Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Search Continues

Belgian Waffle Works
28200 Highway 189, Bldg. E150
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

  My search for a Monte Cristo as good or better then the Disneyland version continues. The family was in Lake Arrowhead visiting with some friends. After a morning on the boat and lake we were all hungry and ready to eat lunch. Belgian Waffle House was our destination, being a lover of waffles that was perfectly fine with me. The restaurant it self was busy so reservations are a good idea. Upon getting there and looking over the menu the selection of waffles was some what limited, in my opinion. Most of the waffles had some form of ice cream on them and that was not for me. Until I saw the Brussels Belgian which is prepared Monte-Cristo style, stuffed with ham, Swiss cheese and turkey baked to perfection and dusted with powdered sugar and served with strawberry preserves and cream cheese. A full portion sandwich will set up back $11.75.

  The sandwich it self was a house made waffle that was then cut in half and filled with the meats and cheese. It also comes with maple syrup along with the other sides. I preferred to use the maple syrup with my meal. Like most places the description of the dish sounds better then the actual plated dish. Some slices of turkey and a few cuts of ham and the Swiss cheese was barely present. The waffle it self was crunchy on the outside but dry on the inside. The turkey was also dry but the ham added a nice salinity to each bite to give you that salty, sweet combination. The sandwich was okay, there can definitely be improvement made. I think part of the problem is my expectations are so high it will be hard to find a Monte Cristo the meets or exceeds them.

  Belgian Waffle Works was not a bad place to eat at, the rest of the family and our friends enjoyed thier meals. Everyone was clearly stuffed and satisfied with what they ordered. My advise would be, if you have had a Disneyland Monte Cristo then stay away from this version, you will be disappointed. However if you are a Monte Cristo noob and this is your first venture into the sandwich then I would recommend it as is it a great way to be introduced to this concoction.

Belgian Waffle Works on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Show, Another Burger

The Burger House
171 W. 2nd St.
Pomona, CA 91766

  The family headed out to the Glass House in Pomona to see a family friend's band play. We had some time to kill and conveniently across the street is The Burger House. Everyone in the family loves a good burger, we were hungry and it was close so the The Burger House was the easy choice. The Burger House is quite loud inside so be prepared  but the noise level is worth the meal.

  My daughter got the kids cheese burger, my son got the salmon burger, my wife got the bacon burger and I got the big easy burger, all burgers come with fries and we also got drinks. The total bill for this meal was about $51. But if you check in on Yelp you get a free milk shake and of course I took advantage of that offer.

My daughter's kid's burger was single slider sized patty covered in cheese. My daughter was very happy with her burger and fries. No complaints from her and seemed satisfied with her meal when we left.

  The Grilled Salmon Bun as it is called on the menu consists of a salmon burger grilled or Blackened, topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion and finished with a remoulade spread. My son's looked like a piece of Blackened salmon but now that I think about it, I don't think he was offered the option when he ordered. My son did mention his was a little spicy but he thought it was because of the sauce. Either way for the most part my son did enjoy his "burger" his only negative was that it was a little too charred. Which would have been caused by the Blackened process.

The Bacon Burger my wife ordered was piled high w/ apple wood smoked bacon, tomato, caramelized onion, pickles and green leaf lettuce and 1,000 island spread. My wife 86'ed the lettuce and 1,000 island spread. This burger looked like a bacon lovers dream and I almost ordered it myself being the bacon connoisseur that I am. My wife said the burger was delicious and she really liked the fries, however she did mention that she thought the onions were a bit too caramelized and almost tasted burnt. She too was pleased with her meal.

  The Big Easy Burger is breakfast in a bun with a twist, this patty is topped with an over easy egg. apple wood smoked bacon, Swiss, laid on a bed of fries, which are like hash browns. Before I even bit into this breakfast burger the yolk from the egg was pouring out the bottom. The burger it self was cooked to a perfect medium which left the beef full of flavor and super juicy. The bacon was thick and extra crispy, the egg was runny and fries were crispy. The mixture of egg yolk and burger juice made awesome drippings on my plate which were sopped up before each bite. The bun held up well and did not turn into a soggy mess which made eating this burger much easier. I was very happy with the burger, the combinations of flavors was reminiscent of classic breakfast. My only complaint was the amount of fries that came with the burger. We only got around twenty fries each, that is a problem because these fries were fantastic. Some of the best fries I have had recently. They were the perfect blend of crisp outside and fluffy inside while being seasoned with the right amount of salt. I could have eaten around forty fries without a problem.

  The Burger House did not disappoint me, the family walked out happy and full. The smallest critiques do not take from everything else that was done right. I felt the prices were fair for the quality of food we received and the service was courteous and prompt. I can easily recommend The Burger House and would say next time you are going to the Glass House to see a show make sure you carve out time to stop by The Burger House before the show. You will be glad you do so!

The Burger House on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Burgers before a show

G Burger
421 E. La Habra Blvd.
La Habra, CA 90631

   My wife and I have been going to shows at La Habra Bowl for a long while now. Every time we go we pass a place a called G Burger. Well we finally stopped at G Burger before a show and had ourselves a couple burgers. My wife ordered the cheese burger with bacon and a side of garlic, Parmesan fries. I ordered the garlic, spinach burger with a side of fried zucchini. We both got a drink and the total cost of the meal was about $33. A bit pricey for two burgers and side but well worth every penny.

  The cheese burger my wife ordered is 100% angus beef with a choice of cheeses, my wife got sharp cheddar, tomatoes, red onions, mixed greens, butter pickles and mayo { Although the original burger comes with 1000 island dressing} all served on a high rise bun. My wife added bacon at an extra cost. I snagged a bite of this burger and it was your classic bacon cheese burger. The meat it self was cooked to a perfect medium which left the beef all moist and dripping with juice. The side of garlic Parmesan  Fries my wife ordered were aggressively garlicky and salty from the Parm. The fires were GBD (golden brown and delicious).

  Being the garlic lover that I am I saw the garlic spinach burger and was sold on the name alone. Reading over what this burger consisted of sealed the deal. The garlic spinach burger starts with 100% angus beef that is topped with garlic sauteed spinach, red onions, tomatoes, hickory smoked bacon and bleu cheese. This burger also comes on a high rise bun with a home made Dijon mustard sauce.. First bite of this burger for me was, simply put, nothing but enjoyment. The moans and groans coming from me must have sounded odd to anyone sitting nearby. The angus beef was cooked to medium leaving the patty full of beefy flavor and juice. The bleu cheese was tart and creamy, the bacon added crunch and texture. The spinach was full of garlic bits and sauteed to just passed wilted. There was a nice bit of spice to the burger that added a slight bit of heat. This was by far one of the best bacon, bleu cheese burgers I have ever had. My side of beer battered fried zucchini had a nice a crust on the outside that stuck to the zucchini. The zucchini stayed tender without being mushy. Here is your pro tip for the day, get the fried zucchini with the garlic, Parmesan topping. I wish I had done this myself. I had to McGuyver mine by using the left over garlic Parm topping from my wife's fries.

  The overall feel of G Burger was awesome. The staff was super friendly and very helpful. The house music was awesome. I heard some great songs while eating dinner, Gun N Roses and Bon Jovi were among some of the tunes played. Not sure what took us so long to try G Burger but I can say now that whenever we have a show up in La Habra I know where we will be eating. I would highly recommend G Burger and if La Habra is too far for you they have other locations in OC so make sure to get yourself over there and grab a burger.

Gburger on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Triple D Favorite

The Oinkster
2005 Colorado Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90041

  This is the second trip the family has taken to a Triple D, AKA Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, restaurant. This time we went to The Oinkster in Eagle Rock, CA. I cannot count how many times I have seen The Oinkster episode on Triple D so I was excited to finally get to try the food. The menu is not large but there is plenty to choose from and they even have vegetarian options. Only bummer was no kids menu so my daughter had to order a full sized cheeseburger with ketchup only. My son ordered the BBQ pulled pork sandwich, my wife ordered the classic burger with bacon and I ordered The Oinkster pastrami sandwich. Fries come separately so we got one order of regular fries and one order of chili cheese fries. With drinks the meal was about $51.

  My daughter chowed down her burger and she really seemed to like it. The bun was toasted slightly, the burger was charred to perfection and the cheese was melted and gooey. There was a bit too much ketchup on the burger but not enough to hinder my daughter. I did have to help her finish the burger because it was a bit too large for her. A very good burger.

  Since my son and I both got sammies we decided to split ours so each could try the other. The BBQ pulled pork sandwich was simple but delicious. The sandwich consisted of BBQ pulled pork that is brined in soy and honey then slowly roasted and smoked. The sandwich has red cabbage slaw, caramelized onions and Carolina style BBQ sauce. That is all contained within a soft deli style roll. The pork it self was tender and moist. The pork had a nice hint of smoke and the BBQ sauce added a vinegary kick to each bite. The red cabbage slaw brought some texture to the sammy and the caramelized onions added a sweet, buttery richness to the party. Damn this was a killer sandwich and I wanted more when I was done, but I still had my half sandwich in front of me.

  My wife and I had not eaten breakfast so we were pretty hungry that day. My wife finished her burger before I had a chance to get a bite. But my wife did say that she was pleased with the burger. The classic 1/3 pound burger is Nebraska Angus beef with thousand island dressing, dill pickles, onion, tomatoes and lettuce. You can add cheese for an additional cost. My wife did add cheese and also added bacon. The burger looked awesome and I was a bit bummed I did not get a bite. 

  Personally I am always down for a pastrami sandwich, but Guy raved about The Oinkster pastrami so that was the clear choice for me. The Oinkster pastrami is house cured pastrami with red cabbage coleslaw, caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese tucked in a deli style roll. The pastrami had a nice peppery crust on the edges while remaining delicate and luscious. The red cabbage slaw added structure to the sandwich and a slight bit of acidity. The caramelized onion added a sweet taste to each bite and the cheese brought some salinity. When I first picked up my half it took me a few turns of the half to figure out where to first attack this monster. I had to perform the Triple D hunch to get at it. I didn't care much about how I must have looked stuffing my face because the sandwich was that awesome.

  The chili cheese fries are made with The Oinster's homemade chili then blanketed in cheese and green onions. The fries where crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The chili was good, not a lot of beans but still full of flavor. The cheese was plentiful so it made each forkful string away from the container. While the green onion added a good amount of freshness. A very very well made version of this classic side dish.

  The family's first visit to a Triple D location was a flop, however, the The Oinkster was a grand slam, home run. Every member of the family was extremely satisfied with our meal and we all talked about how we'd love return to The Oinkster next time we are in the neighborhood. I would easily say that you shouldn't hesitate any longer and get yourself to The Oinkster as soon as you can. Just remember that this place can get busy quickly so my tip would be to go a little earlier or later to miss the lunch and dinner rushes.

The Oinkster on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Oink, Oink!

Oink and Moo
Burgers and BBQ
121 N. Pico Ave
Fallbrook, CA 92028

  My wife has been insisting that we go to this place call Oink and Moo Burgers and BBQ down in Fallbrook ever since she heard of it. The family was on vacation in San Diego so this was a must stop while down in the area. The Oink and Moo is a small place located between what appears to be residential homes and can be missed so make sure to keep your eyes open. The family was seated quick and we quickly found what we all wanted to eat for dinner. We started with an appetizer, my daughter got the kids cheese burger, my son got the Hillbilly burger, my wife got the 2013 Taste of Fallbrook winning menu item which was a very tasty pork chop,and I got a three meat plate. With drinks and dessert this meal was about $85.

  The appetizer we started with was mac and cheese fritters wrapped in bacon and then deep fried. These little bites of goodness were served with a marinara sauce which went perfectly with the fritters. The bacon on the outside was crisp while the mac and cheese was soft and cheesy. I could have easily eaten a whole basket of these bad boys.

  The child's cheese burger was perfect for my daughter, she had no problems enjoying this burger. While it was enough to fill my daughter up she was asking for some french fries which did not come with the burger. But my daughter quickly forgot about the lack of fries while she was actually enjoying the burger it self. My daughter had no criticisms of the burger.

  My son is a growing boy and so is his appetite which means his choice for meals are becoming increasing larger. The Hillbilly burger my son ordered consisted of a 1/3 pound burger which was then topped with a hot dog, tater tots, caramelized onions and American cheese. My son started devouring this burger without hesitation and asked me if I wanted a bite. No way I was refusing this monstrosity, so I grabbed hold and went it in for a bite. The burger it self was cooked to a perfect medium which kept it moist, the hot dog was split down the middle yet retained some snap. The tater tots added a nice bit of crunch to the bite and the caramelized onions brought some sweetness the burger. What an awesome combination of flavors. It was like having a backyard BBQ on a single bun. Definitely a good pick by my son.

  What my wife ordered was on the menu as the 2013 Taste of Fallbrook winner which was a 12 ounce center cut, bone in, beer brined pork chop. The chop was served on top of a blueberry BBQ sauce and then covered on caramelized onions. I was able to get a few bites of this chop which it self was juicy and full of porky flavor. The blueberry BBQ sauce was not overly sweet and brought a nice fruity flavor to the chop. The onion added a slight bit of texture to the dish but some kind of crunch would have been nice. The few bites of pork I had were very good and something I myself would easily order. My wife had nothing bad to say to about her plate of food and was very satisfied with her choice.

  My choice of meats for the pick three plate was beef ribs, BBQ chicken and pulled pork. I got two gigantic beef ribs on my plate and was able to share one with my son. The beef rib it self was tender but still had some pull to it, meaning it just did not fall off the bone. Which was fine with me because while eating this rib I felt like Fred Flintstone gnawing on one of those brontosaurs ribs. The rib was smokey and the BBQ sauce was thick. I very much enjoyed the rib. The chicken was up next for me. This quarter chicken remained moist and was loaded with flavor. I think there may have been a rub on the chicken which was herby and scrumptious. Now for me the pulled pork was lacking something, I honestly cannot put my finger on what it was but something was missing. The pork was cooked til tender and the pork was full of good smokey flavor but I just felt a little under whelmed by the pulled pork. The biscuit was drenched it what I think was honey and maple syrup. The biscuit was flaky and pulled apart almost like those biscuits from a can, all I can say is yum.

  We decided to finish the meal with a smoked bananas fosters which was severed over two scoops of vanilla ice cream and came with macerated berries. The smoked caramel flavor really came through and cut through the richness of the ice cream. The berries added a nice tartness to the dessert that really made this dish complete. This was the final nail in the coffin for me and I was ready to tap out.

  The Oink and Moo definitely delivered fantastic BBQ and well made burgers. I am glad my wife found this place and took me there. I would highly recommend anyone near Fallbrook check this joint out. I can say for sure that the Oink and Moo will be on my list of must eat places next time I am in Fallbrook.

Oink and Moo Burgers and BBQ on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dinner after the show

Felix Continental Cafe
36 Plaza Sq.
Orange, CA 92866

  My wife and I were in Orange seeing The Maxies and after the show we were looking for a place to have dinner. While at The Maxies show a friend of mine had mentioned that they went to Felix Continental Cafe before the show and how good the food was there. This wasn't the first time I had been told about Felix so my wife and I decided it was time to try it out.

  The menu at Felix Continental Cafe was a bit overwhelming but not in a bad way, there was just so much on the menu that sounded really good. Felix has chicken dishes, beef dishes, pork dishes and seafood dishes. I personally was torn between the the ox tail, the Cuban sandwich or the roasted pork. I eventually decided on the roasted pork, my wife ended up picking the Arroz a la Cubana. With drinks this meal was about $32.

  The Arroz a la Cubana is casserole of saffron rice with chunks of pork, pieces of chicken and pieces of chorizo. My wife got the chorizo on the side because she thought the sausage would be spicy. I did try a little bit of each meat, the pork was tender but a tad bit on the dry side, the chicken was moist and shredded. While the texture of the chorizo kind of reminded me of wet jerky. The rice it self was cooked perfectly but still had some tooth to it. I said to my wife that the whole dish kind of reminded me of a Cuban fried rice. I really enjoyed each component of the dish separately and when mixed with the rice. A very tasty dish indeed.

  As for me the roasted pork was described as a Cuban holiday dish. Pork slowly roasted in its own drippings with bitter orange and seasonings. Served with rice, black beans and maduros. I love well made pork so I thought this would be a great dish and I was not wrong. The pork it self was tender and covered in the sauce which kept it extremely moist. The seasoning or sauce on the pork was so full of flavor and you did get a hint of the bitter orange. I enjoyed mixing the fluffy white rice with the pork and some of the raw white onion. I also thought the black beans were good, I am not a fan of black beans but these beans had a nice smokey flavor to them that I thought was nice. I tried the maduros which I believe was a deep fried plantain. It wasn't bad but not something I chose to eat simply because I wanted to finish the pork.

  I was very impressed with Felix Continental Cafe and will definitely be back. There are so many dishes on the menu that I want to try and I think the ox tail will be next. If you haven't been to Felix then I highly recommend you take a trip to this establishment as soon as you can. Oh on a side note the arroz con leche was creamy and the perfect end to this meal.

Felix Continental Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mediterranean Grand Opening

Luna Grill
3965 Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92606

  I received an email from a media relations person about Luna Grill having a grand opening celebration at the newest location in Irvine. So I thought I would go check it out. I was a bit disappointed that the food tasting was just samples and since I write about how foods taste and could care less about all the other festivities I had to go inside and actually order some food. My wife came with me so we got the chicken kabob and ground sirloin kabob plate, we also got a gyro plate and two drinks. This ended up costing me about $30. I wasn't surprised because the prices are clearly marked on the menu board but I was sure hoping the food would be worth the price.

  I stared by first trying some of the ground sirloin kabob. The meat was moist but a bit chewy. There was not much flavor to the meat other then the taste of beef. I did not get any taste of spice or seasoning. I was a bit disappointed to be honest. Next I tried the chicken and wow was this good. The chicken was tender and very juicy. The combination of spices and seasonings used on the chicken made it very flavorful. The slight char that the chicken had brought a nice smokey, grilled flavor to the chicken which left me wanting more of the chicken.

  Next I tried my gyro meat which is a mixture of ground lamb and ground beef with traditional near-eastern spices. I could tell from the slice of gyro meat that this came from a pre-formed hunk of meat and I believe I was correct. As I was about to leave I saw the cooks bring a perfectly shaped skewer of gyro meat out from the back and placeing in the cooking utensil. Now of course this could have been in the back but to me it just seemed to well made to be something that was done by hand. Now this is not to say the gyro was bad, in fact the exact opposite. The flavor of the meat was good and the spice is was exactly what I was used to, however, the meat was a bit dry because it was pre-sliced and sitting in a warming tray until being weighed out for service. I also want to mention that the sides on my plate were tasty. The basmati rice was cooked just right which made it light and fluffy. The pita bread was doughy but in a good way, not under cooked at all. The grilled tomato was a good compliment to the whole dish.

  The food at Luna Grill was good but seeing as how I am always trying to find the best tasting food for the best value I have to say Luna Grill isn't that place. If I had brought my kids with me the meal could have easily been over $50 and in my opinion I can get food that I personally enjoy more for less money. I will say that the chicken kabob at Luna Grill was out of this world fantastic and I would easily order that again but the combination of cost and just okay food may keep me away from Luna Grill in the future.

Luna Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A tasting at Gaufree

3851-A Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92606

  I was invited to a tasting event at Gaufree (Go-free) and since I enjoy waffle sandwiches so much it was a no brainier. The menu for the tasting event was limited to a few selection and I was able to pick one sandwich, one side, one dessert and a drink. I went with the Philly cheese steak, fries, black cherry soda and peanut butter pie. Since this was a tasting event there was no cost to me but if you would have ordered this the cost would have been around $20.

  I did want to mention the soda at Gaufree because it uses natural ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup. Which I think it pretty is cool. I much prefer these kinds of sodas when I do choose to drink soda. Plus the black cherry soda was excellent, nice cherry flavor without being overly sweet.

  As my food was delivered, Paul, the owner of Gaufree, stopped by my table and made sure to mention the garlic aioli that came with the fries. Being a lover of all things garlic that was the first thing I went for when it came to dipping my fries. The fries where crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The seasoning on the fries was perfect, just the right amount of salt to bring out all the flavor. But wait a minute, talk about a show stopper, the garlic aioli was just awesome. This dipping sauce would make a flip-flop taste good. The pungent taste of garlic was a welcome kick to the taste buds that sticks with you and will leave you craving more. Simply outstanding.

  I was fortunate enough to be sharing a table with a fellow food blogger we decided to share our sandwiches so we could each try more then more. I started with my Philly cheese steak sandwich, the waffle was loaded with grilled grass fed beef slices, sauteed peppers and onions which was all covered in melted cheese. This waffle had all the classic flavors of a Philly cheese steak, the beef was tender and moist, the peppers and onions added a bit sweetness and the cheese added a nice saltiness. The waffle it self was crunchy, fluffy and slightly sweet. This was a great tasting sandwich.

  Next up I tried the breakfast waffle which consisted of farm fresh organic scrambled eggs, apple wood smoked bacon and a garden herb pesto. Again the waffle was cooked just right, crispy and soft. The eggs were scrambled so they were light and airy. The bacon was thick which added a nice texture to the sandwich and a hint of smoke. The herb pesto brought a nice brightness to the entire flavor of this sammy. A breakfast sandwich that I could wake up to every morning.

  It must have been our lucky day because as we were sitting there enjoying our sandwiches we were offered a pulled pork sandwich. As full as I was there was no hesitation in answering yes. This pulled pork was slow cooked until pull a part tender and served with house made BBQ sauce. A bit of coleslaw also comes on the sandwich with caramelized onions and a spread of horseradish yogurt. The pork was tender and juicy, the BBQ sauce was smokey and sweet while the horseradish yogurt added some tang and spice. A very tasty version of pulled pork.

  Finally it was time to try the dessert waffle. This waffle is on the menu as a peanut butter pie waffle with sea salt caramel. However there are a few more ingredients included. The waffle had freshly sliced bananas, peanut butter, bits of chocolate cookie pieces, nuts and whipped cream the drizzled with caramel. This waffle brought sweet to a new level. You had better have a sweet tooth for this waffle. It was amazingly good but very rich. A cold glass of milk would have paired very nicely with this and rounded out this treat. I think this dessert is best shared with multiple people because too much can be overpowering but the flavors were spot on.

  My overall impression of Gaufree was very good. I was blown away by the quality of the ingredients and their attention to detail. I was watching them cook and after cooking the waffles they had a person trimming the edges so the waffle were nice and neat. All the ingredients are locally sourced, if possible, no use of GMO's and all natural where available. This combination brings the customers of Gaufree a quick dining experience that tastes like it came from a gourmet restaurant. I know I will be back and I suggest, no I urge, you to go and try Gaufree for yourself.

Gaufree on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Grand Opening

Hapa Cupcakes
105 W. Amerige Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

  The first time I wrote about Hapa Cupcakes (article here) they were just getting started in a location in Anaheim, sharing a store front with another restaurant. Over the weekend I was stoked to be invited to their grand open in Downtown Fullerton. The new shop is small and quaint but loaded with the alcohol infused cupcakes that have helped Hapa Cupcakes become successful. Since last I visited Hapa Cupcakes they have added more then a few new flavors of cupcakes, added cakes, brownies and even cookies to the line up.

  I was treated to a four pack of cupcake so I wanted to to try different or new flavors then the last time. I first tried the salted caramel cupcake. The cake was moist and had a nice caramel flavor to it. The frosting was sweet but not overly sweet and it complimented the cupcake nicely. My only issue is I wish there was a bit more salt on this cupcake. I really enjoy the salty sweetness that most salted caramel confections provide but this one was missing the salty.

  The second one down the hatch was the "Squeeze my Lemon" cupcake. Again the cake it self was moist and had the classic lemon cake flavor. The frosting was creamy and smooth which added a nice lusciousness to the entire cake. The lemon flavor was bit too subtle for me but overall another very well made cupcake.

  Next up was the "Strawberries and Champagne" cupcake. I really did like this cupcake more then I thought I would. The strawberry flavor was pronounced enough that it was the first thing I tasted, then as I continued to enjoy the cupcake the champagne flavor finished off the bite. The frosting on this cupcake was delicate and worked hand in hand with the cake to deliver an awesome cupcake.

  The last cupcake tasting was the "My Cookies Make You Cream" cupcake. This is Valrhona chocolate cupcake with chocolate cream cookie topping. The cupcake packed a punch of chocolate flavor while the cookies added a nice crunchy texture. Like the previous cupcakes this cake was also moist with a sweet cream cheese frosting loaded with cookie bits. If you are chocoholic then this cupcake will surely cure that craving. 

   I finished off my Hapa Cupcake treats with something completely new which was a creme de menthe brownie. This brownie reminded me of thin chocolate mints. The brownie it self was dense and chewy. The layer of creme de menthe was thin but packed a lot of flavor and it was topped with fudge coating. All together this brick sized treat fed three members of my family and we were plenty happy.

  I am a sucker for sweets and Hapa Cupcakes can deliver. I am happy to see these ladies finally move into their own store front. I wish them the best of luck and many years of success. But I would urge you if you are in Downtown Fullerton to stop by Hapa Cupcakes and tell them PapaKaster sent you.

Hapa Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lunch with Mom

Hill Street Cafe
1004 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada, CA 91011

 I took my Mom to the doctor and on the way home we wanted to eat lunch. I saw the Hill Street Cafe and we decided to stop and try it out. The menu at Hill Street Cafe is expansive and covers many different food types from American, Mexican, to Italian.  Not wanting to be stuffed my Mom and I decided to share a sourdough melt and onion rings. This sandwich was turkey, grilled onions, ortega chilies, tomatoes, Jack cheese and thousand island dressing all on grilled sourdough bread. The sandwich and side was $12.50.

  The sandwich was loaded with so much sliced turkey that it was spilling out the sides of the grilled bread. The turkey was thin yet moist and it too was grilled so it had a slight toasted flavor to it. The Jack cheese was melted and gooey which made it string with each bite of the sandwich. The tomatoes added a hint of sweetness and a lot of moisture. The ortega chilies added the slightest bit of heat and brought a ton a of flavor to the sandwich. The bread was crisp and perfectly grilled on the outside while still being soft in the middle. What a great sandwich! Each bite was full of every flavor which really made this a complete sandwich. I am glad I shared the sandwich with my Mom because I could have easily eaten the whole thing but half was just enough to fill me up. The onion rings we got were super crunchy yet still had a good onion flavor. A very well made ring.

  I did not expect much from Hill Street Cafe because cafes can be hit or miss but this was definitely a hit. So much so that as I write this I am thinking of how I might be able to get back there again. I think the next time I visit Mom we may have make a trip to Hill Street Cafe and I would suggest if you are anywhere near that you should too.

Hill Street Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 6, 2014

Homemade Ice Cream is Here

Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert
1549 E. Katella #C
Orange, CA 92867

  I heard about Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert from a fellow foodie and former blogger Dan. He made mention of this place, the nice owner and the quality ice cream, so I figured I would take the family there after dinner to see for myself. Immediately upon walking in we were welcomed with a hearty hello and a warm smile from the owner. He told us about his ice cream and how he made the majority of the ice cream in store. Happily to my wife's suprise, he also stocked a few classics from Thrifty's. He gladly offered as many samples as we wanted until we all made our final choices. My daughter being the sugar fiend that she is went right for the Thrifty's cotton candy and small bit of banana cabana (small), my son went with banana cabana with mint and chip (medium), my wife ordered house made Butter Finger and Thrifty's chocolate malted crunch (small), I went with banana cabana and eggnog (medium). The prices for Thrifty's ice cream are $2 for a small, $3 for a medium and $4 for a large, the home made ice creams are a dollar more for each size. All together this treat was $13.

  My daughter devoured her ice cream and ended up with a blue and pink haze all around her mouth by the end of her cup. My son enjoyed his ice cream not saying much. They both seemed content with their choices, not one complaint was muttered from either. My wife loves Thrifty's Chocolate Malted Crunch so I know that was a hit for her and she said the Butter Finger ice cream was loaded with large pieces of the candy bar.

  As for me I went with all home made ice cream so I could really try something different. The eggnog ice cream was rich, silky smooth and full of the traditional eggnog flavors. A frozen version of the classic holiday drink. The true stand out to me was the banana cabana. The ice cream had an abundance of banana flavor with a tremendous amount of chocolate chips and thick ribbons of fudge throughout. Each bite of ice cream combined the flavors perfectly and was reminiscent of a frozen banana on a stick. This is now one of my favorite ice cream flavors and I will have to return to Andrew's Ice Cream to get more banana cabana.

  Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert has only been open for a few months now so I'm sure he is still trying to gain a good customer base but if he continues with these quality ice creams and super friendly service I do not see this as being a problem. It's rare these days to see these kind of family run ice cream shops and it is a great addition to the community. If you are anywhere near Tustin and Katella I highly recommend stopping by Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert.

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