lunch recommendation near Discovery Science Center
I'm looking for a casual good eatery around the Discovery Science Center. Going for the first time with 2 young kids. I know their website says they have Taco Bell & Pizza on site...which I'd rather not have. Somewhere walking distance would be much preferred. Thanks!
"walking distance" is subjective, especially with two young kids. But right next door is the MainPlace Mall which has a big food court (McDonald's Arby's chinese, japanese, mongolian bbq, hot dog on a stick, subway, etc.) and a california pizza kitchen and olive garden. You could probably walk to the mall, but it would be difficult with the kids. On the other side of the street is Pat & Oscars (great breadsticks!). A little further up Main towards Chapman is a brightly colored mexican restaurant - I can't recall the name, but it's supposed to be very very good.
Those restaurants get very busy on the weekends. You can always bring your own lunch. With my kids, I frequently get some kid's meal from Ralph's and a sandwich for myself and eat our meals there.
There's a Polly's Pies practically next door. Fairly run of the mill coffee shop, but great pie, and probably a good choice with kids.
Just to provide more up-to-date information, Arby's is no longer at Santa Ana mall (unfortunately - I'm in the minority, but I love Arby's). And at least as of February 2013, McDonald's wasn't there either (maybe they closed temporarily for renovations or something, and may be back open by now - I can't imagine a mall eatery without a McDonald's). But there's still an abundance of other options there at that mall (I wouldn't go around lunch time because it's a pain in the butt finding a place to sit; you'd probably have to take your food outside of the eatery area and find a bench or table in the mall area). And really, the walk to the mall is nothing; maybe 10 minutes at best. And I've done it with two 7 year olds and a 10 year old and nobody complained. If the walk really is an issue, don't worry about trying to park close to the Science Center when you first get there; drive around to the back parking lot so that you're pretty much right between the Science Center and the mall. Done.
A bit further North and across the street is a plaza with more restaurants (hamburger joint The Habit, Corner Street Bakery and others). Technically you could walk; it's just that you'd have to cross a major thoroughfare (Main Street) to get there, and it's probably about an equal distance. If you've got kids, the mall is probably the better way to go.