Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pacific Coast Hot Dogs in Orange, CA

Pacific Coast Hot Dogs
3438 E. Chapman Ave
Orange, CA 92869

  Pacific Coast Hot Dogs is a small building on Chapman Avenue in Orange that does not look like much when you drive by. There is seating around the outside of the building and the inside is barely large enough to fit two workers. It is a place I have been waiting to try for a while now and finally got the chance. PCH Dogs has a menu of hot dogs that you can order or if none of them are to your liking you can order a dog pretty much any way you want. I got the chili cheese dog, wife got a dog with tomatoes, cheese, mayonnaise and ketchup, my son got a dog with ketchup and mayonnaise, my daughter got ketchup only. We also ordered some chili cheese fries, a large fry and two drinks. The total cost of the meals was $23.

  Good thing I took the pictures of my daughter's and son's hot dogs first because before I was done taking all my pictures my son had devoured his hot dog. I don't think I heard him chew it was so fast, must have been good. My daughter enjoyed her dog and I think this was her first natural casing dog. She kept pulling the dog out of the bun because she was not biting all the through. I think the kids walked away satisfied but not full.

  My wife said she enjoyed her hot dog and that is was loaded with toppings. She also liked the chili cheese fries but she thought the chili was kind of sweet. As for me I would have to say it was a good chili cheese dog. The first thing you notice is the snap of the natural casing when taking a bite of the dog. The chili was a no frills kind of meat chili that had no beans. The cheese was shredded cheddar that melted nicely over the warm chili. The all beef dog was snug in a steamed bun and with each bite a bit of chili and cheese fell to the plate. The chili cheese fries were covered in the same chili and cheese. The fries were crisp and not one fry was lacking chili or cheese. The server made sure the toppings on each menu item were plentiful.

  I am happy that I finally got to Pacific Coast Hot Dogs and was able to taste their food. I was satisfied with what I ate and would go back. However to feed my family I would have to order multiple hot dogs and with each dog at about $3.25 it would get expensive quickly. The quality of the food was good and no one had any complaints about the taste. If you have some extra dollars burning a hole in your pocket and you are looking to eat some good wieners then PCH Dogs would fit the bill.

Pacific Coast Hot Dogs on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A grinder at Filippi's Pizza Grotto

27309 Jefferson Avenue #110
Temecula, CA 92590

  A Sunday afternoon in Temecula is not often a place I find myself. However this did happen with good reason. Most importantly I was there to spend time with my best friend and fellow foodie. Secondly I was there to try a "killer sandwich" and get a guitar lesson. The sandwich was provided by Filippi's Pizza Grotto and it was our first stop. I was advised to order the super torpedo, which I did and we also split an order of cheese bread. With drinks the bill was about $25.

 I did not manage to get a picture of the cheese bread but that could have been a meal on its own. Thick slices of crusty sour dough, coated with garlic butter, then covered with freshly grated mozzarella cheese that was toasted until melted. The order of cheese bread  was served with a side of marinara sauce. The sauce was a perfect accompaniment to the cheese toast and a great way to start.

 The super torpedo arrived rather quickly and was slightly warmed through. The sandwich was loaded with fresh deli meats sliced thin but not shaved. The meats included salami, capicola, turkey and ham, just about everything you could want. The sandwich also has more of the fresh mozzarella but this time it was sliced. Then the sandwich was topped with sliced tomatoes, sliced onions and shredded lettuce. The bread was fresh with a crunchy crust and soft interior. Each bite of this sandwich was a mouthful of many flavor combinations. The fresh deli meats were covered  with large peppercorns along with crisp lettuce, sweet tomato and the bite of fresh onion. This was a good sandwich that would fill the tank of any person that walked in the door.

 Talk about stuffed, I walked out of Filippi's Pizza Grotto filled to the brim. I don't think I could have eaten another bite of food. In fact that sandwich kept me going for the rest of night which was filled with me trying to play guitar. If you are in the area then take the time to stop by Filippi's and grab a super torpedo. You will not be disappointed.
Filippi's Pizza Grotto on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hungry Bear at Disneyland

Disneyland Resort Anaheim, CA

 When at Disneyland the family and I are always looking for some place new to eat. Disneyland has been trying hard to redo a lot of restaurant menus inside the park. I remember the food at Hungry Bear as being a simple burger patty that was thrown on a white bun with some wilted lettuce. The fries served with this old burger were not much better. However after trying the new menu items at Hungry Bear I was impressed with a few of the items.

 My daughter got the kids meal cheese burger, my son got the fried chicken sandwich, my wife got the turkey sandwich and I went for the cheese burger. Each sandwich comes with sweet potato fries or onion rings, no regular fries here. We also got drinks and a lemon cupcake for dessert. In total cost of the meal was around $50 which is to be expected at Disneyland. There is not much I can say I about the kids meal. The kids sized burger was small even for my daughter and the packaged apple slices were crisp. My son enjoyed his fried chicken sandwich but said it was a little dry. Once he added some mayo to the sandwich he was much happier.

  Typically when the wife and I eat at Disneyland we share our main course so we both can try a little of each. The cheese burger at Hungry Bear still reminded me of what I used to get before the menu change. However this time the lettuce was fresh and the tomatoes were juicy. The actual patty still left something to be desired. What I did really enjoy was the turkey sandwich. The turkey was sliced thin and stacked nicely on the bun. The lettuce and tomato on this sandwich were fresh too. Overall a really good sandwich that I would order over the burger next time the family chooses to eat at the Hungry Bear. The onion rings were large and cooked perfectly. The batter held tight to the onion with a nice crunch to each bite. The onion did not pull out of the coating like can happen. My only issue is they needed a little salt. I know what Disneyland is doing by not salting them but just a touch would have helped tremendously.

  The real star at Hungry Bear was the lemon cupcake. By itself the cupcake was almost $5 but I thought it was well worth every penny. The chocolate bee on top was a prize that went to my daughter. The frosting was creamy with a hint of lemon while not being overly sweet. The cake was moist and sponge like but the surprise was the tart lemon curd in the middle of the cupcake. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. This cupcake alone would be a reason to visit Hungry Bear and could be a family dessert stop.

  Did Hungry Bear's new menu impress me? Some items did and some had the same old feeling they used to have. Overall the food was good for amusement park standards and the family did leave with fully tummies. The burger was lacking and the kids meal was tiny. The fried chicken looked good but could have been better. If your in the mood for a good, healthy sandwich then get the turkey sandwich and you will satisfied. But do not forget the lemon cupcake. If you miss out on this little piece of sweet and sour goodness you will be a sad panda for sure.
Hungry Bear on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My first Pad Thai at Thai Garden

27472 Portola Pwy 206
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

  My lunch at work is typically a lunch bag filled with a sandwich, an apple and other snacks. I hardly ever go out to eat during the work week. So when I do its rare and a treat for me. A co-worker of mine had told me about Thai Garden with an offer to take me there a few months ago and I finally took her up on the offer. Thai Garden is in a strip mall right next to a few other food establishments. I did not think much of Thai Garden from the outside. Once we walked inside the place was packed with the lunch time crowd, a good sign for sure. My co-workers and I opted to sit at the bar so we could order quickly. I ordered the #34 which is a lunch special chicken Pad Thai. My friends ordered the #1 crying tiger and, I think it was the #15 spicy basil which she had to order easy on the spice. My meal was about $12 after tax and tip.

  The lunch special comes with a bowl of soup. The soup came to us almost immediately after we ordered our meal. The bowl of soup was placed in front of me and the first smell I got was of pure fish sauce and it was almost off putting to me. The soup was full of fresh bean sprouts and rice noodles. The contrast of crunch from the bean sprouts and the soft noodles made each bite different. The broth ended up being really good and the was a perfect start to the meal.

  Since this was my first time at Thai Garden each of my friends let me have a bite of the dish they ordered. The spicy basil has chicken, bell peppers, carrots and other fresh veggies. I forked a piece of chicken and the sauce this dish was cooked in was spicy but had me wanting more. The other dish is one of the most popular dishes at Thai Garden and it's the crying tiger. This was steak that was grilled and sliced up then severed with a garlic and lime dipping sauce. My co-worker who ordered the crying tiger said to stick it, dip it then hit it. So that's exactly what I did. I stuck a piece of steak, dipped it in the garlic, lime sauce and then popped it right into my mouth. At first you get the smokey flavor from the steak being grilled then the garlic lime sauce kicks in. The steak was tender and the sauce was an amazing mix of fresh garlic and citrus flavors. Next time I visit Thai Garden the crying tiger will be mine.

  I have always heard Pad Thai is a great dish to start with when it comes to Thai food. So I headed the warning and did that for myself. As you can see from the previous pictures each dish came with a small side salad. The salad dressing was a sweet peanut based dressing that was creamy but not too sweet. I finished almost all the salad before I started into the main dish. I then loaded my fork with chicken and noodles for my first bite. The chicken was tender and the noodles were soft. The sauce was sweet from the tamarind and full of flavor. A bit salty with some nuttyness from the chopped peanuts that were throughout the sauce. A few fresh bean sprouts helped to add a snap to the dish that it needed. This plate of food was gone almost as quickly as it was placed in front of me.

My meal at Thai Garden was a great treat that I will have to experience again. The service was fast, the lunch special prices were good and the food was delicious. This is definitely a restaurant that I would recommend to the beginner or the advanced foodie. For me the Pad Thai was something I had never tried before and would recommend to anyone that is in my shoes. The crying tiger will be my next dish at Thai Garden and I hope it is not too far. While the spicy basil is for those of you more hardcore then myself. The spice level on that dish can be through the roof. If you are anywhere close to the Thai Garden make it point to stop by and place yourself an order.