Victoria Gardens celebrating grand opening today

Victoria Gardens McDonald'sThe new McDonald’s at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga will celebrate its grand opening from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. today (August 27).

The event will feature free small iced or hot coffee and snack-size Oreo McFlurrys from 4 to 7 p.m. There will also be a $1 Egg McMuffin vs. $1 Big Mac challenge, with proceeds supporting the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House.

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The Cheesecake Factory offering half-price cheesecake slices today and Thursday

National Cheesecake Day 2015National Cheesecake Day is officially Thursday (July 30), but The Cheesecake Factory’s celebration is so big, it stretches over two days!

Today (July 29) and Thursday, dine-in guests can get any slice of cheesecake for half price.

In addition, the chain is hosting a “Say Cheesecake” contest, with a top prize of $1,000 cash.

Inland Empire locations include Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside and Rancho Mirage.

For more information, click here.

Half-price lasagna at Brio Tuscan Grille on Tuesday

Brio Lasagna Day 2015Who doesn’t love lasagna? It’s got everything: Pasta, cheese, meat, sauce, all conveniently arranged in delicious layers.

It’s really a meal in itself.

Tuesday (July 28)  is National Lasagna Day and in celebration of that fact, the fine folks at Brio Tuscan Grille — whose Rancho Cucamonga location is one of just two in California — is offering full orders of their delicious lasagna for half price.

All day, while supplies last.

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Wienerschnitzel celebrates anniversary with 99¢ hot dogs

Wienerschnitzel anniversaryWienerschnitzel is celebrating its 54th anniversary — Der fun since ’61, right? — tomorrow (July 19), but its the chain’s fans who are getting the presents.

You see, guests can get an original chili, kraut or mustard dog for just 99¢ at participating locations on that day.

While you’re there, you might as well pick up an old-fashioned sundae — the Tastee Freez deal of the day — for just $1.99.

Wienerschnitzel locations can be found throughout the Inland Empire.

Claremont Restaurant Week begins tomorrow

Claremont Restaurant WeekWednesday evening was the big preview for Claremont Restaurant Week, and if the samples served during the kickoff is any indication, this is going to be one great culinary adventure!

Nearly two dozen restaurants have great prix fixe menus lined up for the third iteration of the event, which starts tomorrow (July 10) and runs through July 19.

Even restaurants beyond Claremont — including Pappas Artisanal in La Verne and Upland’s Pine Haven Cafe and Nuno’s Bistro & Bar — are getting involved.

Head over the jump for a list of participating restaurants.

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$2 small Ice Blended drinks at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf today

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf open houseThe Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is hosting another of its occasional open houses today (May 21) from 2 to 6 p.m.

At participating locations, guests can get a small Ice Blended drink for just $2.

The coffeehouse is using the event to promote customizing Ice Blended drinks with the addition of extra coffee, cookies or chocolate covered espresso beans. The chain is also offering its version of an affogato, with an espresso shot poured over an Ice Blended drink…yum!

Inland Empire Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations can be found in Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont, Redlands, Fontana, Chino Hills, Riverside, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Lake Elsinore, and Temecula.

McDonald’s brings back fried pies, McCafé Social Hour BOGO

McDonald's fried apple pieBe still my pre-myocardial infarction heart…fried pies have returned to Southern California McDonald’s locations!

The ubiquitous burger chain swapped out its fried pies for a more health-conscious baked version back in 1992 (although I remember getting one at the downtown Riverside location years after that, and apparently, they’ve continually been available at the Lakewood Boulevard location in Downey), but now they’re back.

And will be through the end of the year.

The chain is currently offering apple and cherry fried pies.

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Discount tickets available this weekend for inaugural Inland Empire Salsa Festival

Inland Empire Salsa FestivalPre-sale tickets are available for the inaugural Inland Empire Salsa Festival.

The event — scheduled for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 16 at White Park in Riverside — features salsa tasting and competition, a beer and wine garden, and live entertainment, including host Jordin Sparks, Baby Bash and A Lighter Shade of Brown.

If you’re interested in going, though, you might want to purchase your tickets this weekend.

You see, general admission tickets are available on the event’s website for $10 (plus $1.54 service fee). The site is also offering early bird discount tickets (through May 1) for just $8 (plus $1.43), a decent bargain. Kids 12 and under are admitted free.

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Brätworks celebrating grand opening tomorrow with buy-one-get-one-free deal

Bratworks Grand OpeningAlthough San Bernardino’s Brätworks has been open several months now, the gourmet hot dog shop is celebrating (or is that cele-brät-ing?) its grand opening tomorrow (February 7).

From 10 a.m.-midnight, guests will be able to take advantage of a buy one, get one free deal on all the restaurant’s “classic works” hot dogs.

In addition, there will be prizes and giveaways from 10 a.m.-noon, a DJ and face painting from noon-4 p.m., free grilled cheese for kids from 4-7 p.m. and half-price beer from 7 p.m.-midnight.

Brätworks is at 4235 N. University Parkway, Suite 102.