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Itinerary / Orange County

100 and Counting

Time flies along Fairview, where ducks can park it and history repeats itself.

January 29, 1998|BENJAMIN EPSTEIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A trip along Fairview Street in Santa Ana can be a voyage of discovery. The Discovery Museum of Orange County is marking its centennial, for instance, and Centennial Regional Park is adjacent. If it's a weekend, you can sample the festive Mexican dish menudo.

LATE MORNING 1

All-you-can-eat menudo!

Chef's Country Kitchen, celebrating its "grand reopening" under new ownership, has added the fabled tripe-and-hominy stew (said to be good for hangovers) to its coffee-shop menu, possibly a harbinger of other good things to come. (Already on the morning menu daily was a meat lovers' breakfast featuring two pieces of sausage, two pieces of bacon and ham, with two eggs, potatoes, and biscuits and gravy for $4.75. Don't worry, there are lots of low-cal meals too.) The bottomless menudo is $3.95.

For an additional 65 cents, you can get a dollop more authenticity, and a few more of the fixings, at Super Antojitos, which also serves menudo on weekends. The bowl may not be "all you can eat," but it's probably all you can eat comfortably. One of half a dozen in a chain of Mexican restaurants, the eatery is opposite Centennial Regional Park at 2731 W. Edinger Ave., on the northwest corner of Edinger and Fairview.

EARLY AFTERNOON 2

Hiram Clay Kellogg, Santa Ana's first city engineer, designed and built his house in 1898. Kellogg had married Helen V. Kellogg--no relation!--in 1895. They "met" when his mail was inadvertently mixed up with hers, and they courted via correspondence.

The house, now the linchpin of the Discovery Museum, was the family's primary residence until the 1950s; it was moved to its present site in 1980 to avoid demolition. Kellogg sailed to Hawaii several times, and his fascination with sailing ship design can be seen in the unusual alternating oak-and-walnut floor pattern in the dining room. Among the couple's four children was a daughter named Oahu Rose.

Just off the entry is a room containing an Edison home phonograph and gold "moulded" records, a hand-cranked telephone, a pump organ and square grand piano and a fascinating corner chair. Beyond the dining room is the county's first gas kitchen. The home's only heat was provided by the stove and the fireplace. Upstairs is its only bathroom, and there's still some sodium perborate--flavored!--on the shelf. (For all you non-chemists, the white powder was a popular bleaching and oxidizing agent.)

On the grounds surrounding the home are a citrus grove, rose garden, Victorian herb garden and gazebo; completing the historical plaza are three structures from the John Maag Ranch. The Maag house of 1899 is being restored; the water tower functions as the Harvard Street Gift Shop, and the Carriage Barn houses the museum office. Nearby is a blacksmith shop where the Orange County Blacksmiths Guild meets regulary and demonstrate their craft to wide-eyed onlookers on the third Sunday of every month.

Nature and exploration centers are being developed on the 11-acre property. Already you can meander on paths including Restoration Road and Gabrielino Trail. At the near end, note the vegetable garden complete with scarecrow and cages containing neato rabbits.

Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for children 3-12. The museum is also a popular venue for birthday parties and frequent storybook teas.

MIDAFTERNOON 3

Centennial Regional Park features a lake for fishing and model boating, a picnic area, playground and soccer and softball fields. The 87-acre park was dedicated about 20 years ago and is owned jointly by the county of Orange and city of Santa Ana. The geese and ducks can be endlessly fascinating to small children; watching the kids and the geese and the ducks can be pretty fun too.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

1) Chef's Country Kitchen

2401 S. Fairview St., (714) 751-1040.

6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

2) Discovery Museum of Orange County

3101 W. Harvard St., (714) 540-0404.

1-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

3) Centennial Regional Park

West Edinger Avenue and South Fairview Street, (714) 571-4200.

5 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Parking: There is free parking in lots at each location.

Buses: OCTA Bus No. 45 (Orange-Costa Mesa) runs along Fairview Street with stops at Warner Avenue and Harvard Street. Bus No. 55 (also Orange-Costa Mesa) runs along Fairview Street as far north as Warner Avenue.

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