Greer's OC: Food trucks compete for ultimate glory

David and Goliath. Spartans and Persians. North vs. South. Good vs. evil.

Epic battles have always given us hope, inspired our actions and captured our imaginations. This Saturday, a battle of epic proportions will take place, and although it might not capture our imaginations, it definitely will capture our taste buds.

At the Farm to Food Truck Challenge III on Saturday at the SoCo Farmers' Market in Costa Mesa, six top gourmet food trucks will compete for the title of "Top Chop Truck." The title will be given to the chef who can create the best dish using only locally grown, farm-fresh ingredients found at the Farmers' Market, which is certified. The goal is to promote healthy eating and support of locally grown foods.

Top local food judges include Mona Shah-Anderson, O.C restaurant publicist; chef Andrew Gruel, winner of Farm2FTII and owner of SlapFish; chef Santanna Salas from Haven Gastropub; Kim Glen of the city of Costa Mesa; and Priscilla Willis of She's Cookin'. Food blogger Bobby Navarro will act as emcee.

The competition begins at noon Saturday, and the chefs will only have 60 minutes to whip up their best culinary creation.

This is a wonderful chance to check out an event that pulls together the community and really brings our current food truck obsession to life. Come by the Farmer's Market for some great food, live music, fresh ingredients and an opportunity to learn, firsthand, about the farm-to-fork mentality.

A food drive will also take place, and attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods or make a small donation. Any donation can be used to purchase food directly from the farmers.

SoCo Farmers' Market is at 3315 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa.


Philharmonic Society concert subscriptions

There has never been a better time to get into classical music. Not only has the Philharmonic Society of Orange County booked Grammy-winning acts like Yo-Yo Ma and the Parker Quartet, but it is also offering affordable three-concert subscriptions.

There are six different concert subscriptions to choose from: the All-Stars, Beethoven, British Orchestras, Barclay, Recital and Saturday mini-series. All mini-series will range from $90 to $950, and you can sit back in Orange County's finest venues and listen to the complex sounds of classical music.

We recommend the Beethoven mini-series. The exploration of Beethoven's late works will be curated by Philharmonic Society President Dean Corey as he gives context and introduction to Beethoven's greatest works, including his Seventh and Ninth symphonies. As a bonus, the St. Lawrence String Quartet will perform Beethoven's late string quartets.

If you act fast, you can save 20% when you use the promotion code MINI through July 15. For more information, visit


Music from the movies

Movie soundtracks are such a subtle yet important part of the cinema experience. The Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra is presenting "Music from Movies We Love" at the Huntington Beach Central Library at 3 p.m. Sunday. Songs from "My Fair Lady," "The King and I," "Oliver!" and "The Sound of Music" will be featured.

Tickets cost $20 or $25 at the door, $18 for seniors and students. Purchase tickets at the library or at For more information, call (714) 274-5524

The Huntington Beach Central Library is at 7111 Talbert Ave.


New menu at Crow Bar and Kitchen

The Crow Bar and Kitchen in Corona del Mar just announced its new menu by James Beard-nominated chef John Cuevas.

The menu is a pleasure to read. It not only features Crow Bar's famous burgers but also gives history of the importance of local farms, and the beer list is hard to put down.

For example, Stone's More Black than Brown IPA is described as "deep brown, a bit hazy with tan foam, a powerful hop blend. Modest body with lingering bitter, drying end hints of roasted malt/chocolate."

After reading that, how can you not want to wash down your BBQ pork belly sliders with that tasty IPA?

As opposed to a place like the Counter, which trusts the diner to make good menu decisions, the Crow Bar invites you to trust Cuevas. His signature crow burger made — with five ounces of their proprietary blend of all-natural Angus and prime beef, with tallegio and Gorgonzola, housemade ketchup and wild rocket on a rosemary bun — is a solid menu choice. It's even better when paired with the new wild arugula salad with candied bacon, a poached ranch egg, sherry dressing and pecorino romano.

Whatever you try on Crow Bar's new menu, it will not disappoint. After a long day at the beach this summer, give the new items a try and kick back with some familiar favorites.

The Crow Bar and Kitchen is at 2325 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar. For more information, call (949) 673-2747 or visit


Shrimp broil class

Where's the Party? on East 17th Street in Costa Mesa will be hosting its first-ever technique class on "How to Host a Shrimp Broil" from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Just in time for summer, the gals at Where's the Party? will show you how to treat your family and friends to a traditional Southern shrimp boil. From the decor to the beverages to the shrimp to the invitations to the ever-so-charming Southern drawl, they will teach you how to host a great summer gathering.

This is their first-ever "do-it-yourself" class, but they plan on hosting many more this summer. It's the perfect opportunity to support a local business and learn the secrets to throwing a wonderful party from the masters themselves. Where's the Party? has been in business for more than 20 years and has always been the premier source for all your event-planning needs.

The shrimp boil lesson this Saturday is free, but there is limited seating, so RSVP with an email sent to if you want to attend. Visit their website at or walk into their fabulous shop at 270 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa. They always have something new going on.

The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (949) 722-1803.

GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of, a free daily email service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed and she can be contacted at

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