Sunday, February 3, 2013

Around the World In One Night at the Globe - CLOSED

The Globe Dine Bar
12926 Main St. 
Garden Grove, CA 92840

People always ask how we choose the restaurants that we go to. There are many ways that we hear about places to dine in OC. My favorite is to here from you, our great readers, whether it be from an email, a comment on one of our reviews, or a suggestion on our Facebook page. I am very diligent about writing all of your suggestions down on our, "must try" list. Other ways we hear about great places to eat is by reading other peoples blogs, or knowing we are going to be in an area and looking up hot spots to try on Yelp or Urbanspoon, or the way we found The Globe Dine Bar, they simply asked us to come give their food a try.

In our three plus years of doing this blog, we have only visited Garden Grove four times. Yes, GG is pretty far from where we live, but we need to make more of an effort to get to our counties fifth most populous city.  This was the perfect opportunity to do that. The Globe is located just a few doors down from another place we visited on Main Street, Doug's Downtown Grill. We came to The Globe on a very blustery Friday night. Main Street was blocked off due to a car show, but there was plenty of parking behind the business's on Main.

The Globe Dine Bar is owned by a Belgian husband and wife team, Michael Pauwels and Marijke Adam. They have a very unique story. They opened a Mexican restaurant in of all places Belgium. Back in 1992,  it was one of only two Mexican restaurants in the entire country. They accepted this challenge of showcasing Mexican cuisine to the people of Belgium, and it became a hit.

Now on this side of the world they are undertaking a similar challenge, introducing global cuisine with a Belgian twist to the people of Orange County. The Globe Dine Bar opened a year and a half ago, and the world cuisine vibe that they are going for here is evident from the maps on the walls, the table tops that each depict a different country, and finally to the monthly Chef Specials that focus on a different area of the world each time the calendar turns to a different month.

When we arrived on this cold winter night, the twenty seat bar was definitely the most happening spot in the place. The restaurant had sporadic tables here and there, but the majority of the action was at the bar. Many of the bar patrons seemed to be regulars. We found a table close enough to the action and sat down. I had no problem picking out what I wanted, because I had looked at the menu on-line, but Katie was flip flopping between a couple of things. This is what we finally decided on.

The first area of the Globe Dine Bar menu feature some hoppa's, which are explained in the menu as Hops + Tapas. I would classify these as small plate offerings. Out of the seven that were offered, the one that peaked our interest the most was the Skirt Steak Florets ($7.50). Along with the skirt steak, this came out with roasted pearl onions, blue cheese, and a red wine au jus. The beef here was very tender, and the wine sauce and blue cheese added big time flavor. I really liked the use of pearl onions on this small plate. I wish more places would incorporate pearl onions into their dishes, I really like them. The only minor complaint about this dish, was that the steak needed to be cut into more manageable pieces. These pieces were a little too large, but still a great start to our meal.

I was not going to be getting a beer, but the Globe Dine Bar is really focused on their unique to OC beer selection. Not surprisingly, they are really into Belgian beers. I sometimes find these European beers to be too heavy, but the owner, Mike Pauwels helped both Katie and I select lighter beers that would pair up well with our meals we had ordered. For me, we went with the Blanche De Bruxelles ($6). This smooth beer kind of reminded me of a less intrusive Hefeweizen. Very good, and if I did not have to work the next day, I could have drank a few more of these with no problem. Katie is not much of a beer drinker, so I was a little skeptical she would like the Leffe Brune ($6) that Mike picked out for her. That skepticism was not merited. This beer may have been dark in color, but the fruitiness and the sweetness of it made this taste more like a lighter beer. Katie of course did not finish this, so I happily polished the last half of this off. Each table had what Mike called, "the beer bible". This book gave a brief description of each beer, and what you could expect to taste with each selection. Very nice for Belgian beer novices like the two of us.

Both Katie and I were pretty hungry, so we started off with salads to curb our hunger until our entrees arrived. Katie selected the House Salad ($5) to start. This salad featured mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, carrots, and croutons, along with ranch dressing on the side. Nothing too out of the ordinary here, but the produce was fresh, the dressing was well made, and the serving size was pretty good for five dollars. I have been having rotten luck with Caesar's lately, but the Traditional Caesar ($6) helped to break the slump. Along with the fresh lettuce that came with this salad, the dressing was very flavorful and with just the right amount. I was also pleased with the shaved Parmesan cheese that topped this Caesar.

Let's tackle Katie's dinner first. She went with the Coq Au Vin ($16). This was Katie's first time having this French dish, and she could not have been more pleased. The braised chicken was very tender, and the flavor was enhanced with the wonderful red wine sauce, mushrooms, pearl onions, and bacon. The serving size for this dish was very generous. For a side item, this entree came with Potato Gratin. These were not like the ones that come out of the Betty Crocker box. These came in their own individual baking dish, and were rich and scalding hot. They were covered in cheese, but you could still tell that the potato was to be front and center. I would not hesitate to get this meal the next time I come to the Globe.

It seems like every time I eat in a restaurant, I am immediately drawn to a short rib entree. That would be the case again on this night. The Globe Short Rib ($18) is just what I needed on this cold night to warm me up. I always describe short rib as the most tender piece of pot roast you have ever had. This was what the short rib at The Globe brought to mind. This rib did not have a lot of au jus come with it, but it really did not need it. It was very moist already. The veggies were a tad undercooked, while the Belgian Fries that I got with my dinner were a little bit of a disappointment. I was expecting a crisp fry, like other Belgian frites I have had, but these fries came out pretty limp. I would forgo these on my next visit, and get the much better potato gratin.

By this time of the night we were pretty full, but the waitress talked us into trying one of their desserts. She was talking up the Checkerboard Chocolate Mousse ($7)., so that's the one we went with. She said this dessert takes a long time to make, but it disappeared from our plate rather quickly. This mousse is made of white and dark Belgian chocolate. The mousse was very smooth, while the chocolate did overpower a bit, but the raspberry sauce that came with this helped keep the chocolate in check. A very solid dessert.

The Globe Dine Bar was well worth the drive to Garden Grove. The main dishes that we had on this night were both phenomenal. For the most part, the other items we had were good as well. Most of the food served here is known to Americans, but the added European flair is much appreciated. I am sure having a restaurant in this location can be challenging, but once people get a taste of what is coming out of their kitchen, it will not be such a challenge to get people to come back. The owners, both Michael and Marijke, were very hands on the night we were here. They really tried to make everyone feel comfortable in their restaurant. With the introduction of new menu items from a different country every month, their is no chance that the menu will become stale. We are now looking forward to taking more frequent visits to Garden Grove in the future.

Out of five passports, (because you can not travel the globe, without a passport), five being best to zero being worst, The Globe Dine Bar gets 3.5 passports.

For more information on The Globe Dine Bar, click here:

The Globe Dine Bar on Urbanspoon

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