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Moving to Irvine...need restaurant recommends!

irvine is fine. It used to be the culinary wasteland that the other posters have posted, but it's come a long way, if you know what you're doing.

These are some inexpensive spots where you will eat well in Irvine, and Tustin.

Chinese: A&J (Irvine)
Burgers: Mick's Karma Bar (Irvine)
Taco shop: Taco Factory (Tustin) <I eat the burrito loco, and it has changed my life)
Sweet Treats and Coffee: 85* (degrees) (Irvine)
Gyros: Peter's Gourmade Grill (Tustin)
Indian (southern): Laxmi Sweets and Spices
Shaved Ice: Snow Station (Tustin)

Take the time to go to Wholesome Choice. It's really great. I drive 20 minutes to use it as my go to grocery spot, and I am not disappointed. The make a fresh bread right as you walk in that is not to be missed.

You can do some cheap shopping at Daiso too, and there's a Trader Joe's right across the street.

I'm sure after 10 weeks, you'll be looking forward to getting out of what is a god forsaken city, but it has it's bright spots.

May 17, 2014
cem3340 in Los Angeles Area

Tucson favorites >$15 pp

Thanks for the tips. I will def check out the link!

Yesterday I tried El Guero Canelo (hot dog, quesodilla, and medium carne asada burrito. I liked it, but I don't think anything could live up to the hype.

I also tried Allegro Gelato, which blew my mind it was so good! (pineapple basil, anise, salted caramel, Allegro special)

El Guero Canelo
5201 S 12th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85706

Aug 05, 2011
cem3340 in Southwest

Tucson favorites >$15 pp

I'm new to the Tucson area, and would love it if you would share your top 3 spots under $15 per person and what you like to eat.


Aug 02, 2011
cem3340 in Southwest

Orlando in November

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Very inspired.

Nov 15, 2010
cem3340 in Florida

Fountainless Restaurants in SF

Hard Knox
Little Star
Taqueria Cancun
Others I can't come up with on the spot ;-)

I was suspecting that there may be a legislative reason...

Other observations that differ from my home include:

No foam containers.
Very little plastic disposable silverware (lots of the starch base "bio" ware)
No plastic cups.
No plastic sample spoons (at least at Bi Rite or HS)

Inkas Restaurant
3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Taqueria Cancun
2288 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Hard Knox Cafe
2526 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Little Star Cafe
1536 Newell Ave, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Fountainless Restaurants in SF

I apologize for the confusion. I try to make the posts short, and this time it didn't work like I intended.

The restaurants I have been to in SF serve soft drinks in a can, as opposed to using a fountain dispenser (syrup and carbonated water).

I was curious if the is a common SF phenomenon.

Fountainless Restaurants in SF

We have been to several restaurants here in San Francisco, yet not one has served soft drinks from a fountain.

Even some of the bars, no fountain.

Is this a universal SF trait, or have my exp. simply been dumb luck?

Mac and Cheese in SF

Tried Hard Knox tonight, and the texture and pasta was good. However, I prefer a richer cheesy flavor....

The search will go on...

Hard Knox Cafe
2448 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

Mac and Cheese in SF

Nice. Great links.

Mac and Cheese in SF

Any mac and cheese that is noteworthy in the city?

Papusas and Donuts in SF

I was walking around Mission this evening after dining at Inkas (helluva tip, ty Chowhounds), and noticed several papuserias.

I searched the board but couldn't seem to find any information on specific spots. I very much enjoy a bean and cheese pupusa and would appreciate any leads to finding a good one here in the city.

Likewise, Yellow Brick Cafe's donuts sounded really cool, but is there anything similar or equally appealing on the donut front?

Inkas Restaurant
3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Pink's @ Knott's

Surprisingly the prices are straight up Pinks prices. I was shocked.

Basic Chili Cheese $3.65.

I think it's slightly outrageous given the quality, but not given theme park's usual MOs.

Oct 29, 2009
cem3340 in Los Angeles Area

Help with OC Italian!!!

I almost forgot:

Pizzeria Ortica halfway between posh and casual. The food was good when we went, and the wine list is great.

Pizzeria Ortica
650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Oct 28, 2009
cem3340 in Los Angeles Area

Share Your SF Top Three Under $10pp (without drinks)

Arroza con pollo is one of my favorites. I will be sure to check it out.

Budget: Close enough ;-) I'm not THAT hardcore.

My Favorite Cafe
2110 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

Pink's @ Knott's

Pink's at Knotts:

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The place is capital W weird. Knotts took their outside grease pit food counter, stuck a Pinks menu (not complete menu, mind you) on it, and are hyping it like it's the second coming.

If you've never had Pink's, you should try it. It's an institution after all.

My preference would be Portillo's or even Costco, frankly (get it? FRANKly. HA).

Oct 28, 2009
cem3340 in Los Angeles Area

Help with OC Italian!!!

Three more options:

Basilico's Pasta E Vino (Fountain Valley), this would be my choice for a date. Great food, small place, nice wine list.

Mangia Mangia HB

Nick's Pizza Ristorante in Costa mesa. This is the most "casual" of the lot, however the food is usually good, and the prices are very reasonable.

Nick's Pizza
13295 Spring Valley Pkwy, Victorville, CA 92395

Oct 28, 2009
cem3340 in Los Angeles Area

Heading To SF Berk Area, and In Need of Some Tips

No kidding, this is awesome.

If you're at the Ferry Plaza farmer market on Saturday, look for a ridiculously tall (6'10"), white male and say hi :-) We'll be there.

many thanks!

Share Your SF Top Three Under $10pp (without drinks)

My last topic got such great recommendations, and everyone was so helpful, I thought I'd pose a little more challenging topic.

What are your 3 favorite spots priced under $10pp (excluding bar)?

Has Disneyland's Corn Dog Changed?

No worries.

Disney used to have cream cheese filled pretzels, which I found to be a delicious and nutritious(?) snack food for inside the park....If they're still around: worth adding to you Disneyland snackable list

Oct 24, 2009
cem3340 in Los Angeles Area

Heading To SF Berk Area, and In Need of Some Tips

Thanks for your help.

I've opted to change my approach and see if that yields some better results.

Wish me luck :-)

Share Your SF Top Three Under $30ea (without drinks)

What are your 3 favorite places to eat in SF under $30ea without bar?

Has Disneyland's Corn Dog Changed?

I just spoke to a manager who works at the cart and the product has changed.

A few months ago the cart moved from an 8" dog to a 6" 100% beef dog. The weight remained the same, however the dog was thicker, used less batter, and cooked faster.

As of a "couple of weeks ago," Disneyland is now using a new 6" Beef and Chicken combo dog. (I didn't get the exact ratio)

From what I am told, the reviews of this new dog have not been good, but the product is supposed to be healthier and still have the same cost cutting benefits as the last 6" dog.

This is straight from the guys that make the stuff.....

Oct 23, 2009
cem3340 in Los Angeles Area

Traveling to DC, in need of food tips.

Pizza's tricky. Probably the toughest single food to quantify. Way too many styles to choose from, not to mention toppings....

I try to put my personal bias aside, when it comes to pizza, but it's tough cuz Thick Crust Chicago style pizza with Pepperoni and garlic is really the only pizza that should exist ;-)

Seriously, I was glad to try Red Rock, and appreciate what they do and their quality; it's just not my preference.

Heading To SF Berk Area, and In Need of Some Tips

Many thanks abstract. This is the kind of information I am looking for.

Slocolmbe. Roger that. It's on the short list, thanks!

Now, all I need is some food tips that don't require tedious searching of board posts, and I'll be in business.

Heading To SF Berk Area, and In Need of Some Tips

Where does one get a decent bowl of cioppino?

Heading To SF Berk Area, and In Need of Some Tips

I live in Southern California and will be traveling to SF from 10/29-11/3, precious little time to do everything in such a great city. We will be staying in downtown SF (Courtyard) and be using Metro/BART as transport.

Would you please post your must hit food spots?

I tend to gravitate to casual dining more than fine dining. Take out, food on the go tips are great too.

My wife's one major request is chowder in a bread bowl. I'm sure there are a million places to make such an acquisition; however is there a "GREAT" place to go?

Burgers, fries, pizza, Italian, Ethiopian, Greek, Middle Eastern, BBQ, fried chicken, Soul food, Vietnamese, Japanese, if I forgot to mention something, it's all up for grabs. I'm sure we'll be walking through China Town, Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, the usual tourist enclaves and some of the beaten path choices would be great.

I have heard tell of an ice cream shop in Berkley that is unreal, and a friend told me to hit "Top Dog." Any hound impressions would be greatly appreciated.

A good bakery / donut shop would be welcome suggestions too.


Traveling to DC, in need of food tips.

Thanks man. I couldn't have done it without you ;-).

The Eastern Market was a tip from another blog post, that I thought was yours....

Either way, Eastern Market is rad, and I would have never gone there without someone's suggestion.

Pioneer's going in the phone. Hopefully we'll be back in DC soon. We had an amazing time.

Traveling to DC, in need of food tips.

TOTALLY forgot:

Breadline; Duh, Samiches. Consumed Lamb Sausage, Ham and Cheese, French Fries. we got there just before closing, but food was still great. Excellent quality cold cuts, sausage was spicy and delicious, not greasy, and french fries (only ones we had in DC, for shame), were plentiful and tasty. Took a brownie for the road. Killer. Delicious

Open City: American. We had a Cheeseburger w/ beer (great Monday Night special) and a cheese calzone. Food was fine, it was super close to our hotel so made a nice improvised food find. Later in our trip we got some baked goods (seemingly lacking in DC). We sampled their brownie, cheesecake, chocolate roulade and carrot cake at various points during the week. The brownie and carrot cake were definitely good, the others (when we had them) were old and/or uninteresting. Good Eats.

Traveling to DC, in need of food tips.

Back, and happy to be warm and dry :-)

I want to thank the Chowhounds in DC for all of their great suggestions. Ktmoomau and Steve deserve some big wet kisses. Thanks!

What was consumed and subsequent impressions:

Mama Asheya's: This was recommended by our driver, as well as KT. We had the Kabob sampler, side of Hummus, and a Lamb Stew dish. The hummus was great, the kabob sampler I ate had some very tasty chicken, however the beef selections were tough, chewy and lacked flavor. The lamb stew also seemed a bit bland, but was not inedible. As with seemingly all Middle Eastern restaurants I have been to, the rice is killer. Worth Trying.

Red Rock: Pizza. I have to admit, I was warned by numerous hounders that DC is not the pizza spot. We had a cheese calzone and a pepperoni and roasted garlic pizza. The beer on tap was good, the atmosphere was nice, but the food product, I felt was lacking. The calzone was too doughy, and the pizza was a bit greasy and boring. Roasted garlic, however, was a nice touch. Skip.

Zorba's: Greek. We actually stopped here on our last night. We consumed the calamari and (tell me if you're detecting a pattern) the sampler platter. All of the ingredients were fresh, the place was busy, even on a cold and rainy night. I would definitely recommend the chicken souflaki. It was flavorful, moist and delicious. The calamari was as good as calamari can be ;-), and the rest of the meal was good, but forgettable. Good Food.

Ray's Hell Burger. Burgers. This place was so unbelievable we went twice. The first trip we had burgers, au poivre, recommended, with bacon, grilled onions and cave aged cheddar. Burger, recommended, with grilled onions, brie cheese. Mac and cheese. There's really nothing else to say. This place left me speechless both times (second time we had a Mack, and recommended burger with mushrooms and bacon). Perfect in every way. Amazingly Delicious.

Dolcezza: Gelato. Dessert. This place has some great flavors, however I wish they would keep their freezer unit a little cooler, as the product did not come out silky and smooth as I tend to prefer my gelato. No matter, hang out on the benches, let the product melt a bit and it was very tasty. Good Food.

Eastern Market & Nameless street vendor: Half Smoke. I believe Steve recommended hitting the Eastern Market for some dogs, and that turned out to be a stupendous suggestion. One of the butchers there offered many assorted half smoke and regular dogs giving a healthy dose of options. Obviously not from around there, this is what I would expect to be the way Half Smokes are supposed to be. We sampled the Half Smoke with casing, the Half Smoke with no casing, and the Half Smoke via Kielbasa. The flavor of the Half Smoke with no casing was the model I enjoyed the most, but I liked the snap of the casing. All things being equal, I was quite pleased. The Half Smoke on the street (somewhere near BAG) was not inedible, but pricey and ultimately uninteresting. Good Food.

Ooh's and Aah's: Soul Food. We loved this place. The people were amazing, the food was good, and I love this type of atmosphere. Needless to say, probably not the place for a first date, but great for a quick bite or socializing with your mates. As awesome as the place was, I should have checked the Hound Reports a little closer, as I would suspect we did not order the best of the best this place has to offer. We had Meat loaf, collard greens, mac and cheese, and the fried chicken breast. For meatloaf that is hanging out all day waiting to find a home, it was quite good. I got the gravy on the side (as I am a total gravy wimp), and I really enjoyed it. Lots of rosemary, and big flavor. Good stuff. The mac and cheese would be what I would consider baseline mac and cheese. All mac and cheese should be AT LEAST this good. Noodles were intact and the cheese wasn't clumpy and gross. The bummer on this particular trip was the fried chicken breast. The person cooking it got a little distracted by the TV and let that bird cook WAY TOO LONG. Meh. Bygones. We had a great time, and loved our meal. That goes a long way. Delicious.

Baltimore. Chaps Pit Beef. What we had was a Pit Beef sandwich, a Guys special (basically everything in a bun), and mac and cheese. This was not a hound find; I believe it was a Food Network selection. As with seemingly all of my Food Network finds, the meal is completely lacking. The personalities in the location are awesome. Super friendly people, counter service, bench seating; the only thing missing was sawdust and peanuts. The food just kind of missed the boat. The sandwiches were cold and bland and the mac and cheese, however good, was just overshadowed by the sub par rest of the meal. Not on the way from anywhere to anywhere, so would probably miss it upon future trips. Skip.

Central. American. Holy Lord, this place is delicious. We consumed too much. I mean we had: Fried chicken (TY KT), French Onion Soup, Mac and Cheese (again), Appley some kind of dessert, and the chocolate bar. The service was French is about the worst thing I have to say about the place. We had nowhere to go, so I didn't care, but the food was unreal good. We sat near the open kitchen, and everything that came off of the line looked enjoyable. This was a huge surprise, and we loved this place. Amazingly Delicious.

Ben's Chili Bowl: Walked by. Read several reviews, none of which were terribly glowing. Kept walkin'. Maybe next time, sorry Cos.

Thanks again, DC Hounds. You helped make our trip awesomely awesome.


Traveling to DC, in need of food tips.

Wow, awesome. Thanks!

Any feelings on Ben's? Worth a trip?