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Trade Show Eats

I was in Orland to work a trade show with my company. This particular trade show is the BIG one of the year and well, it was rather overwhelming. The space at the Orange County Convention Center was absolutely ginormous. I’d never experienced something of its sheer vastness. The thought of feeding this number of people all day long is kind of mindboggling. There was hot breakfast, but I never made it to that as I was on my feet and working from very early in the day. Luckily, there were stations all around the main show floor with breakfast snacks. I think I took all of the bananas near me and took full advantage of the fruit cups. I only wish they had some yogurt.

The proper lunches were hot and served in the official dining area, which was huge. There were three stations: mediterranean salad, italian, american carvery. And for the three days, it was the same food, every day. Same three options, same dishes at each station. It was disappointing, to say the least. I ended up eating at the italian pasta station every day. The other two stations just did not appeal to me at all. So it ended up being pasta with red sauce and sausage. I wasn’t very impressed. The sausage was ok, but the pasta was overcooked, which tends to happen when you’re cooking for thousands.

In the afternoon, they tended to set out several snack options at various stations. There would be chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. Sometimes, they had donut holes. They didn’t particularly care to have healthy snacks.

On one of the nights right towards the end of the day, they had a little reception thing and offered more snacks as well as beer, wine, and cocktails. More donuts, sweets, chocolates, mini salads, fruits and cheeses, and shrimp cocktail.

I liked these little mozzarella and tomato shooters. I’m a big fan of food shooters it seems!
They even had sushi, fried rice, and pad thai, and takeaway containers, which made it all kind of cute. But overall, it was just ok. The lunch was the biggest disappointment. Keep the same three stations every day, I can understand, but mix the options up a bit. Is it that hard to come up with different pastas for 3 days? I think not!

Foreign Cinema Brunch

We keep meaning to check out Foreign Cinema, but it’s just never happened. We want to actually go there to eat dinner and see the movie, but the movies run monthly, and whenever I’m in SF, it’s never a movie I want to see. So we’ll just have to save that for another visit. So instead, we went there for brunch to meet up with A and E. A has eaten here for dinner before, so she was eager to check out the brunch offering. Since I hate waiting, I acted like a proper adult and actually made a reservation. Oh, how I love opentable!

This place is pretty big. It was a nice day so we sat in the outdoor section. This is where they project the movies, when they project movies. It was too sunny so they did not do it that morning. There’s also a large indoor dining area too. Most of the people there were fancy. We looked like total schlubs. But I didn’t care.

A got the yellowfin sandwich. There was much confusion with our strange waiter about whether it would be tuna fish salad or a hunk of grilled tuna, but rest assured, it ended up being a grilled filet. It was supposed to have spicy slaw on it but A said it was not really flavorful nor spicy. She just thought it was an ok sandwich.

E got the fried eggs which were deglazed with balsamic vinegar, and also came with some potato hash, greens, and prosciutto. He thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

J got the khima, which was egg on top of a spiced chicken hash, and served with potato sticks. This was a great dish, I was absolutely crazy about, but J was disappointed that it was served with fried crunchy potato sticks instead of a healthier potato option, perhaps just roasted potatoes.

I went with the french toast. It was baguette french toast with bananas and walnuts and served with maple syrup. This was some of the best friggin french toast I’ve ever had. Kudos to foreign cinema for these. I don’t know what they do to make them, but they’re fabulous.┬áThis place is very nice, has good service, and serves up great, fresh, tasty food. It’s certainly not cheap though, for the food or the drinks. They squeeze fresh orange juice here, and it’s $5. But just suck it up and try it at least once. I want to come back and see a movie!

Foreign Cinema on Urbanspoon

Sunday Brunch At Spork

Walking down Valencia, we’ve passed Spork tons of time, but it always was closed. I guess it was just the timing as they’re only open for dinner during the week and also for brunch on the weekends.
It’s a pretty cute place on the inside. We didn’t have to wait, which was well appreciated. The brunch menu is pretty tiny, and not cheap. We both wished there were more options on the menu.

J got the skillet french toast which was a toasted french bread pudding served with fresh fruit, maple syrup, walnuts, whipped honey butter. This thing was like cake for breakfast. He liked it, but found that there was not nearly enough fruit or walnuts. He had a couple of perfect bites, but really neede some more of the fixins to make it great.

I got the mission eggs which was slow roasted carnitas, broken eggs, avocado, corn tortillas, spicy green cabbage, queso fresco, and a heaping helping of cilantro. It was a lovely layered dish. It was another dish where I liked every single one of the components, and they all worked so well together.

I about died at how adorable these little cookies were that they gave us with the check. I mean seriously, look at these teeny little burgers that were cookies! Service was just fine. They’re pretty vigilant about filling up your water glass. It was a nice brunch, but for us, the selection was a bit too limited and it’s on the pricey side. But the not waiting part was nice.

Spork on Urbanspoon

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