Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

Lunch At Cafe Nordstrom, A Fab Place For Salads, Pizza & More.

February 8th, 2010 No comments

Nicoise Salad at Cafe Nordstrom

We like having lunch at Cafe Nordstrom and have previously reported about many of them.  Here we report about a two new (to us) Salads at Cafe Nordstrom at the Brea Mall.  Above is the Nicoise Salad With Salmon — At first we didn’t recognize it, since it truly is covered in herbs, as described “herbed roasted” Salmon, literally.  It looked a little weird at first, but was a good Salad overall.

Artichoke & Chicken Salad at Nordstrom

We also had the Margherita Pizza, as some in the group must always have it, and an Artichoke & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese, Kalamata Olives, Basil and more.  Lunch is always good and peaceful at Cafe Nordstrom if you beat the crowd.  On our way out there was a line of (10) or more, thus we always make a note to arrive early at certain locations.

* Photos are a little off focus and will be replaced following our next visit.

Broiled Romaine In The Oven, A Runner-Up To On The Grill.

December 24th, 2009 No comments

Broiled Romaine

I never thought I’d do this in a million years — Broil Romaine Lettuce in the oven before chopping it for a Salad.  Usually wanting the freshest, most chilled Lettuce for a Salad, broiling Romaine would seem out of the question.  After having my first Grilled Romaine Salad from a restaurant, I was hooked on the smokey flavor imparted into the Lettuce with a quick grilling.  It’s now one of my favorite Salads.

RomaineBroilingRomaine in the oven

To copycat it, I made grilled Romaine on the BBQ, but this evening it was too cold and rainy.  We only have an outdoor grill.  Since Romaine was on hand and I really wanted this Salad, I desperately broiled the Lettuce in the oven for (1) minute.  It worked (a little) — It’s a simple runner-up if you can’t grill it on a BBQ.  The above Romaine was tossed in a bag with Italian Dressing before broiling it.  It wasn’t bad at all and I’ve already made it again.  It’s dubbed the Romaine Runner-Up.

Pascal Epicerie & Wine Shop In Newport Beach.

July 9th, 2009 No comments


I’ve only just begun to explore the goods offered by Pascal Epicerie and Wine Shop and I’m already hooked on the Salads.  I’ve stopped in 3 of the last 4 days to choose from the Daily Pasta and Vegetable Salads offered by the pound.


So far we can’t get enough of the Bean Salad(s) and Roasted Vegetables — The Green Beans aren’t pictured, but they’re my favorite so far.  Pictured with the aforementioned is the Ratatouille and Beet Salad.  We look forward to trying ALL their Pasta and Vegetable Salads, to be posted here soon.  Pascal Epicerie and Wine Shop is next door to Tradition by Pascal, one of the best restaurants in Newport Beach.

Cafe Nordstrom Serves A Mean Mall Lunch.

June 7th, 2009 No comments


Cafe Nordstrom or Nordstrom’s Cafe  should be sought out at many malls.  Where there is a mall, there may be a Nordstrom, and where there is a Nordstrom, there MAY be a Cafe — Some have them and some don’t.  These photos are from our lunch at The Brea Mall.  Cafe Nordstrom is one of our favorite eating spots there.  We like the comfortable environment and food.  This visit we had the Artichoke & Chicken Salad (above), which includes Organic Baby Greens, Romaine, Chicken, Goat Cheese, Artichoke Hearts, Tomato, Red Onion, Basil, Kalamata Olives and a Red Wine Vinaigrette.


And we got the Margherita Pizza again — My Mom loves it.  Below is the Cafe’s Side Salad, which comes consistently colorful.  We always seem to get at least one of them.


This visit we had our ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ kids with us, thus opted for the Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Tomato Soup (swapped for the Soup Du Jour).  All kids’ meals include Fresh Fruit and Milk, Soda or Juice.  The Grilled Cheese combination is only $4.95, and my Sister says it’s the best Grilled Cheese Sandwich around.


You’ll order your food at the counter where the Desserts are displayed — Then choose a comfortable booth or table and all that you’ll need will be delivered to you.  It’s a tasty escape from a busy mall.


The Irvine Spectrum Nordstrom Cafe Bistro:

Kids in the Kitchen INFO:

The Veggie Grill Soup & Salad Combo For Lunch.

April 23rd, 2009 1 comment


Have you heard of The Veggie Grill?  It’s a small chain that I heard was good — So a couple of us tried it today for lunch and liked it.  I’m not in love yet, but the food was fresh, the restaurant was clean and the service was extra friendly and helpful.


veggie-grill-005We visited The Veggie Grill at The Irvine Spectrum.  It’s a semi fast food type of place, whereas you order and pay at the counter, then they deliver your food on real plates with silverware.  This first visit we both tried the same, a Baja Fiesta Salad and Bean Me Up Chili for the Soup & Salad Combo.  They also offer a few interesting Veggie Sandwiches and Burgers we’ll need to try next time.

The Veggie Grill:

The Cheesecake Factory’s Special Menu.

March 20th, 2009 2 comments


The “Special Menu” is the Cheesecake Factory’s New Small Plates & Snacks and Specialties Menu.  Here we had the Beets With Goat Cheese Salad and a Margherita Pizzette.  The plates are “small” as they note, but the prices are small too — Each was $4.95.  It’s a better lunch than fast food for the same price, except for the tip. 🙂


Related Links:

Cooking Demonstrations At Bloomingdales SCP.

February 15th, 2009 1 comment


Today Orange County Restaurant Week kicked off its pre-event festivities with the first of 13 Cooking Demonstrations to be held at Bloomingdale’s Home Store, South Coast Plaza.  Chef De Cuisine Brian Black of The Loft at The Montage Laguna Beach prepared Barbecue-Braised Laughing Bird Shrimp with Warm Winter Citrus Vinaigrette, Spinach and Pine Nuts.  It’s one of the dishes to be offered during the inaugural Orange County Restaurant Week, February 22-28, 2009.

Participating restaurants will be serving three-course pre-fixe lunches for $10 & $20, and dinners for $20, $30 and $40.  During that time and leading up to it, select Chefs will demonstrate how to prepare dishes featured on their respective OC Restaurant Week menus.  It’s a good way to sample a few items and see how they’re made. 


The related Demos started today and will continue through the end of  OC Restaurant Week.  We’ll hopefully see and taste more.  Chef Manny Gomez of Ruth’s Chris Steak House Irvine will be making Sweet Potato Casserole and Creamed Spinach at Bloomingdale’s Home Store on February 19 — That’s of interest.  The rest of the schedule and more information is linked below.

Orange County Restaurant Week INFO:

Laughing Bird Shrimp INFO:

The Cheesecake Factory’s New Small Plates Menu.

January 29th, 2009 2 comments


cheesecake-factory-004The Cheesecake Factory now offers a low priced “Small Plates & Snacks” Menu.  It’s currently in paper form and separate from their laminated menu-magazine.  The Small Plates Menu presents several unique and tasty food choices under $5.   We’ve only had the Fried Artichoke Hearts (pictured above) for $3.95.  That’s a pretty good deal, so I look forward to trying more options.  The prices make it possible — They’re great for the quality the Cheesecake Factory seems to maintain.  Also pictured is the Grilled Chicken Tostada Salad, one of the CF’s Salads that come in full portion only.  It’s a perfect Salad for two, since it’s served on two separate Tostada Shells.  It’s obviously not on the Small Plates Menu, but we shared it this day.

We’ve reviewed other Cheesecake Factory dishes and LOVE their Taquitos and many other items.

Coleslaw’s On Hand Again and Again.

October 6th, 2008 1 comment


I’ve been making this basic recipe for years.  I just switch it up between an all in, or some out combination of chopped Red and/or Green Cabbage, grated or chopped Carrots, finely chopped Celery or Celery Seed, chopped Parsley and finely sliced Green Onions.

I then add all to the above — Mayonnaise, White Wine Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, and freshly ground Pepper to taste.  This is one of my favorite snacks to have on hand.  It’s hard to rival that perfect combination of ingredients. 

slaw-tomatoes-004.JPG    slaw-tomatoes-007.JPG    slaw-tomatoes-009.JPG

The Coleslaw above is made with Red Cabbage and Carrots, and the one below is made with Red Cabbage, finely grated Celery and Green Onions.  The measurements of the remaining ingredients vary on the volume of vegetables.  I’ll usually add a little at a time to dial in that perfect taste and coverage.  I tend to have a lighter hand on the Mayo and heavier hand on the Vinegar, without overdoing it.


P.S.  I confess that I also happen to like Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Coleslaw and Chic-Fil-A’s Coleslaw, although neither taste like mine, nor each other.  Coleslaw has endless variations and it’s a better snack than many.

Post-Post Coleslaw:  This one was made with shredded Green Cabbage, grated Carrots, chopped Parsley and finely sliced Green Onions, plus the standard mix-in, as detailed above.


Related Links:

Rachael Ray’s Potato Salad Fra Diavolo Esta No Fantastico.

August 23rd, 2008 4 comments


Lo Siento.  I’m not really sure why I’m trying to speak Spanish right now – HA.  I tried a recipe I saw Rachael Ray make on 30 Minute Meals.  It’s called Potato Salad Fra Diavolo.  The combination sounded really interesting to me, so I made it, but didn’t like it. 

That was a bummer, since I was hoping to eat it for lunch throughout the week.  I followed the recipe exactly, which I rarely do.  I’ll usually change something.  To me, the flavor was a bit heavy and didn’t jive — Perhaps too much Mustard or Fennel, I’m not sure.

I love the TV Food Network and Rachael Ray, but this particular recipe doesn’t work that well, with all due respect.  It’s from Episode#: TM1903.  Has anyone else made it?  If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Here’s a few pictures of my preparation and a link to the recipe so you can try it yourself.  Good luck.

Recipe Links –


Why Not Make One for Lunch Tomorrow Too?

May 27th, 2008 No comments

The last couple times I made a Salad for dinner, I made one for tomorrow’s lunch.  I figure WHY NOT, since I already have everything out, and I generally prepare more than I can eat.  So I put together a smaller Salad without the dressing to bring to the office the next day.  I’ve appreciated having it — I know that it’s fresh.  To make sure it stays crisp, I don’t cut all the Tomato until I’m ready to eat, plus I make sure the Lettuce is completely dry.  And I transport the dressing in a small plastic cup.

The Salads featured in this post contain variations of Romaine, Roma Tomatoes, Grated Carrots, Cilantro, and Green Onions.


Please Don’t Ask Me What I’m Grilling.

May 26th, 2008 5 comments

My neighbor walked by when I was BBQing this.  I thought to myself… Please don’t ask me what I’m grilling. 

“Hi neighbor, it smells good, what are you grilling?” 

What would I say?  “UUmmmmm, a halved head of Romaine Lettuce.”  It just sounds so, like where’s the beef.  I didn’t even have anything else to tack on to the answer.  Thank God he didn’t ask 🙂 .  

I’ve loved the Grilled Romaine Salads I’ve had in a few restaurants and wanted to capture that same flavor, so I gave it a try.  And… I HIT IT first attempt. 

 bread-romain-etc-011.JPG     bread-romain-etc-012.JPG     bread-romain-etc-014.JPG

bread-romain-etc-016.JPG    bread-romain-etc-017.JPG    bread-romain-etc-018.JPG

Read more…

The Buffalo Turned into a Salad.

May 24th, 2008 No comments

The leftover Buffalo Chicken was great on a Buffalo Salad.  I chopped a few pieces of the Chicken Breast and added it to a freshly prepared Salad with a bit of Ranch Dressing, and a touch of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce.  It became a tasty Buffalo Salad.

*  The photo was taken prior to the addition of extra Buffalo Sauce.

Related Links: