Quantine Treat #743: Martino’s Tea Cakes


Martino’s Bakery has been a Burbank staple since 1926, when Victor and Eva Martino started a pie business in their garage. More than 90 years later, the baked goods are still enticing crowds—especially their signature teacakes (available in both regular as well as cranberry and blueberry flavors).

The original version of the little square cake is soft and moist on the inside with a hint of vanilla or caramel, and topped with a sugar glaze that hardens. The fruit-enhanced versions are closer to muffins than the original tea cake, but just as tasty.

If you still aren’t convinced that a drive out to Burbank is worth it for these tea cakes, then the prices—$1.69 (original) to $1.79 for the cranberry/blueberry flavors—just might.

Just remember to order ahead of time online so your order will be ready for an even safer, physically distanced pick up.

Martino’s Bakery
335 N. Victory Blvd., Burbank
818-842-0715  

Hot Stuff: Check Out Temple City’s Blazin’ Chicks

A sampling of Southern fried goodness from Blazin’ Chicks in Temple City.

If you live in the L.A. area, you’ve probably driven by Temple City without even knowing it. Located just south of Pasadena and between the 210 and 10 Freeways, the community is predominently residential. But the four-square mile city boasts a number of great restaurants, tucked in the strip malls.

SCVFoodie has written about several restaurants for Temple City’s Connect Magazine. Last year, we wrote about the Michelin and Bib Gourmand restaurants in the area, including Grand Harbour and Dai Ho.

Our latest adventure took us to Blazin Chicks, a fried HOT chicken place that opened just before the pandemic took hold of the country. It specializes in chicken sandwiches, wings, mac and cheese, butter rice, collard greens and other Southern-style comfort foods.

Read the entire story about the restaurant and  co-owner and chef Henry Lu on the city of Temple City’s website.

Blazin’ Chicks
5728 Rosemead Blvd Unit 102
Temple City, California 91780

Henry Lu creates the spicy, hot delectible offerings at Blazin’ Chicks in Temple City.

Eat This Now: Pizza Bread at Italia Panetteria & Deli

Italia’s Pizza Bread | Image: SCV Foodie

If you’ve been craving carbs during the stay-at-home pandemic, then SCV Foodie suggests an addition to all the sourdough and banana bread baking we’ve seen on Instagram lately.

The family owned and operated Italia Panetteria & Deli on Newhall Ranch Road bakes its rolls and breads daily each morning. Among the selections is its Pizza Bread, a deep, thick-crusted bread topped with a savory tomato sauce and dusted off with parmesan cheese.

The dense bread can be eaten by itself or add a bit of mozzerella cheese and toppings for a DIY pizza.

At $5.49, the Pizza Bread is a bargain because it’s heavy and filling and only the heariest of appetites can tackle in on sitting. There are limited quantities available on a daily basis so once they sell out, they’re gone.

Italia Panetteria & Deli
27674 Newhall Ranch Road #55, Valencia
(661) 294-9069
Hour: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Bagel Boyz Adds Delivery Service

If you’re family’s craving fresh bagels and cream cheese, but are following orders to #stayathome during the coronavirus outbreak, Santa Clarita’s Bagel Boyz is now delivering bagels to doorsteps by the dozen.

  • Buy a baker’s dozen (13) bagels for $9.50.
  • A baker’s dozen with 8 oz. of cream cheese: $12.
  • A baker’s dozen with 15 oz. of cream cheese: $15.

Call or text owner Lance Takao at 818-730-6253 to place an order. Venmo: @cheryl-takao.

Bagel Boyz – WEST
27674 Newhall Ranch Rd., Valencia, CA 91355
661-383-9454
Monday – Friday: 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Bagel Boyz – EAST
18580 Vía Princessa
Canyon Country, CA 91387
661-299-2243
Monday – Friday: 5 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday: 5:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Golden Road Brewery Opens Drive-Thru Pantry

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, Golden Road Brewery in Atwater Village (at the intersection of the 5 and 134 freeways) is obviously closed for in-person dining and and drinking. But it’s opened a drive-thru pickup for necessities, grocery items and beer (naturally). And the bargain on the shopping list? Toilet paper for 50 cents a roll.

Shop without having to leave your vehicle: The drive-thru is open from 12-8 p.m. daily. The pub menu is also available for food to go. Call 818-243-2337 to place a grocery order. The pub menu as well as well as some grocery items are available online via the Toast app, Uber Eats and Grubhub.

View the images below to view the grocery, beer and pub menus.

Golden Road Brewing
5410 W. San Fernando Road
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Bagel Boyz Opens Second Location in Valencia

Bagel Boyz isn’t just for breakfast: Meet the Turkey Bacon Ranch Guacamole sandwich. | Photo: scvfoodie.com

Bagel Boyz, the popular bagel shop on Via Princessa, has quietly opened a second location near Valencia High School on Newhall Ranch Road.

Lance Takao, a veteran of front-of-house/restaurant management with Restaurants Unlimited (Kincaid’s in Redondo Beach, the former Palomino in Westwood) as well as Togo’s, took over the original Bagel Boyz location in 2017. He opened this second location last week (Jan. 21) in the former First Serve Tennis storefront.

The bagels are made fresh daily at the Via Princessa store, and served at both outposts. Takao says that from the 20 or so varieties they make, Santa Claritans love the jalapeño cheese and everything bagels the most.

Lance Takao, right, opened Bagel Boyz 2 on Jan. 21. He’s pictured here with employee Damien Wong. | Photo: scvfoodie.com

Bagel Boyz’s sandwiches are just as in-demand. Takao says their top-seller is the Chipotle Breakfast, made with an egg and sausage on a jalapeño cheese bagel smeared with jalapeño cream cheese and chipotle sauce. (If you like breakfast with a kick, this tasty sandwich is definitely for you).

And the bagels aren’t just for breakfast either. There’s a whole array of lunch sandwiches with pastrami, ham, turkey, chicken, tuna and chicken salad. Pizza bagels are also on the menu for those who want hot fare. And there’s salads.

But let’s be real, if you head to Bagel Boyz, skip the salad and try their chewy, tasty bagels that pair perfectly with cream cheese or eaten alone.

For the month of February, if you mention their flyer at the new location, customers can partake in these grand opening specials:

  • Buy a dozen bagels, get a dozen free;
  • Buy a bagel sandwich, get a second one free; or
  • Buy one bagel, get one free.

If you’re a student or faculty/teacher at one of the local schools, then ask for the School Special—any sandwich (except lox) plus a fountain drink—for $5.

Check the gallery below for some of Bagel Boyz most popular items.


Bagel Boyz (original location)
18580 Via Princessa, Canyon Country
Hours: 5 am – 1:30 pm (Monday to Friday), 5:30 am – 1:30 pm (Saturdays and Sundays)

Bagel Boys 2
27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Unit 40, Valencia
Hours: 6 am – 4 pm (Monday to Friday), 6 am – 3 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

SCVFoodie’s Favorite Foods of 2019

Happy New Year! 2019 just flew by, but in reflecting upon the ups, downs and adventures of last year, many highlights centered around good food. Some dishes were fancy schmancy. Others were simple delights made special by the company or context. In no particular order, here’s what tickled our taste buds and surprised us in 2019.

Beef Soup Noodles

Beef stew soup noodles at Dai Ho in Temple City, Calif.

On assignment for another publication, SCVFoodie checked out the mom-and-pop operations of Dai Ho, a Taiwanese noodle shop in Temple City that was awarded a Michel. The beef noodle soup makes for perfect comfort food especially during the SoCal winter.


Chilaquiles and a Cinnamon Roll

The Old Town Junction in Newhall, which has already established itself as one of Santa Clarita’s go-to eateries, offers phenomenal weekend brunch items. Why spend Saturday or Sunday mornings waiting in a ridiculous Egg Plantation line when your chances are better at the Junction? We had a memorable meal with the chilaquiles (tortilla chips, slow-braised short rib, fried egg, crema, picked onion, serrano, queso cotija over black beans and topped with cilantro. And as a shared breakfast/brunch dessert item, we opted for the so-much-better-than-Cinnabon roll (for the table to share, of course.)


Strawberry Bomb

Meet the Strawberry Bomb at Cici’s Cafe in Tarzana

Did you ever have breakfast envy? Mr. SCVFoodie ordered this delightful flavor bomb at Cici’s in Tarzana, and my club sandwich order was really good, but not this good. The pancakes, powdered sugar, almond slices and whipped cream were a strawberry lover’s dream. Cici’s has an extensive menu (re: HUGE) and we can’t wait to try all the strawberry and blueberry pancake options..some day.


A Valley secret: Annie’s Sweet Oven’s breakfast croissant

We would have never have known about Annie’s Sweet Oven were it not for a friend who lives up the street from this small strip mall in Sylmar (off the 210 at Yarnell). It’s a simple bakery and cafe, and this egg, spinach and cheese breakfast croissant was amazing. The croissant was flaky, buttery as any good croissant worth its salt should be — and at $5.75, it was a bargain.


Lobster and Clam Rolls

Doug’s Seafood is a family-run market and restaurant that has grown in popularity over the years in Bonita Springs, Fla., located near the cities of Ft. Myers and Naples. The Maine transplants have brought wicked good New England style seafood to Florida, and their lobster rolls are some of the simplest and best ones we’ve tried. (We’re partial to the Connecticut style —hot and served on a buttered roll — instead of the Maine roll, which is served cold with mayo.) On a recent trip in November, we tried something different: Their clam strip roll. The battered and fried clams were tender, not chewy and immediately transported us back to the clam rolls we had growing up in New England and the Northeast. It was that good. Plus, the clam roll was way cheaper ($7.95) then the hot lobster roll ($15.95 for a small to $26.95 for a large).


Summer Vacation Eats

Ladurée’s avocado toast at ORLY airport in Paris was a religious experience. It was served on pain aux céréales with hummus and goat cheese cubes.

Eating Through Amsterdam and France

This summer, SCVFoodie was fortunate enough to go on a Rhine river cruise that started in Amsterdam and ended in Bern, Switzerland. As you can imagine, we ate pretty well throughout the two-week trip, particularly in France. Highlights include a fresh goat cheese salad in Lourdes, France, near the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains to Dutch pancakes at a street fair.

Oedipus Beer and Arancini in Amsterdam

Dutch Mini Pancakes in Amsterdam

Mini Dutch pancakes at the Albert Cuyp market.

SCVFoodie found these mini Dutch pancake puffs (poffertjes) at the Albert Cuyp street market. Served hot and topped with powdered sugar, these tasted like what would happen if a funnel cake and a popover had a baby. The video below shows how they’re made.

SCVFoodie in Amsterdam: Mini Dutch pancakes at the (street) fair.

Tarte Flambée in Strasbourg, France

Don’t call me a pizza: This is a tarte flambée.

The city of Strasbourg, France, has been governed by France or Germany, with rulers fighting for and taking over several times. Located in the area formerly known as Alsace, in northeastern France, the food in Strasbourg is reflective of both cultures. We had the opportunity to create our own thick-cut bacon and onion tarte flambée at the Brasserie Dauphin as part of a tour activity. It’s a very thin-crusted dough topped with crème fraîche, bacon, onions and seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg. It was fired in a pizza oven for a minute or two, and it was fresh, hot and as simple and tasty as you can imagine it to be.

Lourdes, France: Country Cuisine

  • goat cheese salad
  • chicken risotto
  • croque madame sandwich

Lourdes is located in the south of France in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains; it’s closer to Barcelona than Paris. The region is known for its lamb, chicken, trout and cheeses like the Pyrénées and le Barousse and Basque influences. The city is filled with tourist cafes and brasseries, but for the most part, we were pleasantly surprised with the food. The three best items were the chicken risotto from Le Geneve; a goat cheese salad and a croque madame (a grilled ham and cheese sandwich — a croque monsieur — with a fried egg) at random street cafes. While those restaurant names are forgotten, the dishes certainly aren’t.


Midnight Sandwich

Cuban sandwich in Key West, Fla.

Key West is located approximately 90 mi. from Cuba, so naturally, we wanted Cuban food and coffee while in town for two days. We stumbled upon Key West Cuban Coffee, which seats about a dozen people. The cortadito was strong and perfect, and the midnight sandwich (medianoche) with its roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese and sweet pickles was more so as served up on a soft, sweet egg bread. Never judge a book — or restaurant — by its covers.


Pickle Soup

Pickle soup

Pierogi Spot opened in 2019 on Golden Valley Road, offering Polish comfort food like pierogis, sausages, cabbage rolls, stews and soups. It’s a terrific family-owned restaurant. The pierogis come with a daily soup and salad, so on our visit, we tried the creamy dill pickle soup. Not being huge fans of dill pickles, we were a bit skeptical, but it was not sour or acidic. The soup was creamy and comforting and perfect for winter. 


Sluttiest Brownies in West L.A.

  • Sluttiest brownie
  • Sluttiest brownie

B Sweet Dessert Bar on Sawtelle has been around for several years, and the Sluttiest Brownie has been there from the beginning. On a recent Christmas shopping trip to West L.A., we stopped in for a treat. B Sweet’s known for its rotating bread pudding flavors each week, but this brownie is a classic. The five-layer dessert includes a brownie, chocolate chip cookie, Oreo cookie, graham cracker and marshmallow. It’s rich, decadent and delicious as it sounds.


Happy New Year to all and happy eating in 2020!

Eat This Now: Tamales Express

Pork tamale from Tamales Express. | Photo: Christine N. Ziemba

Though tamales are eaten for breakfast and dinner all-year round, there’s always a bigger demand around the holidays. And if you’re lucky enough to be part of a family assembly line making them for Christmas, then nothing beats tamales made with love. BUT, if like SCV Foodie, you have to buy your tamales, we found another go-to spot in Santa Clarita.

In addition to our personal favs like Jazmin’s Bakery in Newhall and Me Gusta at the Sunday farmer’s market at College of the Canyons, Tamales Express is a great new option.

Located near the intersection of Soledad Canyon and Sierra Hwy., the small eatery has a limited menu focusing on…tamales: beef, chicken, pork and cheese with jalapeño. Open for about three months, it took over the space of The Cajun Belle bar.

On a recent Sunday morning, we got there about 10:30 a.m., and they were already out of the beef, so we tried the chicken and pork. The masa was moist and the fillings were generous. Unlike some tamales, which need to be drowned in salsa or sauce, the Tamales Express offerings didn’t need a thing.

Both had a little spice, but if we had to pick a favorite, we’d choose the pork. Its heat complemented the flavors of the savory and tender pork.

Now here’s the best part: The tamales were $2.25 each. Compared to the $3.50 at the farmer’s market, they’re a real bargain. A dozen from Tamales Express runs $25 — perfect for pre-holiday ordering.


Tamales Express
18283 Soledad Canyon Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91387
661-360-7751

Free Coffee Mondays at Bodhi Leaf Sierra Hwy

Passing along this great deal for SCV coffee drinkers: This Monday and next (Sept. 23 and 30), Bodhi Leaf on Sierra Highway is giving out free coffee while supplies last.

Customers can get a 12-oz. cold brew or drip coffee for free. Gratis. Libre. No purchase necessary (though we can personally vouch for the Bodhi Leaf blueberry cornbread coffee cake).

The deal does not apply to Bodhi’s Soledad Canyon location.

Limit one free coffee per customer. And the deal doesn’t include fancy drinks, matcha, teas, half-caf, oatmilk lattes, etc., just coffee, hot or cold.


Bodhi Leaf Sierra Highway
26910 Sierra Hwy, D-2
Santa Clarita

Cheap Eats: Taco Tuesday at the Alamo

These are the Alamo’s nachos with chicken….what’s up with the carrots? | Photo: SCVFoodie.com

Despite its full name—The Alamo Rotisserie—most SCV residents just refer to the restaurant in Granary Square as “The Alamo.” The eatery has been serving up economical, no-frills Mexican food since the ’80s, and judging from the crowd on a recent summer night, it’ll hopefully be around awhile longer.

While the cramped inside of the restaurant looks like it hasn’t been remodeled since the ’80s, most customers choose to sit on the patio anyway to enjoy cheap pitchers of beer or margaritas. (They do have a full liquor license, but other than shots, a Jack and Coke or Rum and Coke, the mixed drink choices are limited. (We once asked for a 7&7 after spotting Seagram’s 7 on the shelf, but were met with confusion.) So stick to the beers on tap or margaritas.

Now, the food: It’s not the best Mexican food ever—but it’s cheap. On [Taco] Tuesdays, the soft street tacos are $1 each. The two chicken tacos we ordered recently were filled with good-sized chunks of chicken, as seen below.

On Taco Tuesdays, these are $1 each. | Photo: SCVFoodie.com

If you haven’t checked out The Alamo in awhile, go back. Have a beer on the patio, people watch and try to make it on a Tuesday if you can.

The Alamo Rotisserie
25946 McBean Pkwy., Valencia

(661) 254-3131