Saturday, July 19, 2008


Out running errands on a Sunday morning, we realized it was quickly approaching lunchtime, but hadn't preplanned where to eat.

This is how we ended up at Spires. We frequently pass by Spires on our way to the grocery store or the bank, but I never really gave thought to trying it out until Devin reminded me of its existence. That's the kind of place it is; it's quite and unassuming, you're not expected to dress up to dine here, but one comes here to relax and enjoy a comforting meal at a reasonable price. I was eager to try a new place, but unfortunately didn't have a suitable camera with me, only the camera on my cell phone. So here's a restaurant review, kind of, just please excuse the quality of the pictures.

You can see that the house Thousand Island dressing was quite lumpy in addition to being very thick. The lumps in the dressing were chopped pickles and onions, providing much of the flavor in the otherwise plain, iceberg lettuce salad. I really enjoyed this tangy, house-made Thousand Island dressing.

It's at places like this that I most rely on my pescetarian diet, because there were little, if any (other than a plain salad) vegetarian options here. The Tuna Melt sandwich came with a choice of french fries, coleslaw, fried zucchini, or onion rings. I was excited to to see fried zucchini on the menu as an option to the standard sides, and so could not resist getting them. Swiss cheese came on the tuna melt and while Swiss is not my favorite kind of cheese, it worked very well to add a subtle nutty flavor to the tuna salad. The tuna salad was adequately seasoned with enough mayonnaise to provide a creamy texture while still retaining the crispiness of the grilled bread. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this Tuna Melt, since I was initially hesitant about the Swiss cheese.

Fried zucchini are an occasional treat for me, usually reserved for county fairs. The fried zucchini at Spires did not at all resemble the huge mutant zucchini often found at county fairs to be soggy messes of grease. At Spires, the fried zucchini retained their original shape and were quartered lengthwise. Appropriately, ranch dressing accompanied the fried zucchini. Biting into the fried zucchini, the centers of the vegetable were able to retain their crunch, not because they were undercooked, but because they were cut to a manageable size and the deep-fry oil was at the correct temperature. Because the breadcrumb coating was thin, the flavor of the zucchini was able to shine through and surprisingly, here was only a light reminiscent of grease left on my fingers from picking up the fried zucchini sticks.

Devin had a cheeseburger ordered medium and his choice of side was french fries. He enjoyed his cheeseburger and fries on the same level as those found at Denny's, Coco's, and Norm's, but didn't find them to be anything outstandingly special.

13451 Newport Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The BLT with zuchini and their home-made ranch dressing in Escondido is the best! The dressing at the Spires in Ontaio near the Ontario airport is nowhere as good.