If you live in Southern California you no doubt heard of Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market, a wonderful haven for fresh and I heard that they have expanded to a tasty sandwiches. I've been to one of their Los Angeles locations before, and I was so excited when they invited me to check out their new location (their 10th restaurant) in Irvine California. The restaurant was founded in 2005 by Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen as a gathering place for friends, families and coworkers could come together over a good meal with local, seasonal ingredients.
The moment you walk in the place feels nostalgically welcoming. The farm-like decor is everything you would expect in a quaint neighborhood gathering spot. There is a white picket fence, a grass wall and a friendly staff.
Guests are greeted with a huge menu that offers chef's specials and signature menu items. The staff is ready to help you in exploring their menu and providing you with information on their seasonal ingredients.
Be sure to ask for a sample of one of their delicious side salads before you order. They are all tasty and rotate from time to time.
One of the things you may not know about Mendocino Farms, is that each location is decorated a little differently in order to capture the culture and flavor of the area in which it resides. Since the Irvine location is near the University of California, Irvine (UCI), the decorative elements of this location give a nod to the art of education, with vintage desk and study lamps propped from above.
What a great place to hang out. The day I went there, there were lots of families and friends enjoying themselves. Talk about a great place to enjoy the food and partake in some neighborly fun. We sat in a cool park-like area with a grass wall that made us feel like we were at the best picnic ever.
Our order was delivered by a friendly staff member and we were all so anxious to try it, but I made everyone wait while I took photos to share with you, so they obliged. All of Mendocino Farm's ingredients are locally sourced and you can really taste the difference in the freshness of the food.
The Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi (caramelized Kurobuta pork belly, housemade pickled daikon & carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapenos and chili aioli on panini grilled ciabatta ) is one of their best-sellers and I can see why. It was a wonderful flavorful sandwich with a kick!
The Prosciutto & Free Range Chicken sandwich is made with Creminelli prosciutto, roasted free range chicken breast, local Gioia fresh mozzarella, crushed honey roasted almonds, basil pesto, balsamic vinegar, and tomatoes sits in a panini-pressed ciabatta which absorbs the pesto providing a wonderfully moist sandwich. This sandwich reminded me of Italy with its wonderful pesto and mozzarella.
Another great sandwich was the Peruvian Steak, made with spicy aji amarillo marinated steak (which was cooked perfectly) with Oaxacan cheese, herb aioli, red onions, tomatoes, shredded romaine on panini-pressed torta bun. So juicy and tender!
And the ever awesome Mendo's Chicken Club Salad a lovely bouqut of roasted free range chicken breast, butter & romaine lettuce, applewood bacon, crumbled blue cheese, avocado, grape tomatoes, red onions, hard boiled egg with mustard vinaigrette and avocado if you like (which I did!)
We also enjoyed the Spicy Dijon Potato Salad. They have so many options here and wonderfully accommodated a food allergy that one of our family members had. They have a kids menu too!
The soft drinks offered at Mendocino farms are exclusively Puck's, and are all made with cane sugar or stevia, no corn syrup here. These are really good and we sampled them all!
Mendocino Farms is a great place to take the family too! Besides having great tasting food and drinks, they have some fun activities as well. There is a corn hole field, a foosball table and a giant chalkboard where kids can explore their creativity while you're waiting for your food or while you enjoy your beer.
Mendocino Farms Caters Too
Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market also offers a great catering menu that is perfect for football viewing and tailgate parties, birthdays, family reunions, and business events.
I hope you can check it out soon if you have not yet.
How to get there
4175 Campus Dr., suite B
Irvine, CA 92612
Tip: Pin the image below and add it to your must visit dining spots so you remember to visit Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market when you are in the area.
Have you been before? If not, which menu item looks like one you would like to try?