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Monday, September 27, 2010

Ochoa's Chorizo Store


220 W. Warner Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 850-0052


I was driving around Santa Ana recently when I saw a sign out of the corner of my eye. The sign read, "Ochoa's Chorizo Store. OC Best Homemade Style Chorizo" I wasn't able to turn my car into the parking lot fast enough. I went in the store and was amazed by what I saw. With the exception of a few bags of chips and packages of tortillas in the corner, this clean, little shop sells nothing but chorizo. I felt as if I had been transported to some kind of chorizo heaven. Racks and racks of fresh chorizo links were being made behind the counter.

(Photo from Yelp, used with permission from Ochoa's Chorizo)

Ochoa's Chorizo store offers 4 different kinds of chorizo. The 4 types are regular, spicy, chorizo verde (green) and chorizo de pollo (chicken). Other than the chorizo de pollo, all of the chorizo is made with ground pork. The chorizo is sold by the link or half link and ranges between $7.00-$7.50 per link. Each link is about 3 feet long and weighs about 1 1/2 lbs! On my first visit, I purchased some spicy chorizo. It was so good that I returned a week or two later and purchased about 6 lbs. of spicy and chorizo verde.

After my first visit, I came home and researched Ochoa's. Apparently the Ochoa family has been making fresh chorizo in Orange County for over 35 years. They used to sell the chorizo out of their home, but it became so popular that they needed to open a retail location. People apparently drive from all over Southern California to buy this chorizo in bulk. I don't blame them. This chorizo is so good that I would happily drive hours to buy some. Luckily though, it's only about a 15 minute drive from my house.

The chorizo from Ochoa's is not your typical grocery store chorizo that transforms into a neon orange, greasy mess when you cook it. This chorizo is made from lean ground pork. The chorizo crumbles and cooks up nicely, similar to lean ground beef.

(One link of chorizo verde, casing removed, cooking up in a pan.)

The flavor of the chorizo is absolutely amazing. If it's not the best chorizo I have ever had in my entire life, it's pretty darn close. Ochoa's will most likely be the only place I purchase my chorizo from now on. I highly encourage all of you to walk, run, drive or whatever down to Ochoa's as fast as you can to get this chorizo. Oh......and I know you all like to mix chorizo with eggs, but in my opinion this ruins it. Make yourself a burrito or some (corn tortilla) tacos with just chorizo, cilantro, diced onions, cotija cheese and your favorite hot sauce or salsa. It'll blow your mind.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Orange County Restaurant Week



Ok. I know I've been slacking off on the reviews. I know the last few posts have been information about events and my posts have been few and far between. I'm going to write a new review soon though.....I swear.....

In the meantime, here is some info about the Orange County Restaurant Week that is coming up in a little over a week. As usual, click on the restaurant name below to view the special price fixed menu that each restaurant has for the week.


ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., AUGUST 2010 – The Orange County Restaurant Association has finalized participation of more than 100 restaurants that will unite for the region’s fastest growing and most anticipated culinary event, Orange County Restaurant Week, featuring the flavors of fall from September 26 through October 2, 2010.

During the week, participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item at no additional charge. Each restaurant will have the freedom and flexibility to showcase its best offerings by talented chefs who will, no doubt, personalize each menu to reflect their culinary style. Participating restaurants will offer prix-fixe menus within three price categories: lunch for $10, $15 or $20, and dinner for $20, $30 or $40. Guests will have the opportunity to search restaurants by cuisine, location and price point, as well as make reservations online at www.OrangeCountyRestaurantWeek.com.

Following are the restaurants confirmed to date – more information can be found on the official Orange County Restaurant Week website, OrangeCountyRestaurantWeek.com, where diners may go to find a full list of participants, menus, location and reservation information: