Redlands Romano’s reviewed

The staff of the Redlands Daily Facts went to the new Romano’s in Redlands recently. (Without even inviting Dine 909? Ow.)

Anyway, the crew had good things to say about the food. No surprise there, right George?

Their biggest complaint was about the service. And if you’re thinking about getting a pizza from Romano’s, but you’ve only got a half-hour for lunch? You’re gonna go hungry…there’s about a 40 minute wait for pizza orders.

The gang ended up spending about an hour and a half there on their lunch hour. Good thing the boss was with ’em.

Most of them were impressed with the food, though, and vowed to return at dinner time, when they wouldn’t be under a time constraint.

I imagine, with time, Romano’s will fix the service issues. Let’s hope so.

Click here to read the Facts’ take.

Olives with a twist

As read in David Allen’s column today, Charles Phoenix’s first book, “Cruising the Pomona Valley: 1930 Thru 1970,” is enjoying its tenth anniversary.

To celebrate that momentous occasion, the Ontario native will be “cruising” back to his hometown tomorrow (May 9) to sign copies of his book at the Graber Olive House (315 E. Fourth St.).

He’ll be signing from 1 to 3 p.m.

For those of you unfamiliar with Charles Phoenix and his wonderful books, delightfully droll slide shows or infamous “Disneyland” tours of downtown L.A….just where in the heck have you been?

Drop whatever plans you had for Saturday afternoon and stop by the Graber Olive House to meet Charles and have him sign your book!

You don’t want to miss out and end up paying $60+ for it on Amazon.

And while you’re there, pick up a can or two of those Graber olives, ’cause they’re really, really yummy.

Click here to read David’s interview with Charles.

Upland reviews, times two

It’s Friday, and you know what that means…

Elaine Lehman stayed close to home base this week and went to Giuseppe’s on Euclid in Upland.

Giuseppe’s is unique in that they offer both Italian and Persian cuisines.

Elaine went out of her sphere of familiarity and opted for Persian.

She ordered the Koobideh kabob special and liked it.

So next time you’re in the mood for a little hummus with your ravioli, you know where to go.

Click here to read more about Elaine’s experience at Giuseppe’s.

Allan Borgen mixes things up this week and discusses the breakfast items available at Buckboard Barbecue and Grill, also in Upland, on Foothill Boulevard.

I’ve heard Allan talk about Buckboard before, and if I remember correctly, he’s even broadcast his radio show from there.

So it’s no surprise that he enjoyed their breakfast offerings, giving them them four of five stars.

If you’re thinking of heading over there to check out their breakfasts for yourself, you might just want to click here first.

Click here to read the entire review.

John Weeks goes veggie

Inland Emperor John Weeks has taken time out from his busy schedule to inform us all of some of his favorite vegetarian eateries.

His proclamation can be found here.

It’s a pretty good primer if you, like me, occasionally like to dip a toe into the veggie food pool.

So far, I’ve only been to a pair of the restaurants on his list, though — Veggie Era in Upland and the Patio Pantry at Loma Linda Market.

I’d also recommend Native Foods in Palm Springs or Rancho Mirage.

Most of these eateries offer meat substitutes that, if you didn’t know what you were eating, you would swear you were eating meat. Veggie Era, for instance, has a delicious lemongrass chicken…that’s chicken-free, of course.

So, carnivores, don’t be afraid to step out and go veggie today.

More Hangar 24 for you to enjoy

Just in time for National Beverage Day comes this good news for good beer fans!

According to this story in yesterday’s Redlands Daily Facts, Redlands’ Hangar 24 Brewery’s tasting room is now open every day.


The brewery — whose offerings are available at such “fine” establishments as the Pink Flamingo in Redlands and the Party Doll in San Bernardino — has been open a year. The expanded tasting room hours are in response to public interest.

Their new tasting room hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. This weekend will be the first that the brewery will open for regular tasting on a Sunday.

As one who has had the privilege of sampling some of the Hangar 24 brews at the Gourmet Pizza Shoppe in Redlands, I encourage those of you who like good craft beers to go check them out. As a plus, beers in development are sometimes offered at the brewery before they are available elsewhere.

Hangar 24 is also one of the participants in UCR’s “Primavera in the Gardens” on May 17.

The brewery is at 1710 Sessums Drive, across the street from Redlands Municipal Airport.

Thirsty? Good thing it’s National Beverage Day

In the growing list of odd holidays: International Talk Like A Pirate Day, Pi Day, Ninja Day, Festivus, et al; National Beverage Day seems to have previously slipped by unnoticed.

So here it is.

Feel free to celebrate with the beverage of your choice.

I’ve already celebrated with a Diet Pepsi Lime and a hot Good Earth Chai Tea, but then again, that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

If you haven’t had your fill of beverages from yesterday’s festivities, or perhaps because you have, you can celebrate for free at Arby’s.

They are offering a free FruiTea — Passion Fruit, Mandarin Peach, Diet Peach or Diet Blackberry — for anyone who utters the magic words: “I’m parched. FruiTea Me!”

The offer is, of course, one per customer and is valid today only.

Click here to view the invitation online.

Thanks for the free meal, Oprah!

As apparently announced on the Oprah show (the TV above my desk is usually turned off), KFC is continuing to hype their grilled chicken.

This time, they’re offering a free two-piece meal, with two sides and a biscuit. All you have to do is click here.

But you have be quick about it. No dilly-dallying.

You’ve got until 7:59 9:59 p.m. PDT tomorrow (May 6) to do your clicking.

The coupon is good until May 19, but not on Mother’s Day.

So no taking your Mom to KFC on Mother’s Day and using your coupon, you cheapskates!

Said the pot to the kettle.

Meet Me at Mimi’s, Corona-style

Get ready…they’re doing it again.

Tomorrow morning, May 5.

9 a.m.

Mimi’s Cafe, Corona.

If you’re a regular follower of Dine 909, you know the drill: Get there early, get gift certificates.

In the past, Mimi’s has given $100 gift certificates to the first 10 adults (18+) in line, $50 the next 15, and $25 to the next 50, for a total of 75 gift certificates worth $3,000. Not bad for just standing around.

They have been handing out gift certificates to celebrate their grand openings of new restaurants or remodels of older locations. Corona happens to fall in the latter category.

With this remodel, the Corona location gains a full bar and gets a refreshed look.

After 17 years, I believe they’re due.

Why not come out and join the celebration? You might just walk away with a free gift card as a Cinco de Mayo present!

The Corona Mimi’s Cafe is at 2230 Griffin Way, at McKinley Street. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m daily.

Meet Me at Mimi’s, Upland-style

Dine 909 likes to practice what we preach.

Sometimes it pays off.

Like a couple of Thursdays ago, when I decided to show up for the grand re-opening of the Upland Mimi’s Cafe.

Of course, it’s not the first time I attended a “Meet Me at Mimi’s” event. It may not be the last.

Mimi’s Cafe has been celebrating their grand openings and remodelings by handing out $3,000 in gift cards, with $100 going to the first 10 in line, $50 for the next 15 and $25 to the next 50.

So I set my alarm for 6 a.m., which is really early for me.

Then I inexplicably woke up at 5 a.m., which is extremely early for me.

I got ready and was out the door about 20 to 6 or so.

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Drove down the 210, got off at Mountain Avenue and headed south. I got to the restaurant about 6:15.

Saw a small group of people waiting at the front door. I wandered up just as a couple was pulling into the parking lot.

I was number…

Continue reading “Meet Me at Mimi’s, Upland-style” »

Friday reviews etc.

Another Friday, another pair of reviews of places I’ve yet to visit.

Elaine Lehman made her way out to Grand Terrace to try Bonello’s New York Pizza.

She got more than she bargained for when she ordered the lunch special.

Click here to read it for yourself.

On the dinner side, David Cohen reviews Riverside’s Restaurant Omakase.

He gives it five stars out of five.

Looking at the current menu on their Web site, most of it sounds incredible:

  • bisque of fairytale pumpkin, house cheese, bacon, brioche
  • japanese tai, sashimi style, a pickle of persimmon, apple & hot mint
  • butternut gnocchi, glazed with tart apple, reggiano, balsamico
  • roquefort ‘cheesecake’, preserved quince, pumpkin seed oil
  • apple-yogurt souffle, brown sugar-sea salt anglaise

Then you look at the prices. David opted for a five-course tasting menu, with wine pairings. Each course is $13, with the wine pairings costing another $6.

Let’s do the math…let’s see…carry the 5…that’s a $95 dinner! Wow.

For me, that would be a once-in-a-decade treat.

There is a bright side, however. For us cheapskates, David writes that the restaurant has been offering a special tasting menu on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of the month.

Courses during the special tasting are only $10 and $5 for the wine pairing. For a three-course meal (the minimum), that’s only $45, and down to a paltry $30 if you forgo the wine.

Hmm…that’s within reach. Pity we’ve got to wait nearly a month for the next one!

Click here to read David’s glowing review.