Sunday, June 30, 2013
Being raised in So. Cali, I have eaten at many many Mexican restaurants. Mexican food has to be my favorite of all food.
So, I was excited to try La Terraza Mexican Grill. It is located at 3605 S. Bristol in Santa Ana.
You have to be looking for this place because it's tucked in the corner of a strip mall and hidden behind a Liquor Store. It doesn't get much advertisement and you really need to know where it is or you are likely to miss it.
I went on Sunday around noon and not one person was inside eating when we got there. This was a bit worrisome and normally not a good sign of a good place to eat.
We were greeted right away and told we could sit anywhere. Drinks were brought out to us along with a basket of chips and salsa and a small plate of beans.
The chips and salsa were good and I loved the beans as an added touch.
It was warm inside and I asked if they had A/C. I was told they did but it was not on. Yet, they quickly turned it on for me and the placed cooled right down.
The food came out super fast. I went with my brother and we both ordered the same thing. We got a beef taco and a cheese enchilada. Rice and beans were on the side.
My brother actually wanted a chicken taco but found out the chicken was a mix of both dark and white meat. Since he only likes white meat he went with the beef taco.
The taco was small. But the taste was pretty good. The meat was cooked in a flavorful sauce and they also put lettuce and cheese on the taco.
The enchilada wasn't bad but, it wasn't good either. It was ok. It was almost as if they used a can sauce and didn't add anything to it.
The rice didn't have much flavor which I've found is how a lot of Mexican restaurants taste. The beans were pretty good though.
The cost was less the $7.00 so there isn't complain there. The soft drinks are served in a can with a glass of ice handed to you. I thought because of this they would charge for a refill but they don't.
Several people did come in to eat while we were there.
I thought the service was great. I didn't feel rushed and by no means was the service slow either.
I would go back here if I was in the mood for Mexican food and someone wanted to go here. I don't think I would be the one to suggest it though as there are so many other great Mexican restaurants around.
I would give this place 6 1/2 out of 10 silver spoons.
They do have Taco Tues where the tacos are only $2.00.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Philly's Best first opened in Fountain Valley CA back in 1992. The owners are actually from Philadelphia and missed having good cheese stake sandwiches. So, rather then moving back to Philly, they did the next best thing and brought a little bit of Philly right here to CA.
There are now 24 locations in CA.
I went to the one located at 2801 W. MacArthur Blvd in Santa Ana, CA.
As soon as I stepped through the doors, I was greeted with a nice welcome by the staff. While I was eating my sandwich there I noticed they did this to everyone that came in.
It gave a nice feeling of being part of a "family" or close neighborhood. The friendly staff makes you feel very comfortable and like they are truly happy to serve you.
While they offer many different types of sandwiches, salads, burgers and other items, I was there for what made them famous. The original cheese stake sandwich.
As soon as I placed my order the cook started right away to cook my sandwich.
The rolls are actually shipped in from Philly too. They use genuine Amoroso rolls and I believe that gives them their wonderful taste that makes them stand out from other cheese stake places.
They also offer wonderful fresh pickles and hot peppers to enjoy while you are waiting for your sandwich or to eat on them.
It was a wonderful combination. As I took a bite I got the nice warm meat, melted cheese and soft roll. It was like taking a little mini vacation in my mouth.
The cost of the sandwich was only $5.00. A great deal!
The fries were topped with a creamy cheese sauce. You get a large portion and plenty of cheese sauce.
They were good. Very good in fact but really, nothing out of the norm for cheese fries.
The cost was $2.59 and were worth every penny.
I also got a regular size drink that comes with free refills for $1.89 which is a great price for unlimited soda.
Since I have never been to Philly, I have never had a Tastykake. I have heard a lot about them and how good they are.
I decided to try one. I got the chocolate cupcakes with white icing.
For those in CA, we are used to Hostess (no longer in business) cakes, cupcakes and other snacks.
Tastykake are pretty much like Hostess cakes. I do think they are a little better though. First you get three cakes for $2.11.
The cake is lighter and a nicer flavor then Hostess cakes. They seem moister and fresher too.
But, they are nothing to write home about. They are still prepackaged snack cakes. I don't know if I would get another one or not.
All in all, I loved Philly's Best. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a little bit of Philadelphia flavor.
Most people got their food to go but I would recommend you stay and eat it there if you have the time. Read the sign on the wall and learn all about famous people and places in Philly. Watch sports on one of their 3 TVs. Or just enjoy the conversations going on around you.
I would give Philly's Best 8 out 10 golden spoons.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Mimi's Cafe is a chain restaurant. Most of the time chain restaurants are good to go to when you want to grab a quick bite to eat and you know that you will get fair food, fair service and fair prices.
I do think that even though Mimi's Cafe is a chain restaurant, Mimi's Cafe is a step above the other local chain restaurants.
They have a good menu with lots of options. The food is good quality. The portion sizes are nice and the decor is cute.
Most of the time's you will be greeted at the door by a staff member. Today, we were greeted by the manager who was very friendly and welcomed us in with "Bonjour" which was a nod to the Parisian decor.
Our visit to Mimi's Cafe was in the morning so we enjoyed breakfast. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal to eat out.
The Cinnamon Brioche French Toast is a way to kick up the normal French toast. Sort of like having a cinnamon roll and French toast all in one. YUM!
It comes with bacon or sausage and eggs. However, today we substituted the eggs for fruit.
The bacon was nice and crisp and the French toast was cooked to a golden perfection. The fruit was juicy and flavorful.
Cost was $9.94.
We also ordered the Make your own omelet. Our three picks were spinach, feta cheese and tomatoes. It is made with three eggs so it's fairly large. Served with red skin fried potatoes and your choice of bread item.
While it was good I can't say it was the best omelet I've had. It was a tad dry. I would say it was cooked just a little bit to long and the tomatoes had little to no flavor. The potatoes were great though.
Cost was $8.99.
The food was pretty good but the service was WONDERFUL! It started the minute we walked up to the door. As I said, we were greeted and welcomed right at the front door. This of course put us in a good mood right away.
As soon as we sat down our waiter was there to take our drink orders. Shortly after he took our meal orders.
Our food came out fast and we were asked several times if we needed anything and checked on to make sure our meal was to our liking.
We were asked if we wanted refills on our drinks. Even the milk came with free refills. Not seen in most restaurants.
On our way out, a young girl opened the door for us and wished us a good day.
I'm not sure of the name of the manager but I do think they have trained the staff to be friendly, knowledgeable, and on their toes.
I would give the food 7 out of 10 silver forks but the staff would get 10 out 10 silver forks.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The decor was really nothing special and other then the menu cover having baseball stuff on it, the bathroom door having a handle in the shape of a baseball bat (I assume for Boston Red Sox) there wasn't much that really had to do with Boston.
Oh, there was the sign with desserts hanging that said they had Boston Cream Pie...does that count?
But hey, you are really looking for the food review here so let's get to the point.
I went with my sister and she ordered the Fish and Chips. She got the lunch size. You get two pieces of fish, fries and coleslaw. For dinner you get the same only 3 pieces of fish.
The fish was pretty good. It had a nice crunchy but not greasy crust. The fish was not overly fishy tasting. The coleslaw was crunchy and had the perfect amount of dressing on it. The fries were good, nothing special but not bad either.
Cost for the Fish and Chips was $11.29 for the lunch size and $15.79 for dinner.
Outside there were big signs that said SALAD PASTA PIZZA. So, I figured that is what they are famous for.
I ordered the spinach salad. The spinach was chopped and there were NO stems! A big plus!!!!
It also had dried cranberries, pecans, feta cheese and though I didn't get it, it normally comes with onions and mushrooms. Since I don't care for those, I asked them to leave them off my salad.
The dressing was wonderful citrus vinaigrette.
This has to be the best the spinach salad I've ever eaten. I was very pleased.
Cost was $10.29 or you could get a half salad for $6.29. If you wanted chicken added the cost was an additional $2.89. For Salmon added it was an additional $6.99.
While they do offer normal size desserts, we decided that since we were full we would order the mini desserts. The size is perfect when you just want a little bit so you don't feel like you missed out on dessert.
Plus, they only cost $1.99 so it's a good way to order a few different desserts without spending a lot of money or not being able to eat them all.
We got, strawberry cheesecake and bread pudding.
The strawberry cheesecake was a BIG let down. It had very little flavor, had a strawberry jelly like filling and was topped with something that taste like off brand cool whip rather then whipped cream.
I wouldn't even finish it and I love cheesecake.
The bread pudding was a better choice. The flavor was ok. Yet it didn't really taste like bread pudding. It was more like a cinnamon roll or donut flavor. Again, it was topped with the fake whipped cream.
While we left full we both agreed we most likely would not go back there unless someone we were with really wanted to eat there. There are to many other places near there that is much better.
The service also lacked a bit. We did get seated right away but it took awhile for our food to come out. In fact the manager noticed we were still waiting and had to go ask the waitress where it was.
We also had to ask for drink refills. I hate that. I think a good wait staff knows they should keep an eye out and either just bring you another drink or at least ask if you would like another.
I would give Boston's 6 out 10 silver spoons.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I knew I was going to Balboa Island to walk around the shops and enjoy the beautiful weather. Before I went, I went on line to read some reviews for places to eat down there and Wilma's Patio came up as sounding like a great place to go.
After walking around for a little while and going in and out of shops, I started to get hungry. I had forgotten to bring the address of Wilma's Patio though and so I had no idea where I was going to eat.
I passed by several places to eat but none sounded like anything I was in the mood to eat at.
That is, until I looked up and noticed I was standing right in front of Wilma's Patio! I quickly went over to read the menu.
There were several things to pick from. That was going to be the hardest part about eating there.
I saw they served breakfast all day and was all set to order an omelet with spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese.
Once inside, I was handed the menu and as I was looking it over again, the lady sitting next to me asked for a side of salsa to go with her meal. She told the waiter it was the best salsa she had ever eaten.
Well, that caught my attention because I'm a big lover salsa. In fact, Mexican food is my favorite type of food.
Wilma's Patio had several Mexican food meals and suddenly, my omelet wasn't what I wanted any longer.
I ordered the Taco salad.
I was a bit worried because I've had some pretty bad Taco salads before. But, once the waiter brought this salad to me, I knew I had scored!
They serve it in a freshly cooked shell. Chopped lettuce is covered with beans, rice, two kinds of cheese, sour cream and salsa. You can also get chicken, beef or pork and guacamole for no extra charge.
The flavors exploded in my mouth and I was in heaven. This was by far the best Taco Salad I had ever had...and I've had a lot.
The lady next to me was right. The salsa was wonderful! It was so fresh and you could tell it didn't come out a bottle. It's made right there.
As I enjoyed my meal, I took notice of what others around me ordered. Most of the people ordered breakfast. Everything looked great and the comments I heard confirmed that everyone was happy to eat there.
There was even a guy who sat up at the bar area and told the waitress that he was on diet and she helped him pick his perfect breakfast even though it was not on the menu. I thought that was nice that she took the time with him and they were happy to cook what the customer ordered and not just what was on the menu.
Everyone that worked there was so friendly. My waiter joked with me and made me feel super comfortable. Sometimes eating alone can make me feel very uncomfortable. Here I was treated like they knew me.
Service was above par too. The food came fast, drinks were refilled without having to ask, I was greeted when I walked in and was told good bye when I left.
I will be going back here without a doubt. I really want to try the breakfast next time.
I would give Wilma's Patio a 9 out 10 silver spoons.
The only reason they didn't get 10 silver forks is because they are a little high priced. I know it's because they are in a tourist area, near the beach and so it was expected though.
If you ever go to Balboa Island you really should stop and enjoy the good food and good people at Wilma's Patio.
They are located at 203 Marine Ave, Balboa Island CA.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Have you ever found yourself out with your dog and found yourself hungry? What do you do? Do you go through a drive thru and order junk food? Do you drive home and drop off your dog? Do you search high and low for a place that will allow you to bring your dog with you?
Well if you do the last option, stop searching! Go to The Lazy Dog Cafe.
Even though during my visit, no one had dogs with them, they were still enjoying the great patio area.
Dogs are allowed to join you if you choose to eat outside here. Due to the law, they are not allowed to let you bring your dogs inside the restaurant though.
Being a huge dog lover, I love all the little dog touches they have.
Starting with outside, This cute dog greets you. Check out the door handle. It's in the shape of a dog bone! How cute.
Inside, you will find a cozy place with lots of dog touches too. There are both booths and tables to pick from.
While you are waiting for your food to come, take a walk around. Go look at all the darling dog pictures on the photo wall. I'm told these pictures are of dogs that belong to either the staff or customers.
I couldn't pick which one was the cutest and I would wager you won't be able to either.
As you look around searching for cute dog touches, don't forget to look up. You will find a large dog paw print hanging high above.
On your way out, be sure to grab a mint in the shape of a dog bone too!
While the decor is darling, it's really about the food right? Let's get on to that subject.
We ordered the Trio of Hummus to start with.
For $8.45 you get three different flavors of hummus. You get a scoop of traditional hummus, sun dried tomato hummus and pesto hummus. With it comes cucumber and tomato slices and triangles of flat bread.
While I do feel the price is a bit high for the amount you get, I do think has to be some of the best hummus I've ever had. I would highly recommend. if you enjoy hummus, you order this.
We also ordered the Pot Roast Beef Dip sandwich. The price for this meal is $9.95 and comes with a sandwich of pot roast on a Dutch Crunch Roll, melted mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions and horseradish cream sauce. Since this is a beef "dip" sandwich you also get a cup of au jus to dip your sandwich in. A side of fries is also included.
This is a nice hearty sandwich that is more filling then it looks. It is full of flavor and really doesn't need the au jus at all. You can order other sides but be aware, some items cost a bit more and would raise the price of your meal.
We ordered the 3 cheese and basil pizza as well. This is a thin crust pizza topped with Parmesan, Romano and Mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce and fresh basil. The price of the pizza is $9.95.
I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed in the pizza. This seemed to be more of an appetizer pizza, based on the size and thickness of the pizza.
It also seemed pretty greasy and the crust was limp. I can't really recommend this pizza and I wouldn't order it again.
Over all I have to say I had a good time but do feel the quality of food has gone down since the last time I was there.
This place is always pretty crowded and you should expect to wait awhile if you go on a weekend at dinner time.
It's also a bit loud so don't think you will be able to enjoy a romantic talk while you are there, unless you want everyone around to hear also.
The Lazy Dog Cafe is a place to go for fun! Go with a group of people and share some good food and laughs. There is a bar and several TVs playing different sports with people clapping and hoping their team makes the next score.
I will go back here for sure. I'm hoping I was just there on an off night.
I give The Lazy Dog Cafe 7 out of 10 silver spoons.
There are several Lazy Dog Cafe locations now. The one I went to is located at 16310 Beach Blvd. in Westminster. It's in the Target Shopping Center near the 405 Fwy.