Mendocino Farms started as—and still is—a family business. Co-Founders (and husband-and-wife team) Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen created the concept in 2003. Since then, Mendocino Farms now has 15 SoCal locations, and the Kids Corner at the Irvine location is pretty incredible and has become a great gathering place for Moms and kids to come enjoy meals all day!
Mendocino Farms in Irvine so graciously hosted a bloggers event. Unfortunately, the Hubby and the babies weren’t feeling well so they ended up staying home. On a positive note, this meant a girls night out with my older girls.
Mendocino Farms was the perfect girls night out! As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with such warmth by their staff. This was our first time at Mendocino Farms so all we knew was that we were in for a treat but we didn’t know what to expect. In all honesty, I hadn’t heard of Mendocino Farms before… and boy were we missing out, until now!
Immediately entering the restaurant we noticed the fun, casual, upbeat decor. We were fascinated by all the fun quotes they had all over their walls…. and we cannot forget their mascot, their cute blue cow!
The staff had a fun night planned for the kids that were in attendance. The girls were excited that they were able to make their own yummy customized sandwiches. Topped with a chef’s hat, my girls felt like real chefs!
The kid’s corner at the Irvine location made for some great entertainment for the kids. Mendo Kids are able to draw on the wall-sized chalkboard and create their own masterpieces by coloring and making their own cute blue cows.
Mendocino Farms caters to their guests and families… they even had a cornhole court and a foosball table that kept my girls entertained for the evening.
The food spread was amazing! True to their philosophy, farm-to-table, the greens that were served that evening were picked from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard that day and delivered to Mendocino Farms in Irvine for all their patrons to enjoy.
We were fortunate to be able to get a taste of all their favorites. Aside from their sandwiches, Aalyssa couldn’t stop eating the chicken skewers that was accompanied with a sweet chili sauce. One of my favorites was their tasty couscous. It was a curried couscous and the flavors were scrumptious – I kept going back for more.
Lastly, Olivia went straight for their cookies and the unique assortment of fountain drinks. I’m not one to let my kids drink soda, so Olivia took advantage of her sweet tooth. Only to find out that their fountain drinks are made with bagged sugar cane and a minimal amount of syrup with natural extracts and essential oils without artificial coloring or preservatives. This momma was happy about that!
One of the highlights of the evening, aside from getting to meet and mingle with the other bloggers, was the opportunity to chit-chat with Ellen Chen, owner of Mendocino Farms. She was so down to earth and such a pleasure to speak with. Although, it was my first time meeting Ellen, it felt like I had known her for years.
When I asked what her all time favorite dishes are at Mendo, she revealed that it was the Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi sandwich. It is a playful take on the popular Vietnamese sandwich with braised, caramelized Kurobuta pork belly, housemade pickled daikon & carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapenos, chili aioli on panini-pressed ciabatta. Ellen’s other favorite is the avocado & quinoa superfood ensalada. The avocado & quinoa superfood ensalada is made from butter lettuce & romaine, curly kale, quinoa & millet, housemade superfood krunchies, black bean, roasted corn & jicama succotash, red onions, cilantro, Cotija cheese, grape tomatoes, avocado with chipotle vinaigrette.
Located at their family-style benches, a genius feature they have are the charging stations for your devices. You could literally eat while charging your phone! How amazing is that? Let’s face it, nowadays we feel lost without our phones, let alone without a charge!
Mendocino Farm’s philosophy is evident in their food and their hospitality. As a guest, when you initially enter the restaurant you are offered a sample of any one of their most popular side dishes, including one of my favorites (the Almond Romesco Shells), for FREE! If you are looking for a family-friendly atmosphere, delicious and fresh food then Mendocino Farms is the place to be! I’m already looking forward to our next visit. Yum!