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ArtShapiro's Profile

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Best lunch in Costa Mesa/Irvine/Santa Ana for under $10

I'm personally not a fan of sit-down restaurant lunches. I can't imagine a nicer lunch than an Italian hoagie at Philly's Best in Irvine (Barranca near Yale Loop). This particular Philly's Best is better than the adjoining ones in Lake Forest and Costa Mesa.

Art

Aug 18, 2014
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Best combo to order at a deli: What and Where

In general, it's fairly unusual to get a good corned beef & Swiss out here, at least in Orange County, so I appreciate delis that have corned beef on the menu.

Art

Jan 16, 2014
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Secret/hidden charming restaurant in a canyon - driving me crazy help!

Is there any possibility you're referring to the Mt. Baldy Lodge in Baldy Village? It's certainly tree-surrounded and rather rustic and is owned by a nice lady.

Art

Dec 12, 2013
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Affordable coffee beans

I'm quite surprised at your observation, although I respect your opinion. The couple times I've tried the Archer Farms coffee, I thought it was positively mediocre. In fairness, I don't recall what varieties I tried.

I was quite surprised, as the Archer Farms products, in general, are quite upscale from the more pedestrian house branded (is that Market Pantry?) items.

I had a cash-register-generated coupon for Archer Farms coffee that just expired a week or so ago, and had decided not to take advantage of it after my previous experiences.

Art

Feb 13, 2013
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Chateaubriand (Preferably Central OC)

Thanks, both of you (so far)! I'll look into both places. Appreciate the input on these two unfamiliar spots.

Art

Sep 05, 2012
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Chateaubriand (Preferably Central OC)

My wife is interested in a good Chateaubriand meal. We're in Lake Forest. I've been poking around the web without much success. One place across from John Wayne Airport, Gulliver's, seems to have it but comments aren't generally very favorable about the restaurant.

Any help out there?

Art

Sep 04, 2012
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Need to replace discontinued coffee

Nothing to suggest here, but I'm sorry to hear that news. The Sumatra was probably the one Trader Joe's coffee that could legitimately rival the product from real coffee shops.

Art

Mar 27, 2012
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Breakfast at the Orange circle

I haven't been there in years, but used to sporadically visit the Cuban restaurant on the SW side of the circle for an interesting, unusual, and good breakfast. Is it called Felix's or something really close? And while I've never eaten there, folks in my bicycle club speak highly of the Filling Station just a block north of the circle on Glassell at Maple.

Art

Feb 18, 2012
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Until they get it together, go 3 blocks west to The Counter

I agree with Wafer_thin. The Counter is certainly interesting, with the myriad of choices, and the burgers are decent. But they're not remarkable. And I seem to consistently have trouble with their buns falling apart. My last visit I had it on an English muffin for that reason.

I still think Red Robin is about the best chain burger around these parts, with a much more comfortable atmosphere to boot than the other frequently-mentioned places.

And I'll never understand why people can stand In-N-Out. To be fair, the only times I've had their burgers are when my employer hired their truck a couple times. I thought they were little better than Carl's Jr., and that's about as low as one can go.

Art.

Feb 17, 2012
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Q: Where to Purchase "Gourmet" Tea (OC)

How nice - with thanks to the other respondents, this is quite convenient. They have a nice website and online gift certificates. I could give him a gift certificate and even drive him over there on a weekend, as we often do the NYT crossword at a coffee shop on both weekend days.

Dec 20, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Q: Where to Purchase "Gourmet" Tea (OC)

I have a friend who seems to be enamored of fine teas, and I'd like to buy him something appropriately upper-class as a holiday gift.

My problem is that I'm a coffee drinker, and tea to me tastes like clove water. I just never developed an affinity for the brew, so I can't rely on my own experiences to select something.

I recall in the Chinatown area of S.F. various tea merchants with huge numbers of teas with varying grades, the most expensive of which made Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee look cheap.

I've bought stuff like "Republic of Tea" for my wife. But perhaps someone here can suggest a place to visit, ideally in central to southern Orange County. I'll go further if I have to, but let's see what's in this general area first.

Art

Dec 20, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

South Orange County Sandwich Shop Search (Mission Viejo/RSM/FR)

Another recommendation for Gold'N Baked Hams. I think the rolls are remarkably good.

The Philly's Best in Lake Forest never seems quite as good as the one in Irvine. But they nonetheless make an excellent hoagie.

Dec 14, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

GF never eaten fish. Suggestions on the best fish you've eaten

You're apparently not requesting a restaurant recommendation - more an actual fish. Right?

Hard to find out here, but I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy the delicate taste of flounder. It's not "fishy" and would seem to meet the requirements. I have no specific recipes to suggest.

Art

Nov 26, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Perfect restaurant to have an affair in.

The various restaurants / markets in Gaviota, most recently a Sunburst (cult) restaurant, closed many years ago. I still bicycle out there, turning around at those ruins, on my yearly trip to Santa Barbara.

Sep 23, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Sabretts, Nathans or Hoffy with Casings

Agreed on the Ralph's P.S. They're surprisingly good hot dogs, all too infrequently stocked, at least down here in Orange County. I've corresponded with the company about them, raving about the crunchy casing, but they still don't seem to be regular items.

Aug 06, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Frozen Fordhook lima beans - where to buy?

Target has baby lima beans (not Fordhook - is that significant?) under their house brand "Market Pantry". I think they're fine. And unlike Ralph's, they haven't shrunk the 1 pound bags of various vegetables to 12 ounces. At least yet.

Art

Jul 17, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Describe your ideal coffee house...

I'm not maxzook, but will still reply. Electric outlets are an absolute necessity, with Wi-fi highly desirable. That rules out, sadly, Kean Coffee, as Mr. Diedrich has told me that he wants his shops to be havens from the business world. What he doesn't realize is that folks like myself take the laptop to a coffee house not to be immersed in work, but rather to enjoy the NY Times crossword puzzle over a great drink. Laptops can be used for pleasure.

Obviously the drinks have to be at least decent. I tend not to get coffee, as I make a fine freshly-ground cup at the office each day. But a good blended mocha on the weekend, after a tough morning with the bicycle club, is a real pleasure.

Last requirement: at least a reasonable noise level. Otherwise excellent coffee houses that blast rock and roll at ear splitting volume are off the list. An example down where I live: Waterloo Station in Mission Viejo: fine drinks, nice atmosphere, outlets, Wi-fi, but god-awful music played at deafening levels.

Art

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Kean Coffee
2043 Westcliff Dr Ste 100, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Jul 16, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Medium to Dark Roast Coffee, Whole Beans

The oldest coffee house in Santa Barbara is Vices & Spices at Ontare & State. I visit daily on my yearly trip to Santa Barbara. They have a very interesting blend, humorously termed Obama Blend, consisting of Hawaiian, Indonesian, and Kenyan. The combo works, and I think fits your requirements.

Art

Jul 10, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Best Sandwhich in Orange County?

The Philly's Best chain makes a quite good cheesesteak and Italian hoagie, among others. The rolls are flown in daily from Philadelphia. The meats used to be, but are now (not quite as good) Boar's Head. Still it's a fine sandwich.

Another "sleeper" is Gold'n Baked Hams on Alicia & Hon (right off the I-5) in Laguna Hills. The rolls are excellent - I'm amazed that they are locally produced. I get a consistently excellent sandwich there.

Art

May 16, 2011
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Transplanted from LA looking for Best Cheap Eats in Irvine: aka save me from the irvine corp.

The India Cook House in the Heritage Whateveritis shopping center along Culver between Walnut and the freeway is a quite decent Indian restaurant without being as expensive as the Clay Oven down at Jeffrey and Irvine Center Drive. Others have mentioned The Counter, which is an interesting burger concept but suffers from buns that always fall apart before you're done. I've never been there, but folks speak highly of Zov's at Culver and Portola.

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India Cook House
14130 Culver Dr Ste M, Irvine, CA 92604

Dec 29, 2010
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Is there any terrific pizza in OC?

I don't know if there's any truly great pizza in OC. I've been quite pleased with Rustic Pizzeria at Lake Forest and Dimension in the Portola Hills portion of Lake Forest. Meats are locally produced, although perhaps a bit saltier than the ideal. Crusts are on the thin side, and properly baked. It's a relatively small restaurant with the decor showing a bit of creativity compared to the normal OC sterility. I'd opine that a visit to this place would be worth your experimentation.

Art

Sep 27, 2010
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Dining Options

Prof, Main doesn't intersect Jeffrey. Are you referring to the Gelson's near Alton and Jeffrey?

Art

Jun 28, 2010
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Dinahs or Original House of Pancakes?

Hmmm...I've only been to the Original Pancake House down my way in Laguna Niguel. I'd wanted to try it for years, and finally my bicycle club went there one morning. I was absolutely underwhelmed, which wasn't what I expected given the facility's good reputation. Don't recall any specifics at this late date, but the pancakes were anything but remarkable. It's probably not fair to condemn a place based on one visit, but that was my reaction for what it's worth.

Art

Feb 07, 2010
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area

Looking for Yak Meat (OC)

Hello. New member here.

For a longer time than I'd like to admit, I've unsuccessfully tried to find a restaurant serving yak in some fashion. Even my infrequent travels to major cities haven't resulted in success.

I see the "Tibet Nepal House" in Pasadena has several yak dishes on the menu. That's a long way to drive from southern Orange County, although not to the point of being preposterous. But I guess it doesn't hurt to ask if someone happens to know of a potential "hit" a little closer.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Art

Nov 25, 2009
ArtShapiro in Los Angeles Area