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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Deep Fried Artichokes at Moss Landing Cafe

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in American, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

  While driving to Monterey we couldn’t help but stop when seeing a sign for deep fried artichokes. The sign directed us to a small little coffee shop style restaurant called Moss Landing Cafe. While we had expected the sign to bring us to a pop-up type restaurant we were pleasantly surprised to find a full-service restaurant. Since we were not quite ready for lunch and had already eaten breakfast, we simply ordered a couple plates of deep fried artichokes. The staff was so sweet, and my children felt comfortable in the relaxed dining environment. When the deep fried artichokes arrived, it was love at first bite. They came in small bites with ranch dipping sauce. Our family gobbled up every delicious bite within seconds and we quickly found ourselves ordering a second serving. The area between Moss Landing...

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Authentic Diner Dining at Frankie and Lola’s in Morro Bay

Posted by on Jul 11, 2015 in Breakfast, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue On our first morning in Morro Bay, we woke up hungry and ready to try the favorite local diner, Frankie and Lola’s. With raving Yelp reviews, the restaurant truly lives up to their reputation offering visitors a true diner dining experience. We took our seat on the outdoor patio where we could see partial views of the water and enjoyed the cool breezes while sipping on a cup of “sexy” coffee. The kids menu was one of the most reasonably priced kids menus that I’ve ever seen and also featured healthy choices – shocking right? My two older kids ordered the Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes, and my younger son decided to order the kid’s breakfast plate. The pancakes were huge and came with either powdered sugar or chocolate chips. The kids...

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2nd Annual Latin Food and Wine Festival

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Events, Travel | 0 comments

 We attended as a guest of the resort Earlier this month, we attended the 2nd Annual Latin Food and Wine Festival at Harrah’s Resort Southern California. What made this food and wine event so unique as opposed to similar events is the strong emphasis on exposing guests to the Latin culture through food, wine, and music. We planned to spend the weekend at the resort to enjoy some much-needed R&R and also attend the festival. During our stay, I fell in love with the resort and enjoyed every minute of the event. My Mom and I checked into the event and were given a plate and wine glass to go on a culinary exploration for the afternoon. With mariachi music playing in the background, we savored the goodness from some of the best Latin food in the Southern California...

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Gourmet Family-Friendly Dining at EATS Kitchen & Bar

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in American, Featured, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue One of the last places I would have expected to find gourmet dining was at a local hotel. Hotel Irvine has transformed to become a hot spot for families to gather for good food, entertainment, and relaxation. While staying at Hotel Irvine earlier this month, we had dinner at the popular dining destination, EATS Kitchen & Bar. Once we took our seats in the family-friendly restaurant, and were about to embark on an unforgettable culinary adventure. We couldn’t help but start our dinner with the chicken and biscuits. This starter was the highlight of our meal at EATS with the kids gobbling up every bite. The fried chicken was served with buttermilk biscuits, sriracha butter, and country gravy. The dish has left everyone in our family wanting to come back for...

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Authentic Chinese Food at Fortunes Noodle Bar

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Asian, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the resort The last place I thought I would discover delicious Chinese food would be at a resort. After eating our way through the Latin Food & Wine Festival at Harrah’s Resort Southern California, we surprisingly found ourselves still hungry. Before heading up to our room for the evening, we stopping into Fortunes Noodle Bar for a quick bite to eat. We took our seat at a comfortable booth inside of the restaurant and was immediately greeted by a friendly server. They took our drink order and recommended we start with an order of their popular pot stickers. In a blink of the eye, the server was back with our drinks and appetizer. Not only did we get premier service, but also delicious cuisine. The potstickers were crispy on the outside and boasted...

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Luxurious Weekend Getaway Dining at Fiore

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Featured, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the resort While staying Harrah’s Resort Southern California earlier this month, me and my mom treated ourselves to dinner at the popular steak restaurant, Fiore. Located inside of the resort, Fiore features an oyster bar, traditional bar, semi-private dining, fine wines and mouth-watering food. We sipped on a glass of wine while looking over the menu. The staff at Fiore took their time to help us select the perfect items on the menu to satisfy our taste buds. Before dinner arrived, we took the time to relax in the peaceful restaurant while bonding as mother and daughter. My Mom ordered the crispy skin Skuna Bay Salmon that came on top of sweet mustard laquered Brussels, tiger shrimp, jumbo lump crab, salmon caviar, and lemon crema. Her fish was fresh, light, and flaky. It...

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Chandler’s Restaurant and Lounge in San Diego

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the restaurant My family loves to try out new restaurants.  While we were away on a mini vacation to Carlsbad, we had the opportunity to dine at Chandler’s Restaurant and Lounge.  Chandler’s is located in the newly revamped Cape Rey Hotel (Carlsbad Hilton). We had just finished swimming in the pool and were walking towards the hotel when the aroma of garlic and truffle oil took control of me.  That was it; we had to dine there that night!  Let me just say that Chandlers did not disappoint so we made sure to have breakfast there the next day too! I will fill you in all the goodness of the food shortly, first let me tell you a little about their Chef and visionary.  Chef Pascal Vignau (French-born – so you must say...

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Hidden Gem in Orange County: Oak Grill

Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 in American, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Oak Grill The best-kept secrets are never where you’d expect to find them, and that is the case with the cuisine being served at Oak Grill in Newport Beach. Located inside of the Island Hotel, Chef Marc Johnson is pushing the culinary boundaries by creating fresh and flavorful dishes for guests dining at the restaurant. During a recent staycation, we dined at Oak Grill and had one of the most memorable dining experiences we’ve had in a long time. We dined al fresco on the outdoor patio with twinkling lights hanging above from a large tree. The setting was perfect for a romantic dinner, and the food that we ate is what took the evening to a higher level. Our epicurean adventure began with a tandoori-spiced ahi tartare with crisp Asian pears, California...

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The Terrace Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of The Ritz-Carlton After a late night arrival on the Island of Maui, our first dining experience was breakfast at The Terrace Restaurant located at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. Our family took a seat at a table inside the restaurant and enjoyed looking at the beautiful ocean views while feeling the cool breezes. Once we got settled at our table, it was time to explore the different culinary options offered by the restaurant. There was a massive room filled with a wide variety of international foods with something for everyone to enjoy. There was a large omelet station where my son was able to select from an endless variety of ingredients to create his customized omelet. While my son was creating an omelet, my two younger children filled their plates with freshly baked pastries, warm...

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Kai Sushi at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Reviews, Sushi, Travel | 0 comments

 We stayed as a guest of the Ritz-Carlton Before leaving The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, my husband I could not help resist trying a dish from Kai Sushi. We planned to eat light when taking the kids to a local Luau so that we would have enough room to savor some late night sushi at Kai. We found a semi-private table with an oversized couch on the outdoor patio of the resort. Our children cuddled up with us on the couch while my husband and I sipped on a glass of wine and listened to the live music playing in the lobby. It was not long before our children spotted some friends they had made earlier in the pool and ran off to play a game of hide and seek on the grassy area below the outdoor patio. As we looked...

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Panama 66 at Balboa Park in San Diego

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in American, Featured, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

  On our second day in San Diego, we planned a return visit to see more museums at Balboa Park. While we were waiting for our scheduled tour time at the Museum of Man, we stopped to have lunch at Panama 66. The restaurant has a daily menu as well as a pre-set menu. Since the restaurant uses seasonal ingredients, the menu is always changing. When we arrived for lunch many of the breakfast items had already been sold out..it is that popular. Our favorite feature of the restaurant is that families can eat on a blanket in the Mary S. Marcy Sculpture Garden or at one of the many tables throughout courtyard. Families were playing and laughing with their kids on the grass while surrounded by beautiful art while the restaurant brings the food to the families. It...

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The Prado at Balboa Park in San Diego

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Mexican, Travel | 0 comments

  After spending the morning at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, I treated the kids to lunch at the popular The Prado at Balboa Park restaurant. Normally, this highly sought after restaurant has a long wait time, but we got lucky with getting a seat on the outdoor patio in as little as 20 minutes. The restaurant has one of the most beautiful outdoor dining patios that is perfect for lunch on a warm Spring afternoon. We took our seat and the talked about the wonderful day we have had in the park while looking over the menu. We were all in a meat-eating kind of mood and ended up ordering similar dishes. My two children decided to share the steak panini that came with fried tomatoes, horseradish cheddar, field greens, chimichurri sauce inside of a warm...

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Breakfast in the Vineyard at Bouquet in Temecula

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Ponte After spending the evening at the Ponte Vineyard Inn, my husband and I, had all of our culinary desires satisfied while dining in the enchanting setting of Bouquet restaurant. We embraced the intense flavors of the robust French pressed coffee while admiring the views of the vineyards and majestic mountains. The personalized service was paramount as the staff helped to guide us through the breakfast menu. Our elegant meal started with sweet zeppole. The freshly made warm Italian donuts came dusted with cinnamon and sugar while paired with chocolate Nutella, caramel sauce, and fresh strawberries. It was a decadent start to our epicurean adventure at Bouquet. We led into the main course with the beef and eggs Benedict. The flavoring and seasoning paired with the fresh, sustainable ingredients made it unparalleled to...

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Farm to Table Dining Restaurant at Ponte in Temecula

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Ponte After a romantic afternoon carriage ride through wine country, my husband and I, escaped to have dinner at the Restaurant at Ponte in Temecula. The restaurant has a relaxed al fresco outdoor dining environment nestled amongst the vineyards. We sat hand in hand at a small table while enjoying the warmth from the outdoor heaters. Immediately after sitting down, the chef brought out a plate of mascarpone cheese on a toasted baguettes. We started our dining experience with a bottle of chilled Ponte Chardonnay paired with artichoke bruschetta. The artichoke bruschetta was beautifully presented inside of a small mason jar paired with a variety of breads. The Chardonnay brought out the rich flavors of the marinated artichokes that was very pleasing to the palate. For the main course, I was tempted by...

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The Cellar Lounge in Temecula

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of Ponte While staying at the Ponte Vineyard Inn, we made two visits to The Cellar Lounge during our stay. The first time that we dined was for a small pre-dinner snack, and then later in the evening for a night-cap. The Cellar Lounge is located in the basement of the Ponte Vineyard Inn and has a romantic yet relaxed feel. Our first time dining at The Cellar Lounge we started with the cheese and bread tray. Served on a rustic wood tray we savored the rich flavors of imported and domestic cheeses, honeycomb, dried fruit, nuts, hazelnut jam and pepper jam. We paired the cheese with a variety of warm fresh breads. The cheese plate was wonderful with a glass of Ponte Chardonnay that we enjoyed while sitting in a semi-private booth. Next...

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The Market Restaurant at Villa del Palmar Resort in Loreto Mexico

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Featured, Travel, Uncategorized | 0 comments

 We visited as a guest of the resort When visiting the Villa del Palmar Resort at the Islands of Loreto, The Market Restaurant is one of the most kid-friendly restaurants at the resort. The casual buffet style restaurant has a wide variety of options to satisfy every culinary desire of your family members. There is the option of dining with cool ocean breezes on the outdoor patio or inside the air-conditioned restaurant. Dinner is from 6-10:30pm with live entertainment on select evenings. We dined at The Market restaurant during our stay and enjoyed a wide variety of culinary fare while entertained with live music and dancing on the outdoor patio. It was a fun and festive family environment where guests were invited to embrace the culture through music, dancing and cuisine. At the buffet, there was a taco bar,...

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Picturesque Dining at Casa Mia in Loreto Mexico

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the resort When first arriving at the Villa del Palmar Resort at the Islands of Loreto I first had lunch at Casa Mia Restaurant. The open-air restaurant featured incredible panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez and the resorts turtle shaped swimming pool. All of the tables surround a circular bar and wood fired oven where they make some of the best homemade pizza in Mexico. I started my lunch with a colorful cocktail that was not too sweet and the perfect refreshment after the flight from Los Angeles. The cocktail was paired to perfection with a plate of freshly made guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips. While I would have never thought to order a plate of chicken wings in Mexico, I was surprised to find out how flavorful they ended up being....

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Holiday Mother Daughter Brunch at The Island Hotel

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in American, Travel | 0 comments

  Every year, my daughter and I go together for a holiday Sunday brunch. This year, when I learned that Oak Grill at the Island Hotel was hosting breakfast with Santa, I was eager to make reservations to dine with my daughter. It was my first time dining at the newly re-designed restaurant since the pre-opening dinner, and I was immediately impressed with the relaxed ambiance and courteous service upon arrival. The family-friendly restaurant has a chic yet relaxed dining room where families will feel at home and yet will satisfy even the most discerning travelers. Immediately it was the heated outdoor patio that caught our eye as the prime spot for us to enjoy our morning together. The wood deck patio surrounds a giant tree with beautiful lanterns and colorful fall leaves. Just as we took our seat...

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Ocean Front Dining at Neptunes Beaches Turks and Caicos

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as part of the Beaches Moms Social Media on the Sand When staying at Beaches Turks and Caicos, our family had a room in the Key West Village. One of the most popular restaurants in the village is Neptune’s. The restaurant has an al fresco dining atmosphere where guests can bask in the beautiful ocean views and cool breezes. One of our favorite meals at Neptune’s was lunch where we were paid a special visit from Elmo. We started our meal by sharing the grilled eggplant and roasted garlic hummus with toasted pita bread. The hummus was perfectly paired with the Greek salad that featured fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives and feta with pressed olive jus. The highlight of the first course was the “Carib Style” couscous. The dish featured curried couscous with coronation chicken, almonds, apples...

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Soy Sushi Bar at Beaches Turks and Caicos

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Travel | 0 comments

 We visited as part of the Beaches Moms Social Media on the Sand When visiting Beaches Turks and Caicos earlier this month, one of our favorite restaurants on the property was Soy Sushi Bar. While I am not a big fan of sushi, and never have been, I could not get enough of the sushi prepared at Soy. We first visited the sushi bar after having a buffet dinner with the kids at Giuseppe’s Restaurant. My husband and I were craving some seafood, so we stopped into Soy for some Sushi before ending our evening. Our family was seated on the luxe outdoor patio and were immediately served our favorite cocktails to enjoy while looking over the menu. We started our meal with the volcano on the beaches featuring spicy tuna roll with an eruption of spicy crab, flambe...

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