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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: ABCs of the SCV: T is for Taste | 06-29-2013
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The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Jun 29, 2013

JenniferFischerSince I shared about Summer Meals last week – with an emphasis on the importance of helping children get the nutrition they need in the summertime, including sharing local community centers, organizations and schools that provide free lunches as well as emphasizing the importance of supporting our local food pantries and/or No Kid Hungry – I thought I would follow up with “T is for Taste” and share some of the best locally owned eateries in the Santa Clarita Valley. This week I got a little help from some friends who shared with me their favorite places, too.

Remember that buying locally keeps more money in our community. In fact, a new study by researchers at Penn State shows counties with more small, locally owned businesses have stronger income growth than counties with large businesses based far away. So, please try to skip the chains and frequent restaurants and stores that are locally owned, whenever possible.

Let’s start with breakfast. Hands-down, in my opinion and in the opinion of many I know, The Egg Plantation in Newhall is a major favorite when it comes to a locally owned place to get delicious breakfast. I’m also pretty sure Tommie’s Castaic Cafe is local, as well. It is another breakfast favorite for us, and I plan to verify if it is owned by an SCV resident the next time we go there.

The Egg Plantation on Walnut is a favorite.

The Egg Plantation on Walnut is a favorite.

For coffee, I love It’s A Grind in Castaic and have decided that I must try The Poached Pair in Newhall the next time I want pastries with my coffee. My last coffee recommendation would definitely be Undergrounds at Real Life Church, which is completely volunteer-run with all proceeds going to charities. Can’t beat that. Plus, I love the ambience there, and that it is kid-friendly, but it also has live music in the evenings for some grown-up fun. This summer, Undergrounds has a Tea happy hour from 2 p.m.to 4 p.m. with organic tea (iced, as well) for just $2.

Next up, lunch spots. Again, the Egg Plantation came up on the list, as well as Lima Limon in Saugus, a four-star Peruvian restaurant; Oggie’s in Canyon Country; and Fresh Works, which has great, quick and healthy options and is conveniently located in Valencia.

For dinner, a wide variety of quality options abound, but at the top of the list was La Cocina (I am a sucker for Mexican food, and this is my favorite Mexican food in town). For Thai, Siam Rice, and Rattlers for barbecue. If you want to go a little more upscale, you’ve got Gogi House and Bella Cocina.

As for drinks and pub-fare, the new Newhall Refinery is getting rave reviews and is at the top of my date-night list since I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet (it only opened in May). Also in Old Town Newhall is Puchella Winery. Oh – and did you the Hideaway Lounge at the Repertory East Playhouse offers premiere wines, mixed drinks and beer? Why not enjoy a show and a drink and support another local business while you’re at it? Sounds good to me.

Finally, for specialized desserts, I highly recommend Cake Couture for your party needs. I know the owners, and they are lovely people who make beautiful and delicious cakes and cupcakes.

I’ll have to do another post of non-food-related, locally owned businesses, and I’m sure I missed some restaurants and eateries in this list. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell if something is local or not, like Genghis Khan and Sam’s Flaming Grill, for instance. So, this is where I need your help. If you know of a wonderful locally owned business (of any kind, not just a restaurant), please pop over to The Good Long Road on Facebook and let me know, as I really prefer to shop locally. Thanks.

Postscript: A recent share on Facebook from a friend is a perfect example of what I’d love to see from any of you: “My new favorite restaurant, Newhall Refinery, two doors from the REP. Rogers Systems by the industrial park is where I get all my AV gadgetry and wiring. Get your hair Joshed at Tribute Beauty Lounge on Walnut near everyone’s favorite breakfast spot, Egg Plantation. And of course, the best theater in the valley is the Rep East Playhouse, but before you head over there for New Year’s Eve, you’ll want to stop at MrTux on Lyons.”

How’s that for some local love? Now, share yours.

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

 

 

 

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