Dinner at Johnny Rockets.

Pacific Place Johnny Rocket's

Earlier this week (on September 4, 2013), I decided to have dinner at Johnny Rockets.  I just thought it would be a fun, change of pace for this blog.  The closest one to home for me is located inside the Pacific Place Mall.

It was hard to decide what to eat.  I wanted a burger to be able to write about it here.  The longer I looked at the menu, the more I realized that I have slowly grown away from eating a lot of burgers.  I sure do like a nice burger now and then, but it's a rare treat for me.  The calorie numbers on the menu were a shocker to me.  I eventually decided on the "Route 66" burger which involves grilled onions, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese.   I don't know if you can see it on this image, but the Route 66 burger starts at 1,100 calories.

I should mention, that I don't follow any particular diet or even pay exceptional attention to calories.  But seeing that a Johnny Rockets burger is 1,100 calories makes me shudder a little.  At this point, I don't really consider hamburgers and cheeseburgers to be very healthy for the human body.  I might be better off drinking a couple of tall Frappuccinos made with nonfat milk. 

There wasn't anything particularly exciting about my Route 66 burger.  I was so stunned by the calorie count information that I didn't dare eat a single French fry.  In fact, it felt like a bit like I was putting a lead weight in my belly - for the sake of writing a blog post!  Silly!  The calorie count on every single item on the Johnny Rockets' menu looked high.

And this visit to Johnny Rockets reminded me that if I really want a cheeseburger, I need to go to California and have an In 'N Out burger

When I got the bill, I realized that I had managed to spend right around $10 (after tax), and had only had the burger - no beverage.  I also feel like if I am going to spend $10 on a quick dining experience, I would much rather visit some place like Chipotle or The Veggie Grill

I didn't think there was anything special about this experience or dinner.  My burger was greasy and felt like a weight in stomach.  And Johnny Rockets seemed like another burger place with red booths and decor.  And frankly, it seemed a little overpriced. 

It may be a bit before I review another burger on this blog! 

According to Wikipedia, there are about 320 Johnny Rockets locations across the country.  They began in Los Angeles, California, so I would assume that they're mainly found on the West Coast, but I don't really know that for certain.  I visited the Pacific Place location which is at 6th and Pine in downtown Seattle.  The actual address is 600 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101. 

You can follow Johnny Rockets on Twitter too. 

Now it's your turn to weigh in. 





Wendy's - The Asiago Ranch Flatbread Chicken Sandwich

I happen to be in Renton, Washington, today (September 2, 2013), and decided to drop by the Wendy's located at 230 Rainier Avenue South, in Renton. 

It's been a long time since I have even been to a Wendy's.  I am not a huge fan of hamburgers and cheeseburgers (they are sort of a treat in my book - I like them, but find them usually over-filling, and I try to eat them not too often).  I saw a large sign for the Asiago Ranch Flatbread Chicken Sandwich and thought it looked enticing.   It also looked like it might be a newer item, since it was featured so prominently on the menuboard.

By the way, my Asiago Rancho Flatbread Chicken Sandwich was only $3.99.  That is cheap in my book.  Consider that many Starbucks beverages cost more than that.  Sometimes, I am not sure how fast-food places can offer food so cheaply! 

First off, take a look at how this flatbread sandwich looks on the Wendy's website: 

And then compare that with what I received today.   Consider it is fast food, they do a pretty good job making it look decent.  I wouldn't eat this regularly, but it was surprisingly good.

This little Wendy's location had a steady stream of customers, and at all times it looks like there were two or three employees.  One interesting thing is that the employees really did not stay planted in their positions.  The register Wendy's person would kind of disappear (I assume helping the grill person) during the moments that there was a break in customers.  This made it pretty easy to get a few good pictures facing the menuboards.

I found this to be a bit of a surprise.  My experience with Starbucks is that once a person is in a role - whether on bar, store support, or on register, he or she doesn't really move out of that role.  He or she is pretty firmly planted. 

As to my sandwich, it was better than what I expected for the $3.99 price tag.  The bacon on it overpowered the chicken flavor.  There was a generous amount of ranch dressing as well as a pretty thick slice of cheese.  All in all, this made for a filling sandwich.  It looks like a little, light and easy to eat sandwich, but somehow I couldn't finish the last couple of bites! 

While I was at this Wendy's, I noticed a large banner sign advertising the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger.  This is a limited time offering. I felt like I should have ordered it to feature here, but honestly that looks like the kind of cheeseburger that might be good to eat when you're famished.  I'm still feeling a little suspicious of the idea of this burger.  Just not quite ready to try it. 

I would curious if any readers here have tried this limited Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger offering.  Does the bun really taste like a pretzel?  Notice that the large banner encourages you to tweet about your cheeseburger with the hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs. 

I guess I am not so in love with Wendy's that I would be tweeting any #PretzelLoveSongs.  

If you want to follow Wendy's on Twitter, they're simply "Wendys" for their Twitter name.

Nonetheless, this was a fine quick trip in for a fast and cheap meal.  My food came up quickly.  I would have eaten it faster had I not been preoccupied with taking photos in the store and of my food.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. 


The Nordstrom Cafe: Simply great food.

I don't think that people normally associate Nordstrom with food.  But every Nordstrom that I have seen has a small cafe in it.  There are about 117 Nordstrom stores across the United States.   

I sometimes drop by the Nordstrom Cafe at 500 Pine Street in Seattle, 98101, on my way home from work, picking up dinner on the way home.  And, it's a great place for a quick weekend lunch.  I was just there today (August 25, 2013)  as a friend and I grabbed a bite after seeing Despicable Me 2 at the AMC theaters in Pacific Place.  I can walk home from the 500 Pine Street Nordstrom, so it's perfect for take out. 

The food is delicious.  My go-to menu item is the Parmesan Crusted Chicken Salad.   The friend I was with today ordered the Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad, and then we split a Kahlua mousse type dessert.  (That was the "Kahlua Eclipse" dessert).  By the way, my favorite dessert at the Nordstrom Cafe is the carrot cake.  It's amazing.  The cream cheese frosting is very rich, and yummy.

I wanted to write about this because it's a great place to go eat that most people won't intuitively think of for the lunch, or a light dinner.   

The Parmesan Crusted Chicken Salad includes organic baby greens, romaine lettuce, crisp chicken, bacon, egg, avocado, tomato, grilled corn and a honey Dijon dressing. 

The Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad includes organic baby greens, romaine lettuce,  chicken, jack cheese, roasted peppers, tomato, grilled corns, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro lime vinaigrette.

You can see that those two salads look just delicious.  My friend commented that the pumpkin seeds in the Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad was a nice touch, making it feel like a fall salad.  I always love the beautiful avocado and grilled corn in the Parmesan Chicken Salad, and that the dressing doesn't over power the other flavors. 

The dessert was rich - and delicious.  The chocolate crusts were rich and crisp, and there was a mousse filling in between.  The dessert was actually called the Kahlua Eclipse, and the one thing I will say is that it was more of a chocolate mousse with two rich, dark chocolate wafers, and only a light Kahlua flavor. 

Take a look at the desserts at the Nordstrom Cafe!   You can see that carrot cake that I like so much on the top shelf, on the right-hand side.

The back of the Nordstrom menu talks about the kid's menu (which is available for all ages - at least that has been my experience), as well as their commitment to good food, free of hormones, and using cage-free eggs.

When you are at the Nordstrom cafe, take a look around at all the merchandise, and to-go food items available.  You can buy lovely boxes of chocolates, bottles of balsamic vinaigrette, and jars of tomato sauce, and much more. 

There is always a special of the day, featured menu item.  I haven't shown the full menu here, so please do not think that you can only buy salads at the Nordstrom cafe.  There are small pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, and salads, and as you can see, a full array of desserts. 

I have ordered the mushroom and sausage pizza from the Nordstrom cafe and like it too. 

I hope you get a chance to visit a Nordstrom cafe sometime!  Tell me what you think. 

By the way, please do not confuse the Nordstrom Cafe with the Nordstrom Grill.  The cafe is set up where you order before you sit down, and there is only minimal wait-staff service (though, you'll always get a small chocolate before you leave, placed with your receipt), and the Nordstrom Grill has larger entree and is a sit-down restaurant where the waiter or waitress takes your order at your table. 

I have indeed seen a Nordstrom Cafe at every Nordstrom that I have been to (admittedly, not that many), but I am less sure about the Grill.  From my experience, the menu items at the Nordstrom Cafe are fairly similar regardless of which location you are at. 

Chipotle Now Testing Sofritas: A Tofu Ground "Beef" Option

After work yesterday (August 5, 2013), I decided to drop by Chipotle for dinner.  The closest one to home is at the corner of Third Avenue and Pike Street, in downtown Seattle.  The actual address is 1501 - Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, (the receipt says Fourth Avenue, but the store locator says Third Avenue) but really, it's main entrance is at Third and Pike.  By the way, this is a very busy area of downtown Seattle.  This store is probably busy from open to close.  It took a few minutes of waiting for me to be able to take quick photo of the exterior without a million pedestrians walking by.

Right when I walked in, I was greeted by a Chipotle staff person sampling the new "Sofritas." 

The Chipotle staff member explained to me that it was a brand new vegan meat option.  It's a shredded tofu, seasoned, and somehow turned into something that looks and tastes a lot like ground beef. 

She was sampling the new Sofritas in small cups, filled with both Sofritas and rice.  I tried to ask a few questions about Sofritas, but the line was long, and there was little time for questions.  The Chipotle staff person indicated that the new tofu Sofritas was a West Coast test.  According to the Chipotle website, you can find Sofritas at locations in California, Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver, B.C.

When I tried the small sample cup of Sofritas, I immediately realized that it has a bit of a spice kick to it.  I assume that is the chilis.  Here's the description of Sofritas, lifted from the Chipotle website:            

 "We start with organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices.  The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they will both love."

I ordered the new Sofritas vegan tofu meat in a taco salad, with pinto beans, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and a mild sauce.   Although my little sample had some kick to it, it was milder when mixed with all the other taco salad ingredients.  I'm a wuss when it comes to spicy food, and thought this was fine.  I think most people will find the spice kick to be fairly mild.

The taco salad also comes with a vinaigrette dressing - apparently, many customers want that on the side, so you can see that's how it's presented here.  It's a delicious dressing, though this taco salad almost doesn't need it.  Between having both sour cream and guacamole (I paid extra for guacamole) it ends up being a pretty moist salad.

If I haven't been clear, this was delicious.  The more I eat at Chipotle, the more I want to come back for more!  I am not a vegetarian, nonetheless I am fine with eating tofu now and then.  I would definitely pick this as an option. 

My salad was great.  And I like the feeling that you can eat a full meal, but not walk away feeling like you need to roll out of the establishment, as can happen with a meal of a cheeseburger and French fries. 

Of course, I like the ethical sourcing practices that Chipotle uses too. 

I found an ABC news article indicating that Chipotle began testing the Vegan Sofritas meat at the end of last month, and began the test in just a few San Francisco locations.   If the Sofritas test does well, Chipotle will roll this out to their 1,450 locations nationwide.

Would you order this?  It's possible I have some readers that have already tried Sofritas vegan tofu meat.  Did you like it? 

I am looking forward to hearing you thoughts on this! 

There are only a handful of Chipotle locations in Seattle, but I will definitely be back to write about them again. When I asked my readers about their favorite fast food chain  (see comments to that blog article) about a dozen people responded that Chipotle was their favorite chain!

And now the floor is yours!  What do you think? 





The Veggie Grill: Veggies turned into delicious meals!

I love the Veggie Grill.  Technically, there are far too few of these quick dining restaurants to qualify to write about on this blog, but I am going to sneak this article in!  The Veggie Grill began in California, and there are just shy of 20 location spread between California, Oregon, and Washington.

In Seattle, there are two Veggie Grill locations.  One is in South Lake Union, and the other is in Seattle's University Village shopping center.

I dropped by the location in Seattle's University Village today.  By the way, the person who took my order (Justin) told me that this chain is rapidly expanding, and that Washington State will get two more locations soon - one in downtown Seattle, and the other in Bellevue. 

Here's the address for the University Village store:  

2681 NE University Village Street
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 523 1961

Before I dropped by the Veggie Grill, I stopped into the Tazo Tea Store (operated by Starbucks, and closing in about one month, later to be re-opened as a Teavana).  I caught up with the manager, Meggan, and as it turns out, she is a fan of Veggie Grill too.  She highly recommended the "chicken tacos."

Everything on the menu looks great.  Eating veggies never has been tastier!  After some indecision, I went with the "fish" tacos.  The taco plates come with three tacos on them, and a side of either cabbage slaw or cup of chili. I do like cabbage, and so I picked the slaw.  It was delicious.  I asked a few questions about the meal, and it turns out that the tortillas are Mission brand tortillas, a little cabbage, tarter sauce, fresh lime wedges, and a proprietary blend of something that makes "fish."  And there is a lttle cilantro in there too!

This is definitely my kind of meal.  Look how good that looks!  A beautifully colorful plate.  It's the kind of meal where you don't feel like you need to roll out of the restaurant!  I would eat at Veggie Grill a lot more often if there was one downtown!

In case you're curious, after 95 cents tax to the CIty of Seattle, my taco plate meal was $10.90. 

I know I am cheating writing about this business because there are so few of them, but I hope you get a chance to try this good food.  I am not even a vegetarian! 

Before I left, I got dessert, so you'll have a little more to see of their good food.  At that point, I wasn't able to finish a dessert, but it was still delicious.  I tried the carrot cake, which has shredding carrots and walnuts on top of it, with a frosting that does taste pretty close to a cream cheese frosting. 

The interior of Veggie Grill is spacious, with plenty of seating.  When you are done eating, you don't bus your own table - the Veggie Grill employees come bus the table.

I managed to catch the store in a lull this afternoon.  In the distance of the photo of the store's interior, you can see the fountain area, and silverware, in napkins.  Their iced teas look good, though I usually come in with a beverage from the nearby Starbucks stores, so I can't say.

Thank you for bearing with me on this trip to Veggie Grill!  I will pick a major chain on my next article!  As I mentioned already, I hope you get the chance to visit!  (Though I don't know what yet!)

If you want to follow Veggie Grill on Twitter, here's their profile



First Visit to Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

 Today, July 27, 2013, I went on my first visit to Five Guys.  It's a burgers and fries fast-food establishment. At least within the Seattle city limits, there's just one single Five Guys location, and it's in North Seattle:

Five Guys
311 NE 103rd Street
Seattle, WA 98125
(206) 729 5028

I had some errands to run today, and I thought that at some point in the middle of the day, it would be perfect to drop by Five Guys.  I attempted to persuade my significant other to go to Five Guys with me, but he's was working, and on top of that, all he had to say to me was, "They're too greasy for me." 

With that, I set out to have lunch at Five Guys. 

Before I write about my lunch, I am going to talk about store design.  And, I'm going to borrow some oft-said Howard Schultzian descriptors: "disruptive" and "differentiated."  It's about doing things in a meaningful way, that's unexpected, relevant, and innovative. 

If I were an entrepreneur, and wanted to compete in the world of burger and fries, the last thing that I would do is design my stores in red and white decor.  It seems to be the status quo for burger establishment store design.  And I don't want to be the status quo.   You can get a sense from a few of the pictures in this article, Five Guys has a red and white themed store design.

And that is the status quo.  Unfortunately, I didn't post an interior photo of In-n-Out Burger, but they're red and white inside too.   Red is a big part of the interior theme at Carl's Jr. too.  Fatburger, like so many burger restaurants, also uses a red and white decor.  In the future, I might be writing about Burgerville, a small Portland-area chain, which also uses a red and white interior design.

Red and white signals burgers and fries ... somehow. 

Having said all that, I will eat a great cheeseburger in just about any kind of establishment.  So whether the interior is hot pink or whatever, or uses mostly red and white in the decor, if the burger is great, I'll come back. 

Everyone at this Five Guys was friendly.  I asked about the bazillion fifty pound bags of Idaho potatoes stacked in the eating areas, along the walls.  These are indeed the potatoes that eventually evolve into your French fries! 

Now onto my meal.  I forgot to ask the essential question about where the beef comes from for the burgers. 

I looked on the Five Guys website, and couldn't find information about the beef sourcing practices.  I did notice that the website states that there are no freezers at Five Guys.  Nothing is ever frozen. 

While I was hungry, I knew that a "Little Burger" would be enough for me.  It's very easy for me to have eyes larger than my stomach.  It took some willpower to resist ordering fries, but I got just a fountain soda and "Little" cheeseburger, including grilled onions and grilled mushrooms.   The drink itself was $2.19.  Of course, the high profit margins on beverages is what makes them awesome to sell.  The burger was $4.59, and so with tax, I paid $7.43.  That is still an inexpensive lunch in my book.

Everyone's burger comes in a plain brown sack.  There appears to be no trays or for-here ware of any kind.  And, it's super fast.  Within minutes it seemed, my burger was ready. 

I actually really did like my cheeseburger.  It wasn't "too greasy" as I had heard about them (admittedly, it was a little greasy).  And, it was a perfect quick, small meal for an on-the-go afternoon.  It went down quickly, and I was thanking myself that I managed to resist ordering fries.  I would have rolled out of there otherwise.  (And, likely enjoying every minute of it.) 

The paper to-go menu reminds you of all the calories you're consuming.  It's a good way to be dissuaded from ordering the French fries.  Though there is no doubt, one of these days I'll go back and over indulge.   

As I look at the menu online, and the paper menu, it appears that there are no shakes as an option.  That's probably a good thing! 

There's a little more to say:  If you want to follow Five Guys on Twitter, they do have a Twitter profile.  I noticed that the Five Guys website has a "fanatics" page.  I think this is kind of a good idea.  I'm okay with someone proudly saying they're a fanatic of a brand! ;) 

The Five Guys website tells you that they're based of Washington D.C./ Virginia, and that there are now over 1,000 Five Guys locations. 

That's it.  Hoped you enjoyed this very quick excursion to a Five Guys Burgers and Fries! 

Yes, I'd go back again! 






Panera - Tomato & Mozzarella Panini (And in the news: Discontinuing "Pay What You Can" locations.)

 Panera is amazing! I have yet to have a poor experience there! I dropped by the Broadway location of Panera on Sunday, July 21, 2013, and tried the Tomato & Mozzarella Signature Panani.

By the way, I'm sorry that I have only written about this Broadway location of Panera - it's actually the only one that I have ever been to.  There are only two Panera within the City of Seattle, and the one closest to me is definitely the location at 1620 Broadway Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. 

I had recently heard in the news that Panera is discontinuing its "Pay What You Can," program, or at least, making it a seasonal program.  Apparently, there were a few locations without fixed prices to the items on the menuboards.  There's an interesting news article on it here: 

There is a tidbit at the end of the article that I find interesting; people often paid about 75% of the retail price when paying what they can.   

Back to my trip to Panera.  I have been trying to order something new each time I visit Panera.  The man working at the register recommended the Tomato and Mozzarella Signature Panini, and suggested adding chicken to it, to make it very hearty.  I passed on adding ot it, or any modifications.  When you order a sandwich, you have the option to pick between a bag of a chips or an apple - I often pick the apple, and take it home for later.  

The Tomato and Mozzarella Signature Panini is on ciabatta bread with fresh mozzarella, roasted and fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomato pesto.  It is delicious!  I took home a small Panera catering flyer which provides the detailed descriptions of the menu items.  Makes it handy when you're writing about a sandwich a day later! ;) 

The register person will always ask you if you want to add a pastry item for 99 cents, when you're ordering food.  I always say, "yes."  Part of my experiment with this blog is to not order the same thing over and over again, try new things, and say "yes" as much as possible to add ons, to get the full experience.  I picked out the Cobblestone pastry, and took it home to have it for breakfast the next morning. 

The sandwich was quite filling!  Everything about this visit was very nice.  I love a delicious tomato and mozzarella sandwich.  And, I have noticed that the Panera employees at the Broadway location are super friendly.  They seem to not bat an eye at someone taking photos inside their stores.

The pastry area of Panera looks dangerously delicious.  One of these days, I am going to try the carrot cupcake. 

I hope you enjoyed this trip to Panera. 

I have a blog article on StarbucksMelody.com asking you about your favorite quick dining or fast food restaurant.  Panera is mentioned often in the comments.  One of the other most popular fast food chains (in the comments) is Chipotle, so I definitely have to get back their soon. 

Del Taco - Federal Way

Del Taco is a fast-food chain headquartered in Lake Forest, California.  It's a a Mexican food chain, and likely competes with places like Rubio's, Taco Del Mar, and Taco Bell.  Wikipedia says that there are over 500 Del Taco restaurants in numerous states, and as far East as Florida.

When I was just in California last month, I noticed Del Taco locations everywhere, and made a mental note that I wanted to try one for this blog.  I didn't get the chance during my last trip to California.  However, there are two Del Taco location in Washington.  One is in Vancouver, Washington, and the other in Federal Way.  I went to the one in Federal Way, and the address is 34528 - 15th Avenue South, Federal Way, Washington, 98003.  The phone number is (253) 661 - 7325.

I didn't know what to expect when I walked in, having never eaten at a Del Taco before.  I surprised at how bright and colorful the interior of the Del Taco is.   There are even neon cactus (cacti?) on the ceiling here and there.  Actually, I saw a sign that the store would be remodeled soon, so I assume that the colorful store design (notice the chairs are all vibrant, varied colors) I saw is an older store design.

I ordered the "slow cooked" Carnitas Tacos Al Carbon.  It has only a few simple ingredients.  Meat (mine was pork), onions, cilantro, and Del Taco's own "California Chile Sauce.."  I didn't know how spicy the chile sauce would be, so I ordered one taco without the sauce.  However, one taco won't fill you up.  You need two!  Each taco is tiny!  I went back up, and ordered a standard Taco Al Carbon with no menu modifications, and to my surprise, the chile sauce is pretty mild.  I don't like spicy foods, but the chile sauce is mild enough for even my wussy palate!

I ordered French fries on the side, which are basic, ordinary French fries.  They come lightly salted, and they were pretty good.  I didn't have to add any extra salt.  Actually, my tacos were pretty tasty. Even my first taco - with no chile sauce - was remarkable good as plain, simple taco.  Everything has a fresh taste, and the meat has plenty of flavor.  Also, this is fairly cheap fast food. I think you could fill up pretty easily with just like five or six dollars. 

At one point, as I sat eating my taco, I saw an employee leave the kitchen area into the lobby.  As the door separating the kitchen from the dining lobby swung open wide, I saw a poster on it which said in very large letters, "Fast, Friendly, & Accurate."  From where I was sitting, I could not read the rest of the poster, and the door was only open for less than one minute.  But I was under the impression that Del Taco strives to be those three things: Fast, Friendly, and Accurate. That they were during my visit in!

The photo of the taco with fries on the tray is the photo of the no chile sauce taco.  The picture of the taco by itself is the one that is just the standard recipe, with the California Chile sauce. 

So I did enjoy my trip to Del Taco.  They have a lot more on the menu that I need to try.  I will definitely try to write about them again.  Federal Way is closest enough to Seattle that I will be able to make it there again, at some point. 

There is a Del Taco Twitter profile too., if you want to follow.  With 500+ locations, it is possible that a few of my readers have tried this chain.  What do you think?


Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill - Heavenly Fish Tacos

It is such a treat to have fish tacos at Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill.  It's a place I prefer to eat at alone, so I can enjoy my messy fish tacos to the point of practically wearing them on my face, and end up with sticky hands. 

I have no idea how many Rubio's there are.  I would guess around 200 to 300.  They are a chain which started in San Diego, and to this day, easily found all over California.  According to the Rubio's store locator, there are also locations in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah.  I first discovered them in law school in San Francisco.  On June 21, 2013,  I went to one in Orange, California, and later went to a different Rubio's at 691 South Main Street, which is technically still in Orange, but right on the edge of Santa Ana. 

I really love Rubio's.  I guess, having been raised in California, I consider any kind of Mexican food to be a staple of life, and a fish taco definitely qualifies.  At Rubio's, they bring your order to your table, by the way.   Look at these amazing fish tacos.

They make their own corn tortillas, and all their own sauces.  Their guacamole is delicious.  Everything always tastes fresh.   Every Rubio's has a small salsa bar, in case you need a really hot salsa (or other salsas) with your meal.

I ordered the two fish tacos with guacamole, and had it as a meal, meaning it came with chips and pinto beans.  The chips are also home-made, and I'd note that they're light and crunchy, and barely salted.  Usually, I am a salt fiend, but it's not necessary for these chips.

Unlike the experience of something like a Carl's Jr,, where you're thinking, 'what am I eating?' at Rubio's you'll taste the beer batter on the fish, and the Alaska Pollock, and all the great avocado flavor of the guacamole. 

What a treat it is to sit down and devour fish tacos.  When I go home to California, this is a treat that always try to sneak in - preferably alone so I can make a mess!

I had fish tacos at the Rubio's located at 2318 North Tustin Street, #A, Orange, California, 92865, (714) 685 0013. 

I managed to squeeze in one more trip to Rubio's on this vacation - I went to the Rubio's on South Main (near Main Place mall) and tried the new Chimichurri Salmon burrito.   As you can see from the website's description, it's has a little kick to it - has some chiles in it.  It was almost too spicy for me, but I am a wuss when it comes to spicy foods.  Still, look how beautiful it looks.  I love the homemade tortilla. 

I already mentioned that there is a salsa bar inside every Rubio's.  It fits in nicely with the store's designs.  The interior of Rubio's is designed to evoke the feeling that you're sitting on a sandy beach enjoying fish tacos.  Since the chain was first started in San Diego, that makes sense to me!  I like that it has personality.

I hope you get the chance to visit Rubio's too.  I know my Seattle reader's will be a little left out of this one, but this is a chain you should keep your eye out for, if you are visiting California (or one of the other states that has Rubio's). 

I have been to Rubio's many times, and I've never had a bad experience, and the food has always been delicious.  Of course, like many establishments, you can order a beer to go with your meal.  That's not for me.  I still want eat fish tacos like there was no tomorrow. 

Thanks for reading! Enjoy! 


Gotta love Denny's.

This past Saturday (July 6, 2013), I had early morning plans with two friends (Dave and Ruth).  By 11:15 in the morning (after earlier morning plans), we were in Ruth's car, and we were hungry.  It was a truly a perfect moment for a small group to have brunch at Denny's!   

I feel a bit like I am cheating with this blog post, because really, this was just me out with two friends, and all of us being hungry!  We happened to be closest to the Denny's in Kirkland, (Washington) so we dropped by the Denny's located at 12106 NE 124th Street, in Kirkland,  98034.  The phone number is (425) 823 - 0123.

I always try to order anything labeled "new" on the menu, so I ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Omelette.  Ruth ordered the French Toast Slam, and Dave had the chicken-fried steak with two eggs.  Basically, everything about this was very nice!  We were all genuinely hungry, so it wasn't hard to finish the big breakfasts.  The waitress brought our food out all together, and it wasn't too long of a wait.   One nice thing about Denny's is that it really isn't very expensive either.  Well, and you can pretty much count on Denny's being open too!

My omelette was fine.  There was a generous portion of cheese in it - and I am addicted to cheese, and I almost thought it would have been fine with a touch less.  But still, everything was yummy.  I ordered the English muffin to go with my breakfast, and of course the table had the classic small squares of restaurant jam - grape or strawberry.  I have no doubt, you can picture what I mean!

Though I didn't take a lot of pics of the menu, I am always amazed that the menu is like a book.  You can order a million and one things at Denny's! 

The time flew by as we ate breakfast and chatted. 

The waitress saw me taking photos with my phone and joked, "Did you get enough to email pics of your food?"  (She seemed to assume I would be emailing the photos to someone) - There was a big smile in her voice, and it was clear there was no cause for alarm. 

You can see that everyone had a delicious looking meal! 

And a good time was had by all! 

There are a lot of Denny's across the country, and because they're open 24 hours, and are a ubiquitous diner, I bet everyone has their own favorite Denny's story. 

Here are just a couple more pics from this excursion to Denny's.