Sunday, March 20, 2016

Wine Adventures: The Blind Rabbit in Anaheim

“Which way you ought to go depends on where you want to get to...” 

We went looking for a Rabbit. 
It wasn't an easy task at first but then we spotted it.

   The Blind Rabbit that is.  

I don't know how we didn't know about this place the first time we went to the Anaheim Packing House,  but once we found out about it we had to go back again.  We are suckers for any kind of secret hidden bar.   Good Time at Davey Wayne's in Los Angeles was totally cool--so the second we found out about this place we had to check it out.

At first we couldn't even find the entrance, but with a little persistence we figured it out.

This little hidden bar was right up our alley.  
It had music and the feel of something from the 1930's.  It reminded us of the Tower of Terror at Disneyland.

The Blind Rabbit is a fun little getaway that transports you to another time and another era.

They had some cool and unique cocktails.  Being a Tiki fan we of course had to try the Topless Hula Girl.

We also had to order a glass of Black Stallion Chardonnay.
(After all this is a Wine Blog)

Here is a cool little Fireplace area that is filled with old books, makes for a unique addition to the atmosphere.

Your bill arrives in the inside of a hollowed out book.  A nice touch.

 Goodbye for now Blind Rabbit ---we hope to see you again someday.

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Wine Adventure at The Brix in Sunset Beach: The Good, The Great and the Burnt

The Brix is located along PCH in Sunset Beach California.
We have driven by this place numerous times and we finally decided to stop in a check it out.  We had seen this place on the TV Show "Bar Rescue"and they had given it a nice makeover and a new name.  It was renamed the Pacific Coast Wine Bar for which the interior signage is still displayed.  The bar went back to the old name  The Brix shortly after the show aired.  The owner that was shown on Bar Rescue recently sold the bar as we meet the new owner who was really nice.  He referred to it as "The Meeting Place" (A Third name perhaps?).

The Good
The inside of the bar looks great and they have a cool chalkboard showing what flights they currently offer.

Here is a sample of one of the wines we tried. 
 Carmenet was a decent Chardonnay

The Great

Enjoying a glass of wine in a place that has nice atmosphere and great music!! 

The performer Kurt Hunter played a set that perfectly fit the wine bar setting.  He was excellent.

The Burnt

Even with a new owner The Brix struggled in the food department.
The bar has gone back to the strange Deli menu that in no way matches a Wine Bar. We had already had lunch in Huntington Beach so all we ordered was some Truffle Oil Popcorn with shaved Parmesan.  Truffle oil makes everything better...But no matter how good the Truffle oil is it can't save burnt Jiffy Pop Popcorn.  Is this a warning of things to come???  I mean if you can't even get popcorn right ---what must the other food be like.

 Gordon Ramsay would have had a field day with this place.  They were having a special party on their outside patio and decided to bring some free samples around to the bar patrons.   Probably not the best idea!!!   I guess the popcorn was just the precursor of what was to come.  They started bringing out some severely burnt food. So badly burnt in fact, it was nearly unrecognizable.  We were pretty much laughing as they passed it out to customers watching their reactions. We quickly became giddy with excitement to see what was going to be next?  Your guess is as good as ours as to what this was....some sort of chicken perhaps??

You can see some soogy potatoes amongst the charred remains.   We wondered "I hope the special party wasn't getting burnt food like this".  Someone should have had the common sense to look at the food before handing it out as a "Freebie" to the paying customers.  I couldn't imagine being a server walking around with these blackened lumps of coal and pretending to be proud of the chef's creation.  Perhaps the waitress who wandered around sipping from her giant goblet of wine (bigger than any of the customers) passing out the samples was her way of dealing with the traumatic food offerings. Handing out burnt food samples isn't the best way to get people to order off the menu.  Hopefully the new ownership will get things turned around .  And a new chef can craft a menu that will fit the cool vibe of this wine bar. 

If we see that their menu has changed we may go back and check it out again, since other then the food we felt it had great potential. 

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Wine and Cheese Adventure: The Anaheim Packing House

We had a little Wine Adventure in the O.C. Orange County has a lot of cool places for a Wine Adventure. We previously discussed the O.C. Mix and The Camp....which you can check out here.

This last summer one of our Wine Adventures took us to Anaheim.

We had never even heard of the Anaheim Packing District before until one of our Facebook friends has posted about it and we thought it was worth checking out.

 The Anaheim Packing District is a really cool little spot with a bunch of food options and shops.  We would say it has the same general feel of the O.C. Mix and the Camp.

After we wandered the shops we stopped and had a couple of glasses of wine in this stylish little wine getaway.  Among the Restaurants and hangouts sits the BXCR which is a cool little Wine Bar set inside on old Boxcar.   Their chef wasn't there the day we stopped by so we will have to come back to try out the food next time.  

Here is there website

The look and vibe of the place was right up our alley.
Very Urban Industrial

We stopped and ate at a place called the Black Sheep Grilled Cheese Bar......OMG this is worth a trip to Anaheim all by itself. 
 It is associated with The Cellar Wine Bar in San Clemente and has the best Grilled Cheese sandwiches ever.  We would totally recommend this to any lovers of Cheese.

Outside was an Arts and Crafts Farmer's Market style area and within walking distance is the Anaheim Brewing Company if you want to do some Beer Tasting.  A reason for us to return as if the Grilled Cheese Bar wasn't enough of a reason.

Here is the website for the Anaheim Packing District

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Wine Adventure at Rancho Los Lomas.

Nestled in the hills just outside of Lake Forest lays Rancho Los Lomas.  We had originally heard about this place after seeing a friend’s pictures from their wedding.  It looked really cool so when a Wine Tasting Groupon came up for this place it gave us a reason to finally go and check it out.  

The spot for wine tasting wasn’t what we were expecting when we arrived.   It was a cool little outdoor open barn with a country flair. 

 The Groupon was for Wine Tasting and a small cheese plate.  

We tried five Wines from Canyon Road Winery -all of which we enjoyed. The Pinot Grigio was our favorite .

The wine tasting itself was great  as we sipped wine and listened to current country music in this cool rustic environment.

   If we lived in the Lake Forest area I could easily see this becoming a hangout.  The staff was great and the place has an easy going vibe.  Aside from the wine they actually have a full bar and you can do beer flights as well.  In fact they brew  the beers themselves at the property under the label  The Towne Park Brewing Company. 

Our favorite was the Blonde Ale you can see the fun description below. 

We talked with them and found out that they will be opening in early 2016 a Brewery in Anaheim near the Anaheim Packing District  (which we will make sure to check out once it opens). 

The only thing I would suggest is that if you are hungry grab something to eat first as the cheese plates were good, but the portions were small. 

Rancho Los Lomas is definitely a place worth checking out for a weekend excursion or as a possible wedding Site.  The location is cool –because it is like a little escape from the city that is easy to get to.  They also have some zebras, tropical birds and a tiger, so if you are adventurous after stopping for a drink it is like a bonus trip to the zoo.
Their Website is here.  

Check them out and spread the word.

Up next we will take you to the Anaheim Packing District for a little adventure we had earlier in 2015

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