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Global Diner: Anepalco’s Cafe’s Chilaquiles


The October issue of Orange Coast marks the debut of my new column, Global Diner. Each month I’ll be examining an outstanding international dish among Orange County’s vast expanse of mom-and-pop and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. This time, it’s the spectacular chilaquiles at Anepalco’s Cafe in Orange:

Chef Danny Godinez’s dish is a marvel: The fried mass of tortillas is formed into a thin cake, topped with a fluffy omelet and dressed with avocado mousse, pico de gallo, crema, and sprinkles of cotija cheese. It’s surrounded by a pool of brilliant brick-red sauce that tastes of smoky, toasted chilies. The tiny Main Street cafe serves an equally good second version, chilaquiles verdes, made with a tomatillo-based sauce and sprinkled with a scattering of pumpkin seeds. Both iterations are precisely prepared, their contrasting flavors and textures balanced in every bite.

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Leftovers: Bruxie

The emerging world of waffle sandwiches for the L.A. Times:


Some culinary trends come with promises concocted in the vague argot of marketing executives and brand managers. But a few rare ideas spring from something universal. They’re the restaurants and recipes that tap into unknown pleasures, manifestations of all our unconscious cravings.

Such is the case at Bruxie, a weeks-old stand in Old Towne Orange whose s’mores-stuffed and prosciutto-packed Belgian waffle sandwiches are fulfilling the fantasies of every syrup-soaked childhood and late-night binge.

Bruxie is a sweetly nostalgic place. Rather than load up a Twitter-equipped food truck, the waffle shop sought out history among downtown Orange’s innocent Americana. It found just that in the former home of Dairy Treet, an aging burger and shake shack that had been in operation for more than 60 years. Still, Bruxie is modern, self-aware and already crawling with students from nearby Chapman University. The novelty of it all is so precisely calibrated to the surroundings that some customers have been wondering aloud whether Bruxie is part of a fledgling franchise.

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Leftovers: Scottie’s Smokehouse

Old Towne Orange barbecue for the Times:


Every order at Scottie’s Smokehouse in Orange passes through owner Darren Scott’s hands, whether it’s a blackened slab of brisket awaiting a deft swipe of the knife or a golden-skinned chicken about to be pulled apart. It’s an exacting process, but that control is crucial because Scott has barbecue in his blood.

He inherited the necessary low-and-slow genes from his grandfather Darwin Scott, who worked his barbecue joint in Santa Ana from 1935 to 1943, when the war channeled the country’s meat into servicemen’s rations. Hanging near the kitchen is a photo of the original Scottie’s — a square shack carved out of a forested corner of the still-nascent city — that serves as proof of the family’s slow-smoked history. And that’s all Darren Scott needs. “In this family,” he says, “barbecue is just something you know you’re probably good at.”

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