Thinks That Rock in Orange County

Since Gina’s been kicking my ass in terms of posting since she’s gotten here, I thought I’d chime in with a few…

Thinks that rock in Orange County

(cue 60 second news montage background funk)

Maggiano’s in Costa Mesa. Yes, I know it’s a chain, and yes, they’re not as vegetarian friendly as they should be. But man, you haven’t lived (and felt like you were gonna die) until you’ve had rich, delicious, all you can eat Italian food. As George Miller said, “The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’re hungry again.”

The Family Lounge at Mainplace Santa Ana. Before I had a child, I wouldn’t haven’t even cared enough to check it out, but the girlfriend and I wandered in last time we were there, and man, it’s awesome. Big cushy chairs. Rooms for breastfeeding. Bottle warmers. Dads welcome. All the little things that make trips to the mall less horrid.

Farmer’s Markets in OC, especially Saturday morning in Irvine. It doesn’t take much driving east to find out we’ve still got a fair bit of farmland in OC, and fresh foods really do taste better. In season fruit, vendors with breads, cheeses and meats – it’s hard to go wrong. It’s also next to the Trader Joe’s for all your SoCalFauxHippie food needs.

What else have you found rockin’?

4 Comments so far

  1. Gina (unregistered) on August 29th, 2006 @ 8:36 pm

    The farmer’s market in Fullerton on Thursdays is pretty cool. They have things for the kids as well as free concerts.

    Maggiano’s does indeed rock.

    Oh, and so does the Lowry’s sandwich place in South Coast Plaza. A bit pricey, but if you are a Mac n Cheese fan, theirs is to die for.

  2. Gina (unregistered) on August 29th, 2006 @ 8:37 pm

    Uh, duh, it’s spelled Lawry’s. Sorry!

  3. Some Guy (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 12:17 am

    Lawry’s is really good. Get the combo with Prime Rib and a soup or salad – not as pricey as a whole sandwich. And the cream corn is fantastic.

    Finbar’s Italian Kitchen is a great Italian joint. It’s in Metro Pointe by the movie theater and Sam Woo. For lunch they have a great California Burger (we think they use the same spiced ground beef as they use for the meatballs) and good deals on lunch portions of traditional Italian fare. Their dinners are also wonderful – for something a little different try the Gnocchi Monterey. They have an amazing cheesecake for dessert, and on Fridays and Saturdays they have a chocolate souffle’ with dark chocolate syrup and fresh whipped creme which is responsible for several of my extra pounds.

    One other place I’d highly recommend is Philly’s Best in Irvine. About as authentic a Philly Cheesesteak as you’ll get out here, and boy is it good.

    For seafood we like Bluewater Grill (one in Newport Beach and one by South Coast Plaza) and California Fish Grill in Irvine, or Wasa in Tustin Marketplace for sushi.

    Now does anyone know where to get a good east coast or Chicago style pizza? We think the problem is with the sauce, as in none of the joints out here use enough. We’ve only found one place we like – but an hour on the Catalina Flyer to get there is a bit of a problem!

  4. Mike Randall (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 12:23 am

    Maggiano’s is great. I went there for a birthday party once and since we were all dressed up it felt like something out of the “Godfather”

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