Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Quick Lunch

Cuca's Mexican Food
26676 Portola Pkwy, Ste. E
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

  It's not something I do often but last week I went out to lunch with co-workers. One of them suggested Cuca's Mexican Food, none of us had been there before so it was new to us all. The menu at Cuca's is small but there are a few specials to choose from. There is also an option for  you to make a combo plate or you can do like I did order individual items. I ordered the carnitas burrito and a fish taco, these two items with a drink cost me a little over $10.

  I started with the fish taco. The fish it self was not breaded or deep fried. The fish was light, flaky and moist. The cabbage was crisp which added good texture to the taco. The sauce on the taco was flavorful but it did not have any spice to it. The salsa added the spice and a squeeze of lime added the perfect amount of acidity to the taco.

  The burrito was wrapped tightly and stuffed full of carnitas, beans and salsa. The carnitas was most of this burrito, which I really appreciated the fact that Cuca's does not skimp on the carnitas. The meat it self was tender, moist and it had a good pork flavor. It was not overcooked and flavorless like some place can do to carnitas. The beans and salsa complimented the meat nicely. This was a burrito that could satisfy any carnitas lover.

  I was very impressed with Cuca's Mexican Food. I had never heard of this restaurant before that day but have already recommended it to other co-workers. The food was good and the prices were reasonable. The service was nice and the food came out quickly. All those things added up together equal a quick lunch that will not put a major dent in your wallet and keep you going for the rest of the day.

Cuca's Mexican Food on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dessert for Breakfast

Orange Cafe
1608 E. Mayfair Ave
Orange, CA 92867

  I was flying solo this week after getting the oil changed in my car. I was hungry and bored so I checked Yelp for breakfast places. Orange Cafe came up almost on top and I had read a few other blogger reviews on it, so that made it an easy choice. The restaurant is small and can fill up very quickly. I must have gotten lucky because I was able to sit right away. I looked over the menu and almost got the corned beef hash and eggs but then I saw vanilla bean creme brulee french toast. Creme brulee being one of my favorite desserts it was my pick. The order came with eggs and bacon or sausage, I went with one and one.

  I got my eggs scrambled and they were fluffy, light and cooked just right. The bacon was crisp and not greasy. The sausage was full of flavor and snapped when bit into. This was a great start to my breakfast that was only $9.95.

  The star of this meal was the creme brulee french toast. This was a classicly cooked french toast but instead of syrup it is served with a creme brulee sauce. All I can say is Oh Em Ge! This was some of the best french toast I have ever had. The french toast it self was not soggy by any means and had a slight toast to it. This made the bread very easy to cut with a fork and I could taste the flavor of this soft bread. The creme brulee sauce was drizzled over the four slices and Orange Cafe also provides an extra small cup of this sauce with the caramelized sugar top. Breaking the sugar top and pouring this liquid goodness all over the french toast made this an over the top breakfast. As rich as this sounds, it was not. In fact this sauce was just the right amount of sweetness.

  My wife was not happy that she did not get to try The Orange Cafe so I know we will be back and I am 100% okay with that thought. The service at Orange Cafe was super friendly and speedy. The menu prices were reasonable for the portion size. My plate of food was on point and the flavor was amazingly good. I would say without a doubt you need to get yourself to Orange Cafe and try this place out.

Orange Cafe on Urbanspoon

Orange Cafe on Foodio54

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An OK Vacation

Oklahoma Vacation Eats

  So the family took a week vacation to the state of Oklahoma to visit family. While there we enjoyed many home cooked meals from Granny we also had the opportunity to try a few places while on the road.

  After we spent some time at the Oklahoma City bombing memorial. We stopped at The Spaghetti Warehouse. My wife's aunt said this was a "must stop" while in the area, we all agreed and headed over there. I ordered the fifteen layer lasagna, this lasagna was loaded with meat, cheese, sauce and noodles. The meat was present but not a huge factor in flavor. The ricotta cheese was creamy while the tomato sauce was acidic. The noodles were cooked al dente and piled high. I enjoyed this stacked meal and the family also enjoyed their meal.

  A few days later we were at a local mall to go see the new Oz movie. While there we stopped at a restaurant called The White Buffalo. Looking over the menu here it reminded me of Red Robin with a few additions. While glancing over the options I saw that they serve a Monte Cristo sandwich and that was an easy choice to make. My only experience with a Monte Cristo is from Disneyland and have been trying to find a Monte Cristo outside of Disneyland, with no luck. If anyone points me in the right direction for such a sandwich I would appreciate it. Anyway back to The White Buffalo version of this deep fried delight. The sandwich it self was made with pieces of turkey and sliced ham. For me this made the sandwich too clunky. The bread it self was a bit mushy but overall it was an okay sandwich. Maybe I am just spoiled from Disneyland, but it just wasn't even a close comparison.

  On our second to last day in Oklahoma I really wanted to get some BBQ but I was bloated from all the previous home made meals. We were looking to get pizza but eventual ended up getting BBQ after all. There was this small BBQ stand on the corner of a local street in Walters, OK called Smoke Wagon Barbeque. This was a small stand that really looked more like a tool shed but the smell of smoke filled the immediate area. I ordered the combo plate which, as with all good BBQ places, it came with a little bit of everything. The brisket was charred and smokey, the pork was tender and the chicken was still moist. The added BBQ sauce really took this meat to greatness. The hot link was not spicy hot but full of spicy flavor. My only gripe about Smoke Wagon was the beans and potato needed salt and pepper. If I ever get back to Walters this place will be on my to eat list.

  There were a few other places that we went to but nothing worth writing about. I really did enjoy my vacation and I think I gained at least five pounds. The home cooking from Granny was top notch and something I will will not soon forget. The restaurants the family visited were good and we all were happy but I was glad to finally be home and not have a stuffed belly 24/7.

The Spaghetti Warehouse on Yelp

Spaghetti Warehouse on Urbanspoon

White Buffalo on Yelp

White Buffalo Food & Beer Co on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weekday lunch

Urban Grill and Wine Bar
27412 Portola Pkwy, Ste. D
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

  A few co-workers of mine have been going to Urban Grill and Wine Bar for lunch and then  bringing back food to the office. They rave about the food every time they eat lunch there and the food has always smelled really good. Based on these many missed lunch opportunities I finally took myself over there for lunch. The lunch menu has many tasty looking options and I was torn between the turkey sandwich or the burger. I asked my waitress and she said the burger was the choice. So the burger is what I went with, and with a lemonade to drink the bill was about $16.

  I ordered the LaFrieda Burger for $12. It is a blend of short-rib and chuck for the patty that is cooked to your desired temperature. It is then covered in aged cheddar, crispy onion strings, lettuce, dill pickles, tomatoes and special sauce. The burger comes with a choice of fries or a house chopped salad. I went with fries. The burger it self was was so moist that the juices were dripping all over the plate. The flavor of the meat was nothing but pure beef. The sour dill pickles really came through which I fully enjoyed. The crispy onion strings and lettuce added a nice crunch while the tomato added to the overall juice factor and a bit of sweetness. This was placed between two soft buns that were lightly toasted. The fries were thin, crunchy and season perfectly.

  This burger didn't stand a chance. I devoured this burger in minutes and was full for the rest of day. I was so satisfied I wanted to nap after this burger. I am always looking for the classic all American backyard burger and the LaFrieda Burger nailed it. I could not have asked for anything more in between those buns and would not have wanted anything less. The chiefs at Urban Grill and Wine Bar got this right, plain and simple. I would easily recommend anyone near Urban Grill get over there and order this burger without hesitation because you will not be disappointed.

Urban Grill and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon