Sep 7, 2015

No Kid Hungry campaign

This September, you can help end childhood hunger in America by dining out for No Kid Hungry. With over 8,000 restaurants participating from coast to coast, help us make the month a success by spreading the word to your family and friends. Do Good. Dine Out.

Supporting ‪#‎NoKidHungry‬ this month is as simple as dining out! Find participating restaurants near you at or text “DINE” to 877-877.

Sep 2, 2015

Oct 2: Corona, Food Truck + Vendor Festival

OC Weekly write up of GD Bro Burger

That's the money maker
Photo by Dustin Ames
I will admit I was skeptical of GD Bro Burger. First of all, I've eaten a lot of burgers, and there's honestly not a lot of space to innovate between two buns. Second -- and the guys behind GD Bro know it -- the trademark red bun that adorns all of their burgers kind of looks like a gimmick.
But the truck just made it on the Food Network's Great Food Truck Race and the Afters guys have cosigned the restaurant by investing, so last Thursday night, I figured 'heck, why not' and made the trip to the friends and family soft open at the old Toro Burger spot in Santa Ana, where GD Bro Burger's new brick and mortar is now operational.

First things first: The wait was and will be long, and like I said in the first Milky Bun review, it's probably not worth it if you have to stand in line for longer than half an hour.

That being said, the food at GD Bro is genuinely good. If you're looking for hip multicultural-chic burgers, the ones at GD Bros are comfortably some of the best you can get. The team behind the restaurant actually put some thought into their food construction, unlike some other hip burger spots (ahem, Umami), and it really shows.

GD Bro's main distinguisher from other shacks is their wonderfully crimson burger bun. The bun worried me the most, because to get this kind of color in bread, you often bake at a lower temperature to prevent too much browning. This makes the bread pretty, but unfortunately can also dry it out. I'm pleased to report that, thanks in part to a higher than average fat content, GD Bro's brioche-type red burger buns aren't dry at all. They're wonderfully pliant, soft and airy, like biting into a freshly fluffed pillow.

The fat in the buns works double duty. In addition to keeping the texture wonderful, it also keeps the bun from dissolving under the weight of wet toppings and juicy meat, my personal pet peeve when it comes to burgers (again, ahem, Umami).

Photo by Dustin Ames
This is what you can get

Right now, on menu you can get six different burgers. If you can't see them in the picture up there, head on over to their website, where five of 'em are listed. The one missing is the KBBQ poutine burger. I've only tasted two of them, and my general consensus so far is that the flavors work, the ingredients are fresh, the sauces are saucy, and everything is more or less tasty.

The toppings are where the burgers get their identity. GD Bro puts everything in their burgers, from fried mozzarella sticks on their Italian Stallion to kettle-cooked potato chips on their All-American and full on kalbi poutine on their KBBQ poutine burger, and it works. Because the buns are so hearty, everything more or less stays in place, and that's helped even more by the fact that many of the toppings aren't even toppings -- they're bottomings. (For a crash course on bottomings and how they can help a burger out, check out this Serious Eats article on recreating the Whooper). Of course, pieces of flair can't do too much without a good base on sit on, so let's talk about the beef.

GD Bro uses a rougher grind for their beef and forms their patties a little looser, which is awesome, because you get a very good amount of beef flavor. The patties are huge too, much thicker than almost anywhere else in OC save for maybe Slater's. It's a worthy base for everything else to sit on, though it's not my absolutely favorite (That honor goes to Mick's, who was present at the opening).
All in all, the burgers at GD Bro are as good of an $8 - $11 burger as you're going to get. If that's what you're craving, you'll be pretty happy. Give 'em a few weeks to get the kinks in service worked out and for the lines to die down, and there's no reason GD can't become a new OC favorite.

2321 E 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92705

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You can also follow Charles Lam on Twitter @charlesnlam and Instagram @charlesnlam. He's less sardonic there, we swear.

Costa Mesa: Food Truck Thursdays


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Sep 1, 2015

@CoolinaryTrends returns to #RantRadio this Thursday

Former food trucker, Lawrence from @TapaboyLA, my fellow food truck fan Gloria Vega, and Chef Bev Lazo from Hells Kitchen season 12 discuss food and culinary trends.

Go to!coolinary-trends-show/c8r1 to tune in live on Thursdays at 8:00 pm.

Here's a past episode from August 20, 2015:

Aug 28, 2015

More about new GFT: @PostcardsCAS

Photo credit: WilkiImage

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Greg King, owner of Postcards Gourmet Soul Food Truck is one of the top food trucks on the streets of Los Angeles. In 2014, Zagat named Postcards as one of the ‘best new food trucks on the road’. It has been rewarded with Yelp’s 5 Stars rating from customers and he currently on The Great Food Truck Race.

Postcards Central American Soul (CAS) Food’s signature dish is chicken, mac ‘n cheese, and greens served in either a wrap or bowl. All of PostcardsCAS’ dishes are inspired by famous African-American historians such as "The Greatest" inspired by Muhammad Ali, "Langston’s Choice" after poet Langston Hughes, and "Alice’s Final Word", inspired by author Alice Walker who wrote “The Color Purple.”

King launched PostcardsCAS in 2013 after leaving a successful career as a marketer for some of the biggest brands in the world, including NBC, Warner Bros., Fox Entertainment Group, L’Oreal, and Mattel. King’s food has been showcased on The Food Networks hit series The Great Food Truck Race and Maria Manounos’ Success is the New Black.


Aug 27-30: LA food and Wine

The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival is ready to celebrate everyone’s love of food in a big way outside of the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall for three nights and four days later this August. Produced by Coastal Luxury Management and founding partners FOOD & WINE and Lexus, the festival welcomes Michelin starred honorees, James Beard Award winners, 200 wineries, and Food & Wine Best New Chefs.

Chef Barb from B Sweet will be there, back for her 5th season, bringing her mini truck for the first time. Will be serving 4 flavors of ‪#‎breadpudding‬ and samples of their crazy good ‪#‎NitroColdBrewCoffee‬ on tap!

It's #FlashbackFriday: The #OCFoodieFest from 2010

Here's a great Flashback Friday for the food truck fans!

The OC Foodie Fest was held on this day in 2010.

It was the brainchild of Taco Dawg, where he got 50+ food trucks in the parking lot at the Honda Center. Those who were lucky to have scored VIP admission got in 30 minutes before the general public, and was able to get food and get shelter from the blazing sun under a tent.

There were plenty of complaints from general admission fans ranging from there was not enough shade, no water, not worth the admission, unorganized and the line to get food was way way too long... as long as an hour for some truck.

Yup, those were good times... and very much a part of the Southern California Food Truck scene.  Enjoy the snippet of 2010, and be thankful that food truck fans don't suffer this way anymore.

Unofficial cheat sheet from the Food Trucker

From the Great Food Truck Race, season 1: Nom Nom Truck

Jennifer Green and Misa Chien from the Nom Nom Truck

Is that Chef Jason Quinn in the green headband?

Lime Truck's ceviche and Limeaid in the VIP tent
Veteran OC Truck:  Barcelona on the Go
Also from season 1 of the Great Food Truck Race: @CrepesBonaparte

No longer running: Dumpling Station

Cart turned brick n mortar: The Shrimp Guys

Garlic shrimp from @KillerShrimp

Oh For Sweets Sake

Dos Chinos : before their purple truck, they had a sad looking , powder blue one