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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

My Favorite Things at the Newport Wine and Food Festival

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Best of OC, Events | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the venue One of the events I most look forward to each Fall as a food blogger, is the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival. And although I was not able to go both days this year, I was fortunate to be able to make it for several hours on the last day, a Sunday. This is the third year of this event and the third year I’ve attended. And it seems to get better and better each year. This outdoor festival, held on the grounds of Newport’s Civic Center, makes the most of the beautiful weather October brings and offers an elegant setting to taste wines, spirits, and beers while sampling creative dishes prepared by some of the area’s best chefs, all the while listening to live jazz. One of my favorite...

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Ocean Breezes and Delicious Bites at Las Brisas

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in American, Best of OC, Featured | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue We were recently invited to Las Brisas in Laguna Beach to sample some new items from their Patio Menu. Hmm, summertime evening, taking in the coastline and enjoying the iconic restaurant? Absolutely! Upon our arrival we were thrilled to discover a favorite local chef of ours, Johannes Bernau, he is overseeing their menu, sampling new items with the guests and introducing dishes that are more seasonal. We love his creativity with food! In addition, you’ll find he is very down to earth and kind. While taking in the ocean breeze and views; we each sipped on a Spicy Mango Margarita. It was so delicious and quenched our thirst; not too spicy and not too sweet, it was just right. Soon after Chef Bernau, brought over a perfectly Charred Artichoke with Cotija...

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Luna Grill Fresh Spring Menu

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Best of OC, Events, Featured, Mediterranean | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I was recently introduced to Luna Grill, and it has become my go-to place for eating out on Tuesday evenings because of their kids eat free night. Our family of five can get more than enough food (often with leftovers) for less than $20 on Tuesday nights. The modern family dining destination just keeps getting better as they recently introduced some fresh and delicious spring menu items. When dining at Luna Grill last week, we were eager to try the new spring menu items. When looking at the menu, it was the spring arugula salad that caught my eye. It was larger than I had expected and featured Ancient grain superstar quinoa, tabouleh with chickpeas, celery, tomato, feta and roasted pumpkin seeds; all tossed with Luna’s signature house vinaigrette. The salad...

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Burntzilla: Two Food Trucks Collide and make a Home in Irvine

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in American, Asian, Best of OC, Reviews, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest I love truck food.  Where else can you try the most amazing gourmet food at half the cost?  I have never been into the food truck culture of waiting for hours in line or following their every move on my phone, which means I miss out on a lot of good food.   If there is an event and I happen to be there I try every truck out knowing that it will be a long time before my next feast.  Now if I were a genie of sorts, I would create a situation where food trucks would have stationary home and I could go there whenever I wanted to feast in their magic.  Abracadabra Kalamazam may I present to you Burntzilla!!! Located in a strip mall on the corner of Culver and Walnut in...

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20 Years of Sugar Bliss at Paradise Donuts and Deli

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Bakery, Best of OC, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

  After an awful lunch with my two little kids, and my kids being so good about not being wasteful by eating all their food, I treated them to a donut at the neighboring donut shop. We walked across the parking lot to Paradise Donuts and Deli where we were immediately greeted by the owners. We looked at the donut case that was partially bare (although it was pushing 3ish). While the kids were taking their time debating about what sweet treat they were going to order from the glass case, I noticed a family that was having sandwiches inside the shop. The sandwiches were packed with tons of meat and cheese, and not the kind of deli sandwich I would have expected to see being served in a donut shop. The owner must have heard me saw “wow”...

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Magical Dinner at Quinn’s Old Town Grill

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014 in Best of OC, Featured, Reviews, Wine Bars and Bistros | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Quinn’s Quinn’s Old Town Grill is a family-friendly Irish pub with comforting food, festive ambiance and Wednesday night magic shows. Quinn’s Old Town Grill is one of the first Irish pubs that I have dined at that caters to families, couples and singles alike. Our family dined at Quinn’s for the first time last month during their Wednesday night magic hours. When our family stepped into the festive restaurant, we were immersed into the feeling of dining at a pub right off the cobblestone streets in Dublin. Within moments after we sat together in the plush leather booth, Stryker (the magician) came to our table for a magical magic show. He got the kids involved in a close-up magic show right at our table getting them excited about magic like they’ve never been...

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Best Kids Meals in Orange County at Kabuki

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Asian, Best of OC, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Kabuki After spending a year living in Japan before getting married, I am always in search of authentic Japanese food in Orange County. I recently surprised the kids by taking them to lunch at Kabuki at the Irvine Spectrum for Japanese food. From the moment that we walked into the restaurant we were swept into the Japanese culture. It is not just the food that makes a restaurant authentic as much as the staff, ambiance and overall feel when walking into a restaurant. We started our lunch with a warm cup of green tea and the Gyoza dumplings. The dumplings come with a sweet sauce, small salad, and were lightly fried. It was a perfect prelude to our lunch. The highlight for families dining at Kabuki is their kids meals. Kabuki has created...

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Wood Ranch Test Kitchen Unveils Burnt Ends

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Best of OC, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Wood Ranch Burnt Ends? What is that you ask? It is quite possibly the most delicious bites of barbecue your tastebuds will ever experience. Originally started in Kansas City, these sweet double-smoked brisket bon-bon bites have made their debut for a limited-time at Orange County’s premiere barbecue dining destination, Wood Ranch. Every Wednesday, the Wood Ranch pit masters are serving up three all-new burnt ends dishes. There is a limited amount of burnt ends being prepared each week, so we recommend dining early before they are gone! Once you’ve taken you seat inside of the plush family-friendly restaurant, start the meal off right with the new Sofia’s Elegante Margarita. The drink is “naturally skinny” with partida anejo tequilla that compliments the brunt ends perfectly. After relaxing from a long day sipping on a...

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Things are shakin’ this summer at Ruby’s Shake Shack

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in American, Best of OC, Reviews | 0 comments

  Where is the hottest dining destination for families in Orange County this summer? The Ruby’s Shake Shack! The Shake Shack has been a favorite place to get shakes and burgers for OC locals and visitors for many years. After Ruby’s took over ownership of the Shake Shack a couple of years ago, they still kept a lot of the original Shake Shack menu and look and feel of the original restaurant. The Shake Shack is visited by families vacationing in the Crystal Cove Cottages, beachgoers and families driving along the coast. When coming down PCH, there is often a line of cars to get one of the limited parking spots, and can only be accessed when coming southbound on PCH. Once your family has arrived at the Shake Shack, you’ll be greeted by incredible panoramic ocean views. There...

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Best OC Burgers at TK Burgers

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in American, Best of OC, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

  Back in the day, my husband would spend his high school summer days working at TK Burgers on the Peninsula. It was one of the hottest dining destinations for teens to hang-out and grab lunch together. Over the years, TK Burgers has grown to have multiple locations in Huntington Beach and right down the street from us in Mission Viejo. Whenever we find ourselves in Mission Viejo, we cannot resist stopping at TK Burgers for lunch. All of the TK Burgers restaurants are decorated the same with tchotchkes, stickers and old records covering the walls and ceilings. The hip restaurant boasts much more than a festive dining destination for families, and has some of the best burgers in Orange County. My husband and I always get the same thing every time that we come – “The Big Bargain...

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Leatherby’s Café Rouge – Jersey Boys Menu

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in American, Best of OC, Date Night, Events, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Leatherby’s If you are planning on seeing the Jersey Boys at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts, then I recommend having the complete Jersey Boys night out. Your night starts off with a unique dining experience at Leatherby’s Café Rouge.  Leatherby’s Café Rouge is offering a three course prix fixe Jersey Boys menu from June 24-July 13 which includes Tomato watermelon gazpacho, Sherry braised beef short rib and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Trio to name a few. My husband and I went before the show and wanted to share our mouth-watering night. For the first course, my husband ordered the Summer: a tomato watermelon gazpacho.  Grilled watermelon, Dungeness crab, cucumber gelee and crème fraiche espuma make this summer soup a masterpiece paired with a fabulous pinot.  It was light and refreshing,...

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Orange County Father’s Day Dining Guide

Posted by on Jun 4, 2014 in Best of OC, Events, Holidays | 0 comments

  Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 15th! Show Dad how special he is by treating him to a relaxing brunch at one of these popular Orange County dining destinations featured in our Father’s Day dining guide. FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach 401 Newport Center Dr., Suite 151 Newport Beach, CA 92660 212.924.1200 On Sunday, June 15, 2014 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach and celebrated Executive Chef Pascal Lorange invite Orange County families to celebrate Father’s Day at the 12,000-square-foot olive oil oasis at Fashion Island. Chef Lorange will serve a special three-course prix-fixe brunch ($40*) and dinner ($52*) menus, comprised of signature dishes highlighting flavors from the South of France including: Truffle Mushroom Croquette with cremini mushrooms, parmesan béchamel, and truffle olive oil aioli Crab & Heirloom Tomato with jumbo lump...

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Orange County Mother’s Day Dining Guide

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Best of OC, Events, Featured, Holidays | 0 comments

  Treat Mom to a special Mother’s Day brunch or dinner at one of these top dining destinations in Orange County. Reservations are highly recommended for all of the restaurants featured in our Mother’s Day Dining Guide. Hilton Anaheim Queen for a Day Mother’s Day Brunch 777 W Convention Way Anaheim, CA 92802 (714) 750-4321 Prego Ristorante 18420 Von Karman Ave. Irvine, CA 92612 949-553-1333 Tuscan-Style Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet $36.95 for adults * $17.95 for children 7-12 * free for 6 years & younger (excluding tax & gratuity) Served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Made-to-Order Omelet Bar Seasonal Insalate Bar Antipasti Freshly Made Pastas Carni Calde Prime Rib Carving Station Italian Pastries Ways & Means 513 E Chapman Ave Orange, CA 92866 (714) 516-1800 In celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 11th, Chefs de Cuisine Benjamin...

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It’s a Jolly Holiday at Disneyland Park

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in American, Best of OC, Disney, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

  Planning a trip to Disneyland? Wondering where the best place is to have lunch with your kids? The Jolly Holiday is our #1 top dining destination for lunch with our kids inside of the park. Why? #1 There is always plenty of seating in the large wrap around outdoor patio #2 There is plenty of space in-between the tables to easily roll the stroller up to your table in the event there is a sleeping kiddo during lunchtime. #3 The line moves quickly and the food comes out fast as lightning. We can be sitting at our table eating easily within 10-15 minutes of walking in the door. #5 The food is delicious..of course! The fun bright yellow restaurant with white trim is designed after the beloved Walt Disney Feature Film “Mary Poppins.” When your family first walks...

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George’s Burgers in Fountain Valley

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in American, Best of OC, Reviews | 0 comments

 There are so many great burger joints around Orange County, but one has been my favorite since I was a kid – George’s Burgers in Fountain Valley. When I was just a child, my parents would shop at the Fountain Valley Costco (the only one in Orange County at the time) and then we would have a burger at George’s. It’s not just the burgers or the memories that make this burger joint so special, but the family who is running it. We will go months in-between our visits, but they always remember us by name – which is rare to find in the restaurant business anymore. Their hospitality is overwhelming and they always show their true appreciate for our business every time we visit. Everyone in my family always gets the burger special (with extra secret sauce). My...

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Orange County Valentine’s Day Dining Guide

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Best of OC, Events, Featured, Holidays | 0 comments

  “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..” Spoil the one that you love on Valentine’s Day at one of these romantic dining destinations in Orange County. Our Valentine’s Day dining guide is designed to help make planning your special night easy. The Resort at Pelican Hill 22701 Pelican Hill Road South Newport Coast, CA 92657 February “For the Love of Food” Culinary Academy Food is one way to the heart, and Pelican Hill invites you to celebrate your appreciation of everything epicurean with your loved ones this winter. In a luxurious Villa kitchen, the Resort’s chefs du cuisine lead hands-on preparation courses with wine pairings every Thursday evening in February. $175* per person per class, including wine pairings. Limited to 14 guests per class. Reservations are required and may be arranged by calling 800-820-6800. Thursday,...

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In-n-Out Burger Secret Menu

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Best of OC, Featured | 0 comments

  In-n-Out Burger is our favorite fast-food dining destination in Orange County. Not only do they use real ingredients, but everything is prepared fresh to order. It is the only fast-food restaurant where my son with severe food allergies can eat without ever having to worry about food allergy reactions. We first learned about the In-n-Out Burger secret menu items when searching for “safe” places for him to eat out, and we never ordered off the regular menu again. These are some of our favorite off the menu items at In-n-Out Burger. Vegan Burger/Wish Burger No meat? No problem! Vegetarians and Vegan diners can order a wish burger when going to In-n-Out. For Vegan ask for no spread or cheese, and it will come packed with lettuce, tomato, and onions. Animal Style Probably the most popular “off the menu”...

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Orange County Super Bowl Dining Guide

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Best of OC, Events, Featured | 0 comments

  Are you ready for the big game? Score a touchdown with your guests by serving a delicious spread, or watch the big game on a big screen at your favorite restaurant. Whether dining in or dining out, we got you covered with our Super Bowl Dining Guide. Wood Ranch Anaheim Hills, Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine Wood Ranch has a wide variety of catering options for your Super Bowl party including wings, ribs and more. Contact Wood Ranch to have them help customize your game day party menu at 800-589-Ribs. The Resort at Pelican Hill 22701 Pelican Hill Road South Newport Coast, CA 92657 Super Bowl Sunday Team Specials Sunday, February 2 Chef Derek and Chef Marc present game day specials representing the two NFL teams playing in the Super Bowl in New York City. Newport Coast’s Sports...

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Old Spaghetti Factory 45th Anniversary Celebration

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in American, Best of OC | 1 comment

  Guss and Sally Dussin opened the first Old Spaghetti Factory in Portland Oregon on January 10, 1969, with the knowledge that honesty, dignity, respect, the hard work, and guest satisfaction were the recipe for dinning success. Over the past 45 years, this belief has helped the Dussin family expand to 41 Old Spaghetti Factory locations in 15 states. With my wife away for a few days, I was looking for some dining options and decided I would take the kids to Newport Beach to dine at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Balboa Blvd. When I was a teen in high school, I used to work at a pizza place across the street, and I have many fond memories of  ordering Spaghetti Factory pasta while I was working. Where else is a trolley set up as an area to...

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Newport Beach Restaurant Week Launch Party

Posted by on Jan 12, 2014 in Best of OC, Events | 0 comments

 Do you have a restaurant in Newport Beach that you’ve always wanted to try? Newport Beach Restaurant Week is the perfect time to try a restaurant that you’ve always wanted to visit, or come back to one of your favorite dining destinations. Guests can dine during the week of January 17th through the 26th at some of Newport Beach’s premiere dining destinations at discounted prices with prix fixe menus. We got a sneak peek into what to expect during Newport Beach Restaurant Week at their preview dinner at the Back Bay Bistro earlier this week. Rockin Baja Coastal Cantina, Mayur, Muldoon’s Irish Pub, and Cucina Alessa were serving up samples of delicious food from their Newport Beach Restaurant Week Menu. Muldoon’s Irish Pub was serving their rich Irish Stew packed full of vegetables, and bursts of rich flavors. Guests...

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