Saturday, September 14, 2013


270 E. 17th Street
Costa Mesa CA
Look out cupcakes!  It looks like the new fad is pushing you out and making way for Gourmet Donuts.
I've been hearing about these wonderful new donuts and couldn't wait to try them out. 
So, I headed down to Sidecar Donuts in Costa Mesa.
As I walked into the shop, I knew right away this was not your normal local donut shop.
The smell was wonderful and the donuts were not your normal flavors. 
The staff greeted me with a big smile and cheerful "Hello".  They were happy to explain the different flavors they had left to sell.
Many of the daily flavors were already sold out.  Some where in the back being made but wouldn't be ready for several minutes.
I had other plans so I couldn't really wait, though there were some flavors I really wanted to try.
I was told that they are known for the Huckleberry donuts.  So, of course, I had to try one of these.
Oh my!  They were wonderful.  Still warm and full of berry flavor.  Not overly sweet.  Just perfect.
They had more of a cake taste to them.  I think I could have eaten a dozen.
Another popular flavor is the Maple Glaze topped with bacon.  These just came out of the back so they were warm and super fresh. 
However, I wasn't feeling that adventurous right then so I skipped these. 
I was told that every two weeks they change the flavors they carry.  Yet, the popular flavors remain all the time.  Like the chocolate topped with sea salt. 

Who doesn't like a sweet/salty combination?
You can look on their web page to find out what the flavors are when you go.
Some flavors like the Cornbread with sorghum brown butter glaze didn't sound good to me at all.  But, hey, if that was all they had left, I would have tried them.  Who knows, they could end up being a favorite of mine.

The Banana Pecan Streusel sounded wonderful to me!
All the donuts are served warm.  They make them in small batches every hour so they are fresh no matter when you show up.
They use only the finest ingredients and it really makes a difference in the taste.
The cost is much higher then normal donuts though.  They run around $3.50 each.  But, while that is a lot higher then normal donuts, you really can't compare the two.

These are much more filling then normal donuts.  They really are more like eating a piece of cake or muffin.  So when you compare the cost to a cupcake, they are not that high priced.

Outside, in the parking lot was their darling truck.  For those of you who remember the Helms Trucks that used to drive around and sell donuts and bread, it's like that.

The back opens up and the drawers pull out where the donuts are. 

You can have them come to your parties or events.  Wouldn't that be fun! 

I loved Sidecar Donuts and would go back again in  heartbeat.

I give them an 8 out of 10 stars. 




Monday, July 15, 2013


18774 Brookhurst Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

I received the menu for Fortune Cookies in the mail.  While reading it I found out that they claim they are not great tasting but they are also healthy.

They use only 100% white meat.  Cook with trans fat free vegetable oil.  They have no MSG in their dishes.  Use fresh vegetables.  Use low sodium soy sauce in their dishes.  Have gluten free dishes.

I also noticed that none of their meals are over 500 calories, which is a great plus for those watching their diet.

I love good Chinese Food and have not been able to find to many places that I really enjoy.  So I was eager to try this place.

I gathered up a few hungry people to go with me and try out Fortune Cookies for lunch.

They have a generous list of lunch specials.  I believe there were 29 items to pick from.  All under $7.50.

Your meal starts off with your choice of Hot and Sour Soup or Egg Flower Soup.  All three of us went with the Egg Flower Soup.  The bowl of soup was only 42 calories.

It came out very hot.  It had eggs, peas, water chestnuts and carrots in a flavorful broth. 

We all agreed it was very tasty.  

Next we were served a spring roll.  It had cabbage, carrots and celery and was wrapped into a spring roll that was lightly fried.  The calorie count is 65 calories.

This was very good.  Sometimes spring rolls can be greasy or have a strange flavor to them.  Not here.  It was nice and crispy without being greasy.  The vegetables were fresh and crunchy.  

So far, we loved this place.

Jeff ordered the Chicken with Cashews.  The cost was $6.69 and 386 calories.

The first thing we noticed is that is a nice large size for a lunch portion.  It had all white meat chicken, mushrooms, green and red bell peppers, onions, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and of course cashews.

The sauce was a nice brown sauce that mixed everything together well.  It did not over power the taste of the items but rather made them combine into a wonderful burst of flavor in your mouth.

There were plenty of cashews in this dish.  

All three of us agreed this should get 8 out of 10 silver spoons.

Trinity ordered the Crispy Orange Chicken.  This meal cost $6.99 and has 290 calories.

This is white chicken breast that has been lightly battered and cooked with chili peppers, green onions and orange peel house sauce.

We all agreed that this was the best dish we tried.  The chicken had a nice slight crunch to it and the sauce was slightly sweet and slightly spicy but not over barring either way.  

We all agreed this would be a 9 out of 10 silver spoons.

I ordered the Veggie Chop Suey.  The cost was $6.69 and only 135 calories.

This plate was loaded with a wonderful array of fresh vegetables.  I ordered it without the snow peas or mushrooms.  It had water chestnuts, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, bean sprouts and mini baby corn cobs.  I was happy to see it wasn't loaded with onions.  Every time I have ordered this dish at other restaurants it seems they give you so many onions and very little other veggies.

The sauce is a brown sauce and I have to admit, the first bite didn't seem to be that good.  The sauce seemed to strong for light flavors of the vegetables. 

However, as it sat a little bit, the flavors began to mold together and it became quite pleasant.

When I first ordered this, I ordered the wrong dish.  I said I wanted veggie chow mein (which is something they don't even have on the menu.  The waitress assumed I meant I wanted Veggie Lo Mein.  The Veggie Lo Mein has veggies as well as noodles (which I didn't want).  

When she served me I explained what I wanted to order and she figured out that I wanted the chop suey.  She quickly took my plate back and within minutes she brought out my dish with the correct order.

I believe they cooked my dish up super fast in an effort to get it out to me quickly so I could eat with the others in my party.  That may be why it didn't have a chance to sit a bit before I ate it and thus the strange taste at first.

All in all, the Veggie Chop Suey deserves 7.5 silver stars.  

All the dishes also come with your choice of white, brown or fried rice.  Your bill is brought to you with your Fortune cookies.  The cookies were very good and better then most Chinese places.

All three of us really liked the food here.  The service was wonderful.  Staff was very friendly.  Drinks were refilled without having to ask and we never felt rushed even though they were pretty busy during the time we were there.

The decor is nice.  Simple and Earthy feel. 

They also have a Sushi Bar that had several customers eating at.  I asked them how it was and they said it was the best they have eaten.  

Based on the food, prices, decor, staff and over all experience I would give Fortune Cookie 8.5 silver spoons and I will be coming back here for sure.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


19079 Beach Blvd.
Huntington Beach CA

If you are not sure where this place is located, it can be hard find.  But, it's worth searching it out.

Bread Crumb Ohana Cafe is located in the shopping center that Stein Mart is also located.  It's tucked away in the corner.

I understand that they have just remodeled and it's much larger then it used to be.  They also have a nice patio area if you want to eat outside.

Other then not giving up on finding this place, you must be sure to have cash on you because that's all they accept here.  However, if you forget there is a Chase Bank in the shopping center and also an ATM machine located in the restaurant.

One thing I really loved about this place is that it's a mom and pop restaurant.  The owner is always on location and because of that I believe the staff seems to be working extra hard to get your order, keep your drinks full, your food served and the place is super clean.

I went with Maureen for breakfast and we both decided upon the Ohana Special.  

This includes eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage and french toast.

The portions are very generous.  Unless you are starving and have a very large appetite, I recommend you split this meal with someone.

But what about the food?  Well, I guess I can sum it up in one word.  Delicious!

The hash browns were crispy outside and yet soft and creamy inside.  Perfectly cooked.

The bacon was ok.  A little over cooked for my liking.

The eggs were good but not much more to say about them since they were scrambled eggs.  What can you really say about scrambled eggs?

But the french toast is what was most impressive.  It is made with large slices of Kings Hawaiian bread.  Topped with butter, powdered sugar and syrup.

This by far was some of the best french toast I've ever had.

My only problem was I couldn't eat it all.  One slice was all I could handle since I had already eaten some eggs, hash browns and one slice of bacon.  I felt like if I ate one more bite I was going to pop.

I loved how they serve your drinks in large mason jars.  That way you don't have to keep asking for as many refills.  Though they are more then happy to keep your jar full for you.

The cost of this breakfast was only $11.25 and the drink was $2.15.  I feel the cost was very good seeing how much food you get.

They are only open from 7am until 3:00pm.  Breakfast and lunch only.

I'm looking forward to going back to try their lunch.

I give Bread Crumb Ohana Cafe 7 out 10 silver spoons.     I would gladly recommend going here but be sure to bring a big appetite.

Friday, July 12, 2013


3309 Hyland Ave
Costa Mesa CA

Surfas Cafe is a hidden gem tucked away inside the Surfas Culinary District located in the fairly new SOCO shopping area.

Before you step into Surfas you will notice the walk way has imprints of many different kitchen tools.  Very cute!

If you walk in through the main door, turn to your right and you will see a large sign that says CAFE.  That is where you want to go.

You may get side tracked by all the wonderful items they sell though.  This place is like going to culinary Heaven.  You are sure to find whatever you are looking for and many things you had no idea you had to have.

They also have a cheese counter, a deli, an olive bar and they offer classes.  You must take some time to shop either before or after you your meal at the cafe.

If you don't want to explore the store (which I don't know why you wouldn't) you can walk right into the Cafe from outside.  Just look for the sign that says EAT and go through those doors.

The Cafe uses fresh produce from the weekly Farmers Market held outside in the parking lot every week.  They also use items sold in the store.

The menu for lunch is mostly salads, soups, sandwiches and pizza.

You order up at the counter.  The girl working there when I went was very helpful.  She explained the different items, told us the top sellers and helped us decide what to order.

Everything is freshly made so you will need to wait while your order is prepared and cooked for you.

You can sit inside or outside on the patio.

Timing is everything here.  When we got here there were a few people eating but we were able to order right away and get our food quickly.

However, we were there about 15 mins before the crowds started to pack in and a line formed quickly.  This place is popular for lunch.  My advice is to try to get there a little before noon or a little after to avoid the crowds.

My friend Claire ordered the Roasted Veggie Panini.  The cost was $7.95.

It is a sandwich of seasonal roasted veggies, humus, Fontina cheese and served on Kalamata olive bread.  Served with a side salad of greens and topped with some wonderful homemade pickles.

Claire said it was a very good sandwich and she would be happy to order this again.

I ordered the Cafe Surfas Tomato and Fig Panini.  The cost was $7.95.

It was roasted heirloom tomatoes (both red and yellow), marinade figs, taleggio cheese, pesto mayo and served on a roasted garlic bread.  This was also served with the green salad and topped with a vinaigrette dressing.

As I took a bite, fresh wonderful flavors exploded in my mouth.  The juicy tomatoes mixed well with the sweet figs and gooey warm cheese.  It was delicious.

The salad was a nice mix of greens and the homemade pickles they added are a lovely addition to the salad and kicks it up a notch  from just a normal green salad.

We both agreed this was a very good sandwich and would come back here again and again.

Surfas will surely become one of my regular lunch rotation spots.  The only thing I didn't like was they don't have diet coke there. 

I give Surfas Cafe 8 out of 10 silver spoons. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013


3941 S. Bristol St.  Unit G
Santa Ana, CA

There's a new guy in town!  That's right!  Jersey Mike has a new home in Santa Ana!  The long awaited Jersey Mike's Subs is now open and ready to serve you.

I had received two coupons for a free regular sub to be enjoyed during the opening week.  Tonight, Patty and I decided to head out and give these highly talked about subs a try.

After all, I feel like everyone I know has eaten at a Jersey Mike's Subs but me.  I was excited to finally get to try them.

Patty got the famous roast beef and provolone .  The roast beef was cooked to perfection.  We both were very impressed that they actually carve the meat right when you order your sub and it is not already cut and laying out like other sandwich shops.

They ask if you want it "Mike's Way". We explained that we didn't know what that was.  The girl waiting on us asked if it was our first time eating at a Jersey Mike's and we answered "yes".

She then explained that Mike's Way was lettuce, tomato, onions as well as the "Juice" which is red wine vinegar and olive oil, topped with a sprinkle of their special spices.

She also told us that since it's our first visit we get a FREE COOKIE!  How nice!

Patty went with the "Mike's way" minus onions.

She also had a bag of chips and a drink.

She said the sub was soooooo good!  The bread was flavorful and fresh and was the best sub she has had from any sandwich shop.

The Famous Roast Beef and Provolone sub received a 9 out 10 silver spoons!

I ordered the turkey breast and provolone sub.  I too got it "Mike's Way" minus the onions and also a touch of mayo.

I was expecting a lot when I took I first bite.  I was not let down.  The turkey was fresh and it sort of reminded me of those wonderful turkey sandwiches you have with all the left over turkey at Thanksgiving.

The "juice" and spices really kicked up the flavor too.  Who would have thought that vinegar would taste good on turkey???

I had to agree this was the best sub I've ever eaten before.  The produce was also very fresh and full of flavor.  Often the lettuce and tomatoes really add nothing more then just texture to a sandwich but not here.  You could really taste them.

The size was good too.   We got the regular size.  It's a tad bit bigger then the sandwiches at TOGO or Subway.  

They also have a mini which is about 1/2 the size of a regular one and a giant one that is about twice as big as the regular one.

The price of the Famous Roast Beef and provolone sub runs $7.95 for the regular size and the price for the turkey breast and provolone regular sub is $7.50.

I too would give 9 out of 10 silver spoons for the Turkey Breast and Provolone sub.  I do wish they had cranberry sauce though.  I would have given it a 10 out of 10 if they did.

Everyone that worked there was very friendly and helpful.  I will be going back here for sure.  I'm thrilled to finally eaten here and highly recommend, if you are like me, and slow to hop on the bandwagon, get on over to the closest Jersey Mike's and see what you are missing.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


16060 Beach Blvd
Huntington Beach CA
I've been going to BJ's for years.  However, every time I go, I have only gotten their pizza.  
They do brew their own beer here and though I'm not a beer drinker, I hear they have wonderful beer.
I received a coupon for by one get one free on their new BBQ dishes.  So, I gathered up some family members and off to BJ's for dinner we went.
Everyone was excited to try the ribs.  It's hard to find good BBQ ribs and we had high hopes this was going to be the place.
All meals came with your choice of either a salad or bowl of soup.  Everyone in my group went with the salad.
The salad was just your normal run of the mill side salad.  Iceberg lettuce, a few tomato slices, cucumbers, grated carrots and croutons, topped with your choice of dressing.
It wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything to write home about either.  In fact, I didn't eat most of mine as I wanted to save room for my meal.
You can order either a full rack of ribs or a half rack.  I got the 1/2 rack.  They cost $17.99.  We all felt this was pretty high priced for not even getting bread with your meal.
You also get your choice of BBQ sauce.  I got the sweet sauce and it was super good.  I would recommend it as it has a nice smoky flavor and touch of sweetness but not so much it's over powering.
You also get to pick off menu a side dish.  We all got the baked potato. 

I also wanted to try their cornbread that said it was  cheesy and spicy.
I love lots of BBQ sauce on my ribs so, I slathered the whole cup full on mine.  Like I said, it was very good sauce!  So, I was excited to bite into the ribs.
I cut one of the ribs off and that is where my excitement ended.  Normally baby back ribs are super tender and pretty much fall apart with little effort.
I had trouble cutting into the ribs even with a knife! 
I took a bite and was very let down.  While the flavor tasted nice, having the meat be so hard to get off the bone made it not enjoyable at all.
In fact, I only ate two.  After cutting the third one off the rack, I decided it wasn't worth eating another one.
I asked everyone in my party what they thought and two had nice tender ribs and two of us had ribs that almost seemed like they were not cooked long enough.
Then I cut up the cornbread.  It is meant to be a one person piece of bread but no one else wanted to spend the $3.00 on getting their own so, I split it.  If it was good, we were all going to order more.
No one ordered any more. In fact, we didn't eat but 1/2 of this between the four of us.  It had no cheese or spice taste at all.  It was dry with very little flavor of anything.  The butter they give you is a pecan sweetened butter and it was so sweet it wasn't good at all.
Our baked potatoes were cooked perfect and everyone enjoyed them.
I would have to give our meal a 6 out of 10 sliver spoons.  If the ribs were tender I would have really enjoyed this meal, minus the bread. 
Perhaps because this was a new dish on the menu they have not perfected cooking the ribs so they are all tender???
BJ's is famous for their Pizookies.  It's a warm cookie cooked and served in a mini pizza pan topped with  vanilla bean ice cream.
I ordered the white chocolate macadamia nut cookie.  Maureen ordered the milk chocolate chip cookie.
I was so thrilled when I got my pizzokie that I forgot to take a picture and so I borrowed this one from the Internet.
The picture shows the regular pizookie but we actually ordered the mini ones.  They are about 1/2 the size of the regular ones and a perfect size for one.
I have to give the pizookie 10 out of 10 silver spoons!  There is no way these could be better!  I've had some at other places but they didn't have the wonderful flavor these do.
I will be going back to BJ's for sure.  However, I think I'll stick with the pizza from now on.   

Monday, July 8, 2013


I have been going to Mario's for many, many years.  I have to say I have never been let down.  I've never received a bad meal here.

The staff has always been very friendly and helpful and even though I've gone with picky eaters before, the order always comes out as requested.

So, even before I walked in the front door, I had pretty high expectations and felt I knew I was going to enjoy my meal.

Every day they have specials that they write on a large board.  When I went one of the specials was for the #7 combo which is a taco, enchilada, rice and beans.  The cost was $7.75.

Since this is my normal order when I go for Mexican food anywhere, I am always happy to see this as the special of the day.

I got a beef taco, it was great.  A nice crunchy but not greasy shell packed full of shredded beef, lettuce, taco sauce and cheese.  I got it with the cheese enchilada.   It was packed full of cheese and has a great sauce on top.  It doesn't taste like someone just opened a can and poured if over the enchilada like I've had at some places.  This sauce is very good.

There rice is ok.  It's not a real strong flavor.  It does have a few vegetables in it but not over powering.

The beans are great!  They taste like they make them right there and not canned.  They top the beans with plenty of melted cheese.

Once again, I was not let down and would have to give my meal a 9 out of 10 silver spoons.

My niece went with me and ordered the one item combo and she picked a chicken flauta that came with rice and beans and they even gave her a side of guacamole with no additional charge.

She said it was very good and ate ever bite.  The chicken was nice and moist and the tortilla was nice and crunchy but the flauta was not at all greasy.

The cost of this meal was $7.70.

She gives this meal an 8 out of 10 silver spoons.

Liz also came to eat with us and she ordered her favorite, Caldo de Pollo with no tomatoes.  What this actually is a big bowl of chicken and vegetable soup.

The soup is very flavorful and has big pieces of fresh vegetables and large pieces of white meat chicken.  It is served with a bowl of rice that you can add to the soup or just eat as a side dish.

The cost of this meal is $6.70.

This is not really something I would even think about ordering when I go to a Mexican restaurant but after seeing it, I think I would order this on a cold winter day or bring to someone who was home sick with a cold.  It looked very good and seemed like a nice hearty homemade soup.

Liz gave her meal a big 10 out 10 silver spoons and said she has never had any better soup anywhere.

All meals come with warm chips and house salsa.  I have to say the chips and salsa are reason alone to come here.  They are the best around.

I know many people who have stopped by and just ordered some chips and salsa to go because they are so good.

The location for this restaurant is 18603 Main Street in Huntington Beach CA.

I highly recommend this place if you are in the mood for some good Mexican food.

I give Mario's 9 out of 10 silver spoons.