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Saturday Night Foodies

Inaugural OC Brew Ho Ho! Holiday Ale Festival – December 8, 2012

Inaugural OC Brew Ho Ho!

Saturday, December 8, the producers of Orange County’s “Best Craft Beer Festival,” the OC Brew Ha Ha, are pleased to present the inaugural OC Brew Ho Ho! Holiday Ale Festival at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. Award-winning Southern California breweries will be pouring over 50 craft and import beers in support of Yellow Ribbon America – Operation Christmas and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. The new seasonal festival will feature an afternoon full of unlimited beers tastings, a commemorative festival glass, great food, festive music and a unique holiday shopping experience.

OC Brew Ho Ho! brings the highest quality beer and food to connoisseurs with adiscerning palette to celebrate the fast growing craft beer industry and the special tastes and aromas of these special holiday ales. The event will offer an unprecedented selection of limited release, seasonal, first release and holiday ales. Guests will enjoy special holiday food menus from The PhoenixClub and popular food trucks like Rancho-a-Go-Go and The Viking Truck. The famous Slater’s 50/50 will be on hand with a special Brew Ho Ho Holiday Burger for the event. Top it off with delicious creations from Drunken Udder Ice Cream, Brew Cakes and more. This event will also feature a rare Brewery Merchandise Expo offering unique gift options for the craft beer lovers in your life.

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Award Winning Bootlegger’s Brewery, Pizza Port San Clemente and Newport Beach Brewing Company have come together for the first time to create the “Brew Ho Ho Holiday Strong Ale” exclusively for this festival. Brewed with English yeast and chocolate malts, this limited release beer contains subtle hints of sugar and spice for the holidays and will be unveiled for the very first time at the OC Brew Ho Ho! This beer can be enjoyed right away or aged for later. A limited number of bottles of this special beer will be available to purchase at the breweries after the festival.

OC Brew Ho Ho! supports the Yellow Ribbon America – Operation Christmas program with their efforts to give local direct support to our deployed and at home troops and their families. Guests may bring an unwrapped new toy to further support their efforts. OC Brew Ho Ho! also supports the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation’s dedication to improving the care and quality of life for children with malignant diseases.

Tasting Passes to OC Brew Ho Ho! Holiday Ale Festival are $45 and include a commemorative festival glass, unlimited 3 oz. tastes, entrance to the Brewery Merchandise Expo, and FREE parking. Designated Reindeer (driver) passes areavailable for $10 and must accompany a paying guest. Tickets are currently available online at http://ocbrewhoho.com.

JT Schmid’s Introduces New Menu Items and the Bigger Badder Asser Burger

JT Schmid’s Tustin Location

On November 5, JT Schmid’s Restaurant and Brewery will introduce new menu items to its already extensive list. New appetizers include coconut shrimp, jumbo shrimp, butterflied, covered in fresh shaved coconut and deep fried, and flatbread pizzas such as Margherita, wild mushroom, roasted pear and blue cheese. Entrees include a jalapeño mac and cheese, made with chicken, tomatoes, bacon and raditori pasta in a creamy ale sauce and a meatball sandwich made with angus beef meatballs, garlic, tomatoes, smothered in homemade marinara sauce and topped with parmesan cheese, served on a brioche bun. The restaurant is also offering new sides of made to order potato chips, tater tots and beer battered steak fries as well as seven new desserts including the Dream Bomba – a scoop of peanut butter gelato with a caramel center, dipped in milk chocolate and topped with peanut butter drizzle. Picture a Bon Bon™ on steroids.

Cowboy Style “Bigger Badder Asser” Burger

The real big news is the introduction of JT’s “Bigger Badder Asser” burger, which is a 12” custom baked bun, 6lb beef patty grilled and topped with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, pickles, onions and roasted corn mayo. Customers have the option to order this cowboy style, which comes with fried onion rings, 15 slices of bacon, blue cheese and BBQ sauce or additionally you can order any of the “Regular Burger” styles. This is also available in a turkey patty.

“Bigger Badder Asser” Turkey Burger with Jalapeño Relish

The magnitude of this burger is not designed for individual consumption, unless of course, you are a linebacker for the (insert your NFL football team of choice). The $50 burger is aimed for the shock and awe factor and probably best suited for a party since it feeds up to 6 people. I think it could feed more. It is huge!

JT Schmid’s Restaurant and Brewery has two locations in Orange County; Tustin and Anaheim.

Dream Bomba
Jumbo Coconut Shrimp
Jalapeño Mac and Cheese
Flatbread Pizzas: Margherita, Wild Mushroom, Roasted Pear & Blue Cheese
“Bigger Badder Asser” Burger
JT Schmid’s New Imperial Stout
Angus Beef Meatballs

Halloween Foodtacular Food Truck Fare (After Dark) – OC Fair – Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Orange County Fair Grounds

Oct 31, 2012
05:30 PM – 09:00 PM
Food Truck Fare – Wednesday (After Dark)

OC Fair & Event Center – Pacific Amphitheatre Box Office

Event Description:
Food Truck Fare will get spooky with the Halloween Foodtacular with a variety of gourmet food trucks with Halloween-themed menu items, music by Urban DJ Academy, cash bar with adult “spirits”, truck-to-truck trick-or-treating for the kids, and more. Family-friendly costumed encouraged.

Wednesday 5:30-9 p.m.

Admission & Parking: Free
Food prices vary per truck.

Halloween Foodtacular Offerings: Soho Taco, Dos Chinos, The Burnt Truck, Ragin Cajun, The Lime Truck, Dogzilla, Waffle-icious, White Rabbit, Jogasaki Burrito, Gravy Train Poutinerie, Chunk N Chip.

Thanksgiving Dinner Simplified: Let Lucca Roast While You Toast

Good Looking Turkey

Chef Cathy’s Traditional Thanksgiving Meals with Free-Range Turkeys and all the Trimmings Available for Takeout

This Thanksgiving, diners will be able to start their own traditions with a little assistance from Chef Cathy Pavlos at LUCCA, who is offering to handle everything from shopping for groceries and scrubbing roasting pans, to worrying about whether the turkey is cooked to the right temperature and picking out wines! The best part of the deal? You can impress family and friends with a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner menu featuring Free-Range Turkeys cooked to perfection!

With LUCCA’s Thanksgiving takeout dinner, guests may entertain 2 or 200 guests with ease and offer a special mouth-watering menu guaranteed to delight any budget and palate. Our traditional takeout dinners are capable of feeding up to 10 guests, and include a lavish spread featuring a Free-Range Turkey, stuffed and roasted to perfection, for $325 (add $32.50 per person for each additional guest). In addition, a complete meal for individual diners may be purchased for $32.50 each. All meals must be ordered by Friday, November 16th for pick up on or before Thursday, November 22nd at noon. Orders may be placed by calling (949) 725-1773.

LUCCA’s Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner includes:
* LUCCA Free-Range Turkey (12-14 lbs for 10 people; larger turkeys available)
* Apple-Pork Sausage, Fennel and Sage Stuffing
* Rich Turkey Gravy
* Cranberry-Orange Chutney
* Mashed Yukon Potatoes and Parsnips with Parmesan Cheese
* Fire-in-the-Sky Yams with Candied Walnuts
* Farmer’s Market Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Fresh Oregano
* LUCCA Salad: Organic Mesclun Greens, Market Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers, Kalamata Olives and Balsamic Vinaigrette
* Assorted Silver-Dollar Dinner Rolls
* Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

“I am proud to say that our attention to detail is ‘legendary,’ which means that our customers can relax and enjoy themselves,” comments Cathy Pavlos, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of the Irvine eatery. “I use the freshest, quality imported and domestic products that I can find – products, that in many cases, are natural, organic, and hormone, pesticide and antibiotic-free.”

LUCCA also offers Thanksgiving dinner items a la carte. For more information or to place orders, guests may call (949) 725-1773.

Now this is Real Hawaiian Food! – Ono Hawaiian Foods, Honolulu, HI

Ono Hawaiian Foods

Ono Hawaiian Foods is a hole in the wall that has been around for a really long time. Different awards and autographed celebrity headshots line their simple walls. The staff is super friendly, service is fast and the food is to die for authentic Hawaiian Food. Menu consists of items like laulau, lomi lomi salmon, chicken long rice, Kahlua pig and Haupia, to name a few. Needless to say we pigged out.

Pork Laulau
Chicken Laulau

Our favorite dish was the LauLau, and they were huge compared to what you get at other places. The pork and chicken were both very good. Laulau, the simplest way to describe it is like an Hawaiian tamale. Pork, chicken and/or fish wrapped in taro leaves, then wrapped in banana leaves steamed until the taro and meat are tender and juicy. These are some of the best I have had (if not the best) and I have had more than my fair share!

If you visit Oahu and want to experience the true taste of Hawaii, check these guys out!

Hawaiian Feast
Lomi Salmon
Kalua Pig

Ono Hawaiian Foods on Urbanspoon

A Cottage in Waikiki – ­Cream Pot – Honolulu, HI

Cream Pot, Waikiki, HI

Driving around in downtown Waikiki can sometimes be a challenge because of the many one-way roads. However, on this trip, when we kept being forced to turn left on Niu Street we noticed a quaint cottage-looking place on the corner. After driving past it for the fifth time, I decided to look it up on Yelp to see what it was all about. It is a breakfast/brunch place that offers a unique menu with items such as maguro eggs Benedict, soufflé pancakes, crepes, and egg bakes.

Cottage Feel

The restaurant is attached to an old hotel, the Hawaiian Monarch Waikiki hotel, but don’t judge the restaurant by the hotel. The restaurant is designed like a country cottage, with rounded wooden doors, dried flowers, and vintage cooking tools and appliances as decor. There is a long wooden communal table in the middle with a handful of four-tops around it. We were handed a traditional menu and a flipbook menu with pictures of the menu.

Soufflé Pancakes with Bananas, House Made Salted Caramel

Breakfast is not my favorite meal to eat out because usually, the menu is pretty boring for me (eggs, hash browns…etc.). However, with Cream Pot, I found it hard to decide what I wanted to order because so many things looked good. I decided to go with the day’s special, soufflé pancakes, which came with a choice of strawberries, bananas with salted caramel or raspberry chocolate. I opted for bananas with salted caramel. I’m not sure what I was expecting with soufflé pancakes, but it was just that, three mini soufflés baked and topped with bananas, house made salted caramel, and fresh whip cream. The pancakes, that’s the deceiving part of the name, were so light, it was like biting into air…OK, whipped egg white air.

Tiger Shrimp Egg Bake

Jason ordered the Tiger Shrimp egg bake. It was a mixture of shrimp, creamed spinach and eggs, baked and served with a toasted baguette.

The servers were friendly but the service is a little slow. Despite that, I really enjoyed this restaurant and think it would do great in a place like Orange County. Not quite sure how it came to be in Hawaii. I forgot to mention, that the restaurant caters to Japanese tourists, which is why we were handed the menu photo flip book and probably how some of the unique Benedicts came to be.

Inside the Soufflé Pancakes: Mini Soufflés

Cream Pot (Hawaiian Monarch Hotel Waikiki) on Urbanspoon

All Aboard! Progressive Dinner on Queen Mary – Long Beach, CA

The Queen Mary

We were invited to participate in a progressive dinner on the Queen Mary. To be honest, until we received the invitation, we had not really given much thought about the Queen Mary in a long time. For locals, most of us think of the ship as an “attraction” for tourists to visit and often forget that it is a full-fledged hotel with many dining options.

Bar at the Observation Bar

We began the evening in the Observation Bar, an art deco lounge with most of its original décor still intact, including a mural of King George V’s silver jubilee. The bar was originally designated as the lounge for the first-class passengers. We felt almost transported back in time, sans the tuxedos and luxurious evening gowns. This is definitely a place worth checking out and offers a variety of live music Fri-Sun. We were offered canapés of roasted beef tenderloin, salmon tartar, brie and Kiwi, shrimp and chicken and served classic cocktails.

Assorted Canapés

The Commodore, who was our host for the evening, walked us from restaurant to restaurant, and shared with us many of the ships historical anecdotes. We proceeded to Chelsea’s Chowder House and Bar where we were served more cocktails and samples of the restaurant’s many menu items such as: Crab Cake Sliders, Clam Chowder and roasted corn shots, Fish of the “Chip”, butter poached lobster and Bass Ale Braised Short Ribs.

Maryland Style Crab Cake Sliders
Chelsea Chowder House Shots: New England Clam and Roasted Corn
Buttered Pached Lobster, Vanilla Scented Boniato, Grilled Pineapple
Bass Ale Braised short Rib, Caramelized Shallot, Natural Jus

We moved on to Sir Winston’s Restaurant, which is the formal dining venue aboard the ship. From almost every seat in the house, you are offered terrific views of the ocean and Long Beach cityscape. We were served a trio of the restaurant’s best items: Beef Wellington with truffle sauce, Queenies Sea Scallop with applewood bard and parsley butter and a Wild Mushroom Chevre Strudel, made with Madeira glaze, pine nuts and creme fraiche – served on Sir Winston’s fine China. The chef, Todd Henderson, came out to welcome our group. He told us that the ship maintains copies of all the past chefs’ menus, so that they are able to prepare foods dating all the way back to 1936, when the Queen Mary sailed her maiden voyage from South Hampton to New York. It’s pretty cool to think that we can visit the past, while allowing the current chef to put his own unique spin on a dish, while still maintaining its classic integrity.

Beef Wellington with Truffle Sauce, Queenies Sea Scallop with Applewood and a Wild Mushroom Chevre Strudel

We finished the evening in the Tea Room, where we had a tower of sweet treats, coffee and tea.

Raspberry Chocolate Transfer Tower, Lemon Meringue Tartlet, Petit Eclairs, Dark and White Chocolate Macaroons

It was a truly unique experience and gave us a chance to get reacquainted with the Queen Mary. I am looking forward to booking a suite in the future. This will give us an opportunity to experience more of the ship’s hospitality as well as check out their Sunday Champagne.


Craft Cocktail Recipe: #101412 Apple Cider and Aged Bourbon

Julian Fresh Pressed Cider and Aged Bourbon

After some more testing with unpasteurized fresh pressed apple cider from Julian, California Kim knocked this one out of the park. If you missed #101212 make sure you check that one out if you want to try something with Gin. Now back to #101412, the smell itself will grab you, and make sure you use a good aged bourbon.

Here is the recipe, if you tweak it and improve upon it please let us know!

2oz Aged Bourbon
2oz Unpasteurized Pressed Apple Cider (Can substitute any fresh pressed cider)
1/2oz Maple Syrup
1/4oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters
3 Slices of Fresh Apple (Cubed)
2 Pinches Cinnamon
1 Cinnamon Stick

Muddle apple, maple syrup, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice into a martini shaker. Shake to blend all of the amazing flavors, and strain over ice or directly into a martini glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick

The Original Shrimp Truck – Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, North Shore, Oahu, HI

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck – Simple but Tasty!

There are many shrimp trucks popping up all over the US. However it all started with Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck on the North Shore of Oahu. They are famous for their plates of sautéed sweet white shrimp with rice. They have a simple menu and almost always have a line. The shrimp are raised on the island. You can almost taste the freshness!

Scampi Shrimp with Garlic Rice

Hot & Spicy Shrimp

I love the garlicky scampi shrimp with extra garlic on the rice. Very stinky and tasty. Next time I will order a half scampi, half hot and spicy. Yum!!

The Menu

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck on Urbanspoon