Burgers and Craft Cocktails at Black Box!

Burgers and Craft Cocktails at Black Box!

By Erin

If you are looking for the perfect place to enjoy a craft cocktail and tasty burger in Orange County, I have found the place for you! The other week I was checking out the new Black Box in downtown Santa Ana (DTSA) at a media tasting and was anxious to see what the former Little Sparrow Restaurant has blossomed into. The Black Box has a very eclectic feel to it. There is a family dining area and a separate speakeasy area down a hallway that one can walk down to that is located on the right of the kitchen. I absolutely loved the atmosphere of this place!!


The bar area is very cozy, a few tables and seats maybe 30 people max. The mixologist are amazing and they put so much love into each drink. The drink menu is also very eclectic but there are some classics that are lovely. Just look at that bar! It’s a very large well-stocked bar.


We chose to sit on the cozy speakeasy side that boasts a Deborah Harryesque mural on the far wall.


The atmosphere is very casual, chill and friendly. You could easily spend hours just hanging out and catching up with friends or enjoy a very chill date night here. Upon arriving, our server offered our group their ‘Welcome Punch’. It was the perfect start to a very relaxing evening. After we all looked at the cocktail menu though, we found many others that looked tempting to try as well. Below is the delicious and refreshing Welcome Punch displayed on the bar.


The Welcome Punch. I could have easily just had this all night, but decided to be a little adventurous and tried a couple others too. They do make the drinks very strong here, so you should be good after a couple of drinks. I couldn’t finish all of mine.


Each of the drinks were just as delicious as they were pretty. These are the two drinks I had and sipped throughout the evening. The Changeling, $11 on the left: House made strawberry shrub, muddled basil, lemon, Jamaican bitters wth choice of vodka or bourbon. I chose vodka for mine. The one of the right is the Barkeeps Inspiration, $15 Let them know your mood, favorite liquor, or drink preference and they’ll mix something up to suit. I asked for something fruity and a little on sweet side with vodka.


A couple other options that friends ordered included the Penecillin #2, $12 which consisted of Mezcal, ginger, honey, lemon, and Fernet Vallet mist.

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Helping to Choose the New Johnny Rockets Vegetarian Menu & Giveaway!

Helping to Choose the New Johnny Rockets Vegetarian Menu & Giveaway!

By Erin

The other week I had the opportunity to participate in a unique focus group with other local foodies and bloggers for Johnny Rockets to taste test the entries in contention to become the next vegetarian burger for Johnny Rockets. Johnny Rockets  is famous for their delicious original hamburgers and fountain drinks and now they are working hard to create additional vegetarian burger options to add to their menu to redefine the burger experience. Johnny Rockets operates more than 350 franchise and corporate locations in 28 countries around the world. In one year, Johnny Rockets serves up 17 million burgers, 11.3 million soda pops, 8.3 million Shakes and Malts, 8 million pounds of Fries and 815,000 gallons of ice cream. That’s a lot of food and drinks!

Johnny Rockets Block at Orange

Johnny Rockets prides itself on bringing people together around hand-crafted burgers. Offering guests a classic, yet modern dining experience with a chef-inspired menu that showcases a passion for food with their burgers and sandwiches, fries, and hand-spun shakes made with premium ice cream. Cooking up made-to-order burgers with 4 protein options available: fresh, never frozen 100% domestic farm-raised beef, farm-fresh chicken, ground turkey, and Boca Burger. So, which one of these new vegetarian options is going to make the cut?

Each participant was given a score sheet to mark down the ratings and crackers to cleanse the palate. Each patty was so different, it wasn’t as easy at it may look!

JR Tasting Card

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Finding Dory is Here at Last!

Finding Dory is Here at Last!

By Erin


Have you seen her? Finding Dory has finally found her way into theaters after all this time. 13 years of waiting is over! The reunion of everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends Nemo and Marlin is finally here.  Finding Dory is back and ready to swim into your heart. Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory finds Dory living happily in the reef with Marlin and Nemo about a year after their life-changing adventure. When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, she recruits Marlin and Nemo for a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute (MLI), a rehabilitation center and aquarium. Be ready for the ride of your life as you follow this lovable bunch on their quest across the ocean to find Dory’s family.

Family is a key theme in Finding Dory.  Dory can’t remember where she’s from, but she has to have a family, right? Dory finds herself asking ‘Where are they?’–there’s a sad truth to that and she is curious and determined to find out where they are.

LOST AND FOUND — In "Finding Dory," everyone's favorite forgetful blue tang Dory finds herself lost in the kelp forest while searching for answers about her past. Directed by Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”), “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Lost & Found — Everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang Dory. ©2016 Disney•Pixar.

In the effort to find her mom and dad, Dory gathers the help of three of the MLI’s most fascinating residents: Hank, a cantankerous octopus who frequently gives employees the slip; Bailey, a beluga whale who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz; and Destiny, a nearsighted whale shark. Navigating their way through the complex inner workings of the MLI, Dory and her friends discover the magic within their flaws, friendships and family.

I don’t want to ruin any of the magic for you in Finding Dory, so I will leave you with some fun facts and some fun numbers to know to get you ready to swim on over and go see this adorable film!

FINDING DORY. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Ready for a field trip at school! ©2016 Disney•Pixar.

Dory Fun Facts

A New Voice for Nemo Alexander Gould, who was the original voice of Nemo in 2003’s Finding Nemo is all grown up and turned 22 in May, so filmmakers had to recast the character, calling on 12-year-old Hayden Rolence to voice the junior clownfish in Finding Dory. Gould, who won filmmakers’ hearts 13 years ago, can be heard in the new movie as the voice of a truck driver. Rolence, who was cast long before recording began, was told that he couldn’t tell anyone about the role. You can imagine how rough this was for a young kid who wanted more than anything to share the news with his grandma.

Comedian Albert Brooks Returns–as the voice of clownfish Marlin in Finding Dory. Filmmakers say Brooks is all about improv, infusing his iconic comedy into the character. While Marlin carried a big emotional load in Finding Nemo, he’s been freed up in Finding Dory, allowing Brooks a lot more improvisational leeway this time.

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