California, Here We Come!

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buffetbuster
Porterhouse
2013/05/06 08:42:37
The best part of choosing that title for this trip report is that I can provide a link to this tv classic. 
 
Cousin Johnny and I recently spent our annual week vacation together, this time in Northern California.
 
Friday April 19, 2013
 
Johnny was still working on this day, but I had a 6:00AM flight from Pittsburgh direct to San Francisco.  The plane wasn't scheduled to land until 8:20AM, but arrived over a half hour early, which is always nice.  The luggage came out quickly, no line at the car rental and the breakfast destination, JoAnn's Cafe in South San Francisco was a very short drive away.  All of this would be great, except I was meeting Roadfooder Loves2Bake at JoAnn's and we weren't scheduled to meet for another hour.  To kill time, I programmed a bunch of destinations in the GPS, got out and took some photos, eventually settling on a bench outside the restaurant.  When I stood up to examine the menu on the outside door, a woman who turned out to be L2B, stuck her head out the door and asked if I was buffetbuster.  She had arrived early to grab us a booth. I felt like a dope for not checking the inside of the restaurant earlier.
 
JoAnn's Cafe

has not appeared in a Roadfood book since the 1992 edition.  In it, they extol JoAnn's for the buttermilk shake, omelets and muffins.  Good advice we mostly ignored during our meal.  The inside

has the feel of a comfortable diner and we sat in the very first booth nearest the door.  Which gave us a great view of those beautiful muffins

in the display case. 
 
Most of the reviews I see nowadays rave about the orange french toast,

which what I ordered.  It was thick, spongy and a quality way to start the trip.  We weren't really sure if that was real maple syrup that came with the dish, but I imagine if we aren't sure, it is safe to assume it wasn't.  L2B chose the migas,

which she was happy to share.  Maybe Loves2Bake can chime in with her opinion of the migas, but I thought it was fairly good, although the tortillas could have been fresher.
 
The best part of dining here was the company.  Loves2Bake has lots of interests, is extremely knowledgable about food and is just a very nice person.  The conversation with her was a real delight!  And she even came dressed in a pie themed shirt!  Before we left, I had one of the waiters take a photo of us. 

On the way out, L2B bought a couple of muffins to go.  She asked if I wanted any, but knowing there was a full day of eating ahead, I declined.
 
JoAnn's Cafe
1131 El Camino Real
South San Francisco, CA
650-872-2810
 
Much more to come.....         
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/05/06 08:49:29
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 09:10:02
BB, this looks like your kind of place, if these people aren't Roadfood kind of people, no one is..............have fun, the Restaurant s name is Plow, this pic is from Yelp, the food looks great, even house made country sausage............pnwc
 
 
 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 09:24:39
pnwchef-
Unfortunately, we are already back from our trip.  Looking over the menu, Plow looks like it would have made an excellent breakfast stop.  There is so much great food in San Francisco, it would take a month to even put a dent into it.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 09:36:23
BB:  Roz and I have been to SanFran numerous times.  There are so many opportunities for outstanding food that it is impossible to get to very many.  Your stop with L2B was outstanding.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 09:51:49
Love2Bake is lovely and I loved the pie shirt.Can hardlywait to read more.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 10:35:05
Wish you had come further south too. So many places.......
Ralph Melton
Double Cheeseburger
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 10:49:25
It's always fun to read a buffetbuster trip report.
 
We ate at Plow in 2011, and it was excellent - some of the best biscuits and gravy I've had.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 11:43:15
While driving around, Cousin Johnny and I reminisced fondly about some of our past vacations.  As it turns out, this is our 14th week long trip together.  I did a little research and some of you may be interested in reading where we have gone previously:
 
2000 - Flew into Salt Lake City.  Visited Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  Highlights included Yellowstone National Park and Craters of the Moon National Monument.
 
2001 - Flew into Las Vegas.  Visited Nevada, Utah and Arizona.  Highlights included Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks.
 
2002 - Flew into Sacramento.  Visited California, Nevada and Oregon.  Highlights included Yosemite, Crater Lake and Redwood National Parks.
 
2003 - Flew into San Diego.  Visited California only.  Highlights included San Diego Zoo and tapings of the Tonight Show and Hollywood Squares.
 
2004 - Flew into Albuquerque.  Visited New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.  Highlights included Mesa Verde, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, plus first visit to Bobcat Bite.
 
2005 - Flew into Fort Lauderdale (landed day after Hurricane Katrina went through).  Visited Florida only.  Highlights included swimming with dolphins in Key West.
 
2006 - Flew into Portland, OR.  Visited Oregon, Washington and Idaho.  Highlights included Olympic and Mount Ranier National Parks.
 
2007 - Flew into Nashville.  Visited Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.  Highlights were eating lots of Southern food.
 
2008 - Flew into Houston.  Visited Texas only.  Highlights included Central Texas Roadfood bus tour.
 
2009 - Flew into Albuquerque. Visited New Mexico and Texas.  Highlights included Carlsbad Caverns National Park and White Sands National Monument.
 
2010 - Flew into Milwaukee.  Visited Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.  Highlights included Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Smoke Day/PieFest.
 
2011 - Flew into Denver.  Visited Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.  Highlights included Devil's Tower and Jewel Cave National Monuments, Mount Rushmore National Memorial,  Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks.
 
2012 - Flew into Kansas City.  Visited Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.  Highlights included Hot Springs National Park.
 
The great thing is that we plan to keep taking these trips for as long as we can.  There is a lot of time between now and then, but we are discussing Arizona for 2014.   
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/05/08 08:03:01
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 12:00:40
buffetbuster 


On the way out, L2B bought a couple of muffins to go.  She asked if I wanted any, but knowing there was a full day of eating ahead, I declined. 
        

buffetbuster
 
I think I heard a groan coming out of the Chicagoland area that day...
 
Great start and it's wonderfult that you got to meet  Loves2bake -it's always great to meet new Roadfooders
looking forward to more!
 
 
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 12:35:40
Roz and I are looking forward to celebrating her graduation from the Ph.D program in a few more months.  We are driving the western USA driving from Knoxville to Chicago, MPLS across North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and into Settle and south thru California.  Perhaps to meet up to L2B and then to Arizona for graduation. Then back to Knoxville through TX where we will get some BBQ hopefully with Bushie.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 13:07:05
Ralph Melton

It's always fun to read a buffetbuster trip report.

We ate at Plow in 2011, and it was excellent - some of the best biscuits and gravy I've had.
Thanks Ralph!  Coincidentally, I also think we had some of the best biscuits and gravy in a restaurant on this trip.  Who knew California was so good at this Southern staple? 

mar52
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 13:08:04
Shout out HI to both of you!  Great picture.
 
What fun!
 
Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of what San Francisco has to offer.
 
Cliff, I always love your trip reports.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 13:09:08
WJ-
Oh yeah, his name came up several times during this trip as did yours!
 
Sundancer-
Wow!  What a fantastic journey that will be!  And if you get to the Bay Area, you really should get in contact with [link=mailto:Loves@Bake]Loves@Bake[/link].
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 13:11:29
Thanks Mar!  You know I always enjoy your contributions and comments.  But, there will be a bit of a wait until we get to San Francsico, since that doesn't happen until the end of the trip.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 13:13:57
Great start, Sir. I'm looking forward to more.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 14:04:47
Friday April 19, 2013 cont.
 
After parting ways with Loves2Bake, I needed to head south towards Half Moon Bay.  Unfortunately, the GPS in my phone would not accept the address in HMB, so I had to use the crappy little map they give you at the car rental counter to direct myself to town.  Rte. 92 headed for the coast takes you along some beautiful scenery,


past lakes and switchback roads winding through lush green hills.  Hard to believe this is so close to the hustle and bustle of San Francisco and it's suburbs.
 
My lunch destination was Barbara's Fish Trap, which sits right next to the Pacific Ocean.  Arriving a few minutes before they opened for lunch at 11:00AM, this allowed me to walk down to the water and snap a few photos from the dock.  


The water here is perfectly blue!
 
By the time Barbara's

opened their doors, there was a small group waiting to get in.  This is obviously a very popular place.  The hostess told us to sit wherever we liked.  I could have grabbed a table by the window with a view of the water, but all of those were for four people and that wouldn't be right if a person by themself sat there. Instead, I grabbed a two person table near the front door.  In just a few minutes, every seat in the house was taken. 

As you can see, the restaurant is small and decorated with the typical nautical theme.
 
Reading the Roadfood review, I was set on ordering what the Sterns recommended, clam chowder and fish & chips.  But, the specials board

on the wall gave me pause.  Although very tempted by steamed mussels or saute garlic prawns, I stuck with the original plan.  First up was the clam chowder,

which certainly wasn't New England or Manhattan style.  On the plus side, the chowder was loaded with fresh clams.  On the negative, it was waaaay too peppery.  The waitress did explain that it did not contain any milk or cream.  Others may like this style of chowder, but it didn't work for me.
 
The fish and chips

were much better.  The Sterns describe it as almost a tempura and the texture was indeed both fluffy and crispy at the same time.  The inside fish was deliciously sweet.  They do provide you with tartar sauce, but I ate the fish either unadorned or with a little spritz of the vinegar, provided on the table.  The side of fries, which were thick cut steak fries, were an after thought to fish this good. 
 
I usually don't go into much detail about what I drink in restaurants (90% of the time it is iced tea), but the iced tea here was truly awful.  It was particularly dark and maybe it was leftover from the night before, but I couldn't drink it.  I stuck to the water instead.
 
Since there were people eagerly waiting for a table, I ate quickly and got out of the way.  BTW, they have some great signage here,

highlighting happy sea creatures waiting to be eaten.  Next door, they have a to go seafood restaurant,

with a giant fish above the roof.  What is written on the fish?  Crabs, of course!
 
Much more to come.....        
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/08/07 15:00:04
mar52
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 14:32:43
Cliff, I admire your not taking the table for four.  What a nice consideration.
 
I'm amazed at the level of the chowder and the fact that the rim is clean.
 
I'm also amazed at those lunch prices.
 
Your pictures look like postcards!
 
Sorry your meal wasn't stellar.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 14:37:42
Mar, I also thought the prices on the specials board was high. Under different circumstances, I would have ordered the fish & chips, plus the mussels, but at that price, I didn't want to end up wasting a lot of food and money.  Plus, another meal was right around the corner.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 14:41:13
Hope the next meal is better!
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 15:20:08
bb
I used to sing that crazy song every time we went to visit my mother's family in California, PA.
Looking forward to more trip report.......it's been awhile!
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 18:04:41
That's too bad you didn't care for Barbara's chowder, BB...based on your photo and description it's something I'd definitely like to try.  At least the fish made up for it!
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/06 20:00:54
Great report so far BB! Anxiously awaiting the rest!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 01:14:26
Sundancer7
Roz and I are looking forward to celebrating her graduation from the Ph.D program in a few more months.  We are driving the western USA driving from Knoxville to Chicago, MPLS across North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and into Settle and south thru California.  Perhaps to meet up to L2B and then to Arizona for graduation. Then back to Knoxville through TX where we will get some BBQ hopefully with Bushie.
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

SunDancer,
I hope you & Roz would be interested in getting together with me and The Bride when you get to AZ.
I had dinner this evening, (5/6) with Poverty Pete and we were talking about you & Roz.
PP & I are going to try to get together again on Wednesday PM for Fish & Chips.
We had Mexican this evening. 
We'll be posting a " Poverty Pete & Foodbme do the East Valley" thread in a couple of days.
Buffetbuster - Great report as always!
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 06:30:53
Fun so far,my friend!Looking forward to more!
love2bake
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 12:13:46
BB!  Thank you for the kind words--I enjoyed meeting you and wished I could have caught up with you on a couple of your later stops.  Next time, I hope!  There are plenty more regional Roadfood type places in SF and the peninsula, so do come back.
 
Here's a photo of the apple walnut muffin from JoAnn's Cafe--it's so rare for me to buy a muffin, but the "skirt" on this one was irresistible.  It was very tasty.  I don't remember what the other muffin I got was, but I didn't finish it. (That tells you something!)

 
What???  No Key Lime or Snicker Bar pie from the fish place??  Maybe I'll have to check it out for you...
Looking forward to hearing and seeing more about your trip!
post edited by love2bake - 2013/05/07 12:17:23
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 14:02:39
Buffetbuster,
 
I'm not quite the dedicated foodie as you and I no longer fly if I can help it. I just get in a van and start driving. We're up around 120,000 miles in the past 8 years with a singular purpose of finding a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 14:52:37
It is not necessarily how many folks are at the table...but how much food is on the table. Order enough to cover the 4-top and you earn the water view! 
 
What made the chowder so creamy looking?  It looked and photographed well! 
 
How come there has been no mention of dessert...it is well into afternoon! 
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 14:54:57
I'm surprised at you. You know very well that BB never eats dessert.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 16:37:01
Michael Hoffman

I'm surprised at you. You know very well that BB never eats dessert.

 
I had a brain fart! 

Davydd
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 17:54:54
Pie is a necessary food group, not a dessert.
Root-Beer Man
Cheeseburger
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 20:29:24
So far, so good on the Cali trip! Looks like you started off well. Can't wait to see how this one pans out! Those muffins looked great.
Twinwillow
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 20:56:53
Damn, everything in California is so much more expensive than elsewhere.
Not an assumption. I know this first hand.
will_work_4_bbq
Cheeseburger
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 21:28:42
Excellent start to your report!  Cannot wait for more....love the muffins!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 22:08:28
Friday April 19, 2013 cont.
 
The drive from Half Moon Bay to my next destination, Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, runs along the ocean with some beautiful views.  There are several state beaches and I stopped at one to take a few photos of the dramatic view from atop the cliffs. 

After the two straight meals I was in no hurry and walked along the ridge as far as I could.  This was a very enjoyable way to kill some time, despite the insulting sign! 

How could I not take that personally?
 
Duarte's Tavern

is one of those places that has been in the Roadfood books forever and I was excited to make my first visit here.  They are best known for their usage of the locally grown artichokes, although they do have a very large menu.
 
When I walked in the door, they said all the tables in the dining room were full and I could have a table in the bar or sit at the counter.  Table in the bar almost always means very dark, so I chose the counter area.  This particular counter

is only seven seats long and is right outside the kitchen.  Sitting in the window to the kitchen was some beautiful strawberries and an artichoke. 

If all of their food looked this good, then we are in for something special.
 
My meal started off with some warm, chewy sourdough bread,

wrapped neatly inside the red napkin.  This was really good bread and was the start of an entire trip of excellent bread.  Also, as bad as the iced tea was at Barbara's, that's how good and fresh the iced tea

here was at Duarte's.
 
Artichokes aren't a favorite of mine, but you can't come here without trying the famous cream of artichoke soup. 

This was a huge portion size and the soup was thick with strong artichoke flavor.  I have never had anything like it and would definitely get it again.
 
For the entree, I couldn't get the mussels I passed up at Barbara's off my mind and went with the mussels appetizer.  My waitress, who was a real pro, assured me that it was plenty big enough to use as the main meal.  When she sat it down, I had to laugh at how big it was. 

If this is an appetizer, this has to be for 3-4 people to share.  It came it a thin broth, the flavor of which I just couldn't pin down.  The mussels were wonderfully fresh and as full as I already was, there was no way I was going to stop eating them until they were gone.
 
Okay, at this point, I was beyond full.  The problem is, Duarte's is also well known for their homemade pies, especially a local favorite, olallieberry.  Having never had the opportunity to taste this pie before, I took one for the team and got a slice for here and one to go for Johnny.  The pie

had a terrific rugged crust and the berries were fresh and very sweet.  I did ask the waitress what exactly is an olallieberry and she replied it was a cross between a youngberry and a loganberry.  It reminded mostly of a raspberry and I am so glad I was able to sample this unusual flavor.  Looking at the list of other available pie flavors,

it is a shame I didn't have more room, because there has to be some other real winners on there.
 
Since I was sitting so close to the kitchen, close enough that I could see much of what was going on in there, that also meant that they could see me.  Not long after starting to take photos of the food, I noticed that several and eventually all the employees were keeping on eye on me and whispering back and forth, while trying to discretely look my way.  I am used to getting some attention from my usage of the camera, but not usually to this degree.  Still, nobody asked any questions and I kept snapping away!
 
This was an all around excellent meal at Duarte's and it certainly did live up to my expectations.  It is over 100 years old and it is easy to see why they have been around for so long.
 
Duarte's Tavern
202 Stage Road
Pescadero, CA
650-879-0464  
 
I got back in the car and headed for San Jose.
 
Much more to come..... 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/08/07 15:06:27
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 22:37:44
Can't wait for more!
mar52
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 22:46:13
Unstable Cliffs! 
 
I want that exact meal.
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 23:19:12
That meal looks divine.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 07:28:36
ChiTownDiner

It is not necessarily how many folks are at the table...but how much food is on the table. Order enough to cover the 4-top and you earn the water view!  
 
This type of thinking, right here, is why we are friends! 
 
And as for your and love2bake's question about dessert, I didn't get the feeling that the pies were homemade at Barbara's.  Can't say that for sure since I never inquired.  Not only that, the three straight meals in a row would be pushing it and if I was going to eat dessert somewhere, it was going to be at Duarte's.

post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/05/08 07:38:10
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 07:34:11

 
The pie...OMG!!!  Similar to raspberry...Double OMG!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 07:37:07
lleechef

bb
I used to sing that crazy song every time we went to visit my mother's family in California, PA.
Looking forward to more trip report.......it's been awhile!
  Love it!  They are singing about California, PA in that song, aren't they?
 
Screaming Chicken-
Sometimes when you eat something you don't like, you think to yourself that although this isn't for me, I can see why others enjoy it.  And the chowder at Barbara's was one of those times.  It was more of a case of too much pepper, rather than the lack of dairy.
 
love2bake-
Thanks for posting the great muffin photo.  I do regret not picking one up for something to snack on later in the day.
 
Davydd-
If I was retired like you, I would most definitely be doing the very same thing.  And thanks for all of the beautiful food photos you posted on twitter recently, especially the ones from Texas and Louisiana.  Very enjoyable!
 
Thank you to annpeeples, agnesrob, will_work_4_bbq and everyone else for the kind words. They are much appreciated! 

post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/08/07 13:45:45
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 08:44:13
Friday April 19, 2013 cont.
 
The Travelin Man and I like to compare travel notes.  One of the things we have discussed is what is the largest city in the US we have never visited.  His was Columbus, OH for a while, until he flew into Pittsburgh a couple of years ago and we drove to Columbus for an Ohio State basketball game.  For many years, mine has been San Jose, CA.  At nearly a million residents, San Jose is the 10th largest city in the country. 
 
Cousin Johnny and I had late night dinner plans in San Jose, but my current destination was San Jose State University and their bookstore to pick up a t-shirt.  Parking was problematic, but it was such a nice day, I didn't mind walking a little farther than usual.  While walking on campus, my mother called to see how my flight was.  During the conversation, she told me she was riveted to the tv, due to the manhunt for the Boston marathon bombers.  The night before, I went to bed around 7:00PM because of the early flight and had no idea that one of the suspects was already dead and that they were closing in on the younger brother.  I had spent the day driving around listening to music on the satellite radio of the car and was completely out of the loop.  I changed my plans and headed for my hotel in nearby Fremont to watch the news.
 
Everyone aready knows how the rest of the day's events turned out, so no reason to go into that.  But, my plans to visit a Cuban/Peruvian restaurant in Palo Alto were now rather unimportant.  Cousin Johnny was due to land at the airport in San Francisco at 9:50PM and I received a text from him at his layover from Chicago's Midway saying the flight out was now delayed.  He really does have bad luck with flights, although nothing approaching Ralph & Lori. 
 
Finally around 9:30, I got dressed and headed for the airport to meet Johnny.  First, a stop at Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream in Palo Alto.  They are now under new ownership than when they appeared in the 2008 edition of Roadfood and love2bake had mentioned earlier that she had mixed feelings about Rick's.  Still, I was in the mood for something sweet and couldn't resist.  It is located in shopping center

and even this late, the place was hopping.  In fact, every table was occupied with people licking ice cream.  The list of available flavors is daunting,

so I asked the friendly young girl if they specialize in any particular flavor.  She replied that salty caramel was their number one seller and her personal favorite.  So, I got a scoop of that and a scoop of regular chocolate. 

The salty caramel was indeed extra creamy and delicious, but the flavor of the chocolate was off.  This just may be the first time I have ever thrown away leftover chocolate ice cream.  Although the ice cream here gets a mixed review, this cow mural on the wall

gets a big thumbs up!
 
Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream
3946 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA
650-493-6553
 
I got back to the airport, turned in my car and ended up waiting for a full hour for Johnny to arrive at the car rental center.  We grabbed the car we were driving around for the week and headed out for our late night dinner.
 
BTW, the largest city in the US now that I have never visited is #34, Fresno, CA
 
Much more to come.....  
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/08/07 13:49:24
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 09:01:23
buffetbuster
Davydd-
If I was retired like you, I would most definitely be doing the very same thing.  And thanks for all of the beautiful food photos you posted on twitter recently, especially the ones from Texas and Louisiana.  Very enjoyable!

My next post will most likely be a UP pastie. We're heading out again in a week.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 09:44:16
The US city with the largest population which I have not yet visited is El Paso, TX (#19). After that, it is #32 Albuquerque, which should be resolved this summer, and then #34 Fresno.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 10:44:46
And El Paso isn't exactly on the way to anywhere.  I am still trying to figure out how to get to Big Bend National Park.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 10:49:08
buffetbuster

And El Paso isn't exactly on the way to anywhere.  I am still trying to figure out how to get to Big Bend National Park.

 
Same here BB:  Bushie and I talked about it several years ago.  You got to go there to get there.  Tall mountains and perhaps a roadfood desert??
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

Davydd
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 11:43:53
Hmm, I was just in Big Bend NP and El Paso for the second time in two years. You get there by driving . . . a LOT!
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 11:55:27
Twinwillow

Damn, everything in California is so much more expensive than elsewhere.
Not an assumption. I know this first hand.

 
Yeah, I know it too......
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 12:01:37
The Travelin Man

The US city with the largest population which I have not yet visited is El Paso, TX (#19). After that, it is #32 Albuquerque, which should be resolved this summer, and then #34 Fresno.

Interesting story about our way back from the Glee Club meeting. We were going through EP when my cell phone text rang. I looked at the text. It thanked me for choossing something like Grupo Mexicano as my cellphone provider and giving me charges. I had to call ATT later to straighten the mess out. Seems it happens a lot. They actually have the cell tower right at the US border. Sheesh!
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 12:15:39
Admittedly, I have no particular interest in going to El Paso. Thus far, no one has made a particularly compelling case, either! ;)
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 14:49:56
The Travelin Man

Admittedly, I have no particular interest in going to El Paso. Thus far, no one has made a particularly compelling case, either! ;)

Well, there's food in El Paso.
Smitty's -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/57/smittys
H&H Car Wash -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/3911/hh-cafe-car-wash
And then, on your way from El Paso to Albuquerque there's:
Las Cruces, NM
Nellie's -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/4041/nellies
Nopalito -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/3650/nopalito
Roswell, NM
La Posta -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/4981/la-posta
 
Oh, and then there's the Bobcat Bite during your side trip to Santa Fe.
 
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 14:59:40
The Travelin Man

Admittedly, I have no particular interest in going to El Paso. Thus far, no one has made a particularly compelling case, either! ;)

I've never been to El Paso but it's on the way to Las Cruces which I have been to and has some awesome food and scenery.
kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 15:01:30
Michael Hoffman

Oh, and then there's the Bobcat Bite during your side trip to Santa Fe.


And it's very near San Antonio New Mexico and the Owl which I think is better than Bobcat.
post edited by kland01s - 2013/05/08 15:08:49
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 15:05:16
If this won't make TTM want to visit El Paso, then nothing will.  You can go see Pancho Villa's trigger finger on display in the window of a pawn shop!
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:02:03
We visted Deming, NM a couple of times coming and going to SoCal and Ky  We enjoyed a couple of meals at Smitty's BBQ near Ft Bliss. I guess I have a special identity with the retired GI's who set up shop near a large Army Post.  Near what used to be Ft Ord in CA is Castroville, known for it's Artichokes, but the home of an excellent BBQ Stand run by a retired GI...The Central Texas BBQ. Having a plate of his Ribs and Brisket served with a huge Artichoke on the side is a unique BBQ meal, that's for sure.
 
I would love to try the Steakhouse that is included in every TV "Steak Paradise" program...name escapes me right now, but it is located near El Paso and is bragged on big-time for the quality of it's beef.
EdSails
Filet Mignon
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:08:26
Now Marty Robbins thought it was a dangerous place to be....
 
Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina,
Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
My love was deep for this Mexican maiden;
I was in love but in vain, I could tell.

One night a wild young cowboy came in,
Wild as the West Texas wind.
Dashing and daring,
A drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina,
The girl that I loved.

So in anger I

Challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.


The song is definitely more interesting than the city!
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:19:38
mayor al

We visited Deming, NM a couple of times coming and going to SoCal and Ky  We enjoyed a couple of meals at Smitty's BBQ near Ft Bliss. I guess I have a special identity with the retired GI's who set up shop near a large Army Post.  Near what used to be Ft Ord in CA is Castroville, known for it's Artichokes, but the home of an excellent BBQ Stand run by a retired GI...The Central Texas BBQ. Having a plate of his Ribs and Brisket served with a huge Artichoke on the side is a unique BBQ meal, that's for sure.

I would love to try the Steakhouse that is included in every TV "Steak Paradise" program...name escapes me right now, but it is located near El Paso and is bragged on big-time for the quality of it's beef.

 
Al:  A few years ago I visited Cattlemens Steakhouse Ranch near El Paso.  I am not sure if this is the place you referred to but as I recall, it was about 30,000 acres and many movies were filmed here.  Really interesting and I had a huge 16 ounce  porterhouse.
 
http://www.cattlemansranch.com/
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:22:10
mayor al

We visted Deming, NM a couple of times coming and going to SoCal and Ky  We enjoyed a couple of meals at Smitty's BBQ near Ft Bliss. I guess I have a special identity with the retired GI's who set up shop near a large Army Post.  Near what used to be Ft Ord in CA is Castroville, known for it's Artichokes, but the home of an excellent BBQ Stand run by a retired GI...The Central Texas BBQ. Having a plate of his Ribs and Brisket served with a huge Artichoke on the side is a unique BBQ meal, that's for sure.


My grandson was a fan of Smitty's when he was stationed at Fort Bliss. The H&H Car Wash was another of his favorites.

Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:22:16
mayor al

We visted Deming, NM a couple of times coming and going to SoCal and Ky  We enjoyed a couple of meals at Smitty's BBQ near Ft Bliss. I guess I have a special identity with the retired GI's who set up shop near a large Army Post.  Near what used to be Ft Ord in CA is Castroville, known for it's Artichokes, but the home of an excellent BBQ Stand run by a retired GI...The Central Texas BBQ. Having a plate of his Ribs and Brisket served with a huge Artichoke on the side is a unique BBQ meal, that's for sure.


My grandson was a fan of Smitty's when he was stationed at Fort Bliss. The H&H Car Wash was another of his favorites.

Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:48:18
Somehow I drove through Castroville several years ago when Roz and I were enroute to Monterey from SanFran.  I recall artichokes and strawberries being dirt cheap.  I do not remember much about Castroville except huge amounts of pretty farmland.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 17:02:06
We drove from Desert Hot Springs back to Alaska.  California was wonderful.  And YES about the artichokes and strawberries!  The artichokes were HUGE and 3 for $1.00.  The strawberries were $5.00 a flat!  All of the produce was beautiful.  We could buy Alaskan king crab legs (large ones)  for $6.99 - cheaper than in Alaska! 
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