Sisters are “suite” entrepreneur winners

Congratulations to the ladies of Rancho Cucamonga’s Suite 106 Cupcakery!

Sisters Christiana Grammer and Rebecca Grammer-Ybarra were the winners of this year’s Small Enterprise award at the ninth annual Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards.

The awards are presented by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University, San Bernardino. The ceremony was held last month in Riverside.

The sisters got their first big push by winning an episode of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. They are currently planning their second retail location and second food truck.

Suite 106 Cupcakery is located in Victoria Gardens at 12434 N. Main St.

And if you haven’t tried it yet, they make a mean organic Pumpkin Pie cupcake. Delicious!

Other food-related winners include Lifetime Achievement award winner Jack H. Brown, Chairman and CEO of Stater Bros., and Social Entrepreneur award winner Barbara Wormser of Redlands’ Inland Harvest.

For a complete list of award recipients, click here.

Indio International Tamale Festival is this weekend

The Indio International Tamale Festival takes place this weekend.

Over the last couple of years, it has become a tradition in the Dine 909 household to shlep out to Indio on Saturday, gorge ourselves on tamales and other goodies and then take in the Palm Springs Festival of Lights parade that evening.

The tamale fest runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday (December 3) and Sunday (December 4), with a parade kicking off the whole shebang at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The featival takes place in downtown Indio between Highway 111 and Indio Boulevard, along Miles Avenue, Towne Street, Smurr Street and Requa Avenue.

Admission and parking are free.

Of course, it’s not all about the tamales. For this year’s entertainment schedule (Rose Royce!), click here.

Click here for parking and other event information.

Head to Corona for cheap chili fries today

That’s because the Original Tommy’s in Corona is one of the locations participating in today’s Tommy Tuesday.

In continuing celebration of the chain’s 65th anniversary, Tommy’s has been offering deals at select locations on Tuesdays.

Today’s (November 29) deal, good until 10 p.m., is chili fries for 99. You can get up to five orders at that price.

All you have to do is say the secret phrase: Happy Holidays!

The Corona Tommy’s is at 2280 Compton Ave.

For more information, or to see all participating locations, visit the Facebook event page.

Other Inland Empire Original Tommy’s can be found in Barstow, Chino and Riverside.

Taste of Lake Arrowhead is Thursday

The annual Taste of Lake Arrowhead returns to the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa on Thursday (December 1).

The event will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the resort, 27984 Highway 189, Lake Arrowhead.

It kicks off with the lighting of the resort Christmas tree.

In addition to food samples provided by local restaurants, there will also be desserts, wine and beer tastings and entertainment.

Three awards will be given away at the end of the event: Best of the Taste of Lake Arrowhead, Critic’s Choice and Most Creative Display.

The cost is $25 per person along with either a toy or gift card for Operation Provider.

For reservations or more information, please contact the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce at 909-337-3715, or purchase tickets online by clicking here.

BJ’s beer dinner tonight in San Bernardino; coming soon to Rancho, Chino Hills

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is hosting a series of five-course beer-pairing dinners beginning tonight (November 29) at the San Bernardino location, 1045 E. Harriman Place.

The event will also be held on Monday (December 5) at the Rancho Cucamonga restaurant, 11520 Fourth St.; on Tuesday (December 6) in Chino Hills, 4585 Chino Hills Parkway, and Temecula, 26500 Ynez Road; and on December 7 in Corona, 2520 Tuscany Street.

Cost is $30 and you must be at least 21 years of age.

For a complete list of dates and to reserve a spot, click here.

Ra Pour restaurant and lounge opens Monday

The long-anticipated Ra Pour restaurant and lounge will open to the public on Monday (November 21).

Ra Pour aims to bring an upscale food and drink experience to the Inland Empire, not unlike what one might expect in Las Vegas or Los Angeles.

The cuisine is billed as globally-influenced Californian-fusion, accompanied by inventive, hand-crafted cocktails.

Sneak peeks of menu items have been popping up online via co-owner Karim Webb and freelance food writer Brooke Burton: Lobster Pops, Margherita Pizza, Truffle Popcorn and Gambas al Ajillo have been spotted.

Other items from the eclectic menu include Kobe carpaccio, duck Bolognese, chicken and waffles and cola-brined pork.
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Wheel Food Fest Saturday in Walnut

I know, I know.

Walnut is not in the Inland Empire.

But, we’ve ventured beyond our borders in the past.

This event benefits a couple of worthy causes, so I’ll mention it for those of you on the western edge of the I.E. or who happened to wander in from the San Gabriel Valley.

Plus, I’ve got relatives who live in Walnut.

The Wheel Food Fest will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (November 19) at the Walnut Valley Unified School District Office, 880 S. Lemon Ave., Walnut.

Beneficiaries are the Walnut Valley Education Foundation and the Walnut Valley Food Bank.

Admission is only $1 and a canned food item (or $2, for those of you unwilling to part with your canned goods).

Food trucks scheduled to participate are the
Lime Truck
, Nom Nom Truck, Don Chow Tacos, Coolhaus, Jogasaki Burrito and Twist Burgers.

For more information, click here.

And if Walnut is too far of a drive for ya, there’s also this…perhaps you can hit both!

Dripp opens tomorrow in Chino Hills

A new coffee bar, Dripp, opens in Chino Hills tomorrow.

It’s not just any coffee bar, however.

They’ve got something special.

Several somethings, in fact.

It all starts with individually ground and brewed drip coffees and espressos.

They also prepare Turkish coffees.

If tea is your preference, they carry only Harney & Sons Fine Teas…everything from English Breakfast to Hot Cinnamon Sunset.

Then things really get interesting.

They’ve got a pair of rare-in-the-U.S. Japanese Oji coffee drip apparatuses, which slowly brew coffee one drip at a time. It takes anywhere from six to ten hours to brew, but because they’re constantly brewing, you won’t have to wait that long for your iced coffee.

And we haven’t even gotten to the “Cream Bar.”
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Pizza for Thanksgiving?

Who says you have to have turkey for Thanksgiving? Or even ham?

Some of my favorite holiday meals were homemade spaghetti or lasagne, made with love by Mom.

But how do you feel about pizza?

John’s Incredible Pizza (no relation), which gave us a scary good $5 deal on Halloween, is offering a similar deal for Thanksgiving.

For $7 per person, you and the family can have all the pizza, salad, soup, pasta, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages you want.

In the Inland Empire, the deal is only good at the Riverside and Montclair locations, so you Victorvillains will have to trek down the hill if you want this deal.

The deal is good from noon to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving day. No coupon is necessary.

For more information, click here.

Claremont High School food truck fundraiser is Saturday

We here in San Bernardino County are relative newbies to the food truck game, with the first major food truck festival happening earlier this year, and a lessening of restrictions by county officials happening during the summer.

Claremont, however, is in Los Angeles County.

How come I haven’t heard of food truck festivals happening there?

Well, it just so happens there’s one coming this Saturday (November 19).

It’s being put on by the Claremont High School Music Boosters and will benefit the school’s bands and color guard.

Dubbed the Food Truck Mania, it’s a smallish event — 14 trucks are currently in the lineup — but in my experience, smaller events are better if you want to actually eat something. The lines tend to be smaller and shorter lines usually translate to quicker prep times.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Claremont High School, 1600 N. Indian Hill Blvd.

Admission is $3 for CUSD students with ID, and $5 for everyone else. Those under five are free.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.

(Update: In addition to the food trucks, various student groups will also have booths there, as well as the Mt. Baldy and Claremont chambers of commerce with coupons for local businesses; Claremont Toyota, which is having a drawing for an iPod Touch; and SolarGem giving away a $50 gift certificate. Also, the Garlic Scapes truck has joined the event.)

Follow the jump for a list of the current lineup.
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