Monday, March 30, 2009

DEALS and STEALS! A guide to eating out for less in Orange County

You love food. And maybe you are a good cook but who doesn't love to eat out now and then? I know I do. But it is just a little harder for everyone, no matter what your situation may be. In the current economy we are all cutting back.

I have some great news though! You don't have to blow your budget every time you eat out. You can have your cake and EAT it too!

Get Happy at Happy Hour!
Many restaurants offer happy hour deals. If your job is flexible or you are able to get out early, you can still enjoy some very good food at prices that are up to half off the regular menu prices. Check your local favorite spots for happy hour times and prices.

And check THIS out! Here in Orange County Happy Hour Week is coming up! April 12th-18th, many fabulous OC eateries are offering special happy hour menus all day, all week! You HAVE to check it out! What a deal! Nearly a steal. If you aren't in Southern California, maybe you can Google around and find a site with restaurant deals in your neighborhood.

Kids Eat Free!
Now for the real STEAL! Yes, it is true. You can take the kids out for FREE! Many restaurants are trying to help out people with families. In Orange County and probably in your area as well, restaurant all over are choosing a day to offer free kids meals with the purchase of an adult meal. Here are some sites that feature the deals around this town:

I hope you can find some great deals in your area as well.

Now for a quick bite from the Art and Aioli test kitchen.
Just add some special sauces to snazz it up!

We had my son's 3rd birthday over the weekend. Since it was at a park, I needed to think simple and easy to transport. My sister suggested Togo's. Well their sandwiches are okay but they don't thrill me too much. I decided to just make my own.

First up was purchasing good bread. That is a MUST. I made two kinds of sandwich. One was a fairly classic Italian Sub. I just mixed up my own sort of vinaigrette sauce. Don't forget to offer peppercinis!

The other sandwich I offered was a turkey sandwich with an avocado basil aioli. Let me tell you, the aioli came out GREAT!

Have fun with your sandwiches and play around with sauces and ingredients.

Avocado Basil Aioli

1/2 recipe of this homemade mayonnaise (I added 3 cloves of garlic)*
1 1/2 avocados cut up
large handful of basil

Put your mayonnaise in the food processor. Add the avocado and basil and blend to the desired consistency. Quick and easy. It is ready to go!

* If you don't want to make the homemade mayonnaise, use 1 to 1/2 cups of good quality commercial mayonnaise.

** Mix it up. Add cilantro instead of basil... or try some tarragon and roasted garlic... how about roasted red peppers and oregano... lemon zest and rosemary. I could go on and on. The possibilities are endless!

Don't forget to RSVP to my virtual Open House! Just email a recipe to missNnick [at] gmail [dot] com and include your name, blog address, permalink to the entry and a link back to me! Can't wait to see you there!


Anonymous said...

Looks like it was a fun birthday picnic! Great recipe for Avocado Basil Aioli!

RecipeGirl said...

I'm lovin' the new look of your blog... I've been a bit busy lately and haven't been able to surf around much!

I dig Happy Hour- wonder if they'll be doing it down in San Diego too. I'll be looking into that.

Great aioli recipe- a must try!

Darius T. Williams said...

I love a good deal and that aioli looks perfect!

Nicole said...

5 Star Foodie- It was a fun day and the aioli is great. Try it!

Lori- San Diego has always had restaurant week. I know my friends down there love it! Now they have started it here in OC so maybe they have the happy hour thing in SD.

Darius- Deals ARE the best!

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Abby said...

I'd love to have the aioli right now!

Nicole said...

Abby- It is soooo easy to make!