November Writing Challenge Day 11: Chicken Sandwich

I’m blogging every day this month. Some will be game-related, but this challenge is different than my most recent play-a-game-and-blog-about-it challenge. I’m writing a single post every day: no topic guidelines, with some posts being a collection of random thoughts. Click here to read yesterday’s post.

I still haven’t tried the Popeye’s chicken sandwich, but it sure does look good. The few times I’ve been to Chick-Fil-A I’ve found the food to be bland and boring; it seems like Popeye’s would be more my jam.

After the local Popeye’s sold out of their initial stock of chicken sandwiches, I was looking forward to its return this month. Of course, the lines have been out the door whenever I drive by, so I’ve missed out on the madness so far.

Thankfully, there’s a terrific Korean-style fried chicken restaurant in town that decided to start offering its own version and it’s absolutely delicious. The Secret Spicy Chicken Sandwich at BB.Q Chicken in Rancho Cucamonga is slightly sweet and spicy, with a perfectly crispy and juicy chicken patty on a grilled bun.

How did I find out about this awesome sandwich? I’ve been helping host a game night at BB.Q Chicken every Monday night for the last month and a half. We’ve had some great times playing games with friends and making new friends as well. It’s fun sharing my passion for the hobby with new gamers and my regular gaming buddies have been great in supporting the event.

Management has also been supportive of the game night and give all of us gamers discounted food and drink. It’s a fantastic setting to enjoy the hobby and some good eats.

Day 360: Good Cause

Hamilton Family Brewery

Hamilton Family Brewery

It was cold and windy today, but that wasn’t going to stop me from grabbing a beer or two from Hamilton Family Brewery.

Even though I’m not much of a beer drinker anymore and the weather wasn’t conducive to drinking ice cold brews, tonight was all about a good cause: Hamilton was donating all of tonight’s proceeds to the families of the San Bernardino shooting victims.

The brewery was packed, but nobody seemed to mind the wait. I ended up buying a 32 oz. crowler of Midnight Cafe (stout) and a 22 oz. bomber of their excellent Double Mango IPA. I’ll find some time this week to finish my beers.

I can’t imagine what the victims’ families are going through this holiday season, but hopefully the money raised tonight can help out with some basic needs.


Day 354: Reign-y Sunday

Ontario Reign oven mitt.

Ontario Reign oven mitt.

The last hockey game I attended was in the early ’90s, when Wayne Gretzky was playing for the Kings at the old Fabulous Forum. I sat a few rows behind goal and got to see The Great One do his thing. I’ll never forget how much better the game was live than on TV.

However, as much as I enjoyed that game, it didn’t stick. I occasionally watch the playoffs when the hometown Kings are involved, but outside of that I don’t really follow it.

(Side note: the number one thing I can’t stand about diehard hockey fans is when they justify their love of the sport by saying how “real men” play hockey. They play through injury, they’re tough, blah blah blah. Listen, I get it. Enjoy your sport. But when NFL games are regularly compared to car accidents and boxers/mixed martial artists practice the sweet science of causing major bodily damage to their opponents, I don’t want to hear a word about toughness.)

Fast forward to today, as my family and I scored tickets to the Kings’ minor league team, the Ontario Reign. We had a blast at this afternoon’s game. Once again, the speed of hockey is so much better in person and since this was the minor league, the arena was smaller and we could follow all of the action easily.

The experience was a first-class production from the moment we walked into the Citizens Bank Arena (much like the minor league indoor soccer and baseball teams in the area, the Ontario Fury and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, respectively). While it’s not the highest level of professional sports, it’s entertaining and more fan-friendly both in environment and in ticket prices.

And fans get the coolest giveaways, as shown above. Nothing beats an oven mitt that looks like a hockey glove. Go Reign Go!

Day 311: Sherry

Rancho De Philo Winery

Rancho De Philo Winery

We went to the Rancho De Philo Winery today for the opening day of their annual sale. Rancho De Philo makes one wine, an award-winning sherry. It’s a delicious dessert wine, something to be sipped and savored on special occasions.

The winery is on a beautiful property in Rancho Cucamonga and the family still lives there, so it’s only open to the public for about one week each year. Although I’m not much of a wine drinker, I always look forward to our yearly visit. It’s also my yearly wish to play Donkey Kong at the winery.

Day 231: Happy Hoppy Hour

Hamilton Family Brewery.

Hamilton Family Brewery.

I’m not much of a beer drinker anymore, but I make an exception whenever it’s fantasy football time.

Tonight I met my buddy who’d invited me into his league, which will be my second league this season. We had excellent craft beers at Hamilton Family Brewery in Rancho Cucamonga.

I’m a huge fan of Hamilton’s Double Mango IPA, but wanted to change things up this time around, so I went with a Gold Rush (nice and easy blonde ale) and a 909 (wheat beer with oranges). Pictured above is my 909 next to my buddy’s Double Mango IPA.

We’re still a few weeks away from the draft, but like the NFL, you have to start with the preseason first.


Day 203: Ube Flan Cupcake

Ube Flan Cupcake

Ube Flan Cupcake

This is my new favorite cupcake: ube with a leche flan topping. The last time I had an ube cupcake this tasty was from the now-defunct The Manila Machine. I’ve tried a few others since then, but Baked Dessert Bar’s was phenomenal. It wasn’t overwhemingly sweet, yet packed with flavor in every bite.

At today’s soft opening, my wife and I also ordered three macarons (Milo chocolate, salted caramel, and ube) that were all outstanding. We spent a total of $10 for the cupcake and macarons, which more than satisfied our sweet tooth. Normally I wouldn’t be too happy about paying so much for such a small amount of food, but I know how labor-intensive it is to make the macarons. For now, we’ll reserve our trips to Baked Dessert Bar for special occasions only.

Of course, I’ll be making up excuses for special occasions much more frequently.


Day 182: Carl Crawford

Dodgers' Carl Crawford DH for the Quakes

Dodgers’ Carl Crawford DH for the Quakes

The last time I caught a Dodger doing rehab with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes was when Andre Either played a few games before going back to the big leagues. Last night I met some local Yelpers for our third Unofficial Yelp Event at the Epicenter (technically Loan Mart Field). It was Recycle Tuesday, so fans who brought 10 CRV cans and/or bottles received a free seat at the game. Spending a summer night at the ballpark is something I love to do, so being able to do so for free (while helping the environment) was a real treat.

The five of us Yelpers were treated to a Quakes blowout, as they took it to the visiting High Desert Mavericks early and often, putting up 6 runs in a few innings. The Dodgers’ Carl Crawford was DHing for the Quakes and while he went 0-for-3, he did have the most important RBI of the game. This season Quakes fans’ lucky number is seven; when the team scores seven runs, everybody gets a coupon for two free tacos at Jack in the Box. When Crawford grounded out while driving in that seventh run, it was one of the biggest cheers of the night.

Day 147: Happy Hours


My buddy Ricardo and I put together an Unofficial Yelp Event tonight and it was a blast. A dozen of us Yelpers enjoyed craft beers at the Hamilton Family Brewery in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and chowed down on some snacks that my wife and I brought: salt-and-vinegar cracklings and chicken empanadas. There were plenty of laughs and good times during our two hours at the brewery; hopefully this is the first of a regular series of events.

Day 144: Sunday Sickday

Jedi Elvis

Jedi Elvis

I’m still wiped out from my sickness (which wasn’t helped by being out for Star Wars Day), so today’s post is short and sweet.

Above is Jedi Elvis, the hilarious singer/Star Wars geek. Below are links to my photo/video albums from the last two events I live-tweeted.

Star Wars Day photos and videos

Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Arts Night photos and videos

Day 143: Star Wars Day in Rancho Cucamonga

(Last night I posted this on my Google+ page; after being sick the last two days, I learned my website had exceeded its bandwidth)

I’ve been in bed sick since Thursday and I was getting a bad case of cabin fever. Thankfully, I was feeling a little better today, just in time for Star Wars Day in Rancho Cucamonga. This was the seventh year of the event and it’s better than ever. In addition to all of the amazing cosplayers, attendees were treated to Star Wars storytime with Darth Vader, arts and crafts (my wife and I wore our Yoda ears proudly), origami, artists (we scored a quick-draw sketch of Han and Leia by Jimmy Purcell), customized Star Wars cars, a fun lightsaber demonstration by the Saber Guild, kids costume contest, Wack-A-Jar-Jar (hilarious!), and my personal favorite, Jedi Elvis (songs from The King re-worked with Star Wars lyrics … yes!).

It was three hours of free Star Wars fun for the whole family. I liked how all of the activities were kid-friendly. It’s never too early to get the next generation into Star Wars and considering all of the light saber duels, costumed wee ones, and big smiles on everyone throughout the day, it’s safe to say that Disney’s multi-billion dollar investment will pay off in the years to come.