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Orange County Cheap Eats Food Tour--need suggestions and advice...

f
film_score Jun 22, 2012 04:05 PM

So, my brothers and I love going on food tours, where we literally hit 20-25 places a day, just sampling the best item at an individual place. Generally, these places are not sit-down type places (although they can be). And most of the stuff is relatively cheap. What we are not really looking for is expensive dishes at fancy places.

Here is a link to the one we did in Los Angeles County so you can see we're not joking around!!
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/848063

One of my brothers is gonna be staying in Orange County for work so we are going to do an Orange County Cheap Eats Food Tour. I've already done a great deal of research (largely from looking at OC Weekly's 100 best dishes for the past few years as well as looking at other Chowhound posts).

Please tell me if you have any more suggestions for other places in Orange County. And, also, it really helps if you have a specific item to get at a given place. Please feel free to give opinions on the list I have already created (e.g., if there is a place on there that we don't need to stop at).

Thanks in advance!

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ORANGE COUNTY FOOD TOUR

here's a Google map of all the places below: http://goo.gl/maps/kREl

Portillo’s (chocolate cake shake; Italian beef with hot and sweet peppers & extra jus on the side)
8390 La Palma Ave, Buena Park; M-Th, Su 10:30am-11pm, F-Sa 11am-11pm; (714) 220-6400

Los Chilangos (Barbacao de borrego [lamb or goat] & pambazo [chile-soaked sandwich]
)1830 W Lincoln Blvd, Anaheim; M-F 9am-9pm, Sa-Su 8am-9pm; (714) 999-5515

Kareem's Restaurant (falafel)
208 S. Brookhurst St, Anaheim, Su-M 11am-5pm, Tu-Sa 11am-9pm; (714) 778-6829

Natural (corn cup; chamoyada [mango shake with salty, sour apricot syrup, chile powder])
1177 S. State College Blvd, Anaheim; (714) 563-1343

Myung In (Wang Mandoo {Korean meat-filled buns])
8911 Magnolia Blvd. #3 [inside H-Mart grocery store], Garden Grove; everyday 9am-10pm; (714) 638-4099

Neveria Flor de Mexico (paletas, paleta de nuez [walnuts & almond milk])
7151 Katella Ave, Stanton; everyday 12pm-8pm; (714) 761-2813

Pee Wee’s Famous (sweet potato tater tots)
5942 Edinger St. #104, Huntington Beach; M-Sa 11am-8pm, Su 11am-5pm; (714) 846-3100

Ngu Binh Restaurant (banh it kep banh ram, #15 [deep fried savory mochi ball])
14072 Magnolia St., #107, Westminster; Tu-Su 9am-8pm; (714) 903-6000

Banh Mi Cho Chu (banh mi, lemongrass beef)
14520 Magnolia St, Ste B, Westminster; 714) 891-3718

New Duc Huong (Nuco Mia [kumquat sugarcane drink)
9081 Bolsa Ave #104, Westminster; (714) 897-8143

Pho Quang Trung (bun cha haoin [pork noodle soup in papaya sauce])
10072 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove; everyday 8am-9pm; (714) 638-2286
9211 Bolsa Ave, Ste 101-103, Westminster; everyday 8:30am-12am; (714) 891-2800

Thach Che Hien Khanh (che bam au [Vietnamese dessert drink])
9639 Bolsa Ave., Ste. A, Westminster; (714) 839-8143
9784 Westminster Ave, Garden Grove; (714) 537-5105

Banh Mi So 1 (Banh Tieu [fried crusty sesame bread])
9812 Bolsa Ave., Ste. 102, Westminster; (714) 775-8834

Huong Giang (“pork hash”—50 cents)
14564 Brookhurst St, Westminster; (714) 531-4930

Brodard (Nem Nuong Cuon [pork spring roll])
9892 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, W-M 8am-9pm, closed Tuesday; (714) 530-1744

Dat Thanh (Nem Nuong Cuon [barbecue pork sausage spring rolls])
10032 McFadden St., Westminster; Su-M 10:30am-8pm, Tu, Th-Sa 10:30am-8:30pm; (714) 650-0910.

Xanh Bistro (Goi hoa chuoi [banana blossom salad])
16161 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley; M, W-Su 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-9:30pm; (714) 531-2030

Au Couer De Paris Bakery (pate chaud [sausage-stuffed puff pastry])
9441 Edinger Ave, Westminster, M-Sa 7am-7pm, Su 7am-6pm; (714) 775-8465

Delicias de México (paletas)
13466 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove; (714) 590-0031

Joe’s Italian Ice
12302 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove; M-Th, Su 11am-10pm, F-Sa 11am-11pm; (714) 750-1076

Los Primos (Tortas Ahogadas [chili-dipped sandwich])
2301 W 5th St, Santa Ana, every day except Tu from 9am-5pm; (714) 488-5609

Bangkok Taste (roti [dessert-style with sweetened condensed milk])
2737 N Grand Ave, Santa Ana; M-F 11am-10pm, Sa 5pm-10pm, Su 12pm-9:30pm; (714) 532-2216

El Borrego Sagrado (Tlacoyo [huarache stuffed with chickpeas])
1307 S Main St, Santa Ana; (714) 836-7501

Kim Huong Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant (bun rieu [tomato-y Vietnamese noodle soup])
17311 McFadden Ave # B, Tustin; M-Sa 10am-6pm; (714) 838-6651

Rollie's Bakery (saltena [empanada])
14071 Newport Ave., Tustin, Tu-Sun 8am-8pm; (714) 669-8300

Cream Pan (korokke pan [potato croquette sandwich]; strawberry croissant)
602 El Camino Real, Tustin; Tu-Su 6am-4pm; (714) 665-8239

Traditions (Gobi Paratha [flatbread stuffed with masala-spiced cauliflower])
14131 Red Hill Av., Tustin; Tu-F 11am-2:30pm, Tu-Sun 5pm-10pm, Sa-Su 12pm-3pm; (714) 508-5959

Blackmarket Bakery (garlic artichoke croissant)
17941 Sky Park Cir, Irvine; Tu-Fr 8am-4pm; Sa 8am-2pm; closed Su; (949) 852-4609

Moscow Deli (Odessa Sandwich)
3015 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa; M-Th 10am-7pm, F-Sa 10am-8pm, Su 10am-4pm; (714) 546-3354

Layer Cake Bakery (almond croissant)
4250 Barranca Pkwy, Ste 1, Irvine; M-F 7am-7pm, Sa 8am-5pm, Su 8am-3pm; (949) 786-0223

J.J. Bakery (Taiwanese bakery: pork chop bun, taro toast, )
15333 Culver Dr., Irvine, everyday 8am-9pm; (949) 653-1678

A&J Restaurant (spicy wontons)
14805 Jeffrey Rd, Ste D, Irvine; M-F 11:30am-9pm, Sa-Su 10am-9pm; (949) 786-3585

101 Noodle Express (beef roll)
5408 Walnut Ave, Irvine; everyday 11am-10pm; (949) 654-8542

Strickland’s (ice cream)
4523 Campus Dr, Irvine; everyday 12pm-10pm; (949) 387-9955

A Market and Restaurant (anti-pasto sandwich [Italian sub])
3334 Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach; M-F 11am-10pm, Sa-Su 5pm-10pm; (949) 650-6505

Chili Chutney (mantu [Afghan ravioli)
24301 Muirlands Blvd, Ste A, Lake Forest; T-Sa 11am-9pm; Su 11am-8pm; (949) 859-1778

TK Burgers (cheeseburger)
110 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach; M-Th 10am-8:30pm, F-Sa 10am-9pm; (714) 960-3238

Surfin Chicken (Italian-y grilled chicken)
71 Via Pico Plz, San Clemente; M-Sa 11am-9pm, closed Su; (949) 498-6603

Sophy's Thai and Cambodian (Cambodian beef jerky)
3240 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach; everyday 9am-10pm; (562) 494-1763

  1. Servorg Jun 25, 2012 06:00 PM

    http://harrys-deli.com/ (steak sandwich)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Servorg
      Porthos Jun 25, 2012 06:09 PM

      Unfortunately Harry's deli has been under renovation since the end of last year and each month the estimate is "we'll be open next month". I just called and the answering machine says "end of June". The last entry from Harry on Facebook was "early July". With so many people going through pulled pork sandwich, ribeye sandwich, and chile withdrawals, the line is going to be insane when they finally re-open.

      1. re: Porthos
        t
        Tkn Jun 25, 2012 06:45 PM

        The Chicken D is a real winner too.

    2. m
      magnadoodle Jun 25, 2012 03:53 PM

      Zena's Mediterranean & Lebanese Cuisine (Raw lamb Kibbeh - order at least 1 day in advance - amazing)
      2094 N Tustin St. Ste C2, Orange, CA 92865

      Brussels Bistro (Bucket of mussels and a cone of fries)
      222 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

      Pupuseria San Sivar (Pupusas)
      1940 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

      Cafe Hiro (Uni Spaghetti)
      10509 Valley View St, Cypress, CA 90630

      Break of Dawn (Creme Brulee French Toast)
      24351 Avenida De La Carlota, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

      The Bruery Provisions (A pint of The Bruery's beer)
      143 N Glassell, Orange, CA 92866

      1. Das Ubergeek Jun 25, 2012 03:37 PM

        I would pick one or another of the nem nuong cuon places. Dat Thanh is better, but it is also very small.

        Bun cha Ha Noi is better at Vien Dong than at Pho Quang Trung... and you can get bun rieu oc there too.

        I agree with Norm Man: you cannot leave without trying a taco acorazado from Alebrije's taco truck. It's bright pink and it parks in front of the Northgate market on Cubbon and Main in Santa Ana; you cannot miss it.

        I would also add absolutely any Danish from Christopher Garren's Let Them Eat Cake. You can hit them at the same time as you hit Portola Coffee Lab in Tkn's suggestions. I would skip Santa Monica Seafood, though, in favour of Slapfish.

        I love me some TK, but I agree with Tkn, it's not a destination. Share a burger at Playground instead (it won't be on the menu, but ask for it, they'll have it).

        Los Chilangos only has barbacoa on weekend mornings. I haven't been in a while.

        See if you can swing by for a torta ahogada at these places in Santa Ana (in descending order of my preference): La Chiva Torta (truck on Mortimer between 4th and 5th, behind Northgate Market), Tortas Ahogadas Los Primos (truck on 5th between Fairview and Bristol), Chago Ahogadas (on Main Street). If you can handle chile heat, ask for it "bien ahogada".

        Naan & Kabob, Tustin - homemade doogh (yoghurt drink).

        1. A5 KOBE Jun 25, 2012 02:26 PM

          ADD: Carnitas Los Reyes in Tustin for chicharron tacos and refried beans
          ADD: Tacos San Pedro (two locations) for carne asada flautas
          ADD: Volcano Burger in Los Alamitos for chili cheese fries

          1. a
            attran99 Jun 25, 2012 02:02 PM

            Brodard and Dat Thanh offer the same type of spring rolls. I'm more of a fan of Brodard...the accompanying sauce is so much better.

            1. n
              Norm Man Jun 24, 2012 06:56 PM

              Tacos Acorazados (Battleship Tacos) at Alebrije's Grill Food Truck in Santa Ana. More info at the following link:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8540...

              1. b
                Bogey153 Jun 23, 2012 10:27 PM

                Chili Chutney has a sign on the door that they've moved to a bigger location. Somewhere nearby on Lake Forest, I think it said. Call for the address before you go. Highly recommended - been there once and keep meaning to go back for more...

                1. J.L. Jun 23, 2012 09:18 PM

                  What a coincidence! I'm listening to some film scores (by Basil Poledouris, Kenji Kawai & Wojciech Kilar) as I'm reading this and typing you a response back!

                  Add: Ruby's Shake Shack (on PCH, in Crystal Cove) - Get the date shake.

                  Add: Top Baguette (on Bolsa, in Westminster) - Get the banh mi and compare with Banh Mi Cho Chu.

                  Add: 85°C Bakery Cafe (on Alton Pkwy, in Irvine) - Get the taro bread (still better than J.J.'s).

                  Happy tabe aruki (food tour)!

                  1. t
                    Tkn Jun 23, 2012 09:06 PM

                    Just some suggestions to add to your list:

                    Quan Hy or Quan Hop for Banh Beo and Banh It Ram
                    Ole Spain Deli Shop for Bocatas (La Espanola is a good one)
                    Taqueria 2 Guys for Tacos Al Pastor
                    Boiling Crab for Cajun Crawfish
                    Vientiane for Beef Larb
                    Portola Coffee Lab for coffee (try Kyoto or Malawi - Siphon)
                    Il Dolce for Margherita Pizza and Argentinian Empanadas
                    Santa Monica Seafood for Oyster Sampler (happy hour 2:00pm-5:00pm Sun-Thurs)

                    There is a TK Burgers branch in Costa Mesa as well, although I would skip it altogether. They make a decent burger but it's not really a destination.

                    There is also Litlle India in Artesia worth noting. And if you're really driving down to San Clemente, then Break of Dawn in Laguna Hills is worth a visit.

                    1. Strawman Jun 23, 2012 08:31 AM

                      Xanh Bistro is sadly closed. And I miss the banana blossom salad.

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