Secret Ingredient : Love :

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Mendocino Farms ::

It’s no secret that the secret ingredient to good food is love. But for eco-artisan sandwich market, Mendocino Farms, they take that extra cup of love seriously. Mendocino Farms takes pride in serving quality, seasonal foods to Orange County and Los Angeles. With nine locations total, but with only one of those in the OC – just off 17th St in Costa Mesa – you have to check it out ASAP.. As soon as you walk through the door, “Hi, welcome! Have you been here before?” an excited and genuinely employee asks you. The employee then takes you through the entire menu – which doesn’t lack options, let me tell you.

From Classics “Mendo Style” sandwiches, to sophisticated salads, to the separate sections of Farm and Foodie Favorites, and even its own section for Vegan options, and of course don’t forget the Seasonal Sandwiches, the tour guide through the menu will get your taste buds and appetite so pumped up, you’ll want one of everything. Turn the corner and you’ll find a glass casing full of colorful side options.

Now don’t even get me started on these sides. With options ranging from Curried Couscous, Marinated Red Beets & Quinoa, and the “Healthiest Side Salad Ever” you’ll want to try every single one. And you can – unlimited amount of times. Need I say more? From the menu, I chose the Kale Caesar salad and, from the Foodie Favorites, the “Not So Fried” Chicken. Let me start off by saying, I am not a salad lover. They always leave me feeling like an unsatisfied rabbit. But this Kale Caesar, with locally grown kale, butter lettuce and romaine, crispy wheatberries (instead of croutons), red onions, grape tomatoes and chucky avocado – plus the option to add their free range roasted chicken – YUM.

The “Not So Fried” Chicken didn’t disappoint either. Crispy fresh toasted ciabatta with roasted free range chicken, mustard pickle slaw, local tomatoes and pickled red onions with a side of warm sweet and spicy chipotle BBQ sauce. Yeah, they went there.

Their creativity and artisan take on dining doesn’t stop with their food. With house-made soda flavors like Vanilla Cream and Mandarin Orange (hint: 2/3 Vanilla, 1/3 Orange = Creamsicle) your meal from Mendocino Farms will be anything but boring.

And their menu states, “A great sandwich starts and stops with quality ingredients – and one other secret ingredient: LOVE.”


By: Alesandra Rene

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