Another Victoria Gardens


“I don’t know if you’ve been to EPCOT before,” reader Will Plunkett asks, “but there was a garden in the Canada section of the park, titled ‘Victoria Gardens.’ This is totally a rip-off of the Rancho shopping location, I’m sure, as I can’t think of a single way the name Victoria relates to Canada at all.” Tongue further in cheek, the Rancho Cucamonga resident adds: “And no Abercrombie & Fitch store or Sbarro there, either.”

A garden without Abercrombie & Fitch or Sbarro? Pff. Here’s Plunkett’s photo; click on it for a larger view.

(I have been to EPCOT, actually, but that was years before our Victoria Gardens opened.)

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Such a deal (?)


A friend wonders: “Is $10 too much to indulge in three hours of chicken nugget bacchanalia?” Your call.

(This offer is exclusive to the Chino Hills Chick-fil-A, 3640 Grand Ave., which frequently advertises deals on its Facebook page.)

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Restaurant of the Week: Nancy May’s ’50s Cafe

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Nancy’s Cafe, 9759 Arrow Route (at Archibald), Rancho Cucamonga

One of my favorite breakfast spots, Nancy’s opened in 1994, faltered a couple of years ago due to a divorce and returned as good as ever in April 2009, the namesake Nancy back at the helm. It’s open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days.

The strip center behind a Jack in the Box doesn’t look like much, but Nancy’s is a cozy place, cheery in both decor and service. Nancy’s collection of pig-themed objects, some large, some tiny, are placed subtly throughout the restaurant. 1950s music plays constantly and employees occasionally sing.

For breakfast, Nancy’s has all the standards. The pancakes are especially good. On a recent visit I got the two-egg breakfast with sausage, country potatoes and biscuits ($6.95). A very good meal, and the sausage is among the best I’ve had, plump and meaty.

I’d never had lunch at Nancy’s, though, so I went in on Wednesday to try it out. Lunch is strictly burgers, sandwiches and salads. I got the turbo turkey melt ($8.95), which came on sourdough. My choice of sides was cole slaw, a decent version. The sandwich was filling and tasty; there’s an attention to quality here. A tiny cup of jello was on the side.

Half a chocolate cake was perched on a domed pedestal on the counter a few feet away, but I managed to resist. In fact, my meal was so filling, I didn’t even eat dinner. Thanks, Nancy’s.

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A page turner

A Reading Log interim report: While I typically finish four or five books per month, on my way to my goal of 50 for 2010, it’s June 22 and my reading total this month stands at zero. Gulp.

It’s not that I’m not reading. I’m midway through eight books, on four of them 50 pages or less from the end. I went to lunch today with 26 pages to go on a novel (Clifford D. Simak’s “Why Call Them Back From Heaven?”) and came back with 13 pages left. My progress is such that I can wrap up four, or even five, books by June 30. Can’t I?

The fact remains that I haven’t finished a book since May 31, which makes me slightly nervous. Will I meet my goal, or will my next Reading Log be illustrated by photo of a blank floor?

This is what passes for a nail-biter on The David Allen Blog. Well, I do what I can.

* Update: After dinner out with friends on Tuesday I had time to finish the Simak novel. OK, there’ll be at least one book in my photo next month. Whew.

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When we saw ‘Jaws’

As recounted in Sunday’s column, I saw the movie in its initial release in the summer of 1975 in my native Illinois. “Jaws,” considered the first summer blockbuster, seemed to be everywhere, with direct and indirect tie-ins, spoofs, parodies, features about sharks, etc.

I bought the “Mr. Jaws” comedy 45 by Dickie Goodman. I checked out the “Jaws” soundtrack from the library. I also bought an iron-on transfer with a shark rising from the water, which was put on a sweatshirt that I wore proudly until the image faded away in the wash. Ah, childhood.

Did you see the movie back then? If you were a child, was it as popular on your playground as it was on mine? What do you remember about “Jaws”-mania, especially if you were in Southern California, i.e., close to real beaches?

And if you’re interested in the book cited in Sunday’s column, Patrick Jankiewicz’ “Just When You Thought It Was Safe: A Jaws Companion,” you can order a copy from Amazon here.

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Restaurant of the Week: Antonino’s

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Antonino’s, 7945 Vineyard Ave. (at Foothill), Rancho Cucamonga

A Rancho Cucamonga favorite, Antonino’s has been part of the California Winery Center on the northeast corner of Foothill and Vineyard since the 1990s (although the original name, Chianti, had to be changed for copyright reasons). Antonino’s recently moved a few yards within the center to make way for Fresh & Easy, offering a reason to give them another try. (Intriguingly, it’s owned by the same man who owns Haandi Indian Restaurant, also in Rancho Cucamonga.)

Antonino’s is fine-dining Italian and it’s got the white tablecloths to prove it. My recollection of the old place is that it had a dated look and a pink and teal color scheme (or is that redundant?). The new interior is more inviting, with more windows and a fresher appearance. The atmosphere is sedate.

Service was friendly. We ordered clam linguine (technically, linguine con vongole) ($15) and salmon griglia ($18). My friend wasn’t impressed by her salmon. My linguine came loaded with clams, both fresh and canned. I liked my dish a bit better than she did. One flub: the server, in reaching across the table to put down my dish, tipped it, spilling clam broth onto my pants. Sigh. Well, at least she was apologetic about it. The dish was more liquid than she’d realized, I think.

Overall, I’d say Antonino’s is a nice local choice, inoffensive for business lunches or dinner with your parents, but your experience would be about the same at a Macaroni Grill, only less exciting. You could do worse, but you could also do better.

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