El Molino de Oro recently opened their third restaurant in Orange County, in the city of Orange, and it’s a combination of panaderia, tortilleria and restaurant, so it took a few visits to determine. Yay or Nay. Well it is a definite Yay! First of all the pastries, breads and tortillas are super fresh and they are good, second everything is very affordable, and everything has been very tasty.
I first tried a torta de asada a few weeks ago for lunch, pretty good, like I said the roll was super soft and fresh, meat was tender and flavorful. Then I came by for some tacos. I ordered 2 carnitas and 1 al pastor. Tortillas were also super fresh and very flavorful, you could taste the corn, the al pastor was also tasty, a little fatty but it tasted fine, the carnitas though, plenty of meat, my tacos were full, no fat just meat, I was stuffed and very happy.
On both these visits I had my eye on the pan dulce and the breakfast bolillos, so I told my compadre if he wanted to meet up and try the breakfast menu and he agreed whole heartily. Breakfast bolillos, you don’t see those on too many menus so I was intrigued, they’re priced from $1.50 to $3.75 and there’s 15 different ones. I ordered the #10 chorizo, potato, egg , compadre ordered #12 egg, sausage, bacon, beans, cheese. Just so you know my compadre is very picky, finnicky, he’s kind of weird. Always complaining and he can sometimes be embarrassing, that’s why I invited him. He ate his bolillo and told me not to review this place, he liked it so much he wants it to be a secret, don’t tell anyone! they’re going to raise the prices! He loved his #12 breakfast bolillo which he washed down with coffee and a pan dulce-that he said-not everyone makes these! My #10 bolillo was also perfect, ask for the red hot sauce, it’s just right, bolillo was soft and fresh, I liked them because it was not huge, I enjoyed every bite, I didn’t feel too full, I had room for a pan dulce-I bought a beso- not everyone makes them!
Thank me later! BobbyKnowsBreakfastBolillos!
Every town has it’s local watering hole but not every town has a Kelly’s Korner Tavern which is located in the beautiful city of Placentia, y’all are lucky AF. Walking into Kelly’s is literally like walking into Cheer’s, they will remember your name. I’ve been there two handful of times and as soon as I walk in it’s, hi Bobby! They are so nice, from the owner, Jim Rafferty to the bartenders and servers, it’s always a good time at Kelly’s Korner Tavern.
Sit down and you are surrounded by Big Screen TV’s, there’s pool tables, a Lotto machine, dart boards, plenty of alcoholic beverages and some great grub. There’s daily lunch specials, Taco Tuesday specials, Happy Hour all day on Monday, Tues-Friday 3-6pm, Burger Wednesdays 20% off all burgers, Trivia Thursdays, Prime Rib Fridays $20 Prime Rib, baked potato, garlic bread and side salad, Steak dinner Saturdays(sometimes it’s Salmon Saturday) usually around $15.99. Everything is meticulously prepared by Chef Christian Virrueta and it shows, sandwiches are stacked sky high, Big salads, Huge nachos, you won’t be disappointed. You will be back!
Kelly’s has 37 taps of craft beer that they rotate on a daily basis, once the keg kicks they hook up another new beer. All styles are represented, Stouts, IPA’s, Lagers, Sours, One Offs, there’s also Bud Light, Modelo, Dos Equis on draft. I follow them on Instagram to find out the latest craft beer, this week they brought in from Alpine Brewing, Nelson IPA 7%(ABV) a limited release, using generous amounts of Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand while brewing and then it’s dry hopped with more Nelson Sauvin hops, European rye malt is added for balance. This is a whole lot of beer, tons of flavor, tons, the Nelson Sauvin hops are actually a subtle hop that will give off hints of grape, somewhat tart and sweet, but Alpine is on steroids, which is a good thing, West Coast is the best coast! Alpine is one of the best IPA’s ever brewed, if you like hops you will ❤this IPA. Por Vida. Get some while it lasts! I also drank a Modern Times Critical Band IPA 6.7%(ABV) using Simcoe, Centennial and Citra hops, Denali Oil, this is a juicy IPA, very juicy, with tropical fruit notes up front, hoppy, very enjoyable, Modern Times is really doing some great stuff right now, they’re pushing the craft beer envelope! Winner!
Kelly’s Korner Tavern is located in Placentia but I wish there was one in every city, especially mine! One can only hope. Cheers! Bobbyknowsbeer!
Roll Out the Barrel! It’s Oktoberfest!!! My favorite time of year-I’m a malt fan-when breweries release their version of Oktoberfest style suds. Fresh off their win at Great American Beer Festival for Lumino, their Mexican Style Lager, Unsung Brewing took Bronze for this crisp and refreshing brew and now have released Marvel-Ous Marzen! Very exciting times at Unsung, their Tasting Room is located in Anaheim across the street from the Packing House. Congratulations to Mike Crea the Spider Man fan/Owner/BrewMaster and his crew for winning one of the twelve medals that Orange County breweries took home a few weeks ago at the 2018 GABF. Along with the 14 medals at this year’s World Beer Cup this makes Orange County the absolute Capitol of Quality Craft Beer when you consider that there’s only 37 breweries here compared to other counties. Yeah I did the math. BOOM
“We are dedicated to honoring these unsung heroes through philanthropy, and hope to inspire the hero in all of us”
Amen Mr. Crea. Inspiration hangs on every nook and cranny at the Unsung Tasting room that is decorated with murals of super heroes, collection of super hero dolls, posters and comic books. Plenty of room to stretch out with outdoor seating, yes, pets are welcome, there’s board games, various activities during the week including Yoga and Trivia. Food is right across the street or bring your own but my choice would be Jav’s BBQ which is in the same complex a few feet away. Smoked meats and side dishes are waiting for you but don’t wait too long because they do run out. Check out the menu at www.javsbbq.com.
On my recent visit they were out of the award winning Lumino but it’s almost ready, another batch is fermenting, so I chose the Tangerine Saison 6.9(ABV) another customer told me it tasted like a mimosa and sure enough it did! Very juicy, easy to drink, fresh and enjoyable the 6.9(ABV) is not noticeable until you get about half way through, that’s when I started to feel it, whoa, easy Tiger, it literally taste like tangerine juice with a tiny bit of booze. Friggin amazing!
Marvel-Ous Marzen 5.5%(ABV) MMMMmmmmalty! Always a nice change from the hoppy brews, gives the palate a chance to breathe, to stretch it’s legs a bit, give it some brown shugga, so to speak. Yes this marzen has a slight slight sweetness to it, full bodied, hints of spice and toastiness with a clean AF finish. Very noice! Perfect for the cooler evenings, bring out those Brats Jav! Bobbyknowsbeer!
I’ve been drinking coffee for a few years, I started after reading an article in the New Yorker on Aida Batlle, she owns a plantation in El Salvador and has won numerous awards for her coffee beans. I don’t mind paying $30 for a 12 oz bag of joy, it works out to about $1 a cup and beats any cup of Starbucks. At home I use a French Press or I will do a pour over, I also own a Keurig but rarely use it. I drink my coffee black with a piece of pan dulce or pastry, so yes I am a #coffeesnob.
Now that I’m retired I do drink coffee daily but when I was working I only drank it on my days off, I would never drink it at work, it gets me too amped and I usually will come down off the caffeine high and take a nap. It works out well. I discovered Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders thanks to a friend, Thien Le, he’s a home brewer who has roasted coffee beans with his friend who owns a roasting house in Arkansas. Bodhi Leaf has 5 locations in Orange County and was founded by Steve Sims in 2009, the location in Orange on Katella is their main warehouse where you can purchase bags of the raw or roasted beans along with a wide variety of coffee drinks: lattes, espresso, cappuccinos, iced drinks, smoothies, etc. I go for the straight pour, they offer 3 single origin beans that alternate weekly and your choice of full immersion, pour over V60 or French Press, the fresh drip is a house Colombian, I have tried them all and they are all so GOOD! Fresh pastries and empanadas are available with some vegan selections. The café in Orange is pretty large but it can get full during peak hours, they are constantly roasting beans and it can be loud if you’re looking for a quiet place to study.
I’ve been wanting to buy a bag of beans for home and they just came out with a light – medium roast from Colombia, Women of Pijao, Las Mujeres Association, a group of women farmers from the town of Pijao, Quindío. The notes are cherry, cocoa and vanilla, I grind just enough beans for my one cup and use a French Press, it smells so wonderfully delicious. Try it black so you can taste the richness, it’s soooooooo rich, it’s has deep chocolate notes with a dark cherry backbone, you get the vanilla on the back end. Since I purchased these beans I have not ventured out to my other coffee houses, the coffee is so enjoyable. I’m hooked!! A one pound bag of Women of Pijao coffee beans retails at $19.99 and is worth every penny. So which came first? the coffee or the donut? BobbyKnowsCoffee!
For all location go to www.bodhileafcoffee.com
The 2018 Great American Beer Festival was all that and a bag of pretzels! Held every year in the great city of Denver, Colorado this year’s fest was host to 2,404 breweries that poured 8,864 brews. Awards were giving in 102 categories that represented 167 styles of beer, also, 105 Pro-Am teams competed for 3 awards. State wise, California led the way with 72 medals, L.A. County won 9 medals, San Diego County won 16 medals and Orange County won 12 medals. With 37 breweries Orange County is proving to be the “Quality Capitol of Craft Beer” in America! And the envelope please:
1.Stereo Brewing Company in Placentia; Robot-Imperial Red Ale (Silver Medal) 2.Stereo Brewing Company in Placentia; Wall of Sound-Oatmeal Stout (Bronze Medal) 3.Barley Forge Brewing Company in Costa Mesa; Grandpa Tractor-Dortmunder or German Style Oktoberfest (Gold Medal) 4. Noble Ale Works in Anaheim; Nobility-Imperial India Pale Ale (Gold Medal ) 5. Riip Beer Company in Huntington Beach; Black the Riiper-American Style Black Ale (Silver Medal) 6.TAPS Fish House and Brewery Corona; TAPS Irish Red-Irish Style Red Ale (Silver Medal) 7.The Bruery in Placentia; Mischief-American-Belgo-Style Ale (Bronze Medal) 8. Unsung Brewery in Tustin; Lumino-American Style Lager or American Style Malt Liquor (Bronze) 9. Gunwhale Ales in Costa Mesa; Hayshaker-Classic Saison (Bronze Medal) 10.Green Cheek Beer Company in Orange; West Coast IPA is Dead-American Style India Pale Ale (Bronze Medal) 11. Green Cheek Beer Company in Orange; Fools and Babies-English Style Mild Ale (Bronze Medal) 12. Beachwood Brewing in Huntington Beach; Udder Love-Sweet Stout or Cream Stout (Silver Medal) 13.Beachwood Blendery in Long Beach; Funk Yeah-Belgian Style Lambic or Sour Ale (Gold Medal)
Congratulations to all! This weekend was the fun part but a lot of hard work goes into each and every ounce of beer that is produced by all those that are involved in the brewing process. A few notes on my end. It was good to see more folks from Orange County attending the event, of course I didn’t run into anyone, my one beef with this year’s GABF was that the breweries were placed in alphabetical order where in years passed they used to be set according to region. I would be able to visit the local breweries because they were all in one area but now they are all split up. Boo! I did run in to Tommy Hadjis from Left Coast and his Galaxy Supernova IPA was on point!! In fact I enjoyed quite a few delicious Stouts, IPA’s, Reds, Pales, Sours, so many choices!
This year I stayed in the wonderful neighborhood of Wheat Ridge, last year we stayed downtown a few blocks from the convention center but decided to try out the local scene, it was a wise decision and we had a great time. Growler U.S.A. had 100 craft beers on draft and the food was bomb. Rise and Shine was a biscuit establishment but they also poured 8 craft beers in case you wanted to wash down that flaky AF biscuit with a pint! My all time fave is Ted’s Montana Grill which is in downtown. Steaks, burgers, sandwiches, all with great service, I wish we had one here in Santa Ana. Until next year! Cheers! Bobbyknowsbeer!
When we talk of collaborations we usually refer to the musical kind, Lennon and McCartney, Sonny and Cher, Simon and Garfunkel all made beautiful music in their day. The modern day collab is now the joining of two breweries, both creative in their own ways, with different ideas, different styles and the end result is beautiful music in the form of a nice pint of craft beer.
The collaboration between Dry River Brewing and Brewjeria Company is a bit different from other brewery collabs, Brewjeria Company are home brewers that belong to the fastest growing Latino Home brew club in the nation, SoCal Cerveceros, Brewjeria is made up of six individuals, Agustin Ruelas, Adrian Ruelas, Isaac Ruelas, Milton Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Raul Gomez is very close to getting their own brick and mortar brewery, in Pico Rivera, so close I can taste the Belgian Dubbel but I’ll let them make that announcement, sealed my lips they are. In fact this is the third collab between Dry River and Brewjeria, earlier this year they brewed La Diosa Salvaje, using 40 pounds of passion fruit with El Dorado hops, it was a tangy sour, slightly sweet, very enjoyable.
Dry River Brewing has made a name for itself, in it’s short existence, led by head brewer, Naga Reshi, they brew what they call “Slow Beer”. Using only wooden wine barrels they will ferment their suds for as long as it takes to create the right funkiness. Sour beers are an acquired taste, it took me awhile to appreciate the lengths that a brewer will go to brew a sour, utilizing different strains of wild yeast, different barrels and the time it takes. If you’re not a fan don’t give up on them, you will eventually find one that you like.
The release of Curvas was on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Dry River Brewing is located in the far reaches of Boyle Heights, the tasting room is a fascinating collection of reclaimed material, look closely and admire the handiwork of owners, David Hodgins and his wife Vanda Ciceryova. That day the food vendor was CGK Oyster Bar, Crooked Gaff Kitchen from Uptown Whitter, brothers, Kevin and Steven Obregon were shucking like crazy, the fresh oyster platters were a very nice change from the usual food truck fare. Freshly brewed craft beer with some oyster shooters! Viva La Vida! Curvas 7.2%(ABV) is a vibrant cherry sour, tart, smooth, the cherries are not overpowering, another tasty collaboration between two old friends. I. Got. You . Babe. Bobbyknowsbeer!!
Modern Times Beer is building their Leisuretown in Anaheim, and when it’s completed will be a destination like an adult Disneyland , with suds, coffee and a swimming pool! In the meantime I was fortunate to attend the Modern Times Beer Dinner at Chapter One: the modern local last month, with all the freshly brewed beer here in Orange County I hadn’t really had a chance to drink much that Modern Times has to offer so this was a perfect opportunity to try some of their brews and enjoy some great food pairings. Chef Chicken Wang gave his sous chefs a chance to shine and they really brought their A game! Shout out to Tony Castaneda, Temoc Chavez, Trevor Prindiville and Timmy Morley, our server was the very helpful Linsey Onken and at the Bar was Russel Feldt. A huge thanks to Ryan Harding and Mr. Jeffrey “JJ” Jensen.
The festivities started with a Fruit Salad paired with a Modern Times Ice Pilsner, my date this evening was the lovely, Julianna Castillo, she loved the Ice Pilsner, she’s not a fan of hoppy beers and I have to agree that the Pilsner was very refreshing, great body, it looks light but has plenty of flavor. The fruit salad had ripe pieces of peaches and watermelon that had been slightly smoked, mango sprinkled with tajin, goat cheese and a citrus vinaigrette. Delicious!
Next up was a citrus cured scallop aguachile, simply amazing with corn puree, avocado crème, pickled pearl onion, paired with a Modern Times Factory Cathedral Imperial Gose, brewed in their L. A. location. I could have eaten this all night, the scallops melted in your mouth, all the different ingredients came together perfectly. The Gose was tart and tangy, a bit sweet and fruity. It was only the second course and we both were just blown away with both the food and beer and we still had 3 more courses! Yay!
Third course was a shrimp taco paired with a Modern Times Blazing World Hoppy Amber. Off the charts! Shrimp taco came with a bean puree, tomatillo salsa, radish and watercress, the shrimps were huge and so tasty, slightly spiced, each bite was heaven in a tortilla, I savored mine to the last bite. The World Hoppy Amber was right up my wheelhouse, it was hoppy but not bitter and had a strong malt backbone. YUM. If I was to brew a beer this would be it, the best of both worlds!
For the fourth course they served us a charcoal grilled ribeye that was sliced over a chorizo mole with roasted summer veggies and paired with a Modern Times Orderville IPA. Ribeye was perfectly grilled and fork tender, no knife necessary! Also no steak sauce was needed, the steak mixed with the mole was crazy good! Again, each bite, each morsel of fat I cherished as I slowly devoured each and every ounce of this juicy AF steak. The IPA totally complimented the ribeye, with my fourth Modern Times beer I can see a consistency with their brewing; smooth, balanced and clean finish. BOOM
Time for dessert! A Stout Cake accompanied with berries and cream float, we were encouraged to add some of Modern Times Monsters’ Park Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout into the float. The Monsters’ Park was aged for 1 year and the (ABV) was 14.2%, it paired well with the cake which was baked and prepared by Amy Schwan. A perfect dessert for a perfect beer dinner!
The next beer dinner is coming up this Thursday when Towne Park comes in to Chapter One, make your reservations! Don’t miss out!
I know ya’ll been sleeping on the Polly Burger at Polly’s Pies. Every time a Top Ten list of the Best Burgers In Orange County comes out Polly’s doesn’t even earn an honorable mention and most of those Top Ten end up going out of business, AmIrite! Of course when you think of Polly’s Pies you automatically think of their freshly baked pies, seasonal fruit pies, apple, pumpkin, cherry, lemon meringue, so many choices! Then there’s all their other baked goods, muffins, cookies and those CINNAMON ROLLS!!!
Breakfast also comes to mind, thick Cherry Wood bacon, Tri-Tip, 3 egg omelettes and scrambles, pancakes piled high with bananas and strawberries, Belgian waffles, French Toast and quiches, all breads are baked daily so the toast is always a must order with their home made jam. The coffee at Polly’s is roasted exclusively for them in Belmont Shores, Long Beach, grab a bag of beans for home, as a certified #coffeesnob I give Polly’s coffee a #BobbyKnowsCoffee thumbs up! 👍
Come to Polly’s for lunch or dinner then bring your A game appetite or expect to take home some leftovers. Sandwiches are stacked and of course the bread is baked and sliced fresh. The Chicken Salad on toasted raisin walnut bread is my strong recommendation or go for a half sandwich and a dinner salad, a winning combo. The dinner menu is a wide variety of solid homestyle grub, Turkey meatloaf, Baby Back ribs, pork chops and their famous Rotisserie chicken dinner all come with tasty side dishes. They also have a Whole Rotisserie chicken dinner to take home, complete with dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and cole slaw, they’ll quarter it on request. The salads are also huge and delicious, the Asian Noodle Salad with Grilled Chicken is enough for two persons, I’ll order the Turkey Chili to go and use it on hot dogs or burgers at home. Thank me later!
The burger menu alone is a Top Ten list, Polly’s uses only fresh ground beef and all their buns are baked fresh daily. They make a great Turkey Burger and a very good Veggie Burger, one of my faves is the Avocado and Friends Burger, avocado, ripe tomatoes and Alfalfa sprouts! Healthy AF! 😝 In all honesty I like my burgers simple, with lettuce, pickles, cheese and a good spread, that is The Polly Burger, juicy, tender beef patty, seasoned perfectly, All-American as apple pie! There are 15 Polly’s Pies throughout the Southland, I am a regular at the Santa Ana location, I’ve been going there with my family for 30 plus years. The service there is awesome, everyone is always happy and ready to take your order. I was recently at the Montebello location and happened to be there on a Wednesday night which turns out to be Bingo Night! It’s the only Polly’s that currently plays Bingo and it was so much fun. You get a chance to win Cinnamon Rolls, Cookies and Pies. Oh My! So ignore those trendy Top Ten lists and enjoy a juicy, fresh Polly Burger with a nice slice of pie! #BobbyKnowsBurgers!