Five Restaurant Trends We Can Live Without, 2014 Edition

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Photos by Dustin Ames
NO MORE POUTINE!!!

This needs nearly no introduction: food trends evolve. A while back, it was cupcakes and stuff stirred into mac 'n cheese; before that, it was reinvented comfort food and moonshine. Many of the items on this list appeared years ago in Los Angeles. As with many things, it took a while and now it's started to appear in the desolate stretches of South Orange County.


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5 Ways to Make a Better Turkey

Categories: Five Great...

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Photo by Tim Sackton
Basic

Well, it's that time of the year again. The Weekly newsroom is working in overdrive so we don't fall too far behind taking time off, I'm churning out holiday-themed articles, and we're all planning not to drive on Wednesday -- It's Thanksgiving.

Nothing about the holiday really changes much year to year. Nothing's ever going to supplant turkey as protein number one (much to my chagrin), but there is one change Clam clan this year: I'm finally going to be making my family's turkey. So, for myself, and for those of you who're taking a crack at the bird for the first time or for the 40th, here's five ways you can make it better than ever before.

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5 Amazing Pumpkin Products at Trader Joe's

Categories: Five Great...

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Photo by jarchie
'Murica

Pumpkin: the edible symbol of America; the squash that represents togetherness (read: gluttony). The annual autumn muse of Trader Joe's.

Okay fine, pumpkin is everyone's muse during the fall. But Trader Joe's is different. It's that overachiever in class everyone wants to hate, but can't because they actually are good at everything (and they're actually really nice and friendly, too).

Name any general item of food, and you'll find its pumpkin version at Trader Joe's. While you're doing that, here are five of the overachiever's greatest accomplishments.

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5 Great Orange County Beers for an OC Autumn

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Photo by There's more to fall beer!

It may not feel like Summer Solstice has actually passed in Southern California, but we still reap the benefits of tasty beer made for cool air and fuzzy boots. We might not be seeing too many scarves or coats, but Orange County brewers are so good that they don't need the weather to change to make you enjoy fall beer. Here is a lineup of some excellent beers that are perfect for autumn, and while the list is numbered, they're all top picks.

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Five Great Pumpkin-Less Fall Treats

Categories: Five Great...

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Photo by Kate Ter Haar
Eugh.

Satirist John Oliver put it best in his recent rant on the pumpkin spice gimmick: Come autumn, we look at pumpkins and go "I don't know why, but I simply have to drink that."

There are plenty of valid (and delicious) applications for pumpkin, don't get us wrong, but there are a myriad of other fall flavors that get neglected by pumpkin-crazed consumers. Thankfully, Orange County hasn't entirely forgotten about autumn specialties like spiced apples and gingerbread. Here are five non-pumpkin autumn treats to devour in Orange County.


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Five Tips for Combining Craft Beer and Dating

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Photo by Cleo Tobbi
This could be you!

With the growth of breweries and craft beer bars in Orange County, you're eventually going to end up at one for a date, but for some of you not-so-savvy beer drinkers, a night out to a brewery can be intimidating. Long, winding draft and bottle menus stare at you from the moment you enter a craft beer bar, and the choices fluctuate with each visit. It can be tough to have a "usual" order at places like Native Son Alehouse or The Copper Door, and while rotation is ideal for the avid beer snob, it's not so fun for first-timers on a date. Here's how to combine romance and craft beer.


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Five OC Food Courts that Dish Out Restaurant-Worthy Eats

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Photo by Ray Bouknight
Banish the thought!

Let all your preconceived notions about food courts go: they're not all filled with fast food, neon signs and lukewarm, unpleasantly chewy Chinese takeout. In fact, Orange County boasts a few food courts that put actual restaurants to shame with the quality, quantity and value. Below, we've compiled five OC food courts to work into your lunch rotation.


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Six Award-Winning OC Beers to Try Now

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Photo by Christopher Victorio
Cheers!

The OC beer-scape has grown and improved quite a bit over the last year, and this past weekend's Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver was only a testament to what we already knew: OC beer rules. Although the usual award-winners like TAPS Fish House & Brewery and The Bruery didn't place, other OC favorites, both new and old, left the Academy Awards of craft beer with some pretty impressive hardware. Here's the list of which OC breweries brought home awards. Hats off to all.

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The 5 Best Breakfast Beers in Orange County

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Photo by Mark Longair
Orange juice?! Who needs orange juice

Apparently, September is National Breakfast Month, so happy National Breakfast Month, everybody! But instead of writing another list of breakfast restaurants (which you can read here), here's a list of all the best Orange County beers that would be pretty great for breakfast. Note: I'm not telling you to start every morning with a drink, but football season is kicking off soon and those East Coast games do start kind of early...

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5 Rules for Your First Bottle Share

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Photo by Cleo Tobbi
Whale, whale, whale..

Bottle shares are the best part about the craft beer world. Brewers bust their buns for terrible pay all so we can crack a couple of bottles open with pals and spend a night tasting the brewer's hard work in the comfort of our own homes. These fancy BYOB gatherings are what turn this hobby into a lifestyle.


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