Since moving from San Diego to Orange County, there have been a lot of things I have needed to get used to. The main difference, the OC food scene. As a plus size foodie, the options have been quite a change. I can handle the beach being 45 minutes away from me. I have been able to overlook the number of malls rivaling Starbucks’ on every corner. But nothing, has been harder for me to handle than the strip-mall food culture of Orange County, California.
Some of the best places to eat in Orange County are next to laundromats, dollar stores, and nail salons. When you see some cool new hipster eatery with some kind of gimmick (fishbowl drinks, unicorn themed hot chocolate etc.) there’s a good chance it will be in some neighborhood strip mall.
Plus size foodie exploring OC in my Andrew Zimmern tee
Coming from San Diego, where the food culture is vibrant and there are food-centric neighborhoods, this is a huge disappointment for me. In Orange County, my plus size foodie ass can’t just hop from cool eatery to the next, like you could in North Park, Ocean Beach, or Convoy. You have to drive about 20 minutes, or go to one of the few markets that OC houses.
The lack of food scenery in Orange County hasn’t stopped me from heavily researching and exploring the culinary scene in the OC.
Plus size foodie adventures at The District Union Market’s HATCH
Every weekend my fiance and I make an effort to explore our new neighborhood’s eateries. It’s a very expensive hobby and it has taken quite the toll on our waistlines, but we regret nothing. Our Saturday mornings usually consist of lounging around in bed until our chihuahua insists on being taken on a walk. From there, we move our butts to the sofa to try and figure out what to eat for breakfast.
While I scour my bookmarks on yelp and scour a few of my favorite OC Instagram pages, he brings me coffee to sip on. Finally I will land on a few different types of cuisine, usually American, Asian, Mexican or a fusion. Of course, the menu always has a strong cocktail menu and a decent rating for coffee.
Saturday brunch at HATCH
This weekend, we landed on eating at HATCH. The small food stand is within the The District Union Market, inside of Tustin Legacy mall. It’s really an odd place. 4th Street Market is like a urban rustic hipster corner of your every-day run-of-the-mill mall. You would never guess it was in there unless a local took you. Though, it’s definitely no Anaheim Packing district. HATCH turned out to be a sliders restaurant with a robust booze menu, and a random entree of loco moco. The bloody mary was pretty darn good.
Read Bianca V.‘s review of Hatch on Yelp
A plus size food lover’s t-shirt
For this weekend’s plus size foodie adventure I came equipped with my fat pants, a large jacket to hide the food baby, and my new favorite t-shirt. This tee was a present from my father for Christmas. Being that my dad was the one who inspired my interest in cooking from a young age, it’s only natural he would clothe me the obsession he started. Leave a comment if you know what the shirt is in reference to!
For those that don’t know why I love this shirt, well it’s from my favorite TV chef’s line of merchandise. I spent a lot of my teenage years watching TLC’s What Not to Wear, with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly (as referenced in some of my first blog posts ever). Right after that, was my favorite travel and food show, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. This was before he got intestinal worms and switch it to Bizarre Foods America. It’s not quite the same as his international show, but it does give me an idea of what is weird in other states.
Why I love chef Andrew Zimmern
It’s not that I like Zimmern’s food per se. I do cook some of the recipes he shares on his websites, in which I can’t say I have enjoyed them all. But, what I do appreciate is his personality and brand. Unlike other television chefs, Zimmern doesn’t come off as a pretentious know-it-all (I’m looking at you Bourdain). He’s kind of your rolly-polly jewish uncle that every family gathering gives you some odd trinket from his trips and gives you beer while you are still underage.
When it comes to eating, I don’t ever wear real pants when food is involved. That’s always the biggest mistakes newbies make. If you are planning on trying a lot of food, being comfortable is king. Leggings will always be my go-to pants for food adventures.
I wish more plus size foodies were celebrated rather than put down. It can be a controversial topic because people see fat people who enjoy food as being gluttonous and needing to lose weight. I like to celebrate my love of food by going out to eat, often. Millennials are always being ridiculed for how over educated, poor, opinionated, we are. Apparently, we spend too much on avocado toast. Honestly, some of that might be true (just a little), but I would rather spend my money on things that I enjoy.
Plus size military jacket – Forever21 plus – $30 (get one like it for $27 here)
Blue mirrored sunglasses – MANGO – $30 (get ones like it for $20 here)
Outfit total: about $130
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