Sunday, May 20, 2012

California Dreaming.....

Just spent a few days in beautiful Southern California...and do I have some great stuff for YOU!


* Cabazon Outlet Mall....OMG!!! This mall is out by Palm Springs, so plan to make a day of it. There are the typical stores like Banana Republic, J Crew, and GAP...but there is a whole other section for the luxury stores....and that's the part that I visited!
Tods, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Etro...on and on! There's even a Jimmy Choo outlet....shoe heaven!!!!!
*Upscale retail resale shops can be found all over the Costa Mesa/Newport Beach area. One I liked was La Belle Armoire...I got a gorgeous, pristine Marni skirt at a fraction of the department store prices and a  brand new silk DKNY dress on sale! This store also has an online presence:
* Olde Town Orange is a quaint little college town FULL of antique stores! It's definitely worth the the food is fabulous (see below)

If you find yourself in the Costa Mesa area, you MUST check out The Camp's a cool little shopping complex that you would only find in California...the parking spaces are all stamped with cute little sayings like, "Pause" and "Show Up For Life"...2 of my favorites.'s home to the sole location of Taco Asylum (
yum, yum, yum....short rib tacos, duck tacos, octopus tacos....
In Orange, you can visit Taco Asylum's sister restaurant, Haven Gastropub 
( MUST try the Mac & Cheese.....KILLER! According to their website, there's a 2nd location in Pasadena. This is farm-to-table cuisine at it's best!
Finally, if you're in the Newport Beach area, stop by Kean Coffee ( coffee, great baked goods---the ginger apricot scone was divine!!!

I usually stay in LA when I visit sunny CA..I will definitely return to Orange County to visit some of these great new finds....

Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chicago Q

Tonight's post is about....BBQ!
Specifically, it's about a BBQ restaurant (a little too upscale to classify as a "joint") in my neighborhood called "Chicago Q."
It opened a few years ago and, sadly, it's taken me this long to try it...but Holy COW, was it worth the wait!
The owner is a WOMAN from Virginia...gotta love that! and she has quite an impressive resume, including WInner of Bobby Flay's Throwdown for Best BBQ!

Way to go Lee Ann!

The accolades are well deserved....the food is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!
You simply must go try it for yourself....but here are the highlights of my dinner tonight:

*Bacon Cheddar Hush Puppies (starter)
*Pulled Pork Sandwich with choice of fries, cole slaw, or cornbread...I chose the SLAB of cornbread....deeeee-lish!
all the BBQ dishes come with 4 sauces: Original, Spicy, Eastern North Carolina vinegar and South Carolina mustard (my fave!)
*"Bruleed" Mac & DIE for!

The service was friendly and attentive...our waitress was great!
PLUS, there was enough left over for me to get a doggy bag for lunch tomorrow!
(Q....round 2)


We were too full to splurge on dessert tonight, but made plans to return for dessert another night....I can't wait to try the cobbler!

Chicago Q is open for lunch, brunch, and dinner.
Here's the link for more information:

Summer's coming....

Fire it up!