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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CONTEST-Zinfandel Grand Tasting Event April 18th 2010

Griffin Eats OC has teamed up with the great folks over at Great Taste Magazine to run a contest. We will be giving away one pair of tickets to the upcoming Zinfandel Grand Tasting at The Palm Garden at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. The event will take place on Sunday April 18th from 4-7PM. Tickets are also available for purchase by clicking here. Pre-sale tickets are available for $49 ($39 for ZAP members) and you can also buy tickets at the door for $60.

To win, put the answer to the following trivia question in an email and send it to me at A winner will be randomly chosen from all the correct entries. The deadline to submit an entry is 11:59 PM on 4/7/2010.

Hint: The answer can be found on the ZAP Website.

Orange County April 18 and 19, Denver, & Hawaii to follow.

Rough & Ready, California, winter 2010--Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is traveling to Newport Beach April 18 and 19 as part of its annual road show. A group of approximately 40 wineries who specialize in Zinfandel will be staging tastings to meet the public and the trade. Tickets for the events are now on sale, through (link above) or by calling 530/274-4900. Members of the trade (restaurateurs, retailers, wholesalers) can also register for their event tickets online: more details at

ZAP and The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes of California - Orange County are partnering to create a culinary competition featuring the top chefs of tomorrow who will be preparing tasty samples for all attendees on Sunday to share. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Art Institute program—check at for more details.

Taste spectacular Zinfandel wines from approximately 40 premier ZAP member wineries, mingle with top winemakers and principals in an intimate setting, learn about the remarkable richness and versatility of Zinfandel and discover why Zinfandel is "America's Heritage Grape!"

April 18: public tasting takes place 4-7:00 p.m. at The Palm Garden at The Island Hotel, 660 Newport Center Drive (Newport Beach 92660, Tickets are $49 for the public and $39 for ZAP members; some tickets may be available at the door.

April 19: trade tasting takes place 2-5:00 p.m. also at The Palm Garden at The Island Hotel. Trade tickets and registration is available on the web.

Participating wineries include:
585 Wine Partners
Alexander Valley Vineyards
Ancient Peaks
Artezin Wines
Barefoot Cellars
Cakebread Cellars
Carol Shelton Wines
Cline Cellars
Dancing Bull
D-Cubed Cellars
Dogwood Cellars
Edmeades Winery
Four Vines Winery
Gamba Vineyards and Winery
J. Rickards Winery & Vineyards
Kenwood Vineyards/Heck Estates
Leonhardt Vineyards
McNab Ridge Winery
Meeker Vineyard
Michael-David Winery
Murphy-Goode - Artisans & Estates
Opolo Vineyards
Peachy Canyon Winery
Pech Merle Winery
Pedroncelli Winery
Pezzi King Vineyards
Rancho Zabaco Winery
Renwood Winery
Rockwall Wine Company, Inc.
Rosenblum Cellars
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Selby Winery
Sextant Wines
Starry Night Winery
Tres Sabores
Valley of the Moon Winery/Heck Estates

ZAP is traveling to Denver on April 15 and to Hawaii May 21-24. Details about the events will be updated regularly at

Last year ZAP traveled to Michigan, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland and Dallas. “Tasters will be exposed to a rainbow of Zinfandels, from various growing regions,” explains ZAP‟s Executive Director, Rebecca Robinson. “Attendees will meet winemakers and winery owners who are eager to introduce their Zinfandels to these enthusiastic consumers,” she adds.

In other ZAP news, The 19th Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival welcomed almost 8,000 people at four events in San Francisco January 28-30, headlining Chef Beverly Gannon, one of the founders of „HAWAI`I regional cuisine‟ and the proprietor of Maui‟s world famous Hali`imaile General Store and author of several cookbooks. 211 Zinfandel wineries poured current releases for an appreciative audience, making this the largest all-Zinfandel event in the world. The 20th Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival will take place January 27-29, 2011 in San Francisco.
Recipes and video interviews with Chef Gannon can be found at

Visit, to join in the enormous online world of Zinfandel lore and socializing or join that conversation at Twitter (, Facebook or MySpace. The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is a non-profit, educational 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP is dedicated to advancing public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. Winegrowers, winemakers and
wine enthusiasts combine to form the membership. The common focus is the preservation and recognition of Zinfandel as America‟s heritage wine. ZAP‟s membership includes approximately 250 winery-members, over 4,000 advocate-members and more than 100 associate members.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New KFC Fiery Grilled Wings

After seeing the commercials all the time for KFC's Fiery Grilled Wings, I finally decided I had to try them. I went down to KFC the other day for lunch. An order of 5 grilled wings was $3.99. I wasn't sure that 5 little wings would be enough for lunch so I also ordered their special 6 piece chicken (drums and thighs)for $5.00.

I got home and popped open the box. Inside were 5 small darkly colored wings. I picked one up and took a bite. The flavor was pretty good and the wings were actually a little spicier than their regular hot wings. I still didn't find them to be that spicy though. For someone that doesn't like a huge amount of spice, these would probably be perfect. Since these wings are grilled instead of fried, I thought they wouldn't be that good, but I actually liked these wings more than I thought I was going to.

The only problem I have with these wings are the price. I find it hard to pay $3.99 for 5 tiny wings when I can get 6 full pieces of fried chicken for $5.00. I would get these again, but only if they cut the price in half.

Nutritional Info for one (1) grilled wing:

Calories 70
Calories from fat 35
Fat Grams 4
Saturated Fat Grams 1
Sodium 200mg

KFC on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lazy Dog Cafe in Irvine Opens Tonight 3/4/2010

13290 Jamboree Rd
Irvine CA 92602
Ph. (714) 731-9700

Alternate OC locations:
1623 West Katella Ave.
Orange CA 92867
Ph. (714) 769-7020

16310 Beach Blvd
Westminster CA 92683
Ph. (714) 500-1140


The new Lazy Dog Cafe in the Irvine Marketplace will open at 5:00 PM tonight. They are taking over the spot that has been vacated by the failed restaurants French 75, Wilhelm's Chophouse and Martin Yan's restaurant that I can not recall the name of. Lazy Dog Cafe already operates restaurants in both Westminster and Orange. You can also find locations outside Orange County in Torrance, Valencia, Thousand Oaks and coming soon, in Temecula.

The Lazy Dog Cafe is a full service casual dining restaurant that was started by the founder of the Mimi's Cafe chain. It is often described as a cheaper version of Claim Jumper. The restaurant serves a large variety of comfort food, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, seafood, pasta and even Chinese food.

I was lucky enough to be invited down to a Pre-Grand Opening party this past Tuesday. The restaurant was generous enough to let me bring three guests. V, T and IG accompanied me to the party.

Here is an overview of what we ordered.

Boston Tea Party Fishbowl ($16.95*)

Hand Muddled Citrus Margarita

Trio of Hummus Dips ($7.95)

Wok-Fired Calamari ($9.95)

Angry Achiote Rocky Mountain Wings ($9.25)

Small Chicken Tortilla Soup ($3.75)

Small Caesar Salad ($5.95)

Bleu Cheese New York ($23.95)

BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs ($17.95)

Garlic-Butter Glazed Flatiron Steak ($17.45)

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza ($11.95)

Cinnamon and Sugar Pizza ($4.95)

Sweet Tooth Sundae ($2.95)

With the exception of a few tough ribs (some were tough, some were not) everything was really good. V really likes Keri's Mediterranean veggie pizza from this restaurant and used to think it was the best pizza she had ever had. She now thinks that the Fig and Prosciutto pizza is better. The Tortilla Soup is an item that Lazy Dog is known for. They do an incredible job with it. The Cinnamon Sugar pizza is a perfect dessert to share when you are dining with a group.

The portions here are generous and the prices are very reasonable. I have always enjoyed going to Lazy Dog Cafe in the past, but hated driving to Orange or Westminster. Now that they are open in Irvine, I can see myself going there any time I want a quick, casual, delicious meal. The service here is also top notch. Whenever I have dined at a Lazy Dog, the service has rivaled some of the finest restaurants I have been to. I highly recommend The Lazy Dog Cafe to anyone looking for a delicious upscale dining experience, without the upscale price.

*Prices are for reference only. My meal was comped.

Lazy Dog Cafe - Irvine on Urbanspoon