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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Mimi’s Introduces a Tasty Honey Lavender Pork Chop

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in American, Dining News, Featured | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Mimi’s is one of our favorite family dining destinations in OC, and during the summer, they tested 175 guest-submitted recipes to find the newest addition to Mimi’s menu. With the help from Ellise Pierce, aka Cowgirl Chef, Mimi’s discovered the winning dish – a honey lavender pork chop. When I heard the news of this newest menu addition, I couldn’t wait to bring the family to our local Mimi’s to try the new dish. Mimi’s is my younger son’s favorite restaurant, and I was excited to surprise him with news that we were having dinner at his favorite restaurant. I waited to surprise him with the news until we arrived at Mimi’s, and he squealed with delight when he realized where we were eating. Our family was seated at a comfortable...

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TAPS Brea 17th Anniversary Celebration

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in American, Dining News, Events | 0 comments

  TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea will celebrate its 17th anniversary by serving TAPS Signature Burger for $1.99 (signifying “1999,” the year of opening) on Friday, September 9, 16, 23 and 30 with purchase of any beverage. The anniversary special, regularly priced at $14.99, will be served in the bar/lounge and dining room. It will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until the restaurant serves 300 burgers. TAPS Burger is a hefty eight ounce blend of aged choice Angus chuck, short rib and brisket, and layered with sharp cheddar cheese, red onion, tomato, pickle, remoulade, butter lettuce. It’s served on a toasted brioche bun with TAPS garlic parsley fries. ADD-ONS: Guests may embellish the TAPS Burger with bacon, sautéed mushrooms, guacamole, avocado, jalapeños, fried egg or a double patty for an additional charge. BREWER’S...

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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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CPK Fresh and Seasonal Summer Menu

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of CPK The best part about summer is all the sweet, fresh, seasonal foods that are available. Because of the abundant variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, restaurants around Orange County are adding delicious seasonal menu items. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) is one of our favorite places to bring the family for dinner because of their diverse menu and family-friendly ambiance. When I first learned that they were adding seasonal summer menu items, I planned a family dinner out at our local CPK. Over the past year, CPK has re-imagined their restaurant design and has transformed into a chic family dining destination. From reclaimed woods to locally inspired artwork, it feels like a whole new restaurant but with the same high-quality food that families expect when coming to CPK. When we first arrived at...

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Honey & Butter Opens at The Irvine Spectrum Center

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in American, Dessert | 0 comments

  Honey & Butter, makers of adorable and wildly popular cartoon character macarons, opened its first brick-and-mortar location at Irvine Spectrum Center. Honey & Butter’s specialty macarons are crafted in distinctive macaron shells that are shaped into assorted character forms. The intricately detailed creatures vary daily and span a variety of themes, from pandas and underwater sea creatures to delectable homages to characters from popular culture, including Harry Potter, Star Wars and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The store also offers traditional French macarons with signature flavors such as Sea Salted Caramel, French Toast, Milk & Honey, Cookie Butter and Nutella. Honey & Butter also features unique and seasonal flavors such as Yuzu, Carrot Cake and Taro. New to the menu for the Irvine Spectrum Center location is Honey & Butter’s creature macaron ice cream sandwiches. Prices for...

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Healthy Summer Dining at Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in American | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Summertime makes us want to play outside and spend less time in the kitchen, which leads us to look for healthier choices when eating out. On a recent evening, we were a guest at Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s new location in Mission Viejo to try a few items from their menu of wraps, bowls and flatbreads. We loved their slogan of “Eat Better, Feel Better” when we arrived. We were in the mood to share a couple of things. The Caribbean Jerk Chicken Bowl grabbed our attention right away; with seasoned black beans, pineapple salsa, romaine, cheddar, jerk sauce and cilantro lime rice. Mmmm, a palette pleasing bowl of flavors; sweet, spicy, tangy and savory all at the same time and the jerk sauce is definitely a favorite of ours! This could...

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Mother’s Day at Mimi’s

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in American, Events, Holidays, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue There are only a few restaurants in Orange County that cater to multiple generations like Mimi’s Cafe. Mimi’s is a dining destination where my children and my grandma would all enjoy a flavorful meal in a family-friendly environment. It has always been one of my go-to restaurants for multi-generational family celebrations, and it’s a perfect place for families to celebrate Mother’s Day together this year. Since we are going to be in Florida for Disney Social Media Moms over Mother’s Day, we had an early Mother’s Day celebration at our local Mimi’s Cafe. We had a chance to sample some of the dishes being offered on their three-course menu for $16.99 per person. For a starter, there is the option of a house salad, caesar salad, cup of soup or croissant...

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Spring Menu Makes Splash at Laguna Beach’s Driftwood Kitchen

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in American, Dining News, Events, Featured | 0 comments

  Driftwood Kitchen has received national recognition for its breathtaking ocean views and an exquisite menu of seasonal California cuisine, which is overseen by Executive Chef Rainer Schwarz. His acclaimed menu of ocean-inspired offerings now sees the addition of dishes featuring fresh & vibrant Spring ingredients, including squash blossoms, heirloom tomatoes, cauliflower, Yukon gold potatoes, green and red papaya, yellow corn, spring peas, and morel mushrooms. Chef Rainer’s new menu features the following dishes: Soup & Salads CARAMELIZED ONION & LEEK SOUP gruyere cheese | oxtail broth | grilled bread CHILLED CORN SOUP mexican style grilled baby corn | tomato chutney | cilantro Small Plates CRISPY THAI CALAMARI STEAK green & red papaya salad | spicy ginger cilantro dressing | curry aioli SUMMER SQUASH BLOSSOMS bellwether farm ricotta | lemon | mint | shallots | chunky heirloom tomato sauce...

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Nekter Juice Bar Opens at South Coast Plaza

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in American, Breakfast, Dining News | 0 comments

  South Coast Plaza is home to a variety of dining possibilities. From quick service favorites to white linen establishments, there are options for most tastes. However, one thing that the plaza didn’t realize they were missing was a juice bar. They had busy espresso bars, bars with extensive beer selections, even one serving housemade vermouth. Yet with the health-conscious society we live in, the inclusion of a spot that served green drinks wasn’t a factor– until now. Located in the same wing as the home stores (on street level, across from Champagnes French Bakery) is the recently launched Nekter Juice Bar. Opening festivities included specials on their beverages, with 15% of sales going to local non-profit Festival of Children. Per founder Alexis Schulze, “Opening at South Coast Plaza is especially wonderful because it gave us the opportunity to...

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The Habit Celebrates Spring with the New Super Food Salad

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in American, Dining News | 0 comments

  The Habit Restaurants, an Irvine-based restaurant company renowned for its award-winning Charburgers announces the debut of a Super Food Salad, a colorful new dish filled with a variety of flavors and packed with nutrition-rich produce and lean protein. The limited time special is available now through May at participating Habit Burger Grill locations and is priced at $7.95. The Habit’s Super Food Salad starts with a hand-filleted, marinated chicken breast, perfectly chargrilled and sliced, served over tender baby kale, tri-colored quinoa, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and sprinkled with feta cheese. Craisins® dried cranberries supply a touch of sweetness; slivered almonds add crunch. It’s tossed in a zesty house-made kale pesto dressing making for a tasty choice just right for clean eating this spring. For more information, visit The Habit is also found on social media at,...

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Newport Beach Duffy Boat Lunch Spot: The Trough Sandwich Kitchen

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in American, Featured, Reviews, Travel | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue While on our Spring Break family staycation in Newport Beach, we picked up lunch from the popular sandwich shop, The Trough Sandwich Kitchen on the Peninsula to take with us on a Duffy Boat ride around the harbor. The Trough Sandwich Kitchen is one of the most innovative new sandwich shops in Orange County that uses high-quality meats, cheeses, and freshly baked bread. We walked into the restaurant and immediately was greeted by the friendly staff who helped us to select some sandwiches that would be good to enjoy while on the water. Once our sandwiches were ready, they provided us with everything that we needed to take lunch on the boat including utensils, and napkins. While our on the boat enjoying the beautiful sunny spring afternoon, when the kids tummies...

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Boudin Fresh New Spring Salads

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in American, Bakery, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Spring has sprung at your local Boudin where they are serving fresh and delicious seasonal salads for a limited time. I recently went to Boudin with my two children to see how the salads stack against other salads in the area and the flavors of the salads far exceeded my expectations. Boudin has always been my go-to place for soup or sandwiches, and this was my first time trying one of their salads. We placed our order at the cash registers in the front of the restaurant, filled our cups with sweet iced tea, and then took a seat in a comfortable booth to await our lunch. When the mouthwatering salads arrived at our table, we couldn’t wait to sink our taste buds into the fresh and healthy dishes. We began...

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Stonefire Grill Offers Seven For Seven Lunch Specials

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in American, Dining News, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Looking for a great lunch deal? Stonefire Grill’s new “seven for $7 Lunch Specials menu gives you a great reason to add their fast casual restaurants to your weekly rotation. If you’re not familiar with Stonefire Grill, this small chain with eight locations, two of which are in Orange County, is known for its simple, fresh quality ingredients with a focus on grilled meats. Its restaurants are budget friendly, family friendly and gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and low-carb friendly. In other words, there is a decided focus on what their customers are looking for. Last week I was invited to lunch at Stonefire Grill’s Irvine location at Jamboree and Culver. I brought my mom along and I’m glad I did. She had a lot to say about a few of their dishes....

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The Book of Mormon Dinner at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in American, Events, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge is my favorite place to dine before seeing a production at The Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Chef at Leatherby’s, Chef Ross, is one of the most innovative chefs in Orange County and creates culinary masterpieces themed for every production in the Broadway series at the Segerstrom. While I have dined at Leatherby’s multiple times with my children, I have never brought my husband before. Since I was planning an unforgettable Book of Mormon date night, it would not have been complete without dinner at Leatherby’s before the show. The minute that we walked into the restaurant, we were greeted by the friendly staff who walked us to a table by the glass windows that overlook the beautiful Segerstrom Center. We sipped on a glass of chardonnay...

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March Madness Munchies at Islands

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue March Madness is in full effect, and Islands is offering some delicious dishes that will satisfy your cravings while watching the big game. NCAA fans are encouraged to come to the lively bar at your local Islands and cheer on your favorite teams while taking advantage of their slam dunk specials. When we went to Islands this week, the bar was full of sports fans sipping on Coors light and munching on the popular Islands hot dogs. With all the times that we have dined at Islands, I couldn’t believe that I have never tried one of their hot dogs before. I headed over to the bar to find out what I had been missing, and after one bite, I was in love. Of course, I had to try both of...

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Design Your Dining Experience at Stacked: Food Well Built

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue After reading the story that Naz wrote on the grand opening of Stacked: Food Well Built, I have been craving their food. The location is conveniently located in the heart of Huntington Beach, across the street from the Bella Terra shopping destination. After spending the day visiting the Grandparents in Huntington Beach, our family was finally able to make our way into Stacked for dinner. We dined on a Friday evening, and the restaurant was hoppin’. There was a line that curved outside the door with families eager to try some of their delicious cuisines. We took our seat in a comfortable semi-private booth, and an employee helped to walk us through the online (iPad) ordering system. I loved the ordering system. No more having to wait for a server who...

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Pig Out at Pig Pen Delicacy

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in American, Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

 We dined as a guest of the venue There is a delicious new reason to bring the family to 4th Street Market in Santa Ana – Pig Pen Delicacy. I recently went to the new restaurant for lunch to see what all the hype was about and discovered my favorite burger in Orange County, the maple bacon jam burger. It was my first time visiting the 4th Street Market, and I loved everything about the hipster dining destination. There are multiple restaurants to choose from, a relaxed indoor dining area, and a rad art inspired outdoor dining patio. I ordered my lunch at the Pig Pen counter, opened my cold bottle of coca-cola, and then found a perfect seat on the outdoor patio. The minute that I smelled my delectable lunch, I was in heaven. Inside of a soft,...

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Ultimate Meatball Subs at Philly’s Best

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 in American, Reviews | 0 comments

  Finding a delicious meatball sub is not easy around Orange County. The meatballs are either too crispy or too soggy and rarely ever ‘just right’. When I heard the news that Philly’s Best had introduced a new meatball sub, I couldn’t resist going to try it out. Over the weekend, I brought my biggest meatball critic, my Italian husband to put the meatball sub to the test. When I first walked into the empty restaurant, it didn’t feel promising. The staff was not the friendliest, and one staff member seemed to be a little ‘put out’ by having to leave his television show he was watching from one of the tables to place our order. After we had placed our order for a meatball sub, and cheesesteak sandwich, he placed the order and went back to feeling at...

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Costa Mesa’s Social Wows With Stunning New Desserts

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in American, Dessert, Dining News, Reviews | 2 comments

  I keep saying desserts aren’t my thing. And for the most part, they aren’t. I rarely make them and I typically don’t order them. My tastes tend to favor the savory side of the menu. But after being invited to try several of Social’s pastry chef, Ashley Guzman’s creations one recent evening, I am going to have to reconsider this bias. Seriously, Ashley is gifted and has a talent for combining familiar and sometimes less familiar ingredients with delightful and memorable results. Her desserts unlike those on so many menus are ones you most likely would never attempt trying to recreate at home and more than likely won’t find on menus elsewhere. So what was on the dessert menu on this particular evening? We started with Cheat Day, a devils food chocolate cake, with chocolate two ways, hazelnuts...

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Marie Callender’s Whole Pie-To Go Sale (Giveaway)

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in American, Bakery, Dessert, Giveaways | 12 comments

  We are thrilled to share that now through February 29th, Marie Callender’s will be celebrating their annual Whole Pie-To Go Sale. During the sale, guests can choose from more than 30 varieties of Marie Callender’s pies for only $7.99, plus tin. The Marie Callender’s whole pie-to go sale includes: Apple: Sliced sweetened apples, spiced with cinnamon. Banana Cream: Fresh ripe bananas, rich vanilla cream, fresh whipped cream or a fluffy meringue. Berry: A variety of only the finest plump, ripe berries, baked in this double crust pie. Blueberry: Blueberries enhanced with flavorful apples. Cherry: With juicy, tart, red cherries. Coconut Cream: Coconut folded into our rich vanilla cream. French Apple: Our traditional apple pie with a crumbly cinnamon streusel topping. Lemon Meringue: Slightly tart, slightly sweet, topped with a light golden meringue. Peach: With thick sliced peaches. Pumpkin:...

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