu (above).  There’s more to be tried.

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Lobster & Spanish Chorizo Fondue with Manchego Cheese, Smoked Peppers and Cream Cheese, served with a French Baguette (above) — It’s creamy, unique and pretty good.

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We also had the Prosciutto Flatbread with Fontina, Gorgonzola, Fig Jam & Red Onion (above) and the Butterscotch Pot De Creme (below).  The Fig Jam was terrific on the Flatbread and the consistency and flavor of the Pot De Creme was ideal, though rich, but not overly so.

Bacchus Dessert

It’s a seamless Wine Store along its parameters and the prices are surprisingly good for such an expensive looking place. Their food prices are reasonable too, another reason to go back. And there’s live entertainment… A guy played the guitar in front of the Wine Case behind me.

At Bacchus with Wine

The Roman God of Wine’s Wine was delicious as well — Thanks Bacchus!

Note: Camera issues beset this visit. Subsequent dishes shall be posted as clear updates.

Calivino Wine Pub In Anaheim: More Spinach Wontons Please.

October 14th, 2014 No comments

Calivino House Burger

Have you been to Calivino Wine Pub?  It’s in Anaheim, near the Honda Center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim and other happenings, off Katella Avenue. We just learned about it and gladly so, since the food is terrific. We’ve been to other Wine Bar/Pubs that serve great food, like Sealegs and The Twisted Wine, so the test-bar is high, but Calivino unexpectedly stood out.

Calivino Wine Pub

Calivino Wine Pub is a bit hard to see off Katella.  Its cross-street is Howell — Just turn into the business park area, keep heading left and you’ll see it slivered-in, amongst other businesses and eateries.  Hooters is across the parking lot to drop off the boys on a Girl’s Wine Night out.

Toast to Calivino Wine Pub

Seating includes a long bar and a good combination of couches and tall and short tables.

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It’s rare when everything on a menu sounds appealing, well not that rare, but I do want all on Calivino’s Menu.  Since we weren’t sure where to begin, we tried a few house favorites.

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FOOD pictured from top down:  The House Burger with Fried Onions, Onion Jam and Havarti, which is sweet, spicy and juicy – Bacon Dates with Goat Cheese and Honey – Spinach Wontons with Parmesan and Garlic – Brussels Sprouts roasted with Crispy Pork.

Calivino Spinach Wontons

I’d have all again and the Spinach Wontons (above) every day — You certainly can’t tell how great they are from the dark photo, but WOW, they’re a perfectly seasoned combo of Baby Leaf Spinach and crunch.  Each Wonton tastes like the best Spinach Dip already on a chip.

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Oh yeah, Wine.  It’s a Wine Pub after all — I like Wine too.

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The Reds, Whites, Sweets & Sparkling — Calivino’s owner, Daniel hand selects them all.

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And there’s Beer too — A rotating selection of fine, local brews are noted on a chalkboard.

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Calivino — Cali for California and Vino for Wine.  We like it and the CA Flag Bear on the logo.

CWP (Wine & Beer)

It’s a nice mix of old world and new world and it feels that way.

Matt at Calivino

We tried REDS from California and Spain — Leaping Horse Cabernet (2013), Beso De Vino Garnacha (2011), Reserva Eguia Tempranillo (2009) and Artezin Red Zinfandel (2012).

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We liked sipping Wine on the couch and the rustic tables with bottled water and succulents.

Chillaxing at Calivino Wine Pub in Anaheim

I’m heading back soon with a group of girls for more bites and Tempranillo.

Calivino Sign

Calivino Wine Pub — A great stop before or after an event, for Happy Hour (3-7pm, Sun – Fri), 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine on Wednesdays, and 1/2 off Glasses of Wine on Thursdays.  See their website for more info and/or changes.  New food dishes will be added below.

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Updated 10/21/14: Next visit we had more of the same, which was equally as good, and Alison’s Baked Brie in a Puff Pastry with Candied Nuts and Honey (above).

Toasting To The Best Blog Days Ahead Thanks To Cornell Care.

September 29th, 2014 No comments

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It’s become necessary to make improvements and upgrades to Nibbles of Tidbits — THANKS to Cornell Care, we’re moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky.  They’ve been working hard behind the scene to make all here the best it can be.  Cheers to that!  Now let’s eat.

5-Hour Energy Yummification Contest: Introducing The 5 N’ Thrive.

August 19th, 2014 No comments

It’s likely we won’t win the 5-Hour Energy Yummification Contest, but we learned a lot trying.  The contest closes today, and then it’s our video amongst 400+ other video entries (I think) vying to win $50K, $30K, $10K or $1K.  All sound good to me.  We each created a Drink Recipe using (1) 5-Hour Energy Drink and a one-minute video preparing it.  Our drink, the 5′ N Thrive is simple to make and good tasting, but our video ended up compressed by time and size limits.  Overall, it was fun to do and we still hope for the best — Recipe is on the video.

Dami Sushi & Izakaya: Unwind And Hang Out Izakaya Style.

May 9th, 2014 No comments

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My husband says Dami Sushi & Izakaya is his new favorite Sushi place.  We were in awe over their Hamachi and Maguro (above) — Both were strikingly gorgeous, fresh and delicious.

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It’s a hip place too.  I didn’t take many photos, since most seats were full and I didn’t want my camera to flash in people’s faces.  We’ve dined at their Sushi Bar a couple times since they opened a few months ago.  We appreciate the promptly served Edamame and Pickled Vegetables.  Upon our first visit, we were served Miso Soup — A nice bonus that varies.

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Everything that came out of the Sushi Bar this night looked like a work of art.

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We had Dami Sushi’s Beach Roll (below) — It’s made with Spicy Tuna, Crabmeat, Avocado, Gobo and Salmon and is deep fried.  It has an enchanting combination of flavors.  It’s not guaranteed that yours will look exactly like ours, but it’ll be pretty and fresh.  They also have an extensive, GREAT sounding menu, with several listed items I’d love to try.  See MENU.

Dami Sushi

Izakaya — A Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to accompany the drinks.  A tavern or pub for after work gathering for drinks and small dishes to share.  Dami does it well.

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Dami Sushi & Izakaya is at the Village Circle on Beach in Buena Park — Open 5 to Midnight.

02/12/15 Update:  The property is under new ownership and it’s now called Ki Sushi Sake Bar — See report here.

Attention Chili’s: Please Put The Drink Prices On Your Menu.

April 29th, 2014 No comments

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Where are the prices?  I can’t think of one good reason (for the consumer) not to have drink prices on a menu.  Chili’s Restaurant doesn’t put drink prices on its menu.  Drinks can be expensive.  I don’t want to ask… How much is this Margarita, or that one, or how about that Glass of Wine, etc.  It’s a little uncomfortable, but I don’t want a big surprise on the bill, thus I’m less apt to order a drink at Chili’s, especially a Specialty Margarita.  Do you feel the same?

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On a positive note, I’ll always order their Chips — Chili’s Chips are the best.

The Twisted Vine: Fine To Dine & A Really Good Time With Wine.

March 5th, 2014 No comments

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The Twisted Vine is a Wine Bar & Shop in Fullerton, but don’t forget the food.

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These photos certainly don’t do it justice.  It’s nicely dark inside.  I met a group of friends there for the first time for Wine.  We shared everything pictured here, but didn’t take these photos until I went back a couple weeks later and had the exact same things.  All was that good!

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I especially love the Chorizo Crostini (above) and I’m ready to have it a third time.

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Also pictured is the Baked Brie in a Bread Bowl, Olives and Stuffed French Toast Empanadas.

SeaLegs Wine Bar: Best Truffle Mac & Cheese Near The Pacific.

October 8th, 2013 No comments

Best Truffle Mac & Cheese

SeaLegs Wine Bar — It’s my new favorite restaurant (and Wine Bar, especially on a Wednesday when all Wine is 1/2 off).  Everything I’ve had there has been amazing.

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LOVE its smart, chic, cool and comfortable style — Parts feel like an east coast vacation spot.

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As noted, we think they have the BEST Truffle Mac & Cheese around (top photo) — Huntington Beach is where it’s at.  I’m told it’s made with White Cheddar, Mozzarella and Blue Cheese.

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See SeaLegs Wine Bar’s Menu by the seashore, Pacific in this instance — I give no resistance.

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Also on the menu, pictured herein are the Bleu Sliders and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus.

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I’ve yet to try most of their food, but want to, really, really bad.

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Instead I’ve toasted there with ole high school chums on Wednesdays.

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Cheers to SeaLegs Wine Bar (and its food) today with memories of yesterday.

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Happy Hour prices ($5 Wine & Plates) apply ‘At The Bar’ only, M-F’s from 3-6p.m.

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Will climb for Wine wit me sea legs.

Giving Micheladas A [Bad] Name: Accessible For Exposure Not Taste.

October 2nd, 2013 No comments

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I like the idea of an all-in-one Michelada, but the pictured could repel one from trying another.

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A Michelada is a Mexican Cerveza that’s made with Beer, Lime Juice, assorted Sauces, Spices and Peppers, which sounds interesting and good if prepared in the right proportions.

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The pictured was plastic wrapped at 7-Eleven — One then adds Beer and the included Spice packet (the biggest problem here).  It’s too salty and overwhelms in a bad way, and best not added.  The Lime/Spice around the rim is better on its own.  Once the Spice packet is added, you’ve f’d up your Beer.  After this Michilada, I’m left wanting one that’s prepared right.

Extra Extra Get A Free Coffee Tea For Me (And For You Too).

September 26th, 2013 No comments

Coffee Pot Trade In

THE COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF® CELEBRATES NATIONAL COFFEE DAY WITH ITS SECOND ANNUAL CBTL® TRADE UP YOUR CUP COFFEE MACHINE EXCHANGE ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 AT ANGELS STADIUM

Trade in any Coffeemaker for a new complimentary CBTL® Americano Machine to create authentic Espresso, Coffee, Tea, and specialty beverages at the touch of a button

WHAT:  On Sunday, September 29, Coffee drinkers are invited to the Angels Stadium of Anaheim to celebrate National Coffee Day at Trade Up Your Cup, the second annual event hosted by CBTL®, the Single Serve Beverage System by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®. Guests (13 years of age or older) can exchange any electric Coffeemaker with a cord, for a brand new CBTL® Americano Machine (valued at $149.95, while supplies last). The first 250 people in attendance will also receive a free CBTL® Milk Frother (valued at $49.99, while supplies last). Guests can also load-up on CBTL® Espresso and Coffee Capsules with the one-day promotion of three 16-count capsule boxes available for $20. Last year’s inaugural event took over iconic Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood with overwhelming response. This year’s event, to be held at Angels Stadium of Anaheim in Orange County, is slated to bring in an even bigger crowd. To further celebrate National Coffee Day, bottomless Coffee will be served for guests in line from 6 a.m. – 8 a.m., before the event begins. Coffee-related games and other fun surprises will also be available for guests to enjoy throughout the event. Coffee machines collected during the event will be donated to Goodwill Enterprises to be redistributed across Southern California.

WHEN:  Sunday, September 29, 2013

8 a.m. – 2 p.m. (or until supplies last) — Gates open at 6 a.m. with bottomless Coffee

WHEREAngels Stadium of Anaheim — 2000 E Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806

Guest Entrances: Gene Autry and Orangewood entrances only

COST: Trade Up Your Cup is free and open to the public

CBTL® Beverage Capsules will also be available for purchase

RULESGuests (13 years or older) can exchange any new or used electric Coffeemaker with a cord, for the CBTL® Americano Machine. Exchange is limited to the CBTL® Americano model available in black and valued at $149.95; limit one CBTL® System per person while supplies last. The first 250 people will also receive a free CBTL® Milk Frother (valued at $49.99, while supplies last). Vouchers for the exchange are only valid on Sunday, September 29, 2013.

ABOUT CBTL®:

In 2010, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ® launched the CBTL® Single Serve Beverage System that allows consumers to make their favorite espresso, brewed coffee, tea and specialty beverages at home, at the touch of a button. With the CBTL® System, customers can recreate their favorite The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® authentic espresso, coffee, tea and specialty beverages at home—with just one touch of a button. The stylish CBTL® System comes in a variety of machine models and colors, each featuring a twin pressure system that allows the machine to reach the high pressure needed to make authentic espresso and lower pressure for perfectly brewed coffee and tea. With its sleek Italian design based on the CAFFITALY SYSTEM technology and premium features, this multi-tasker is a welcome addition to any countertop. In addition to selling the system in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ® stores and online at CBTL.com, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ® has teamed with Sensio Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of small kitchen appliances, to distribute the CBTL® System in U.S. department stores, mass, discount and big box retailers as well as home shopping networks. For more information, please visit www.CBTL.com or www.facebook.com/CBTL.

Source: Press Release not written by me, but I do have an old Coffeemaker to replace.

Cooking Tip Number One: Reduce Wine Any Way You Choose.

August 27th, 2013 No comments

Wine Cartoon

Actual TIP:  Cook Wine until there is less of it, 1/2 of it, or it turns into syrup.

Experience The Speakeasy Sanctuary From Tedium: Pie Society.

June 17th, 2013 No comments

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Pie Society is inconspicuously set within the back of Pitfire Artisan Pizza in Costa Mesa.

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When I first read… Experience the Speakeasy Sanctuary from Tedium — I thought, what?

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It’s Pie Society, a separate, connected, somewhat secret Bar, open Tues. – Sun., from 5p.m. to “Close” whenever that may be — Enter through Pitfire Artisan Pizza, if you can find how.

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There’s also a back entrance to this speakeasy-type Bar — I love the idea.  It makes it cool.

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And you can tell from its look, menu, drinks and related peeps — It is cool!

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The Bar is framed with parts of the old Marie Callender’s Pie oven that once occupied the spot.

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Pie Society has its own Signature Menu, with mostly different food than Pitfire Artisan Pizza.

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Prior to its opening last week, media got to experience the reminiscence of Pie Society.

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Signature Menu items are pictured throughout and ‘loosely described’ herein from top down.

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Loosely, yes, since the Pie Society House Drinks and Iconic Selections positively detonate!

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I tried a few and the El Primo with Sombra Mezcal, Home-made Lime Cordial, shaken with a Lime Wheel was a favorite.  I fell for Mezcal at Pie Society — Good thing I walked there.

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Cheers to El Primo (above), the Pool Side (below) and the Hemingway Daiquiri — Ask for ’em.

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I can’t name all pictured Pizzas, but Pie Society offers a few from Pitfire and a few unique to it.

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It’s very dark inside which is part of the fun, but it makes it tough for photos.

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Food media events bring out the best to capture ALL best.

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Drinks Stars — I love the house-made (almost) everything… Juices, Syrups, Cordials, etc.

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When there, sliding doors sometimes open up to a Pizza oven and additional seating (below).

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The view back into the Pie Society Bar area (below).

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See the exit sign in the Pitfire Artisan Pizza restaurant (below)?  It’s a way in to Pie Society.

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Pizzas are exceptional on both sides of the building, at Pie Society and Pitfire Artisan Pizza.

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We tried a Trio of Bread & Butter Pickles with Sriracha and Dill, Pastrami Peanuts with Smoked Sea Salt, and Smoked, Marinated Olives, and Superba Fried Chicken, Tater Tots with Chorizo Fondue, Crispy Dim Sum Shrimp, Cheeseburger Hot Pockets, Kimchi Deviled Eggs and Sweet & Sour Crispy Pork Belly.  The Chorizo Fondue and Pork Belly stood out as superstars to me.

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I felt big love and blow its cover.  Another provides more information here.

Wild Goose Lands At The Little Knight Knighted Black Knight.

June 12th, 2013 No comments

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We enjoyed stiff Cadillac Margaritas, Pizza and more at Black Knight Gastro Lounge (new and improved) at The Triangle — It once was on 17th Street as The Little Knight, a cool dive bar.

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It has a more polished, clean look and a larger outdoor patio, something I usually hope for in a place.  Pizza is available inside and at times via the pass-through window adjacent to it.

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The Cheese Platter was generous in size and unique with spicy, sweet and colorful Cheeses.

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Our Salad (forgot which one) was good to share too — Check their website menu when it’s up.

The Triangle (View)

Upstairs view from The Triangle at Broadway and Newport Boulevard.

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And the Wild Goose Tavern has landed at The Little Knight — It too looks spiffier.

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We look forward to trying it, especially the Grilled Romaine and Truffle Herb Fries.

California Wine Festival: Days Of Wine Tasting Near The Beach.

April 23rd, 2013 No comments

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Our first experience at the California Wine Festival — Wine glasses lined up for tasting.

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We grabbed a couple glasses and sought out the FOOD, because it’s how we roll.  Plenty of Wine was all around and available from noon to 4 — Best get some food in us to start.

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Ribs and Chicken Wings from The Point Restaurant & Bar in Dana Point.

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Messy with a Wine glass in hand, but the meat fell off the bone and both were flavorful.

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Tall tables were scattered throughout the event and came in handy when free.

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For a list of Participating Wineries, check with the California Wine Festival.

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Pasta from Gemmell’s Restaurant may not look like much in the photo, but it was amazing!

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I don’t know what it was, but if everything they make tastes as good, I’ve been missing out.

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A generous Taco Plate from Chelas Mexican Grill was another winner for me.

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Wine has the leading role at this event, so the heartier food options were appreciated.

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VIP Pavilion (above) — It didn’t look more exciting, but had more chairs and shade.

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Grilled Fish Tacos from Rubio’s.

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Sushi from Mahé.

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White Chocolate Dipped Strawberries from Celebrity Cruises.

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Cheers — We’re hoping to win a free Celebrity Cruise, if they haven’t picked the winner yet!?

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An Alcove similar to one on a Celebrity Cruise Ship — Our favorite Festival Sponsor.

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We had White Wine on this warm, sunny day — Missed out on Red and want to do it again.

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We frolicked and planked on Doheny State Beach afterwards and then went out for Sushi.

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One fine day.

Join The Fun At OC’s 4th Annual California Wine Festival.

April 18th, 2013 No comments

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California Wine Festival — Seems like a great way to spend a beautiful day.  We’ll be at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point this Saturday for the Beachside Wine & Food Fest.  We look forward to sipping Wine from all over California to live Caribbean music on the beach.

California Wine Festival Soon Sipping In The OC: Mark Your Calendar.

April 6th, 2013 No comments

California Wine Festival Crowd

The California Wine Festival — It’s happening at Laguna Cliffs Marriot Resort & Spa on Friday, April 19th and at Doheny State Beach on Saturday, April 20th, 2013.  Hope to see you there!

Wine Toast

Get tickets and more information here — Cheers to food and California WINE at the beach.

Classy Up Jell-O Shots In The Cut Of An Orange Wedge.

February 9th, 2013 No comments

Jello Wedges

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Jell-O Shot, but the pictorial basic recipe and linked unique recipes (here, here and here) cause me to want to make and serve ’em at a party.

Water That Makes You Smarter Than A 5th Grader: Can You Believe It?

January 31st, 2013 No comments

15 Mile Walk

Believe the title?  Perhaps a Smart Water placebo may benefit you.  Actually, the pictured brand of Bottled Water was simply 1 of 4 bottles of Water (various brands) consumed during a 15 mile walk that started in Costa Mesa and ended in Buena Park.  Don’t ask why — I’m Fredericka Gump and it was a beautiful day.  The undrinkable Water is the star in this photo.

Broguiere’s Farm Fresh Dairy Loves Huell Howser And So Do We.

January 28th, 2013 No comments

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Huell Howser, California’s Gold — Rest in Peace.  Broguiere’s says he’s their favorite visitor.

Quenching The Thirst Of The Funny My Friends: Dance The Talk.

January 26th, 2013 No comments

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Most Someecards are quite funny — Why not walk, talk, dance and drink the drink?

Cherish Every Moment In Sunshine And In Rain: Gather Around Folks.

January 25th, 2013 No comments

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It’s almost Christmas — I often laughingly say that in January.  It’s true.  Time flies by fast.  Celebrate abilities, opportunities, family, friends, food and fun every day with a Martini or Milk.

The Invention Of The Chocolate Milkshake: Well Helloooo There.

January 24th, 2013 No comments

Chocolate Milk Shake

Introduce Chocolate to Milk and voila, or make their nuptials better with Vanilla Ice Cream (necessary) and Malted Milk Powder (preferred) — Chocolate Milkshake meet Chocolate Malt.

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Haven’t we met?  Hello Chocolate Malt — Shake it for me.

Cheers To Beer Now Cheaper Than Gas: If You Drink It, Don’t Drive.

December 28th, 2012 No comments

Beer / Gas

Too bad we can’t fill our gas tanks with Beer — Don’t drink and drive this year (or ever). Taxi!