Category Archives: Eating Out

Bruxie: Chicken, Waffles, & Perfect Weather

Happy 1st of September! I can’t believe the year has gone by so quickly. It’s almost time to bring out my boots and scarves for our chilly fall; well, by California’s standards at least. The weather was near perfect today, so J and I decided to take Casey out and have lunch at Bruxie, since we had an eFoodie deal.

I’ve been to Bruxie a few times in the past, but since it’s a bit out of the way, I’m far from a regular. I’ve ordered their waffle sandwiches before, which are great. The quality of the ingredients is fantastic, and the service has always been great. For those who are apprehensive of waffles in savory food, fear not. The waffles aren’t sweet, but have a perfect light, crispy texture.

I ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Cobb Salad, which came with chopped fried chicken, tomatoes, eggs, avocado, bacon, and bleu cheese, which I substituted for cheddar. It was topped off with ranch dressing and a thin, circular waffle. The salad was a bit pricey for its size, but it was tasty and hit the spot.

Bruxie

I gave the bacon pieces to this little cutie since I don’t eat bacon. And, really, how could I say no to this cute little face?

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Josh ordered the Bacon Avocado Burger, which looked delicious! Since Bruxie is a waffle joint, the hamburger bun was replaced with a waffle. I’m fairly certain he finished it with a few bites. I asked him how he would describe it and he said “juicy, meaty, and bacon-y”. Well, sounds like he picked a winner.

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Bruxie doesn’t have traditional sodas, so I ordered a “lemon lime” drink in lieu of Sprite, which is typically a rare treat for myself. It was good, and not too sweet. It reminded me of the drinks at Mendocino Farms.
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J ordered a Strawberry Lemonade, which was perfectly refreshing. Plus, did I mention we got free refills?
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My favorite thing about outdoor seating is the people watching. While so many people were fascinated by Casey’s cuteness (no, I’m not just saying that!), I loved watching the sporadic groups of people walking by.

Bruxie

There were a few other people in the patio with us, but besides that, it was pretty quiet. The food was delicious and quality was great, but given its price and portion, I wouldn’t go out of my way to have it on a regular basis.

Bruxie

I wanted to check out a new bakery across the street, so J and I split a “brookie”, which is, you guessed it: a brownie and cookie combo. It had a hint of coffee in it, but had the right texture, which is essential for the perfect brownie.

Bruxie
Similar to Bruxie, the prices were a little higher than expected, so I don’t plan on visiting too often. But, remember, it’s ok to treat yourself every now and again! When in doubt, say yes to the Brookie. :)

Native Foods Cafe

After hearing about Native Foods Cafe for several months, it was finally time to grub! I browsed their menu online and was able to order ahead of time so that I could grab my food for lunch and head back to the office.

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I was so excited to see “Sri Lankan Curried Tater Bites”  on the seasonal menu. I mean, how could I not order them?! They were $6.99 I also ordered the kids meal (shhh!) with chicken fingers and a side of veggies for $4.99. I set my pick-up time for 1p.m., but my food wasn’t ready until 1:10p.m. No big deal, but in the future, I’ll set my pick-up time a bit earlier!

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The food came boxed up. I forgot to take a picture of the veggies, but they were carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. For a kids portion, the veggies’ portion was quite generous! No complaints here.

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The taters were TO. DIE. FOR. They were absolutely delicious, and my only issue was that I didn’t order more. We call them “cutlets”, and in Sri Lanka they can be filled with potatoes, fish, or chicken. These were filled with potatoes and had an incredible dipping sauce. Next time, I’ll ask for extra sauce on the side. native4

Only three chicken fingers were included in the kids meal, and they had a more “baked” texture instead of “fried”, which I’m sure made it healthier. Y’know, besides the ranch dressing! The portion was small for me, but would be great for a child.

I topped my meal off with lavender lemonade, which came with my kids’ meal. It was crisp, refreshing, and tasty!

While Native Foods is a bit pricier than normal, the quality was great. I was able to get a small drink, a side of veggies, cutlets, and chicken fingers for about $12 and felt full. I can’t wait to go back and try some new menu items, too!

Lunchtime at Rutabegorz: Sunshine, Salads, and Summertime

Ever since Casey came into my life, essentially everything revolves around the little man. Since he’s little, it’s hard to leave him unsupervised at home for a long period of time, so I try to schedule things to the best of my abilities. I haven’t been able to eat out too much lately (which I’m sure my wallet is happy about), but it changed when I found out that Rutabegorz in Orange is dog-friendly! The only other restaurant that Casey had been with us to before was Lazy Dog, and besides barking at one dog, he was an absolute angel. We’re trying really hard to train Casey to behave himself with other humans and dogs, and socializing him at a young age seems to be putting us on the right track.

I decided to meet J for lunch at Ruta’s, and of course Casey was invited! I’ve been to other Ruta’s, but never to the Orange location. It’s located right across from Chapman University, but since we had visited at noon before school was back in session, it was quiet.

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We had the patio to ourselves for most of lunch, and it was perfect for people watching. I loved the relaxed atmosphere; in fact, it was next to a handicraft store that I’ll have to stop by next time. I don’t spend nearly enough time in local cafes, so it was a great change of pace.

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Rutabegorz

Rutabegorz

It was an absolute perfect day to sit outside, soak up some sun, and catch up with J, all with Casey by our sides. It was going to be a long day, so I ordered an iced vanilla latte to start out with. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, so I’d probably try something else on the menu the next time around.

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Ruta’s definitely has one of the biggest menus I’ve ever seen; everything from salads to wraps to sandwiches to soups. There are a ton of vegetarian options, which make it a solid option that will make everyone happy. I’ve heard people complain about the menu being too big, but I consider extra choices to be a good thing!

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Ruta’s always has a great deal for an appetizer for a dollar or less; I’ve had various types of hummus, spreads, and chutneys that I normally wouldn’t have ordered if it wasn’t for the obscenely great price. This months’ was a chiptole dip with chips. It was creamy with just the right amount of kick. I wish they’d jar these monthly specials up to take home!

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The great thing about Ruta’s is that the food comes out quick. Probably quicker than any restaurant I’ve ever been to, actually. Our waitress was really sweet and even gave in to Casey’s pleading for a ear scratch. I mean, how could you not love this face though?

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I ordered the garlic chicken salad, which has been my go-to meal for a year. It has garlic chicken, tomatoes, walnuts, avocado, cucumber, crunchy wonton sticks, and a side of balsamic vinaigrette.  In case you haven’t heard, Ruta’s salads are huge! They’re definitely share-worthy, I always order the full size so that I can take the extras home for dinner.

Rutabegorz

J ordered the chicken enchiladas. I know I said I order the same thing every time, but if I had to order something else off the extensive menu, it’d be the enchiladas. They come smothered in cheese, which, in case you didn’t know, is one of my favorite foods. It’s his go-to meal, and I’m lucky he let’s me snag a few bites here and there. He ended up pouring the remaining chipotle sauce on the enchiladas, which took it to the next level. So. Good.

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We were both stuffed by the end of lunch. Casey was very well-behaved, which means he can certainly join us next time around! I forgot to ask if they had any food items for dogs on the menu (Lazy Dog brings out chicken and rice for about $5), but I’ll have to ask next time. It wouldn’t be fair for Casey to miss out on the great food at Ruta’s again, now would it? Oh, and I couldn’t leave you without one more good picture of this babe…We can’t wait to go back!

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Boldo Bol: Fresh, Sustainable, and Delicious

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The great thing about social media is that I’m exposed to so many different things: companies, restaurants, fashion trends, ideas, etc. I stumbled across Boldo Bol on Instagram a couple weeks before they had even opened. I quickly realized they were just about twenty minutes from me in Santa Ana, a city whose downtown area is rapidly changing for the better. As the 4th Street area is cleaning up its act, more and more restaurants, bars, and stores are emerging. These new downtown developments helped open the door for a healthy, higher end “fast food” restaurant to set down camp in the area.

After seeing so many wonderful pictures online, I decided it was time to see what the hype was about. I headed over on a Thursday after work so that I could visit the Farmer’s Market at the same time. (I later found out that Boldo Bol’s chef, Paul, actually shops at the Farmer’s Market. This shows that they not only are they supporting local businesses, but they’re also proving how fresh their produce is!)


We were greeted by two sweet girls who were promoting the store outside its entrance. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the smell. I was overwhelmed (in a good way) with the aroma, which reminded me of my time in Sri Lanka. The second thing I noticed was how small the inside was; there was a bar area and two large tables. However, as a sucker for great style, I was quickly distracted by the fun, earthy decorations which certainly helped set the mood. The place, albeit small, is perfectly styled to give off the “healthy” vibe. Maybe the walls are organic? Kidding….

 

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What an adorable drying rack!
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Framed photos helped brighten up the corner restaurant.

I wish I would’ve gotten the two girls’ names who were working that Thursday night as they were very helpful. They likened Boldo Bol to Chipotle, which is a fairly good analogy. There was a wide variety of greens, meats, legumes, and spices. The menu items are all fresh and from local farms. Due to availability on the farms, menu items change from day to day. This can go either way; if you’re keen on trying new things, this is a great way to keep it exciting. However, things can be a bit tricky if you’re “the usual” kinda guy.

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The wooden menu selection was a cute, outdoorsy touch.

There are different options for choosing your meal such as the Detox Bol and the Veggie Bol; I went with the Basic Bol which cost me just about $10. It had chicken, beans, eggplant (absolutely delicious!), broccoli, cabbage, carrots, white rice, and a special spicy sauce that tied it all together. I loved how it had a curry texture to it as it seemed like a Southeast Asian meets Mexican cuisine. It wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy and each component was able to keep its distinct flavor without being drowned out by sauces or curries.

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The huge portion of chicken, rice, spices, and mixed veggies.

While I was a bit skeptical of the price at first, I reminded myself of the reasons why it was pricier than other establishments. First off, it’s as fresh as fresh can get. Second, the produce is local. Third, it’s sustainable and environmentally friendly. The quality was worth the price!

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The greatest bathroom walls I’ve ever seen.

Overall, the quality was exceptional. I could taste the difference in the produce and appreciated that it wasn’t drenched in oil or MSG like typical meals are these days. Expect to pay a little more for this, and know that your body will thank you in return.

I was pleasantly surprised when the head chef, Paul, came out and introduced himself to the customers. Talk about making a great first impression. He was kind, knowledgeable, and obviously loved his job. It’s hard to find personable business owners these days, so Paul went beyond the norm.

If you’re looking for a perfect mix of healthy and delicious, while supporting your local businesses, Boldo Bol is a great choice. The wide variety of fresh produce helps keep things exciting without making too large of a dent in your wallet. OC Weekly seems to agree, as they named the Basic Bol as one of the top 100 dishes of 2014. A small-town feel with a unique combination of cuisines, Boldo Bol is sure to leave you with your stomach, and heart, full.

Kimmie’s Coffee Cup

I consider myself to be adventurous when it comes to trying new foods; besides a few restrictions, I’m always keen to try something new. Whenever I’m having trouble choosing something off the menu, I follow my  own personal “rule” by ordering something that I can’t make at home. It gives me a chance to try something new, and out of my culinary skills’ range.

However, there is something incredibly comforting about having a set dish at your go-to restaurant. I don’t have to open the menu, and sometimes I don’t even have to order, because the waitress knows my order. In order for me to let myself order the same dish time after time, it has to be worth it, quality, portion, and price-wise.

I’ve been going to Kimmie’s Coffee Cup for several years now and have ordered the same dish every single time. Maybe that makes me boring, maybe it makes me plain, but I just can’t seem to part with my breakfast quesadilla. It’s so simple, but so. darn. good. Crispy tortilla outside, cheesy egg goodness inside.

I swap out the beans and rice for seasonal fresh fruit, which comes in an incredibly generous portion; strawberries, watermelon, and grapes are always overflowing from the ceramic bowl. The complimentary tomato salsa isn’t spicy, so I have no problem ordering it in the early hours of the day.  I ask for a side of ranch, because, well, you can’t go wrong with ranch. I rarely finish the entire meal because of how heavy it is, which means I get to take half home for a mid-day snack or dinner. At under $10 for the plate, I’m getting two meals for an incredible price.

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The menu is surprisingly large for such a small establishment, so eventually I will steer away from my quesadilla, just to try something new. J’s go-to dish is the Cowboy Steak, which is jam-packed with steak, crispy potatoes with peppers and onions, and biscuit and gravy; it understandably comes with a heftier price tag of $14.99. He’s better about trying new dishes, and enjoyed a Mexican Scrambler last time.

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Kimmie’s has a typical diner feel to it; small booths, the smell of coffee, and regulars who seem to be present at more shifts than the waitresses! It’s an older crowd, which means it’s a great place to just relax and get your fix of food without a screaming crowd or the distraction of bright television screens.

It’s not the healthiest brunch location, so my body can’t afford to have it every weekend, but that just makes me crave it more! Kimmie’s relaxing atmosphere, delicious home cooked feel, and affordable prices have made it my go-to spot for years to come. You can check out their many locations here.

What’s your favorite go-to meal for breakfast or brunch? Let me know below!