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Costa Mesa is Coast Amazing

Fun Finders in Costa Mesa and we started the day with smiles as 2 clowns jumped out of a lime that arrived to pick us up.  How clever!!!!

We headed for Eat Chow where we sampled several of their unique breakfast dishes including homemade tacos soaked with tomatoes and topped with cheese and eggs(chilaquiles).  I just have to try this as part of a dinner for Pinellas Hope.

We enjoy our tour of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  This center is completely privatelyfunded and they had been filming an Oreo commercial with tennis star Williams in it. Seating was awesome and there couldn’t possibly be a bad seat in the house.

We journeyed on to the Golden Truffle and met Alan, the owner/chef with a truly “colorful” flare about him. He treated us to many more smaples than we expected. Our favorites were the  golden cup salmon,sea bass with lemon tamale and the steak/lyonnaise potatoes and bernaise. Jim really liked his scooter out back, which he insisted that we see.  A great little crab mixture was topped with a zucchini flower(ah ha, did you know that you can eat the zucchini flower before it ever makes it into becoming a zucchini??)

We then took a tour of the fair where they are making the world’s largest hamburgers they were setting up to open on Thursday. The theme is “Let’s Eat”. How appropriate and do they ever have the food venders. One was Juicy’s outlaw Grill where they are making a 770 lb. hamburger- worlds largest.

Centenial Farm was interesting that the farm is right on the premises and I couldn’t think of a vegetable that they weren’t growing.

We got to meet the mayor here too!

The fair lasts 23 days and employees 3000 people covering 150 acres. They have a $28 million dollar operating budget. Ray Cammack Shows  are the top midway producers in the midway business. All employees are drug tested.

We were welcomed at the citiy council study session to be presented with a proclamation declaring Wednesday,July 13,2011 “Best of the Road Day.”

The day was brought to a dramatic ending  at Anne’s Boutique Wines where gourmet selections from 6 establishments were sampled only to be paired with wine  appropriate with the selection.(see the sheet that was sent to you   It was beautifully set up and  who should appear but-  Yes- ELVIS –complete with  white jump suit and the moves and voice to remind us of “The King.”  A truly great evening of FUN,food,wine,music and dancing.

Thought for the day

Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Whatever  your  hands choose to do, do it with all of your heart. “

We’ve truly done that on this trip and we are very thankful to all of the wonderful people who have shared their hearts with us.

A way to start the day- At CAMP

We started out  2nd day in SoBeCa, a great little community in Costa Mesa. We checked out two special areas- The Camp- an area set up like a camp with outdoor  accessories and the feeling that you are at camp- hammock in the trees, metal fire pit and identified trees,plants and flowers.There were 9 restaurants in the Camp- all very unique  in their own way. The one we visited was The Vine Café. The menus are attached to a hand painted canvas.  They were written up in Feb.2009 Bon Appetit , Mark and Brandon are the two brother/owners.  Mark hosts a yearly culinary experience  to Italy .  They started by bringing out sample breakfast dishes and 1 ½ hr. later they were still bringing out samples. They also brought out lunch,dinner  and dessert items.(over 24 specialty dishes.)  It is difficult to say what we liked the best because we actually loved it all.    Unique items would recommend would be Frutti di Mare, Caprese of Mozzarella Buratta (contained flash fried arugula- delightfully tasy with a crunch) Grandma’s cheese cake( 75 year old recipe from their grandmother) The biscuits and gravy was made with their own “in house” sausage and the fried green tomatoes were ½ thick and cooked to perfection.

check them out on www.oldvinecafe.com .Jim was so impressed with The Vine Cafe that he was talking people at Staples into trying it while I was picking up some supplies at Staples.

The other nearby area that we checked out was the Lab or the anti-mall.  It is the answer for people who like to shop but not in large malls in “cookie cutter” stores.  A neat concept

On the way back to the hotel,we saw the Victor Paul Salon where Real Housewives of Orange County get their hair done.

The final evening of an Incredible journey.

After a brief time to work on documentation,we headed to Marche Moderne for a wonderful Bouillabaisse (French Fisherman’s Stew) at Pacific Coast Mall. The mall is the largest gross producing shopping center in the US. We moved on to Charlie Palmer’s at Bloomingdales where Chef Kim created a thyme scented steamed halibut was my favorite.  The heirloom tomato salad featured a gazpacho sorbet that was excellent.  The Kobe style beef sliders contained special beef from specially raised cows in Japan.

A little break and off to Mastro’s for the steak “to die for” and delightful veggies served in 8 in. skillets.  We sampled 5 different desserts but their special butter cake was sinfully delicious.

This fine dining experience was an awesome way to conclude a journey of a lifetime in search for what Small Town America has the Best Food.

A huge thank you to Rand McNally, USA Today, Saab, Carlson Properties, Shell Oil Company for making this opportunity available.  We have done our very best to fulfill the duty of making this selection to the best of our ability.  Thank you to all of our followers.  We hope that we entertained you and have encouraged you to Take a Road Trip.  The USA has so much to offer and you owe it to yourself to venture out of your own town and discover treasures all over America.  We recommend it 100%