Ticket Giveaway to …A Tutta Pizza (L.A.’s Pizza Fest) This Sunday

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Mangia! We’re giving away a pair of tickets to …A Tutta Pizza this Sunday. | Image: via Facebook

Brunch…smunch. If you’re looking for something a little different to do with mom this Mother’s Day, then consider the carb fest …A Tutta Pizza—L.A.’s pizza festival—taking place on Sunday at the Hollywood Palladium. The event is part of the L.A. Times’ Food Bowl, a monthlong celebration of L.A.’s food scene.

Check out the festival’s details on SCVFoodie’s sister site, Pop Radar LA and read below on two ways to enter the raffle to win a pair of general admission tickets.

There are two ways to enter the Pop Radar LA/SCVFoodie raffle to win a pair of GA tickets to …A Tutta PIzza! on Sunday. Simply email editor christine@popradarla.com with the subject line: I love pizza! Or if you follow @christineziemba​ on Twitter, just Tweet “I love pizza!” at her. That’s it! And we’ll draw one name on Friday morning at 10 a.m.

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Worth a Revisit: The Way Station in Newhall

The Way Station serves up endless cups of coffee and generous heapings of breakfast and lunch dishes. | Photo: Christine N. Ziemba

If you haven’t been (back) to the Way Station in Newhall, SCVFoodie suggests heading back to the Santa Clarita institution the next time you get the craving for decent diner food and nostalgia—in the form of license plates, old signs and history clips—dotting every inch of wall space.

Check out the Way Station’s walls filled with history. | Photo: Christine N. Ziemba

The Way Station, which has been around since 1971, makes no bones about itself: It’s a greasy spoon that does breakfasts and lunches well. They know that people don’t usually go there for the oatmeal and fruit plate (though you can). Customers head to the Way Station for the hearty dishes like a country fried steak, corned beef hash, eggs Benedict, et al.

Or better yet, you can’t go wrong ordering the Kris Special: Two eggs over an English muffin, topped with (sausage or chicken) gravy, with a generous heaping of hashbrowns and bacon or sausage; or the Thursday Special that’s available every day: Two eggs with a pancake or French toast with a half-order of bacon or sausage.

Our fav breakfast item, though, is a bit on the “lighter” side: the Morning Muffin, which is an English muffin with a fried egg, Canadian bacon, cheese and a plateful of hashbrowns. You can’t beat the price at $4.85, either. Add an unlimited cup of coffee for $1.75, and you’ll see why the Way Station has such staying power.

The breakfast sandwich at the Way Station is a bargain. | Photo: Christine N. Ziemba

Pro-tip for those visiting for the first time. The Way Station has two entrances, but the line for tables and spots at the counter forms at the back entrance. Be prepared to wait during rush hours, but the line moves fairly quickly for a small space.

Way Station
24377 Main St., Newhall
(661) 255-0222

Zankou’s Not Quite Ready for Primetime

 

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Zankou Chicken finally opened its Valencia location (on the corner of McBean and Magic Mountain Parkway) on Monday, March 26.

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the fast-casual restaurant’s opening for its rotisserie chicken dishes, falafel and most importantly, the garlic sauce that’s so good that we don’t mind that it lingers on the tongue for hours on end.

SCVFoodie, however, broke one of its cardinal rules when we hit up Zankou during its first week of business. We partook in a late Friday lunch around 1:30-2 p.m., and as expected, it was a zoo.

Our orders were taken quickly despite the line, but unfortunately, Zankou still needs to work out a lot of kinks in expediting orders. We waited approximately 10 minutes for the buzzer to notify us that our orders were ready. When we got to the pickup station, we noticed a crowd of people waiting, too. All had been notified that their orders were ready for pick up.

But they weren’t.

One employee told one woman that they probably just paged the wrong number, but we were among about 10 people waiting, so all of us couldn’t have been paged incorrectly. Another person said that he had been waiting for 25 minutes for his food, and the expediter said that they were really behind. Two other customers complained that they were handed the wrong order. There were no numbers written on the orders, making it difficult for the workers to match to receipts.

After standing at the counter for another 15 minutes, this writer’s order arrived: A chicken wrap. The chicken was tasty, but they got the order wrong, too. In the bag were a couple falafel that we didn’t order. We don’t know if we were handed someone else’s lunch, or if they were Zankou’s way of making up for the wait. The counter was too crowded to ask.

Zankou Chicken
24463 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia

Eat This Now: The V10 at Pho Sure

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Order the V10 at Pho Sure on Copper Hill. Trust us on this one. | Image: Christine N. Ziemba

Pho Sure, located on Copper Hill Drive in Valencia, is known for its pun-inducing namesake, Vietnamese pho (soup), and banh mi (sandwiches), but SCV Foodie is a big fan of its bun—vermicelli noodles—particularly the V10.

It’s easier to order by menu item (V10) instead of its formal name: Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong Tom Nuong. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but it’s a hearty, taste-pleasing dish. Rice vermicelli noodles are placed over lettuce, greens, herbs and pickled vegetables and topped with egg rolls, grilled shrimp and beef or pork. The fish dipping sauce on the side adds an sweet acidity to the savory dish.

Pho Sure
23876 Copper Hill Drive
Valencia, CA 91354
Open daily at 11 am, seven days a week

Big Appetites Rejoice: Black Bear Diner Coming to Santa Clarita

Black Bear Diner is taking over the old Applebee’s location on Valencia Boulevard. | Image: Black Bear Diner

***Update: Both The Signal and KHTS are reporting that the diner will open Memorial Day (May 28).***


For nearly a decade the Applebee’s space along Valencia Boulevard and Creekside Road has sat empty. It’s not that we missed the Applebee’s cuisine all that much, but large empty retail spaces are just downright depressing (yeah, we’re looking at you old Albertsons space in Westridge).

We’ve heard rumors for a couple years now that Black Bear Diner, an old-fashioned diner that started in Mt. Shasta more than 20 years ago, was coming to Santa Clarita. Now, it seems those rumors are true: You may have seen the sign out in front of the Applebee’s space that heralds the coming of the carved wooden bears and murals and forest kitsch decor.

And we can’t wait.

We’re always in the mood for breakfast, and Black Bear Diner serves it up all day long (though they serve up lunch and dinner, too). The portions are bear-sized, so be prepared to take home leftovers for your next meal. The Valencia location is slated to open in the early part of 2018, according to the Black Bear Diner website.

This is one of the few menu items that we can almost finish at the Black Bear Diner. Bear’s Choice: A Pancake, eggs and sausage. | Image: Christine N. Ziemba

In the meantime, we’ll just prepare mentally for our first bite of their buttermilk and sweet cream batter pancakes…or the Bigfoot Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs (with the biscuits and gravy)…the Housemade Meatloaf…the Machaca Breakfast Tacos…the ginormous Bear Claw…

You get the picture—Black Bear is poised to up the breakfast game in the SCV.

Free Donuts and Coffee in Stevenson Ranch on Nov. 27

Now that we have your attention, SCVFoodie wants to tell you a feel-good community story.

Late on on Aug. 27, our favorite local mom-and-pop donut shop, Stevenson Donuts & Bakery, was robbed with the perpetrator(s) making off with $400 in weekend sales and an iPhone.

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Stevenson Donuts & Bakery has been a constant staple in Stevenson Ranch.

Thuong “Tom” Sauv and his wife Jamie moved to Stevenson Ranch 10 years ago, and their donuts—and muffins, scones, egg sandwiches—are some of the best in the SCV. With their kids, who are spotted in the store on occasion, the Sauv family business has become staples of the community. [SCVFoodie has been known to “research and taste test” there on a semi-regular basis.]

A day after the robbery, the Stevenson Ranch community rallied around the shop and the Sauvs; someone started a GoFundMe campaign to repair the damage to the shop. (The thief/-vies tunneled in from the empty storefront next door.) The goal was to raise $2,500, but the campaign raised more than double that amount.

The Sauvs were able to do repairs, a small remodel and have enough left over to donate $1,000 to the American Red Cross – Hurricane Harvey Relief on behalf of the Stevenson Ranch Community.

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SCVFoodie does research: A powdered donut from Stevenson Donuts. 

And now, here’s where the free donuts come into play. Tomorrow (Nov. 27) at 7 am, stop by Stevenson Donuts & Bakery as the Sauvs are holding a grand re-opening/thank you party for the community. Grab a free donut and coffee to start off the post-Thanksgiving work week. As of noon today (11/26), Tom Sauv was already busy prepping and making the donuts. [We stopped by to more “research” for SCVFoodie.]

Stevenson Donuts & Bakery
25814 Hemingway Ave, Stevenson Ranch
(661) 799-7537

Achita Sushi: The Secret’s Out

This is a post we were torn about writing. For the longest time, getting a table at Achita Sushi on a Friday or Saturday night was easy.

Now? Not so much.

And we worry that if we write about how much we love the restaurant’s offerings and other dishes, then walking in without waiting for a table will become impossible any night of the week. But SCVFoodie has made a commitment to its readers to write about the good, bad and ugly in the Santa Clarita Valley dining scene—and food this tasty is worth touting.

First, we usually start off with a generous house salad ($6.95) with a light citrusy vinaigrette that’s so much more than lettuce and a few tomatoes. The portion is large enough to split as a healthy appetizer. A picture of this salad is worth a thousand words:

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Another go-to item—one of our personal favs—is Achita’s Blue Crab Hand Roll ($8.95), which has always been fresh, tender and a delicate delight:

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The sashimi and sushi items are simple, yet robust, and the specialty rolls offer the usual array of crazy combinations. Be warned: Their specialty rolls are filling.

So there you have it. The cat’s out of the bag: Achita’s upping the sushi game in Santa Clarita. So if you go after reading this, save SCVFoodie a seat at the sushi bar.

Achita Sushi
22913 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita
661) 476-5522

This Sign Made Me Cry Like a Little Kid

That headline might be a little misleading, but only a little.

While driving to Target in Valencia last week, this SCVFoodie noticed a sign strung across the building that now sits on the site of the old Pier 1 Imports. This sign made my heart swell and jump for joy:

Zankou Chicken—the popular L.A.-based Armenian-Mediterranean chicken chain—is finally coming to the SCV. The company is aiming to open the location on the corner of McBean and Magic Mountain parkways in December or January.

What’s so special about Zankou? Well to start, the restaurant’s rotisserie chicken or chicken tarna (flame-broiled) wraps—both come with the famous garlic spread—are some of our favs. Oh and so are the falafel, the kebobs, hummus, tabbouleh and…we could go on and on.

While the company opened its first location in the early ’80s (on Sunset in East Hollywood), the fast-casual chain’s growth was tempered by a family dispute that ultimately led to tragedy. Since then, Zankou has opened locations in Glendale, Van Nuys, Anaheim, Pasadena, Toluca Lake, West Hollywood, West LA, Burbank with other restaurants in Tarzana, Granada Hills, Montebello (different sides of the family own various outlets).

Despite its history, we’re just happy that Zankou has chosen the SCV as its next outpost. Things are looking up, culinary-wise of the SCV.

Now is it too much to ask for a Porto’s location next?

Filipino Food Fest Coming to Eagle Rock

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Filipino plate lunch. | Image: @christineziemba on Instagram

The Mall of Manila in Eagle Rock, Calif.—aka Eagle Rock Plaza—will really live up to its name on Oct. 7 when it hosts a Filipino Food Festival: EAT. PLAY. MOVE.

From 10 am to 5 pm, dozens of food trucks and vendors will descend on the plaza serving up food like your Lola used to make. (I should say “almost” because no one can beat my Owa’s chicken adobo, just saying.)

The vendors confirmed so far are:

Ninong’s Hopia Like It Grill City
Johnny Pacific LA Eat Bolo Kindness and Mischief
Rice and Shine Kitchen 1726 DK’s Donuts
Cakies Love Ensaymada Project Helado’s Pops
Bsweet Paella Paella Baked Desserts
Benadditz Mini Kabob Baon Truck
Spoon & Pork Manini Grindz White Rabbit
Thai Mexican Cocina

And don’t forget that inside the mall, there are other Filipino food options including Chowking, Grill City, Jollibee, Leelin Bakery & Cafe and Rick’s BBQ.

The organizers of EAT. PLAY. MOVE. know that while Filipino cuisine is really tasty, it’s neither the lightest nor the healthiest fare around so they’ve added “play” and “move” components to counteract the “eat” part. PLAY. features musical performances by a variety of Filipino talent including singer-songwriter Jeremy Passion, YouTuber Megan Delacey and beatboxer EVMB. 

MOVE. involves fitness activations for all ages, including Zumba, yoga, fitness tests, competitions. Personal trainers will also be on hand to assist those who need help moving or for those who want to set up training later.

Consider yourself warned: You now have ample time to work out, drop a few pounds and/or find the right stretchy pants to wear to the festival on Oct. 7.

EAT. PLAY. MOVE.: A Filipino Food Festival
Eagle Rock Plaza
2700 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles
Oct. 7 from 10 am to 5 pm

Stonefire Serves Up Our Kind of Happy Meal

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A petite BBQ chopped salad with chicken and a breadstick from Stonefire.

Stonefire Grill has been a salad-BBQ-sandwich-pizza staple in Valencia since 2000. The restaurant proved so popular that it has since grown into a fast-casual mini-SoCal empire with eight Stonefire locations.

While Stonefire has been served at many business lunches or big family gatherings—they know how to do BIG portions—we wanted to call your attention to its lunch specials, which make wallets and appetites happy.

Stop by from 11 am to 2 pm, Mondays through Fridays, for $7 lunch entrees, including petite salads like the Salmon, Golden State KaleBBQ Chopped all with breadsticks; a Pesto Pasta with breadstick; Petite Lemon Garlic Chicken with a breadstick (we love their breadsticks); BBQ Chicken Wrap; a 9″ one topping pizza and more options. You can add a fountain drink, iced tea or San Pellegrino for $1.49, too.

Yes, we know packing lunch or McDonalds is cheaper, but this $7 deal is our idea of a happy meal.

Stonefire Grill
23300 Cinema Drive
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
661.799.8282