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Thursday, June 6, 2019

National Donut Day is Friday, June 7th!

Friday, June 7th is National Donut Day and you know what that means? Donut deals galore - some free, some free with purchase and some just offering unique donuts for one day only! Whichever you chose there's no better excuse (as if you need one?!) to get your donut on this Friday! 

On to the donut deals...





Duck Donuts
 - a relative newcomer to the area, having opened locations in HB and Irvine in the past year, is offering a FREE classic donut to everyone as part of their Sweet Summer Beach Bash to celebrate National Donut Day!  Pop by one of their locations anytime on Friday for a FREE one! Classic flavors include bare, cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar. Duck donuts specializes in hot made-to-order cake donuts. No purchase or coupon necessary. Limit one donut per guest. 
Irvine: 2222 Michelson Drive, #200  and HB: 18591 Main Street. 







Dunkin - having made a return to So Cal in recent years, there's a Dunkin in almost every town in OC. To  celebrate National Donut Day, Dunkin is offering a FREE donut of YOUR choice with any beverage purchase. 











Krispy Kreme is going one step further for National Donut Day by not only giving everyone a FREE donut of their choice (no purchase required) but by also attempting to give away a million donuts and if they reach it, they are vowing to do another FREE donut day later this month! 












Local favorite Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa is giving the first 50 peeps a FREE limited edition National Doughnut Day hat and a FREE Doughnut card! They open at 6:30 a.m. so set your alarm clock! 



The yummy GLEE donuts in Anaheim and Fountain Valley is offering a FREE donut to the first 50 peeps! 1 per customer while supplies last. Both location open at 5:30 a.m.!



One more.. if you happen to be Walmart, the word is they are giving out FREE glazed doughnuts in their bakery sections on Friday too. Free is free right? ;) 

The above are just the deals that were announced! I would check with our favorite donut shop to see if they're offering a deal - you never know! Enjoy your donuts!



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

NEW Restaurant Review: Gram's Kitchen in La Palma

As a lover of all things Southern, I was more than a little intrigued when I heard that a new Southern restaurant recently opened in Orange County. Southern food and GOOD southern food even more so, is a rarity in our lovely county but with the opening of Gram's Kitchen in La Palma this culinary injustice may soon be rectified! 




Upon entering you'll be greeted with a warm ambiance, lots of unique stuff to inspect including the owner's grandfather's old record collection framed on the walls. if you come on a Saturday, you might also notice the live jazz playing in the corner - which was the case when I visited. Apparently, it happens quite often on Saturday evenings and really makes for a nice dinner. 









Ritz and Grits 
The menu got me excited with traditional dishes like crawfish cakes, fried okra and spicy jambalaya. Staples at any southern restaurant but even so, I was intrigued by Gram's concept of California Creole so I opted for the Ritz and Grits dish described as sauteed Cajun shrimp, hot link sausage, and crispy bacon over cheesy grits. Now, grits can either make or a break a dish as cooked poorly they can be either mushy or grainy. It's a bit of an art form to get grits to just the right consistency where they're creamy and fluffy.  I'm more than happy to report that Gram's is getting it right!  A mound of the most perfectly cooked creamy cheesy grits come topped with a decadent roux sauce loaded with jumbo shrimp, plump sausage slices and large slivers of crispy bacon. 

The Southern Bowl

My friend ordered the Southern Bowl - which reminded me of a pan roast as it's really a melange of proteins in a delicious Cajun gravy.  The plate comes filled with crawish meat, shrimp, hot links corn and topped with crispy onions and a generous scoop of jasmine rice. Definitely a feast and something to order when you're feeling extra hungry! What I loved about this dish is that it really has a little bit of everything so if you're having a hard time deciding what to order this is a great option! 



We also both really LOVED the cajun chicken wings - cooked up perfectly and served with a homemade ranch and buffalo sauce. Be prepared cuz these come as a generous portion even though they're soooo good you may not want to share! ;) 
Cajun Wings

They also serve brunch/lunch with different menu items from dinner, and look pretty amazing. Also, be sure to say hello to Jordan, one of the owners/Chef, who's as sweet as can be and will quickly make you feel like family! He also told me the food is all based on his Grandma's recipes - hence the name.  When he shared that with me, it all made sense as you can feel the love in every bite! 

Grams Kitchen is located at 12 Centerpointe Drive #106 in La Palma. 
Current hours: Monday - Friday, 8am to 9pm
For more info, follow then on instagram or Facebook as @gramskitchenlapalma




Admittedly, finding Gram's takes a bit of luck as it's located in the large Centerpointe complex, adjacent to the Kaiser office and my GPS didn't serve me well to direct me in exactly which part of the complex Gram's was located. However, you only be lost one time cuz once you've visited you'll remember that it actually faces Valley View even though the GPS may direct you to turn at La Palma. 



Don't forget to tell them OCFOODIEGIRL sent you! ;) 

Monday, May 27, 2019

NEW Restaurant Review: Pickled Monk in Downtown Fullerton


Pickled Monk in downtown Fullerton is doing brunch! 
If you haven't ventured yet to the 6 month old craft beer & wine eatery, it may be time!




Known for their unique pour your own craft beer and wine concept where you literally select and pour your own drink, Pickled Monk has yet another reason for you to check them out!







Ahi Stack on regular menu (delish!)
Everyone who has visited knows Pickled Monk has a stellar food menu to go along with their beer, wine and cocktail offerings. Being that Downtown Fullerton is more of a nightlife destination, it's easy for brunch to fall a bit under the radar and be limited to mostly those who are in the know. Well...consider yourself 'in the know'. ;) 




The Brunch Menu has a little something to please every craving and is full of surprises. To be honest, nothing on the brunch menu is quite what it appears to be upon first glance! 


Breakfast "Banh Mi" Sandwich
For example, the brunch menu lists a simple sounding "Breakfast Sandwich" but that understatement of a name hides the fact that it's actually a Banh Mi style breakfast sammie! It comes served up on a classic banh-mi baguette, stuffed with pork belly, fried eggs, cilantro, jalapeno and the most SINFUL in-house picked veggies. You'd never know this tastebud treasure awaits you from the standard name on the menu. 





Loaded Toast
One of the most popular Brunch items we spotted in the dining room was the Loaded Toast - made with marinated tomato, radish, avocado, a poached egg and goat cheese. What's not to LOVE about that? ;) 

Vegetarians and light eaters will also be happy to see there's more than a few options for you as well. The Morning Omelet comes with mushroom 'chorizo'  instead of pork, mixed in with quinoa, veggies and eggs. 

Similar to their regular menu, almost every item on the brunch menu has a in-house touch - even the french toast is made with house baked Irish soda bread. Another item you don't want to miss no matter what time you visit is their iconic churro donuts - they come served up warm with delicious dipping sauces! 

You really can't go wrong with any of the food choices at the Pickled Monk! Be sure to check 'em out soon!  

Churro Donuts

Pickled Monk is located at 101 N. Harbor Blvd in downtown Fullerton. 
Closed Mondays. Serving Brunch/Lunch every Friday - Sunday. Open 3pm+ for dinner on other days. 
714/793-9100  More info on their website: https://pickledmonk.com/

Be sure to tell them OCFOODIEGIRL sent you! ;) 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

May Happenings in the OC!

So many fun new openings and spring happenings going in the OC this month that I had to share them with you all!
Enjoy!


BlackTap is officially open at Downtown Disney in Anaheim! Yes, the NYC institution - instafamous for it's crazy shakes and burgers has finally opened it's highly anticipated first west coast location. Premiering its first casual dining setting where you order at the counter and find a place to sit in their 125 inside seat or 60 outdoor seating area.

They also offer a take-out window so you can get your shakes and burgers on the run! They've been in soft opening since end of April but are having their official Grand Opening this Saturday, May 18th at 2pm. You don't want to miss it!

For more information on Black Tap, visit www.blacktap.com or follow Black Tap on Facebook and Instagram at @blacktapanaheim.






March Moderne, located in the Crystal Cove section of Newport Beach, has started doing Sunday brunch! If you haven't been to the new location of the former South Coast Plaza icon, you're missing out on some of the best dining in OC. This is not just your average high end French dining but unique French food with a coastal California flair. 

With such dishes as Eggs en Meurette and Croque Madame, they are only in soft opening mode but will soon be in full brunch mode.  Based on how difficult it can be to get a dinner reservation at MM, I highly suggest you grab a brunch res NOW before everyone gets wind of their foray into the brunch world as I have NO doubt it'll be quite the coveted reservation! 
Marche Moderne is located at 7862 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92657   714/434-7900


Two NEW food concepts have just opened at downtown Santa Ana hotspot, 4th Street Market

The first, Off The Hoof, is actually an offshoot of the uber popular Electric City Butcher which is one of the few OG vendors at the Market. It's about time this talented butcher made it's way into offering cooked up version of it's cuts. You'll find mouthwatering sandwiches like their Patty Melt, Cubano, and Fried Bologna Sandwich, as well as ranch-to-table BBQ plates.


The second new concept is Buqqa Mediterannean Grill which is serving up authentic Mediterranean food like Beef + Lamb D├Âner and Chicken Kebab Pita wraps.

For more info on the new and existing food vendors at 4th Street Market, see their website: http://www.4thstreetmarket.com/


Bacio di Latte from Italy is opening it's second location in Southern California in the next week at Fashion Island. Born in 2011 in Italy by two brothers, Edoardo and Luigi, who had a passion for Gelato, and their desire to share it with the rest of the world.  They produce their gelato everyday in every single shop, using organic milk and cream from the Spoletta ranch up in Sonoma. 
For more information on Bacio di Latte, visit https://baciodilatte-usa.com/  or follow Bacio di Latte on Instagram at @baciodilatteusa




LA Wine Fest is heading to Long Beach for the first time on June 1st & 2nd! This long running oenophiles dream festival features a relaxed, fun setting offering main stage educational programs from award winning winemakers, chefs and more. As you stroll through the festival, winemakers and experts are eager to chat and educate about the wines they are presenting. Beer lovers will be in luck as well, as brewmasters and some of the best breweries pour their crafts at the event. Admission includes a souvenir glass, unlimited wine and craft brew tastings, bottled water, coffee and bread. Festival hours are 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 1, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 2. Tickets at the gate are $100 for General Admission; $125 for All Access - (which also includes admission to the Boutique Gardens with 15-20 wineries offering tastes from limited production). Designated drivers are encouraged, and get in to enjoy all the amenities of the festival for only $20 (does not include any tastings). Get your tickets and read more on their website at www.LAWineFest.com. You don't want to miss this wine-o's!

Don't forget to tell them OCFoodieGirl sent you! ;)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

New Restaurant Review: WR Kitchen & Bar in Laguna NIguel

The NEW WR Kitchen & Bar is opening this Monday, May 6th at 11am in Laguna Niguel! 

Being brought to you by the delicious Wood Ranch Restaurant! If you're a BBQ fan I'm sure you've visited  Wood Ranch with OC locations in Irvine and Rancho Santa Margarita.   NOW you can get that same delicious BBQ along with new food and drink items exclusive to WR Kitchen & Bar, all in a casual family friendly dining setting. 




Even though this is casual dining, WR Kitchen & Bar still serves up the great service for which they are well known.  You'll order at the bar, and then find a place to sit in the dining room, bar or patio where their orders will be delivered. 

 The tables have these ingenious chips in them that tell the servers where to deliver your items so no going back up to the counter for your food!  Additionally, servers will stop by the tables to take additional orders for second cocktails, dessert or anything else a guest may want.



I recently visited during a preview and was so impressed with what a welcoming space the new venue is - with a lovely wrap around patio and a spacious comfy indoor seating area. If you're not in the mood to dine-in they also offer online-ordering, take-out and curbside service! 




As for the food, yes - they have all that delicious BBQ they're well known for but new items available exclusively here include tacos, filled with a choice of brisket, pulled pork, chicken, trout or cauliflower. 

I HIGHLY recommend the Spicy Chicken tacos which while filled with the juicy grilled chicken had a distinct Asian hint to them. If you like a little kick with a hint of sweetness you'll find these absolutely delicious. 







One of the new items I was over the moon for was the buffalo cauliflower - yes, this a trending dish that you see at many restaurants but the crispy version they have here is one of the best I've ever tried.


There's also a full bar, featuring hand-crafted batch cocktails made with fresh ingredients that shine through with each glass. Also available are 12+ craft beers on draft and several highly rated reasonable priced wine. 






The new WR Kitchen & Bar is located at 28061 Greenfield Drive, off Crown Valley Pkwy., in Laguna Niguel.  Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm. Phone: 949/342-4740 For more information, Visit www.WRKitchenBar.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram at @WRKitchenBar.

Be sure to tell them OCFoodieGirl sent you! ;) 



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

NEW Chef means NEW Menu at Mesa Restaurant and Lounge!


Have you been to Mesa in Costa Mesa recently? If not, it may be time for a revisit!



Chef Abad Martinez has recently joined the Mesa family and brings with him several years of experience cooking in many OC kitchens. He also bring a creative flair for pairing unique flavor combinations so it's no surprise his arrival has resulted in a recharge of the menu at Mesa. 






The new menu features several new dishes including a lovely Hamachi Crudo that's almost too pretty to eat - "almost". ;)








The item on the menu that had me the most intrigues is the unique Beef Wellington Bites. Being an avid fan of this not often seen dish, I was BEYOND excited to try these, and my excitement was well rewarded!

They're served up warm and perfectly paired with a creamy bernaise sauce for dipping. They're very well executed and I HIGHLY recommend you try them next time you visit!





One of the other dishes I really enjoyed is the charred New York Steak with potato au gratin, roasted trumpet mushrooms, and a green onion pistou.  It was cooked  perfectly with a flavorful sear, and paired perfectly with the sides. 





Other new dishes include the ricotta gnocchi, a crispy Proscioutto and Fig Pizza, a perfectly Grilled Halibut with a polenta cake and an Ahi Fried Rice. 




Don't forget to save room for dessert! There's two new yummy desserts including a spring-is-here Strawberry Shortcake and a decadent Chocolate Chip Breadpudding.  


                                                                             


















No matter what you're in the mood for, enjoying a meal at Mesa will have your taste buds thanking you! 

Mesa is located at 724 Baker Street in Costa Mesa - located at the north end of the The Camp. (714) 557-6700
Valet parking available for dinner. 




Sunday, March 31, 2019

There's a NEW Cooking School in OC - Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School is now open!


Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School recently opened up at South Coast Plaza, on the lower level floor of the Macy's Home Store in Costa Mesa. 


The Cooking School is a partnership between award-winning specialty New England food producer Stonewall Kitchen and Macy’s to create an interesting and interactive retail experience for guests. 


Macy’s has worked closely with Stonewall Kitchen for many years and this expansion is an exciting milestone in their relationship. This is actually Stonewall Kitchen's first foray on the west coast. If you've ever visited their shops in Maine, you're inevitably aware of the popularity of their cooking classes at their New England locations.  


Resident Chef Susan Carter

I was recently able to attend a class and was very impressed with not just the instruction, but the classroom itself which is situated with large screen TVs so that you are sure to see all the action up close no matter where you're sitting. The classes are also limited to 24 students which is the perfect size to ensure you don't get lost in the class. 








Chef Max and his Avocado Toast
The class I attended was hosted by their resident Chef, Susan Carter and local Chef Max Schlutz, owner and Executive Chef of Sessions West Coast Deli. 



These talented Chefs whipped up several delicious dishes for us to try including a lovely watermelon gazpacho, a mouthwatering avocado toast with smoked salmon, classic Italian arancini risotto balls and ended with a refreshing vanilla bean panacotta. 

Yummy Panacotta w Candied Lemon & Mint





Every dish was delicious and the best part was learning how to cook these yummy dishes with the step-by-step demonstration.

If you like to cook (or eat!) you definitely want to check out the Stonewall Cooking School soon! They are currently offering a variety of demonstration classes with chef instructors — the current/upcoming class schedule can be found at: 
www.macysrestaurants.com/stonewall-kitchen-cooking-school/
  
In addition, the space is available for private classes for instructor-led corporate team building, unique meetings, birthday celebrations, or a girls' night out!