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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

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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Luna Grill Loving in Dana Point

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Kids Eat Free, Mediterranean | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue I try to cook dinner 3-5 times a week, the operative word is I try.  With my busy schedule, I can’t always get dinner ready.  There are days that I just want to go through the drive thru and grab something, but afterward, I feel guilty. I’m supposed to nourish my family and feed them well, but I am guilty of not always doing that. My husband usually gets home around six, so sitting down in a full-service restaurant is rarely going to happen on a weekday. Where can a family like mine go and grab a fresh, healthy meal that doesn’t take two hours to be served? Luna Grill. I’ve been a longtime fan of Luna Grill, and when I was given the opportunity to try out their new location in Dana Point,...

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NYC Meets the OC with the Opening of The Halal Guys

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Featured, Mediterranean, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Who doesn’t love New York City street food? The last time I was in New York, I took the subway in freezing temperatures to get myself a gyro from The Halal Guys. Guess what? OC locals no longer have to fly across the country, and put on snow boots to get some of America’s favorite street food from The Halal Guys. Because they are opening their first Southern California location right here in Costa Mesa on October 2nd! I had the pleasure of taking my daughter with me to a pre-opening of The Halal Guys to see if they are living up to the NY reputation. The minute that we walked in the door, we were greeted by friendly staff that walked us through the ordering process. Ordering is simple. 1....

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Zov’s Gourmet Food To-Go Provides OC Families a Healthier Alternative to Fast Food

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Featured, Mediterranean, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Zov’s Cooking at home every night is not a reality for many families like myself. I find myself driving my kids all around town to their after-school sports and activities. If I happen to forget to put something in the slow cooker before leaving for the day, then we usually get stuck having to order dinner out. With my son having severe food allergies, we are very limited on the places that we can grab a quick meal. When I found out that Zov’s was offering gourmet food to-go, I couldn’t wait to order it for my family. I ordered dinner to be picked-up the evening that I was returning home from a business trip. Ordering was simple, and pick-up was a breeze. When I came in the door from the airport with...

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Chef Imran Ali Invites You to Celebrate Diwali With Tamarind of London

Posted by on Oct 25, 2014 in Featured, Giveaways, Mediterranean, Reviews | 9 comments

 We dined as a guest of Tamarind of London   Tamarind of London is celebrating, Diwali, the Festival of Lights, an ancient Hindu festival with a special $39 per person prix fixe menu prepared by Chef Imran Ali. This week we were able to taste a sneak preview of the menu and it was a treat! Your dinner will start with a first course selection of: the Kebab Platter of Swordfish Tikka with chili chutney, Malai Chicken with sweet and sour yogurt, Lamb Kebob with tamarind, and pickled onion; or a Vegetarian Platter with Hara Baram, a spinach potato dumpling with chutney, Panner Tikka, a marinated fresh cheese with yogurt, and Aloo Tikki, a spicy potato dumpling with tamarind. This is followed by a second course selection of: Butter Chicken, chicken in a creamy tomato butter sauce; Classic Rogan...

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Family-Friendly Mediterranean Food at DonerG

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Mediterranean, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of DonerG My kids and husband *love* Mediterranean food, but I can barely handle it. Every time that I am stuck working late, I always know where to find my family, dining at Daphne’s. My husband and kids know the Daphne’s staff by name, and when the staff sees me come in with the family, they always know to bring me a glass of wine to make it through dinner. That was until I discovered DonerG in Irvine. When we were invited to review DonerG for the blog, I was hoping that one of our writers would pick-up the story to review. When that didn’t work-out in my favor, I found myself in the car on the way to Irvine with one happy family – except for me. I came to the counter to...

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Authentic Indian Cuisine at Tamarind of London

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Featured, Mediterranean | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the restaurant Tamarind of London in Crystal Cove welcomes an award winning new chef, Michelin Star Chef Prasad. Prasad is the youngest Indian chef to receive a Michelin Star for the 11th year and is now the Executive Chef all four Tamarind Collection locations including London and Newport Beach. The new chef has a focus on serving traditional Indian dishes at the Newport Beach Tamarind of London location while making ordering simple for families dining at the restaurant. The one thing that they have found that keeps families from dining at Tamarind is the fear of not knowing what to order. They have put their servers through extensive training on the culture and cuisine to help families with the ordering process to ensure that all guests have a wonderful epicurean experience when dining...

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Veggie Grill Tustin’s Grand Opening and Launch of their Summer Menu

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Featured, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean, Reviews, Vegetarian | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of Veggie Grill We were invited to the grand opening of Veggie Grill’s newest location at the Irvine Market Place.  When we arrived, a line of eager patrons were wrapped around the building. Who wouldn’t want to eat healthy, great tasting food and with their new summer menu you have so many more amazing choices.  I have to say that this new menu is my favorite to date and I highly recommend you checking it out. I knew what was in store for me so I invited my fellow OC Mom, Chantile to join me for an amazing time.  She hadn’t been to Veggie Grill before but after our visit she became the newest convert.    Once you try it, you get hooked.  Again tasty, healthy, organic meals all made fresh to order – how...

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Authentic NY Pizza at NYC Cafe & Catering in San Juan Capistrano

Posted by on Apr 25, 2014 in Featured, Italian, Mediterranean, Reviews | 0 comments

  After a fun day exploring the Mission San Juan Capistrano, the kids are always ready for a big lunch. All the excitement from exploring and learning in the hot sun builds up a big appetite for the kids. During Spring Break, the kids and I went to the Mission, and decided to try a new place for lunch, NYC Cafe & Catering. I was able to pull-up a deal on my Groupon app, so we drove over to the cafe for lunch. Italian and Mediterranean Food in one place? I was a little nervous when first walking in the door, but the kind employees helped us to navigate our way around the menu. Pizza or gyros? It was a tough decision, and the kids ended up all voting for the pizza. We started lunch with our all-time favorite...

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Ketri Cafe and Market in Santa Ana

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Featured, Mediterranean, Reviews | 1 comment

 I am not a food blogger, I am a food lover. Not all food, just good food. If you check me out on Yelp I have only done a handful of reviews and I really just go to places that I have heard to be good. That being said I am now reviewing my first restaurant ever, not because I want to be a food blogger, but because my experience at Ketri was incredible! Not a big deal for most people but for a person who doesn’t do this often it’s a big deal because when I love a place I support it 100% and want everyone I know and everyone they know to also support it as well. I had been following Chef Anahita Naderi’s Hidden Dinners for a few years but was never able to go. Instead...

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Family Friendly Mediterranen Dining at Luna Grill

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Featured, Mediterranean, Reviews | 0 comments

  I’ll start out by being honest that I have never been a fan of Mediterranean food. The cuisine usually has spices that can be hit or miss on whether the kids will eat it. I’m always afraid of spending the money to take the family out for Mediterranean food, and have the kids refuse to eat it. Just like I tell the kids to have an open mind, and try new things, I took the family to try Luna Grill earlier this week to try their Mediterranean food. When I arrived, the restaurant has a very sleek look for a fast casual restaurant. The menu was simple, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed with all the choices when ordering. We ordered all of our dishes to have “family style.” All we had to do was ask for some extra...

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Fresh Mediterranean Food at Garbanzo in Aliso Viejo

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Featured, Mediterranean, Reviews | 0 comments

 Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is a fresh new eatery located at The Commons at Town Center in Aliso Viejo. The restaurant is set up like many of our favorite eateries. First you choose how you want your meal: salad, plate, pita, or laffa (similar to a burrito or wrap). You then select all the ingredients for your meal including a variety of veggies, rice, meats, spreads and sauces. There’s a variety of sides, desserts, and drinks to choose from along with soup and kabobs. Kids meals are also available. You are even welcome to sample any of their offerings by simply saying “Please”. The owner, Bill, was so kind and offered suggestions for my meal and when I asked him about catering options he was both informative and accommodating. The chicken laffa I had was both delicious and filling. With...

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Crispa Crepes Expands Menu and Student Discounts

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Dining News, Featured, Mediterranean | 0 comments

  One of our favorite family dining destinations in Irvine, Crispa Crepes, has just announced the expansion of their menu. Crispa Crepes offers families healing dining in a fast-casual setting with delicious sweet and savory crepes. The new menu additions include “The Kick”, a savory crepe with carnitas, chili sauce, tomato, black beans and cilantro; and Raspberry Bomb, a sweet crepe with fresh raspberries, marshmallows and homemade chocolate hazelnut spread. Crispa Crepes has also started offering students who live or go to school in Irvine a free soda with the purchase of a savory crepe, or a free ice cream scoop with the purchase of a sweet crepe. Students need to simply show their Student ID. The restaurant also has a Crispa Crepes Loyalty Card, a frequent diner card with rewards, which can help students on a budget. Serving...

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Daphne’s New Cali-Greek Bowl

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Featured, Giveaways, Mediterranean, Reviews | 19 comments

  Daphne’s has just introduced a new Cali-Greek Bowl to their menu for a limited time. The new bowl features citrus brown rice, rice pilaf with black beans, guacamole, salsa fresco, crisp jalapeño bacon, Greek yogurt chipotle sauce and your choice of grilled chicken, savory gyros or falafel. We sampled the bowl earlier this week, and we loved the fresh combination of flavors. It has a unique flair on traditional Greek food, and the Greek yogurt chipotle sauce gave it the perfect amount of kick. The mini-pita trio has been my “go-to” dish at Daphne’s California Greek, but the new Cali-Greek Bowl has won over my heart. The savory dish is only 700 calories, and it large enough that I was able to share it with my younger son. We would love for you to see what you think...

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Chef Zov Offers Healthy Lunchbox Suggestions for Families

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Featured, Mediterranean, Recipes | 0 comments

  Although it is always easy to toss in a juice box, bag of chips and a pre-boxed lunch for your kids, it is not always best for their growing bodies. So many parents want to pack healthier lunches for the children but are stuck wondering “How?” Chef Zov offers healthy lunchbox suggestions for families to that might be struggling with what to pack in their children’s lunchboxes. “It’s disturbing to learn about the deplorable eating habits of America’s youth,” said Zov, who conducts cooking classes for young people and ventures into local schools to share her knowledge. “I think if youngsters were more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies, they would re-evaluate their diets. They just need the door opened for them so they can explore the exciting world of food and how simple experimentation can...

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Help Support the American Cancer Society at Daphne’s California Greek

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Events, Mediterranean | 0 comments

  On September 21st, guests who bring an official American Cancer Society flyer into any Daphne’s California Greek restaurant, 20% of their purchase will be donated to the American Cancer Society. Daphne’s is hosting the event in support of the annual Relay for Life event held in cities across the country. “We are proud to partner with the American Cancer Society on this level and hope that our fans, their friends and families will join us in our mutual quest to help in the fight to end cancer,” said Bill Trefethen, CEO, Daphne’s California Greek. While dining at Daphne’s California Greek on September 21st, try one of their four must-have menu items include their pita trio, hummus and pizza. They have traditional Gyros, salads, pita sandwiches and more for families to enjoy. Daphne’s California Greek uses only high quality...

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Clay Oven Indian Restaurant Debuts New Lunch Menu

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Dining News, Featured, Mediterranean | 0 comments

  The talented Executive Chef Geeta Bansal of Clay Oven Indian Restaurant debuts a new lunch menu with most items under the price of $12.95. The popular dining destination offers fresh and healthy contemporary Indian fare. Chef Bansal has traveled the globe meeting with world-famous chefs to collect secrets that make her food so highly sought after by local residents. The new lunch menu will include Tandoori Chicken, Tilapia Curry, Lamb Kofta Vindaloo and Chicken Masala. Each dish comes with freshly baked naan, rice and vegetables. Guests can finish their dining experience by enjoying fruit creme brûlée and Pistachio Kulfi. “I’m delighted to announce my new rotating lunch menu and look forward to sharing my modernized version of Indian cuisine, which makes great use of sustainable, seasonal, local produce as well as the highest quality lamb, fish, beef and...

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Four Must Try Summer Menu Items at Daphne’s California Greek Grill

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Mediterranean, Reviews | 0 comments

  Daphne’s California Greek offers refreshing and light menu items that are perfect for summer!  We had a chance to taste them last week and wanted to share four of our “must try” items from Daphne’s summer menu! We found this appetizer to be full of flavor and the perfect appetizer to share with your family or friends.  The warm pita bread and chips were delicious with the fire feta, hummus, guacamole and tzatziki sauce. The “Flavors of Daphne’s” new Mini-Pita Trio offers guests a variety of flavors in a plate that is perfectly sized.    The trio comes with three mini pitas; the Greek Mini-Pita is a Greek-style pita sandwich with savory gyros, red onion and tangy tzatziki sauce.  Second in the trio is the Cali-Greek Mini-Pita, which combines both flavor profiles into one pita sandwich. This mini-pita includes...

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Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill Opening New Location in Irvine

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in Mediterranean | 0 comments

  Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is spreading quickly across Orange County with their delicious healthy Mediterranean cuisine. The second family-friendly restaurant will open on Saturday, July 13th at the Woodbury Town Center in Irvine. There will be a big grand opening celebration from 11am to 4pm with live music, face painting and opportunity drawings. Guests who sign-up for the Garbanzo Loyalty Card at the grand opening will receive a complimentary mini cupcake from Casey’s Cupcakes. Garbanzo features a healthy trans-fat free menu that customers can customize. All of the salads are prepared fresh daily, and the pitas are made from scratch throughout the day. There are multiple ingredients that are locally sourced, and others that are imported directly from the Mediterranean region. The new Garbanzo is located in Woodbury Town Center at 6278 Irvine Blvd., at Sand Canyon Blvd., in...

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“Best of OC” Pick: Pita Pita Cafe in Lake Forest

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in American, Best of OC, Mediterranean | 0 comments

 Fresh pitas… fresh ingredients made when you order… and absolutely delicious food that you entire family will enjoy! You will find it all and more at Pita Pita Cafe in Lake Forest, California. We had our first dining experience at Pita Pita Cafe last week and are already planning when we will go again.  The restaurant offers a warm and comfortable atmosphere and food that is completely amazing in an easy to access location right off of Interstate 5 in Orange County. The dining area at Pita Pita Cafe is open and pulls the natural light in.  There is a television in the corner as well offering those who want it some decompression time. With the location so convenient, our family will visit Pita Pita Cafe a lot after our days out and about. The menu at Pita Pita...

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