My French Lunch Break

While studying abroad in Cannes I grew to appreciate the importance the French place on their "dejeuner" (lunch). French lunch breaks are commonly 2 hours in order to give people time to truly relax from work, cook and enjoy their most extravagant meal of the day. This blog is dedicated to the idea of taking some extra time in the middle of each day to truly appreciate the gifts of food, nature, friendship, family, art and health.

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Those of you who know me know that I never planned to end up staying in the OC after graduation to work in Anaheim. But one dream job offer later, here I am! Growing up, I never spent much time in Anaheim besides going to Disneyland. Three and a half years of working there has taught me the lay of the land though...or at least the best lunch spots! (Come on Francophiles, that's all that matters right??)

So in honor of all the hole-in-the-wall eateries that have fed me so well these past few years, I thought I'd do a round up of the "Best Lunch Break Locations in Anaheim, CA." 

Punjabi Tandoor - Mm, mm Indian! I found this spot on Yelp and fell in love the first time I visited with my roommate. Now I've gotten everyone at work addicted, and I think every person who works at the restaurant knows me. At lunch they have combo deals that include two curry dishes, rice and naan. I always add a samosa as well. My top vegetarian picks are the Nav Rattan Korma (mixed vegetables) and the Bengan Bhartha (eggplant), and boyfriend loves the Chicken Tikka Masala. 

Cortina's - Family-owned Italian at its very best. I had lunch here on the very first day of my internship, and I probably still come back about three times a month. They have the best ingredients--fresh bread, amazing olives, incredible marinara sauce. And they also sell all of their ingredients their Italian market next door! I'm a weirdo, so my favorite meal here is the Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich with no cheese and marinara sauce instead of meat sauce (and yes, they know my order when I walk in). But everything is delicious--pizza, salads, pasta--you can't go wrong. NOTE: Cortina's is closed on Tuesdays. 

Papa Hassan's - When I studied in Europe, I lived on falafel! It was so readily available and so delicious everywhere you went. But I've found it tough to find a falafel joint that rivals my European finds--that is until I found Papa Hassan's. The restaurant used to be located right by Chapman in Orange, but after a kitchen fire they relocated to Anaheim (all the better for me now!). Don't let the trashy strip mall deceive you though, the food is just as amazing as ever! And I always leave with a smile after chatting with the super friendly employees. My top pick is the Veggie Sandwich with a side of french fries. 

Thuyen Vien (aka Pho Veggie) - Vegan Pho, what?? This place is SUCH a hole in the wall, but they have a huge menu of amazing vietnamese food that is entirely vegan. Their ingredients are fresh and the flavors are incredible. It's the perfect spot for a chilly day (except on Mondays when they are closed). And the owner is the cutest man in the entire world. I recommend the Egg Rolls (served with fresh lettuce and mint leaves) and the Royal Noodle Soup. My mission is to eventually try something else, but those two items are just so good! 

Gypsy Den - Hippies (like me) are welcome at this trendy joint in the newly re-vamped Historic Downtown Anaheim area. One of three locations in Orange County, this spot blends vintage and modern seamlessly with a gorgeous outdoor patio to boot. I've been a Gypsy Den fan for a while, so I was beyond excited when they opened in Anaheim. I love coming here on a nice day to sit outside and enjoy their Stuffed Avocados (I fill them with the Quinoa Salad and the Orzo Salad). It's tough to pick a favorite here, but if you're hungry I'd always go with the (vegan) Mushroom Bacon Burger - with a side of BBQ sauce. Oh and their Vanilla Chai Tea Latte - to die for! 

And that's a wrap my foodie friends! Now visit Anaheim and chow down ;) 

<3 Lyssa 

Truth #2

Hearing the person you love say "i love you" is truly the best thing ever. It never ceases to make my heart melt...and i'm surprised and overwhelmed by it every time.

<3 <3 <3