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Il Garage Near The Garden At Park Avenue In Stanton Off Beach.

April 7th, 2014 No comments

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It’s Il Garage (il garage ristorante) and it’s set back within/behind Park Avenue Restaurant in Stanton off Beach Blvd. – It’s a separate dining spot on the beautiful grounds of Park Avenue.

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We ate at Park Avenue Restaurant – It’s reported here.  This day we were in the garage. ;)

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I’m not sure if it really once was a multi-car garage, but it looks like it, tractor and all.

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The view of Park Avenue’s famous Garden from our seat couldn’t be beat.

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The Il Garage Ristorante menu changes daily and is dependent on their gardens.

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Our favorites were the Cavatappi Primavera (below), utilizing many vegetables from the PAG.

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And the Orange Panna Cotta — Truly the best Panna Cotta we’ve had in our lives (below).

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It had so much flavor — Cheers to that (and our Two Year Anniversary).

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Enter the PAG — Park Avenue Garden through here (below).

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The PAG is a dream garden, with raised beds and trees growing everything you’d want to eat.

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I think I’d want to live here.

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You’re free to roam the gardens, no matter where you dine.

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My husband, Matt is looking through the weather protectant, plastic drop, near the tractor.

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Nice to receive a $100 Gift Card as a Wedding Gift that can be used at either restaurant.

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It’s not in the best neighborhood, but once inside you forget about it – A good thing.

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We plan to go back to both for Dining & Cocktails, as suggested.

Mariscos Clemente Restaurant For Mexican Style Seafood In Fullerton.

April 4th, 2014 No comments

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Discovering Fullerton FOOD and most recently Mariscos Clemente Restaurant.

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It’s a fine, local find that serves authentic Mexican Style Seafood — Muy Bueno!

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Pictured from top down (a perfect sampling) — The Fried Fish (Tilapia w/ Tortillas, Rice & Salad), a Ceviche Tostada with Avocado and a Small Shrimp Cocktail, with Chips and Salsa.

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It’s a relatively small place with a small parking lot off Orangethorpe and Gilbert.

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Many are inside and have been going there for years — We’ll need to catch up.

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Mariscos Clemente’s Shrimp Cocktail is on the sweet side, if you like that.  We’re ready for their other Ceviche Tostadas and more Pescado Frito, etc — Yelp for more photos and information.

There Are No Bananas Here: April Fools, Only Dolphins.

April 1st, 2014 No comments

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Bananas in the HOUSE indeed – See them?  It’s not always clear.  I see Matt, and I see… ;) .

Right Place At The Right Time For A Chick-Fil-A Chicken Biscuit.

March 26th, 2014 No comments

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I tried one of these Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches one day while having lunch at Chick-Fil-A.  They were offering samples.  I couldn’t believe how good it was and I’m not a Biscuit person.

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Ever since then, I’ve wanted one for breakfast, but rarely seem to be near a Chick-Fil-A, while it’s open and still serving Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches (until 10:30 and not on a Sunday).

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When nearby, it’s a must and always a treat.

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I’ve liked Chick-Fil-A’s Original Chicken Sandwich for several years and now highly recommend their Chicken Biscuit Sandwich.  It’s surprisingly almost better than the original.  Try it and see.

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It’s buttery, flavorful and delicate, and compliments the Crispy Chicken well.

Staub Enameled Cast Iron: The Best Chicken In The Best Pot.

March 21st, 2014 No comments

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We received this Staub Cast Iron Cookware as a gift for our wedding.

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It’s from one of the attorneys I work for as a paralegal — His family swears by it.

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I’ve given away Cast Iron Pots in the past — I generally thought them to be unattractive, to rust easy, and be too heavy to use.  Well… This one is NOT unattractive.  In fact it’s so gorgeous I can’t stop staring at it.  I want to keep it nice forever.  It’s still pretty heavy, but I greatly appreciate its enameled surface and think it would be less apt to rust.  Thank you!

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The first thing I cooked (several times already) is a Whole Chicken.

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This one is seasoned with Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and Paprika — Each has been different.

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And was simply placed a-top roughly chopped Onions and Carrots.

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I include Fresh Herbs if I have them.  Dill and Thyme (my favorite) were added to this Chicken.  I add most in its cavity and some to the Carrots and Onions, since I later puree all with a little Chicken Juice and Chicken Stock to make a Sauce to serve with it — A quick alternative to Gravy.  Cook Chicken covered in the oven at 325° for approximately 3 Hours.

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Put it in the oven and forget about it until the timer goes off.  It’s a great meal and our house smells good too.  I’ll experiment with a different pot to assess the difference in Chickens using the same cooking method and report back soon, if I can give up this pot for a bit.  Staub is made in France and this one has a self-basting system, you can read more about here.

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.

Wahoo’s Fish Taco: Keep An Eye Out For This Next Restaurant Week.

March 2nd, 2014 No comments

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Orange County Restaurant Week is over for now, but it’ll be back — I’m not sure when, but you can check here.  Next time, we’ll opt for the Wahoo’s Fish Taco deal more than once.

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For $20 it included… (2) Drinks (Beer and/or Wine), an Appetizer (Baja Rolls) to share, (2) Entrees (Two Tacos and/or Two Enchiladas), and Dessert (Churro Chips) to share.

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It was the best deal that week — Though it has past, OC Restaurant Week will be back again.

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Until then, OC Cocktail Week starts TODAY — Here’s a link to more information about it.

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Though full from our Wahoo’s meal, we couldn’t stop eating the Churro Chips, which are similar to those in photo above – We were so busy inhaling them, I forgot to take a photo.

Cinnamon Chips (pictured above) — Photo Credit and Recipe

Matador Cantina: Three-Course Dinner For OC Restaurant Week.

February 26th, 2014 No comments

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For Orange County Restaurant Week, we chose Matador Cantina in Fullerton – Mostly because we’re based here now and it’s the best deal offered by 3 participating restaurants nearby.

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There’s ample parking and an entrance in the back — It’s dark, but don’t be intimidated.

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Enlarge Menu (above) for a better view — We had one of each, pictured herein.

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A Ceviche Tostada (above) and/or Banh Mi Tostada (below) were offered for the First Course.

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Second Course included Grilled Fish Tacos

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…and/or Chicken Mole Enchiladas.

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I especially liked the Cilantro Lime Rice served with the meals.

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All was fantastic and I see why Matador Cantina has been voted Orange County’s Best Mexican Restaurant by some.  Third of this Three-Course Dinner for $20 includes a Chipotle Apple Empanada (above) and/or Cro-Churros (below).  We couldn’t taste the Chipotle as much as we wanted to, but all was good and a great pick for OC Restaurant Week.

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The X O (above) goes out to my new husband and dining partner for life, Matt (below).  Hi. :)

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After this week passes, Matador Cantina will continue to offer Weekly Specials.

Orange County Restaurant Week Is Coming Right Up.

February 16th, 2014 No comments

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See Orange County Restaurant Week’s List of Participating Restaurants — It’s HERE, with respective menus and price listings.  We’ll be dining in Historic Downtown Fullerton this year, as it’s near where we just moved and still part of Orange County.  Matador Cantina, The Cellar and/or Hopscotch shall be our choice for lunch and/or dinner(s) next week.

Crispy Green Crispy Fruit On The Way To The Deep Blue.

February 10th, 2014 No comments

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It wasn’t easy saving these Crispy Fruit as munchies for our cruise,  because I LOVE Freeze Dried Fruit, and admit I did eat Crispy Green’s Crispy Tangerine too quickly to photograph it.

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Pictured above is the Crispy Fruit Pineapple aka Freeze Dried Pineapple — It is indeed crispy, like a Chip, and should not be confused with Dried Fruit, generally with a chewy texture.

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We were leaving Miami here for Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, amongst the Virgin Islands, with bon voyage Fresh Apples and its Freeze Dried counter-part pictured below.

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The Apples were equally crunchy and crisp, either way — Fresh and/or Freeze Dried.

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Crispy Green makes it right, and crispy, which is everything to good Freeze Dried Fruit.

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It was then on to planning our first breakfast on the Celebrity Reflection — Sail back for more.

Creative Cakes OC: Custom Wedding Cake With Turnip Rose Package.

January 27th, 2014 No comments

Wedding Cake

Nice package indeed — We LOVED our Wedding Cake by Creative Cakes in Orange.  It came with the Wedding Package offered by The Turnip Rose Promenade & Gardens in Costa Mesa.  Our experience with both was superb!  We called it (above) our Graffiti Cake, since it was piped with amusing words and sayings related to us.  It looked cool and unique and tasted amazing.  As a bonus (also part of The Turnip Rose Package) – Instead of freezing the top layer of the Cake to eat it on our one-year anniversary, a tradition, Creative Cakes will bake us a fresh Cake to enjoy in its place.  We’ll just call around that time to tell ‘em what we want.

In The Mood For Heart Shaped Food Simply Because Loves Near Me.

January 17th, 2014 No comments

Heart Shaped Food

It’s not about me here, but some have asked… “Where have you been?”  Though FOOD is the star (and heart) of Nibbles of Tidbits, its publisher (me) is getting married in a week.  Oh boy!  So, I’m still here, but currently busy seeing the world through heart shaped glasses.

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Notwithstanding, there’s big stuff coming here, after the REALLY big stuff happens.

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I love this low calorie Banana Split (above) – Maybe I should marry it. ;)

Photo credits are linked here, here and here, respectively.  Thank you.

Fig & Olive Restaurant Opens At Fashion Island In Newport Beach.

January 5th, 2014 No comments

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At the Fig & Olive Restaurant in Newport Beach — I’ve finally arrived.

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I have wanted to eat there for some time and now don’t need to travel far.

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It’s in Newport Beach at Fashion Island — I believe it occupies Coco’s former location.

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Nibbles of Tidbits was fortunately invited to its Grand Opening Party.

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All was grander than expected — Its size, style, crowd and continuous appetizers.

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As shown throughout, we tried a fair sampling of many.

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Indoor/outdoor patio with fireplace (above) before it filled with people.

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I don’t recall all we ate, but pictured above is the Zucchini Carpaccio — See MENU.

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The hallway leading to the restrooms is filled with fresh Herbs, candles, vases and books.

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The Grand Opening Party was complete with models on platforms throughout.

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We were well positioned by the kitchen to receive the first right of refusal on appetizers.

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None were refused, all were well liked and some loved.

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The Truffle Mushroom Croquette (above) was a favorite of the evening.

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Crostinis are popular at the Fig & Olive Restaurant.

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I especially liked the Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Chive Crostini.

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The large space got crowded, which made it harder to jockey for a good food position.

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We ultimately tried all pictured herein — For their complete MENU, see here.

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We’d like to go back for more Crostinis & Crudo to enjoy at our leisure

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Lunch starts in Newport Beach on January 6th and Brunch on January 11th, 2014.

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The Fig & Olive Restaurant is in several spots in New York, in Los Angeles and now nearby.

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Nice cars adorned the entry leading to a red carpet — I was underdressed, but treated well.

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Fig & Olive Ingredients and Design — It’s about passion for the best Olive Oils, flavors and cuisine from the Riviera and Coastal Regions of the South of France, Italy & Spain and their elegant, warm design with limestone stucco walls, terra-cotta ceiling, green Rosemary and Olive trees exude the essence of the Mediterranean (they say).  I like it!

Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Roly Poly Fish Heads: 2014 Food Trends.

December 26th, 2013 No comments

Fish Heads

2014 Food Trends:  Fish Heads, Fish Heads, roly poly Fish Heads — Eat them up, yum.  Well, not sure about the YUM part, but it appears Fish Heads and Fish Collars will be popular in 2014, so some say.  Oh boy!  And other, more desirable sounding food trends include… Haute Jewish Deli items, eating with your hands, raw Beef, house made Hot Sauces, Parfaits, Bugs, locally sourced everything, heirloom Beans, Peanuts and field Peas, reconsidered Rice, Ice Cream Sandwiches, edible food packaging, Tea, and Gluten-free products continue to grow.  All are reported about in detail here, here, here, here, here, here and here.  Happy eating!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas With Cookies And Cupcakes.

December 24th, 2013 No comments

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Back together again decorating Cookies and Cupcakes in 2013.

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With the Cookie Gang, minus member taking the photo — We wish you a Merry Christmas!

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Naked Cookies frosted to become Snowmen, Reindeer, Christmas Trees and more.

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Happy Birthday Jesus and Happy New Year to you — There’s much to appreciate throughout.

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Good tidings we bring to you and your kin — Good tidings for Christmas and always.

Shower The People You Love With Food: Show It’s The Way You Feel.

December 18th, 2013 No comments

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I’m grateful to be back to share (not enough) photos from a beautiful Bridal Shower.

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It’s mine — This stylish and tasty day was prepared for me (pictured in the Berry spoon).

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I feel showered by love and well displayed, satisfying, glorious food — Thank you so much!

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I’d been absent from here for good reason — To partake in this, move and finally reconnect.

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Is this (above) not the cutest Bridal Shower Cupcake Cake you’ve seen?  I just LOVED it!

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After the first guest arrived, I stopped taking photos of the food, thus missing the hot dishes… Quiches with Green Chili’s and Bacon, and delicious Potato Casseroles topped with crunchy Corn Flakes – With Mimosas, all was/is tailor made for a Special Bridal Shower Brunch.

Blue Water Grill Over Blue Water: Familiarity On Catalina Island.

December 8th, 2013 1 comment

Scallops

Blue Water Grill opened a restaurant on Catalina Island a few months ago.

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A group of us recently traveled across the sea for lunch — Well, not just for that, but it was nice to see a recognizable restaurant immediately upon disembarkment.  I had enjoyed Blue Water Grill in Newport Beach a few times before.  It’s not cheap, but the food is good.

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Pictured from top down we had Seared Scallops with Roasted Jalapeno Aioli — They’re great, but I’d prefer more than (3) for the price ($14.75) and it’s not ideal for five to share.

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Baked Crab & Artichoke Dip — It’s okay.  More of it would have been better too.

Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder — Always with Tabasco for me.

Salmon

Grilled Salmon with Vegetables.

Fish Sliders

Grilled Mahi Mahi Sliders.

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The main purpose of this trip was friends, not food.

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The new-ish Blue Water Grill is news, but my Bachelorette Party was most interesting.

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Much thanks to dear friends — I love Catalina and y’all.

Thank You Dear Friends!

Back to the food…

Nice Buns Indeed: The Bun Does Elevate This Fast Food Burger.

November 29th, 2013 No comments

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Carl’s Buns are tight!  They’re fresh baked in the restaurants and served on Six Dollar ‘Thickburgers’ formerly known as Six Dollar Burgers.  I’m not sure if the Burger size is different, but Carl’s Jr. changed the Bun and altered the name, it appears, and we gave one a try.

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The Burger above was a little dry and the Bun slightly burnt, but it does make a better Burger.

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We say… keep up the Fresh Baked Buns — I’m reminded of my 8-Minute Buns DVD.

Happy Thanksgiving: Thankful For Blessings Of Candy Turkeys.

November 28th, 2013 No comments

Oreo Turkey

Oreos, Whoppers, Candy Corn and Reese’s with a little adhesive Frosting anyone?  Recipe.

Well… We’re Movin’ On Up To Serve A Deluxe Piece Of The Pie.

November 25th, 2013 No comments

Moving Kitchen

Several food reports are in the writes (if you will), but I intermittently pause to move by December and prepare to marry in January.  Orange County FOOD reports will then be bigger and better and home cookin’ should get more interesting and will hopefully be aesthetically pleasing.  It’s a busy time, but I’ll soon be posting about Bruxie, Catalina and El Cholo.

Not Close Enough Is Our Verdict: No Dinero For These Potatoes.

November 20th, 2013 No comments

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Well… I learned how to make Gnocchi (a good thing) and other dishes I’d never choose to make, but didn’t win a prize.  All was for a Recipe Photo Contest sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission.  My photos weren’t selected and I think I know why.  It’s all about the food (or Potatoes in this instance), not background, though important too, and I didn’t get close enough.  Or the competition was stiff.  I don’t know.  I appreciate the incentive.

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Moving on… to packin’ for moving, as previously reported – I’ll compete again when time.

Two Saucy Broads In Fullerton: A Yelp (Meatball) Sandwich Pick.

November 18th, 2013 1 comment

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Though you can’t see the Meatballs in this photo (above), it’s a Meatball Sandwich from Two Saucy Broads in Fullerton.  They’re reported to make some of the best Meatballs around, says Yelp.  Since I’m in the process of moving to Fullerton and was nearby, I gave them/it a try.

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The Sandwich is called Mom’s Meatball Parmesan – It’s different than the average Meatball Sandwich in that it’s baked in Pizza Dough, similar to a Calzone, but they don’t call it that.

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Also pictured are two Pepperoni Pinwheels with a side of Marinara Sauce.

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Both were very good and I love the name… Two Saucy Broads (one is pictured below).  Though the original focus was on the Meatball, it’s the Sauce and Dough that I liked best.

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Once settled in, I’ll go there again, once they’re settled in their new, larger location too — They plan to move from Commonwealth to Hyland in Fullerton by the end of the year.  I’ll be there.

The Irvine Spectrum For Lunch: Dim Sum At Capital Seafood.

November 12th, 2013 No comments

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I’m new to Dim Sum and Capital Seafood at the Irvine Spectrum was a good place to start.

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A knowledgeable friend took me there and led the way — She ordered several of her favorites and I tried them all.  I can’t tell you the names and/or ingredients in what we had, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the food.  They serve over 100 types of Dim Sum.

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Much is offered by way of the traditional push-cart.

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Cart after cart, after tray, after cart, after cart stops by your table throughout.

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Servers have scissors ready to cut each or any as requested by you.

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Each piece is like a mini grab bag when you don’t know your Dim Sum.

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I’d like to study-up before next time to know and choose what I might like best.

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Capital Seafood Restaurant is fairly large inside and out and was mostly full this day.

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We sat on the outside patio where much was offered to us.

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We shared a good variety of Shrimp, Pork, crunchy, soft, sweet and hot Dim Sum.

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All was a well-rounded starter kit at a good restaurant for Dim Sum.

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There’s much more for me to learn about Dim Sum.

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Order off the menu or point to what you want from the ever-changing, then repetitive carts.

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They also have a Bar — $2 Beers are offered at Happy Hour M-F (3-7).

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The adjacent Wine fridge is pretty cool too — No pun, really.

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It also claims to be a trendy, hip and upbeat place to enjoy sports on multiple screens.

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I’d like to go back and try more as soon as possible.

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Our to-go boxes looked like this (below).

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Capital Y for Yes — I want more Dim Sum at Capital Seafood.