Taqueria El Campeon in San Juan Capistrano

Hungry?  In San Juan Capistrano at an expedition of the beautiful Mission San Juan?  Take a load off and enjoy a meal at Taqueria El Campeon.

Serving up classic lunch specials such as, tortas, tacos and burritos as well as soups, taquitos and agua de fruta, El Campeon is a local hot spot.  Whenever I arrive, there is always a line.

The food is worth the wait.  The service, unless you speak Spanish, is less than favorable (and even being of Latin decent, not speaking Spanish put me at odds with the staff).  Regardless, if you’re in the area you have to go.

Mexican FoodI took Rachell, for her first time and mine, to Mission San Juan.  We didn’t pack a lunch for the endeavor so when our stomachs told us the hour, I remembered El Campeon was just down the street.  It was about noon when we entered and fortunately the line wasn’t long.  Rachell ordered the taquitos dorades and I had the torta la tijera (carnitas).  I am a BIG fan of carnitas, huge fan.  And I’ve frequented the eatery enough to know that the marinade used with the pork was fantastic.  We each, also, had a beverage or agua de fruta; Rach had watermelon and I the banana.  GREAT drinks, one might even stop just for a refreshment.  The meal, outstanding.

Our total came to less than twenty dollars ($20) and that was two plates of food and two specialty drinks.  Not bad, nope, not bad at all.

In the end, I would definitely recommend El Campeon as an eatery to try.

Without a doubt, check it out!

Best,
Dave

Map: El Campeon in San Juan Capistrano, CA


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Rutabegorz of Old Town Tustin

Down in Old Town Tustin, it seems that, Rutabegorz is always busy.  And that was the hook.  Originally I said to myself, any restaurant with a loyal base of foodies is worth the try.  And that is how I ended up at Rutabegorz Restaurant.

Rutagegorz is located in historic Old Town Tustin.  I am totally into the old town vibe and the building that houses the eatery was neat, but I did not like the interior decorations.  Was way cliché.  Fortunately, I was there to eat and I ended up dinning with my father, George, who has previously patronized the restaurant.

When it was time to order, George had the tortilla soup and I had the veggie sandwich.  One could imagine what was in the tortilla soup and there were no disputes with the presentation or taste of the meal.  The veggie special on the other hand was an open faced sandwich (a surprise) with a variety of vegetables and cheese served up on toasted squaw bread, placed under the broiler prior to arrival.  Even though I was quite surprised by the open face sandwich, the food was not half bad.  I would probably go for something else next time, however.

Rutabegorz of Old Town Tustin Rutabegorz of Old Town Tustin

 

 

 

 

In the end, I would say check it out.  But try something other than the veggie sandwich.  I know I will at least give it one more go prior to my conclusions…I mean they have been around for like 25 years.  And think about it, one could eat and then take a stroll about Old Town Tustin and do some shopping or just enjoy the community.

Best,
Dave

 

Map: Rutabegorz 158 West Main Tustin, CA 92780


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College Park: Second Quarter SOLD Listings

College Park Listings

College Park Sale Type

Notes:

Historically speaking, the 2011 second quarter (Q2) kicks off the start of the “busy season” for real estate, from April – June.  Many equity sellers capitalized between the lulls of distressed inventories, both foreclosures and short sales (where the home is sold for less than the note/mortgage), entering the market with 67% of the market representing standard sales.  The common conception, that growing families move in summer months, may not apply with such a volatile market.  Homeowners need to digest all market data including distressed inventory and time of year when considering selling their property. 

Links:

City of Costa Mesa: June, End of Month Report

For more detailed information specific to your property call today or request a FREE market evaluation!

Best regards,
The Wilfert Group©
George & David Wilfert
+1 714 357 1422

Disclaimer:

The generated data is gathered from the SoCal Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  This information should be used objectively as the foundation for your research.  For more detailed community information or a Computerized Market Evaluation please contact us at the Wilfert Group.

Featured Listing: 2383 Columbia Drive Costa Mesa

PhoTASTIC in Huntington Beach

Wow, it took me awhile to get this post up and running…but here we go.

For Memorial Day Weekend, Rachell and I were headed out to Bakersfield (Oildale specifically).  We decided to stop off for dinner on the way up.  So we rolled into the old Burger King parking lot (recently?) acquired by PhoTASTIC, to try a bowl of soup and a sandwich.

As we entered the renovated eatery, I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia.  Ha, not really.  But the beneficiary made some changes by expanding the kitchen and reducing seating.  I know you’re thinking why, why take out seating in your restaurant…Well with the expansion of the kitchen came new quality controls like baking fresh bread and sweet treats.  Well worth the lost seats.

You have to forgive me, it was a while back when we sat down to eat.  That being said, Rach, Hanna (sister in/law) and I ordered up sandwiches, pho soup and an appetizer.  Rachell had the sandwich/soup special with a vegetarian sandwich, very fresh and coupled with the soup very delicious.  Hanna had the pork sandwich, which was gone before I could ask for a bit.  I ordered up the spring rolls and the pate sandwich, and being found of pate I was happy to have ordered the sandwich and finished every bite.

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, the restaurant was very well kept, with nice flatware, a variety of sauces, friendly atmosphere and cheap (I don’t remember the price, being so long back, but I do remember a promise to the owner).  We ran into the proprietor on the way out, who was friendly (of course), in which I promised to be back for more.

Best,
David

Photos:

Map: 19201 Brookhurst Street PhoTASTIC HB


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Cowgirls Café in Santa Ana

I am always prodding Rachell to go out and view properties with me and an incentive I offer is breakfast.  You already know our passion for early morning delectable’s, so the offer was as good as gold.  Because we were headed out to Tustin, Rachell searched the net to find this great diner out in Santa Ana off Edinger and Grand.  And that is how we came across Cowgirls Café.

So as we pulled up, I was happy to see two things.  One, a packed parking lot (good indicator).  Second, the yelp sticker on the window.  Being our first time, we were uncertain to wait for seats or take the initiative…but a friendly face pointed us in the right direction, giving us our choice of tables.

The place, if one couldn’t tell from the parking lot, was packed.  People from every walks of life, families, friends, young and old all present.  The staff was friendly, all full time servers or family (at least you got the vibe that it was a mom and pop operation).  And, to my pleasure, it wasn’t decorated in some outlandish cliché décor (Cowgirls; one could imagine).  It’s just a straight up, down to earth diner where you can play the Super Lotto ‘Hot Spot’ while you wait.

As usual, we took our coffee black, two waters and a juice to get us going.  After; we placed our order.  Rach had the ‘Almost Eggs Benedict’ which was scrambled eggs, your choice of meat and piled on biscuits with hash browns on the side.  I took to the ‘Breakfast Sandwich’ with a waffle, sausage and two eggs (yes, of course, they had boysenberry syrup).

 

 

 

 

 

We took our time with the meal, because it appeared we arrived towards the end of the rush.  But that did not stop us from clearing our plates.  In Rachell’s defense, I helped finish hers off.  My only complaint, was not ordering Rachell’s dish.

The food was GOOD, ABUNDANT and CHEAP (a winning combination).  Our total bill was just under twenty dollars, without tip.  In the end, I place Cowgirls Café towards the top of my list for eateries.  They serve up hot plates, with good portions, tasty, in clean relaxed space and all at a (more than) reasonable price.  I know that we will be back when we’re in the area, and that is without a doubt.

Enjoy,
Dave

Photos:

 Map: Cowgirls Cafe 1720 South Grand Avenue Santa Ana, CA


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Tustin Meadows Shredding Day!

Last year, George and I hosted a shredding day event with Superior Shredding.  We found them to be professional and prompt, and in our busy industry we were greatly appreciative for both those facts.  Because this previous event went off without a hitch, we decided to host an event specific to your community of Tustin Meadows.

So, May 22nd is the BIG day.  In cooperation with Dumpster Days, George and I will be hosting the Shredding Day event.  You will be able to find us on the corner of Sycamore and Canterbury Avenue in Tustin Meadows, from 11:am to 1:00pm.

Stop on by, shred past personal information and have a little conversation to start your Sunday.

Hope to see you there,
The Wilfert Group
David S. Wilfert

Recap:

It was a GREAT event with a good turn out.  Even though we had to switch companies mid week to Southern California Shredding, we were still met with success.  We shredded over 4,500 lbs of documents for the community

All in all, thank you for particapting in the shredding day event.  I had a GREAT time and was happy to formally meet so many of you.  Enjoy Memorial Day weekend, which is just right around the corner.

Until next time,
David


Shredding Day 2010 & 2011: 




Five Guys Burgers and Fries

So, last weekend Rach and I were headed for Bakersfield to help prepare for Memorial Day Weekend at my in-laws ski ranch.  A heck of a place, might I add.  Back on track, we skipped ‘preparing’ dinner and stopped off at Five Guys Burgers and Fries instead (over off Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach).   

As you enter, like any good franchise, you step into a specific culture.  Five Guys reminds me of the classic diner, with red and white checkered tiles, small menu particular to burgers and hot-dogs and uniformed hosts.  On a side note, they offer you free peanuts in 100% recycled trays (kinda cool, recyclable that is). 

At the counter, a variety of sides caught me off guard and it took me a minute.  Rachell ordered right off, a mini (one patty) burger all the way.  I ordered my mini bacon cheeseburger with unique toppings like fried onions, fried mushrooms and jalapenos.  We ordered a side of Cajun spiced fries, a healthy serving (maybe too much).

The food was good.  But, the fries were those big mushy ones that we don’t particularly care for.  The service was friendly but I could’ve gone for more smiling faces.  The price was OUTRAGEOUS.  As in outrageously overpriced.  We bought two burgers, split a large fries and split a cola for about $18.00.  You got nothing on my SoCal boys over at In-N-Out: nada, nothing, zilch. 

I would say, go out and try it.  It’s good.  But if you want to spend the dollars on burgers go to downtown Huntington Beach and check out 25 Degrees.  You could at least hit up happy hour, have a cocktail, maybe a spiked shake and say (damn) that was worth X dollars.

Best,
Dave 

Photos:




Map: Five Guys in Huntington Beach


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25 Degrees, in Huntington Beach

Two weekend’s past, a close friend of ours was coming down from Camarillo and as a little reward for turning in her final project (PACT) for her teaching credential, Dave and I decided to take her out for lunch at 25 Degrees

This was not our first time venturing to the bistro burger joint and nor will it be our last.  Located just off Main St in downtown Huntington the front of the restaurant is unassuming and inside it is a fairly simple layout except that smack in the middle is the bar. 

Since there were three of us decided on a booth and sat ourselves.  We happened to arrive at the beginning of happy hour, which varies on specialties.  We ordered a happy hour appetizer, a honey glazed, Asian version of buffalo wings, and drinks. Rebecca ordered a raspberry mojito, I had a happy hour drink called, red head in bed(citrus vodka, muddled strawberries and lemon), and Dave tried the cream soda-of which none of the ingredients are actually cream soda, but rather whiskey and vanilla vodka and some others.  

Our appetizer came out quickly, the wings were really tasty and for a ‘happy hour special’ the quantity was good.  For the main course Rebecca ordered the number two and Dave and I shared the number one, we all split an order of 50/50 fries and onion rings. 

The number two burger includes roasted tomato, crispy prosciutto, burrata cheese and pesto (Delicious!). The number one burger is topped with caramelized onion, gorgonzola, crescenza, arugula and thousand island. Dave was not a fan of the arugula but I really enjoyed it, everything combined with the hamburger was amazing. 

Now you might think we would stop after such a decadent meal–but no.  The real reason we even chose 25 degrees was because of the “spiked” shakes.  Rebecca ordered the salted caramel: vanilla ice cream, bourbon, butterscotch and sea salt. Soooo good! This is a fairly strong shake, definitely be aware if driving, you may want to relax and order a glass of water. Dave and I split a chocolate spiked shake, I forget the exact ingredients but it went something like chocolate ice cream, chocolate liqueur, bourbon, maybe something else? It was tasty, but the salted caramel was better. 

The crowd was pretty mellow, however that is not always the case, especially if the weather is nice, or its dinner time the place fills up quick.  The price is on the high end–you are paying $10 for a burger–just a burger, so the bill can creep up, but the quality of the ingredients and unique parings makes the price seem of fair value, and they do have items that will not hurt the wallet (including $2 pbr in a can).

Enjoy,
Rachell

Photos:




Map: 25 Degrees, Huntington Beach


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Peppertree: April, End of Month Report

“Based on the current uptrend with very favorable affordability conditions, rising apartment rents, and ongoing job creation, existing-home sales should rise around 5 to 10 percent this year with sales growth of lower priced homes likely to outperform high-end homes.  Recent [Current] homebuyers are staying well within budget, leading to exceptionally low loan default rates among homebuyers over the past two years.”
                                                                                                                        - 
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist

Links:

City of Tustin: April, End of Month Report

Peppertree: March, End of Month Report

For more detailed information specific to your property call today or request a FREE Market Evaluation!

Best regards,
The Wilfert Group©
George & David S. Wilfert
+1 714 357 1422

Disclaimer:

The generated data is gathered from the SoCal Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  This information should be used objectively as the foundation for your research.  For more detailed community information or a Computerized Market Evaluation please contact us at the Wilfert Group.

Tustin Meadows: April, End of Month Report

“Based on the current uptrend with very favorable affordability conditions, rising apartment rents, and ongoing job creation, existing-home sales should rise around 5 to 10 percent this year with sales growth of lower priced homes likely to outperform high-end homes.  Recent [Current] homebuyers are staying well within budget, leading to exceptionally low loan default rates among homebuyers over the past two years.”
                                                                                                        - 
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist

 

Links:

City of Tustin: April, End of Month Report

Tustin Meadows: March, End of Month Report

For more detailed information specific to your property call today or request a FREE Market Evaluation!

Best regards,
The Wilfert Group©
George & David S. Wilfert
+1 714 357 1422

Disclaimer:

The generated data is gathered from the SoCal Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  This information should be used objectively as the foundation for your research.  For more detailed community information or a Computerized Market Evaluation please contact us at the Wilfert Group.

Hybrid Tomatoes from Dave’s Vendor

A couple weeks ago Dave came home with a small container of tightly packed tomato plants that he received from his vendor Mitch at Aloha Printing.  All David told me was that the tomatoes were a hybrid variety raised from seed by the local vendor/gardener in Old Town Tustin.  We separated the tomato plants into small individual containers to see how many were squeezed into the container–it turns out there were 10, although we lost two during the transplanting.

We allowed the tomato plants to grow in the individual containers for a few weeks while we tried to find homes for the plants, or larger planting containers for those we kept.  We were able to pass off five of the ten but that still left us with three that we had to find room for on our little concrete patio.  We already had two tomato plants (heirloom) that we started from seed, which means that we are going to have five tomato plants this summer, two more plants than last year.  This last weekend we headed to Home Depot to buy some more dirt, and trainers for the vines.

Fortunately, we were able to use a lot of dirt from of our giant vermicomposting bin, however we still needed to purchase dirt since each (tomato) container needed over two cubic feet (one giant bag plus some extra) of dirt.

I had read in my little Sunset Edible Garden Book that you can use concrete netting to act as trainers for the tomato plants to climb up.  So, by the time we got to Home Depot and looked at various types of netting/wiring, we decided to try a smaller (and less expensive) version from the original concrete wire netting. 

A positive, in addition to the cost, the material purchased happened to be plastic which is more malleable and doesn’t prick the skin when you rub against it but the holes are smaller which may make it more difficult when we go to pick the fruit.  We secured the netting in place with a 5 and 4 foot stake -the netting is four feet tall.  So far it is working, but we will truly know if it was worth it once the plants get taller.













P.S. The sweet peas are finally blooming! They smell amazing and it is fun to guess what colors we will be having.

Happy Planting!
Rachell

Our Garden:

 

Tustin Earth Day Compost Event

Pretty cool event held in joint cooperation with CC&R Waste Management and the City of Tustin for Earth Day (Week).  Single Family Residents (SFRs) who present the coupon from their April 1st billing statement, Environmental News, will receive two 30lbs bags of compost. 

Basically, you can use your compost throughout your garden on a wide range of plants and trees.  The compost will help revitalize the soil of depleted minerals and nutrients that your ‘Victory Garden’ (vegetable patch) needs.  I am not cheap, and I have my CC&R bills to show for it, but FREE is the right price for me!

So, City of Tustin, head on down on April 30th to 235 E. Main Street with your coupon for two free bags of compost!

For more information check out these details at the City of Tustin.

Happy gardening,
David

Recap:



I must say, the joint cooperation between the City of Tustin and CC&R Waste Management went off without a hitch.  There was a line from Main Street right into the parking lot with management collecting the coupons and staff handing out the compost, they had it down pat.  I was happy to see the compost was all natural and organic.  That means NO chemicals being absorbed into our produce or leaching into our water system through drainage.  If you want to see some real damage from chemical run off then check out the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Remember, all natural no chemical compost is a doubly good, double positive, ahh, just plan good for your family and your health!

THANKS again City of Tustin and CC&R Waste Management.  Goodwill earns my RESPECT!

Best,
Dave


Map: 235 E. Main Street Tustin CA


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Compost + Soil = Affordable

Composting, I really thought that it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread for Rachell and I.   But, we live in an apartment with little actual yard and the idea of a compost heap in a shared patio space didn’t seem so neighborly.  Thankfully, my sister-in-law was able to acquire a 100 gallon drum from her grandfather and gifted this to us for our garden endeavors.   The bin really helps us utilize the available space of the constraints of the patio.   

So, we dump everything and anything (organic) into the bin: soil, leaves, food scraps, twigs and discarded vermicastings.  To my surprise, but really logical in all, the vermicastings contained worm eggs that hatched and breed hundreds of worms in the composting bin.  They, the worms, really had at it with all the organic waste within the bin and helped in the decomposing period.

We did find one problem with the compost, proper drainage.  The soil seemed too dense to hold any moisture and we know the complications which would undoubtedly be created through this scenario, root rot.  So, we took to the composting bin along with some purchased potting soil to combine an ultimate mix.  Well, not as much as the ultimate mix but more so an affordable mix that should pan out over the year for our garden.













We basically used a two to one ratio (that is potting soil to compost) for the mix.  We were careful to pick as many worms from the mix as possible, confining worms to a pot in mid summer’s heat is practically a death sentence.  We mixed this combination thoroughly to produce nutrient rich and drainable soil.


All in all, we saved waste destined for the landfill, added to our worm population and saved some money on garden soil.  Our small patio garden is turning out and I think that we will have a GREAT season. 


Questions or suggestions then feel free to add, THANKS!


Best,
Dave & Rach

Links:



Vermicomposting