Re:California, Here We Come!
Mon, 08/19/13 1:39 PM
Wednesday April 24th, 2013 (cont.) Old Sacramento is a living history site with museums and original buildings from the earliest days of the city. What I was most interested in seeing was the B.F. Hastings Building, dating back to 1853. It would probably look older if it wasn't for the fancy new sportscar parked out front. Not only was this building the western terminus for the Pony Express, but it also held the California Supreme Court. Inside is the Wells Fargo History Museum, with some interesting collectables from the Pony Express. You know a job is dangerous when they say orphans preferred! The man working inside the museum was very helpful and did a great job of explaining the displays. My favorite thing here was this painting, which has an optical illusion in it. Whether you stand all the way to the left of the painting or to the right, the man on the white horse seems to be riding directly at you. Across the street from the museum is an expressive Pony Express statue. We spent a good 1 1/2 hours walking around and exploring the different buildings, but it was impossible to see everything in a short amount of time. On my previous visit to Sacramento ten years earlier, I landed in town on the Friday night at had dinner at Al's Place in Locke, CA. The next morning, Johnny arrived and got to hear me talk about how much I liked the place the rest of the trip. Today was the day we were finally getting Johnny to Al's! This has to be one of the most strangest, most unusual Roadfood restaurants. First of all, they use an alternate name which is Al the Wops. Yeah, not the most progressive name in the world, but they probably won't be changing it anytime soon. And it is also located in a small town that used to be all Chinese. The last time I was here the town was rather rundown, but looks much better today. When you first walk in the door, the front room is a very dark bar, with money hanging off of the ceiling. Pass through another door to get to the dining room in the back. All seating is at long picnic tables. One of the things Al's is most famous for is the peanut butter and marmalade on the table. I think it was originally supposed to be homemade peanut butter, but nowadays it is just Jif. Luckily, the preserves is a made in house pineapple-apricot preserves and we loved spreading it on the bread. The menu is two-sided, but still there isn't a lot of choices. The meals started with an excellent green salad, mine with thousand islands, Johnny's with vinegar and oil. Also on the salad was some carrot, garbanzo and kidney beans, which was a nice touch. Because of how he had already eaten, Johnny got the soup, salad and bread and the soup was a big bowl of minestrone, with lots of potatoes, zucchini and carrots, which we enjoyed. The best part of both of our meals, was the crunchy garlic bread. Unfortunately, my lunch was not as successful. I got the chicken and mushrooms, which came in a garlic and white wine sauce. This sure sounds like something I would love to eat, but the chicken itself was hard and too chewy. This was a little disappointing, but atmosphere like this can make up for a lot. We were the first customers here, but soon after a few bikers wandered in and then a few more, until the restaurant was filled. This seems to be a destination restaurant for those on motorcycles, which explains this sign out front. Al's Place is still a must-visit destination for anyone in central California. We loved visit here, even if we did not have a great meal. Luckily for us, we wouldn't have to wait long to get a great meal! Al's Place 13936 Main Street Locke, CA 916-776-1800 I am curious what people think about a place calling itself Al the Wops?
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