Monday, June 13, 2011
Stonefire Grill, Irvine
Last month's BlogCrush meeting was a hit as usual. I've mentioned it before but you can read more about this completely awesome group here.
About 40 of us met up at Stonefire Grill and were greeted by their very awesome marketing manager, Justin Lopez. His mom and aunt started Stonefire in 2000 and it has since grown to 7 different locations. Something about being greeted by a family member really gave me those family-owned restaurant warm fuzzies.
They had the whole patio set aside for us with a pretty impressive spread of food AND beer and wine. Justin was awesome and handled the paparazzi really well. Can you imagine speaking to a bunch of bloggers and trying to introduce the food?
They introduced us to the new healthy alternatives menu as well as some favorites like the mashed potatoes and bread sticks.
On the right you see the BBQ chicken and tri-tip. They slow cook all their meats overnight and finish them off on a mesquite-fire grills. The result is meat that is tender, juicy and packed with flavor.
And the mashed potatoes are heaven. Heaven people. There isn't a healthy alternative to them, nor should there be.
The spinach salad was packed with avocado, artichoke hearts and fresh tomato. I loved the roasted red pepper vinaigrette.
I had more bread sticks than I should have... but I don't regret it.
You know, it's really funny being around a group of people taking pictures of their food. Kindred spirits.
This is the grilled veggie pizza. I have been craving this pizza.
It has eggplant, zucchini, onion, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh oregano. I love fresh oregano.
The sauce on this pizza is so flavorful and deep that I didn't even miss having cheese on my pizza.
I repeat. I didn't even miss having cheese on my pizza.
Can you understand the gravity of that statement?!
After lots of gabbing, tons of laughing and a glass or two of wine.... Justin did something really wonderful and brought out these desserts.
The desserts are huge as they are meant to be shared. The cheesecake is fantastic and I love how incredibly thick the crust is. I think I could eat the blueberry topping straight.
The carrot cake? Well I think Elizabeth's expression says it all.
I should also mention that Justin came by and asked us if we wanted to take any of the leftovers home so that it didn't get wasted. There were some very happy mamas going home with bags full of the next days dinner (or late night snack) and dessert. Something about him offering to pack to go packages made me really happy.
This is my friend Pam! We went to college together and just happened to reconnect at a BlogCrush meeting. She's trying to look all sweet while she uses some kind of allergy excuse to steal the brownie.
Don't let that smile fool you.
Again, it was a fantastic night. I'll be at more BlogCrush meetings in the future and I'll definitely be heading to Stonefire Grill again.