No New Year’s Eve plans? Here’s a few suggestions

For some people, New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night of the year. Time to go all out and shake loose the dust of the old year while reveling in the anticipation of the year to come.

Some of us, however, will be working.

If you’re one of those party people, you’ve probably had your celebration planned months ago, but in case you haven’t, here’s a quartet of suggestions for you.

Of course, it helps if you have a bit of spare cash left over from Christmas.
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Don’t give Salmonella for Christmas this year

It’s becoming a bit of a holiday tradition here at Dine 909: When the San Bernardino County Department of Health, Environmental Health Services issues tips for reducing the likelihood of getting foodborne illnesses, we pass them along to you.

I’ll admit our motivation is less altruistic. If you’re busy regurgitating turkey and stuffing, you’re not reading Dine 909.

It’s that simple.

With that (rather unpleasant) image in mind, follow the jump to see the 12 days of Christmas food safety tips…
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Hangar 24 now holding cask nights

Redlands’ Hangar 24 Brewery, which was recently voted “Best Southern California Craft Brewery” on TheFullPint.com and has become a founding member of the Redlands Chapter of Slow Food USA, has begun holding Twin Engine Cask Nights on Fridays.

What are cask nights? You might ask.

Cask nights are when unfiltered, unpasteurized beer is served from casks without the aid of carbon dioxide or nitrogen.

After primary fermentation process, Hangar 24 takes some beer from their tanks and puts it in 11-gallon casks. The beer still contains live yeast and continues secondary fermentation in the cask.

Because the beer is unpasteurized and is still actively fermenting, it’s only good for about 24-hours once it’s ready.

No problem at Hangar 24, since the initial four casks sold out in about 2 hours during their first cask night December 4.

Hangar 24 Brewery is at
1710 Sessums Drive, Redlands.
Twin Engine Cask Night begins at 4 p.m. on Fridays, when the cask beer is at its peak. Cask recipes will change from night to night.

Hangar 24 Brewery’s regular brews will also be available during cask nights.

To read more about Hangar 24 Brewery’s cask nights, click here to read Joy Juedes’ article from the Redlands Daily Facts.

Save money at select chain restaurants this week

This is a decent deal…I just wish I’d thought of it sooner. I’m sure some of you have already figured it out.

Many of the chain restaurants are giving bonus gift cards through Christmas when you purchase gift cards from them. A lot of them are giving $5 bonus gift cards when you buy $25 worth of gift cards.

I think most people’s natural inclination is to buy them when you at the end of the meal
when you get your check.

The trick is to buy the gift cards before you eat and use them to pay for your meal.

At most of the restaurants, you purchase gift cards at the bar/dessert counter/whatever anyway, so just do it before you get seated.
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Trio of new 7-Elevens pop up in the Inland Empire

It seems like there is a boomlet of new 7-Eleven stores opening up here in the Inland Empire.

This past Saturday (December 12), a new store in Norco (1091 Sixth St., at Corona Avenue) held a grand opening, complete with Laker Girls.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday (December 19), the new Rancho Cucamonga store at 9638 Milliken Ave. (at Fourth Street) will be celebrating their grand opening. (Hey…I just noticed that was there the other day after the Reign hockey game!)

I also noticed the other day that they are putting together a new store in Redlands, at the site of the former Enchanted Florist, 1601 W. Redlands Blvd. (at Alabama Street). Looks like that’ll be ready in a couple of weeks or less.

Yep, three more reasons to say “Oh, thank heaven!”

Flo’s Airport Caf to remain through 2012

The County of San Bernardino and Flo’s Airport Caf at the Chino Airport have reached an agreement that extends the restaurant’s lease through 2012.

Here’s the press release:

Flo’s Airport Caf, a long-standing restaurant operation at the Chino Airport, has reached agreement with the County of San Bernardino regarding its continued presence at the Airport. This lease extension will allow Flo’s to remain at the Chino Airport through 2012.

Flo’s has maintained a presence at the Chino Airport for many years and has a loyal group of customers. It is known for providing quality, home-style food at reasonable prices with “down home” service. Local citizens as well as pilots throughout Southern California travel to Flo’s each day for breakfast, lunch or dinner, to enjoy the atmosphere and view the historic aircraft that frequent Chino Airport.

“Flo’s is part of the unique atmosphere at the Chino Airport and we look forward to its continued presence at the Chino Airport,” said county Director of Airports Mike N. Williams, A.A.E.

Congratulations, Flo’s!

You want free Wi-Fi with that? Head to McDonald’s

Those of you who follow Dine 909 on Twitter might have caught this retweet from yesterday, but the rest of you can now find out that…

McDonald’s will offer free Wi-Fi beginning mid-January

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According to this Dow Jones Newswire article on CNNMoney.com, in mid-January, the fast-food behemoth will do away with its current $2.95 fee for two hours of access to its AT&T-provided wireless Internet access.

Why is McDonald’s being so generous with its Wi-Fi?

Probably to get you to stick around. The longer you stay, the more likely you are to buy one of their McCaf drinks, or some Cinnamon Melts, or some fries — just try not to get your keyboard greasy.

Another likely reason is that, with their McCaf drinks, they are aiming to compete with Starbucks, and apparently, their $3.99 charge for two hours of
Internet access.
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Get your veg on at Loma Linda Market

The Loma Linda Market and Campus Store, 11161 Anderson St., will host an open house from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday (December 17).

The event is open to the local community and Loma Linda students, faculty, and staff.

The open house will showcase the market’s newly renovated appearance as well as the many new
products, brands, and services now available. Showcased products at the Campus Store include computer hardware,
software, and accessories, the complete line of Apple computers, and new
Loma Linda University apparel.

The market will be showcasing healthful cookware by the Culinary Institute of America, and premier brands such as Food Should Taste Good, Knudson, and Vibrant Life. The market will also have chefs and nutrition experts available to kick off its recipe and ingredient advice service. The open house will feature discounts, food samples, demonstrations, recipe activities for children, hourly prize drawings and more.

So, feel free to stop by and pick up some FriChik or some Swiss Stake, or even some textured vegetable protein pepperoni.

Who knows? You might decide that they’re so good you want to go veg.

Thank you, San Manuels!

For those of you who only know the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians for their bingo hall and casino, you’re only getting part of the story.

The San Manuels have a strong tradition of giving back to the community.

Just some of the donations granted this year by the tribe:

  • $250,000 to Priscilla’s Helping Hands, an outreach program that addresses the immediate need of families for food, clothing and shelter and then works to set out a path to self sufficiency through adult education and social services.
  • $100,000 for the development of a skate park at Speicher Park in San Bernardino, within the Operation Phoenix target area.
  • $500,000 towards the construction of Veronica’s Home of Mercy II, an 80-bed women and children’s shelter.

So what does this have to do with food in the Inland Empire?

Today the tribe donated $500,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

The Second Harvest Food Bank serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping end hunger throughout the two-county region, and helping the community understand the problem of local hunger.
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