Just a quick report back on my recent trip to Orange/Anaheim, where we stayed adjacent to the Block at Orange shopping complex. We only ended up having time for two meals outside Disneyland. We had dinner at Carolina's (on Chapman) at Das Ubergeek's suggestion... he/she described it as red-sauce Italian and kid-friendly, and that seemed like what we were craving the night we went out. The place was indeed ideal for kids, with free ice cream and big enough portions that our two entrees not only fed the 3 of us, but also provided enough food for a late-night snack after our Disneyland trip the following day. Based on the 2 dishes we ordered, the food was definitely American red-sauce Italian, very hearty. Our entrees came with minestrone soup or salad, cheese bread, and ice cream, making it very cheap considering the mammoth portion sizes -- I think our entrees were $9-something and $14-something each. We ordered the spaghetti with meatballs and what the server described as the house specialty, I think it was called Chicken a la Anthony... breaded chicken cutlets topped with eggplant parmesan and spinach, served with a creamy tomato sauce and penne pasta. For our tastes, the chicken dish was just way too much of everything, cheese, cream, breading, etc., but the spaghetti was good, nothing fancy. All in all, this is American-Italian comfort food, probably not something I'd go running back for, but I can imagine that it'd be nice to have this as an option in the area.
For breakfast on our departure day, we had hoped to try out one of the other suggestions given by helpful hounds but we were running late and so just went to the place down the street, which was Hof's Hut. I know it's a local diner chain, but I will say that the huevos rancheros I ordered were excellent (eggs cooked perfectly over medium as requested, really good hot sauce), and the pancakes were light and fluffy.
Thanks again everyone, I'll save your other suggestions for future trips.