Looking for a great restaurant in San Juan Capistrano? Have you explored the quaint Los Rios Historic District?  If you live in central or north Orange County, it is such a quick jaunt down the 5 freeway, or for a real treat, take the train a few stops from the Tustin or Irvine station, since it will drop you right in the heart of this town.  

So here is our favorite weekend itinerary: take the kids to Zoomars in the morning, Zoomars is the sweet little petting zoo filled with furry guinea pigs for them to pet and feed, goats to groom, and horses/ponies and a mini train to ride.  We have been taking them to Zoomars for years, and we even threw a birthday party for my son there, but it is still one of their favorite outings, even for my eleven-year-old!  For a successful family outing, we always try to have something for the kids, then also something for the adults.  Specifically, I like to end a kid’s activity with a good meal and a glass of wine.  Everyone is happy!

Quaint San Juan Capistrano Restaurant – The Ramos House Cafe
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Nothing says summer like seafood and beer!  Here is a Mexican twist to that great combo:  Mariscos Mocorito serves Sinaloa style seafood dishes just down the street in Orange.

Mexican Seafood and Micheladas in the OC

If you have never been to a Mexican seafood place, then here are a few pointers and recommendations; and if you have, then come try Mocorito and let me know if you agree or if you have any other favorites.  First, you get a basket of crunchy tostada chips and saltine crackers, with a side of salsa and lime when you sit down.   View Post

Looking for an Indian buffet? I’m always a little on the fence about all you can eat buffets; on the one hand, I’m not quite sure how long the food has been sitting out or of people serving themselves and digging through the heaps of rice or curry looking for the choice pieces of meat; but on the other hand, I love the variety and being able to make a sampler plate.  Always looking for great Indian food, I discovered Rasoi Curry Point in Tustin. I’m never looking back at another buffet!  They are located in a strip mall that looks like it has seen better days, and shares a parking lot with Cream Pan (and you have not been to Cream Pan, go now for the best strawberries and cream croissants!).  Rasoi offers an all-you-can-eat $9.99 AYCE thali, or lunch platter, that includes 5 entrees in mini bowls (yes, that’s right 5!), 2  chutneys:  a sweet tamarind chutney and a coriander chutney, raita (yogurt), rice, garlic or plain naan, appetizer, and dessert.

I go back and forth between choosing the vegetarian or a non-vegetarian meal.  They change the options so I never know what I’m getting, but that’s ok, because everything is so good.  We love spicy food and many of the dishes have quite a kick.  The service here is accommodating.  They come by often to refill anything on your platter, keeping your meal fresh and hot.  Let them know if you prefer mild and they will hook you up!  The chicken is moist and tasty in the chicken curry.  I will sometimes order the vegetarian option because I enjoy all the curry veggie options too, especially the spinach, which is rich and creamy.   The squash curry is another favorite.  Sometimes the dhal (lentils) can be a little more watery than I like, but still spicy and flavorful.

Indian Food Restaurant - Rasoi in Tustin View Post

What are the best kids meals in Orange County? We were thinking this very thing. Although we’re not fans of the typical fast food kid’s meals, except of course when they’re free, there are many restaurants that offer kid’s meals that are either a good value, higher quality, or healthier.  Here is list of restaurants that serve our favorite kid’s meals that are delicious and beautifully presented:

*Indicating beer/wine/bar/happy hour available for accompanying adults

Best Kids Meals in Orange County (Last update: 9/10/17)

Chipotle – For under $5.00, you can get a quesadilla or a nifty little build your own kit in a bento like container.  First, choose a protein.  I love the carnitas or the chicken, but be aware that the chicken is a little peppery, in case your little ones have sensitive taste buds.  Saranya’s kids like the chicken and carne asada (steak) and MaryAnne’s girls like the vegetarian taco meal with the oh so good cilantro lime rice, beans, and two toppings.  The kits come with two soft tortillas or crunchy taco shells, a cute mini bag of tortilla chips or a package of blueberries, and juice or organic milk.  This is a great little deal for an affordable price.

Best Kids Meals Chipotle

The Counter – This is one of our local watering holes.  Solid happy hour and kid’s meals make us regulars.  Although the options are the familiar kid’s menu items such as chicken tenders, grilled cheese and pb&j, they do it well.  The best value and tastiest choice is the 2 mini cheeseburgers with American cheese and pickles on Hawaiian buns.  Every combo comes with choice of a side – you can certainly choose the healthier applesauce or carrot sticks, but we always choose either the shoestring fries or sweet potato fries – both are so addictively crunchy and delicious!  It also comes with a juice, milk or lemonade.  Let’s also mention that one of the choices is a veggie kabob, a colorful and appetizing dish for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.  The manager gave us a great tip:  you can ask for a veggie pattie in lieu of the meat patties in the mini burger.  These are refreshing non-meat alternatives from places that always seem to offer plain pasta as the vegetarian choice.  Another option for multiple kids who are opting to share:  an order of their chili comes in a huge bowl.  The chili is hearty,  rich and meaty. Order a side of curly fries and you have chili fries for several happy mouths!  *Come in during Happy Hour (see our Happy Hour review for details) Mon-Fri/3-6 to feed the whole family!

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