Spring brings another round of Inland Empire restaurant changes

Regular readers of this blog know that if there is one constant here in the Inland Empire, at least in the food service industry, it is change.

Recently, it feels as if that change has accelerated, highlighted by a few major restaurant closures.

Two of those closures happened at the end of May.

Both Redlands’ Farm Artisan Foods and Highland’s SportsWatch Bar and Grill closed May 31.

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Last day for Farm Artisan Foods

Tacked on as a postscript to a story regarding a Redlands restaurant swap (Papaya Bay moving into the old Mikan/Wild Rocket space, Pieology moving into Papaya Bay’s old location), we learned that Roberto Argentina announced Tuesday via Facebook that today (May 31) would be the last day of business for Farm Artisan Foods.

Good luck getting a reservation.

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Redlands Optimist Car Show and Chili Cook-Off is Saturday

Optimist Chili Cook-Off 2014Head to Redlands’ Sylvan Park for the 23rd annual Optimist Car Show and Chili Cook-Off, or as we like to call it, the Optimist Chili Cook-Off and Car Show.

Admission is just $3, and free for kids 12 and younger.

You’ll find Ritual Brewing Co. in the beer garden.

If you go, be sure to look for education reporter Beau Yarbrough, who will be competing in the chili cook-off.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Proceeds benefit the Optimists’ philanthropic ventures. Click here for more information.

Guido may be retiring, but Guido’s will remain

Today for lunch, I had my first (and likely last) sandwich made by Guido Sciortino, soon-to-be former owner of Guido’s Pizza and Deli in Rancho Cucamonga.

You see, Guido is retiring at the end of this month after 57 years of serving sandwiches and Italian delicacies.

While I was in the shop, munching on a couple of slices of complimentary salami, Guido mentioned that in the last couple of weeks he has seen lots of people that he hasn’t seen in years come into the deli to wish him well in his retirement.

Apparently, word has gotten around.

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McDonald’s serving up McCafé BOGOs during ‘Social Hour’

Southern California McDonald’s restaurants have brewed up a new McCafé beverage and are offering buy-one-get-one free drinks to help promote it.

The new drink — the Horchata Frappé — is made with vanilla, a hint of cinnamon and coffee, and topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle.

For a limited time, guests can get two Horchata Frappés (or any McCafé beverage) for the price of one during McCafé Social Hour, from 2 to 5 p.m. daily.

For updates, follow McDonald’s SoCal on Twitter.

McDonald’s restaurants can be found throughout the Inland Empire.

Dragon Loco celebrating second anniversary today

DragonLocoAnniversaryCongratulations to our friends over at Ontario’s Dragon Loco Chinese Mexican Fusion, who are celebrating the restaurant’s second anniversary today (May 25)!

Guests have several deals to choose from, including $1 chorizo “Juantons,” 99¢ tacos (teriyaki, kung pao or BBQ) and buy-one-get-one-free burritos.

If you haven’t tried Dragon Loco, this is a perfect opportunity to do so at a bargain price.

Dragon Loco is at 2509 S. Euclid Ave., just south of the 60 Freeway. Anniversary specials are valid from 1 to 6 p.m.

For updates, “Like” ‘em on Facebook.

Military personnel get a free sundae at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour in May

Farrell'sMilitaryThis month, military folks can get a free sundae at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour.

Through May 31, the restaurant is celebrating National Military Appreciation Month by giving a free Red, White and Blue sundae to all current and former military personnel.

Civilians can purchase the sundae for $7.99 and Farrell’s will donate $1 to A Million Thanks, a nonprofit military support organization.

Farrell’s Inland Empire locations are in Rancho Cucamonga (10742 Foothill Blvd.) and Riverside (3610 Park Sierra Drive).

Suite 106 Cupcakery tops in Southern California, according to The Daily Meal

Congratulations to Rancho Cucamonga’s Suite 106 Cupcakery. The two-time Cupcake Wars-winning bakery was recently included in a list of the top 101 cupcakes in America, according to The Daily Meal.

Hitting the list at No. 31, it’s the highest-rated cupcakery in Southern California, beating out Palm Springs’ Over the Rainbow Cupcakes, which is ranked at number 94, Beverly Hills’ famed Sprinkles Cupcakes at number 88 and Glendale’s Goodie Girls at number 41.

Click here for the full list.

Suite 106 Cupcakery is at 11920 Foothill Blvd. (at Rochester Avenue).

Lazy Dog raises more than $5,000 for Girl Scouts

Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar has released numbers for this year’s Thin Mint milkshake fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of America.

The fundraiser, which took place in February and March, raised $5,249 for the Girl Scouts.

The chain donated $1 for each limited-edition shake ordered in its 12 SoCal locations (and sole Northern California location) to the organization.

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