Sunday, August 29, 2010


PICTURED (top to bottom): Restaurant, Fried Potatoes, Chicken Tawook, Lamb Kabob, Chicken Tawook Skewer a la carte, Lamb Chops, K'naafeh and Ice Cream, Baklawa and Ice Cream.

There's always a crowd at Open Sesame Mediterranean Grill in Long Beach, and we had heard from friends that the food was good. So we headed over to Second Street in Long Beach to give it a try. We were greeted by the hostess and promptly seated at an elevated table that was fit for a Sultan. We had a great view of the kitchen and the outside patio dining area. Our server was accommodating, informative and quite energetic.

W e started off with their signature Fried Potato Appetizer-sauteed with cilantro, garlic, roasted chili and lemon juice. Sweetie Pie ordered the Chicken Tawook- skewered cubes of marinated, charbroiled chicken breast, served with baba ghannouj, garlic sauce, rice, pita and salad. Her mother had the Lamb Kabob- skewered cubes of seasoned lamb, charbroiled and served over basmati rice with baba ghannouj, pita and salad. Oh, and she added a Chicken Tawook skewer on the side. I decided to try the Lamb Chops- four French cut lamb chops marinated in lemon juice, garlic and olive oil, charbroiled and served over basmati rice with baba ghannouj and salad.

The Fried Potatoes were a big hit with all of us. The ladies both agreed that the chicken was the better of the two skewered meat dishes (the lamb was tender, but a little dry). The lamb chops were perfect- tender, lean and succulent.

At our server's recommendation, we tried two desserts- K'naafeh and Ice Cream and Baklawa and Ice Cream. The ladies split the Baklawa, while I thoroughly enjoyed the K'naafeh.

The 3 Tubby Tummys give Open Sesame Mediterranean Grill in  Long Beach three thumbs up!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


PICTURED (top to bottom): Restaurant, Squash Blossoms, Brussels Sprouts, Haven Burger, Shepherd's Pie, "Not  Hostess Twinkies"

It's been months since we've been to Haven Gastropub in Orange, and they have been getting a lot of press lately and have some new items on the menu. So we decided to see if lunch at the Haven was still as good as we remember it.

We decided to share two appetizers. First the Squash Blossoms- with lobster and goat cheese, beer battered. Dainty, but very delicious! Then the Brussels Sprouts- with Prosciutto and lemon juice. A very generous portion and even better than what we had heard. Definitely a dish for sharing. The ladies both decided on the Haven Burger, their favorite dish here. This burger just seems to get better and better. The house-cut french fries and housemade ketchup are the perfect accompaniment. I decided to try the Shepherd's Pie- with lamb, beef, root vegetables, rosemary mashed potatoes and cheese. It was actually quite tasty and well seasoned, but could have used a little more meat on the bottom and more cheese on top. We decided to share the "Not  Hostess Twinkies" for dessert. Well, they definitely needed more "Italian buttercream filling". Enough said!

Today's Haven Gastropub luncheon gets two and a half thumbs up from the 3 Tubby Tummys!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


PICTURED(TOP TO BOTTOM): Restaurant, French Toast, Eggs over hard, Bacon, Jim's Special, More French Toast.

Saturday morning we were looking for a fresh breakfast experience, and decided to try the Original Pancake House in Orange. It always seems busy and has gotten some good reviews. The menu looked very tempting, so we gave it a whirl.

Sweetie Pie and her mother both ordered The regular French Toast, eggs over hard and bacon. The eggs came to the table very runny, but were promptly replaced by our excellent server. The bacon was large and thick and cooked perfectly, but a little too salty for the ladies. The French Toast was beautiful coming to the table and the portions are quite generous here. However there was a very strong taste of almonds that kind of ruined it for the ladies.
I ordered "Jim's Special"- Ham, sausage, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, four scrambled eggs, melted cheddar cheese topped with fresh pico de gallo and dusted with homemade seasoning. Also comes with a side of Pancakes. The Pancakes were good, but my entree was the shining star of the meal.  It was not only too big too finish, it was heavenly.

Today's Original Pancake House breakfast gets one and a half thumbs up from the 3 Tubby Tummys.

Friday, August 20, 2010


PICTURED (top to bottom): Restaurant Sign, Apple Fritters, Garden Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing on the side, Garden Salad with Herbal Blue Cheese Dressing on the side, Cajun Rib Eye Steak, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, German Butter Cake.

Last Friday night we decided to return to one of our favorite restaurants, Shenandoah at the Arbor in Los Alamitos. Great food, good service and a friendly atmosphere all help to keep Shenandoah on our "A" list. As always, we were started off with complimentary warm apple fritters- a nice touch and delicious.

We all decided on the Garden Salad, with choice of toppings and dressing on the side. Sweetie Pie ordered the Cajun Rib Eye Steak-perfectly prepared and just spicy enough. The steaks here are always tender, lean and nice sized. Her mother ordered from the "Specials" menu, and decided on the New York Steak with Cabo Shrimp (not pictured). Steak and Shrimp were both excellent and The Cabo Sauce is to die for. I ordered the BBQ Baby Back Ribs. Tender, fall off the bone style with a fantastic BBQ Sauce. And talk about a "full rack"- they didn't have a plate big enough to hold this one. For desert we decided to share the German Butter Cake. It is our favorite desert here, and we feel it's "not to be missed".

Dinner at Shenandoah at the Arbor gets three thumbs up from the 3 Tubby Tummys!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


PICTURED (top to bottom): Main Entrance Archway, Sculptures at Front Entrance, Mural at Festival Entrance,Mural at Theatre Entrance, Live Festival Entertainment ("The Girls"), Mural over Food Stand, Gina's Alfresco Food Stand, Laguna Tuna Wrap, BBQ Beef Sandwich, Summer Berry Trifle, Zebra Kettle Corn, Affogato (Hazelnut Ice Cream with an expresso splash).

Last week we made our annual trip to the Pageant of the Masters/Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. It's an amazing show that we never get tired of, because it changes every year. Although the Pageant isn't about the food at all, this year's theme is "Eat, Drink and be Merry" and we thought it would be fun to post it in the blog.

The Festival hosts exhibits by many award winning local artists and there is live entertainment daily. Today's show featured "The Girls"- excellent performers with a great selection of music. The Pageant itself was great, as always, but no photography allowed.

We decided on a casual meal at Gina's Alfresco Food Stand. Although the Pizza, Artisan Flatbreads and Salads all looked good, we decided on the following (arranged by ranking):

Three Thumbs Up:
BBQ Beef Sandwich
Summer Berry Trifle
Zebra Kettle Corn

Two Thumbs Up:
Laguna Tuna Wrap

One Thumb Up:

The 3 Tubby Tummys give this year's Pageant performance and Festival of Arts three thumbs up!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


PICTURED (top to bottom): Restaurant Sign, Restaurant, Traditional Mezze, Armenian Pizza, Chicken Kebob, North African Lamb Stew, Grilled Lamb Sandwich, Lemon Cheesecake Box.

We have long been fans of Zov's Bistro in Tustin, and decided to try the Cafe last Saturday. It's a more casual dining experience, but still Zov's all the way. Our only problem was trying to decide what to order from all the great menu choices. Our server was excellent, and helped guide us through the menu.

The ladies decided to start with the Traditional Mezze- hummus, baba ganoush, rice filled grape leaves, spicy sweet walnut dip, tabouleh, and pita bread. Perfect for sharing, and their favorite appetizer from the Bistro menu. At our server's recommendation, I decided to try the Armenian Pizza- with spicy beef, diced tomato, feta and parmesan. Well, we all loved it- pure magic from Chef Zov!

On to the main course. Sweetie Pie decided on the Chicken Kebob- grilled chicken breast marinated with rosemary and garlic; served with jasmine rice pilaf and eggplant tangine. Her mother ordered the North African Lamb Stew- tangine of lamb, celery, carrots, onions and parsley, served with broccoli florettes and rice pilaf. I decided on the Grilled Lamb Sandwich- grilled lamb, red onion, tomato, lettuce and green peppercorn mayonnaise on soft challah bread.

Everything was divine, beyond our expectations. We finished every bite. But you just cannot leave Zov's  without trying something from the fantastic bakery. We decided to share the Lemon Cheesecake Box. Heaven on a plate!

Zov's Cafe and Bakery gets three thumbs WAY up from the 3 Tubby Tummys!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


PICTURED (top to bottom):Restaurant Sign, Restaurant, Omelet/Bacon/Eggs Benedict, Beef Enchiladas/Veggie Crepes/Spinach Quiche, Omelet/Bacon/Sausage, Belgian Waffles, Tortilla Casserole/Eggs Benedict/Bacon/Sausage, Belgian Waffle/Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce/Scone, Fruit/Mini Muffins.

Beautiful restaurant, great food, excellent service and a fantastic view! What more could you ask for? How about an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for under $15. Las Brisas  serves it Monday thru Saturday. It's all good; and it's all fresh.

Three thumbs up??? YOU BET!