Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Early Morning at Early Bird

Early Bird Cafe
1000B East Bastanchury Road
Fullerton, CA 92835

  It was an early Sunday morning and for this family I'm talking around 10am when we arrived at Early Bird Cafe in Fullerton. The wait was about thirty minutes and I was willing wait. I had heard a few good things about Early Bird so thirty minutes did not seem too bad. We took the time to look over the menu and decide what we wanted to eat. My daughter got the kids scrambles eggs with bacon and pancakes. My son got the Dutch waffle, my wife got the three egg meal and I got the John Wayne omelet. With drinks this meal was about $35.

  My daughter had no trouble picking out what she wanted and she had no problem finishing the food. My daughter really liked the pancakes and the bacon but she said the eggs tasted like they were a bit runny. I didn't see any problem with the eggs and even tried them, they were okay to me. These were plain Jane kind of eggs but this must be because they came from the kids menu.

  The Dutch waffle is just a waffle with a blueberry compote and whipped cream with nothing else. When it came to the table I did not think my son would have enough to eat. The way he has been packing away food I thought for sure he would want something more. However after almost finishing the waffle and having a few bites of my omelet my son said he was stuffed. I had to grab a couple of the left over pieces off my son's plate to try this waffle. The waffle it self was thin and very much reminded me of a softer version of a waffle cone. The blueberry compote and whipped cream added the right amount of sweetness so no syrup was needed. A very tasty waffle indeed.

  My wife's plate of three over medium eggs, three slices of pecan smoked bacon and EB skillet potatoes looked simplistic but the flavors were spot on. The eggs were cooked just was my wife likes them with a yolk but no runny whites. The bacon was think and smokey while the EB skillet potatoes were a garlic kick to the mouth. I tried a bit everything on my wife's plate and the real star of that plate were the EB skillet potatoes. They looked to be yukon golds that were sliced and then skillet cooked with heaps of garlic. These potatoes out shined the hash browns I ordered  with my meal.

  Well little lady I hope you are ready this omelet (he said in his best John Wayne voice). The John Wayne normally comes with sausage, red peppers and mozzarella cheese. I substituted the red peppers for caramelized onions. I ordered my meal with hash browns but soon wished I had got the ED skillet potatoes. The omelet was cooked perfectly for my liking, the eggs slightly under cooked to avoid becoming a tough mess. The sausage was cut into nice chunks and was all the way through the omelet while the onions and cheese added a bit of sweetness and tang. The entire omelet from end to end was full of each of the ingredients with no pockets of just egg. The hash browns were crisp on the outside yet still soft and moist on the inside. They had a hint of cheesy flavor to them that I couldn't place but it wasn't anything off putting. Next time I eat at Early Bird I will be getting the EB skillet potatoes without a doubt.

  As a family we all walked out of Early Bird full and happy. The food was delivered to our table very quickly and our server was attentive. We all enjoyed our breakfast at Early Bird and I would definitely go back without hesitation. However would I choose wait another thirty minutes to dine at Early Bird? While everything was good I simply did not find the meal worth the wait. I liked Early Bird and would patronize them again but next time I might just call in my meal for pick up simply to avoid the wait.

Early Bird on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Links at Linx

Linx Artisan Sausage
238 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866

  I had heard about Linx from one of the coaches on the El Modena high school varsity basketball team. He told me about this new sausage and frites place in Orange. It took a me couple weeks to get the family down there but we finally made it. My daughter got a naked dog which is just an all natural beef and pork dog in a bun. My son got the Chicago dog, my wife got a custom dog which was a smoked cheddar bratwurst with grilled onion, tomatoes and fritessaus while I ordered a coney dog. We also ordered a ripper, two large frites and two drinks. The total for this meal was about $45.

  The naked dog is just that, a dog in a bun with no condiments. My daughter liked the dog and finished the whole thing with only a little encouragement from myself. She said that she did not like the bun because it was too crunchy. There was nothing wrong with the bun because it was a toasted potato bun.

  The Chicago dog my son ordered is your classic Chicago style hot dog. This frankfurter was covered in neon green relish, vine-ripe tomatoes, beer mustard, pickle spear, a mound of diced onions and celery salt all in a poppy seed bun. My son 86ed the peppers that would normally come on this dog. My son was hesitant about this dog because he said he doesn't like relish but I have been asking my son to try new things, so he did and ended up liking the dog very much. When I asked about the relish he said he could not really taste it because the mustard was really strong.

  My wife made a custom sausage with the Linx smoked cheddar bratwurst, grilled onions, tomatoes and fritessaus. She had all this in a potato bun. You might be asking what the heck is fritessaus? It was explained to us a kind of house made thousand island dressing. My wife said she liked the sausage and that is was really flavorful. She did not have any complaints about the taste of the food.

  My coney dog is the classic coney island favorite. A grilled frankfurter loaded with "chili con coney", yellow mustard, vidalia onion in a potato roll. The flavors in this dog were awesome. The chili had a bit of heat to it, the mustard was tangy and the onions squeak through with a bit of sweetness. The dog it self was moist and full of beefy goodness. I have never had the pleasure of a real coney dog but if this is anything close then I hope to one day get that pleasure. I downed this dog in about four bites.

  The ripper is a frankfurter that has been fried until is bursts open and then it is topped with grilled onions all inside of a potato roll. Normally it also come with mustard relish but I was sharing this with my wife so it was sans the mustard relish. Once this dog was cut in half it only took me two bites to finish my half. The onions were caramelized perfectly, nice dark brown color from all the sugars in the onions becoming nice and sweet. It too was a great tasting dog. No complaints about the taste.

  Last but not least by any means were the the Belgian frites. We had two large orders so the family shared the entire stash of frites. With each large order we were able to choose two dipping sauces. We ended up picking fritessaus, guacamole, lemon-garlic aioli and blue cheese-bacon aioli. The frites were crispy and crunchy while still being soft and fluffy in the middle. The two sauces I used most were the fritessaus and the lemon-garlic aioli. These frites were bomb and definitely something special. Not greasy at all and simply delicious.

  The food at Linx Artisan Sausages was really good, the flavors were spot on and everything was cooked nicely. The service at Linx was also very nice and really helpful. Here is my one and only issue with Linx. The prices verusus the size of food. The naked dog was four bucks, the other dogs were six bucks each. At the end of meal I found myself looking for more food to fill up on, not only myself but the entire family was still hungry. For this price I feel my family should have been full and content which they were not. Does that kill Linx for me? Yes and no. No because the flavor was great, the entire family was happy with how everything tasted. Yes because I am trying to feed a family of four and to do that at Linx we would probably need two dogs each and that is not cost effective for me. Overall I would recommend you try Linx just don't expect to walk out of there stuffed.

Linx on Urbanspoon

Linx on Foodio54

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Capital of Seafood?

Capital Seafood Restaurant
2700 Alton Pkwy #127
Irvine, CA 92606

  The family was going out to dinner with some friends and I was in the mood for Chinese food. Our friends suggested Capital Seafood Restaurant, so we agreed and met them there. Is Capital Seafood the capital of seafood? We wouldn't know as no seafood was ordered. However we did have a variety of different dishes. We started with Westlake minced beef soup and the main dishes we ordered were broccoli and beef, Mongolian chicken, orange chicken and chicken lo mein.

  The Westlake minced beef soup was egg flower soup but with bits of ground beef in it. The soup it self was thick like a good egg flower should be and loaded with egg. The bits of ground beef were tasty little morsels that added a nice beef flavor. There was a bit of green onion that I really liked which added a nice hint of onion to the soup.

  The orange chicken was perfectly sweet without any heat at all. We ordered it this way so my daughter could enjoy the dish and she did. She actually ate a little bit of every dish we ordered. This orange chicken was also crispy on the outside with tender bites of chicken inside the crisp coating. There were little pieces of orange peel in the dish so every so often you would really get an intense orange flavor that I liked.

  The broccoli beef at Capital Seafood can be served with American broccoli or Chinese broccoli, we went with American broccoli. The broccoli was cooked just right, tender but not mushy with some bite left to it. The beef was tender and plentiful. It was a good version of this dish which I have had so many times before. I did really like the pieces of ginger that added a nice kick to the dish.

  The Mongolian chicken was okay in my opinion. I have had better from other restaurants. The flavors were good but the chicken was just chicken. Other places I have been added a small coating to the chicken in this dish which makes the chicken a little crisp. Capital Seafood does not do that, the chicken was cooked nicely but I did miss that texture on the chicken. I liked the dish but have had better.

  The chicken lo mein was full of noodles, large pieces of chicken and fluffed egg. The noodles were soft, the chicken was tender and the bean sprouts were bitter but in a good way. The entire dish came together and made a good plate of food.

  There was nothing bad about Capital Seafood. The service was nice, the food was good and it was served quickly. Here is my problem with this meal, with no drinks it was $90. Now I don't mind paying $90 for a meal if it is worth $90 but I did not feel this meal was worth the price. I think I would go back to Capital Seafood to try the dim sum service but doubt I will ever take the family back for dinner.

Capital Seafood on Urbanspoon