Saturday, February 27, 2010

Checking Out at the Pizza Store


The Pizza Store
2091 E. Orangethorpe Ave.
Placentia, CA 92870

My family has been going to the Pizza Store for years, even my sister worked there for a brief stint in the mid 90's, man that seems like a long time ago! But really not too much has changed with the place, it is a quiet pizza place, you will not find video games, big screen TV's or animated mice anywhere here. In fact on the Saturday night we visited, we were the only ones in the place. The waiter said it has been hit and miss, in terms of being busy, so this was definitely a slow time for them, lets hope it is not because of the food. 


Katie and my Dad both opted for pasta dishes and they both included the salad above. The salad was okay. I liked the fact that it had a lot of mozzarella cheese on it, but it was really just a basic dinner salad, nothing to rave about here.


Here is the appetizer that my Mom always gets when they go to the Pizza Store, the Garlic Sticks. They actually have two extra, for a total of six, but I could not snap the picture quick enough before the other two mysteriously disappeared. I think that these are okay, they are good dipped in ranch.


Here is Katie's Cheese Ravioli. This dish was covered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. It really came out hot. I liked the taste of this dish and really enjoyed the $8.95 price tag. Great value for the money. 


This is my Dad's lasagna. I tried a bite of this dish and there was a lot of sauce on it, way too much for my taste. This was less a lasagna, and more of a sloppy river of sauce over a few noodles. I did not get a hint of ricotta or meat. My Dad of course cleaned his plate, with no complaints.



This is my meatball sandwich. It was my first time ever ordering this here. Four large meatballs covered with cheese and sauce, a very good scene. On this sandwich, unlike the lasagna, they got the sauce to meat ratio perfect. This sandwich was $6, a very decent price.


Here is my favorite item on the Pizza Store menu, the Sausage Roll. This is a sausage cooked in beer, wrapped in dough, baked and them brushed with garlic butter and parmesan cheese. Really a tasty dish, the sausage is cooked perfectly, and there is plenty of mozzarella cheese. I also like to have this with ranch.


So this review would not be complete if we did not talk about the pizza here, I mean this place is called the Pizza Store after all. The pizza here is pretty good, a little greasy, but good. Sometimes there is not enough cheese, but overall I like the pizza well enough.


Lastly, above is their Buffalo Wings. I really like the flavor of the wings here. The hot wings are not too hot, but have a good amount of spice. I would rather have ordered the suicide wings, but this was my sister's pick. The wings are not that big, and some of them are lacking on the meat, but you can get 25 of them for $11. That works out to 44 cents a wing, a real steal.

I like the Pizza Store. Do not be fooled by other places that call themselves The Pizza Store. These include places in Laguna Hills, and Orange. Not sure if they used to be owned by the same people, the menus are very similar, if not identical. I recently went to the Pizza Store in Laguna Hills, and it was not the same. The sausage roll was not nearly as good. The Pizza Store in Placentia does list two other locations on their menu, San Giovanni's in Dove Canyon, and Grascio's in Brea.

All right, so Pizza Store gets big points for the value that you get for your money. Their prices are very good, and you get a decent meal. So out of five cash registers, (because you can not have a store without a cash register), five being best to zero being worst, Pizza Store gets 3 cash registers.

Pizza Store does not have a web site, but you can find their menu here: http://www.sporq.com/placentia/thepizzastore/2091eorangethorpeave

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Smoking in Dana Point


Smokey's House of BBQ
32860 PCH #4
 Dana Point CA 92629

Just stumbled upon this place on our way to Laguna for an overnight stay at my girlfriend's cousins house. I had never heard of Smokey's before, but the couple we were with had, and they seemed to think it was worth a try. I am always up for a good piece of barbeque, so that is where we headed.

Smokey's has two locations, (the other is in Oxnard), and according to their web site they plan on opening fifty more in the next three years. A very ambitious goal in these tough economic times. We arrived at about 7 on a Saturday night. The place was busy, but we only had to wait about ten minutes. The barbeque smell hits you at the door of the place, and is very good. Lets see if the food is as good as it smells. 

 

This is the Pulled Smoked Chicken Po-Boy with sweet potato fries. Sara really liked this sandwich and thought that they had just the right amount of BBQ sauce on it. The bite that I had was okay, I like a little more sauce than Sara though, also this sandwich usually comes with coleslaw on it, so that can be why I thought it was a little dry. She rated this sandwich, "a five out of five!". There were no complaints about the sweet potato fries, but I did not try them. I am not really too big of a fan of sweet potato fries.



Here is the Georgia Pulled Pork Po-Boy. Kevin said that this sandwich was as good as it was before. It again usually comes with coleslaw on it, but he ordered it without. This sandwich actually looked the best and would be what I would get when I get back to Smokey's.


Now, here is my plate. I ordered the Smokey's BBQ Combo Platter. This included four meats and two sides. From left to right are; the spicy Cajun hot link, 1/4 rack of baby back ribs, 1/4 rack St. Louis ribs, and then barely visible in this picture is the Texas style beef brisket. All of the meats were very good. I added a little BBQ sauce to all of them. They had a very interesting apple pie barbeque sauce on the table, that I really liked. The brisket and the hot link were the best out of the meats. The coleslaw and fries were boring. They only offer a choice of four side with a combo, the two above and BBQ beans and sweet potato fries. For the $21.99 price tag, they should really let you choose from their Signature Sides. These include Mac and cheese, Cajun creamed corn , scalloped potatoes, and grilled veggies. All of these I am sure are better than the coleslaw and fries that I had.  Also, sorry I did not get a close up of this plate, I was really hungry and wanted to eat. So I only took one picture, my bad.

I thought that this place was going to be a little more expensive than it was, because of where it was. The Po-Boy sandwiches were only $9.99, and I thought the other prices on the menu were competitive as well. The service on the night we were there was not too good. Our Skillet Cornbread never made it to our table, and  our server was MIA for most of the night. Maybe we just got the wrong guy.

Still this place was good, not as good as Lucille's, but still good. I am still looking for a barbeque place that is going to knock my socks off, so if you know of any, leave me a comment. Out of five bull's horns, (checkout their mascot), five being best to zero being worst, Smokey's gets 2.5 bull's horns.

You can get more information about Smokeys from their web site right here: http://www.smokeyshouseofbbq.com/index.html

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Tapped Out at The Four Kegs


Four Kegs
276 North Jones Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89107

This is part two of my trip to Vegas, and the second of two places that have been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. This joint is definitely off the beaten track of Vegas. This sports bar/ family restaurant is located in one of the most rundown strip malls I have ever been to. Lets hope the food livens the place up.

The restaurant is pretty busy at noon on a Thursday, but the four of us have no trouble finding a table. From what I can tell they only have one waitress for the whole place, but there are only about 12 to fifteen tables in this small restaurant. The waitress is not pleased when we ask for two separate checks, and says that she is far too busy to accommodate us. She storms off after taking our order. Lets take a look at the food now.


This, no joke, was our order of onion rings that we got for an appetizer. We counted about twelve rings. Not wanting to ruffle the feather of our waitress any further, we did not mention the stingy portion. The onion rings were average tasting, nothing that you could not get at a decent coffee shop.


This is the Steak sandwich. The bite that I had was a little fatty, but I liked this well enough, and the seven dollars you paid for this sandwich was worth it. The bread was not the best and the fries were just okay.




Here is the French Dip. Again nothing too fantastic here. The meat seemed a little over done to me, nothing that you could not get from Coco's or Carrow's.


Alright, so this what they talked about on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the Stromboli. This is the Original large Stromboli. This was large enough to split, even with my big appetite. This had pepperoni, and other meats in it, not sure which ones, because the menu did not give a description, and I was not going to tempt fate and ask the waitress anymore questions than I had to. The meats were bland tasting, I should have gone for the combo boli, or the meatball boli. The crust was good and buttery. The marinara was alright.


This is Katie's more manageable small Vegetable Stromboli. She liked this boli, better than I liked mine, and it really helped her hangover from the night before.

So how should this place be judged? I did have high hopes going into it, because it was featured on TV. The place did not live up to those expectations. Guy lived in Vegas while he was in school and this was one his favorite spots to hangout, so of course he has an affinity for it. I can understand that, I love Bob's Big Boy, but I know that it is not the worlds best place. I can not give the same amount of love that Guy gave this place. It is just average to below average food, with bad service. They just got lucky that one of their regulars became famous and put them on TV, or they would be like the rest of their strip mall, out of business.

So out of five taps, (because kegs have taps), five being best to zero being worst, this place gets one tap.

For more information on the Four Kegs, there web site is here: http://www.fourkegs.com/index.html

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Greeceing It Up In the Desert


Mad Greek
72112 Baker Blvd.
Baker, CA 92309

I know that this food blog is called Eating My Way Through OC, but I wanted to share my food adventures from the road also. Katie and I decided to take a few days before Valentines day and get out of town, so we headed for Las Vegas. So this will be the first of two posts from the road. Hope you enjoy it.


This wonderfully decorated place is the Mad Greek. If you have ever been on the road to Vegas, you have undoubtedly seen the billboards for this place. In Baker there seems to be three choices for eats; Bun Boy, Bob's Big Boy and this place the Mad Greek, guess they did not get the memo to include Boy in their name.

We got to the Mad Greek at about nine o'clock on a Wednesday night. The place was moderately busy with about thirty customers enjoying their food. When you walk into the place you are immediately struck by the blue and white decoration and the anatomically correct Greek statues that adorn all corners of the place. After driving through the dark desert, this is like a feast for the eyes. Lets hope it is a feast for our stomachs as well.


The sign on the Mad Greek says,  "Best Gyros USA". After having one, I think they are telling the truth. If you have never had a gyro, they are made from ground lamb and beef with onions, tzatziki sauce, (cucumber and yogurt sauce) and wrapped around a pita. These were delicious, yet a little over priced at $9, but when your pockets are full of money that you plan on doubling in Vegas, it is worth it. The rice that came with this was okay, a little bland for my taste.


The little novelty above is a Pita Dog. It really is just a hot dog wrapped around a pita. The hot dog was actually very good, and had a snap when you bit into it. I liked this and the $3 that I paid for this was well worth it, remember I was going to double my money in Vegas!


Here are the Chili Cheese Fries. These look better than they actually were. The fries were not cooked enough, and the chili was bland tasting. I also did not like the onions being off to the side by themselves, maybe they do this because a lot of people don't like onions, not sure but I thought it was odd.


For dessert we split a baklava. This is phyllo dough layered with pistachios and sweetened with syrup. I really did not like this. I thought it was chalky tasting, very dry. Not sweet enough for me. Maybe I am just not a baklava guy though, because Katie liked this. 

 

The Mad Greek is the first of two places on this trip that we went to that had been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, with Guy Fieri. This place really is a novelty, and maybe that is why he chose to come here. I mean Greek food in the middle of the California desert? Crazy, but the gyro is really good, and I have heard that the other Greek dishes are good too.

It seems like a rite of passage for the travelers along the 15 to stop and cure their gyro hankerings.  So out of  5 fraternities, you know because they are also known as the Greeks, five being best to zero being worst, the Mad Greek gets 2.5 fraternities.

The Mad Greek does not have a web site, but you can find info about them here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-mad-greek-baker

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiptoeing to Tiffy's!


Tiffy's Family Restaurant
1060 W. Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92802

A week ago I reviewed Farrell's in Mission Viejo. As you recall I was not a real fan of their food, but the ice cream tasted great and it really brought back a lot of memories.  Farrell's had reminded me of Tiffy's Family Restaurant, which is located right across the street from Disneyland. I had been there one time about a year ago, and since both Katie and I were renewing our Disney passes,  and both of us wanted to eat outside of the park it seemed like an ideal time to see what was going on there.

So the picture above shows how empty the place was. We were one of three tables that had people at them in this huge restaurant. I thought that was funny at seven o'clock on a Sunday night, but Disneyland was not too crazy packed either, so hopefully it is not because the place has bad food, let's see how everything turned out.


Here is Katie's Tuna Croissant Sandwich. She really enjoyed this sandwich. I thought it was okay, I'm not really too much of a fan of tuna, but the bread was soft and the tuna tasted like it should. The fries really came out hot and crispy. Pretty average tasting plate though.



Here was my San Franciscan burger. This burger was served on sourdough bread, and had lots of onions. Very good and greasy half pound burger. The cheese somehow got lost on this burger, and was almost unnoticeable. This burger is a decent coffee shop burger.


This tasty morsel above is the main reason to make the trip to Tiffy's. The owners of Tiffy's are dairy farmers in Oregon, and they make their own ice cream. This was a brownie sundae with chocolate/peanut butter ice cream and vanilla.  They were far more generous with the hot fudge, than Farrell's was. The ice cream tasted rich and creamy, and had a great consistency. Well worth the $8 price tag for this dessert, enough for three people to share.

So Tiffy's is an okay coffee shop, but a really good place for dessert. I read a lot of reviews on Yelp about this place and a good majority of them were negative. But to be fair to Tiffy's a lot of those people were getting prime rib and fish entrees, not exactly coffee shop faire. I say if you are going to have a meal at Tiffy's, stick with a burger or sandwich and definitely save room for dessert.

Out of five globs of hot fudge, five being best to zero being worst, Tiffy's Family Restaurant receives 2.5 globs of hot fudge.

Tiffy's does not have a web site, but you can find their menu here:http://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/menus/dl/Tiffys.shtml

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heroes a Good or Bad Guy?


Heroes Bar & Grill
125 W Santa Fe Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832

Heroes is one of those places that you just feel comfortable in. Maybe it is because the staff is always so chill, or maybe it is because they do not mind if you throw your peanut shells on the floor, in fact they encourage it. I often think that if I ever opened a restaurant, this is the kind of place I would like it to be, a down to earth place where people know they will get a good meal in a great- atmosphere. 

This Wednesday night I walked in and had no wait. The place was busy, but not like on a Friday or Saturday night. The walls are covered with tons of pictures, white Christmas lights and old antique signs. The building used to be an old blacksmith shop in the early 1900's, but now it is decorated more like a garage sale, so lets hope the food is not like
hand me downs.


This is the dinner salad that came with my meal. A decent size dinner salad and the sourdough roll was good also. The salad came out real cold, which was a nice touch.



Here is a picture of the Smokie Joe's Pork Sandwich, with the coleslaw on the side and their potato chips. The meat on this sandwich was tender, and the barbeque sauce really made this sandwich. The poppy seed bun was also good and did not get soggy. Really a tasty dish.



Here is Katie's half, yes half of a Cobb salad. This was your pretty standard Cobb salad, except that she had enough to take to work the next day. The bite I had was really good and tasted really good.


Okay, here is the reason to try Heroes. This is the Southwest Meatloaf, done Jack's way. Jack's way is covered in chili, onions and cheese, instead of the usual way they serve it covered in salsa. The ground chuck was moist and flavorful and the chili really complimented it. A real great dish. The two sides I chose were the macaroni and cheese and the mashed potatoes. Lots of starch I know, but I really wanted to try these. Both were really good. I even had enough for lunch the next day. There was no way I could have finished this plate. 

So I would definitely recommend going to Heroes in Fullerton, but only if you like huge portions of good food, and a good friendly atmosphere. If you do not like these things, head to the Denny's down the street. Also one other note, if you plan on getting Heroes' chili nachos as an appetizer, do not plan on eating anything else for dinner. The nachos are huge and can feed up to six people. A half order is available, and I highly recommend these nachos. 

So on a scale of five capes, (you know because heroes always wear capes), five being best to zero being worst, Heroes receives 3.5 capes. 

For more information about Heroes, click here: http://heroesrestaurant.com/index.php  

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Getting the Cold Shoulder at Los Primos


Los Primos
26721 Rancho Parkway
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Los Primos is a fast food Mexican place that has fifteen locations, in four counties in southern California. The one by my house is in Shell station. I usually try to stay away from gas station food, but this is not your typical hot dog that has been sitting in a case all day, so let's see if this place is a gas or not, (sorry about the horrible joke).  


Above are my carne asada fries. I am a big fan of this San Diego dish. It is like nachos, but with potatoes, instead of tortilla chips. Although this dish was not as good as Albatross's carne asada fries, they were good. The fries were not hot enough though.


Here is the combo meal that includes a taco and cheese quesadilla. Again the food was not hot, but the quesadilla was not too greasy and the taco, as you can see, had a lot of cheese on it. The rice and beans were adequate also. 

 

Here is another combo plate. This one features a beef chimichunga with rice and beans. Again this dish did not come out hot. Maybe we caught them on a bad night. The chimichunga was smaller than I thought, and did not have a lot of meat in it. The taste was okay.


Here is my Monster Burrito. Not really too much of a monster to me, but it was good size for the $5.49 price. This burrito had shredded beef, rice, lettuce, beans and cheese and enchilada sauce on top of it. Nice tasting burrito.


This plain looking burrito is the Chile Verde burrito. This was a good tasting burrito that was more flavorful than the Monster burrito. Not enough meat in this one though, but the pork that was in here was good, just not enough of it.

Los Primos is good in a pinch. If I am in the area I would stop by, but it is not a destination place. When I first started going here, it was a lot better than on my last two recent trips. The food came out lukewarm, and they really skimped on their meat.

Out of five cousins, five being best to zero being worst, Los Primos receives two cousins, well short of a decent family reunion.

For more info on Los Primos, here is their web site: http://www.losprimosmexicanfood.com/primopages/index.htm

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