This, That, and The Other Thing


Food Halls

McFadden Public Market

Located at 515 North Main in Santa Ana, This food court is a little different from ones I have previously visited. Upstairs at “Mission Control”, there is a huge room loaded with arcade games and a full bar that is open from 11am until “late-ish”. I can imagine how busy it gets at night. It looks like a fun place to hang out in the newly revitalized downtown area.  Weekend brunch  at Public Market is 11am until sold out.

The parking structures cost a whopping $3.00 for 3+ hours. They are located off Main Street, and there is a metered parking lot at 3rd and Bush.


As for food choices, there is the requisite coffee place called Solid Coffee Roasters. Didn’t have any but the baristas are certainly friendly. Fried chicken by Rooster Republic, ice cream by Milk Man, Viking Dogs, En Tu Boca food with a Mexican-Asian flair, and a Vietnamese concept called  Bone Steak.

Sandy and I shared some En Tu tacos which were pretty good but the real winner for us was the fried chicken at Rooster Republic. The chicken was moist and tender and was coated in a very flavorful light breading of what looked like cornflakes. These yummy fingers were served with mac and cheese and mashed potatoes topped with red gravy. Carbs never tasted so good!!

The Other Thing is a feature I hadn’t noticed in any of the restaurants that I have recently visited – an Uber station where you can call and/or wait for your ride. It is located just inside the main entrance door. What a good idea and a reminder that fun and games come with a price that no one can afford to pay.

Now off my soapbox and on to a new adventure.




The food hall trend has landed in Irvine. Located on Michelson between MacArthur and Jamboree, this food hall is in a renovated strip mall smack in the middle of high-rise office complexes. So, to me, this area afforded a ready-made market for lunchtime customers.

TRADE is a little different from the other food halls I have frequented in the last few months. The food vendors form a circle around an outdoor seating area. There is also a Center Hub that provides a full bar for the more leisurely lunchtime (and after) crowd.

My foodie friend Sandy had trouble deciding – I went straight to Butterleaf and ordered a veggie burger. I am trying to be good. After checking all the vendors a couple of times, Sandy decided on the spicy tuna bowl at Megadon (Hawaiian and Japanese fusion). We were both well pleased with our choices. My burger smelled so good I picked it up before I remember to take a photo – hence the dent in an otherwise “perfect” picture

Whatever your culinary preferences, you will probably find something to suit you here. Portside serves fish, Two Birds offers chicken in many forms, Sweet Comforts speaks for itself, Dos Chinos – Mexican of course, gyros for something Greek, and Sandwich Society.

Maybe you would just like to come on by and hang out. There is shade if you are not a fan of sun in your face. Those inside chairs are quite comfy.

So many places, so little time. There are a couple more food halls on my list. They are popping up everywhere. I have one in Santa Ana and one in Long Beach.

Stay tuned….


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