It’s happened again, a favorite dish is taken off the menu. For some reason I tend to favor dishes that don’t sell as well as others. This time it’s not much longer after reporting about it that it’s gone. It was Simmzy’s Cauliflower with Cilantro Pesto, linked here. After sitting down with a Beer Flight at Simmzy’s Long Beach location, we learned it’s no longer on their menu. What? Maybe they will bring it back. Until that fine day, we tried Simmzy’s Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (pictured), a suggested popular dish. It’s good, but it’s not their super-tasty Cauliflower with Cilantro Pesto that is now on my copycat list. I must try to recreate what I can no longer point to and have. Aside from these dishes, Simmzy’s menu offers much I’d like to try.
Knott’s Season Dining Pass (Report #5): 1/2 lb. Cheeseburger (above) and a Spicy Chicken Sandwich (below) from the Wilderness Broiler on the edge of Ghost Town. It’s our first time trying the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. It’s not as commonly offered as the Cheeseburger. Speaking of, we may be on the verge of discovering that Knott’s Cheeseburger tastes the same no matter what restaurant it’s from. It’s just called a Cheeseburger at the Grizzy Creek Lodge, but it seems to be the same, though the Grizzy Creek Lodge has a Condiment Bar offering more to put on a Cheeseburger, Sandwich and/or Hot Dog. Outside the Wilderness Broiler there’s Yellow Mustard and Ketchup only, and neither sound right to remedy a dry Spicy Chicken Sandwich.
I suppose it’s called a “Spicy” Chicken Sandwich because it has Jalapenos on it. That’s the only spicy part. The Chicken didn’t appear or taste spiced in any way. The Chicken Breast was relatively thin, large, well-done and crispy — The type that’s best smothered in Gravy and had with a knife and fork, not served on a small, equally dry Focaccia Roll. Where’s the Chipotle Mayo or something like it? Flavor needs to be added to Knott’s so-called Spicy Chicken Sandwich. I wish I could report it’s better. We like Knott’s, but it’s only April and I’m starting to realize that I somewhat dread its meals, though we paid for an annual Season Dining Pass. Well, there’s more to try and test and we’ll continue to hope for the best. Come back later to read about the rest.
It’s official — I’ve prepared 100+ Blue Apron recipes. My husband counted them. After two-hundred plus total dishes, I decided it was time to try a few other meal delivery companies. At least three to start… Plated, Hello Fresh and Chef’d. It’s not because we don’t like Blue Apron. We love them. I’m now curious how others’ dishes compare. Are they as flavorful and international?
Dessert (recipe and ingredients) costs about $8 more, over Plated’s meal plan — Most comparable to our Blue Apron Meal Plan (3 Meals for 2 People = $60), Plated offers (2 Meals for 2 People = $48 + $6 for shipping = $54). Shipping is free with $50+ purchases. I thus added one of Plated’s weekly Desserts to try and to qualify for free shipping. $56 was our total for 2 Meals and 1 Dessert for 2 People from Plated. Leon thought all looked good upon arrival (below). I did too.
Plated’s recipes were well written and somewhat unique, like those offered by Blue Apron. The pictured Plated meals were good, but none knocked our socks off, like many Blue Apron meals have. We also missed the third meal offered by Blue Apron. Apples to Apples, the same Blue Apron Plan (3 Meals for 2 People = $60), costs $72 at Plated. I wouldn’t mind future meals from Plated, but I prefer to save money. Plated is good, but they charge more for the same comparison of food.
I prepared Plated’s Pan-Roasted Redfish with Baby Kale Risotto (top), Cheese Tortellini with Basil and Spinach in Tomato Soup (above) and Caramelized Pear Shortcakes with Whipped Cream (below). We liked the Pan-Roasted Redfish the best and the other two recipes were just average. Plated’s recipe cards are nice and large, but not as glossy as Blue Apron’s.
The Caramelized Pear Shortcakes aka Biscuits were already baked, which made preparation easier, but the Dessert not as homemade. I may order from Plated again to try a different Dessert if its weekly menu sounds better than Blue Apron’s weekly menu. I’m currently subscribed to all listed herein, though opt for Blue Apron most of the time. If interested in trying any meal delivery company, be sure to obtain a coupon or coupon code, as each offers a $20 – $60 discount on your first box. Don’t miss out on that. Check back soon to read our Hello Fresh and Chef’d Reports.
Though sad that Chick-Fil-A removed Cole Slaw from their menu, the pictured Superfood Side that replaced it is quite flavorful. In fact I’ve been craving it ever since trying it. I’ve now had it a few times for lunch aside Chicken Nuggets. It’s funny and unexpected, since I liked Chick-Fil-A’s Cole Slaw so much. I didn’t want to like their Superfood Side, whatever the heck it was, I initially thought. Now I REALLY like it, ha. It’s a tasty combination tossed in a tangy Maple Vinaigrette.
It’s from Simmzy’s Eat – Drink – Pub — I had seen photos of great looking food at Simmzy’s and have wanted to dine there for some time. While in Huntington Beach recently, we stopped at Simmzy’s for a Beer and Starter. Only one, since we had just dined at Saint Marc footsteps away, but we had to try something. We opted for the Cauliflower with Cilantro Pesto, caramelized florets with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Lemon (pictured above and described below). It has such a tasty, bold, lemony flavor I had it again at Simmzy’s Long Beach location a couple weeks later.
Simmzy’s Eat – Drink – Pub’s Long Beach location is on a corner in Belmont Shore (below).
It’s where the Shore House Cafe used to be when I lived in Belmont Shore years ago.
Simmzy’s Menu — Enlarge for a better view.
Simmzy’s Huntington Beach location is pictured above — Most seats offer an ocean view across PCH.
It’s called the Kettlebar Pan Roast (above) and it’s offered at Kettlebar Southern Seafood & Spirits aka Kettlebar Steam Cooking in Anaheim at the Anaheim Packing District, and in Tustin at The District. Our server at the Anaheim Packing District told us the Kettlebar Pan Roast is their money maker, and after one bite we knew why. Literally one bite. It’s surprisingly one of the best dishes I’ve had. It doesn’t look extraordinary on the surface, but it’s loaded with Snow Crab, Shrimp, Lobster and Chicken. All were cooked perfectly and served in a well-balanced Tomato Cream Sauce. It’s served mild, medium or spicy. The medium spice was just right for us.
Many Kettlebar dishes are cooked in steam pots, but I’m not sure how it’s done. I’ll pay more attention when we return for another Kettlebar Pan Roast. It’s already calling me back.
What? No more Cole Slaw at Chick-Fil-A? Really? I don’t think it’s a good decision, but it does ease my disappointment a bit to have the recipe. Chick-Fil-A says they removed Cole Slaw from their menu to make room for their new Superfood Side (pictured below courtesy of Chick-Fil-A).
Their Superfood Side is actually a Kale Salad with Broccolini, Roasted Nuts and Dried Sour Cherries, which sounds good to me, but I think Chick-Fil-A’s Cole Slaw would appeal to more people, especially since it was a darn good Cole Slaw. Everyone doesn’t like Kale. Please bring back the Cole Slaw.
Until then, here’s the recipe if you liked Chick-Fil-A’s Cole Slaw too.
Update on 04/12/16: Review of Chick-Fil-A’s Superfood Side.
I love sharing small plates of food and Hors D’Oeuvres and I just discovered Saint Marc — That’s Saint Marc Pub-Cafe´ Bakery & Cheese Affinage. They offer an amazing, lengthy selection of Hors D’Oeuvres, Bacon Bites, Bacon by the Slice, and much more. It’s in Pacific City, a new-ish indoor/outdoor ocean-front shopping, dining and entertainment center in Huntington Beach.
It’s an open air indoor/outdoor restaurant, bar, bakery and specialty ingredient shop. If a table isn’t reserved, seat yourself and secure an iPad for your table — You’ll need one to order food and drinks via Saint Marc’s Touch Menu. View the food photos and prices, select items and order at your leisure. Stagger your selections or order all at once. You’ll also need to swipe a credit card to start.
We’ve dined at Saint Marc twice in the last few weeks and I’m ready to go back < Read that hunny?
When I’m hooked on a dish or restaurant, I want it again and again, and right now it’s Saint Marc.
We’ve only tried a few of Saint Marc’s fabulous sounding menu items and have our sights on others. Pictured from top down is the Watermelon, Feta & Jalapeno stack and select Bacon Slices.
Bacon & Eggs, Saint Marc’s version of Deviled Eggs. The Bacon makes them.
Bacon Wrapped Dates — One of my favorites. I plan to try the Bacon Wrapped Artichokes next.
Swedish Meatballs served in a cast iron skillet.
Blue Celery & Walnuts — Celery stuffed with a Blue Cheese spread, topped with Walnuts.
Pretzel Bites & Beer Cheese — The Beer Cheese Sauce is perfect.
Avocado Crostini — You only get one big one per order. It’s a bit hard to share, but we did.
The Crostini Bread is really good.
Burrata & Grape Essence, it’s called (above) — Burrata is a creamy Cheese. It’s not Ice Cream on top of that Bread. I’ve decided I’m not much of a Burrata fan, like others proclaim these days.
Rumaki — Bacon Wrapped Chicken & Water Chestnuts with a Ginger Glaze. The Chicken was a little dry, but they’re working on improving it we’re told or they’ll take it off the menu. They care.
Tender Belly Maple Bacon, another slice we tried — Next time I want to try the Apple Pie Bacon.
Wisconsin Cheese Curds — Matt had to have them. I usually don’t like the texture of Cheese Curds, but I ended up liking these (above). Maybe because they are fried. I liked the batter too.
And I haven’t even mentioned the Desserts — Lagniappe on the menu, a little something extra. We had the Beignets and Chocolate Fondue. The Fondue Chocolate Sauce is the best I’ve had.
An upscale Spork will be your utensil and food is delivered by Saint Marc’s Free Flow Ambassadors.
In front of Saint Marc again — It’s a stylish, inviting place, day or night.
We’ll be back, though there are several interesting restaurants to choose from at Pacific City.
We’re eating our way through Knott’s Berry Farm’s Season Dining Pass — The Chicken Tostada Salad (above) from the Cantina in Fiesta Village is my current favorite meal there, though I haven’t yet tried them all. Pictured below is the Pepperoni Pizza and French Fries from Boardwalk Barbecue. It was described as a Flat Bread Pizza, but appears more like a typical slice of Pizza, and with French Fries it’s quite heavy. It would be better if the Pizza was served with a Salad.
Newport Beach Restaurant Week wraps up this Sunday, January 31, 2016. We attended its kick-off event at the Balboa Bay Resort, along with the Mayor of Newport Beach and the President of the Newport Beach Restaurant Association (on stage above) and many others. We toasted to NBRW.
It’s always a great time to dine out in Newport Beach — It’s such a beautiful city and prices are especially good now. When NBRW is happening I like to try new restaurants. It’s in its 10th year.
We sampled several dishes currently being offered on various prix-fixe menus.
Pictured above is the Grilled Albacore Sandwich available at the Lighthouse Bayview Cafe, a fairly new restaurant on the Balboa Peninsula. Did you know Newport Beach has 450+ restaurants?
It does — See which restaurants are participating in Newport Beach Restaurant Week here.
The view was gorgeous and well captured above by Matt, my photographer husband below.
We have four more days to enjoy the fruits of Newport Beach Restaurant Week.
We reveled in all this evening — Dine Newport Beach for sure!
Though it’s called Newport Beach Restaurant Week, it’s two weeks long — Newport Beach Restaurant Week(s) starts Monday, January 18th and runs through Sunday, January 31st, 2016. It’s the best time to dine out in Newport Beach. During that time many restaurants will be offering prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. Participating restaurants and menus can be viewed here.
Nibbles of Tidbits will be attending a special media reception tomorrow at the Balboa Bay Resort to kick off this money saving, tasty annual event — More will be reported here after a few samplings.
Once we select a restaurant (or more), it’s back to beautiful Newport Beach.
Our first meal with Knott’s Berry Farm’s Season Dining Pass was this mega Cheeseburger at Grizzly Creek Lodge in Camp Snoopy. We each had one, though one Cheeseburger could certainly feed two. They gave us a lot of French Fries too. Without the Season Dining Pass, the meal comes with a drink and costs $15.29. We presented our Season Pass Cards and seamlessly received our meals.
The Cheeseburger here is quite thick and large as mentioned, and tastes a little like Salisbury Steak, or the Burgers I used to get in elementary school. There’s something home-y about it. It’s old school tasting and I kind of liked that. It’s not the best Cheeseburger in town and we didn’t expect it to be, but it will suffice. By the end of the year, we will have tried all items available with Knott’s Season Dining Pass. It will be interesting to see if the Burgers at the participating restaurants are the same or different. I hope they will be different, but I suspect they’re the same. We will see.
Season Pass meals are shown with a red fork, spoon and knife in a yellow circle that’s circled in blue.
I like the large condiment bar at Grizzly Creek Lodge, but it may not end up being our first choice to eat, since it’s in Camp Snoopy and there were a lot of screaming kids inside there this day. I may be more of a Cantina girl. The year will tell and so will I. It’ll be an adventurous time at Knott’s.
We just purchased Knott’s Berry Farm 2016 Season Passes and Knott’s All Season Dining Pass. For around $185 each, we get (1) Lunch and (1) Dinner every day in 2016 at Knott’s Berry Farm. There are no blackout dates. What a deal! We technically wouldn’t need to spend anything more on food or entertainment for the entire year. We can go to Knott’s every single day and eat twice. There’s a (4) hour interval between meals. Locals should seriously consider this as a good meal and entertainment plan, especially if poor and often bored. We’re within biking distance and couldn’t pass it up. We plan to try and report on the food at all participating restaurants. There are seven.
With a Season Pass Dining Plan one can enjoy Lunch and/or Dinner at each of the following restaurants… Sutter’s Grill, Wilderness Broiler, formerly known as Bigfoot Broiler, Hollywood Hits, Coaster’s Diner, Boardwalk Barbecue, Cantina and Grizzly Creek Lodge — They are listed in the same order they’re pictured herein. We barely photographed all of them before the sun went down.
Sutter’s Grill is pictured at top, as Matt points out, and its Season Pass Dining Menu is below it.
If you circle Knott’s Berry Farm clockwise from the front gate, you’ll find each of these participating restaurants in the same order they are presented here. The Wilderness Broiler, also in Ghost Town is pictured next. They’re grilling up Chicken Sandwiches, Cheeseburgers and Hot Dogs.
It’s hard to see the various menus here (better if enlarged), but they’re all somewhat similar.
Moving into Boardwalk, Hollywood Hits restaurant offers Pizza.
If wanting Pizza instead of a Burger or Hot Dog with Season Pass Dining, go to Hollywood Hits.
Each participating restaurant menu offers four Combos and a Caesar Salad to choose from.
Coaster’s Diner (below), also in Boardwalk is a cute place to eat.
Chicken Tenders and a Southwest Cheeseburger are offered here, differing from the other menus.
Boardwalk Barbecue (below), another participating restaurant is also in Boardwalk.
In addition to a Grilled Foot-Long Hot Dog, Cheeseburger and Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Boardwalk Barbecue offers a Flat Bread Pizza. And then there’s the Cantina in Fiesta Village, the only restaurant where you can get a Burrito, Taco or Tostada Salad on the Season Pass Dining Plan.
The Cantina is pictured above and below. Every restaurant offers a Caesar Salad too.
And finally there’s Grizzly Creek Lodge, the largest restaurant of all in Camp Snoopy (below).
It offers dining downstairs and upstairs, inside and out.
Once you have circled the park stopping at each of the participating restaurants on Knott’s Season Pass Dining Plan, there are no new menu offerings at Grizzly Creek Lodge, except for the large condiment bar pointed out by Matt below. Though the menu items are somewhat repetitive, the deal is good, since each combo costs around $15. Drinks are not included with Season Pass Dining.
A 2016 All Season Bottle can be purchased for about $25 for Unlimited Free Refills on drinks. We didn’t purchase that. I believe we’re allowed to bring a bottle of water into Knott’s (I need to confirm that), which will suffice since we rarely drink sodas. We’d rather purchase a liquor plan.
We start our Season Pass Dining at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2016.
Check back to see what tastes best there.
Thank you precious United States Veterans! I will forever honor you and contribute money and time to assist you how I can. We at Nibbles of Tidbits wish all Veterans a very happy Veterans’ Day. On Wednesday, November 11, 2015, several restaurants will show Veterans how special they are by offering them something special. Cheers to those that do something special for a Veteran.
Famous Dave’s BBQ – Free Appetizer or Dessert
IHOP Restaurant – Free Red, White and Blue Pancakes
Claim Jumper – Free Dinner or Lunch
Denny’s – Free Grand Slam Breakfast
Applebee’s – Free Meal from a Special Veterans’ Day Menu
California Pizza Kitchen – Free Meal from a Special Veterans’ Day Menu
McCormick & Schmick’s – Free Meal from a Special Veterans’ Day Menu
Wienerschnitzel – Free Chili Dog and Small Pepsi
Additional Veterans’ Day offerings are here. Show a military ID to receive all of the above and more.
It’s true what the package says — The Turkey browned in the bag, was tender and tasted great.
I didn’t know Jennie-O sold such a Turkey. I didn’t have to remove the giblets, yay!
Since the Turkey was so easy to prepare, I made a complete, early Thanksgiving Dinner.
And surprisingly I discovered that I like Turkey Bacon, though I wasn’t even sure I wanted to try it. It looks quite different than Bacon in its raw state. It feels like Bologna, kind of looks like a surfboard and fake Bacon with a line running down the middle, but it tastes pretty good, like Bacon.
Turkey Bacon cooks up nice and crisp, but it’s a little harder to tell when it’s done. I accidentally burnt the first batch, but the second batch (below) turned out well. There is a fine line between burnt and nicely crisp. Turkey Bacon is in a few of the Jennie-O Thanksgiving Side Dishes.
I will definitely buy Jennie-O’s Oven Ready Whole Turkey and Turkey Bacon again. I appreciate the coupons they sent us. I gave away a couple of them. When purchasing Jennie-O’s Oven Ready whole Turkey, a lady in line in front of me, expressed her love for Jennie-O products and had never seen their Oven Ready Whole Turkey, so I gave her one of the Jennie-O coupons to try it too.
Thank you Jennie-O! I tried a couple products I never thought to try before and actually really like ’em. I have a better appreciation of Jennie-O’s products. They offer much more than we thought.
I discovered that the Taco Bell off Barranca and Von Karman in Irvine is automated inside. I don’t want to learn Taco Bell’s computer system. The process took longer while people figured it out.
Menus were scattered about. I just found it annoying. I’m not going inside that Taco Bell anymore.
One Taco Bell employee said 50% people like it and 50% don’t. You know where I stand.
What to do on your birthday? Leave on a cruise, especially if you don’t have to fly first or drive far. I’m lucky to live by the Long Beach Port, where cruise ships depart, so that’s what we did. Yay!
I was willing to go on any cruise I could walk to, only if I had to that is.
And it was the Carnival Inspiration that set out for Ensenada the very day of my big day.
If you’re considering the Carnival Inspiration, snapshots of the food and ship are shown here.
Though Carnival has or had somewhat of a bad reputation in comparison to other cruise lines, we have no complaints. The Inspiration is an old ship, but we didn’t mind it. We’d prefer new, but knew we would make the most of it. And we did. Here are a few photos of our experience.
The food was good. We liked everything okay, but didn’t fall for any specific dish.
I didn’t take notes and don’t recall the names of the dishes, but the pictures show what you might get on a 3 – 4 day Carnival cruise — Seared Ahi, Escargot, Lobster, Ceviche, Beef Carpaccio, Salmon and Chicken dishes, Caesar Salads, Flat Breads and Cheese plates, just to name a few.
We had a bit of everything, plus what was available at the ever-changing Buffet (pictured at top).
Escargot, common on cruise ships (above) — Matt had it. Me, been there, done that and over it.
Ceviche (above) — Good, but needed more chips. It’s your right to have more of anything.
Stuffed Mushrooms (above).
Carpaccio (above) — I should have had more than one, since it’s fairly costly in restaurants.
Various Salmon, Chicken and Beef dishes were available each evening in the dining room.
Carnival could work on plating as you see, but most dishes tasted better than they looked.
The Inspiration has a Game Room where we played Jenga — I don’t recall who won, probably me. 🙂
We enjoyed the sunsets on deck too.
And whipped it up Gangnam Style in the Dining Room with the waiters.
Overall, we would cruise with Carnival again. It was a nice getaway and HAPPY birthday for me.
We rode bikes there last week to sneak a peek and we were invited in by its owners.
Brian and Sherri White were there putting the finishing touches on their cafe.
What a GREAT JOB they have done to make Wings Cafe unique, cool and stylish — Mission accomplished. Above is an actual plane nose cone that’s showing real footage that was shot with the camera built into it. It prominently hangs on a wall. And the airplane it’s from is shown below.
The ceiling at Wings Cafe — It was new, then each square was hand distressed by them to the point of perfection. The final result compliments the historical and other creative aspects of the cafe.
The flight suit and helmet of Brian White’s father stands in one of the cafe corners — He’s a decorated Marine. Thank you for your service, and thank you Brian and Sherri for inviting us in.
A few days later we attended a Wings Cafe opening event and saw more finishing touches.
The glass partition was illuminated, airplane components were added to booths and more.
I love the peek-a-boo window where all can see what’s happening behind the scenes.
Much in Wings Cafe is made from airplane parts. Each piece has a different story and they can probably tell you about it. And the view… there are moving airplanes. It’ll be a fun place for all.
Wings Cafe is scheduled to land October 5, 2015 (Soft opening with Bacon, Eggs and Pancakes) with its Grand Opening to be October 10, 2015, provided inspections go well — They have two more to go and then Wings Cafe can really take off. We wish Brian, Sherri and staff many years of success.
Have you heard of Lay’s Do Us A Flavor Chip Contest? Lays may someday pay YOU for coming up with a great Chip idea. This time the finalists’ flavors are… West Coast Truffle Fries, Southern Biscuits and Gravy, and Greektown Gyro and New York Reuben Sandwich flavors. Different. I like that and was excited to try each, but… hhmmm… some aren’t executed that well. Bummer. The Reuben and Gyro Chips just taste weird. Some of the respective Sandwich components can be tasted in each, but neither come together in a positive tasty manner. And the Truffle Fries Chips don’t have enough Truffle flavor. They taste more like Sour Cream and Onion Chips. The best of the (4) in a collective opinion of five are the Southern Biscuits and Gravy Chips. They have a good, peppery Biscuits and Gravy flavor and might be purchased by us post review. Lays should pick my Chip idea next time — TBA if it happens. In any event, it’s a fun contest that I hope continues.
Though we planted late this year, we’re enjoying the Radishes. They’re pushing through the soil daily alerting they are ready to pick — It took about 4 weeks from seeds to grow and eat them.
And we learned that Beans and Peas practically grow overnight, but as of today they are far from being ready to eat, especially since our large
turtle tortoise (Cesar) ate them when we weren’t looking. We wrongly planted them in the lower planter, which we’re in the process of amending.
As for the other seeds we planted, much is growing or trying to grow. Our Purple Cabbage has sprouted large leaves, but the row of Purple Cabbage growing at the Orange County Fair includes numerous large heads of Cabbage. Our garden is coming along slowly, but we’re optimistic.
I wonder what we get to eat (before Cesar) next — To be determined and announced.
The Orange County Fair is happening NOW through August 16, 2015 — We’ll soon be there to taste some of the new FOOD items they’re serving up this year. The BIG LIST is here: List of New and Interesting Food at the 2015 OC Fair. Pictured is the Samoa Donut, a jumbo Donut designed after the popular Girl Scout Cookie, the Samoa aka Caramel DeLite, my favorite, made with Chocolate, Caramel and Coconut shavings. We may have to try it. We LOVE the OC Fair!
Credit: Thank you to the OC Fair Communication’s Department for the photo and list.
In two raised garden beds newly built by my wonderful husband and part-time Nibbles of Tidbits photographer, Matt, we planted seeds to grow Carrots, Radishes, Beets, Purple and Green Cabbage, Eggplant, Sweet Onions, Swiss Chard, Butter Lettuce, Broccoli and a Lettuce mix — I THANK him for making one of my dreams come true. I’ve always wanted a vegetable garden and ideally hope to grow most food plants available to utilize and enjoy on a daily basis, but happily start here.
After only a few days we’re seeing life — What a joy.
We’ve been excited to check and tend to them each day. Much attention will be given.
Check back to see how all develop — We’re hopeful for free food.