Discover Inland Empire restaurants’ “secrets”

You probably already know about In-N-Out’s “secret” menu: Animal style, protein style, 3×3, etc.

If you’re a regular at Chipotle, you’ve probably seen people order quesadillas, even though they’re not on the menu.

Mental Floss has compiled a list of chain restaurants (all of which have locations here in the Inland Empire) which have “secret” menus. The list was reposted on CNN yesterday and quickly became one of their most-read stories.

A few favorites:

  • Fatburger’s “Hypocrite” burger — a veggie burger topped with bacon.
  • Wendy’s “Grand Slam” burger — four patties. Also known as the “Meat Cube.”
  • McDonald’s and In-N-Out’s (and others’) Neapolitan shake — chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
  • Popeyes’ “naked chicken” — sans batter.

Many of the restaurants’ “secret” menus aren’t so secret. In-N-Out, for instance, lists its secret menu on its Web site. See it here.

Most of the restaurants profiled are very accommodating. Taco Bell and Chipotle, for instance, will try to make something for you if they’ve got the ingredients for it.

So, Dine 909ers, don’t be afraid to walk into any of these restaurants and order “off” the menu instead of “from” the menu.

Click here to see the story on Mental Floss. Click here to see it as it was reposted on CNN.

Another fresh & easy surprise

On the cusp of Wednesday’s grand opening of a new Inland Empire fresh & easy (in Rancho Cucamonga), Dine 909 has discovered via fresh & easy’s Web site that their San Bernardino store (1631 E. Highland Ave., at Del Rosa Avenue) is opening one week later, on October 7.


This is of little consolation to Loma Linda city officials, who have written a letter to the folks at fresh & easy requesting that they be considered when picking opening dates, according to a story appearing in tomorrow’s Sun.

The Loma Linda location (Redlands Boulevard and Mountain View Avenue) has been complete for, oh, about ten months. Work started on the San Bernardino store only a couple of months ago.

Other completed-but-not-yet-open Inland Empire markets include Rialto (2015 N. Riverside Ave., at I-210) and Moreno Valley (22985 Cottonwood Ave., at Frederick Street). The Calimesa location (Calimesa Boulevard and Myrtlewood Drive) looks complete from the freeway.

Don’t know what fresh & easy’s strategy is, but I’m glad I’ll no longer have to drive to Fontana to shop there.

As is customary, fresh & easy is donating $1,000 to a local charity at their grand opening. To nominate a charity for the San Bernardino opening, click here.

To read Stephen Wall’s story regarding Loma Linda’s fresh & easy-sized advertisement for fresh & easy, click here.

In other Inland Empire fresh & easy news, according to their Web site, both the Riverside (4080 Madison Ave., at Arlington Avenue) and Ontario (2645 E. Riverside Drive, at Archibald Avenue) are hiring.

Old Spaghetti Factory coming to Redlands

From our friends over at the Redlands Daily Facts, we learn that the fine folks of the Old Spaghetti Factory are planning to open a restaurant in Redlands by mid-December.

The restaurant will occupy the space that formerly housed Babe’s Slim PigN’s, 1635 Industrial Park Ave.

In my opinion, it’s a perfect fit. However, I predict the parking situation will be less perfect.

Construction will begin shortly to make minor changes before opening.

This will be OSF’s third Inland Empire location, following Riverside and Rancho Cucamonga.

Click here to read Jesse B. Gill’s story as posted on the Facts’ Web site.

Gyu-Kaku: where happy hour is all night, but tonight only!

For those of you who happen to be near Victoria Gardens this evening, Gyu-Kaku is touting 99-cent draft beer, half-price appetizers, and $2.95 BBQ items.

Gyu-Kaku is Japanese BBQ restaurant which is a little different from your average barbecue establishment: you grill the food yourself! Special braziers are set into each table for cooking up the pre-seasoned treats which are brought to you.

You really can play with your food here, folks, and for just a little bit less, yay!

Gyu-Kaku is located at 7893 Monet Ave. in Rancho Cucamonga.

Is there such thing as healthy food at the fair?


Thomas Cordova/Staff Photographer

I posed this question in a Sunday article about food at the L.A. County Fair. I learned three things in my reporting.

1. Beyond the deep-friend Oreos and mile-long hot dogs, healthy food does exist. There’s grilled chicken breast, veggie options and gasp! even fresh fruit.

2. If it’s healthy, the fair will make it less healthy. Take grilled corn for example. Most fair goers will smother it with butter and mayo. Another example is the zucchini. The fair will stuff a hot dog inside the squash and fry it.

3. Even unhealthy foods get the unhealthy treatment. Indian fry bread is already fattening right? It’s deep fried dough made out of Crisco. But the fair will make a taco out of it, by dumping chili con carne and cheese all over it.

Read on for the full article.

Continue reading “Is there such thing as healthy food at the fair?” »

Happy anniversary to us!

Well, it’s been a year since we launched Dine 909.

In that year, we’ve:

And much, much more…

As we celebrate our first anniversary, we pledge to continue to bring you food tidbits from the Inland Empire (and occasionally beyond).

As always, if you have anything you want to pass along, please feel free to email us.

And if you want to keep informed of the latest from Dine 909, be sure to bookmark us and follow us on Twitter, as if you haven’t already done so. Oh, and get your friends to do the same!

Thanks for reading, Inland Empire!

Free Buffalo wings! Free Buffalo wings! Free Buffalo wings!

T.G.I. Friday’s is kicking off football season by giving football fans (and others) free Buffalo wings during football-watching parties today (September 10), Sunday (September 13) and Monday (September 14).

But not on Friday.

During the Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh game today, followed by 13 games on Sunday, and capped off by Monday night’s double-header of Buffalo vs. New England and San Diego vs. Oakland, all Friday’s bar guests will be treated to six free Buffalo wings (six
wings in boneless or traditional styles and served with celery and either bleu cheese or ranch).

Restaurants will also feature specially-priced appetizers in the bar for football-watching parties all season long.

Geez, with all these football specials, perhaps they need to change their name to T.G.I. Monday Night’s!

Egg-citing BBQ event heading to the I.E.

Inland Empire EGGheads, rejoice!

The inaugural “Smokin’ It So-Cal Style” EGGfest is heading to Upland’s Cable Airport (1749 W.13th Street) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, September 19th.

What’s an EGGfest?

An EGGfest is an barbecue social event that showcases the Big Green Egg, billed as the “world’s best grill and smoker.”

The Big Green Egg is a ceramic cooker designed after 3,000-year-old Japanese “kamado” cooking pots.

EGGfest events, which are held throughout the country, are a chance for Big Green Egg owners to share food, recipes and techniques and to allow prospective owners and others to experience the Egg firsthand.
Continue reading “Egg-citing BBQ event heading to the I.E.” »

Second Rancho Cucamonga fresh & easy on the way?

The Foothill and Day Creek fresh & easy isn’t even open yet, but is there a second store already set to open?

There’s no icon on the Inland Empire locator map, but a search of the job listings reveals several openings at their Foothill and Vineyard store.


Speaking of, we’re getting raves here in the newsroom of their $3.99 apple pies that were on special this week. Might have to stop by on the way home and pick one up, since today is the last day!

Hey…Rancho Cucamongans! See any construction there at Foothill and Vineyard? Think it might be a fresh & easy? Feel free to comment below.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a date!

They’re finally going to open a new Inland Empire fresh & easy store.

The store at 12188 Foothill Blvd. (at Day Creek Boulevard) in Rancho Cucamonga will begin a five-day grand opening celebration at 10 a.m. Wednesday, September 30.

As mentioned previously, they are still taking nominations for charities to receive a $1,000 donation at the grand opening.

Got a favorite local charity you wanna nominate? Click here.

You have until next week to submit your nominations.

With Rancho Cucamonga out of the way, that leaves San Bernardino as the next probable Inland Empire opening.

Then there’s the completed-but-waiting stores in Rialto, Loma Linda and Moreno Valley and the still-under-construction stores in Calimesa and elsewhere.

Congratulations, Rancho Cucamonga…get ready to get fresh!