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Archive for the ‘Valencia’ Category

My friends and I all have a Dink’s story…I have my own…but I wont bore you with the details of the bagel that I waited around for about 20 minutes only to THEN be told that the bagels weren’t ready. That was a long time ago. I’ve eaten at Dink’s a couple of times…years ago…but because of all the stories (and not to mention currently rocking two point five stars on Yelp) I haven’t been motivated to go back.

Recently Dink’s became a topic of conversation because they added a bar with beer. I don’t drink beer, but today when a $10 deal came across my radar, the Vinhja and I decided to go check it out. Today only, to launch the first day of their new bar, one could get one pound of their St. Louis BBQ Rib Tips and one of their new 20 beers on tap.

Since I don’t drink, we figured that Vinh could have my beer. It was the bartender’s first day on the job so she was a little nervous and still in training, so she thought we just wanted one order of ribs to share…because that’s what we ended up getting. But, it was fine, we didn’t want any more rib tips…

Anyway, they have new beers on tap, and if you are into that sort of thing, then you can be like the other guy at the bar who stopped in for a quick drink.

The cases by the entrance are gone, so not sure if they are still slanging bagels here, but you can definitely get some at one of their other two locations in Valencia.

Dink’s Deli

Valencia Westfield

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I will preface this post by saying I enjoy a good farmers market. The one at the Ferry Building in San Francisco is my ULTIMATE, followed by the Santa Monica Farmers Market, but I do enjoy going out to the various markets and seeing how similar or different they are. For years I had ignored the COC Farmers Market, but I had heard my friends talk about it, and especially how it had grown over the years. I can’t even remember the last time I went to the farmers market out here in Awesometown, but I wasn’t impressed back then, so I never went back for YEARS. A few months ago I went to the SCV Street Fair also held at COC and it was a joke. Not a farmers market, and mainly food trucks (most of which were leaving because it was so deserted) and a couple of vendors. In my smirk, I thought this was what the market would be like…until last week, when my perception changed.

With so many of my friends paying weekly visits to the Sunday farmers market, I woke up last week determined to check it out. I got there around 10ish, and met up with Mike, Larry, Catherine, and more. I also saw two coworkers, and its apparent that this is the place to be on Sunday mornings in Awesometown. Everyone looked so happy, customers and vendors, and best of all? This was a LEGIT farmers market with many of the same vendors one would find at the SaMo market! This wasn’t anything like the joke of a market that takes place in Newhall…

Today I woke up so excited to go back to the market with one objective in mind: Harry’s Berries which I had missed out on last week. I got there around 10ish again, and quickly learned why people head out to the market much earlier…stuff sells out! Maybe next weekend…

So as I leave you with these images from the market, I strongly encourage you to check it out for yourself. So many families out enjoying the SoCal weather and supporting local farmers. Many people are swayed because they think that shopping at a farmers market is much more expensive than the grocery store, and that isn’t necessarily the case.

Most of the restaurants that I frequent in LA are farm to table, which means that it costs a little more but they have relationships with local farmers and the food is just better. It makes me wonder how many of our local restaurants are locally sourced. Maru Sushi in Valencia was the only place where Jason, the chef, actually went to the SaMo farmers market weekly. I don’t know of anyone else in town doing this. I wish more local restaurants would…something to think about. Maybe Newhall Refinery will lead the way…

Greens.

Root Veggies.

Fresh juice.

Herb starters! Only $1 each!

Asparagus.

Parsley.

Oregano. Thyme. Rosemary. Sage.

Fresh Herbs. Pesticide free and only $1.50!

Squash Blossoms! Like at Mozza!

Fava Beans.

Artichoke.

COC Farmers Market

Sundays Only

6455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Parking Lot 8
Valencia, CA 91355

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I used to be at the top of my game, bringing you the latest and greatest in SCV before anyone else…however the reason I haven’t kept you guys up to date is because nothing had opened recently that had inspired me to dust off the old bloggy blog (I had forgotten my password, quite frankly). That was until last week when my bro Hsiawen sent me a text while I was at work. It was simply a photo of a chalk menu board and instantly I was intrigued. I demanded an address, and hoped it was in SCV. As a brother would do, Hsiawen had me in agony as he texted me photos of his food, but still no address. Notice, this is my attempt to give Hsiawen full credit for being FIRST to discover this new place, okay?

By the time my school day ended, Hsiawen had texted me the address, and as soon as the final bell rang I drove to the spot, walked in, and knew I was in for something good. But before I continue, let’s take a walk down memory lane to this post from 2009. Remember Fish Tail? Remember how excited I was about them opening up in town? The only place slanging poke bowls in Awesometown! Best! Anyway, back to the present.

So as I walked in, instantly I saw the familiar faces from Fish Tail (admittedly it has been a while since I’ve been to Fish Tail, but its back on my radar now). Well, the same way they brought a new concept to SCV three years ago, they have done it again with Rustic Eatery. The menu is quite simple, but I quickly learned they were doing things right. For example, they make their own bread every day, rustic and french, and spent weeks perfecting their hand cut fries. This space used to be a Red Brick Pizza, but the only thing that remains is the oven, and they certainly put it to good use for their bread, croutons, and other menu items.

Making bread isn’t an easy task, but Min (one of the owners – along with his brother Alex) was committed to perfecting his bread, and talks about the trial and error of learning how to make the bread actually rise.

This is truly a “mom and pop” – well in this case “brother and brother” type of business, which is my favorite kind to support, especially when you can see true drive and passion behind opening a restaurant in SCV. Bringing something good to the people of Awesometown besides the same ol’ chains and pretentious eateries. There is a feeling of family at this place, and the owners are so humble. It is so refreshing.

So anyway, as is the case when I like a place in SCV…I wont stop talking about it, and (humble brag) its a cool feeling when you can just text your friends and ask if they want to meet up at a new place, and they agree without even asking what kind of food or what its called. I guess being named one of SCV’s 40 Under 40 gives me klout!

Just like I did for Fish Tail in January 2010 I organized a get together at Rustic Eatery really from one day to the next. Last Saturday about 20+ of my closest friends gathered to check this place out. This place is casual and kid friendly too! And the best part is, everyone loved it! Colbert Bump!

I’ve been there a few times now, often with friends, and I’ve tried most of the dishes. I like the rice bowl and the plates, but I think my current favorite is the ribeye prime cut sandwich, salt and pepper, provolone, on rustic bread. It is served with a side salad which is top quality lettuce and it even has grapes. Fancy.

Here is Mrs. SCV herself! Eve Bushman of Wine 101 fame!

I went there for lunch with Jason and he had the tofu, so they do have vegetarian options available.

I’m also a big fan of their fresh cut fries with the aioli they make themselves.

If you like sweet potato fries they have those as well.

Essentially, you pick your protein and then you get to pick how you want it. Even on top of a salad! Notice their croutons they make in house!

Also of note? They have pork belly. Its amazing to me how hard it is to find a place slanging pork belly in Awesometown. Seriously, something that can be found so easily in LA, yet in Valencia, its like trying to find Waldo!

It is hard to describe what kind of food this is. It does have some Asian influence in the sauces that they make in house, and in the rice bowls. Asian influence can also be seen in the shabu cut ribeye and other dishes. I would suggest just going in there and checking it out. You can’t go wrong, really.

So, I’m totally fangirling over this place, and remember my posts on this blog can never be bought and I can’t be bribed – but if I like your place? I really know how to show it. Trust. I think its just because I’m so happy to have something NEW and REFRESHING in Valencia and I’m all for supporting local small businesses, which is why despite my seemingly cold black heart, when I realized this place didn’t have a website yet, I asked if I could try to make one for them for fun (ie no charge – I have a day job), selfishly just to see if I could. So, turns out creating a site isn’t that hard (thanks Wix!), I used photos I was going to use for this blog post anyway (that’s why they may look familiar), and I think this was my good deed for the holiday season. Maybe Santa will be good to me this year.

You can check out their website (and my amateur skills) by visiting their site here: Rustic Eatery. And then, since it was so EASY I decided to make a landing page for my own site using Wix as well. One of these days I’ll revamp this blog. That’s next on my to-do list. For now, check out (shameless plug) Lady Ducayne!

Anyway, back to Rustic Eatery! I have to reiterate what Lisa said at our meetup Saturday. THANK YOU Min and Alex for opening up in SCV and giving us some new options! So, SCV? What are you waiting for?

Hustle on over to this place and check them out. Keep in mind that they are fairly new and still finding their way. At lunch it tends to get busy, but its worth the wait! Its been a while since I’ve been so happy about a new place in town, and its good! Promise! You can thank me later.

Did I mention they have Orangina and Mexican Coke? JACKPOT!

(Parting gifts courtesy of Scott Groller)

Rustic Eatery

25343 Magic Mountain Parkway

Valencia, CA 91355

http://www.rusticeatery.com

Sidenote: If you happen to be visiting Santa Clarita from out of town because of Six Flags Magic Mountain and need a place to eat before heading into the park, or perhaps on your way home? This is a great alternative to the usual fast food places. Its essentially the same exit as the one you take for Six Flags, and super close! Pro Tip!

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So I could go on and on about how I’ve been a fan of Bake You Happy since their very early days, but you all know that by now. The thing about this shop is that they like to introduce new items, and recently, inspired by Sprinkles, they have introduced the Cupcake Ice Cream Sandwich.

I had something similar in LA a few weeks back, and am thrilled to see I can just go down the street and around the corner to have this refreshing summer treat. Essentially you pick your cupcake and can add ice cream for a dollar more. They cut the cupcake in half, and the ice cream goes in the middle and its presented in a deep, wide cup. Grab a spoon and enlightented.

After lunch, Jason and I headed over to Bake You Happy for dessert and a little ice cream date (as is tradition). We shared a carrot cupcake (with great frosting, my goodness) and a scoop of Vanilla.

Needless to say we ate it all.

However, we go all out when we go for ice cream, so we also ordered a giant ice cream sandwich! These cookies are made at BYH and the sandwiches are frozen. So this is the perfect to-go treat, or if you have time to hang out and chit chat while it thaws out, that’s a good option. This is a nice sized quality ice cream sandwich (none of the over hyped Diddy Riese stuff).  Luckily, Jason is a strong man, so he tore it in half and we happily ate. It was a good day!

Bake You Happy

23628 Valencia Blvd

Valencia CA, 91355

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This post is a bit bittersweet for me to write…this is the last place I ate at before totaling my beautiful three week old 328i. In fact, as I was uploading photos I caught a glimpse of my old car in the reflection of the windows surrounding the shop. I thought this place was really cool though, so I had been meaning to blog about it as I was recovering from my accident, but I think its good I waited until I was feeling better.

So this shop took over the old Starbucks spot on Copper Hill a few months ago, and I got the heads up from my homeboy John Lesko of All Spice Cafe. It is run by a local young guy that is really into baking and chocolates and you can tell all the guys working here love what they do.

The pastry cases are filled with pastries (sweet and savory) and everything is made by them. I thought the tarts looked beautiful! I can’t wait to go back and try one.

On that day I had a slice of coffee cake.

They also have cupcakes. I really need to go back and see what else is new in the cases.

For those of you that love chocolate, they make their own truffles!

The owner let me try this truffle they had come up with earlier as they experimented in the kitchen.

They have seating and wifi and TVs and it is just a nice locally owned business.

They also make coffee using Jones Coffee Roasters out of Pasadena, and they have their own roast.

I didn’t try enough stuff, but I will make it a point to go back soon.

Baker’s Gourmet Coffee and Pastries

3880 Copperhill Drive

Valencia, CA 91354

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My dear SCV! I used to pride myself on being the first one to bring you the latest and greatest to grace our town, but with a full time job, and lack of time, I haven’t been blogging. Also, there hasn’t been much in terms of good food coming to town so I had lacked motivation too. Until today!

There is a new place in Newhall that opened up called Bricks on Lyons. Mike D. told me about it weeks ago and we eagerly awaited the grand opening. I finally got to try it today with Vinh and my brother Hsiawen. I hadn’t seen him and his wife Deb in a long time, and it was so nice to finally meet their baby boy! Seeing them so happy, made me melt. Hsiawen is going to be an amazing father to that adorable little boy.

I’m not sure what the story is behind Bricks, but I’m definitely intrigued.  They have a great simple menu consisting of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and sides.

These are the sides, which are all reasonably priced.

They also have shakes and boba! While Vinh and I waited for Hsiawen and family, we got started with some shakes!

Vinh had blueberry.

And I had oreo!

As we toasted (cheers), we remarked that we loved the use of ball jars and boba straws! These were only $3 and made to order. They have a variety of shakes that were listed on a chalkboard so I’m thinking flavors change. I will definitely be back for a shake!

They had a special menu board by the register with specials. You order at the counter, and then your food is brought to your table. The kitchen is pretty open so you can see everything being prepared. It was actually really cool and all of the orders being turned out looked lovely.

I always remark that although I love breakfast, I rarely get the chance to eat breakfast…so naturally I ordered the breakfast burger.

This was Vinh’s burger. It looked UmamiBurger-ish because of the bun.

This was Hsiawen’s burger.

Deb had the Ryan’s Special, which looked amazing, but my photo didn’t come out. Just imagine a massive burger with onion rings. It looked really good! All burgers are served with greens and mandarin oranges, which is a nice touch.

I added an order of fries to my burger, which was served with homemade garlic aioli. Nothing special but a nice compliment to the burger for only $3.

They have a nice little seating area outside, which would be a nice place to hang out on those hot summer nights with the crew. There is something different about Bricks that I haven’t seen in the SCV lately. It was just a refreshing place and I saw some LA influence here, which makes me happy. I am definitely going to be a regular here, and explore more of the menu. They say that they make their own blend which is ground in house daily, which is fantastic. The prices are really reasonable for the quality of the ingredients, which pleases me. So, SCV…please go support this new mom and pop local business! It is located across the street from Old Orchard park, and those of you that have been around for a while will remember it as the old Taco Bell/Burrito Factory spot.

Bricks on Lyons

23820 Lyons Avenue

Santa Clarita, CA 91321

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Dear SCV, who always tells about the latest and greatest? This girl. And I’m actually blogging this a mere hour after leaving the place. You can thank summer break for that. Free time and all that good stuff I never have during the school year.

Pho Sure is a place I had no idea about until Mike D. told me about it a few days ago. Then last night, Derek told me about it too. So this morning after rolling out of bed by noon (don’t judge), I decided to stop by. It took over the former Pick Up Stix location over on Copper Hill, and I was honestly expecting a fast food, order at the counter, find a table, type of place. So imagine my surprise when I walked in to find a PACKED restaurant. There were only like two empty tables, and there were waiters walking about. Score!

Of course they have Pho, if you are into that (I’ve never been a Pho girl but Ramen me anytime).

The plus side of going to eat Pho with Pho Lovers is that I get to eat some bean sprouts. Something you may not know about me…I can eat bean sprouts as if they were candy. Adore.

The big steaming bowls of Pho were being delivered and people seemed to enjoy it.

While, personally I may not like pho, I do LOVE Banh Mi, and I haven’t been able to find it in Santa Clarita since my beloved XA closed down years ago. I usually have to go to LA or the valley for Banh Mi…so to have the option so close to home? So exciting! It was only like $5.25 and came with a drink. And it was huge!

This is less than half of the size of the full sandwich. It comes with tomatoes, so next time I’ll just ask for it without. Did I mention this sandwich was HUGE?

I had the beef Banh Mi, but it they also have chicken and pork options. And despite the size, I pretty much ate it all.

When I got the receipt I was a bit shocked. For less than $6 I had gotten a great quality sandwich plus a soft drink, and waiter service, from an independent non chain restaurant in Awesometown. I’m declaring this place a total success! And if you are wary because you aren’t sure if you’ll like Vietnamese food, then Banh Mi is a great introduction. Its basically a sandwich full of flavorful meat and cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeños if you want. You should try it sometime!

Pho Sure

23876 Copper Hill Dr

Valencia, CA 91354

(661) 257-3888

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