Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day around the corner, so lets add a little sexy vibe in our step. What do you get when you put together a kickass local bar with a kitchen that puts out really good food? Well you get the best coupling ever: American Grub and The Swinging Door Saloon in Old Town Tustin. One of our all time favorite bars was a former bikini/dive bar, Swinging Door in the heart of Old Town Tustin. MaryAnne has been coming to this local favorite for years with her husband.
A little background to this love story. Kim Conway was a former bartender at The Swinging Door years ago until she took over and became the current badass owner. (Fun fact: She is also the owner of the Salty Dog Tavern in Anaheim!) When a retail space became available four years ago, she and her boyfriend, Gerard Montes, transformed the space into a hip, cozy burger joint. The vibe is definitely hip casual but in no way pretentious.
Looking for Mexican food in Anaheim? You’ll love Tortilla Jo’s at Downtown Disney. If you like tequila, sit near the tequila wall and enjoy some cocktails.
MaryAnne and I love all things Disney! After checking out all the new purple merchandise that Disney just recently released – ahhhhh! – we went in search of food and drink! Parched and hungry, we looked around at the many options in Downtown Disney. Have you all been out to Downtown Disney lately? There are some cool new restaurant options that we are definitely excited to try – I’m eyeing you, Ballist Point Brewery! But for this outing, we decided on our tried and true spot, Tortilla Jo’s, one of my kids’ favorite restaurants in this area. It’s a great family and friends stop after a few hours at the park or a fun day wandering and shopping in the downtown area – so much to do in this reinvigorated area.
Someone recently asked me: How do you make a “DIY Michelada“. That got me thinking. We’re back from our summer travels so lets get right into it with some fav summer drinks for these hot days! I don’t necessarily have a favorite drink; but rather, it kinda depends on where I am and what I’m doing. Dive bar: Makers and Ginger; nice bar: Bombay Sapphire martini extra cold and extra olives; Italian vibe: Negroni first, then red wine; Japanese vibe: always both sake and Asahi beer; Thai vibe: either an ice cold Singha or Heineken (yes, in Bangkok, everyone drinks Heineken) or an icy glass of whiskey and soda over ice, I can go on and on but you guys get the idea.
Sooooo, summer time means lots of outdoor activities, and an old time favorite is going out to a baseball game. We are so lucky to have some awesome ball parks within driving distance. Our hometown park is of course Angel Stadium; Dodger Stadium is just a short jaunt away, and our family makes several trips during the season to Petco Park in San Diego.
The BEST watermelon margarita EVER at Cha-cha’s Latin Kitchen! Go get one now! All of their signature cocktails look amazing made with fresh ingredients; but our server enthusiastically recommended the Watermelon Margarita as her absolute favorite drink. Don’t you guys love servers with opinions and good knowledge of the menu? I do! And she did not steer us wrong! This was hands down the most delicious watermelon margarita ever! I am usually a straight forward margarita gal, Cadillac or skinny margarita, on rocks. I hate the syrupy store bought sour mixes that give a margarita that artificial flavor, and the fruity ones are usually the worst offenders made with prepackaged fruit juice or nectar. But a well made margarita is a thing of beauty! You can try to avoid bad margaritas by asking just a few questions. I usually ask if the sour mix is house made, and if the mix is freshly squeezed lime/lemon/orange juices. If ordering a fruity mix, is it freshly blended real fruit?
One of my favorite watering holes are hotel lobbies, and the spot that takes lounging to the next level is The Lobby Lounge in the Montage Laguna Beach.
Lobby decked out for the holidays
So let’s talk about the stages of my life: there was a time when standing in a crowded bar or club trying not to spill my precious Bombay martini that is filled to the rim in a very impractical long stemmed glass was a regular and appealing night out. Nope. Not doing that anymore. Fast forward ?? years. Please show me the way to comfy seats with table service. If it has not occurred to you to hang out in hotel lobbies when you’re not on vacay, well, let’s think about it! They are open late, you can lounge without getting the stink eye from servers, and you can always find a comfy seat. One of my favorite hangouts with my honey, with girlfriends, and even with the whole family are hotel lobbies. That’s right, they are pretty good places to hang out with kids. Order them a snack, hot chocolate, and bring a deck of cards or a board game – everyone is happy! View Post