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OC Weekly reviews

Diamond Dog Apr 18, 2004 07:42 PM

Does it seem like as long as the restuarant is an "independent", OC Weekly always gives it a great review?

The only bad reviews are if they try out some bigger, corporate chain or something.

I have tried several of these "independents" based on their reviews and most of them are horrible.

There have been some exceptions...like the Chicken Pie Shop in Anaheim, TK burger in Newport...but most of the others are not that good and there are so many better restaurants that are usually better than the one they reviewed.

The reviews just seem so inaccurate to me.

  1. k
    kevin Apr 18, 2004 08:16 PM

    have you been to "grandma's chicken house" in cypress. this is there newsest review of an indepenedntet joint. is it any good? thanks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kevin
      Chris G. Apr 19, 2004 12:46 AM

      Grandma's is a run of the mill broasted chicken joint. It's good if you like fast food broasted chicken. The sides are average (broasted potatoes) to barely edible (potato salad). It's really not that much different than Pittsburgh broasted chicken on Katella.

      1. re: Chris G.
        kevin Apr 19, 2004 01:34 PM

        have you tried the Chicken Box (sp?) in La Habra, it's also a fast-food joint, I tried it once, it was pretty good, but i have nothing else to compare it to in the broasted chicken vein. it's supposed to be locally very popular possibly a minor landmark of sorts.

        1. re: kevin
          Funwithfood Apr 19, 2004 05:16 PM

          I tried The Chicken Box a couple of years ago. Although the breading was crisp and tasty, the chicken itself tasted a bit 'beyond its prime'. There was a hole-in-the-wall "roasted chicken" place (owned by an Armenian guy) on Harbor & La Habra Blvd in La Habra that was UNBELIEVABLY good. I'm not sure if it is still there. If anyone knows, please let me know!

    2. d
      Dorothy Apr 18, 2004 09:03 PM

      Are you saying their review of the Anaheim Chicken Pie Shop is negative? If so, then the reviews are, indeed, inaccurate.
      While not a palace of haute cuisine, its good, simple food is a great value and just the thing when you want comfort food!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dorothy
        Diamond Dog Apr 19, 2004 01:34 AM

        no, they like Chicken Pie Shop..as do I

      2. f
        Funwithfood Apr 18, 2004 09:15 PM

        Did they give Anaheim Chicken Pie shop a *good* review? Comfort food is my favorite "cuisine". I cannot tell you how disappointed I was with their food. My husband and I deemed it inedible--much better food can be found in the frozen food section of a supermarket!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Funwithfood
          Dorothy Apr 18, 2004 10:49 PM

          Wow, you're the first person I've ever encountered to have that reaction! Well, tastes differ and I'm sorry you were disappointed in a place I turn to for comfort food.

          1. re: Dorothy
            Funwithfood Apr 19, 2004 01:41 PM

            I will say the decor is fab--it is literally untouched early 60s decor. It would be great for a movie location. I hope they never renovate it!

          2. re: Funwithfood
            G FEHER Apr 18, 2004 11:10 PM

            The beauty of the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop lies in its simplicity. The pies are made from scratch daily, from a purists point of view, they are unadultered with any internal gravy or vegetables. Just a nice flaky pastry crust filled with fresh chicken meat. Simple. You add your own gravy, as much or little as you wish. avoid the house chicken gravy, tastes generic. I opt for country gravy with substantial pieces of smoked bacon, what a difference. As for the side dishes, mashed potatos are of instant variety and the vegetables are canned. But these are not the stars of the show. This place is a throw back to the 60's and I enjoy a little bit of nostalgia when I eat here. I can also be in and out in about 20 minutes. Like I said, simple.

            1. re: G FEHER
              NinoHB Apr 19, 2004 12:08 AM

              The simplicity of the pies is one thing that keeps my friend coming back. He, being a strict carnivore, likes not seeing peas or carrots in the pies. Every time we eat there, I keep contemplating taking home a dozen pies to heat and eat at my own convenience, but never do. We always joke about taking home a quart of their yellow chicken gravy, with or without the pies :) The thick chicken noodle soup is yummy too.

              The food is way cheap too! Dinner with jello or pie is like $6. Hard to beat that. Waitresses are also very nice and friendly.

              On a side not, they have liquid Sweet N Low. Anybody ever see this served anywhere else?

          3. e
            Egghead Apr 18, 2004 11:45 PM

            Generally speaking, I find the OC Weekly painful to read. It doesn't hold a candle to the far superior LA Weekly, or even the San Diego Reader down south.

            That being said, OC Weekly produces two issues a year that I like -- the "Best Of" (October) issue and the "Restaurant" issue (July), both of which usually have pretty good food recommendations.

            A really good source on OC food is this month's Riviera magazine, which has a list of the "best dishes" in OC. I was pretty impressed with the list. Unfortunately, the magazine doesn't appear to have a website, so I can't link to it.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Egghead
              P. Apr 19, 2004 12:56 AM

              They do, but its not what you think. its selling coverage to the highest bidder

              Link: http://www.modernluxury.com/

              1. re: Egghead
                jen2 Apr 21, 2004 10:04 PM

                no no! Sorry have to disagree. I grabbed the "best of" issue last year all excited to find some good eats, and to my disappointment they listed CHAIN restaurants for ALMOST everything!!! And I'm talking Panda Express, Pick Up Stix, Wahoo's (OK, I do like Wahoo's though) and I think even Olive Garden!!! I couldn't believe what a waste of ink that huge issue was.

                1. re: jen2
                  Egghead Apr 22, 2004 07:59 PM

                  I suspect you are thinking of the Orange County Register "Best of" issue, and not the OC Weekly. I don't remember the OC Weekly ever recommending a chain restaurant (that would be, like, totally uncool). I would be amazed if the OC Weekly ever recommended Panda Express, for example.

                  The Orange County Register "best of" issues are voted upon by the readers, which explains why so many chain restaurants come out on top.

                  1. re: Egghead
                    jen2 Apr 24, 2004 12:15 PM

                    mea culpa. you're right - it was. sorry!!

              2. p
                Professor Salt Apr 19, 2004 01:14 AM

                Inaccurate? Sure. Some of this I atrribute to differences in taste.

                All the same, I give props to Gustavo Arellano for writing about holes in walls that would never get covered in print by anyone else except the people on chowhound. He wrote a story a couple years ago about raising chickens in his yard. Who else is gonna publish a left field story like that in OC?

                Also keep in mind that the Weekly has been through a number of editors / food writers over the past couple years. They laid off Stephen Lemmons last year as the food editor, and now rely on general staff writers to cover the food beat. Gustavo is the best one at it in my opinion because he actually writes well about food, it's preparation, and cultural context. The other staf writers waste most of the column on non-food BS because they apparrently know diddly about food.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Professor Salt
                  elmomonster Apr 19, 2004 11:42 AM

                  I agree. I'm a Gustavo fan. Not only does he know a lot about food and how to write about it, his prose is something that the OC Register reviewer can't hold a candle to.

                  1. re: Professor Salt
                    Emily Apr 19, 2004 03:05 PM

                    Raising chickens? I'll have to look for that one; I've recently been considering buying 2 for my backyard!

                    1. re: Emily
                      Professor Salt Apr 19, 2004 07:08 PM

                      You got me curious to read it again. Here it is.

                      All hail Google.

                      Link: http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/03/05/foo...

                  2. d
                    daveb Apr 19, 2004 02:31 PM

                    It seems to me that OC Weekly tries to be too anti-establishment, liberal, left-wing, counter-culture, hippie, non-conformist, cool, or whatever. Give me the old days, when an honest food critic was one who, once bought, stayed bought. The preceding statement notwithstanding, Herb Baus, Peggy Cotton, Judy Chamberlain, Norm something or other (can't remember his last name, think it might be Stanley) in Orange County, Lois Dwan in the Times, Robert Lawrence Balzer of the Times and the Travel-Holiday Magazine Awards, George Christie and Bert Pretlusky in Los Angeles Magazine - now those were restaurant writers. Elizabeth Evans, now featured in The Register, couldn't carry their typewriters.

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