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Burger Parlor: Oh Those Onion Rings & Gringo Bandito Tostada Burger.

May 12th, 2017 No comments

We LOVE the Burger Parlor’s new Gringo Bandito Tostada Burger (pictured above) — It’s made with a Hormone-Free Nebraskan Beef Patty and includes a Crisp Tostada Shell (yes, it’s true), Crushed Avocado, Roasted Anaheim Chili, Marinated Carrots, Gringo Bandito Crema, Gringo Bandito Aioli and a Fried Egg.  The well-selected ingredients create an amazing Burger.

What is Gringo Bandito you might ask — It’s a Hot Sauce created by The Offspring’s Lead Singer, Dexter Holland.  Well, we also love The Offspring and saw them in concert the last two years at the Orange County Fair.  Together Dexter Holland and the Burger Parlor’s founder, Joseph Mahon created the Gringo Bandito Tostada Burger.  And it’s now on the Burger Parlor menu.

The Burger Parlor could make the best Onion Rings I’ve ever had.  We had them a few times previously and I’d considered writing an entire post about them, but didn’t get around to it.

Inside the Burger Parlor’s Fullerton location (above and below).  There’s another one in Orange.

They have Beer and Wine too, in addition to Milkshakes and Sodas — Cheers to that.

We were The Ramones #57 waiting for food delivery.

This visit we also had the Kali Burger made with Smoked Bacon, Crushed Avocado, Provolone Cheese, Peppers, Caramelized Onions, Arugula and Chipotle Aioli (below).  Another great combo.

We split and shared both.

It’s tricky cutting a Gringo Bandito Tostada Burger, due to the Tostada Shell (and Egg) on it.

A Tostada Shell is an unusual ingredient on a Burger, but it really works, especially with Marinated Carrots between the Burger and the bottom of the Bun.  Both are perfect with an Egg.

I may have a whole one next time, if I can decide between all the gourmet combinations.

The also make a House Ketchup that’s offered next to Heinz.  We got one of each and used all the House Ketchup.  You cannot tell the difference by looking at them, but Burger Parlor’s House Ketchup tastes like it’s meant to go with the Onion Rings.  There’s something special there.

The Burger Parlor knows how to make things right — Their wall instructions impressed us (below).

We highly recommend the Burger Parlor and their Onion Rings — To me, they kind of taste like Shrimp Tempura, especially with the House Ketchup.  The duo is on my favorite’s list.

The Burger Parlor is a favorite of many and has the awards to prove it.  We’ll be back.

Porto’s Bakery & Cafe Is Now Open On Beach In Buena Park.

April 10th, 2017 No comments

I’ve only heard good things about Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, so I was excited that they opened up one in Buena Park, off Beach Boulevard down the street from Knott’s Berry Farm.  It just opened last month. We attempted to go there a couple times, but the line wrapped around the building.

We finally went there recently and only had to wait in line for 15 minutes.

A large, beautiful space with indoor and outdoor seating was constructed for Porto’s in Buena Park.

On this day (and perhaps always), there were secondary lines.  Once inside, we were directed to one of two other lines to order food.  Each area included glass cases displaying gorgeous desserts and savory items — Cakes, Cookies, various Pastries, Croquettes, Empanadas, and much more.

I asked for (at least) one of each of the House Specialties listed below.

Though I ordered one of each of the House Specialties, I only ended up with most of them — One of each from the case below, except the Rellenito, because they were out of them.  Now we have to go back for the rest, plus more, which is fine without a line.  Matt (pictured at top) leaving with our sweet and savory boxes — A great moment.  We were eager to get home to try it all.

Our savory box below included a Ham Croquette, Cheese/Pepper Potato Ball, a Chicken Empanada, a Chorizo Pie, a Seafood Potato Ball, two Meat Pies, and two Potato Balls, because it is one of Porto’s specialties — Potato Balls filled with ground Beef and Peppers.  We each had to have our own.

We shared it all — And the Potato Ball was our favorite too.  The meat inside it is so well seasoned.

We also shared a Guava Strudel, Raspberry Kiss Cookie, Cherry Turnover and Mango Empanada.

I loved the Raspberry Kiss Cookie — It’s not the most dazzling dessert there, but it is tasty.

Porto’s closes at 7 p.m., but allows those in line at that time into the building to order.

Porto’s prices are pretty good too — There’s much more we want to try there.

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern: Love At First Sight & Bite.

January 16th, 2017 No comments

It was really love at first sight and bite at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT).

First, I love Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern’s MENU and pretty much want to try everything listed.  I reviewed their menu online before visiting this JFAT in Brea — It’s one of five JFAT locations. The others are in Dana Point, San Diego, Woodland Hills and Santa Monica.

Before tasting anything, we appreciated JFAT’s exterior entrance lights, outdoor patio and courtyard view, and its dimly lit, stylish America-inspired interior.  God Bless America indeed.

My first bite came from the Pimento Cheese Dip in JFAT’s Dueling Southern Dips.  It’s served with a Roasted Corn & Poblano Guacamole and Tortilla Chips — And wow.  We were happy with the amount of flavor in both Dips.  Every dish we shared had an amazing amount of flavor.

It was love at first bite in conjunction with its appealing sight — Pictured from top down is JFAT’s Signature Grilled Santa Fe Caesar Salad with Fried Chicken, the Dueling Southern Dips, the Whisky Shrimp, and BBQ Spice Crusted Salmon with Creamed Corn, Green Beans, Bacon and Crispy Onions.  Each dish was seasoned, grilled and prepared well.  Nothing is bland at JFAT.

I’m pictured below with Chef Kim.  He is so nice and worked hard to make our plates great.  Good people work at JFAT.  We also thank Manager Todd Cords for his superior hospitality.  When we have time, there is much more to go back for — The FOOD, cocktails, atmosphere and friendliness.

I’ve highlighted, at least, ten dishes I want to try — They include JFAT’s Boneless Short Rib Stroganoff, White Truffle Mac and Five Cheese, Charred Brussels Sprouts, Santa Fe Honey-Poblano Pesto Grilled Flatbread, etc.  Enlarge menu below or see link here to view food and drink options.

My favorite JFAT Cocktail was the Cucumber Cooler.  It’s made with Finlandia Vodka, St. Germain, Fresh Cucumber and Lemon Juice.  See Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern’s full list of “Liquid” items here.  JFAT says get in here and we want to get back there.  ASAP.

Dirty Sauce: It’s Ike’s Love & Sandwiches Very Special Ingredient.

December 30th, 2016 No comments

Dirty Sauce

It’s the Dirty Sauce that makes Ike’s Love & Sandwiches so darn great (and the Dutch Crunch Bread).  Ike’s Dirty Sauce is on every Sandwich, unless specified otherwise.  This time I ordered it on the side to decipher its ingredients.  It’s one of the things I like to do.  Breakdown a recipe.  And from what I can taste, see and smell, it appears to possibly be made with Mayonnaise, Butter, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, a few fresh and/or dried Herbs, Salt and maybe other Spices — Not the precise breakdown I hoped for.  It’s more complex than I thought it would be, though I should have known that by its elevated flavor.  That’s why it’s so good and why it’s on most Sandwiches.  Boom.

Dirty Sauce — It sounds weird, but don’t be afraid of its name.  Get it on your Sandwich.

D’Vine: A Fresh & Authentic Mediterranean Experience In Fullerton.

December 5th, 2016 No comments

Fool

D’Vine Restaurant in Fullerton — Somehow it feels hidden, though it’s within plain sight in the heart of downtown Fullerton, an area hosting some of the best restaurants in Fullerton.

D'Vine Sign

It has been open a few months and I’m glad to finally try it.

Cold Mezza's

D’Vine is a gem and its Master Chef Owner, Walid Alarja is a Star.  His food is truly authentic, fresh and flavorful — Love of food, cooking, and years of worldly experience are behind each and every ingredient and dish.  An authentic Mediterranean experience is created, as the D’Vine sign says.

Chips

Pita Chips, Olive Oil and a Spice mixture of Thyme, Sumac, Sesame Seeds, Salt (and maybe more) are served upon arrival — I like that.  All is house-made, dried, baked, mixed, toasted, etc.

Dip

First Dip the Pita Chip into the Olive Oil and then in D’Vine’s Special Spice Mixture.

Interior

This is D’Vine’s second location.  The other one is in Brea — It’s been open for about five years.

Arak and Cooler

I had Arak on the Rocks with Water (above right) — Arak is a traditional drink in the Middle East. We tried it and a Mediterranean Cooler (above left) and both ultimately wanted the Mediterranean Cooler.  Though I knew Arak to have an Anise flavor, it punched us in the face, ha.  It was a flashback to my Jagermeister college shot days.  Not the best choice to compliment this wonderful meal, but fun to try it.  D’Vine offers several Signature Drinks and a full bar of options.

Kefta

We also shared the Kefta made with grilled ground Beef and Lamb, finely chopped Onions, Parsley and House Spices, along with their Red Cabbage Salad — All Entrees are served with your choice of (1) one of D’Vine’s Cold Mezza’s (they make and offer 14), Rice and Pita Bread.

Shawarma

We enjoyed D’Vine’s Chicken Shawarma made with grilled, thinly sliced marinated Chicken Thigh Meat, with their Cucumber Yogurt Salad.  Walid even makes his own Yogurt.  He is quite impressive.  We were honored to meet him and taste why we should go back.

Interior/Kitchen

It’s very nice inside with a long bar, and tall and short tables.

Smoking Area

There’s a sometimes smoking area (above) that leads out to a large outdoor patio.

Event Room

And there is a beautiful room (above) for events of all kinds.  It could be a perfect venue for a wedding reception with < 120 people.  It’s attractive and serves great food, which is sometimes hard to find in a venue.  This room makes me want to have a party.  Cheers to all parties there!

And finally, there is Fool (top photo) — Of course I loved it.  Fool is offered under D’Vine’s Hot Mezza’s.  It’s seasoned Fava Beans with Lemon, Garlic, Olive Oil and Jalapenos.  It’s so flavorful and great with Pita Bread.  It’s what I want most again.  I also have much respect for Walid’s Turshi, house-made Pickles, Olives, Beets, Turnips, etc.  All were better than imagined and well flavored.

Note:  Apologies for the date stamp on some photos (above).

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches: Best Sandwich ‘Ever Had In My Whole Life’.

November 26th, 2016 No comments

Ike's

I had the best Sandwich I’ve ever had in my whole life — That’s what my employer/attorney/foodie friend Mike said about Ike’s Love & Sandwiches in Newport Beach.  He recently had a couple Sandwiches there and told me that.  I work in the Newport Beach/Irvine area three days a week. And now, after four consecutive work days of Sandwiches from Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, it’s my new obsession.  Mike is right.  Ike’s makes some of the best Sandwiches I’ve ever had too.

Ike's in Irvine

Pictured is the Matt Cain Sandwich, made with Roast Beef, Turkey, Salami, Provolone Cheese and Godfather Sauce, whatever that is.  I don’t know what it is, but it’s sure tasty.  The photo does not do it justice.  Ike’s Sandwiches are named after famous people, different things, and some have quirky names like… Name of the Girl I’m Dating.  Thus far I’ve tried the Jim Rome, The Little Mermaid, Steve Jobs and Matt Cain, and all could contend for the best Sandwich ever.

Inside Ike's in Irvine

It’s true — Each Sandwich is loaded with flavor.

Line at Ike's in Irvine

So far, the Jim Rome is my favorite — It’s made with Turkey, Avocado, Cheddar Cheese, and Ike’s Red Pesto Sauce, made from Sun Dried Tomatoes, I think.  Simple ingredients, but so dang good.

Ike's Sandwich

It’s busy at Ike’s Love & Sandwiches in Newport Beach so we call in our Sandwiches, pick them up fairly quickly and eat ’em in our office conference room.  It’s an efficient method that’ll be in play again next week.  My sights are set on Adam Richman, a Sandwich made with Fried Chicken, Ham, Honey, Pesto, Avocado and Swiss.  We’ve had all on Ike’s World Famous Dutch Crunch Bread.

One of many Sandwiches

Better photos of our next amazing Sandwiches will soon be posted.

Example of Ike’s Dutch Crunch Bread unwrapped (above).

I’ve now had so many Sandwiches I don’t know which one is posted above, but I know I loved it.

Best New Views In Huntington Beach: At Pacific City And Pasea Hotel.

October 14th, 2016 No comments

Treehouse Lounge

We toast to several new restaurants with a view in Huntington Beach.  Here we’re at the Treehouse Lounge at Tanner’s, which is part of the Pasea Hotel & Spa.  You don’t have to stay at the hotel to enjoy its fabulous restaurant, Tanner’s with floor-to-ceiling upstairs and downstairs views of the Pacific Ocean across Pacific Coast Highway.  We enjoyed beers and a couple appetizers there — Grilled Asparagus and Chips, Salsa and Guacamole.  All was fantastically flavorful.

Asparagus Appetizer

Though the view and food are terrific at the Treehouse Lounge at Tanner’s, more shade is needed upstairs to enjoy all during the day — It’s stylish and comfortable, but there is not enough cover.

Tanner's Treehouse

We plan to try more from Tanner’s menu, after the sun goes down and the fire pits are lit.

Tanner's

Next door to Tanner’s is The Bungalow, another amazing new restaurant with a view.  Below we toast with specialty drinks at The Bungalow, where a little more shade can be found during the day.  The food is tasty at The Bungalow too, though prepared by the restaurant downstairs and delivered via dumbwaiter upstairs.  The kitchen below it created a special menu just for The Bungalow.

The Bungalow

At The Bungalow, it feels like you are enjoying drinks and appetizers at a friend’s house and Tanner’s feels like you’re at a nice beach resort.  Both are a wonderful addition to Huntington Beach.

Penzeys Specialty Spice Retailer: An Aromatic Oasis In Anaheim.

September 18th, 2016 No comments

Inside Penzeys

I’ve used Penzeys Spices for years.  I ordered them through the mail.  It was the only way to get them some time ago, but now there are six Penzeys retail stores in California.  And one of them is in Anaheim, a few miles from our house.  This Penzeys store is an oasis in a busy shopping center off Euclid and Crescent — It’s spacious, welcoming, aromatic and tranquil in contrast to outside.

Penzeys Anaheim

One of the best things about shopping at Penzeys is… YOU can smell everything they sell.  Each herb and spice is presented in a large jar for the sole purpose of smelling it.  Put your nose in and take a whiff — Doing so helps to distinguish flavor nuances in similar spices like Vietnamese and Indonesian Cinnamon, Californian and Hungarian Paprika, and herbs like Turkish and Mexican Oregano, etc.  How do they differ?  How are they alike?  Aside from taste, your nose can tell.

Various Pepper

You may not want to smell the Mignonette (above) and other Pepper, but you can.

Kid's Area

Penzeys‘ Anaheim store has an adorable kids area where kids color while you sniff and shop.

Cute Area at Penseys

There is also a retro kitchen display that offers the best in baking Spices, Extracts and Vanilla Beans. Once past the hustle and bustle outside, it’s fun to shop inside Penzeys in Anaheim.  Its employees are friendly and knowledgeable, and prices are good too, especially since you don’t have to pay for shipping.  I love Penzeys Spices and retail store option.  I’m lucky one is nearby.

Season The Day They Say: At Croutons With Especially Excellent Soup.

August 5th, 2016 No comments

Croutons Lunch

During the week, I provide paralegal services for a law firm in Irvine.  My office, pictured above is on the 9th floor.  It’s where I’ve enjoyed several of Croutons‘ Soups, Salads and Sandwiches for lunch.

Croutons Cost

Croutons‘ Salads and Sandwiches are good, but I especially love their Soup.  I generally alternate between Croutons’ Tomato Basil Soup and Chicken & Wild Rice.  Actual Croutons are served with the Soup and I ask for extra.  Croutons’ Soups are consistently flavorful and taste homemade.

Croutons Irvine

They’re often busy, but operate efficiently.  Though their line seems daunting at times, it moves along well.  Prices are okay, on the higher side, but you get a fair amount of good quality food.

Tomato Basil Soup

Fun Fair Food & Competitions Happening NOW At The OC Fairgrounds.

July 24th, 2016 No comments

Pepsi Donut Bacon Dog

How about a Pepsi Donut Bacon Dog?  You can get one at the Orange County Fair now through August 14, 2016.  It’s a Hot Dog that’s wrapped in Bacon and served on a Donut topped with a Pepsi Glaze.  We had the opportunity to try it and other new food options at this year’s OC Fair.

Food Tasting

We attended a “Media VIP Food Party” to taste “Interesting & New Foods at the 2016 OC Fair.”

Bacon Cheddar Brat Burger

The Bacon Cheddar Brat Burger is pictured above and found at Tasti Burger on Livestock Lane.

Pineapple Bowls

Yes, there are healthy options at the OC Fair — My favorite is the Shrimp Pineapple Bowl found at Pineapple Express in the Main Mall area.  They also offer a Teriyaki Chicken Pineapple Bowl.

Chicken Charlie

And you’ve heard of Chicken Charlie right?  Of Chicken Charlie’s?  He’s pictured above and always serves something interesting — One of his menu items this year is a Chicken in a Waffle on a Stick.  It’s a Waffle with pieces of Fried Chicken cooked into it and it comes with Maple Syrup.

Pinks

Pink’s Hot Dogs is a booth I frequent every OC Fair, but it’s because of their Chili Cheese Fries, another one of my favorites.  Aside from that, they’re offering a couple of new Hot Dogs this year, like The Lord of the Rings Dog, a Hot Dog served with Onion Rings wrapped around it.

Dominic Palmieri at OC Fair

Dominic (pictured above) of Biggy’s and Fair Fix & Fried A Fair, both located in the Main Carnival area, tops himself this year with the Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly Dog, Deep Fried Butter, Deep Fried Nutella and more.  Stop by and say “Hi.”  All the food vendors we met are friendly.

Pickle Fries

A drum roll for the Pickle Fries — I love Pickle Fries, especially since my name is Pickles Freis.  My husband nicknamed me Pickles and my last name is Freis.  Thus I’m Pickles Freis.  And these are good Pickles and the Batter is thin and crunchy too.  Pickles Freis very much likes these Pickle Fries.

Tasti Chips

Tasti Chips with Parmesan Cheese from Tasti Chips, located on Livestock Lane is pictured above. We had the Jalapeno Cheddar Tasti Chips after seeing The Offspring concert last week.

Me at the OC Fair

I love the Orange County Fair — There’s so much to do and see.

Dahlia

Though you can’t eat these flowers, I must post at least one, and Matt capturing them.

Photographing Flowers

The baby pigs below were only 4 days old when they were photographed here.  They grow fast.

Baby Pigs

As always, I will be entering the culinary competitions happening at the end of July and in August. I’m working on a couple ideas and hope to claim the first place ribbon I have my head through below.  I tested one of my recipes and it turned out well, but I will report the judge’s results.

Me at Fair

See you at the OC Fair — Too bad it’s not all year long.

Knott’s Season Dining Pass Report: Meals From Wilderness Broiler.

April 25th, 2016 No comments

Knott's Hamburger

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.

Knott's 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.

Shake Your Money Maker: The ‘Kettlebar Pan Roast’ At The Kettlebar.

March 24th, 2016 No comments

Kettlebar Pan Roast

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.

Kettlebar Anaheim

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.

Matt at Kettlebar

Matt and others in front of the basement level Kettlebar Restaurant at the Anaheim Packing District.

Saint Marc Pub-Cafe´ Bakery & Cheese Affinage In Pacific City.

February 21st, 2016 No comments

Watermelon Feta

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.

Me at Saint Marc

Saint Marc is located upstairs towards the south end at Pacific City.

Matt at Saint Marc

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.

St. Marc Bar

We’ve dined at Saint Marc twice in the last few weeks and I’m ready to go back < Read that hunny?

Menu

When I’m hooked on a dish or restaurant, I want it again and again, and right now it’s Saint Marc.

Bacon Bar

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.

Deviled Eggs

Bacon & Eggs, Saint Marc’s version of Deviled Eggs.  The Bacon makes them.

St Marc

Bacon Wrapped Dates — One of my favorites.  I plan to try the Bacon Wrapped Artichokes next.

Bacon Dates

Swedish Meatballs served in a cast iron skillet.

Meatballs

Blue Celery & Walnuts — Celery stuffed with a Blue Cheese spread, topped with Walnuts.

Celery

Pretzel Bites & Beer Cheese — The Beer Cheese Sauce is perfect.

Pretzels

Avocado Crostini — You only get one big one per order.  It’s a bit hard to share, but we did.

Crostini

The Crostini Bread is really good.

Another Crostini

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

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.

Maple Bacon

Tender Belly Maple Bacon, another slice we tried — Next time I want to try the Apple Pie Bacon.

Cheese Curds

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.

Donuts

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.

Fondue

An upscale Spork will be your utensil and food is delivered by Saint Marc’s Free Flow Ambassadors.

Spork

In front of Saint Marc again — It’s a stylish, inviting place, day or night.

Me at Saint Marc, again.

We’ll be back, though there are several interesting restaurants to choose from at Pacific City.

Knott’s Berry Farm Season Dining Pass Meals: Tostada Salad And More.

February 12th, 2016 No comments

Tostada Salad at Cantina

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.

Pizza and Fries

All Knott’s Season Dining Pass Meals will eventually be pictured here on Nibbles of Tidbits — Check back once I stop eating the Chicken Tostada Salad.  Previous meal reports are linked here and here.

Newport Beach Restaurant Week(s) Starts Soon: We’re Always There.

January 14th, 2016 No comments

Bayside Lamb Chops

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.

Billy's

The pictured dishes (from top down) are from four of the restaurants participating in Newport Beach Restaurant Week — Bayside Restaurant, Billy’s At The Beach, Bluewater Grill and Woody’s Wharf.

Bluewater Grill

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.

Woody's

Once we select a restaurant (or more), it’s back to beautiful Newport Beach.

Knott’s Season Dining Pass Meal: Cheeseburger At Grizzly Creek Lodge.

January 9th, 2016 No comments

Knott's Cheeseburger

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.

Season Pass Dining

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.

Grizzly Creek Lodge Cheeseburger

Season Pass meals are shown with a red fork, spoon and knife in a yellow circle that’s circled in blue.

Grizzly Creek Lodge

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.

Knott’s Berry Farm Season Pass Dining: Eat Twice A Day Every Day.

December 17th, 2015 No comments

Sutter House

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.

Sutter's Grill Menu

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.

Season Dining Pass

Sutter’s Grill is pictured at top, as Matt points out, and its Season Pass Dining Menu is below it.

Big Foot Broiler

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.

Wilderness Broiler

It’s hard to see the various menus here (better if enlarged), but they’re all somewhat similar.

Menu

Moving into Boardwalk, Hollywood Hits restaurant offers Pizza.

Hollywood Hits

If wanting Pizza instead of a Burger or Hot Dog with Season Pass Dining, go to Hollywood Hits.

Knott's Pizza

Each participating restaurant menu offers four Combos and a Caesar Salad to choose from.

Menu

Coaster’s Diner (below), also in Boardwalk is a cute place to eat.

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Chicken Tenders and a Southwest Cheeseburger are offered here, differing from the other menus.

Inside Coaster's

Boardwalk Barbecue (below), another participating restaurant is also in Boardwalk.

Cantina

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.

Cantina

The Cantina is pictured above and below.  Every restaurant offers a Caesar Salad too.

Cantina Menu

And finally there’s Grizzly Creek Lodge, the largest restaurant of all in Camp Snoopy (below).

Grizzly Creek Lodge

It offers dining downstairs and upstairs, inside and out.

Grizzly Menu

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.

Knott's Food

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.

Matt

We start our Season Pass Dining at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2016.

KBF

Check back to see what tastes best there.

New And Interesting Food At The 2015 Orange County Fair.

July 18th, 2015 No comments

Samoa Donut

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.

Soco Sushi & Gastro Pub Is Primed To Be The Next Happening Spot.

June 3rd, 2015 No comments

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SOCO Sushi & Gastro Pub — It opened a few weeks ago.  It’s SOuth of COmmonwealth (hence the name) in the cool, fun part of downtown Fullerton, amongst other bars, restaurants and shops.

Soco Sushi

It’s a Sushi Bar and Gastro Pub all sushi-rolled into one — I like the variety they offer.

Fiery Rice Bombs

We had the Fiery Rice Bombs (above) and Melts My Heart Quesadilla (below).

Melts My Heart Quesadilla

Most appreciated is SOCO Sushi & Gastro Pub’s hospitality — Everyone is welcoming and friendly.

Yellowtail Cheeks

And we thoroughly enjoyed the cooked, meaty Yellowtail Cheeks (above), after having different parts of Hamachi (top)  — We mustn’t discard the cheeks of Matt’s next Yellowtail catch.

Matt posting on Facebook

It’s nicely styled inside to accommodate small and large groups.

Soco Sushi

One can dine and drink at SOCO’s Sushi Bar or at their Gastro Pub Bar — That option is matchless.

Soco Sushi Room

You can reserve a private room if needed.

Albacore on Acid

Albacore on Acid (above) is another one of SOCO Sushi & Gastro Pub’s unique creations — Menu items are differently and comically named, adding to the fun there.  Much sounds great to try.

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It’s said to be the place to start your night — I’d agree with that and from what we experienced and sense, it could be the place you’ll want to end your night also.  It’s positively distinctive and offers food dishes and drinks to please all.  Say “Hi” to Davis Jeong, Executive Sushi Chef.  He and all care about your satisfaction.  Check out their MENU for more info re the pictured items and others.

Best Huevos Rancheros and Hash Browns At The Golden Ox.

April 10th, 2015 No comments

Huevos Rancheros at Golden Ox

It looks different than most I’ve had, but the pictured Huevos Rancheros at the Golden Ox Restaurant in Fullerton is one of my favorites for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is served all day.

Golden Ox

As a bonus, it comes with Bacon, Beans, Rice, Hash Browns, Tortillas on the side, and Salsa.

Golden Ox Drive Thru

It’s not a fancy place as you can see, but they do a great job there.  The Huevos Rancheros is consistently good, even when had three times in a week.  I’m hooked.  And now my husband is too, which helps get me there more often, yay.  It’s off Commonwealth where North Brookhurst ends.

End of Brookhurst

Dine in or drive through — Inside food is served on plastic plates.  It’s a little fancier than fast food.

Golden Ox Restaurant

The Sauce on the Huevos Rancheros is excellent.  It has a long, home cooked flavor and we love it.

Huevos Rancheros

Also, I’ve never been a Hash Browns fan, but I’m a big fan of theirs.  I look forward to having them almost as much as the Huevos.  And it shouldn’t go unmentioned that the Bacon is always extra crispy, and the Beans and Rice are above average too.  All make up a masterpiece at the Golden Ox.

Hash Browns

We shall have it again soon, I’m sure.

El Amerikano: New American Cuisine With A Latin Influence.

February 27th, 2015 No comments

Al Pastor Chop

It’s food from El Amerikano American & Latin Kitchen in downtown Fullerton and I already have a favorite — Everything I’ve had so far, especially the Warm Mushroom Salad and Mole Eggplant.

El Amerikano

El Amerikano is part of the Kentro Hospitality Group, a group offering tasteful restaurants (including Kentro Greek Kitchen, steps away from El Amerikano), event planning and catering options.

Cucumber Ceviche

We were recently invited to a media tasting at El Amerikano and tried all pictured dishes.

Brussels Sprouts Dish

From top down — Al Pastor Chop, Cucumber Ceviche Salad, Brussels Sprouts, Mole Eggplant, Asada Bravo and Warm Mushroom Salad, I think.  See El Amerikano’s MENU for the enticing descriptions.

Media Tasting

I was happy to learn they also have an outdoor patio, something I look for in a restaurant.

El Amerikano

Each dish seems to have a double-digit list of ingredients and an abundance of flavor.

Rib Eye

I like El Amerikano’s ‘To Share’ dishes and prices, which range from $3 – $9.

Food Photography

As I write this and read their MENU, I’m planning my next meal there asap.

El Amerikano Tasting

This taste of El Amerikano American & Latin Kitchen left me needing to have more.

Small Plate Sampling

I have sights on the Chorizo Sliders, Mac ‘n Queso, Michoacan Caesar and more.

El Amerikano Restaurant

El Amerikano’s Michoacan Caesar Salad has Char-Grilled Romaine, which I love when done right.

Food Demonstration

A cooking demonstration showed the care and time put into preparing their dishes.

Food Blogging

Food is ordered at the counter, then delivered to you — They offer Beer and Wine too.

Inside El Amerikano

Entrance to El Amerikano (below) with Kentro Greek Kitchen nearby — Great food in Fullerton.

Outside El Amerikano

Enlarge MENU (below) for a better view or access their menu link here.

El Amerikano Menu

Me with Vasili Kotsiovos, El Amerikano and Kentro Greek Kitchen’s should be proud Owner.

Me with Vasili Kotsiovos, founder of Kentro Hospitality Group

Thank you — We’ll be back.

Where To Eat While In Jury Duty In OCSC: It Started With Chapter One.

January 17th, 2015 No comments

Fresh Roasted Vegetables

Jury Duty is always fun — Not, though I did appreciate the hour-and-a-half lunch and not having been impaneled this year.  It wasn’t so bad under those circumstances, especially with a multitude of above-average food options within walking distance.  I wanted to eat at several.  The Jury Room at Orange County Superior Court’s Central Justice Center in Santa Ana provided a map and list of restaurants to help all get to a tasty meal and back to the courthouse again.  It was very helpful.

Jury Duty Food

The website associated with the Restaurant Guide and Downtown Santa Ana Map is linked here.

Jury Duty Food Guide

It was hard to choose just one restaurant — I almost wanted more Jury Duty, but instead will go back with the map and list on my own time.  During my one-day duty, I opted to eat at Chapter One: The Modern Local.  I had previously seen and liked several items on their menu and still wonder why I chose the Organic OC Vegetable Basket.  I love roasted vegetables, but the pictured weren’t roasted nearly enough.  They were pretty, but all were too hard and seemingly raw.  I had to take them home and cook ’em more, though I didn’t want to bring leftovers back to the jury room.  I’d order something different next time, as much there sounds appetizing.

Chapter One

 Eat Downtown Santa Ana — I value the provided information.  It makes nearby Jury Duty better.

Best Dessert In Fullerton: Sticky Toffee Pudding At The Olde Ship.

January 9th, 2015 No comments

Sticky Toffee Pudding at The Old Ship

Have you had the Sticky Toffee Pudding at The Olde Ship British Pub & Restaurant?  It’s one of the BEST Desserts I’ve had in my life and it’s perfectly served in warm Heavy Cream.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I’ve had it three times and still can’t stop thinking about going back for it again.  I suggest going to The Olde Ship each time we’ve dined out recently, but my husband needs more food variety.  It’s a rich dessert that’s best shared, so not to be put over the Sugar edge.  The unsweetened Heavy Cream balances the sweetness beautifully.  I love The Olde Ship for this dessert, other authentic British dishes and its cozy atmosphere, especially during Christmas time.

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I searched for The Olde Ship’s Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe online, but didn’t find it, I’m told it’s made with Dried Apricots and other things.  I may attempt a copycat recipe after a little more study.  I visited The British Grocer, a store run by the same people at The Olde Ship in Fullerton and Santa Ana.  The British Grocer is in Fullerton, down the street from The Olde Ship British Pub & Restaurant on North Harbor Boulevard.  I’ve yet to visit its Santa Ana location, but hear it’s larger.

Heinz Sticky Toffee Pudding

Pictured directly above is a prepared, canned Sticky Toffee Pudding I purchased from The British Grocer.  I was told by a clerk there that’s its flavor is most like the one made at The Olde Ship. The store offered two options, one that’s frozen and this one that was canned.

Boiling Sticky Toffee Pudding

Surprisingly this one is made by Heinz and it does have a similar, rich flavor that’s good served with warm Heavy Cream, though it has a different, more Bread Pudding like texture, rather than a loose, Bran Muffin texture like the Sticky Toffee Pudding prepared at The Olde Ship.  I’ll buy more of both.

STP Label

I served the Heinz Sticky Toffee Pudding the same way, which made it taste great.

Heinz STP (Boiled)

It’s romantic and beautiful inside the Pub, with hundreds of lights in December.

Me at The Old Ship

Pictured below is the Great British Breakfast that’s served with a Banger, Baked Beans, Irish Bacon, a Tomato, Mushrooms and Fried Toast.  At first glance, the Toast looks basic, but it’s fried. I thought I’d like that more than I did, but toasted is better.  I like the Baked Beans a lot.

Breakfast at The Old Ship

The Olde Ship’s Famous Clam Chowder is very good too, with lots of Clams.

Clam Chowder

Back to why this post started… The magnificent Sticky Toffee Pudding at The Old Ship (below).

Sticky Toffee Pudding in Heavy Cream

Until we meet again, aka when my husband is ready to go back — I have to be reasonable.