Road trip taking I40 east and other places

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mar52
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2011/06/28 23:08:44 (permalink)

Road trip taking I40 east and other places

Sitting around watching The Food Network and I thought I’d start posting about my road trip.  
 
Our first stop was Needles, California.  There is absolutely nothing good to report about Needles.
 
Our next stop was Winslow, Arizona where we just had to stand on this corner:
 

 
It was amazing to me how a song could make a city.  It at least made the shop on the corner.
 
After driving around a bit and finding everything closed or uninteresting, we stopped at the La Posada Hotel.  It’s an old hotel dating back to (I think) the ‘30s.  Very nice!
 

 
We looked around and decided we were hungry and did not want to look any more.  We ate at the Turquoise Room in La Posada.
 

 
Being a soup nut I ordered what they are known for…  the half and half black bean soup and corn chowder.  It was outstanding.  The squiggle of chile cream was a nice touch and added a nice taste.
 

 
A basket was brought to our table with two hard sour dough rolls and 2 flour corn chips.  Very arty. Very Blah.
 

 
After looking at all of the game meats offered, my choice for dinner was the vegetable plate.                         
 

 
If food can be interesting, this plate was indeed.
 
Standing out on the plate was a roasted ear of corn.  There was also a cheese stuffed chile that was not battered, a scoop of corn pudding, a scoop of chipotle potatoes, a mushroom mousse, a block of tofu with a cilantro sauce, a few scattered vegetables and something that I thought was totally out of place….  A wild rice stuffed egg roll.  
 
The tastes were very distinctive and I recommend it.
 
However…  That ear of grilled corn was cold.  Not 'it sat out too long' cold, but right out of a freezer cold.   Not even out of the refrigerator, it was ice cold.  I took a couple of bites and called the waiter.  I had to know if the corn was always served cold. 
 
 So, I asked if the corn was supposed to be served cold.  My waiter said…  “No one ever complained of the corn being cold”.  Of course this was not this was not the answer to my question.  I asked if it was grilled and frozen.  He told me that they are boiled, frozen and when served they are thrown on the grill to heat them up and give them color.   I explained that it was frozen and he said he’d mention it to the chef.  I was finished with the meal by then and just paid the bill.  I was still quite satisfied with my meal and the frozen corn made it interesting with a story to tell. 
 
If in Winslow and hungry at dinner time I recommend La Posada.
 

post edited by mar52 - 2011/06/28 23:10:06
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/28 23:15:32 (permalink)
    Editing because our next planned stop was breakfast at Joe and Aggies in Holbrook, Arizona.  I'm already mixed up!  I'll report on it before this:
     
    Our next planned stop was Albuquerque for lunch at either the Model Pharmacy or the Route 66 Diner.  This did not work as we had/have two cute Corgis taking up the back seat of the car.  We could not leave them in the car with the temperature being 84 degrees.  Lunch out was out and we dined in the car on the way to Gallup, New Mexico our night's stop. 
     
    I've already written a report on The Ranch Kitchen which was surprisingly delicious.
     
    Being lunches were now out unless we could find a restaurant with outdoor and dog friendly seating our next stop was The Big Texan.
     
    Coming up soon.
    post edited by mar52 - 2011/06/28 23:23:51
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    mayor al
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/28 23:28:44 (permalink)
    Marlene you are taking giant steps between stops. I hope you checked out some of the places along I-40/US 66 in AZ and NM.  On our last couple of rides (with the Scotties) we have followed US 60 that runs east along the BNSF TRANSCON Rail line in Eastern N M. It is two lane, but generally empty, the landscape has hundreads of Pronghorn Antelope  to watch when you are tired of the trains ! (OK, I'm the train-chaser, not you !!!)
     
    Looking forward to your Texas report. One thing Texas does have are some absolutely beautiful Roadside Rest Areas on their Interstates !!  The one on I-40 east of Amarillo was a dandy for dog-lovers.
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/28 23:43:31 (permalink)
    We are certainly taking roadside stops.  One was the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Out of the way and absolutely worth it.  I was there as a child and didn't appreciate any of it.  Breathtaking!
     

     
    We are also visiting roadside attractions to break up the drive.  I'll post a few pictures when I get a chance.
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    pnwchef
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 06:59:09 (permalink)
    mar, first time eating at a restaurant!!!!!!!!!! when you go to a Supermarket they have Fresh and frozen corn, you need to let the waiter know what one you like. I have found in some restaurants you need to also let them know you want clean forks and knives............Just a heads up on being a good roadfood Ambassador................Hope you had fun...
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    joerogo
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:03:30 (permalink)
    mar52, Nice report and pics.
     
    Sorry, but I have to ask....was that a girl, my lord, in that flatbed ford?
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:12:58 (permalink)
    I stopped in Winslow on a Sunday morning.  Iwanago had her pic taken on the corner and we had breakfast at the La Posada.  Super breakfast.  We also stopped just west of there to view the giant crater created by a meteor.  Great trip and we also stopped at the Grand Caynon enroute to Tucson.
     
    Paul E. Smith
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:27:37 (permalink)
    What, no detour for a green chile cheeseburger at the Bobcat Bite outside Santa Fe?
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:42:36 (permalink)
    No but I have been to Santa Fe several times.  We spent the night in Gallup, NM where we had some delightful Navaho food and visited WalMart for some necessities.  The population was mostly American Indian and Navaho I suspect.  Gallup is full of art and gift stores.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallup,_New_Mexico
     
    Paul E. Smith
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    agnesrob
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:48:59 (permalink)
    Great start Mar. Anxiously awaiting more.
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 13:01:53 (permalink)
    Next eating stop... Holbrook, Arizona. But first we made stops at Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, Arizona. Typical roadside souvenir shop with lots of Native American (Can I say Indian here?) novelties made in China. There were also tons of petrified wood pieces to be purchased. I left them there because I figure at some point they'll run out. It's enough I'm putting A&W out of business. There is a large Jack Rabbit with a saddle out in front on which you can have your picture taken. I climbed up for mine which may be my next Christmas card. The better picture would have been of me trying to get down off of that thing. Neither picture will be posted here.  
     

     
       Getting in to Holbrook we passed (and stopped at) Wigwam Motel. What a cool place. We peeked in to a room and if you're claustrophobic this would not be the place to stay. There were maybe 20 or these wigwam rooms and in front of each was a classic car. It looked well maintained and if I were a kid...  (Sorry about the window reflection.  I was too lazy to get out of the car)  
     

     
    Paul, is the Meteor Crater a worthwhile stop?  It's one we may make on our trip home.
     
    This is where I finally parked the car:
     

     
    To eat here:
     
     

     
    Does that motorcycle belong to any of you out there in lurker land? (I was taught not to talk to strangers) It belonged to this guy who had a German accent and an odd need to photograph his food:
     

     
    It was a cute place with way too many flies. The waitress told me that the flies weren't as bad as the mosquitoes. Terrific.
     

     
    The menu had many choices for breakfast, but not exactly what I wanted. You don't get if you don't ask. The menu was really specific in that you could get either green chili or red chili over the breakfast burrito which came stuffed with scrambled eggs, beans, rice and cheese. I wanted to try both chilies and trying to be conservative in my calorie consumption I didn't want the beans or rice. Here is what I ate and it was devine. Not a bite left when I was finished with it. The red chili was delicious with a very definite chili powder taste. The green chili sauce was my favorite. Nothing inside of the burrito except for the eggs and cheese. Sometimes when going back to a place that I've only been to once I like to order something new. The only thing different I'd do at Joe and Aggie's would be to have all green sauce.
     

     
    Saw an A&W Root Beer drive-through on our way back to I40 so I had to drive through it. I commented on it in the A&W thread. Someone should call the animal cruelty hot line because right next to the A&W stand was a way too small fenced in pen (aren't the all?) of Sinclair dogs.
     

     
    Joe and Aggies was a Roadfood recommendation and I certainly agree. Tasty!
    post edited by mar52 - 2011/06/29 13:06:47
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 13:10:38 (permalink)
    At some of the places in New Mexico there is a choice to have both red and green sauce.  I've been told to just order it Christmas and you'll get both.
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 14:26:10 (permalink)
    Mar52:  The crater is defaintely worth the stop.  I first saw it several years ago when each time I flew over it, the airline pilot would point it out from 35,000 feet.  It is a huge hole in the ground created by a meteor.
     
    The German guy taking pics reminded me of our AMERICAN version of BB and TM.  I do not think either of them have ever eaten without a pic of their food.
     
    I also stopped at the petrified forest east of Winslow.  Not much to look at but there were prairie dogs every where.
    http://search.aol.com/aol/search?q=prairie+dogs&s_it=spelling&v_t=tb50-ie-aolmail-tbsbox-en-us
     
    Paul E. Smith
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 14:46:41 (permalink)
    Mar, I thought the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert (same park entrance) were very worthwhile stops along the way. We visited both on our way to Arizona earlier this month. I'll use the word spectacular to descibe the experience. I'd seen them both many years ago while traveling on U.S. 66, but my companion had not. I got to see them this time through her eyes and it was just like brand new for me. By the way, the road into the Petrified Forest from the Painted Desert passes a section of Old Route 66. Interesting.
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 18:20:24 (permalink)
    It's Monument Valley that I really want to see.  Guess that will be on another trip after I look up its location.
     
    Having the dogs with us make side trips a bit difficult.
     
    Off to Google the Painted Desert.
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    ann peeples
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 18:52:57 (permalink)
    What a fun trip to follow on!
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:04:04 (permalink)
    Here are Daisy and Mollie, the reasons for our limited stops.
     

     
    On the way to Amarillo we stopped in Adrian, Texas at:
     

     
    There was another car in the parking lot with a Traveling Man sort of looking guy. Ironically he informed us that they had just closed... right before he got there. See the sign?
     

     
    The importance of this tiny roadside cafe has to do with its location. It's the midpoint of Route 66, half way between Chicago and Los Angeles.
     

     
    Guess we'll try to stop there again on our way back... depending on the time. From the Midpoint Cafe we zoomed past The Cadillac Ranch at 70 miles an hour.  
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Ranch
     
    I was going to stop but after seeing it from the car... I had seen enough. We stayed at Motel 6 at all of our stops so far.  Pets are free at all locations.  The Motel 6 in Amarillo stood out for two reasons. One was this sink in the bathroom which was so un-Motel 6:
     

     
    The other was the size of the Styrofoam coffee cups for the coffee gratis. They were about the size of a shot glass and half the size of all of the other Styrofoam cups we had encountered and used thus far. From this point on I'll have to report from home. My pictures from The Big Texan came out dark and they need editing on my home computer.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:20:04 (permalink)
    One Motel 6 for us on our trip. That was in Santa Fe. Never again. No remote for the television set (had to actually go to the office to demand one), one towel, no soap -- Hell even the toilet paper was installed upside down. Still, it was worth the detour and the stop because of the green chile cheeseburgers.
    post edited by Michael Hoffman - 2011/06/29 19:22:20
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:34:31 (permalink)
    We've had very good luck with our Motel 6 locations except for the stingy coffee cups.
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    ces1948
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:40:50 (permalink)
    I don't want to hijack anyone's thread but I do have a somewhat interesting story about Winslow, AZ.  that happened in the late 60's. I think I'll post it on the misc forum a little later. 
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:55:49 (permalink)
    mar52

    We've had very good luck with our Motel 6 locations except for the stingy coffee cups.


    I'd have to say for overall value and comfort it's Best Western for me. Every one had a refrigerator, a microwave, coffee-maker -- free Wi Fi, of course -- and great showers, towels, etc.
     
    My last stay in a Motel 6 was well worth the six buck a night charge. This one was less luxurious, but it cost $78.
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    ces1948
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 20:26:57 (permalink)
    It is tough traveling with a pet during a car trip. We've had to bypass many places that we would've liked to stop and see or places we would liked to have had a meal.  I think traveling in an RV with a pet is much easier as you can leave the AC on etc. We luckily have a mother in law who loves to have our dog visit when we go away.
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/30 09:17:54 (permalink)
    mar52

    Does that motorcycle belong to any of you out there in lurker land? (I was taught not to talk to strangers) It belonged to this guy who had a German accent and an odd need to photograph his food:

     

    Looks like his name might be Herr Ayers!
     
    Brad
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    mayor al
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/30 11:50:31 (permalink)
    Brad, I was thinking the same thing !!
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    agnesrob
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/30 11:50:33 (permalink)
    Mar, Daisy and Molly look like good traveling companions! Our Teddy is a nervous nelly in the car. My daughter and I try to take nice short trips (10 to 20 minutes) that end up with us arriving at a nice park or hiking trail to convince Teddy the car is an OK mode of transportation. Of course the last short trip we took was to get him shots!" /> Did Daisy and Molly always enjoy riding in your car or did you have to gradually get them used to it?
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    mayor al
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/30 15:46:01 (permalink)
    As most of you know we have traveled with our two Scotties since they were pups. Duff commands the front seat between Janet and I and Demi oversees the back seat (crew-cab truck).
    The Way It WAS !!

       Well, we are undergoing some real stress  with the delivery of our new Supercrew truck. It has Captains chairs in front, with 'no place' for Duffy to occupy. The seats in back fold totally out of the way leaving a flat floor space that is more than large enough for the two K-9's. We put their favorite sheepskin rug on the floor and Demi is quite happy, BUT Duff won't get into the back seat. He will learn , but he is being pretty stubborn about the new seating arrangement.  Plus with the blanket on the deck, they can't rest their heads on the window ledge.... and spread doggie-boogers on the glass.  (Good for us, Not fun for them). We'll see how they adapt over the summer. They are very good travelers, but we are careful to leash them firmly when we stop to walk them at rest areas.
      We use America's Best Valu Inn most of the time we are on the road. Pet friendly for a small sur-charge, and the rooms are always large, with the amenities we enjoy.
     
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 12:39:57 (permalink)
    Our next stop was The Big Texan Steak Ranch.
     

     
     
    Knowing it had to be a tourist trap hadn’t stopped me from wanting to eat there.  Any place that offers a free 72 ounce steak if you can eat it has to be seen from the inside.
     
    You’ve got to love Texas
     

     
     
    Just in case you’ve never heard of the place they make it hard to miss from I40.  There was a fleet of stretch limos outside all with longhorns attached to the grill.  They’re ready to pick you up and deliver you back to the surrounding hotels.  I missed that picture.
     

     
     
    Right inside the front door is an extremely crowded gift shop (with a fudge station) where you wait for your vibrating thing to go off to let you know your table is ready.  Way too crowded to get a picture.  They didn’t get any extra money from me in there. 
     
    The interior was huge with lots of wood and animal heads hanging everywhere.  It had that western saloon feel except for its size.  They even had an upstairs eating area.
     

     
     
    We were immediately assisted by our very friendly waitress.  What a menu!
     

     
     
    I opted for the small ribeye with my two choices for sides... Macaroni and a dinner salad.   Not the best steak I’ve ever had, but not bad at all.  I added the extra sautéed mushrooms and onions with the money not spent in the gift shop which always delights the owners, no doubt.  The macaroni tasted like it looks.  Ordinary.
     

     
     
    At some point during our meal the loud speakers came on and blared something I couldn’t understand.  All of a sudden people with cameras were jumping up from their dinner tables and running up to an elevated table on the other side of the dining area. 
     
    A young man was attempting the 72 ouncer!
     
    It seems that if you want a free meal, you have to make a spectacle of yourself.  The raised table seats six people but he was the only one trying the dare while we were there.
     
     
    It’s not as simple as just finishing that huge steak.  You have to finish it in an hours time along with two dinner rolls, a dinner salad and a baked potato.  At least you get a drink.  There was a huge timer over the contest eating area with six hour countdown clocks.

     


     

    This contestant gave up at 30 minutes in. 
    Maybe if he wasn’t surrounded with camera clicking people asking him questions he could have given it a better try.  (I stood at a distance after the crowd left him alone)
     
    The Big Texan runs with great efficiency.  We didn’t have to wait for anything except for our table which only took about 5 minutes.
     
    I’d stop there again.  It was fun.
    post edited by mar52 - 2011/07/23 12:56:44
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 12:44:33 (permalink)
    I hear that if you don't finish that steak the meal costs you $50.00 but don't hold me to it.
     
    The Big Texan Steak Ranch is a well run restaurant. We didn't have to wait for anything other than the vibrating thing which went off five minutes after being given to us.
    #28
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 13:37:30 (permalink)
    When I was young I ate a 48-oz porterhouse for a restaurant challenge.  Somewhere on the wall of the original Shula's (before it became a chain) there is a tiny brass plaque with my name on it.   I can't imagine 72 oz. plus the other food!
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    mar52
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    Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 14:29:22 (permalink)
    Our destination for this part ( Leg?  Arm? ) of our trip was McKinney, Texas.
     
    But first we had to drive I40, off the direct route for a burger stop.  I wasn’t getting that close without stopping.
     

     
    What a nice city.  Reminded me of Mayberry if there is a Mayberry.
     
      
     
    El Reno, Oklahoma is the home of the Onion Burger which I wanted to try.
     
    There are three places in El Reno that are famous for the Onion Burger.
     
    We drove around to see the three before deciding on which one we would choose.  They are all in walking distance of one another for someone who likes to walk.
     
    Johnnie’s which is the one I had decided on before even leaving Los Angeles:
     

     
    Robert’s:
     

     
    And Sid’s which was our choice due to the weather and outdoor seating.  (The dogs were a concern because of the heat)  We were not going to travel back through El Reno on our trip home so this was important.  More places should be dog friendly!
     
     
    Sid’s was most inviting from its outside appearance.
     
    The interior was smaller than it looked from the outside if that is possible:
     

     
    The grill after I asked if I could take a picture:
     

     
    This is where things got interesting.  What a nice place!
     
    The girl doing the grilling told me that I could join her there behind the counter to take some closer pictures.
     
    The ingredients waiting for their day:  (except the onions)
     

     
    The hamburger is pre-measured into what I think are quarter pound balls.
     
    From there they are put on to the grill and smashed lightly to give them that burger shape.
     

     
    They are then immediately topped with a mound of thinly sliced onions which are smashed into the meat and flipped onion side down to grill the onions.
     

     
    Then they are flipped again to cook the meat and then once more for good measure.  Salt and pepper is applied prior to all this flipping.
     

     
    This is the point where I left the grilling area.
     
    I was asked what I wanted on my Onion Burger and I told them to fix it like they do normally…  which meant mustard.  That is what I would have wanted anyway!  I’m not a tomato person but I ate it as served.
     

     
    I also ordered one Coney for us to try.  I was surprised by its appearance.  It looked to me like it was topped with some sort of hot minced garlic (I was hoping) sauce.  I’ve had what were called Coney’s in two other states and this one looked quite different.
     

     
    The hot dog was a bright red color which really doesn’t represent itself in this picture.
     

     
    The Onion Burger was delicious and prepared perfectly for me.  I’m going to try to recreate it at home in a cast iron skillet.
     
    The dogs enjoyed their half of a plain grilled burger pattie.
     
    The Coney Dog on the other hand didn’t do it for me.
    I needed a knife and fork which I didn't have.
    That sauce on top which was new for me was some sort of a hot slaw.  I didn’t like it but I’m sure that others do.
     
    I’m glad that we took this detour and experienced our very own Onion Burgers.  Yum!
     
    From there we drove through Oklahoma City (is mighty pretty) to look at the memorial to all those lost in the bombing disaster.  We decided not to go in to it as it was depressing to us.
     
    On to McKinney, Texas.
     
    #30
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