What to Do With Leftovers?

Beverly Bush Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers restaurant news for The Times Orange County Edition.

When you dine in one of our fine restaurants, do you ever think about the people outside, unable to come in--Orange County’s hungry? Fortunately, a group of leading restaurateurs are not only thinking about them, but also organizing to help them.

“We’re in the food business, and there are people out there who are hungry. It’s unacceptable,” says Hal Rosoff, owner of the Back Bay Rowing and Running Club in South Coast Plaza and Cuisine M and Meyerhof’s in Irvine. Rosoff is acting chairman of a group of restaurateurs and representatives of major food service organizations who have formed an advisory board to work with SOS (Share Our Selves), a Costa Mesa group that fights hunger and homelessness. The two groups met recently to brainstorm ways of getting the excess food from the county’s restaurants to the homeless.

Jean Forbath, SOS founder, said that the group spends more than $2,000 a week to buy food at discounted prices but that there is never enough. “Many homeless people come to us for food, but more and more it is the working poor with minimum-wage jobs and salaries.”


“We are working on several plans to alleviate the situation on a continual basis,” Rosoff said, “and we welcome others in the food industry to join us.” Rosoff may be reached at Meyerhof headquarters in Irvine, (714) 261-6178.

Why did Don Callender name his new venture (at the site of the former Marie Callender’s in Newport Beach) Geezer’s Garlic Grill? “Because I’m a geezer!” he exclaimed. And, of course, when it opens Sept. 4, the restaurant will serve plenty of garlic--although not in everything . The menu will accent pasta and pizza, but there will be sandwiches, salads and chili for lunch, and entrees of chicken, steak, ribs and seafood for dinner. Lunch prices will range from $5 to $8, and dinners (including soup or salad and, naturally, garlic bread) will average $8. The restaurant has been extensively remodeled. It will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. The address is 4200 Scott Drive in MacArthur Square; (714) 851-0704.