Summer Grub Guide

Your guide to the best damn eats in OC

 

GELATO CLASSICO
Indistinguishable from the gelato shops you find in Italy. Go there now. 2756 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 721-1160. ¢

HANS' HOMEMADE ICE CREAM
Hans Biermann likes to make ice cream and carries some 55 delectable flavors. He also serves up real meals, such as the flaky croissant filled with avocado, almonds, lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and mayo. 3640 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, (714) 979-8815.¢

Location Info

Map

Bad to the Bone BBQ

31738 Rancho Viejo
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: San Juan Capistrano

Burrell's Bar-B-Que

305 N. Hesperia
Santa Ana, CA 92703

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Santa Ana

Chris & Pitts

601 N. Euclid St.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Anaheim

The District Lounge

223 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Orange

Lou's Red Oak BBQ Grill

21501 Brookhurst St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Huntington Beach

Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

1639 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Brea

Angelo's Drive-In Hamburgers

511 S. State College Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92806

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Anaheim

Bristol Burgers

2640 S. Bristol St.
Santa Ana, CA 92704-5727

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: Santa Ana

Knowlwood

5665 E. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Anaheim

Omega Drive-In

319 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Orange

Roadside Burgers

513 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > Burgers

Region: Fullerton

Ruby's Diner

3333 Bear St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Costa Mesa

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ISLAND GRILL
Island Grill sells Hawaiian food with a Japanese bent, so that means you can get your sushi and bento box fill along with sumptuous teriyaki bowls. But regardless of main course, your dessert should be the shaved ice: a frosty, chilled monolith flavored with fruit and so delicate you could whittle it down with dental floss. 4390 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos, (562) 431-6496. $

JOE'S ITALIAN ICE
A Pennsylvania-based chain, Joe's Italian Ice has just one West Coast location, this one in Garden Grove, from which the company has hawked its product to the heated hoi polloi for two years. (They also offer such soda-shop standards as ice cream cones, sundaes and root beer floats.) You can order the Italian ice as is, but it's infinitely better as a Joe Latti: your choice of Italian ice now crowned with a Babel-esque tower of velvety vanilla ice cream, each frosty product retaining its charm until uniting inside your mouth to create the most pleasant brain freeze of your life. 12302 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 750-1076. ¢

LA NUEVA REYNA DE MICHOACÁN
If you get lost in the bustle of Santa Ana's Fourth Street on a hot day and need salvation, just follow the ice cream drippings toward La Nueva Reyna de Michoacán, a veritable Baskin Robbins en español. La Nueva Reyna's ice cream is velvety, like a lover's tongue on yours—except for the wonderful chunks of fruit. Go for the harder-to-find flavors—sultry mango, bitter plum, luscious coconut and the fleshy aroma of guayaba (sadly a seasonal fruit, available only in fall). 300 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (714) 835-0394.¢

MEAT MARKETS

BREE'S QUALITY MEATS
Bree's is the last place in Orange County where you can take wild game to be, um, processed. You bring all of it in: claws, paws, hooves, snouts, horns, antlers and buckshot. You take it home in chops, steaks, rounds, sausages and other . . . cuts of meat. Good feral hog! 11877 Valley View St., Garden Grove, (714) 892-1115. $$

CORTINA'S ITALIAN MARKET
Only the Italians remain from Anaheim's Old Europe guard, and they're the ones who keep the business bustling at Cortina's Italian Market, a cozy landmark that's been baking and slicing since 1963. The emporium consists of three rooms: a bazaar stocked with Italian produce (imitation Alka-Seltzer!), a side deli slapping together some of the heftiest subs outside Little Italy, and a dining room to enjoy said goods and grub. 2175 W. Orange Ave., Anaheim, (714) 535-1948; www.cortinasitalianfood.com. $

EL GAUCHO MEAT MARKET #2
Like its decade-old predecessor in Redondo Beach, El Gaucho is a geographical warp, a reproduction of Argentina occupying a hectic stretch of State College Boulevard. But you don't need to worship the Newell's Old Boys football club to enjoy the pristine deli connected perpendicularly to the market that prepares brick-sized sandwiches and empanadas, steaming fist-sized triangular pies with flaky crusts straining to hold their meaty interiors. 847 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 776-6400. ¢

 

EL TORO GOURMET MEATS
El Toro Gourmet Meats owner Bob Bacca has created a mecca of high-quality meats and seafood. The carne asada is artfully butterflied open, sliced very thin, and then marinated for one to two days in a mixture of soy sauce, orange juice and, of course, secret spices—one of which Bacca let slip out: red pepper. 23522 El Toro Rd., Lake Forest, (949) 855-0215. $EL TORO MEAT MARKET
Originally from Fresnillo, Zacatecas, the Bonilla clan—four brothers and una hermana—have seen their butcher's shop grow in the past 20-odd years from a solitary meat market to a place that hawks produce from all over Latin America. Dawn at the two locations always shines on gluttonous riots, as Latino OC clamors for the day's masa, carnitas and other earthy delights. And this is also the place to purchase an entire freakin' goat's head! 1340 W. First St., Santa Ana, (714) 836-1393. $GALLO'S ITALIAN DELI
The 30-something-year-old deli is little more than counters, chips and sodas—which is to say, it's the perfect beach shack restaurant, even if it's on PCH. Request the Gallo's combo; the server will no doubt reply (as he once did to me), "Are you sure about that?" When he grabs sausages and begins hacking off massive slices, you'll understand his skepticism—the sandwich is bigger than most house cats. 3900 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 675-7404. $GLOBE EUROPEAN DELICATESSEN
Sausage is but one appetizing aspect of Globe European Delicatessen, which has been hawking German, Dutch and other European produce from the same address for more than three decades. There are jams, chocolates, beer and even wafers that taste like fruit. Load up on these and other goods—if you're a sucker for pickled herring, the fine liberal German weekly Der Spiegel,or cheese wheels large enough to fire from mortars, Globe European Delicatessen is your lollipop. 1928 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-3784; www.europeanfoods.com. $HOLLINGSHEAD'S DELI
It's a permanent tailgate at Hollingshead's, and not just because of the Green Bay Packers garb for sale hanging from the ceiling or the pickles and pickled eggs kept in chilled brine. Hollingshead's is one of Orange County's premier booze barns, stocking drafts, ales, Heifeweisen and other brands from across the world (with a special focus on the Deutschland and the former Soviet Bloc). The limited menu is staunchly heartland: deviled eggs, boldly pungent macaroni salads and the sweetest baked beans this side of the Lambeau Field parking lot. 368 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 978-9467. $INTERNATIONAL MEATS & DELI
They have about the most authentic Hungarian food to be found without a passport. Try eating as they do in Eastern Europe—smorgasbord-style meats, cheeses and breads—or order some kolbasz, one of six kinds of homemade sausages available. 10382 Stanford Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 539-6334. $KOSHER BITE DELI
Orange County seems just too spic-n-span Christian to host a real New York-style Jewish deli, but try telling that to the folks at Kosher Bite in Laguna Hills, a cluttered room where the air conditioning is three ceiling fans on their last wobbly rotations, potato-and-barley soup is boiled daily, the Sabbath means rest and the menu—knishes, matzo ball, pastrami on rye—is as stubbornly Borscht Belt as Carl Reiner. 23595 Moulton Pkwy., Ste. H, Laguna Hills, (949) 770-1818. $LUCCI'S DELI AND MARKET
Lucci's offers more than 30 hot or cold sandwiches under $5, not counting the house-specialty torpedoes that go for $2.99 and $5.25. There's pizza, and all the standard Italian dinners like spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna and eggplant, along with classics like linguine with clam sauce and fettuccine Alfredo—all between $6 and $10. Lucci's does catering, too—and even bakes wedding cakes. 8911 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 968-4466. $$MATTERN DELI
No one said sausage was health food, but if you're in the mood to down a few cold ones by the barbecue, oust the Ball Park Franks and take home a trio of Mattern's links, made on the premises, to sample instead. 4327 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 639-3550. $MOSCOW DELI
This is the only Soviet-centric business for the local Russian community, and the three stout women who run the store ensure their creations don't disappoint. Produce is the primary reason the doorbell jingles throughout the day—Armenian rose-petal preserves to buttery Slovenian cheese, bubbly Ukrainian apple soda and a funky Georgian caviar . . . when was the last time you heard about Georgia without a mention of Stalin? 3015 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 429-5920. $PATIO DINING

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