After returning from the West Coast of America, I’ve found my expectations concerning food have dramatically risen. The state of California has got it going on in the food department. I have a feeling my mum will need to up her game in the kitchen in the coming weeks.
After watching programmes like Man Vs Food, I was convinced that the only option I would have when it came to dining in America would be a hamburger, or some other grease-filled meal at Macdonalds. But the reality was far from this. We found a bunch of restaurants and cafes that served a huge variety of soups and salads and other such healthy (grease-free) meals.
There are a few places we ate at, that still have me drooling in the late hours of the night, which I thought I’d share with you; to help you out if ever you decide to visit the West Coast. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself loving them as much as I did and we can share these food fetishes together.
1. The Cheesecake Factory
I’m sure you’ve heard of this one as it’s relatively well-known. Aside from, of course, selling the world’s most deliciously, creamy, mouth watering cheesecakes, the cheesecake factory is also a fully-fledged restaurant. It offers basically everything; from pastas to pizzas to salads to burgers. It’s a great all-round restaurant with luscious food and classy decor.
Price: Very Good – The quality of the food here was incredible! I tried six dishes and loved every one of them. Taking into account the high food quality (and the sheer size of the meal) I thought the prices were very reasonable. A main course, such as a large pasta, would cost on average $15 (equivalent to £9). https://fastfoodmenuprice.com/cheesecake-factory-menu-prices/
Service: OK – The reason I’ve gone for ‘OK’ as apposed to ‘very good’ is purely down to the fact that the restaurant is extremely popular and as a result gets many customers.This means the service is rather slow and we found ourselves waiting for 20-30 mins for a table and then another 10-15 mins just to get a basket of bread. The waiters themselves, however, are lovely. Friendly, polite and very helpful.
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Did I mention it’s amazing? I don’t think you understand how amazing- my life literally peaked after tasting that yogurt. I swear one of the reasons we came to the West Coast was just to experience the fabulousness that is Pinkberry, once again. For those of you who don’t know, Pinkberry is a frozen yogurt franchise based in North America. They sell the most light, refreshing and delicious frozen yogurt you could imagine. There are not only a wide variety of yogurt flavors on offer (which you can sample before making the important decision of which one you will choose to take home) but also a HUGE choice of toppings; from mangoes to cookie dough. The shop itself is well-decorated (cool and minimalistic) which helps you to enjoy your refreshing yogurt experience.
Price: Very Good – My family and I shared a large yogurt, costing around $7. The portion was large fill up four hungry adults/ adults-to-be. This meant it cost around $2 a head, which I feel is a great deal. http://www.pinkberry.com/menu/
Service: Excellent– The staff there are very friendly, open and happy people which is always nice. There are many bodies, enough to rapidly serve the long line of customers, so the wait time to receive your food was pretty much non-existent.
This little Mediterranean restaurant was an unexpected gem. We first went in simply because we were starving and we saw some form of food brewing inside the building. (We weren’t in the position to be picky). But we actually found, to out surprise, that the food tasted absolutely incredible. The portions were large and the flavors in the dishes were so unique but so delicious. The Mediterranean influence was prominent and the food was not overly greasy or oily like I found in similar restaurants. If you are in the mood for something different, something you’ve probably not tasted before, this is the place to be.
Price: Excellent – Main courses in this place were a maximum of around $15, and that’s the creme de la creme of the menu. Most dishes ranged from around $9-$12, which is remarkable considering the size of the portions and the quality of the food. http://www.zameencuisine.com/
Service: Very Good – There is nothing too special to say about the service. We got out food in good time and the staff were friendly enough but if I spouted huge compliments about how I loved the waiters, and how they are all such delightful people, I would not be telling the truth. But overall there was a calm, relaxing and friendly vibe in the place.
As you’ve probably guessed from the name, Crepevine specializes in making crepes and pancakes. This may sound rather mundane and bog-standard and I would agree, if it weren’t for the fact that these crepes can come with every filling you could possible imagine. From Nutella and strawberry’s to bacon and hash browns; they literally have it all. The cafe itself is also a really cute place to spend your morning. This would be the place you would imagine yourself on a lazy Sunday, having woken up a bit too late for breakfast, coming into town for a nice brunch and a good ol’ chinwag with some friends.
Price: OK – The portions in this place are gigantic. Like, an actual giant probably wouldn’t be able to finish one. But even so, I felt the dishes were overpriced. We payed around $18 for a crepe which I think is ridiculously expensive. So I guess, the only reason I’m not giving this a ‘poor’ is due to the size and quality of the food. http://www.crepevine.com/
Service: OK – Again, the service was nothing too exciting. The waitress did her job; she wasn’t unhelpful but I wouldn’t say she was particularly friendly or enthusiastic either. We waited around 20 mins for our food- that is to be expected as the cafe seemed to be extremely popular. Clearly the central ‘hub’ for socializing.
So, I hope you found this helpful in one way or another and that it enlightened you on the dining prospects awaiting you on the West Coast!