Monday, January 23, 2012

Dinner at a Diner

Watson's Drugs and Soda Fountain
116 E. Chapman Ave
Orange, CA 92866

  The family could not decide where to eat and we needed a place that everyone could find something they would enjoy. We have been spending some time driving the Orange Circle and passing Watson's Drugs and Soda Fountain. I mentioned it to my wife and she agreed so that's where we all ended up for dinner.

  When you first walk in Watson's it has the feel of a old school Drug Store and Soda Fountain, just as the name implies. We were able to seat ourselves at a both right next to the soda counter/cooking area. The waitress that helped us that night seemed a little scattered brained because she was all over the place and it was not very busy. While in the middle of taking our order she left our table to get food that was ready for a different table, she did not say a word to us, simply stopped taking our order and moved on. When she came back I said we were not finished ordering and she said something like she had to get that food to the table. I am fine with prompt service of food but she could have excused her self before doing so. Anyway the family ended up ordering our dinner with drinks and a shared dessert the meal was about $49.

  By now you all must know what my daughter is going to get and you would be correct. A cheese burger for the little one. The burger looked moist but my daughter said it was greasy. Not sure she really knows the difference but either way she finished the whole burger.

  My son ordered a patty melt. A traditional patty melt through and through. A thick hamburger patty, grilled onions and melted cheese all served on toasted rye bread. This sandwich was good. My son let me have a taste and if I were him I would have saved it all for myself. The hamburger was juicy and the onions were grilled just enough to bring out some sweetness. The toasted rye added a crispy crunch to the sandwich. I liked this sandwich simply because it was done right.

  My wife ordered the grilled chicken salad sandwich. This was basic chicken salad served with freshly smashed avocado on toasted sour dough. I also managed to get a bite of this sandwich. Which I also liked mostly because of the large amount of avocado that was added. The chicken salad was very simplistic and needed basic seasonings. A dash of pepper would have helped the chicken salad a whole lot. But the sandwich was good for the most part.

  For myself I ordered the super sandwich, which based on the name I was expecting a much larger sandwich. This sandwich had ham, turkey and roast beef with American and Swiss cheeses. It also had tomatoes and lettuce which was all served on a french roll. The roll was soft and lightly toasted. The roast beef was the predominate meat while the ham and turkey were lost. The lettuce was not served right, in my opinion, because they left the bottom rib portion of the iceberg lettuce. That made the lettuce real tough and hardly leafy. Just by looking at the ham it reminded me of something you get out of a package, The turkey looked the same, and the roast beef was good. This sandwich was good but no better then the average sandwich shop.

   I think best part of this meal for the whole family was the banana split we ordered for dessert. This sundae was huge and loaded with all the traditional fixings. A single scoop each of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. Each topped with plenty of chocolate and strawberry sauce. No pineapple sauce since my wife is allergic. This was resting between two halves of a fresh banana. Finally it was crowned with whipped cream, a slight sprinkle of nuts and three cherries. Since this was shared dessert the four spoons hitting this sundae were clanking into each other as each member of the family tried to get a taste. The ice cream was soft enough to get heaping spoons full. Each scoop of ice cream was rich and creamy. This was a very well done banana split for sure. By the time this sundae was done the sauces were spilled over on to the plate and the kids were buzzing on sugar.

  Watson's Drugs and Soda Fountain delivered a good meal and an outstanding dessert. This is my second time eating here and I had the same thought leaving both times. The food is good but nothing I would exclaim as being fantastic. However if you are looking for a place to get an old time sundae then I would definitely recommend you head over to Watson's Drug and Soda Fountain.

Waton's Drugs and Soda Fountain

Watson Drugs & Soda on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 16, 2012

A BBQ Adventure at The Rib Trader

The Rib Trader
2710 E. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92869

  If your not careful you could easily drive by The Rib Trader. The Rib Trader is tucked away on Chapman Avenue between a grocery store and a fishing tackle store. Taking the time find The Rib Trader will be worth it if you are looking for good BBQ at average prices. My only gripe is the interior design of the place, it reminds of an old theme restaurant from the 70s. It has an island theme to it that is old and tried. The staff was great and very attentive.

  My daughter, as usual, order the child's cheese burger. My son ordered the half rack of beef ribs. My wife and I ordered the Trader Feast for two. This feast included onion rings to start, a large plate with baby back ribs, St. Louis ribs, beef ribs, BBQ chicken, shrimp and fries. It also came with sides of BBQ beans and coleslaw. With drinks this entire meal was about $76.

  Each meal got an order of corn bread to start. The corn bread was moist and sweet with a glaze of what I think was honey on top. The corn bread was still warm which melted the butter that is was served with to make a damn good start to the meal. The onion rings came out and they were served with BBQ sauce for dipping. The rings themselves had a nice crunchy outside that stuck to the onions. The onions were cooked but not soggy so the onion still had some bite to them. A very well done onion rings is always impressive to me, a good start overall.

  What a shocker, the second week in a row I did not have to persuade my daughter to eat her food. She munched the burger down and continued with some fries. Then finished with the fruit. I asked if the burger was good and she simply nodded and tried to mumble yes with a mouth full of food.

  My son grabbed his first rib by the bone and started eating almost as soon as the plate was placed in front of him. My son said the beef ribs were tasty, but the BBQ sauce was a bit too spicy for him. He did tear up his plate of food though, only leaving four beef bones behind plus some more from trying a couple ribs from feast my wife and I ordered.

  I started the feast off with the baby back ribs since they were on top. These ribs were meaty and tender. There were five of these ribs served on this ginormous plate of food. The next rib on my attack list were St. Louis ribs which again had five on the plate. These ribs were a little less meaty but still tender. Both ribs had a nice chard taste to them that helped the BBQ sauce come through really nicely. I then went after some BBQ chicken. The dark meat on this chicken was moist but the white meat was dry. You can overcome the dryness of the white meat with a quick dunk in the extra BBQ sauce. Lastly I picked up a beef rib and start gnawing on that but the beef was not nearly as tender as the pork. The beef ribs had a very pronounced smokey flavor to them and they did require a bit of tearing to get the meat from the bone. It appeared to me that the same BBQ sauce was used on all the meat. This BBQ sauce started sweet and ended with some heat. After a meal of ribs and chicken my lips did burn slightly but nothing a chili head would even notice. My wife said the shrimp were good and the fries were nothing special. The side of orders were almost forgotten about because of the sheer amount of food that was in front us but they too were nothing special.

  The Rib Trader treated my family well. The food was good, the portions were large but not too large and the prices were reasonable for a BBQ joint. Was this the best BBQ I have ever had? The answer would be no. Was this the worst BBQ I ever had? The answer would also be no. The BBQ at The Rib Trader is good, down the middle of the road kind of food. There were aspects of the meal that really stood out, like the baby back ribs, but then there were also some not so good parts, like the sides and the fries. I did end up leaving The Rib Trader happy but honestly not sure if is a restaurant I would actual return to simply because I think I can get a better whole meal somewhere else. If you do make it to The Rib Trader I would have to recommend you get the baby back ribs as those were easily the best ribs of the night.

Rib Trader on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fill up at The Filling Station Cafe

The Filling Station Cafe
201 N. Glassell St.
Old Towne Orange, CA 92866

  There is nothing better then a Sunday morning with the family and having a great breakfast. This Sunday morning we found ourselves at The Filling Station Cafe in Old Towne Orange. We decided to sit outside so that our wait was minimal. My daughter ordered the child's pancakes breakfast, my son ordered the French toast breakfast, my wife ordered the Denver omelet minus bell peppers and I ordered the bacon and sausage omelet. With drinks the meal was about $46.

  Lately my daughter has been in this mood where she will not eat without giving her mother and I attitude about it. However this morning there was no arguing from her at all. She devoured her eggs so she could get to her pancakes. That pancake didn't stand a chance and it was gone quicker then the eggs. She topped herself off with the bacon and a sausage. My wife and I were shocked that she ate without any complaints. My son also dug into his breakfast right away. He said the scrambled eggs were fluffy and the sausage was good too. He finished almost all of the French Toast but left enough for me to get a couple bites. This French toast is made with sweet Hawaiian sweet bread. The sweet bread, maple syrup and the egg mixture they use to soak the bread all combine to make a delicious French toast.

  My wife said her omelet was was good and that she really liked the entire plate of food. The chopped potatoes she got with her plate were really tasty. I snagged a fork full and to me they almost tasted like were cooked with chorizo spices, this made the potatoes really flavorful. She even commented on the strawberry preserves that were served with the toast.

  As for me I could not have been happier with my dish. The hash browns had a crisp outer shell and soft inside, the perfect way to serve hash browns. The omelet it self was a thin round of egg that reminded me of a crepe. Inside this round of egg was melted cheddar cheese, chunks of sausage and large pieces of cut bacon. The sausage was moist and not over cooked, the bacon was thick and crisp. I liked the way this omelet was put together and I really enjoyed the large amount of filling that was loaded into this omelet. The amount of eggs they used was just enough to let you know this was an omelet but not so much that all you would taste is the eggs. I finished the meal with my toast and the strawberry preserve I also got was nice finish to the meal.

  I had been noticing a few of my friends making good comments about The Filling Station Cafe so it was my turn to take the family there and give it a try. I am glad we did to, because the breakfast was awesome and the prices were reasonable. I could easily spend $46 to feed my family at a chain restaurant and get lesser quality food. Everything tasted fresh and felt like it was made to order. The wait staff was super friendly and very attentive. The Filling Station Cafe is definitely an establishment that I would visit again. My next task will be to get there and try the lunch and/or dinner menu. If this breakfast is any indication of the rest of the menu I can not wait and neither should you.

Filling Station on Urbanspoon