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Showing posts from February, 2013

Madera Wine Trail, Part 2: Westbrook Wine Farm

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Driving south from Idle Hour Winery in Oakhurst, I could enjoy the beautiful foliage as we whisked passed on rock carved roads toward O’Neals, CA. As you leave the mountain area, it opens up and reminded me of scenery in Oregon – open space, greenery, and overcast rays of sunshine.

Westbrook Wine Farm is a quaint winery located in O’Neals, CA. It is by appointment only and when you go there you’ll understand why. Ray and Tammy Krause love their wines and will talk anything “wine”. Ray reminds me of an esteemed college professor. As he poured each wine for tasting, the “students” sat back as he explained each wine from growing and harvesting grapes to the final wine produced. The intimate setting induces more comments and questions from the tasters as they sip the wine versus just standing at a wine bar with a huge crowd of people. To read more and see slideshow, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/madera-wine-trail-part-2-westbrook-wine-farm

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

OC Food Diva: 2013 OC Restaurant Week: OC Food Diva's Top 10 Pic...

OC Food Diva: 2013 OC Restaurant Week: OC Food Diva's Top 10 Pic...: OC Restaurant Week is in full swing. Click on the restaurant names to see their menu for this week. Five Crowns , Corona del M...

2013 OC Restaurant Week: OC Food Diva's Top 10 Picks

OC Restaurant Week is in full swing. Click on the restaurant names to see their menu for this week.

Five Crowns, Corona del Mar, CARuth’s Chris Steakhouse, Anaheim & Irvine, CAZimzala, Huntington Beach, CAAndrei’s Conscious Cuisine and Cocktails, Irvine, CAThe Melting Pot, Brea and Irvine, CASeasons 52, Costa Mesa, CATommy Bahama’s, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, CAAnaheim White House, Anaheim, CAThe Catch, Anaheim, CAJT Schmid’s Restaurant and Brewery, Anaheim & Tustin, CA If you would like to read more about these restaurants, please view the list below of past articles:

Five Crowns brings English charm to Corona del Mar, CAZimzala serves up unpretentious, relaxed cuisine in Huntington Beach, CAAndrei’s serving conscious, sustainable cuisine in Irvine, CACelebrating Chocolate Month at The Melting Pot with your valentineOC Restaurant Week 2013: The Melting Pot in Brea and Irvine, CASeasons 52 unveil…

OC Restaurant Week 2013: The Melting Pot in Brea and Irvine, CA

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If you read my last article on The Melting Pot (http://www.examiner.com/review/celebrate-chocolate-month-at-the-melting-pot-with-your-valentine), you know I’m a big fan of them. So I’m glad to see they are a part of OC Restaurant Week 2013, February 24 through March 2, 2013. It’s not just a date place. Have fun and go with a group of friends. Fondue is just a fun concept. Lunch and dinner menu offerings are really good deals so you don’t want to miss out on it. Let’s take a look:
The OC Restaurant Week Lunch Menu is $20 per person (excludes tax and gratuity, but includes iced tea, soda, or coffee.) ·Option One has 3 courses: oCheese Fondue with a choice of Cheddar, Spinach Artichoke, Wisconsin Trio, or Fiesta oSalad with a choice of California, The Melting Pot House, Caesar, or Spinach Mushroom oChocolate Fondue with a choice of Flaming Turtle, The Original, Yin & Yang, Chocolate S’mores, Cookies n’ Cream Marshmallow Dream, Bananas Foster, or Pure Chocolate ·Option Two has 2 courses: oS…

Madera Wine Trail, Part 1: Idle Hour Winery in Oakhurst, CA

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The Madera Vintners Association’s family wineries presented Madera Wine Trail’s Wine and Chocolate Weekend to kick off Valentine’s Day week. Our weekend started with a detour due to the 5 freeway being closed at the Grapevine. A four hour trip turned into a 6-hour cold, rainy drive up to Madera. Getting in at 1:30am on Saturday morning, we were tired and just wanted to go to sleep. I was amazed how courteous and accommodating the front desk staff was at the Hampton Inn in Madera. The front desk manager got us checked in, gave us our HHonor welcome goodies, and even an upgrade to a King suite (perks of being a Gold HHonors member). In less than 10 minutes, we were snoozing away and dreaming of our adventure ahead of the Madera Wine Trail.
We started at the northern-most point of the wine trail in Oakhurst, which is just 12 miles south of Yosemite National Park. We had stayed in Oakhurst before during a week-long vacation of visiting and hiking through Yosemite. In this quaint little tow…

OC Food Diva: Stonefire Presents: The Oscar Party Sweepstakes

OC Food Diva: Stonefire Presents: The Oscar Party Sweepstakes: Stonefire Presents: The Oscar Party Sweepstakes - Enter on Facebook ! Mahalo and Good Luck! OC Food Diva

Stonefire Presents: The Oscar Party Sweepstakes

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Stonefire Presents: The Oscar Party Sweepstakes - Enter on Facebook!

Mahalo and Good Luck!
OC Food Diva

Valentine’s Day at the Lazy Dog Cafe

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Since my first visit to Lazy Dog Café in Irvine, I’ve been a fan ever since. The Brea location just opened and it sits in the former Le Vie en Rose plot. The building is brand new and has a mountain lodge look to it with floor to ceiling glass façade to let the natural light in. If you have ever been to Big Bear, the architecture is very similar to the homes facing the lake.

On Valentine’s Day, Lazy Dog will be kicking off sweet menu specials, including a Sparkly Strawberry Sangria, as well as Surf & Turf and Passion Fish entrees that are sure to win extra points with that special someone.
Let’s take a look at the Valentine’s Day Special Menu:
Sparkling Strawberry Sangria - Freixenet (an organic, sustainable sparkling wine), fresh strawberries, citrus juices ($7.50)Surf & Turf - Hickory-smoked, bacon-wrapped USDA Prime Coulotte Steak, Grilled Garlic-Herb Jumbo Shrimp Skewer, Mashed Potatoes, and Broccolini with Burgundy Wine Sauce and Citrus Cream Sauce ($21.95)Pa…

Rubio’s® is spotlighting lighter, grilled seafood options

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Rubio’s has been known for fish tacos and unique seafood dishes since 1983. In 2013, they are spotlighting fresh options from the grill. The recipes were developed by Ralph Rubio and his culinary team and include grilled sustainable Atlantic salmon and Pacific mahi mahi. Rubio’s practices sustainability when it comes to seafood.

Atlantic Salmon Plate is sustainable Atlantic salmon, grilled or house blackened on an authentic comal with a special garlic marinade and topped with fire-roasted corn with a pinch of ancho chile, creamy chipotle sauce and served with salad, rice, and beans. Salmon plate had a good portion of fish but would be better with mango salsa. The rice was a little bit crunchy and might be a little undercooked. The avocado salad and black beans were good. To read more and see slideshow, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/rubio-s-is-spotlighting-lighter-grilled-seafood-options

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

February 8th is National Girl Scout Cookie Day

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It’s that time again! Girl Scouts across Orange County begin the annual tradition of selling those delectable cookies that you know and love. It’s not all about the cookies. The Girl Scout Cookie Program helps these girls build skills. According to a survey from the Girl Scout Research Institute, 85% learn money management by developing budgets, taking cookie orders, and handling customers’ money, 83% build business ethics, 80% learn goal setting, 77% improve decision making, and 75% develop people skills equals The 5 Skills Girls Learn in the Cookie Program. In 2012, 16,891 Orange County Girl Scouts sold more than 2.5 million boxes of cookies.

To read more and see slideshow, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/article/february-8th-is-national-girl-scout-cookie-day

The first 3 residents of Orange County, CA who answer these 5 questions correctly will win a FREE box of Girl Scout Cookies:

1. What is the new cookie flavor this year?
2. What is the top selling Girl Scout cookie flavor?

The Globe Dine Bar showcases food from around the world in Garden Grove, CA

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Michael Pauwels and Marijke Adam, natives of Belgium, have been in the restaurant business for years in Belgium and in the US. They wanted to opened up something they could call their own. With their combined experience, they opened up The Globe Dine Bar on July 28, 2011 with global inspired, seasonal cuisine and an exclusive selection of Belgian craft ales. Michael and Marijke are always around being the perfect hosts in the dining room and behind the bar. The ambiance has a neighborhood bar feel but yet European. Tables are wrapped in country highlights of Europe. We sat at the Greece table depicting images of Athens and specialty dishes like gyros. The music is streamed from Belgium with very few commercials – great music selection from 80s rock and news updates in French.
Charcuterie Platter is a chef’s selection of cured meats and pate from around the globe, with seasonal trimmings. The meats were perfectly sliced, especially the prosciutto, paper thin so it just melts in your mou…

This Weekend: Madera Wine Trail’s 2013 Wine and Chocolate Weekend

The Madera Vintners Association’s family wineries present Madera Wine Trail’s Wine and Chocolate Weekend on February 9th and 10th. Sample a wide variety of local wines as you make your way through the wine trail. On this particular weekend, right before Valentine’s Day, the wineries will be pairing chocolate with some of their wines along with live music, local art, and delicious food.

The wineries participating are Birdstone Winery, Chateau Lasgoity Winery, CRU Wine Company, Fäsi Estate Winery, Ficklin Vineyards, Idle Hour Winery, Pacific Crest Winery, Papagni Wines, Quady Winery, San Joaquin Wine Company, Sumner Peck Ranch Winery, and Westbrook Wine Farm.

To read more, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/article/this-weekend-madera-wine-trail-s-2013-wine-and-chocolate-weekend

Mahalo,

OC Food Diva

Part One: The Slidebar in Fullerton, CA is debuting new rockin’ menu options

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My first visit to The Slidebar was August 2011 and was amazed by food. This rockin’ kitchen pushes out some of the best comfort food and innovative dishes around. Check out my previous article to see what was and is cooking.
Here’s a preview of some dishes Chef Al will be rolling out of the kitchen!
Kale Salad is fresh kale, crisp apples, pecans, and bleu cheese crumbles tossed in balsamic vinaigrette. Jeremy loves this salad with seared ahi on top. The salad was vibrant and crisp. The pecans were candied and added a great flavor. Apples were sweet and crisp. Bleu cheese was perfectly paired with its creamy and punchy flavor. The balsamic vinaigrette was just right adding just the right amount of flavor. Thumbs up, way up!

To read more and see slideshow, please visit: http://www.examiner.com/review/part-one-the-slidebar-fullerton-ca-is-debuting-new-rockin-menu-options
Mahalo,
OC Food Diva