Good news for MaryAnne and all our vegan / vegetarian friends out there: Del Taco launched their Beyond Meat menu! Have you guys tried Beyond Meat? It’s now offered at many burger places, and you can find them at your local grocery store. I have to admit that I do not discriminate against any meat. However, I do like the different meat substitute options. Growing up in a Thai household, we use tons of veggies in our cooking, as well as many soy and tofu products which are not considered a meat substitute, but rather just a food item in itself. So although I am not vegan or vegetarian, we are a heavily veggie centered household. Beyond Meat is a plant-based protein without gluten, soy, or GMOs: a welcome addition to our meal planning!

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Sweetest bartenders in town!

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.

American Grub:

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.

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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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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.

First of all, guys, look at this tequila wall….life goals!

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.

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Sometimes I get a mean craving for Thai food. When that happens, my go-to place is Wheel of Life in Irvine. The best part for me is that it’s vegan. This is one of the few restaurants that I’ve come across that offers meat substitutes of surprisingly good texture and flavor. 

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

“Beef” Broccolli

Whether you are a vegan/vegetarian or meat eater, Wheel of Life is sure to please all types of palates. My family’s favorite dishes are the Pad Thai, Orange Chicken, and Beef Brocolli. For a special treat on nights when no one feels like cooking, I’ll order takeout and enjoy dinner at home. You might have to double order the Orange Chicken. At my home, that dish is the first to go! If I plan ahead, I make rice at home. On spur of the moment nights, I’ll order rice with my takeout. If you have a large family, I recommend ordering extra everything as their portions are on the small side.

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

Pad Thai

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

Orange “Chicken”

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