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Great Fast and Slow Food

You can find great food by visiting the restaurants in your local area and finding out which one does the best job. We have listed some of the really great places for favorite foods in and around Southern California.

Breakfast

Chino
Most of us love great chicken fried steak. It’s sad when we are driving somewhere or just out for the day, and we see a restaurant that advertises chicken fried steak and it is bad. You can’t always tell when you’re going to find good food. There is an unwritten law that says; if it cost more it is better. Well, that’s dumb. Look at the old VW Bugs. They are cheap and they keep running for years. Anyway, the best chicken fried steak we have found is at Flo’s airport café in the Chino airport. You need to try the biscuits and gravy, OMG you will love it. People drive and fly in from all over just for the food. Chino Airport, Chino 909-5973416

Rancho Cucamonga/Upland
Another one is the Red Hill coffee shop. They have a pancake that hangs over a large plate it’s good too. 8111 Foothill Blvd, Rancho Cucamonga (909) 985-3816

Los Angeles
In Los Angeles the place to eat a good and robust breakfast is the Original Pantry Café, 877 South, Figueroa Street. (231) 972-9279

Buffets
It’s tough to find a good buffet that has great food. Many have a lot of different kinds of meats, chicken, vegetables, salads and desserts. It’s difficult to serve many people good food and keep the price down.

All around Southern California Area
Another is the Sunday brunch (buffet) at El Torito Grill restaurants. It’s a Mexican buffet with other kinds of stuff to eat. We really like the omelets as you can have them anyway you like, we like the chorizo and cheese. There are many El Torito’s Grill around, check your phone book for locations. All around Southern California Area The Souplantation restaurants have a good buffet. You can get pizza and different kinds of soup including chili. They make their own bread and corn bread. There are many Souplantations around, check your phone book for locations.

Burritos
It’s hard to find a good burrito when you really want one. A lot of little Mexican restaurants make them but to find the good ones you have to search for them. Chimichangas (deep fried burritos) are good also but it takes a caring restaurant to do it right.

One of the best Chimichangas we’ve found is at a little Mexican restaurant in Desert Hot Springs. They have built their place to resemble an old Mexican restaurant South of the Border. In fact that’s the name, South of The border. It’s family owned by Fernando and Flory Guerrero. 11719 Palm Drive. Desert Hot Springs. 1(760) 251-4000. Corner of Second St & Palm Drive. Just East of Palm Springs. Their chips and salsa are better then most also.

Found in Los Angeles/Chino
We think the best burritos are made at the Mexican restaurant called, Plaza Guadalajara, you can get all kinds, wet or dry. They have a few in the LA area and are spreading all over. The one we like is in Chino at Philadelphia and Central. (909) 627-8602. The other one is in LA. We had great burritos at both places.

Chicken

All around Southern California Area
The El Pollo Loco restaurants have a South Western Chicken bowl that is real good.

Chile Rellenos

We have found the best Chile Rellenos in the southland. We have been to a
couple of these restaurants and loved the food but the Chile Rellenos are most flavorful.
Can’t get enough of these!

Avila’s El Ranchito Restaurants – http://www.avilaselranchito.com
Costa Mesa 2101 Placentia Ave (949) 642-1142
Huntington Beach 318 Main St (714) 960-9896
Huntington Park 6703 Santa Fe Ave (323) 585-5055
Lake Forest 24406 Muirlands (949) 855-4989
Long Beach 5345 Long Beach Blvd (562) 428-7348
Newport Beach 2800 Newport Blvd (949) 675-8855
Santa Ana 2201 E. First St. (714) 547-9129

Chinese
All around Southern California Area
In our opinion, the best Chinese restaurant around is the Panda Inn. We know of the one in Ontario and San Diego. There are more around so check your phone book for locations. This restaurant is not fast food but real Chinese cuisine. We had an appetizer that consisted of three or four different things on a large platter. It was placed on the table, and then the waiter put a small stand with a burning area in the middle of it. We picked up each item and cooked it or just heated it over the fire. It was fun and great tasting. Don’t confuse this restaurant with one that has express in the title.

Diner (fifties) Food

Barstow/Victorville
Peggy Sue’s Diner in Barstow represents the fifties in every respect. The food is good and plentiful. Inside the building is a wealth of movie and other memorabilia that makes you believe that you are sitting at a table in 1953 or so. Try a cheeseburger with fries and chocolate malt then play a fifties song on the jukebox and sit back and enjoy the good old times. They have two locations, Yermo I-15 & Ghost Town Road (760) 254-3370 Victorville I-15 & Stoddard Wells Road. (760) 951-5001

Legends Burgers is another great fifties diner. The walls are filled their walls with fifties reminders. The tables are exact replicas of the comfortable ones we used to know so well. A track on fifties cars run around the ceiling while you eat. You get more food then you bargained when you sit down to eat. Try the paddy melts and onion rings. They also have a drive-though. 1645 North Mountain In Upland. (909) 949-6363

Fish tacos

San Diego
The best fish tacos are in San Diego on the beach at Mission Beach. Many of the places around Southern California are selling fish tacos but most are not up to par. Real fish tacos are like the kind that’s sold on the taco carts in Mexico. They consist of a small tortilla coated with mayonnaise, placed inside is a piece of fish, usually cod, then a small pinch of shredded cabbage. Anything else takes away from the great taste of the fish. Ask the waitress or counter person what’s in one before you order.

Another great fish taco can be found at Rubio’s Baja Grill. They make one of the best fish anywhere. There are many Rubio’s Baja grills in Southern California as well as the whole west coast. The people are great and the food is super. Try a fish Taco combo. We try to visit them often. Find your nearest location on their web site.

Hamburgers

EZ Take Out drive though
has the best tasting hamburger and malts around. Most are built in conjunction with coin-operated car wash. They are all over so check your phone book. In and out have some pretty good hamburgers also.

In and Out is also great. The french fries are to die for.

Mexican salad

All around Southern California Area
Don Jose restaurants have a very good shrimp salad called “Chalupa”. It has a Jalapeno dressing. The dressing is not hot at all and the salad is not spicy unless you make it that way (by adding salsa that is on the table).

Monte Cristo Sandwich Anaheim
Try the Monte Cristo sandwich at the Blue Bayou restaurant in Disneyland. You can sit in serene surroundings eating your dinner while watching the Pirates of the Caribbean boats float by full of smiling people. You can wave at them as they float by but you might feel embarrassed if they don’t wave back. We wave anyway.

Pizza
All around Southern California Area

Everyone pizza lover knows their best pizza place for one reason or another. We have been too most all of them and have made our choice as to taste, quality, predictability and price. For the sit down lovers, Straw Hat Pizza has about the best sauce and their dough is done well. They have a barbeque chicken pizza that’s real good. Graziano’s is real good also but they don’t have that many around. Check your phone book. Papa John’s pizza has always been good and they are building more places all the time. For the take out or delivery lovers, there are pizza take-outs around and most of them are pretty good. You can get good tasting pizza at most of these places but a small few add more oil then is needed. Don’t sacrifice taste for unhealthy additives. In San Diego the place to go is Pizza Nova, they have great toppings, some are unusual to the pizza fan, but they work well. They cook the pizza dough in real wood burning ovens. The salads are a must also. They have several restaurants around town; again check your phone book.

California Pizza Kitchens
For a great dining experience the most satisfying pizza restaurant is the California pizza kitchens. The restaurants are very clean and well lighted. The people working there seem to like their jobs and it shows. We have been to the Hollywood and the Palm Springs locations plus the one by the Anaheim Ball Park. I was in the kitchen of the Palm Springs restaurant and got a chance to see how they set up for the days activities. The fruit and vegetables looked like a picture in a market ad. The salad/pizza preparation area was very impressive. Each employee knew just what they were doing and the whole kitchen was running like a well tuned machine. There are many locations around Southern California.
The pizza is outstanding and the menu is large, check out their web site for locations plus pictures of the pizzas, super salads and pasta dishes. www.cpk.com

Santa Fe Chicken Salad
A lot of good restaurants have their verson of Santa Fe Chicken Salad and most are fine. The Hard Rock restaurants do a good job on but we found a place that excels in making this dish. Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill is all over Southern California and following is a list of their restaurants. We hope all of them make the same style Santa Fe Chicken Salad. They use strips of char-broiled fajita chicken breast with guacamole and sour cream on a bed of greens tossed with two cheeses, pico de gallo, tortilla strips and their own Mexi/Ranch Dressing. Top that off with their great ice tea and you will go back time after time.

Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grills
Aliso Viejo, 26531 Aliso Creek Rd. (949) 831-6403
Balboa, 7677 Balboa Ave, San Diego, (858) 569-4590
Camarillo, 291 Ventura Blvd. (661) 482-1470
Cathedral City, 32400 Date Palm Dr. (706) 324-6911
Chino, 3956 Grand Ave. (909) 590-7844
Corona, 521 North McKinley (909) 371-1995
El Cajon, 107 Fletcher Parkway (619) 593-3066
El Cajon, 2508 Ganacha (619) 670-7203
Escondido, 1216 Auto Parkway (760) 743-6612
Fountain Valley, 18729 Brookhurst St. (714) 963-1835
Highland, 4770 East Highland Ave. (909) 425-9020
La Habra, 1238 West Imperial Hwy. (562) 690-7709
Monrovia, 502 West Huntington Dr. (818) 923-0070
Montclair, 9241 Monte Vista Ave. (909) 624-5555
National City, 3030 Plaza Bonita Rd. (619) 475-1855
Oceanside, 2146 Vista Road (760) 757-5848
Ontario International Airport, 2500 Air Port Dr. (909) 975-8008
Palmdale, 39720 N. Tenth St. West. (661) 947-7520
Rancho Cucamonga, 10709 Foothill Blvd. (909) 980-3633
Rancho Mirage, 71740 Highway 111 (760) 674-0761
Redlands, 2046 Redlands Blvd. (909) 335-7372
Riverside, 3820 Mulberry (909) 369-7447
San Diego, 9480 East Mira Mesa Blvd. (619) 578-5280
San Dimas, 674 West Arrow Hwy. (909) 394-7600
Santa Clarita, 23626 Valencia Blvd. (661) 254-7001
Semi Valley, 109 Cochoran St. (661) 955-0635
Thousand Oaks, 3980 Thousand Oaks Blvd. (661) 496-9444
West Covina, 300 South California (626) 338-5789

Salad Bar

All around Southern California Area
The Claim Jumper restaurants have a great salad bar. The food is always fresh and clean looking. The have a tasty and very large chocolate cake for dessert also.

Spaghetti

All around Southern California Area

You can get good spaghetti in many places but the Old Spaghetti Factory has it all. Great food, super atmosphere and nicely put together combinations A good one is combination #2, Spinach and cheese ravioli with tomato sauce and spaghetti with rich meat sauce. Combination #3 is, Meat lovers treat, meatballs, Italian sausage and spaghetti with meat sauce. You can eat sitting in a make believe trolley if you like but we like the high back velvet chairs that surround the table in the dining room. There are many around, so look in your phone book. We have eaten in the one in San Diego, Newport Beach, Rancho Cucamonga and Fullerton. All were very good. Check your phone book for exact locations.

Steaks

All around Southern California Area
It’s hard to find a really tender and tasteful piece of meat these days. It’s true that there are many fine restaurants that sell good steaks and the more you pay generally the better steak you get. The most tender cut of meat many people say it the Filet Mignon. You can find these in the better restaurants but the serving is generally smaller then other cuts of meat. The size is due to cost that the restaurant has to pay for it. Also there is the steak and shrimp combo or steak and chicken combo or steak and something combo. Many times when you order these items you get a steak that is not a tender or flavorful as a steak order by it’s self would be. When you get a combo like that generally the cut of meat is cheaper. Be sure to ask which cut of meat you are getting before you order steak and something combo. Black Angus has very good meat as does the Claim Jumper and Tony Roma’s. The Black Angus had a super steak called the Pepper Steak, but they took it off the menu for some reason. We hope they bring it back. You can get a good taste of the meat when the steak is cooked over a wood fire such as hickory. Most meat is better aged and cured just at the right time. It takes a caring and hard working restaurant to do this. Outback is good as well. We also like Pinnacle Peak Steak House. They have small to very large cuts of meat. You get bread, salad and beans plus they have other things on the menu as well. The Trail Boss steak will have you taking half of it home. You can watch them cook your meat. If you wear a tie the waitress’ will cut it off and hand it on the ceiling with your name on it. Then they sing something and bang pans and point you out to all who will listen. This is with your permission of course. The ones we go to are: Pinnacle Peak Steak House 269 W. Foothill San Dimas (909) 599-5312, Pinnacle Peak Steak House 2533 South Cadena Colton (909) 783-2543

Tacos

All around Southern California Area
The best taco in Southern California is in Olvera Street in Los Angeles. It’s a small hole in the wall restaurant called Rodolfos. You can get a taco and two taquitos, which are pretty good also, for under $5. You can get another good taco at Don Jose’s restaurants all over the Southland. It seems that the closer you get to the Mexican border the better the tacos are. There are some great tacos in most towns but we have found that the smaller the place the better. The real ones are the small tortillas type with little else but meat, tomatoes, onions and hopefully cilantro. We love the fish tacos in Baja, they seem to make the best ones. Sometimes the Mexicans put a weak mix of mayonnaise and some shredded cabbage in the Fish tacos. But that is mostly indigenous to the taco carts in Ensenada Mexico and they are very good.

Tamales

One of best Tamales in the southland is on the menu at “Ramon’s Cactus Patch” in Ontario. The resturant in owned and run by the same family since 1937. Their whole menu is good but the Tamales are fantastic. It’s not your run of the mill type, they make it with shredded beef topped with ground beef. When it comes to the table there is a special sauce on top with ground beef all over. It’s worth the drive if you live in the area. Located at 647 West California St. Ontario. It is a small house turned in a restaurant with lots of booth and tables. Very clean and friendly. It sits on the corner of Mission Blvd. and San Antonio Ave with West California St. running just off San Antonio Ave. Lunch is 11:00 to 2:00 the dinner is 4:00 to 8:30. 909-9843130

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