We had a wonderful time at Chelsea’s Kitchen. It’s been on my bucket list to dine here for some time now. First of all, I love the atmosphere and overall feel of this place as you walk in. It’s designed to look like a one-story ranch house, with a peaked roof, a huge porch, and a large patio area out back with a brick fireplace. Chelsea’s Kitchen is part of LGO hospitality (a group of restaurants that puts a modern twist on American comfort food operated by founder Bob Lynn) and is located in the beautiful Arcadia district. They specialize in big, flavorful portions and create their dishes fresh daily. There are several locations throughout California and Arizona (I’m a frequent visitor to La Grande Orange). We started our night out with some of their fancy cocktails. I’ve been on whiskey kick and got their Old Fashioned (the drunken cherries were a nice add) and my date got the Diego Rivera. I heard so much about their awards winning Short Rib Tacos and couldn’t pass them up. The braised meat was delicious and tender and there was plenty to eat. My date is from Mexico City and she had their Seafood & Jidori Chicken Paella. It was a nice blend of chicken, shrimp and clams and she loved very bite. The service was excellent and the experience was definitely was worth the wait. They have complimentary valet parking and reduced prices on their happy menu. They also have $12 endless mimosas on Saturday afternoons.
I was excited to made my return to Slater’s 50/50 while visiting here in Pasadena. I had my first burger in 2013 and I try stop here every time I am in town. You can read all about them on my post. Slater’s is known for their 50/50 burger patties – made of 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef. I had a quick stop here for lunch and tried their popular Sriracha Burger and Frickles (fried pickles). It’s a specialty item so I had to try it. The patty rests on Sriracha coleslaw and is topped with Sriracha sautéed mushrooms, pepper jack cheese, thick-cut bacon strips glazed with Sriracha mayo on a brioche bun. That’s a lot of Sriracha and it was delicious! I also got a Kona Big Wave beer. See you next time Slater’s!
So I’m driving from Arizona to California and I pass by a sign in Indio that says one of the top five reviewed restaurants on Yelp in the U.S. is at the next exit. Being a Yelp Elite, I gave in to my curiosity and grabbed lunch at TKB Bakery. They began in 1991 when three kids went door to door selling their mother’s frozen cookie dough. Years later, those same kids now operate TKB Bakery & Deli (The Kids Business). The deli is a popular stop for many of the cars passing through and the company supplies many large grocery chains. The outside of the restaurant wasn’t much to look at when I first pulled up. But the inside had a spacious seating area and friendly people taking your order. I went for the Reuben Stud-er (similar to a classic Reuben sandwich with hot pastrami and coleslaw). Other popular choices include The Trump, the Mexican Meatloaf and the Chicken Chipotlé sandwiches. I gotta say, that was one pretty damn good sandwich. The jalapeño bread on the cart next to me had me salivating too. With as many trips I make to Cali, I’m pretty sure this won’t be my one and only stop here. Good story and a nice find!
“Quality is the number one ingredient in everything we do”
Every time I’m in Cali I swing by Porto’s Bakery & Cafe and pick up some delicious pastries to go. Rosa Porto opened her first bakery on Sunset Blvd in 1976 after her family emigrated here from Manzanillo, Cuba. They went through some tough times before people started catching on to how amazing her pastries are. She started to add other international savories to her menu and the business took off. Today there are three locations and long lines out the door everyday. It doesn’t stop people from picking up box of cheese rolls, potato balls or a cake. In addition to the pastries, they have some amazing sandwiches, juices and a full cafe. Some of my personal favorites I pick up are empanadas, ham croquettes, meat pies, and of course the potato balls (try the spicy one). You also can’t go wrong with any of the danishes or croissants either. Even though the parking can be a little crazy, Porto’s is always worth a stop.
Vans have been a big part of my life for years. I still remember having the old 80’s urban street skate hat with the split back tail on the back. Then Tony Hawk made skateboarding a big thing in the late 80’s with his crazy stunts. We would hang around Sidewalk Surfer in Scottsdale and buy boards and the latest Vans shoes. Now here I am today still riding a longboard, watching the X-Games and wearing my Vans. It helps that I raised two boys that have kept me feeling young. Today marks 50 years since the first Vans store opened up in Cali. In addition to their clothing line, they have sponsored many extreme sports like BMX, skateboarding and motocross. They also sponsor the Warped Tour that features many of the top music artists today. I’ll always be a big fan and look forward to many more years of buying a new pair of Vans.
While hanging out in Burbank, I stumbled upon this little gem while running around town – Porto’s Bakery & Cafe. The first thing I noticed was the line and the constant flow of traffic in and out the sliding doors. I decided to go in and take a look and found myself gazing and at all these pasties. Most of the people in line were here to make a box of pastries to go. I decided to make a box myself and take some back to my son in our hotel room. I got a apple and cherry danish. I had to try the meat pie and ate that one right away – yum. The cinnamon roll took us a couple of days to eat because it was so big. What a great find and I can’t wait to make a return visit someday.
- – You can read my full review of my return visit here.
We started the last day of 2013 just right. I have been exploring new places to eat in San Diego and decided to check out the Trails Neighborhood Eatery in the San Carlos area (a beautiful San Diego neighborhood). I saw an episode dedicated to this restaurant on the show Restaurant: Impossible on Food Network. Owned by Food Network Star Stacey Poon-Kinney, Robert Irvine helped give the place a facelift and it has taken off ever since. My son and I came in for breakfast and had a wonderful time. The restaurant itself really has a neighborhood feel to it and features a variety of breakfast and lunch items. You can tell a lot of locals frequent here often. I went for the signature Sin-a-mon Roll Pancakes (a.k.a. heaven on a plate) and my kid got the french toast. Let me tell you about those pancakes – amazing! This will for sure be a regular stop for me on my future trips to San Diego. Happy New Year!
While I was in Pasadena for a football game at the Rose Bowl, I grabbed dinner at Slater’s 50/50 in the downtown area. I had read some amazing reviews about this place. Founded by Southern California native Scott Slater, he created a burger patty that is 50% ground beef and 50% bacon. Umm.. yum! I ordered the original 50/50 burger and it was delicious and so full of flavor. With so many ingredients and toppings to choose from, you can design your burger the way you like it. The wait to get in this place was a little long but worth it! I highly recommend trying the Slater’s 50/50 experience next time you are in Cali.
I love this simple fun summer recipe!
– Trader Joe’s recipe
- 1 box frozen oven ready breaded cod or other breaded fillets
- Flour or corn tortillas
- 3 cup shredded white cabbage
- 1 ½ tbsp cilantro dressing
- 1 lime
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Cook fish sticks according to package directions. Place 1 fish sticks in each tortilla. Top with cabbage and drizzle cilantro dressing on top or toss the cabbage with the cilantro dressing. Hit the tacos with a squeeze of lime and top with tomatoes and fresh cilantro.
- * – I like to add onions and hot sauce and serve with a summer white wine.