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Posts Tagged ‘awesometown’

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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Yesterday after work I was catching up on my Twitter stream when I saw that Velvet Cupcakes at the mall (which I first blogged last November) announced they were now serving pour over cups of Intelligentsia coffee. As of right now, Undergrounds is the only other place doing so in SCV, so of course I was excited. By now you are all fully aware of our coffee snobbery, and how the SCV Crew makes frequent trips to Intelli just to get our fix, and other third wave shops throughout LA. So hearing that I could get some orange bag Intelli goodness so close to home, and at a cupcake shop totally made my day.

Before trivia, N8 and I met up for dinner and stopped by Velvet Cupcakes for some coffee. The girls working were really nice to us, and talked us through the pour over method. Although we are super familiar with this (coffee snobs remember) it was nice to see these girls so excited to prepare our cups of coffee!

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Each cup of coffee you order starts with freshly ground beans and ends up as a fresh cup. Sure it may take a little longer, but it is so worth it!

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And…as if that wasn’t enough…as we were drinking our coffee, we were told that starting Friday they would be selling Banana Pudding.

I was so incredibly excited! Those of you that remember my birthday, 2010 remember that HUGE bowl of Banana Pudding that we couldn’t stop gushing over. Well, instead of having to go to Magnolia Bakery in LA…I can now just go to the patios and not only get myself a cup of Intelli, but also some of the best banana pudding, ever? Jackpot! Nate had to hear me gush about this banana pudding all evening. As did everyone I saw at trivia…

So, SCV…have I let you down yet? Trust me on this one! Head over to Velvet Cupcakes for a cup of coffee and some banana pudding. You can thank me later! And, if you have heard us tweet and blog and talk about our love of coffee and have wondered what all the Intelli fuss is about? Now you can check it out for yourself! Do @mic_dee a favor though, try it without the cream and sugar? Just once!

Oh, and of course! You can’t forget the cupcakes!

Velvet Cupcakes

The Patios in Valencia

Accross from Sephora

24201 W Valencia Blvd
Ste 3552
Valencia, CA 91355

fdsfs

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It seems to me that the SCV is evolving little by little when it comes to the new restaurants opening up in town. And that is the case with Zapp which is only a few weeks old. I actually went there on the second day they were open. I had left work and was hungry and stopped by. Turns out they had just closed after lunch, but the nice lady working must have seen how hungry I looked, because she invited me to come in anyway. They were so kind to me and I loved everything. You can tell how hungry I was because I didn’t take pictures that day.

So in the days that followed by brother Hsiawen visited Zapp and loved it. Then RE told me about her experience at Zapp and everyone agreed it was a real winner. The other night, I went back. I had left work super late, I was EXHAUSTED and I needed comfort food. And then I heard the choir of Angels. Anyone that knows me, is aware of my Ramen addiction. I love Ramen! I could eat Ramen every day and never get tired of it, but! There is no decent Ramen in the SCV! And then I saw it on the menu here at Zapp! I got all excited! A bowl of Hot Ramen was all I needed after a long day at work. Well turns out they didn’t have it yet…coming soon. Hey? You know what? The potential of finally finding epic Ramen in the SCV was enough to hold me over until they start slanging it! Given the quality of all the dishes I have eaten at Zapp so far? I have really high hopes for this Ramen.

There is some sort of relationship between one of the best Thai restaurants in town (Jasmine) and Zapp. Same owners? Not sure. What I will say for certain, is that they are offering some dishes on their menu that I have NEVER seen in the SCV. Dishes that I have to go to LA to find and dishes that I have grown up eating. To finally have things like Bao for example, in the SCV? Well, to me, that is a HUGE deal! Their Yakisoba was amazing, the fried egg on top of the steamed rice? So classic!

I’m thinking of going back with my friends and ordering more of the menu. There is so much to explore here and so many flavors to try. Zapp is truly, sincerely, something refreshing in the SCV and it warms my heart to know that they took the risk and are bringing this kind of food to Santa Clarita. Please! Go give Zapp a chance! It is one of my new favorite places in town. I loved it so much? I was eager to start eating and didn’t bother taking photos of the dishes. Trufax.

Zapp Simply Asian

23360 Valencia Blvd. #H

Valencia, CA 91355

(661) 254-2012

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Awesometown (Valencia) has its very first legit cupcakery! It has been a long time coming, but yesterday an actual storefront shop finally opened up and they were selling out faster than they could make them. The shop was crowded and it smelled like cupcakes! Very neat. Not only did it smell good, but the place is adorable!

It reminded me very much of the Sprinkle’s layout, with seating at the window so you can people watch. Additionally? It is located right across the way from Sephora and other shops in the new section of the Paseos.

Yesterday I had a strawberry cupcake, since they were sold out of most flavors. Today I went back to Sephora (heaven) and decided to stop by and try two more flavors.

This time around I had the Peanut Butter Chocolate. Chocolate cake and peanut butter acting as the frosting.

And of course, my go to flavor at ANY bakeshop…the always classic Red Velvet. This one had a tiny heart in the center. Very cute.

They also carry their own bottled water, Groundworks coffee, sodas, and the always classic Mexican Coke. Medio Litro. Can’t think of a better pairing with cupcakes.

I think this is the best thing to open up in Valencia in a long time. Sure there are two other storefronts in Canyon Country and Saugus, but this one PWNS them all by far. By a mile. By acres. Since it is a storefront, I could easily stop by after work for a sweet treat. It is also a great place to meet up with friends. We ended up sitting outside for a bit, under the sun, chatting, and people watching.

All around us, there were people sitting at the tables, including kids, just eating cupcakes. It was a really nice, casual, low key, scene at the Patios today. Not a bad way to spend a day off work.

I still love Bake You Happy, but this is a nice place to hang out and a welcome addition to the SCV! Velvet Cupcake is BY FAR the BEST cupcake shop (STOREFRONT) out of the three we have in town. I’m sure that anyone that goes there will enjoy the ambience.

Cupcakes are $3 each.

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Last night I went to the Awesometown Gourmet Food Truck with my friends. We aren’t rookies to the whole food truck game. Not at all. We are seasoned experts at this point, having been aware of the scene for years. No, really. We were ahead of the game. So naturally, we were a bit excited to have this happen so close to home. Usually we have to drive to LA to hit up the trucks, but for once, the trucks came to us. Of course, sometimes we go to the trucks that come to Newhall but this was different. This was a buffet of 22 trucks in our own backyard.

We knew there would be lines. We knew there would be crowds. Everyone we knew had heard about it, but we are an adventurous bunch. We had a meeting place, a meeting time, and tried to come up with a strategy.  The festival was set to start at 5pm, but after talking to Mike D. about it, it was decided that 4:30 would be a better meeting time to account for parking. It was the best decision ever. By 5:30pm we were hearing stories of people having to park in Bridgeport Elementary parking lot.

At 4:30 we met up and set out to divide and conquer. Arnold and Mike D. were holding it down in line at the Ludo Truck, and the rest of the crew went off to see what else was out there. By the time 5pm rolled around we had ordered and were already eating Chef Ludo’s famous fried chicken. Mike D. and I agreed that if we ate nothing else that night, we had deemed this event a total success. Some of the best fried chicken in all of LA by one of the hottest chefs in LA at the moment? Yeah. Success. Times 100.

Yes, there were lines. Yes, the lines were long, but so are the lines at Disneyland. The point to surviving any festival without feeling like you are wasting your time standing around is to divide and conquer and pair up. Bring a group of friends and/or family. Figure out a game plan and a meeting place. We quickly decided that the wall/seating in front of the dry cleaners would be our home base. Aptly dubbed the SCV Crew Fort, it was our meeting place throughout the night. We could leave our stuff there and come and go. Jay was holding it down as we all came and went. He even got drinks for everyone. We were having a blast from the start!

After Ludo, we moved on to the Sprinkles Cupcakes truck. The line was deep. I’m not going to sugarcoat. We were in line for almost 40 minutes. Yet, time passed by pretty quickly. We ate some of our chicken while in line, and we were joined by Mike Cruz and Zigler. The conversations made the line go by quicker. Plus, while we ate our chicken, the boys had already hit up Lake Street Creamery and were finishing up some donut ice cream. Before we knew it, we had all stocked up on cupcakes and were on our way back to the Fort. About an hour later I heard that Sprinkle’s had run out of cupcakes. It makes sense. They can’t carry an abundance of cupcakes in their van. It was smart to go early and save them for later. In fact, as I type this, I’m enjoying a lovely red velvet. I was telling Zigler that I’ve waited longer for Sprinkles at their shop in Beverly Hills. This was nothing. Plus, like I said, I had my friends keeping me company. I also told Zigler it would change his life…

Once back at home base, Andreanna and Susan were eating their falafels from the Great Balls on Tires truck. Susan was very happy with the staff at that truck. They were really nice and they even gave them chips for having to wait. Since we are all friends, we didn’t have a problem sharing and letting others try our food. Things were working out quite well for us. After finishing up and hanging out for a bit, I decided I wanted some Sushi so I left my bag at the fort and headed over to my friends at Fishlips Sushi. This would be the longest I had to wait in line that night. However, it wasn’t that bad because I was talking to Mike M. as I waited to order. He had already ordered for himself and for Kendra. At this time Greg was in line at another truck. Scott, Bree, Nate and Aleks were over at Lake Street Creamery. Divide and conquer, right?

As we were hanging out, we kept hearing people complain! Left and right people were complaining. But, we weren’t. Sure, I think it was awkward to place the tables in the middle and to have the trucks be so close together. It created a major cluster. Maybe closing off the road in front of Frankie’s, Daphne’s, Kabuki, etc. would have made more sense to set up the tables instead of in the middle. We all agreed at COC would have been a better location, sure, but heard various reports that they were denied. Total hearsay so don’t quote me on that. Who knows if the source is reliable. But, the point is, effort went into organizing this event, and it worked for us. All almost 20 of us left happy and sincerely hope for a repeat.

Around 8:30 I ended up going back to the Ludo Truck as well as the Del’s truck and the wait time for this famous fried chicken was only about 20 minutes. Of course, it felt like 5 minutes because I was with friends. It was also incredibly awesome to see Chef Ludo out front posing for pictures and really being a great sport. So surreal. This was happening in Valencia.

I didn’t take very many photos tonight. I was too busy socializing, eating, hanging out, having fun, and enjoying myself. I think it was one of those nights that brought us closer as a group of friends, and proved that we really are down for anything. This event was a total success in our eyes. Most of us didn’t end up leaving until 9:30 as the event was ending. Time really went by quickly and we were eating and laughing. No complaints.

I think our next stop should be Coachella…

Here are a couple of Pro-Tips for surviving any sort of food festival.

Sidenote? These tips were picked up from hearing stories about past food truck events from seasoned pros

Vinh and Ryan T.

1. Gather a circle of friends. Make sure it is people you really get along with because you might be stuck in line with them for an hour. Make sure they can hang and are adventurous. Whiners aren’t allowed.

2. Arrive early. Set a meeting place. Dress comfortably. Shave your legs. Inside joke.

3. Know that there will be a crowd. Accept it. I don’t like crowds, but act as if you and your friends are the only ones there.

4. Bring CASH! Some trucks to accept debit/credit cards, but Cash just works out better. For example, if you see your friend in line for sushi, you could just slip them a $5 bill and ask them to grab you something.

5. Have a home base. A fort. Somewhere that you can actually sit and enjoy your goods. You waited 40 minutes for that falafel. You want a place to enjoy it. We had a good location away from the madness but still close enough to see the action. I saw some people set up chairs in the parking lot by their cars. They must be the alternate SCV Crew because they had a good idea going. They looked like they were having a blast too.

I’m sure there are more tips I’ll think of…but these are the ones that always seem to work for us. Thanks to the organizers for putting on this event. No complaints from the SCV Crew.

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