Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California

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mar52
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2011/11/16 16:46:07 (permalink)

Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California

While Master Chips was spending the day at Knott’s Berry Farm with his newly found siblings, the older Chips spent the good part of the day with Sharon and me.
 
We chose to meet midway  at…
 

 
 
The Original Pantry, owned by Ex-Los Angeles Mayor, Ed Riordan.  He purchased it a number of years ago, but definitely not in 1924 when it began.
 
The Chips!
 

 
Inside The Pantry:
 
 
 
The menu was hanging overhead:
 
 
 
The fact that this is a CASH ONLY establishment made both Mr. Chips and Mar52 have the same thought...  Skimming!  Not the Mayor!
 
I was the first to order.  French toast and a cup of coffee.
 
 
 
Sharon ordered the biscuits and gravy with a side of eggs.
 
http://i40.tinypic.com/jqjrrk.jpg
 
 
Jim, (Mr. Chips) ordered chorizo and eggs.
 

 
The chorizo is a bit too red for my taste.
 
Trudy, having very good taste ordered what I ordered plus a side of bacon.
 
 
 
That bacon looked mighty good, but I was thinking about the rest of the day.
 
I ordered first and my order was lost in the translation.  If we had known how many pieces of French toast were in the order, Trudy and I could have split it easily.  I sipped coffee while the others ate.  My meal arrived soon enough so I could join them. 
 
The food at The Original Pantry isn’t special.  The portions are huge and breakfast is breakfast.  The building, the old booths, cashier’s cage and equipment are what I find neat.  Having breakfast with The Chip’s was also neat.
 
More to come…
 
 
#1

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    catosaurus
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/16 17:51:56 (permalink)
    Great photos!  Glad that everything was edible.  I'm not a fan of "The Original Pantry" for the exact reason you state: their food doesn't stand out as anything out of the ordinary.  It's fine, but not special.
     
    I can't wait for the next installment!
    #2
    mar52
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/16 18:45:59 (permalink)
    From Downtown Los Angeles we drove in two cars to…
     
     
     
    I guess it was a twenty minute drive on streets rather than freeways.  There really isn’t a direct freeway route between the two places.  I think it took another twenty minutes to find a place to park.  The ideal parking lots were FULL.  I forgot that it was 11-11-11 and a lot of people were off from work.
     
    I suggest Farmer’s Market to all visiting guests.  There is something there for everyone and a lot of fun stuff to see.
     
    I’ve been going since I was a kid and it was in existence many, many years prior to my birth.  In fact, I believe Farmer’s Market just celebrated its 75th birthday.  Okay, not many, many years prior to my birth… just many.
     
    This Farmer’s Market isn’t a bunch of traveling vendors setting up and selling their produce.  It is a brick and mortar mall (for lack of a better word) both indoors and outdoors.  There are produce vendors, fresh meat, bakery, seafood and a lot of restaurants from all over the world.  There’s a pet shop and I think you can even get your shoes repaired.  Jim was most interested in the food from Singapore, but this was our planned destination:
     

     
    Du-pars is only celebrating their 70th year. 
     
    http://www.du-pars.com/
     
    I love old time restaurants so I had no problem saying YES to Trudy’s suggestion of Du-par’s.
     
     
     
    Look at the coffee maker!
     
     
     
    The Chips… deciding on what to order.
      
     
     
    Jim decided on the pancakes.  They are served already covered in melted butter…  Not pats of butter but liquid butter along with a small pitcher of hot syrup.
     
     
     
    I’ve had them many times and asked Jim about my complaint with them.  The last few times at Du-par’s the pancakes although beautiful to look at separated in the middle and sort of crumbled when cut or broken up with a fork.  They just weren't right.
     
    I didn’t order the pancakes because…  I just finished breakfast!
     
    So I ordered dessert.  Trudy in perfect form ordered what I ordered….
     
     
     
    GOOSEBERRY PIE!
     
    I hadn’t had Gooseberry pie since The Swiss Echo in Los Angeles closed back in the ‘70s or ‘80s.  I’m not a pie person except for banana cream, lemon meringue and Key Lime Pie.  I forgot my love gooseberry pie! 
     
    This did not disappoint.  The filling tasted tart just as I had remembered although it had a bit too much goo holding it together.  The crust was hard and not flakey at all, but I can’t wait to go back and have it again.
     
    Trudy also wanted to order a plate... a ceramic Du-par's plate.
     
    This is what Sharon had:
     
     
     
    She said the vanilla ice cream was the best she’s had in years or ever.  I did not notice what brand they used.
     
    We are not done!
    #3
    dimmie2
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/16 21:00:39 (permalink)
    The biscuits and gravy at The Pantry was good but a bit salty.
    The hot fudge sundae at DuPar's was excellent.
    I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Mr. and Mrs. Chips.
     
    Nice report Mar.
    #4
    mar52
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/16 22:35:42 (permalink)
    You’d think we’d be done with this eating thing.  So far we had been spacing it at a good pace.
     
    Breakfast at 10:30AM and the pie probably around 2:00PM.
     
    I forgot to mention that the wait in line at The Pantry was 45 minutes. 
     
    Next stop, another institution that began in 1939.
     

     
    The drive from Farmer’s Market isn’t a long one but the walk back to Chip’s car was.  We were lucky and found a back way in to the convenient lot and parked right outside of Du-par’s front door so we got to Pink's about 15 minutes before the Chips.
     
    So we got to Pink’s and drove around and around the block looking for a place to park.  Pink’s has their own parking lot which is even free, but they park the cars three deep.  With the lot being as narrow as it was, I wasn’t handing over my keys for some stranger to move my car so others could get out.
     
     
     
    Didn’t matter that it looked like rain.  The line for a hot dog went around the building.  We got in line awaiting the arrival of The Chips. 
     
    Just as they got in to line with us it started to rain.  Sharon decided she’d had enough to eat and went back to the car.  Immediately after her departure, four Pink’s employees came out with one of those big four posted tents you see at swap meets.
     
    Here is the left side of the menu:
     
     
     
    Here is the right:
      
     
     
    What I noticed while in line was that people driving by were taking our picture.  Lots of people sticking lots of cameras out their windows and snapping.
     
    I also noticed this:
     
     
     
    A major French fry machine.  I guess with the number of people that pass through there it’s needed.  I wasn’t ordering fries, but the person in front of me did.
     
     
     
    Fries and Rings to be exact.  The machine had two sides, so I’m guessing the onion rings could be made in the other side or either.
     
    The order ahead of us was so pretty, I just had to get a picture of it.
     

     
    Looks like three chili cheese dogs and one of the specially named dogs… with guacamole.  (Ick!)
     
    The specialty dogs had individual paper poster types of things taped to the counter.  I guess they change specialties often enough that they don't rank menu board permanency.
     
    My order:
     
     
     
    I ordered a chili dog.  I don't like cheese on my chili dogs.
     
    I hadn’t been to Pink’s in years.
     
    It is now official.  I do not like Pink’s hot dogs.  They are specially made for Pink’s by Hoffy.  That doesn’t mean that I have to like them.  First thing I noticed was that the bun was ice cold.  Not steamed like advertised in the flyer they passed out while we were in line trying to decide.  It also fell apart in my hand as I was trying to eat it.  A crumbly bun!
     
    The dog itself had a nice snap, but it was extremely porky tasting.  The chili was greasy.  Neither to my liking.
     
    Jim changed his mind the last moment and ordered this:
     
     
     
    It’s an Oki-Dog wanna be.  But...  Pink’s had to one up Oki-Dog  (A not to distant neighbor) and add one more hot dog to the mix.  Three hot dogs all wrapped up in a tortilla. 
     
     
     
    I’m not exactly sure what was inside along with the dogs as Jim took one bite and decided he’d rather look at all the celebrity pictures hanging in the other room.  He was all about the celebrities and we even saw one in line.  Not real famous as neither of us knew his name, but just knew he was someone.
     
    While in line we all came to the agreement that the other places on our lists would be for some other day.  We were thinking about driving up the street to Mashti Malone’s for some odd flavored ice cream and then to the city of Inglewood for a donut at Randy’s.
     
    To prove that Chip Couple ate at Pink’s…here is the evidence:
     
     
     
    We had a great day and it was a lot of fun.  We’ll have to do it again!
     
    We all chose to eat at the old Los Angeles establishments rather than eating at restaurants with fantastic Roadfood so it was more about the place than the food.  Nothing was horrible and I'd certainly eat at all of them again.
     
    The only downside to the day was that we weren’t able to meet Sam.  Maybe next time!
     
    Jim and Trudy...  It was a pleasure!
    #5
    Foodbme
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/16 23:39:06 (permalink)
    I haven't been to the Pantry since the late 80's early 90's when my Daughter was at USC. Looks like they cleaned the place up quite a bit! The best thing I remember there was the Sourdough Toast!
    #6
    mar52
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/17 00:20:58 (permalink)
    The sour dough toast is the best, but I just couldn't see ordering a side order of it with my French Toast.
     
    I did, however tell Jim to get it.
    #7
    Foodbme
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/17 00:32:17 (permalink)
    mar52
    The sour dough toast is the best, but I just couldn't see ordering a side order of it with my French Toast.
    I did, however tell Jim to get it.

    Hey Mar, you only go around once! Live it up Girl! Smell the Roses, Eat the Toast!
    #8
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/17 07:05:27 (permalink)
    Thanks.  Thanks fore saying it ... I too don't like Pinks.
    It might easily be the number one example of a place you gotta be a local who grew up with the place to treasure.
    #9
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/17 13:06:29 (permalink)
    If I ever get to L.A. you're my tour guide, Mar.  Great job of documenting but at some point you should've handed the picture-machine to someone else so you could join the fun.  Glad at least some of the food was good but I don't think I'd be interested in that tortilla dog thingy, either.
     
    I take it the 3rd spigot on Du-par's coffee machine is used for something that has a tendency to spit and spatter?
     
    Look at the gas prices in the photo of Pink's exterior...ouch!
    #10
    lleechef
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/17 16:14:13 (permalink)
    Nice report, mar.  I met the Chips' (including Sam) on a trip to Portland a few years ago.  They're awesome!!  Glad you all had a good time.
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    BackRhodes
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/20 20:29:02 (permalink)
    Interesting journey...
     
    I know that some folks don't like Pinks but I'd do it just for the experience...I see 3 or 4 items I'd try...
     
    The last time I had a good meal in Gollywood was at The Players on Sunset around 1968...probably not there anymore...
     
    Perhaps the drive by photo's are by folks looking for celebrities...Some of the celebrities in Gollywood eat there...they call ahead and a limo pulls up and the food is hustled out...but trying to get a photo of a real celebrity IN LINE at Pinks is a very unlikely thing...perhaps they're tourists on their way to the La Brea Tar Pits to take pictures of the black tars...but they'll miss all the photo's of famous people on the walls
     
    The Cash Only thing I see at smaller restuarants...usually mom & pop type outfits...it DOES make for easier book keeping, and NO fees for processing plastic money. I know a restaurant that takes cash only, and he pays off ALL vendors on the spot, does double entry books by hand on a 4 banger calculator...when he turns out the lights at night he knows exactly where he stands...
     
    On the other hand, many places that DO take plastic don't take AMEX...(when was the last time you saw a Diners Club card being used...???)
     
    I'm now waiting for the photo of the right side menu to download...it's very slow...I'm on very slow dial up so I can't see all of Mar's photo's yet, but gas in Garberville is $3.99.9 a gal / regular ($3.89.9 in Laytonville - $3.68.9 in Willits)
    #12
    BackRhodes
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/20 20:37:14 (permalink)
    It's possible the urn at The Pantry is CAF - DECAF -  and HOT WATER (for Tea) ... ???
     
    #13
    flyseye
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/22 18:27:20 (permalink)
    Great report Mar52. I hope everything went well for the Chips family,who were so gracious to us when we visited Portland when we lived out west.
    #14
    mr chips
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/25 20:15:32 (permalink)
    Thank you, Marlene, for posting the photos  and providing some of the narrative for our day together. Early in the a.m. we dropped Sam off with his birth family and met  Sam's birth father for the first time. Birth family (sans dad) spent the day at Knotts Berry Farm while Trudy and I spent the day roadfooding with Marlene and Sharon(Mar52 and Dimmie). Original Pantry has its own historical sign which indicates that it has never been closed since it opened and that a lot of Hollywood luminaries have eaten there over the years. The food was good truck stop and Marlene's pictures are accurate. Marlene and I chatted away while Sharon and Trudy were quieter. I liked my food and liked the history we took in and the place was worth a stop. If I ever go to an event at the Staples Center I'll stop there again.
            Our drive to the Fairfax Farmer's Market  was interesting. We passed thru Koreatown and Little Bangladesh which were visually exciting and made me quite aware of the international city that Los Angeles is. Meeting Sharon and Marlene we happened upon an outside shopping Mall which was having its first Xmas show of the year. I was excited to visit there as I had not been there in any of my previous visits to Los Angeles. DuPars pancakes were quite good and I loved the gooseberry pie. I liked visiting there because of its history and because the L.A mysteries i so love to read often set scenes there. The Market is a cornucopia; fresh produce, ethnic foods; interesting places to eat. I had a long conversation with a clerk in a cheese shop about Portland places to eat. loved the experience and  the company.
          Pink's was fun. I ordered too much food and finished my hot dog later. I was much taken with the celebrity photo wall and it was quite an experience. Almost all of my favorite, T.V., Movie and political celebrities were there  and I couldn't get over it. Again the hot dogs were okay but it was history that was the main attraction. I also wished i had ordered the chile dog.
          Marlene and Sharon were great company. I hope to visit Marlene and Sharon again when we visit Los Angeles in the near future
     
    post edited by mr chips - 2012/08/06 01:53:47
    #15
    mar52
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/26 13:35:38 (permalink)
    It WAS fun!
     
    Maybe next time we could do Brazil and Ethiopia!
    #16
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/26 14:21:02 (permalink)
    Nice report!
     
    I was thinking, "Wow, Marlene went to the three same restaurants I did."
     
    D'oh!  Marlene probably TOLD me to go to them! 
    #17
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/26 14:39:49 (permalink)
    Three restaurants that I  would never visit out in LA- however what matters Mr Chips is that you and Trudy had  a great time, great company and that Sam got to meet his birth parents.
    #18
    BackRhodes
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/27 01:11:09 (permalink)
    How many miles, Chips...???
     
     
    #19
    mr chips
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/27 17:45:16 (permalink)
    BackRhodes

    How many miles, Chips...???


    I'm not sure what you are asking.

    #20
    BackRhodes
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/28 23:16:39 (permalink)
    Uh...didn't you DRIVE a vehicle from your HOME down to SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA...and back...???
     
    mr chips

    BackRhodes

    How many miles, Chips...???


    I'm not sure what you are asking.


    #21
    mr chips
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/11/29 21:51:16 (permalink)
    We flew, using frequent flyer miles.
    #22
    BackRhodes
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/12/01 15:54:34 (permalink)
    Oh...that's different...never mind              (Emily Latila - SNL) 
     
    I thought you were going to drive, but maybe I'm thinking of somebody else...
     
    If you went down there again, what places would you RETURN to...???
     
     
    post edited by BackRhodes - 2011/12/01 15:57:06
    #23
    mr chips
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/12/11 16:07:53 (permalink)
    Just a final note on the trip because i'm not quite sure where to put in my observations.
         This trip was for my son Sam so there was little of the frantic sightseeing and seeking out of road food places that typifies my travels.  More time was spent in malls than i have spent in the last few years. The Westview mall in Santa Anita, the Universal Studios city walk in Universal City,  an unknown mall where we bowled, played video games and watched the University of Oregon. I ate at an In N Out across from Rosemead High school as my only other roadfood reviewed stop. Ate at a wonderful Lebanese place in Rosemead and a wondrous feast at a Chinese place in monterey park where Sam's birth mother(who speaks 3 Chinese languages) handled the ordering. The only tourist stop of note was a memorial to Armenian martyrs in Montebello, notable because once you exited the  freeway there were no signs indicating its location on  a golf course near a Hilton Garden inn. The president of  Armenia planted a tree there a couple months ago. Interesting but the thwack of golf balls is not the most moving backdrop to a solemn memorial. 
       It was a great visit but roadfood(except for one day) was the least of our concerns.
    post edited by mr chips - 2011/12/11 17:53:19
    #24
    mayor al
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/12/11 17:05:28 (permalink)
    Thanks for a fine adventure, Jim.  As you say in your closing remarks, there is a time for food and a time for family. Sometimes these two realms intermingle quite well, and other times one takes a definite hind seat to the other.  God Bless you and your family for exploring this new family 'link'. It sounds like a very successful trip.
    #25
    mr chips
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    Re:Mr. and Mrs. Chips made it to Southern California 2011/12/11 18:01:00 (permalink)
    BackRhodes

    Oh...that's different...never mind              (Emily Latila - SNL) 

    I thought you were going to drive, but maybe I'm thinking of somebody else...

    If you went down there again, what places would you RETURN to...???


    I would probably return to Phillipe's and eat at a few of the places reviewed on the website.

    #26
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