Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets

Post
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
2012/01/08 13:05:45
Most of you haven't heard that I was laid off from my job on December 22, effective December 23.  Within one hour I was offered another position at the same location with a different employer for more pay, less hours, and no longer working for the insert bad word here (preferably one ending with "hole"). 
 
I decided to start the new job on January 10, giving myself an extra week for a holiday break with Pie Diva and our son, Martin, in Arizona.  At the urging of a friend, on Christmas Eve I decided to look for Rose Bowl tickets and found 3 in the Rose Bowl end zone for less than face value.  BAMM! We are going!

 
We began our West Coast road trip from our place outside of Phoenix on New Years Eve.  Our first scheduled stop was Julian, California, a mountain town that we would visit to get away from the beach when we lived in San Diego County in the 1980's.  Along the way we passed The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.  We didn't stop for pictures (pie was our next stop), but were in awe of the temporary city of RV's and every type of sand-based off-road vehicle known to man.  It would be a cool place to visit some time.

 
Julian seems to have grown in the last quarter century, but is still a quaint getaway from the crowded Southern California Coast.  We had a must stop at the Roadfood reviewed Julian Pie Company.

 
Julian Pie Company had a variety of tasty looking pies and we chose to buy a Caramel Apple Dutch Pie for eating later.

 
We also bought some Apple Memories to snack on in the car.

 
That evening we decided on an old favorite for Mexican food in San Diego - the Old Town Mexican Cafe which was near our hotel.  A feature of the restaurant is the handmade tortillas.  The corn tortillas (on left) are patted out by these ladies - pat, pat, pat is heard if you are located near the front of the restaurant.  The hand-rolled flour tortillas (on right) are equally awesome.

 
Bobbi had the Chicken Mole dinner, "dark, spicy sauce with a hint of chocolate. Very Mexican--yumm!"

 
The highlight of our meals was the Old Town Famous Carnitas that I ordered crispy style.  "Delicious pieces of pork served in Mexico's traditional style, with cilantro, onion, avocado, tomato, peppers, beans and our own tortillas."  Dang these were good. 

 
Julian Pie Company
2225 Main Street, Julian, CA
(760) 765-2449 ‎ · julianpie.com
 
Old Town Mexican Cafe
2489 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA
(619) 297-4330 ‎ · www.oldtownmexcafe.com
post edited by JRPfeff - 2012/01/08 18:07:08
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 14:34:10
Julian holds a lot of tasty memories for us as well !  Your choices off the Mexican menu are outstanding. Looking forward to the next day's stops !
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 17:47:40
Day 2 & the first of many plugs for the Roadfood GPS POI app download.

 
We found our first stop of the day using the aforementioned POI app on my GPS.  I used it to look for Roadfood restaurants near our hotel.  Hob Nob Hill was close and after reading reviews in the discussion boards the decision was easy.  The restaurant sits above San Diego's morning fog.

 
The coffee cake was cranberry on New Years Day and the orange juice was freshly squeezed.  Bobbi's omelet had avocado, bacon and spinach.  She enjoyed it, but was disappointed that our waitress failed to mention the daily special which was a lobster omelet.

 
Next was our obligatory stop at a Pacific beach.  We were at Imperial Beach barely long enough to get our shoes sandy.

 
The day's main event was the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park.  Much of the park allows animals to freely roam in natural settings.  We took the tram ride which goes around the circumference of some of the large areas.

 
We were surprised to come upon a Glee Club Eat & Greet at the park.

 
A glamor shot.

 
A family picture.

 
One of the Bonzai displays at the park.

 
I was hoping to leave earlier, but Bobbi insisted we stay for the Cheetah Run.  Basically, the park lets a cheetah loose for a 100 meter run in front of hundreds of patrons standing behind a waist high fence.  What could go wrong?
Witness the fastest land mammal up close and personal doing what it does best: run! The new Cheetah Run, located near Lion Camp, is a unique, jaw-dropping experience. During Cheetah Run, the spotted sprinter races on a straight 330-foot-long track that allows the cheetah to really stretch its legs and reach an astounding speed: 0 to 70 miles per hour in just 4 seconds while chasing a mechanical lure attached to its favorite toy. If you're close enough, you may feel the wind as the cheetah passes by. Cheetah Run is made possible through the generosity of local philanthropist Darlene Shiley and is named in honor of Shiley, one of the participating cheetahs. 
Nothing happened wrong this time, the cheetah is trained to end her run at her feed bowl which she did.  I didn't bother trying to get a photo, this was a running cheetah, you know.  It was really worth the wait.

 
We ended the day visiting a friend who retired to Carlsbad.  We had dinner at an Indian restaurant and he prepared Chai for us the way he learned it growing up in India.
 
Hob Nob Hill
2271 1st. Avenue
San Diego California
619-239-8176 www.hobnobhill.com
 
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, California 92027-7017
760-747-8702  http://www.sdzsafaripark.com/planyourtrip/index.html
post edited by JRPfeff - 2012/01/08 18:17:55
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 18:31:15
Since I am retired, it is improbable that I will ever be laid off but If I did, I would certainly like to celebrate the way you did.  Sounds like you had a super time with some great food and great stops. 
 
I have never been to the Rose Bowl game but several years ago when we were racing at a NHRA event in Pomona, my brother and I drove up there and got some pics in the dark just to say we had been there.
 
You food stops looked more than outstanding with the pie, Mexican and other stops.
 
Congrats on the new job.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 18:36:02
Thank you Paul. 
 
I considered this to be making lemonade out of lemons or looking at things through Rose Colored Glasses.  It really helped me get my mind set for new challenges.
 
Jim
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 19:27:32

 
Day 3 - The Rose Bowl - Presented by Vizio.
 
We started our Monday in San Diego, planning to catch the L.A. light rail from Union Station to the Rose Bowl.  On the drive up to L.A. we decided to try to go to Philippe the Original for lunch.  Using my Roadfood POI app, it popped right up on my GPS. We then wondered if Philippe's would be open for lunch at 10:00 on Monday. A call to the number on the POI contact confirmed they they were open.
 
As we neared our destination, it appeared that Union Station & Philippe's may be fairly close together.  Golly, were they ever.  We passed Union Station on the way to the Philippe's.

 
Which was about 2 blocks away.

 
There was ample free parking at Philippe's, but we were skeptical about the possible lines after reading a recent posting at Roadfood.  No lines today, it took only minutes to place our order.  Wearing my Badger red, I had some nice conversations with the Los Angelenos who were also ordering.

 
We weren't overly impressed with our french dip sandwiches, they were good but not particularly special.  We ordered two soups, and the tomato bisque was particularly good - that picture turned out blurry.

 
Bonus points to the first one to identify what Martin's t-shirt in the above photo says.
 
Philippe's was not at all crowded last Monday.  We were surprised at the number of people ordering breakfast there.  Anyone had Philippe's breakfast?

 
After our sandwiches, we found all day monitored parking for $5 and were off to the light rail.  Union Station is a beautiful structure with a reassuring law enforcement presence.  For $1.50 each we took the 20 minute light rail ride to Pasadena.

 
These folks were making themselves useful at the Pasadena light rail stop.  I think it was Occupy Rose Bowl. 

 
Then a short walk, a long wait, a short shuttle bus ride, a long walk around the stadium, and we were in our seats.  Only an hour and a half until kick-off.

 
Not bad for $85, four rows from the top.

 
On Wisconsin! The Badger Band plays it for us.

 
The USAF was kind enough to pay tribute with their "W" shaped aircraft.  OK - you've got to believe to see the "W."

 
Then they played a football game or something.
 
Yada yada.
 
And it another long walk, another long line, a longer shuttle bus ride, a short walk, a 20 minute light rail ride and we were back to Union Station.  We fired up the GPS and entered the route to our hotel near LAX.  Let's try out that Roadfood POI app again ... B&R's Old Fashion Burgers sure sounded promising ... RECALCULATING ...

 
I don't know why, but upon entering it was reminiscent of the roadhouse scene from Animal House - "Hey Otis" and "Can we dance with your girlfriends?"  Although we made out better than they did (with the exception of Otter).

 
The chili cheese fries were off the charts.  I wish I had ordered a bowl of that spicy, meaty chili.  The burgers were just as good.  B&R's is a Roadfood winner.

 
Philippe the Original
1001 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 628-3781  http://www.philippes.com/
 
B&R's Old Fashion Burgers
3512 W. Rosecrans Ave.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
310-679-4774  http://bandrburgers.com/index.htm
post edited by JRPfeff - 2012/01/08 21:42:08
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 20:06:58
Love Julian....when we lived in San Diego, we visited almost every other week! i loved the apple boysenberry with crumbtop, a slice of chedder and cinnamon ice cream!
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 20:15:27
Its funny, isnt it, how life goes.I was laid off Oct.1, goy my new job Oct17-more money, closer to home ,better hours. I couldnt celebrate like you guys-but sure enjoyed your report!!!!!
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 22:11:41
I'm not done yet Ann.
 
Day 4 - L.A. to Vegas.
 
This time I planned ahead, finding a RoadFood reviewed place for breakfast online that was on our route to Las Vegas. 

 
With a early planned lunch stop, donuts would be enough.  Here's a look inside of Randy's.

 
I didn't photograph the donuts, but we did enjoy them.  I especially liked the apple fritter, with its chunks of apple and crunchy edges.
 
For lunch we planned a stop at the Mad Greek in Baker, CA.  We'd seen it on DDD, but didn't find a RoadFood review.  This should have told us something.

 
We all had the gyros plates, which were alright, but nothing special.  Too little meat for the money, with rice as a side.  Mad Greek is overrated, I'd take Oakland Gyros any day in a heartbeat. 

 
That's the end of our RoadFood for the trip. We continued on to Las Vegas and spent two nights at the Paris.  Rates there were dirt cheap last Tuesday and Wednesday and the Strip was relatively uncrowded.  We went to Penn & Teller on Tuesday and enjoyed the show with Martin.
 
Randy's Donuts
805 West Manchester Avenue
Inglewood CA 90301
310-645-4707  www.randysdonuts.com
 
The Mad Greek
72112 Baker Blvd
Baker, CA 92309
760-733-4354
post edited by JRPfeff - 2012/01/08 22:14:33
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 22:31:01
Glad to hear everything worked out OK and even better for you. That's good news! Since you'll be back out here, we'll need to break bread together sometime. I'm going in for back surgery on the 16th and will be out of commission driving-wise for about 6 weeks, so sometime late Feb, early March will work.
Good Luck with your new employer!
P.S. - Did you see any of the Rose Bowl Parade?
post edited by Foodbme - 2012/01/08 22:32:48
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/08 23:22:12
Jim, it sounds like you figured out Los Angeles and environs better than I could have.
 
Your day was much better than mine.  We'll have to have lunch the next time you pass through.
 
If you ever go back to Phillipe's put the cole slaw and hot mustard on to a PORK sandwich.  The combination of tastes works.  I haven't found that with the other meat choices.
 
Thanks for the recommendation on the burger place.  I'd never heard of it and I've been wanting a good burger.
 
As for Randy's... I want an apple fritter.  It's what I order there and it's perfectly oversweat and crunchy.
 
I've never been to Julian.  Which pies did you have?  For some reason I thought it was all about apple pies.  Never once thought they had other choices.
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 08:13:01
Jaime (hey, you're in Arizona now), it doesn't appear that your POI phone app works very well.  Not once did it direct you to a meal that included taro root.
 
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 09:14:42
Jim - No parade for us.  I think that's a trip in itself. Are you up for a Cactus League game?

Marlene - Thanks for the tip at Philippe's, we didn't even think about what to order until we got there.  We only bought the whole caramel apple pie in Julian.  They use several different berries, cherries, rhubarb and pumpkin is the pies we saw.  Some were mixed with apple.
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 10:00:56
Days 5 & 6 - Las Vegas and then home
 
Not any RoadFooding happening for us in Vegas, but we did try out the Buffet of Buffets, 24 hours of buffet action at 6 Harrah's casinos for $45.  The way I figured it, we could do a late breakfast, late lunch/early dinner & late dinner the first day, and an earlier breakfast the second for 4 meals for $45.  We were going to try this last August, but the lines were long enough to discourage us. 
 
This time we plotted a strategy of eating at off hours, we had our first meal at 10:00 a.m., an early dinner at 3:30 p.m. and were seated each time without waiting.  Any thoughts of a second dinner went away as we struggled to move after our previous meals.  On the following morning we had breakfast at 8:00 a.m. without waiting again.  Upon leaving there were considerable lines each time.  We especially liked the food offered at the Paris buffet, crepes made to order, good variety and quality.  We couldn't do this every day, but it was fun for our last 24 hours in Las Vegas.
 

 
On Wednesday we attended Absinthe at Caesars Palace.  It is a adults only circus-style show with seating right up to the edge of the tiny stage.  We all really enjoyed the show, the acrobatic performers were amazing and the comedy was baudy and hilarious.  We will definitely go again when we return to Las Vegas.

 
One last stop on the way back to Phoenix.

 
The End.
post edited by JRPfeff - 2012/01/09 10:02:28
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 10:12:43
Now that is what I call making the best of a bad situation!!!  Hopefully, your ex-boss sees this!
 
Julian Pie Company is fantastic.  The only negatives for me were the lack of parking and the long lines.  I think I must have been there on the wrong day.  Love that Hob Nob Hill coffee cake.
 
Thanks for the excellent report.  And On Wisconsin! 
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 10:19:02
On Wisconsin!
 
Now if only Tebow had a little brother who likes cold weather and red & white.
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 10:33:19
End of a great report...thanks...that gyro looked awfully good to me!!
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 11:22:47
mar52

As for Randy's... I want an apple fritter.  It's what I order there and it's perfectly oversweat and crunchy.


Ewwww....
Ivyhouse
Cheeseburger
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 12:16:45
leethebard

End of a great report...thanks...that gyro looked awfully good to me!!


I agree on both counts -- great report and that gyro looked good.  How did it taste?
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 13:22:57
Ivyhouse - The gyro did taste very good, although it did not have the large slices of onion on it which I prefer.  The Mad Greek's Tzatziki sauce was outstanding.
 
My only complaint was in comparison to my gyro shop in Milwaukee which loads my plate with enough meat for two meals and gives me a choice of fries, rice or a Greek Salad.
 
Jim
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 13:34:58
Jim, you don't happen to remember what the muffin of the day was at Hob Nob Hill, do you?  I have eaten there at least a dozen times and have never seen cranberry coffee cake before.  No doubt, I would love it
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 13:42:53
Cliff - I believe these were carrot or carrot cake muffins.

 
Jim
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 15:59:07
Jim,
A Rose Bowl Parade should be on everyone's Bucket List.
Everything from going ahead of time and watching them build the floats, (Some of them even let you help with it), to the parade itself and then the after parade viewing area where you can get up close and personal with all the floats. Definitely worth it.
 A Spring Ballgame sounds like a good idea! I'm anxious to see tha new Talking Stick Complex. I've driven by there but have not been to a game.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/09 16:35:46
Carrot muffins?  Yeah, I would have been disappointed in that.
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/10 21:04:35
I had my first day back at work today.  I am seated in my old desk working on the project that was taken from my prior employer.  While they took away my old manager's (the @#$hole's) desk.  This may be fun.
Wintem01
Cheeseburger
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/11 16:00:24
Nice, enjoy the new job. I'll take a shot at Martin's T-shirt. Would it say "Buckem Bucky." Unless the first letter is a different consonant.
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/11 20:15:48
Fingo!
 
We've got a winner!
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/11 21:17:02
nice trip JRPfeff.
good food, nice pictures, & good reviews. nice job on everything.
enjoy your new/old job.
did you get the managers old desk?
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/14 11:47:09
Oh, right!  Bucky the Badger! 
 
Nice report!  The only place I've been to was Phillipe's.  I enjoyed my beef french dip 3-1/2 years ago.  Did you get it single- or double-dipped?  Did you apply the house mustard?
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/14 12:09:17
Thanks Bob & Don.
 
No I didn't get the old bosses cube. It would need a good delousing before I would take it.
 
The sandwiches were double dipped and I was not aware of the mustard.  I really love mustard and am disappointed I didn't do my research.
 
Jim
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:Roses are Green, Yellow & Black with Garish Silver Helmets 2012/01/16 22:17:33
Glad you had such a great trip. Hob Nob Hill is one of my favorite places and I loved the julian Pie Company though I visited the other store, I love the gorillas at the Wild Animal park and remain enchanted with the Dik-diks. I suspect i was much happier than you about the outcome of the football game. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.