So a reconnaissance mission was called for and over several days here is what I discovered about the first area I really explored upon my arrival in Orange County.
There was a VONS, which is fine, but the really interesting news was that it was surrounded by 3 unconventional competitors, cutting it off from its companion (RALPH'S), a few blocks further away.
There was a TRADER JOE'S, a MOTHER'S MARKET and a GROWER'S DIRECT veggie and fruit market.
As far as fast and not so fast food is concerned, TACO BELL, DEL TACO, WENDY'S and JACK IN THE BOX (My favorite of such places), were hunkered down in a fox hole on the same street, surrounded by a platoon full of the ene, um, I mean competition. :-D
With only PIZZA HUT and ROUNDTABLE PIZZA to protect the center, things were quite interesting to say the least. :-D
While DENNY'S and OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE staked out IN YOUR FACE positions between the 2 taco places, everyone else staked out spots of their own surrounding the others, thus keeping them from coordinating an effective defense.
This 10 block stretch of a shopping district was populated by an unusual assortment of eating establishments, from the well known to the less well known and the known only by folks within a 10 mile radius.
The line-up included at the time:
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, Bruegger's Bagels, The Flame Broiler (Rice Dishes), Golden Spoon Yogurt and Smoothies, IHOP, Koo Koo Roo, La Salsa Mexican Grill, Marie Callendar's, Me and Ed's Family Pizza Parlor, The Pizza Bakery, Ruby's Diner, Subway, Thai Spice, a handful of donut shops, and a Starbucks for good measure. :-D
Further afield were various juice places, a pasta place, and even FURTHER afield, if all the other places were closed, there was a Norms's that bragged that it NEVER CLOSES. :-D
So, in case I ever got bored with my own home cooked cuisine, I didn’t lack for other tasty opportunities.
When I went into the IHOP, one evening, to pick up a take home menu, there was a lady customer who, when I mentioned I was new in the area, asked where I was from.
She then let me know, with a laugh, that I'd like the area very much...
There were lots of girls looking to get laid, all over the place, she said...
Um, yes, gee, thanks, ma'am, that's sure good to know, yessirree Bob!
Actually, I just laughed and ducked out the door without a word. :-D
Good to see that some of the natives have as odd a sense of humor as myself.