Baseball is now in playoff mode, and your Anaheim Angels are battling the evil Boston Red Sox for American League supremacy. Prime Angels-watching spot for the past decade or so has been the Catch, but there are many other options throughout the county where you can cheer on your squad between mouthfuls of greasy goodness.
DINNER FOR TWO: ¢ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Less than $10! $ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10-$20 $$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20-$40 $$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ¡Eres muy rico!Angelo's
Right up the street from the Big A, Angelo's is the working-class alternative to the yuppies crowding up the Catch. Where else are you gonna find gum-popping teen carhops on roller skates serving up chili dogs with a side of sass to the local chapter of Burly Bikers for Christ? Does anyone else find that arousing? 511 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 533-1401. $
Not sure if Bolivians like baseball, but Beba's does feature a massive big-screen television that's usually screening Andean dances. Orange County's sizable Bolivian community packs Beba's for such hard-to-prepare plates as the divine ají de papalisa (beef simmered in an intoxicating ají sauce with three types of potato) and the addicting thimpú (a slab of lamb covered in a yellow sauce). 630 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 973-4928. $
ESPN ZONE Self-explanatory. Their wings, considering the faux-everything atmosphere in Downtown Disney, are shockingly tasty. The 10-piece Pound of Buffalo Wings appetizer won't burn a hole in your stomach (sadly) and, at $9.99, is pricier than similar platters at other restaurants. Nevertheless, the steep cost is well worth it for the chicken's deliciously juicy (read: not formerly frozen or mass-produced) texture. Best of all, the accompanying ranch dip is wonderfully thick—a bonus for those weary of the runny dressing that restaurants so frequently attempt to pass off as dip. 1545 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 300-ESPN. $$ THE GREAT ZUCCHINI
The hearty bun kebab combo—a hamburger with a Pakistani patty, fries served with chutney, and a Pakistani cola, the melting car gone carhop—is but one of the highlights of the Great Zucchini, whose name sounds more appropriate for a Little Italy diner than for one of the county's three Pakistani eateries. Their big-screen is usually blaring gaudy Bollywood fantasies. 765 State College Blvd., Ste. B, Fullerton, (714) 879-8522. $
JOHN'S PHILLY GRILL
The Eagles are doing great; the Phillies, meanwhile, imploded in the second half of the baseball season like their dearly departed former home, Veterans Stadium. Thankfully, the televisions at John's Philly Grill, producers of the county's best Philly cheesesteaks, will still be showing the playoffs. Phillies fans, gorge your disappointment on John's cheesesteaks: a squeeze of cheese and many peppers inside a firm loaf. If the meat were any juicier, it'd be a fruit. 1784 S. Euclid Ave., Anaheim, (714) 491-2733; 20379 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 969-8755; 16061 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach, (714) 841-1513. $
LARRY'S PIZZA AND SPORTS PARLOR The 32-year-old Larry's is a North County icon, a place where kiddie athletes celebrate after a victory—or, conversely, drown their losses in pitchers of pink lemonade—while their coaches knock back beers with parents and watch the big leaguers duke it out on television. The pizza here is utilitarian: slices thick as pocket Bibles, prepared with fragrant mozzarella and provolone cheeses, toppings sprinkled over the pie rather than baked in so that picky kids won't goo up their fingers trying to discard unwanted salami. 926 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-3484.$ MARISCOS LICENCIADO #2
Mariscos Licenciado #2—#1 is in the 909—sells the chilled, fiery delight that is Sinaloan seafood from same decaying commercial pocket JC Fandango calls paradise. La tele here usually locks into Spanish-language television's sensationalistic news shows and boxing matches, but is known to tune into the occasional beisbol match. 1052 N. State College, Anaheim, (714) 776-3415. ¢-$$
Olde Ship Pub & Restaurant
The Brit ball-and-bat game is cricket, of course, but I think you can convince the birds here to show their American cousins some luv and switch the telly over. As authentic a British pub as you'll find anywhere in the county, with no surprises on the menu for anyone who has ever set foot inside a pub: fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, Cornish pasty, and Scottish bridie. 709 N. Harbor, Fullerton, (714) 871-7447; 1120 W. 17th St., Santa Ana, (714) 550-6700; www.theoldeship.com. $$
Think you can see baseball here? Ha! Although Regina's hosts three televisions (one in the restroom!), this is a slice of Argentina on Garden Grove's Westminster Boulevard, and all of its three boob tubes are on a loop for soccer. But gracious owner Elías Niquias just might be nice enough to switch the loo TV for you over to baseball once you take a break from his cheesy, fresh Argentine-style Italian pastas and gut-busting dishes of beef. 11025 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 638-9595. $$
SEÑOR BIG ED
Orange County's only Puerto Rican restaurant features an autographed photo of Angels catcher Bengie Molina on its walls, so you can be assured that Molina's fellow borinquens will cheer on their man while feasting on some canoa de plátano maduro, a banana bloated with so much ground beef and melted Cheddar that it looks like a quesadilla for Horatio Sanz. 5490 Lincoln Ave., Cypress, (714) 821-1290. $
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TAQUERÍA EL GRANJENAL
Named after a Michoacán rancho that has sent thousands of its residents to Orange County, the colorful restaurant makes the best tacos in the county. They deviate from taco protocol by using full-sized corn tortillas and pile on chunks of your choice of grilled meat. The salsa is extraordinary, a dark-red lava extract whose burn factor is unknown outside Paricutín. The television here is on top of a garbage can. 899 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-4964. $
The brainchild of Gregg Diganci of Rueben's and Charley Brown's steakhouse fame, Wingnuts is the first West Coast restaurant to specialize in chicken wings. With the sampler, one gets five wings each in five different flavors: teriyaki, original Buffalo style, honey mustard, kung pao, and sweet and sour barbecue. But you can pick and choose from more than 30 varieties—and there are almost as many televisions. 3030 Harbor Blvd., Ste. H-3, Costa Mesa, (714) 434-7700. $$