Monday, May 9, 2011



“Would you like more onion in that?” I asked my little sister as we made our mud pie concoctions. We plucked sprigs of onion grass and add other “yard” herbs and would raise our pinky’s, holding tiny cups of tea, toasting our meals fit for a queen. Even back some 40 plus years ago I was a smitten Foodie.  Christened by slow cooked country meals of Smithfield ham, garden fresh tomatoes, green beans and bacon, baskets of golden cornbread begging for honey butter, tall glasses of sweetened ice tea garnished with fresh picked mint, my dietary destiny was laid out for me at an early age. As a child I moved all over the US, which opened up culinary avenues and today friends and family continue to reap those rewards, as I live and love to cook.

First stop was Moscow Deli in Costa Mesa. This market/deli is chock full of international delights lining the stainless steel shelves and coolers throughout the quaint shop. 

Sister T looking through the variety of candies and confections

Every imaginable vegetable is pickled and preserved for your shopping pleasure 

Painted murals cover the walls behind this chocolate display

Russian nesting dolls 
Try an imported beer from Europe 

 We were greeted by a lovely woman who helped us select our meal and encouraged us to browse while it cooked. 

Cold deep red borscht topped with Russian sour cream and fresh dill was brought to our little table and then our warm mushroom zrazys with sour cream arrived. Think comfort food potato pancakes. Our meal was complete with a big pot of Impra Russian tea delivered with a smile.  

We cut into the warm Zrazy filled with mushrooms

 I know Moscow Deil is known for their sandwiches, especially the highly rated Odessa, thick russian bread filled with kielbasa and other goodies and topped with an amazing sauce. Sipping tea we watched as mothers with toddlers and businessmen alike came in and filled their baskets with pirozhkis and napoleons. Dessert is tempting with various ice creams, poppy seed cakes, imported candies and more.  Sufficiently full, Sister T and I walked away with our purchases of marinated vegetables and huge ginger cookies, promising ourselves we’d be back.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lunch To Go

Gourmet food trucks are hot! Competition is fierce and the race is on. Orange County is a great venue for eating on the go and I'm all over it. It's about 110  degrees on this blacktop and I'm handing money through the window to receive my second, well okay, my third selection to "sample" from my latest food truck of choice. People are lining up out side of the Rolling Sushi  Ranchan Ramen  Chomp Chomp Nation trucks. The Spudrunner truck, Crepes Bonaparte Calbi and FlavorRush all have a constant stream of clientele.  You've got to love these names.

Crepes are available with savory and sweet fillings from Crepes Bonaparte.
Even the local chefs step out to sample the fun!

Sean at Chomp Chomp Nation is service with a smile.

This lamb burger hits the spot. It's topped with watercress  and a special sauce. Check out the home made sweet potato fries.

Chomp Chomp Nation serves me a combo chicken and shrimp satay with tiger slaw and rice cubes. The peanut sauce is perfection.

Rolling Sushi adds a special touch.

Creativity at it's best. These guys have oriental lanterns adorning their truck.

Great personalities greet you to take your order at Ranchan Ramen. They say to "call Eddie!."

Truffle salted french fries from Flavor Rush.

Arancini is a memorable mouthful of Italian artistry.

Irvine, Ca hosted their 2nd Gourmet Food Truck Jamboree at the Hyatt this week and it was great fun.  Popular items are the mini sandwich sliders in all makes and models as well as wraps and tacos. Taking a poll of satisfied diners, I find that the lamb pitas are stellar, mixed kabobs equally delicious, crepes and ice cream are a big hit with the dessert crowd and my favorite find, Arancini, little risotto balls filled with mozarella "floating" in a rich home made marinara.  That dish is amazing. Oh, yes the truffle salted french fries found their way into our air conditionedcar ride home.  
Someone's got to get the word out to you guys, right!
  Now a lot of these gourmet catering truck owners Tweet their locations and can be found on Facebook as well. My advice is to keep your palate primed for a chance to order up something new from one of these diners on wheels next time they're in town. Better yet, go track em down.