Let's face it, somedays you just want a meal like mom used to make (or dad, depending on your upbringing). But that does not need to translate into wanting to whip up the dish for yourself. After all, part of eating a "comforting" memory is that someone we love served it too us. Whatever it was because we were suffering from an awful head cold, the flu, got fired from a job or were dumped by a person we thought it was our soulmate, having a person who cared to serve us something soothing helped-alot.
With this in mind, I began my search of comforting dishes in Orange County. Here were some of the more popular places and the dishes that made them so:
Have a craving for meatloaf? Go to any of the Claim Jumper Restaurants throughout the county. The portions are huge, sufficient to satisfy the current need for something nostalgic and take home at least one if not two extra servings for more warmth later on. They have several side dishes to chose from, but if it's comforting you need, go all the way and have the garlic mashed potatoes! This wonderful chain has many other "comfort" offerings as well-cobblers, roasted chicken, even potpies. Can not go wrong with whatever you need to make a smile reappear on your face from CJ's.
Matzo Ball soup More your speed when you crave comfort? Where else would you go in Orange County but Katella Deli and Bakery? The soup is clear and simple, matzo balls are the size of softballs and light, chose your bowl with or without chicken and noodles. Added bonus-if deli means comfort to you in any way-you are covered! Bagels and lox, homemade corned hash, pastrami or corned beef on homemade rye-it's all here and fresh since the early 1960's.
You came from an Italian background? Home cooked recipes abound at Spasso's in Laguna Hills, Cosmos in Aliso Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita and the Peppino's chain. The reason-all are family owned and operated and recipes came, where else, from their families kitchens. Although, Peppino's has sold several of their venues to others, so you might want to check out the restaurant near you and ask, if it's important to helping you get the dessert you need the dish to help.
Now you would think that finding some excellent homemade Mexican comfort food would be a cinch here in Orange County-when I canvassed co-workers, neighbors and friends, many said they'd just go home and ask. But some mentioned the tacos and menu at the Taco Mesa restaurants.
Asian cuisine had several suggestions since there are so many different types to chose from! Jade Palace II in Aliso Viejo serves excellent Pho and Bun soup bowls (I love the tofu bun, hubby goes for the pork chop). Also Nalu's in Laguna Hills serves excellent Pho. To be honest, if you check out Nalu's, it's been our experience-stick with the Pho-for some reason other dishes here take forever and are just mediocre.
I'm sure there are many other great comfort food places that I've loved to here about and check out, but these are the ones that many of the people I asked recommended and I've personally tried, so give them a try. It could not hurt.
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