Yelp 168 2013!
Way back when, when I lived in Shrewsbury, I would pass by these adorable tiny little pastel colored collection of tiny little cottages every day. I would hope for a day I could stay in these tiny little rainbow colored respites. Fast forward ten or so years, I've moved to Southern California, and have been summoned back to the area for a wedding. My opportunity was knocking!
When I pulled into their lot, I saw that the once adorable pastel cottages were now all one uniform color. They were an off white color. That off-white color they always paint hallways with. Well, minor change...it'll be great still. I went into the office, and inquired about a room. The nice old middle-eastern lady asked for my license, and began to fill out a form. She wrote some things wrong, and put on another pair of glasses to continue, and continued for a bit. She called for help, and her husband came out to finish checking me in.
After running my card through his machine twice (for 67 cents on accident, then 67 dollars the second time) he handed me a key with a blue tag. Room 109a was to be my shelter for the evening. I got in my car, and drove around the drive to cottage 109a. I backed in and then entered the cottage.
I'll admit, my observational skills were hampered by the dire need for a toilet. But after I had relieved myself, I took note of my surroundings. I had initially just brought my backpack in, and I had removed my shoes upon entering. I went out in socks to collect the rest of my things. I stopped short when I felt pain in my foot, and upon investigation, I saw sparkly things reflecting in the light all around on the ground. It seemed as if glass had been broken, and while the large pieces were picked up, the tiny shards were left behind. They seemed to be sprinkled about, effectively caltrops for those out in their socks.
I retreated for my shoes, and gathered the rest of my things. Finally I began to notice my surroundings. I heard the toilet was still running from my flushing some time ago. The ancient wood-paneled cottage was stocked with a microwave, a full sized fridge and a tiny little TV perched on top of it. While the toilet seemed clean, the rest of the bathroom was filthy. [Remember that I 'm a single bachelor; my levels of 'clean' are lowered substantially to begin with.] The place looked like it hadn't been used in ages. Uncovered electrical outlets were scattered about the place; including the bathroom. A spare wooden plank served as a bathroom countertop. Dirt was caked at the bottom of the shower, and on the white cinder brick wall that adjoined my cottage with the next; there was a random red stain, (from jelly I hope) smeared and was forever running down the wall. There was even a good sized cobweb behind the door.
Not daring to go beneath the top cover, I simply pulled it over on top of myself and fell asleep. I heard the toilet still running as I drifted off. When my alarms screamed at 5:30AM I awoke. Without showering, I hurriedly packed my stuff in the car and fled to the sanctuary of the Dunkin donuts across the street. Where I now write this review.
I sighed as my quaint little rainbow motel dream was tossed into a wood chipper. The red steaming mass that came out the other end was the reality. They did have cable, and a wifi bubble. So...that kinda put some sparkly glitter into the gruesome red pile.
Seriously, Rainbow motel people. Your capable of so much; please, clean, update, paint, clean and clean again. It's sad. You can make it great again. Or you can exist in this miserable form until you shut down. Get Gordon Ramsey there with his hotel show.
An unusually short review for me. My buddies and I ordered delivery from here tonight. The friend who called to place the order hung up afterwards quite frustrated due to some unnecessary questioning and repeating of questions.
Some time later, our food arrived, and when I unwrapped my small chicken Caesar sub; I noticed a shiny strip in the middle of it. I opened up the sandwich to investigate further, and then removed a length of Saran Wrap that was seemingly left right in the middle of the sandwich. If I was really hungry, I'd have missed it, eaten it and possibly had some bad effects. After I removed the hazardous materials, and very carefully ate it, the sandwich was pretty good. The other orderer in my group had no issues with his order.
My buddy now tells me that the sandwich in which he had specifically requested olives, had absolutely zero olives in it.
We've been ordering from this place for years, and the past few months, their service really has been slipping.
One Sunday morning, a friend suggested I have breakfast here. After struggling to find a parking spot semi-nearby, I finally found the place and entered. The exterior of the place seemed vintage, and squished. Like one of those old rail-car diners were stuck in an alleyway. When I entered the place, I was reminded of the scene in Demolition Man, where Lenina Huxley's (Sandra Bullock) proudly displayed her room to John Spartan (Stallone). There was 50's stuff all over. The walls, the shelves, even the counters. EVERYWHERE they could put something, there was something. It honestly felt a bit cramped.
I hung out in the doorway for a bit taking in the scene. In addition to the 50's stuff, the place was also quite full of people. A dude in a uniform squeezed his way between the bar seats and tables up to me, and greeted & welcomed me. Being a one man party, I gestured to a seat at the bar, and he nodded and said 'of course!' I sat down at a bar seat, and was greeted by the lovely Tara. Who handed me a menu and asked for my beverage choice. I had seen a sign on the way in that informed me of egg-nog shakes. I asked if I could have one of those. FYI: These are FIVE bucks. I had some sticker shock when I got the bill. Tara said 'Absolutely' and informed me that somebody would be making that right away.
After looking at the menu, I settled upon the gourmet sausage platter at $9.95. Tara informed me that it was a today's gourmet sausage was a spicy chicken sausage. I went ahead with the ordering process and said let's do it. After Tara left, I broke out the ol' gameboy and played some Super Mario Brothers to entertain myself whilst I waited for my food.
This was when I realized that it was kinda loud in here. I couldn't hear the video game noises from the device right in front of my face. The cacophony of people's chatter, clinking silverware and diner noises of the place drowned out everything. I could barely even hear the 50's music that was playing on the speakers above.
There was a couple on my left, and two cute girls to my right. The couple to my left were planning their day, and the cute girls were discussing bad dates, and how they met their current boyfriends(Damnit). Their discussion was cut short as the person behind the counter offered them my Egg Nog milkshake (and the extra mix in the blender cup). They were quite interested in the milkshake, but declined since they had not ordered it. I raised my hand and the lady behind the counter gave them to me. Since I'm a ridiculously nice guy, I gave the two cute girls(with boyfriends) the extra in the blender cup. I drank from the milkshake glass. The Egg Nog milkshake was in fact, quite delicious. Before too long, my ten dollar 'Gourmet Sausage Platter' arrived.
There didn't appear to be a sausage on it. Oh wait...it's buried under the toast. When I removed the toast hunting-blind, the 'Gourmet Sausage Platter' in fact, was a lone sausage, cut in half. It was surrounded by potatoes and eggs and more toast. I was quite underwhelmed with the ten dollar gourmet sausage platter. Though the sausage was pretty good; I wished there was more of it. After I finished, I asked Tara for the check, and took care of my bill.
Tara gave me a promotional envelope as enticement to return in January. The two cute girls seemed to be regulars, and when I asked graciously accepted my promotional envelope, as this was their cheat day place each week. I did have some sticker shock as I ended up shelling out 20 bucks with tax and tip. As I left, I immediately noticed a Lamborghini, and several high end BMW's parked along the street. Ah...that explains the prices. I walked up the street to my Chevy, and then pulled out to go onto my next appointment.
I'm not sure if I'll be back. If I do, I'll definitely skip the 'Deluxe Shake' and 'Gourmet Sausage platter'
So, excited for a new restaurant me and my lunch buddy came here. We walked in and waited for somebody to acknowledge us. We walked in, and wandered around for a bit, and the owner eventually came out from the back and pointed to a table for us to sit at. "You sit there" he barked. There were no menus, nor place settings, so I grabbed one of two laminated menus off the counter by the register. I sat down and perused the menu.
Owner came over with menus, and snatched the one I had picked up out of my hand, and gave us full sized menus, he then walked behind the counter into the kitchen. The phone rang as he passed, and he picked it up and barked "I'm busy." into it and hung up. We were looking at the menus, and noticed a "fine print" that read "No refills, and "easy ice or extra ice" + .50"
Meanwhile, a few seconds after receiving the menus, we decided what we wanted, and when owner came back by, we very politely said, "We're ready to order now, we know what we want" to which he angrily replied "No, I'm busy, I'll come back when I'm ready."
My buddy and I discussed how many stars fell off my review for several minutes until angry Asian guy came back to yell at us some more. I ordered the garlic chicken, and my buddy ordered the eggplant tofu. Angry Asian guy asked how spicy he wanted it, and my buddy replied "I like spicy food, so...pretty spicy?" The guy exploded with angry rage, and startled the both of us; "You no like my spicy, if you can't eat, you still pay. My spicy is too spicy for you. No change." He proceeded to angrily rant for a couple of minutes, not letting either of us get a word in. After his rant, my buddy very politely asked for brown rice instead of the fried rice that normally came with the meal.
He took our order and returned to the kitchen, still ranting about his spicy levels. he turned around and said "I'm crazy, I know." We nodded and stared blankly at the man, unsure of how to proceed with the conversation after that.
The food was out fairly quickly, and he told us proudly how he prepared it before a to-go order. It looked good enough. My garlic chicken sat on a bed of lettuce....which I discovered later on was actually a salad, complete with dressing. It kinda interfered with the garlic part of the garlic chicken.
My buddy on the other hand, did not get his brown rice, and was using the fried rice to counter the fact that he was dying with the spicy levels of his meal. I could tell he didn't want to drink all of his iced tea for fear of paying for a refill, but he gulped down ice and tea as quickly as he could. "I couldn't taste the food through the spicy." He commented.
After we were through eating, angry Asian man came out after a bit and offered my buddy a glass of water. My buddy graciously accepted, and along with the water, he had the bill, which I took and quickly gave him my credit card. He came back and I signed it as quickly as I could so we could leave.
I'm not sure if the "Angry Asian guy" act was just a shtick? But it did really did not help the dining experience. As much as I wanted to like this place, the food just was not orgasmically magical enough to warrant me to ever come back to this place.
In Death Valley, there are three places to stay inside the park. Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, and Panamint Springs. On my way out, I figured I'd check out Panamint Springs and compare it to Stovepipe Wells where I had spent the night. Panamint Springs is nearly at the West exit of the desert. After driving for a few hours along the 190, Panamint Springs is on a grade as you begin to climb the mountains to get out of the desert. Again, it's a small collection of buildings.
There's a hotel, a restaurant, a convenience store and a gas station. This collection of buildings is not as nice as the ones in Stovepipe Wells. They seemed a bit more run down. Since I was headed out of death valley, and I had gas in my tank, along a bottle of water in the cup-holder, I figured I'd just stop and put some food in my belly for the final push to Lone Pine. I walked into the restaurant and it was empty; save for a pair of waitresses behind the counter. I was the only person in there. One of them directed me to a table, and said somebody would be over to get my order.
A cute blonde with a thick European accent came over and handed me a menu, and asked if I'd like a drink. I asked for an iced tea and opened up the menu. Since I'm still several hours from anything, prices were still sky-high. I again turned to the appetizer section in hopes of lesser priced items. Even these were really expensive. I decided on an order of Chili Cheese fries, for $12. Anastasiya nodded and smiled, and went to place the order. As she did I briefly wondered how somebody would come all the way to America, and end up in Panamint Springs of all places. I then turned to my stand-by device for food waiting, my trusty ol' gameboy. After a few deaths by koopa troopa in Super Mario Brothers, Anastasiya came back with my chili fries.
It was a big mound in a basket. The chili was hot and steamy over the French fries, and there was a blanket of melty cheese on it that. I was also handed a small cup of onions and a bottle of ketchup, just in case I wanted them. Since the fries had chili and cheese, I did not opt to use the ketchup, I did dump the onions on the appetizing appetizer mound. I picked at some of the edge fries to test them. Meh, they were nothing special. Then I worked my way towards the more central fries. As the fries got messier, I switched to a fork. The chili was good, the cheese was good. The chili cheese fries as a whole were decent. Not stellar, but okay.
After I finished, I gulped down my iced tea, paid my bill ($19 after tax and tip), said goodbye and thank you to my kind hosts, and finally headed back to my car; ready for whatever the windy desert roads would hand my way.
I was hankering for some breakfast after having to sit in the Chevy dealer while they completed some service on my bitchin' Camaro. I remembered that this place was over here and thought I'd give it a shot after reading such positive reviews. I came up on the place, signaled and began to enter the parking lot. Suddenly I stopped because a very large pickup truck was leaving the parking lot. There was one car-width entryway into the lot, and two directions of traffic trying to use it. Interesting. So, careful entering and exiting the place. The parking lot itself was also a mish-mash of cars. No lines indicated where the spots were. Most people just did their best. Some people parked on the periphery of the lot at various angles, cluttering up the space. I parked in a 'space' that had been created by three other parked cars, and then strolled into the place.
Upon entering, I noticed a big sign that informed me they had an ATM, and I didn't see one of those little 'we accept credit card' stickers on the windows, so I was unsure if my plastic would be accepted. I opened the door to a crowd. People sitting, looking at their phones, waiting for tables presumably. I looked in and saw a few open seats at the bar. I can do bar seating, because I'm a one man party.
I walked past them towards the bar, pausing by the twelve year old at the cash register to ask if they take credit card. Once she said yes, I resumed my walk towards the bar and sat down in an empty seat. The lovely and buxom Brenda handed me a menu with a smile, and asked if I'd like a drink. I asked for coffee as I opened up the menu and began to peruse. One of the first things to catch my eye was a great big entry that read 'Saturday or Sunday S.O.S Breakfast special!!' in the middle of one of the pages. It grabbed me, I was intrigued, I further investigated the entry...it said that it was only available Saturday or Sunday mornings and that it was $5.95. That was about the gist of it. Didn't really mention what it was. I re-read it, and attempted to garner further information from careful reading.
It was near the 'biscuits and gravy' section, so it might have been that? But I figured I'd ask Brenda to be on the safe side. Brenda told me that it came over a variety of options, and gave them to me. I still was unclear as to what 'it' was, but I hazarded a guess of one of the options given to me, which was biscuits.
Mere moments later, Brenda slide a plate blanketed by sausage gravy before me. Huh, so that's what 'it' is. Okay. Now I know. But Wow! Holy crap that was fast! But I'll admit. It wasn't all that appetizing to the eyes. I could smell the sausage of the gravy, and it did have an enticing aroma. I noticed three gravy smothered lumps on the plate, presumably the biscuits. I tested the gravy. It was decent. I've had better, but not bad. I cut a biscuit, it was quite dense. I've also had better biscuits. So Meh, as far as biscuits and gravy, it was just 'okay'. But it was lightning quick 'Ka-Chow!', a quite large serving, and not too rough on the wallet at $5.95.
I paid my bill, and then left. Surprisingly, I saw some of the same faces sitting in chairs and waiting that I had seen on my way in. Wow. This place is busy! Good job Saugus Cafe. As I got in my car and left, I also discovered that exiting their parking lot is fairly difficult. Especially if there's a really big truck parked on the street to completely blind you to oncoming traffic. I may or may not be back in the future.
It was a Friday afternoon. I had left work, and trekked over to the other side of Simi Valley to visit the comic shop. After pulling my file, I realized I had some time to kill before my next scheduled event. I realized that I could finally complete my dream of visiting every single Del Taco in the city of Simi Valley. Small dreams tend to get fulfilled far easier than the big ones. I put my comics in my trunk, and I drove over. Even though the parking lot was nearly empty, it was still quite cramped. Tiny tiny spots, and the drive through lane goes right down the middle of the parking lot. Thankfully, doubleparker wasn't there at the moment. I found a bank of spots that were empty, and parked my car in the middle of three vacant openings. I then walked over to the front doors and entered the 'House' Del Taco.
The place was fairly empty. A businessman was doing some paperwork while eating a burrito, and a younger man was talking on the phone, completing the survey on the back of a receipt in hopes of getting a free food item. I was quickly greeted and questioned about my food desires. I know the Del Taco menu. But for some reason, I always look up and wonder what I want when I hear that question. I looked deep inside, and I asked my innermost fiber and being what it really wanted, to which it replied 'I think I'd like some Nachos."
So I ordered the Macho Nachos with chicken. I've had them before at other Del Taco's, and they're usually quite tasty. Brooke nodded, and rang up my order on the cash register. The total came up to just under five dollars. With a swipe of my debit card, I was away with a register and a number. I meandered around a bit, waiting for the number to be announced. Figuring the place was empty, and my food would be out momentarily.
Momentarily later, my number was announced, and a tray of Nachos was placed on the counter. I picked it up, and took it outside to their small outside patio to enjoy. On the way out in picked up some napkins and a fork, as I have learned the inner chips are quite covered in 'stuff' and not easily removed if one wishes to keep their hands relatively clean. I sat down outside in the evening air, and ate my nachos, and they were as good as I have come to expect from Del Taco. After completing, I threw the trash away, and returned to my car. Backing out I nearly crashed into somebody going through the drive through lane.
So, in conclusion, this Del Taco is pretty much as good as any other Del Taco. The food is good, the people are nice and helpful. But, the parking lot is an absolute horrid nightmare. Even on a Friday afternoon, with practically nobody there I nearly got into an accident. I'm glad I've completed the set, but I will never, ever, ever return to this location during the busier lunch hours.
On National Taco Day, I decided I'd go to Del Taco for lunch. I was excited at the opportunity to conquer yet another Del Taco in Simi Valley, and officially cross the 'more than half' threshold. In preparation before leaving, I flipped through the coupon folder my group keeps, and I cut out two coupons from a Del Taco advertisement. When Noon o'clock rang, I zipped off for lunchtime.
I hopped into my car, and drove down to its location. I found it kinda neat that there is a traffic light right in front of their parking lot. It's not on the corner next to their parking lot, the 'OK to turn left' green light points directly into their parking lot. Not sure how this particular Del Taco got that hooked up, but I was impressed with it nonetheless. I waited for the arrow to appear, and I turned into their lot as it instructed me too.
Their parking lot design is kind wonky. It's long and narrow, with the drive thru lane running right down the middle of it. If it's a busy day for lunch, then you've got the people trying to park, the people trying to leave, as well as the drive thru people trying to occupy a lot of the same space. Thinking I was smart, I drove all the way to the back of the parking lot in order to get some more steps onto my step counter. Healthier maybe, but not so much smarter.
I walked down the lot to get to the place, and entered. Upon first look, it appeared to at one time have been a McDonald's, as there was still a kids play area built inside a separate glass enclosure. It was busy, so there was a bit of a line up to the register. So, I had to wait. No biggie. While in line I panicked a bit, as I didn't see the 'we accept credit card' sticker that is normally in the front door of restaurants. I watched worriedly as a cash transaction took place. One of the Del Tacos up in my area JUST started taking credit cards, so it wasn't completely unreasonable that there would still exist cash-only Del Tacos. Finally, the guy in front of me paid with a card, and assuaged my fears.
When it was my turn, I walked up to the kid behind the machine, and handed him my two coupons and said "I'd like both of these, please!" Then he took the coupons, and reviewed them both. He politely informed me that they I could only use one, and handed them both back to me. "Wait...what? That always works for me. Dang." After a moment or two, I went with the BOGO chicken soft taco. After tearing it off, I handed him the coupon, and paid my $1.79.
He swiped my card, and handed me the receipt. I had enough time to re-assemble my wallet and begin to put it in my back pocket before my number was called by a lady with a tray was walking up to the opposite side of the counter. I thanked her for her speed and accuracy with my order.
I grabbed the tray, and went to a table to eat my tacos. Del Taco chicken soft tacos are quite tasty, and only about $1.80 each. I just got TWO for that much. It was a great deal. I had them both down in just a few minutes. I cleaned up my trash, and left the place. I walked back to my car, fought my way through the parking lot traffic, and the drive thru line Finally I pulled out of the parking lot onto Los Angeles Street..
...and then I went to another Del Taco to use the second coupon. One of the benefits of having four in this town. There's always a Del Taco on the way back to work...even if your currentl AT a Del Taco.
I was craving a sh load of cheap Chinese food from Panda Wok, and hopped in my car and drove over to the other side of Simi for lunch. "I like Panda Wok, because they take credit cards. I'm happy they aren't one of those annoying places that take cash only." I was thinking as I walked into the open front doors of the place. Right into a plethora of hand-written signs that read "CASH ONLY!" I was disconsolate; "Well Poop. Now what do I do for lunch?" I asked myself aloud.
I asked the lady if she knew of an ATM nearby, and she told me there was one nearby, and even walked me out the front door into the parking lot, where she gestured to the bank nearby. It was a Citrix Bank. I'm a Bank of America. No way I'm getting slapped a fee by TWO banks to get twenty bucks....again. So I meandered around, looking at my options.
I could stick with the Chinese food idea, as there is a Panda Express just a bit into the parking lot. There was a pizza joint next door, and a subway and sushi place on the other side. I decided that Panda, Sushi & Pizza would end up being more costly than I wanted to spend. I didn't really want Subway, so after meandering back and forth for a few minutes, I seriously considered crossing the street to go to the Chevron to buy a soda and get cash back for lunch.
Then I saw the sign in front of the doors of this place. "Single Cheeseburger and Fries w/ drink for $8.25" I remembered liking the place when it was in its last form of Howie's, so I figured what the hell, I'd give it a shot. I walked in and a waitress greeted me. She informed me that somebody would be with me momentarily. Instead of piles of Chinese food, cheeseburger and fries. Probably about the same health wise; probably somewhat cheaper if I'd gotten the Chinese food. Oh well. C'est La Vie.
Hostess sat me at a table, and asked for my drink. So I busted out the 3DS, and started up a game of Balloon Fight. Four or five phases later, waitress came up and asked for my drink order. Hostess was cleaning a table nearby and I'm pretty sure I head an "Oh yeah..." from her direction. I pointed to the weekday specials, and let her know I'd like the Single Cheeseburger and fries special for 8.25, and an iced tea please. She nodded, and said no problem. I returned to my game of Balloon fight, and got through another few phases before being zapped to death by a stray lightning bolt.
At a nearby table, there was a man speaking quite loudly of his most recent hot girlfriend; who used to date Rob Lowe. Then about how he had a big house in 'the famous party city of Cabo'. Presumably the other guys he was talking to were his hangers-on. They all had beers in front of them, one of the guys stood out to me. He was a small Asian man with an apple juice in front of him. A yellow straw poked out of the glass. I think he was the newest hanger-on, as loud rich man seemed to be meeting him for the first time, 'you only have a wife? That's too bad...' Mental note to self:....when I win the lottery and get rich...don't be that guy. That guy is an A-hole.
Another guy came by with my burger and fries. I think I had seen him behind the bar earlier. Maybe the bartender? The Manager? He placed my burger before me and asked if I needed anything besides what I had for the fries. He gestured to the mustard & ketchup all ready on the table. The cheeseburger looked decent. The vegetables next to it looked quite fresh and cool. It was a nice presentation. I waited for him to leave before wrecking it and assembling the burger. After construction was complete, I took a big bite. It was pretty good. Not magical, but not bad.
I wolfed down the burger as I realized just how soon I had to be back in my cube. As yet another waiter-guy came by, I flagged him down, let him know I was kinda in a hurry, and asked if he could take care of my bill. He took my card and went off to handle it. He came back with the leather fold with my card & receipts. I hurriedly stuffed fries into my mouth, drank a quick gulp or two of iced tea, and took care of the bill.
As I looked around and noticed the décor, I noticed that they had taken off all the 'interesting crap on the walls' from when it was Howie's, and replaced it with sports memorabilia and televisions. I dunno, I seem to remember it having more character in it's previous manifestation. It's seems to be 'just another sports bar' now, with a million TVs on the wall. I've seen it before. A co-worker/friend tells me that they've moved from Moorpark, they're in a pretty good spot now, right off the 118 highway. Maybe they'll last.
It was okay? The multiple servers was off-putting, and the 'Oh Yeah" also did some damage. Personally, I think next time I'll just have get cash at work before I roll out to lunch.]
This was actually my second visit here. The last time I went there, the service was great, but the food was just around 'meh' levels. I thought I might have come in on a bad night on my first trip, so I decided to give them another shot before writing them out of my life forever. It was a Friday night, and after some driving around, I decided to give this place a second shot. I walked in the door, and was instantly greeted and quickly directed to a table. Nice lady asked what I'd like to drink, she gestured to the buffet, and then rushed off to get my drink. (FYI: Drink is NOT included in the $14.99 dinner price. I discovered this only when the bill was brought at the end.)
I picked up a plate, and began to explore down the line of food. I took a bit of a few things, and brought them back to enjoy at my table. The first plate contained some Chicken on a stick, some Orange Chicken, some lo main, and some sushi. The best of the bunch was the chicken on a stick; and it was just barely an 'OK'. The sushi seemed to contain very similar ingredients, but they were dressed up differently. One of the ingredients in one of the sushi bits I tried had a bacon-like texture to it, and it was kinda chewy...not so good. The iced tea wasn't the best either.
I went up for round two and grabbed another assorted assortment of items. I picked up some dumplings, some seafood scampi, and some odd ball-shaped things on a stick. When I asked the guy behind the buffet re-loading something, the round ball-shaped things were 'chicken'. I also took some round frilly dumpling looking things from a steamer-basket thingy. I finished the round out with some egg rolls. I'm pretty sure the seafood scampi was the seafood salad you get from the grocery store, except for the appearance of an odd burnt fin-shaped bit. I stopped eating it after I discovered that bit. The egg rolls were pretty dry, the dumplings were just okay.
Round three, and I was feeling pretty full. After grabbing a few assorted sushi pieces, I figured I'd give their 'American' food a shot and see how that was. Boy, was I wrong with that idea. The pizza was a microwave pizza that seemed like it had been left out for quite a while under their hot warming lights. The cheese slid right off, and the crust was rough and chewy. The sushi had nearly identical ingredients in each differently dressed piece and was quite sub-par.
I was pretty full, but also quite unsatisfied. I got the check, and noticed the 'surprise' drink fee that had been included in the total. Had I known, I'd have just ordered a water. Despite the fact that the staff is really friendly, the food definitely took a serious dip since their last form as 'Kyoto Buffet". They used to be a solid 'OK" now they've dropped some distance to barely a 'Meh.." I really don't think I'll be coming back until they change form again.
Sorry guys, I wish you the best of luck.
After failing a third time to eat a meal at Garlic World, I dejectedly came here. I've still got a shload of Carl's Jr. coupons littering the passenger side of my car. Figured I'd use one of 'em. After parking, I spent some time rooting through them for a few minutes wondering what I really wanted for dinner. I decided upon the buy one get one free super bacon burger. It does have six pieces of bacon after all. I walked in with my coupon, and looked about.
The place was fairly empty, both on the customer side, and behind the counter. After a little bit, a dude casually walked out from the back and quietly took my order. I handed him the coupon and asked for the small meal. I looked up at the menu, saw a picture, and succumbed to advertising pressure. I asked for a pop tart ice cream sandwich. He nodded and entered some stuff on the keypad. He then returned to the back of the store without a word.
A new guy came up to the register and looked at me. He verified my order, and didn't mention the ice cream sandwich. I repeated my desire for it, and again, I was quietly nodded at. A few moments later, he read my order off a screen behind him. He said it'd be right up....and again, no mention of the ice cream desert. I again repeated my desire for the sandwich....and again...a nod. I wasn't asking for much....some acknowledgment of my request. But I got nothing. No "Yessir!" or "Got it!" or "I understand your desire for a pop tart ice cream sandwich and will most assuredly add one to your order."
I watched as they assembled the meal, and sighed in relief as a pop tart ice cream sandwich was placed a bag of it's own, and handed to me in addition to the bag the meal was in. I thanked them, took my bag and returned to my hotel room to eat.
Again, the meal was okay, and again, the television had some terrible terrible cable playing. I'm so glad I canceled it at home.
As I was driving down the 10 freeway towards Cabazon, I saw a billboard that caught my eye. "Gramma's Country Kitchen" sounded like a place I wanted to eat breakfast. I'd been driving for an hour or two, I was kinda hungry, some Gramma-themed food sounded like it would be perfect. I followed the instructions and not too long after, I was pulling into their parking lot.
I pulled in and winced as the grade scraped the 'nose' of my camaro. I apologized to my fair steed, and carefully parked her in a spot with no cars on either side. I walked up to the place, and noticed several signs on the side of the building. They advertised their meals, and stated the prices. I was intrigued by the country plate, and according to the sign, only $6.99 before 11am! It was nearly 10, so...I should be good. I walked in and looked around.
Menus colored by children were hung proudly in the entryway. Some menus were well colored, and some were crazily scribbled by those not quite old enough to understand the rules. It was cute. The hostess led me over to a table, and said somebody would be right over to get my order. I sat, and perused the menu for a bit. I'm not sure it qualified as 'right over' when the waitress finally got to me. It was more of an 'eventually' or ' after some time had passed' when she got to me to take my order. At one point she looked at me, pointed at me, told me 'I'll be right over" and then and turned around and helped out a different table for another couple of minutes.
When the waitress finally came over to me, I knew what I wanted. I'd had enough time with a menu to figure it out. I had been intrigued by the country plate, and was even moreso when I read about it on the menu. Biscuit, crispy bacon, country gravy...with a side of potatoes in some format. Sounds magical. I opted for the 'tater tot' format. Oh, and a cup of coffee to drink. Waitress wrote down my order, and rushed off to put it into the...wait, no she's not, she's taking another order from that table over there.
[insert more time here]
My food arrived and it looked great. I dug into the gravy smothered biscuit, and it was good. The biscuit and gravy and bacon was delicious. The tater tots were fried crispy, and also great. The coffee was okay. I asked waitress for a glass of water. I received it some minutes later. When I received my water I asked for the check, in hopes it would come relatively quickly.
The check arrived, and it said 'Country Plate : $7.95' but....on their big red sign on the outside wall it had said 'Country Plate: $6.99' I figured I'd not squabble over a dollar, but reminded myself to check the fine print on the sign on the way out to my car. Fine print on the red sign said 'before 11am, and not on holidays'. It was well before 11, but it might have been a holiday? It was the weekend before a holiday? I dunno.
Well, overall, while the service was kinda slow, the food was pretty good, but it was also a bit slow to get to my table. The confusion about the price also was also a bit irksome. If your not in a hurry to get anywhere, I'd certainly recommend the place. If your kinda on a schedule, I might not. Oh, and be careful turning into the parking lot.
Lunch buddy and I visited this place for lunch today. When we were walking up to the place, a fan stood outside the front doors, blowing 'cool' outside air in. I felt this might be my first red flag for this establishment. We crossed the parking lot and walked in the place. All the lights were off, it was quite warm, and there was a big hairy red-headed kid sitting in a table, listening to his Ipod. His head was boppin along with whatever music he was listening too. As I walked in, he looked up at me.
We looked at each other for a moment or two, and I could almost see the wheels turning in his brain. He figured out who we were, and why we were at his pizza place. He slowly got up, slowly walked around the counter, and then looked at me expectantly. His earbuds still hung from his ears, probably still playing music. I glanced upward and looked at the menu board over his big red-headed melon.
I figured pizza would take a while, so I went with a chicken parmesan sandwich. I asked redheaded kid if the sandwich came with anything. Redhead kid gave me a puzzled look as If I was asking him something about quantum astrophysics. I repeated my question, and included the example of french fries to simplify it. He figured out my watered-down question, and replied 'uh, no...but you can order a side?' I looked for sides on the menu board, and found them on the board opposite the sandwiches. I went with simple basket of fries. My buddy ordered a spaghetti & meatballs plate. I paid ($18ish) with my card, and the guy took both the receipt I signed, and the receipt I was supposed to keep. Well okay then. I guess no receipt for me. We then went and sat at a table.
I turned on my gameboy and began to play a game. I finished that game, and began another one. I then fiddled with my Ipad. Hoping to get the wi-fi working. Nope, no wi-fi for me. I went back and played another game or two on my gameboy, and eventually my buddy's spaghetti came out, fork stuck into it. A minute or two later, my chicken parm came out and was placed in front of me. I looked around for a knife to cut the big sandwich....and maybe some napkins. Nope. I pondered again for a moment or two, and then heard the unmistakable sound of french fries being dropped into oil. "Oh....there they are."
The sandwich was actually pretty good. I did let it sit and cool before eating it. It was cooked well, and the melted cheese and marinara sauce were good inside the toasted bun. My buddy said his lunch wasn't that bad. When the fries came out a little while later on, they were nothing special. We got a small container of ketchup, and when my buddy asked for pepper, we got in in a similar small container.
As we ate, hairy redhead kid got a phonecall. Something about a wedding he was going to attend. He asked caller if she had picked up her dress yet. I suppose I should have suggested he take his phonecall in the back. I suppose I should have hoped for the TV to be on and playing something distracting. Maybe a radio or something. Oh well, I hope the wedding is nice.
I really don't forsee myself coming back here.
Came here for lunch today with lunch buddy. As we walked in, we were quickly greeted by the staff, and they were very friendly. We were quickly ushed to a table, and menus and iced teas came quickly. After a few moments of looking at the menu, I went with the lunch box special. I opted for the sushi, and the Teriyaki salmon. I started to indicate which sushi I'd like, when the nice waitress girl said "Oh no, you get them all."
I was happy. Three fishy sushis, and four California sushis, a salmon thingy, some rice.....soup. It was going to be a pretty good lunch! I waited for a few minutes, and began a game of Plants VS. Zombies. The food came out quickly, and I didn't have time to defeat the Zombies off the roof. I wasn't doing very good anyways, so I was happy for the interruption.
After the obligatory Yelp photo, I dug in. I began on the soup. I looked around to discover no spoon. Not even one of those stupid 'slurpee' spoons that I dislike so much. After some logistical work, I picked up the bowl and just drank it like a cup. I had to use the chopsticks to pick up the two tiny tofu cubes at the bottom.
I moved onto the salmon. The salmon was in one piece, and my un-coordinated chopstick fingers couldn't quite pull of a bit easily. I eventually resorted to stabbing it, and picking up a piece that was damaged enough to come away. Proud of my success, I popped the first bit into my mouth. It was well cooked, and Teriyaki flavored and quite good. I quickly reached back into my mouth to remove a fish bone that jabbed me. I threw it back down next to the rest of the piece of fish.
I then realized that since the salmon was sitting on a bed of white cabbage, for the rest of the fish bit, I'd have no way to identify a bone VS. a shred of cabbage. Well played Hai Sushi Japanese Restaurant, well played...
In the process of stabbing the fish repeatedly to pick it up, the skin fell off. I figured it would be a crispy-crunchy Teriyaki delicious treat. Well, one out of four ain't half-bad I suppose. I again, had to reach into my mouth to pull out several large scales. It was difficult separating scale from skin gracefully. I'm sure I looked like a goober fishing in my mouth for scales. Eventually I finished the fish bit. A decent sized pile of bones & scales lay in the next compartment. I wanted to try the Teriyaki soaked cabbage, but I was kinda scared of more fish bones or scales lurking amongst it's white shreds.
I moved onto the sushi. Each of the fishy pieces were good. Well cut, and clean tasting. The California sushis were okay. Seemed more rice than anything really. The fish was good, the salad was also fairly good. the dressing wasn't the usual dressing I remembered in salads of this nature. After dropping a few bits of salad on the table, I rotated the box to get a better angle at it with the chopsticks. I attacked the rice with the chopsticks, mostly only succeeding in breaking up the neat ball they had given me. I found scooping small piles of rice worked far better than trying to pick up chunks of the stuff.
My buddy was done, and I was still working on my rice when nice waitress girl came back. She asked lunch buddy if he was done, and picked up lunch buddy's empty lunch box. She then reached in front of my face to get the empty soup bowl. I get it, proactively cleaning the table. I understand. But....it could have waited a few moments until I was done.
All in all, it was probably about 10 bucks for a drink, a big slab of fish (though well cooked and quite tasty, a bit bone-filled) seven sushis, a big ball of rice, a salad, and an orange wedge. It's a pretty good value for lunch, the people are very polite and friendly, but the bones and scales that remained in the fish, as well as the reaching past my face detracted from the experience quite a bit. I very well might go back, but I'll not order the salmon Teriyaki again.
I came here on the recommendations of some Yelpers. I got off the BART down the street, and walked here. There were some hippies outside protesting some kinda thing. Holding big signs, waving them in my face, shouting and yelling and talking on megaphones. I crossed through the line of hippies into the market place. Loads of stores with overpriced things that I really didn't need....or want for that matter.
One such store was a store that sold mushrooms. What would I want with a mushroom store? Do your mushrooms make me larger? Do they give me an extra life? Nope. I have no need for a mushroom store. There was also an oil store, a wine store and a bunch of other stores I felt I just wasn't quite 'Earthy-crunchy' enough to spend my time or money in. I'm sure the wares in each and every one of the stores were super-high-quality and very very very nice, but it's just not my style, nor in my budget.
There was one restaurant I would have liked to eat at, but there was a ridiculously long line to wait in before being served at. I was hungry now. I'd have eaten my arm if I'd have waited in that line. So, I moved on and went to fisherman's wharf.
So, after checking the website, I hop in my car at 9:00AM. After an hour and a half of driving I arrive at the location of the ship. I guess she's not in her regular berth, and they've put up signs leading to her current location. The signs lead me to a parking lot somewhat close to the boat, but not really close. And even these parking spots say 'No Parking.' So I drove around confusedly, and eventually give up and pull into a 'construction workers only' lot that's next to the ship. I walk up to the gang-way into the ship, and see a frustrated guy leading his daughters down it. Up at the top, there's a sign blocking entrance. 'No Admittance.'
The guy looks at me and says 'They're closed. Filming something or other.' He sighs and walks back to his truck. I also sigh, and take a few pictures of the outside of the ship. I then returned to my car and proceeded to see what else is in San Pedro.
I get it, non-profit, making money to survive....but a simple 'hey, we're filming on these days' on the website or voicemail message can't be too hard....right? They got 2 stars because despite not being open, they still saved me from another boring Sunday on the couch at home.
I was waiting for pictures to print up over at CVS, and the photo lady said 'try cousin's burgers, they've got a great breakfast burrito!' and I took her up on it. I hiked over here and looked at their menu. I found the breakfast burrito on their menu board, and asked for one. To which the girl behind the counter said 'We stop serving breakfast at 11 o'clock." I pulled out my phone to look at the time, and it had just turned 11 o'clock. Probably during our conversation about ordering the breakfast burrito. Clever Girl.
I looked at the menu again, and saw burgers. Okay, a burger. That should be good. Should be pretty cheap, right? Then I saw.. "All our burgers are only sold as COMBOS.' Greaat. I asked for a bacon burger. BAM! 9 clams. I really didn't want fries, but no choice. The beverage cup was your standard styrofoam cup. It wasn't even a big standard styrofoam cup. I sat down at a table, and began to play some games on my gameboy. I played several games, and looked through my pictures a bit as well to pass the time. Then I went to the bathroom to pass some more time.
I returned to my table, and I saw the cook come over and drop something on the counter. I stood up and looked. Apparently my burger was sitting on the counter out of sight from me. I picked it up, not knowing if it was mine or not. None of the other customers were up and looking for their burgers. I looked at it, and it really wasn't anything that I couldn't have made at home on my own. It was 'naked' besides the cheese and bacon. I guess you have to make it yourself. $9 bucks and I'm making my own lunch?
I picked it up, and turned to the sauce rack. Several pump-style spigots were lined up in a row. Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo...I put the bacon/cheese portion of the burger under the BBQ spigot, and pumped. Not much came out. I had to pump the thing a few more times and eventually got sauce squirted on my bun. I then turned to the 'condiment salad bar' and walked down it. I added lettuce, onions, and tomatoes on the sandwich.
I walked back to the table, and assembled the burger. I then ate the burger. It was okay. The fries were okay. The iced tea was okay. I'll probably not be back here. But, now I know. The bathroom is decorated with Far Side comics, which I do find entertaining. But, there's only one bathroom...their tv is a tiny relic. It was playing nascar.
Meh, it was okay.
Way back when in late October, I was backing up my smaller external hard drive data to my big external hard drive. I deleted the old backup, and was preparing to copy/paste the new backup when the drive failed to appear on the computer. I tried again, and it did not reveal itself. I checked the manufacturer's website, and read their message boards. Apparently I was fuc$ed, and had just lost every digital photo I had ever taken. In addition to my tens of thousands of photographs of countless memories, I had also just lost every song I had ever downloaded. I would have to listen to whatever was currently on the memory card of my PSP forever and ever and ever. I tried to work with the thing for a few weeks, but after no luck, mid-November, I checked Yelp for a data recovery guy.
This guy came up, he was local, and seemed good. I emailed him for a few days, and he convinced me. So I gave him a call, and he came over to my place and picked up my drive. He showed up in a nice car, and was a clean cut guy, seemed reputable. No money exchanged hands, just the hard drive. He smiled and said to me "I'll have it fixed in no-time and have it back to you. It'll be $150."
The next time I heard from the guy was when I gave him a call towards the end of December. He informed me that my drive was being particularly difficult, and he had another thought for solving it's issues. But it would be an extra 50 bucks. I agreed and hung up. I sent him another email a few weeks later, and he replied, giving me a status update. Then he kinda fell off the planet, I attempted several times to phone him, but each time failed. Eventually, I simply got a message stating his voicemail hadn't been set up.
I didn't hear from him again when I got a reply from an e-mail I sent him in March. He said my drive was nearly complete, and would only take a few more days. A few days later, he sent me a bill for $590. But due to the delays on the thing, he cut it down to $325. I wondered what happened to the $200 we had agreed upon back at the end of December.
I got my data back yesterday. He had done what he said he would. It was a brand new 1 TB drive, and it had everything on it. All of my photos, and all of my music. The drive was larger than the 750 Gig drive I had given to him back in November. Sentimentally, the drive was worth more than $325, so I paid him for his extra work. He apologized for the delays and spoke of the epic difficulties of my hard drive's recovery process.
So, all in all, he did do very good work. He recovered all but .02% of my data. He's a nice guy. But, his communication skills are sorely lacking. Every contact we did have, I had to initiate. I called and/or emailed him about once week asking for information on my drive. I heard from him (in reply only) only a handful of times compared to the dozens of times I emailed and called him. I'd have certainly been just fine with him letting em know that my drive was extra difficult, and it would cost more. But the surprise $125 increase in the bill with no warning or heads up was a shock.
With luck, in future transactions he will contact his customers and keep them in the loop with updates and information on the repairs of their devices. I hope he does, because he could be great.
My lunch buddy and I drove to a different place, and discovered that it doesn't actually serve lunch. Downhearted, but not defeated in our lunch quest, we got back in the car and headed back towards work looking for a place to eat. We pulled into this strip mall and walked over to the two restaurants we knew about. Pizza Place, and Sushi Place. As we walked towards them, this place revealed itself to us. I wasn't really feeling Pizza and Sushi's not really my thing, so I opted for the third option...bar food.
We walked into the darkened place and looked for people after our eyes adjusted. There was one other person at the bar, and she was talking to the bartender. I asked about the procedure, and she came over and asked what we'd like to drink. We both opted for iced tea. When she came back with the iced tea, she took our orders. She was friendly, and helpful. Eager to please.
There was a row of televisions surrounding the place. I was facing one that was playing Bones, my buddy was facing one that was playing Chew...the chew....some cooking thing. Adding illumination to the place was a lamp that hung over a pool table, and a pair of golf video games. The rest of the place had tables, and the bar.
The menu is fairly small, with a couple of sandwiches, and a load of fried things. I eyeballed the Fried Sampler, but my buddy guilted me into getting something healthier. (I've been kinda on a pseudo-eating-healthy kick recently) So I changed my order to a grilled chicken sandwich. He went with the Chef Salad. (He's normally healthy like that) As the bartender left with our order, we both picked up our iced tea and took a sip.
This was some of the most god-awful iced tea I have ever had. I thought to ask them if they had forgotten a dead cat in the iced tea pitcher, but felt that would have been rude. The bartender was very friendly, and nice. We sat for a bit chatting about the weather, the weekend plans, and the work back in our cubes. Suddenly, from behind the bar I hear somebody shout out; "How do I make the chicken sandwich again?"
We continued our discussion about random stuff, and after some time, an elderly gentleman came out with our food in his hands and arms. He was very friendly and worked very diligently to carry everything all out in one trip. I had to take my plate over to the pool table to get a picture of the food. It's very dark in there. We began to eat. My chicken sandwich was just that. He prepared a chicken breast, and stuck it between some toast. No seasoning, no taste beyond the chicken. My buddy's salad was massive. Deli Meats, cheeses and vegetables and all sorts of things were piled up in a big heap on his plate. A cup of vinaigrette salad was placed next to the pile of salad. He said it was pretty good.
So, the people were nice, the place was functionally sound, and the food was just about palatable. From what I'm reading here, I guess it's a super great terrific awesome bar to hang out at and to get totally plastered at later on, but it's a pretty terrible place to get lunch at. Lunch was $22 after tax & tip. Not too bad for two lunches I suppose. But still, more than likely I won't be back.
I pulled up to this place hoping to end my misery of driving in downtown Los Angeles. It was close enough to my destination, and I was quite annoyed with people in cars. When I pulled in, the first big sign that said "$4 flat rate after 4pm!" I thought "Great! Cheap parking!" and I pulled into the building. As I reached the ticket-spit-out machine, I reached out to take my ticket, and noticed a different sign. This one had a diagrammed price guide, and it read, [L3]$1/1 Hour, [L2]$2/1 [L1] $3/1 Hour. So, after reading this, I then drove to level three for one dollar an hour parking. I thought "Great! Cheaper parking!"
I figured I'd be paying about three dollars for my visit. Ha! Five dollar Valet parking can suck it! I went to Target, and bought a CD so I could get my ticket validated. (I learned later you don't need to actually BUY anything to get a ticket validated) But, as I left the parking garage and smiled at the traffic officer right there at the exit, all was right with the world.
Three and a half hours later, I returned to my car. It was unharmed, and still just as pretty as it was when I drove in. I walked back to the fancy ticket paying machine. I had my three dollars, and I had my ticket. I stuffed my ticket into the payment machine, and it said, and displayed "$14.00". My smile instantly turned upside-down. I looked at my three dollars, and I looked back at my ticket. I then began to carefully re-examine the payment diagram.
A guy was there helping people pay their tickets, and I guess I looked like I needed help. I pointed to the diagram and explained my interpretation of it.
He looked at the number, and said "Woah, that shouldn't read fourteen, that should read eight." To which I replied "But...shouldn't it be three-ish?" He shook his head, and then pointed to the diagram and went over HIS interpretation to it. 1$ for the first hour, $2 for the second hour, and $3 for the third hour. (I was in there for 3.5 hours) He took my ticket, and gave me one of his. Which made the machine read 8 dollars.
Since my car was undamaged, and I did notice several security guards and maintenance people patrolling the place, and the place was pretty clean and well lit, I was somewhat OK with coughing up the extra five simoleans. I'm never ever down here, and I never ever have to pay for parking. Plus, I really just wanted to get the F out of downtown Los Angeles, So I paid it, left the parking garage, and drove home.
Plus I knew there'd be a yelp review.
I came here for lunch with my lunch buddy. I had a good experience with Indian food and hoped to repeat it. Well, it wasn't quite as good, but....not quite as horrible as prior Indian food experiences.
My buddy and I walked into the store. It was kinda like a 7-11, but with curry air-fresheners hanging, and some neatly arranged patio furniture inside it. We walked to the back of the store, and stood at what appeared to be the ordering station. The guys back in the kitchen asked us to hold on, and they'd be out in a minute to take our orders. We hung out and looked around the place for a minute or two.
A guy came out and explained his menu, and that he had some specials. He mentioned that he sold alot of his chicken Tikka. I decided to try that since it was his most popular item. My buddy went with the Vegan combo. The guy said to grab a drink, and have a seat. We would pay afterwards, and not at all if we didn't like it. That's a nice way to do it. My buddy went through the cooler and found a lime-beverage, I just stuck with water.
A few minutes later, the guy came back from the kitchen with trays of food. There was a giant bread thing (Naan) and a separate tray on the tray with sections for the various foods. Two had orange stuff in it, one had rice in it, one had a pile of brown stuff, and one had what appeared to be soggy honey-smacks in milk.
It was alot, and it wasn't all that expensive. I began with the chicken. It was actually pretty good. I was glad I didn't hate it right away. I did enjoy the orange stuff. It was actually my favorite part of the tray. After I had eaten the chicken, I moved onto the brown stuff. It was okay?
I tried the carrot that was decorating the rice, it was pickled, and I didn't enjoy it. I'm sure it was prepared well, it just didn't agree with me. I took some of the orange stuff and mixed it with the rice, and ate some more of it that way. I then tried the soggy honey-smacks in milk. The 'milk' was thick and very dill flavored and I didn't enjoy it. I finished with the bread and enjoyed that. I guess I enjoyed three fifths of my meal.
As I was eating, some older women were shopping for their groceries. I kinda felt as if I was in their way. Also distracting, a TV blasted an Indian film behind me. I think it was an action film, as everybody was shouting and leaping and fighting. But, I had no clue what anybody was saying, so I tried to zone it out as best I could. After I finished my meal, my buddy and I paid and we left the place.
So, all in all, the food was cheap, large quantities, but just kinda "meh", and the eating inside a store was kinda annoying. 3 stars for food, -1 for the other distractions. I think if I'd had eaten outside, it'd had kept the third star.
Stayed here for a night. I've had much better experiences at the other Motel-6's I've stayed at.
The complaints with this particular place was that their Wi-Fi was terrible, and the shower door didn't have a clasp to keep it closed. I also didn't feel quite 100% safe in the neighborhood. I began to walk to the Denny's next door, but changed my mind when I saw some shifty people loitering in the parking lot. I returned to my room, and then drove to the Denny's next door.
But it was only $70 for the evening, the people in the check-in-office were nice enough, and I was really only staying for one night, and heading out early the next morning. There was a little office-like corner in the room that had plenty of outlets to charge up all my gear. And I really could live without Wi-Fi for an evening, and I did my best to shower on the side of the shower opposite the door.
I was in and out in about 10 hours altogether. It wasn't the best, but it was okay. Now that I think about it, for it being an airport motel, I didn't really hear much airport noise at all.
This was the closest eatery to the Motel 6 I stayed in for the night. It was late, and I was hungry. So in a terribly lazy move, I drove next door, and walked in the door to eat. I walked in, and was led over to a table, where a menu was handed to me. Waiter-dude asked if I'd like something to drink, and I got an iced tea. When waiter-dude came back with the iced tea, I pointed to the sign for the Macho Nacho burger.
Dude waiter came back in a little bit with my burger. I dug in and ate. The burger was very messy, the chili falling out and onto the fries below. The burger I'm sure was cooked exactly how it was supposed to be, but...it was just an okay burger. I've had better burgers at Denny's. This one was meh....
After I finished my burger, my hands were messy and greasy, and I had used my one napkin up. I walked up to the counter, and the guy gave me a few more. I did my best to clean all the chili and grease off my hands, but I felt a hand-washing would have been good. I walked over to the restroom, and nearly bumped into a guy waiting in line to use the restroom. I figured my hands were clean enough to get into the car, drive one parking lot over, and then wash my hands in my hotel room. I went back to my table, grabbed my stuff, walked back up to the register and paid my bill.
This Denny's was okay. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great.
After sitting in a car for several hours on the beginning of a road trip, I was tired, a bit peckish, and in dire need of a restroom. When I saw this place, I thought it would be able to solve most of my immediate issues.
I went in, and looked up at the menu. It'd been a while since I've had breakfast at a Burger King, so I was unsure of the newer items of their menu. After reading, I settled upon the double Croissan-Wich combo. $5.81 later, I was finding myself a table, observing the locals in the Victorville Burger King. There were some interesting characters here at 8:52AM on a Friday.
I attempted to hook up to their wi-fi bubble, but was met by a lock. Upon asking for the password, i was informed that they did not have one. Bummer.
I then sat, and played Super Mario Brothers until my number was called. Which was really just a few moments after I had found the table and claimed it as my own. I went up to retrieve the tray, and smiled politely at the employee as I took it.
The double Croissan-Wich was fairly big, and halfway decent. Double meats were okay, the hashbrown-bits were crispy, and the orange juice was cold and tangy. All in all not too bad. However, I do still prefer Carl's breakfast sandwiches to BK's. But it was a nice place to stop, fill my belly, empty my bladder, and re-collect my spirits for the long upcoming drive into adventure.
Not sure if I'll be back this way, but I'll defiantly smile and wave at this Burger King as I pass the next time.
As an excuse to visit nearby Barstow Station for their newly opened Dunkin Donuts, I decided to visit Calico; ghost town of great historical value. All of my local California friends told me tales of the place. Following signs off the highway, the roads get smaller and smaller. Eventually a dirt road has a sign for the place. From down the road, their sign seemed welcoming. A weary miner leaning on his trusty shovel. As I pulled up closer to the miner, I noticed a large penis was drawn in the dust on the miner's leg. A swastika and several curse words were also scribbled in there. "Now that's classy." I thought to myself as I passed the sign and followed the dusty road for a little while. I eventually pulled up next to a booth on the side of the road. There, I paid $8 to enter Calico and park. After parking, you meander right into town. Before I set foot in Calico, my preconceived notion of the place was a historical encounter, with perhaps a gift shop at the end. As I wandered amongst the collection of historical buildings. I was happy to discover that there were a few set up with historical information, unfortunately the rest were stores for various cowboy items. There was a deal if you spent $75 in all the stores, you would get a 2013 Calico teddy bear. Neat, but I don't think I'll spend that much. (and I didn't)
I was somewhat disappointed. I had come in expecting 90/10 History/Economy. I'd say it was actually about 40/60. But, I'll admit the 40 was interesting. As I entered the building to go on the mine tour, the girl behind the register informed me about the special, I could have the mine tour, the Mystery house AND a gold-panning experience for a mere $5.50. Wow! Bargain! I guess they're slow during the winter months. There were a fair amount of tourists here. I heard several different European languages, and had many Asian people walk into my photographs to take their own photographs.
I saw many interesting things. The Mystery House was zany place filled with lots of optical illusions, albeit not so historical. The gold panning was fun, and somewhat historical. Finally the Maggie Mine tour was a bit more historical and had some interesting recordings and signs up. Every now and again, the whole place would shake. Initially, I thought it was wind, as it was quite blustery outside. It was actually sonic booms from aircraft.
All in all, it's kinda neat. I begrudgingly understand that the commercial nature of the place keeps what historical bits there are open and intact for future generations. Although I do wish that there was slightly more history and slightly less commercialism. But it is what it is. I do hope to go back on a weekend some day and schedule the guided tour deep into the King Silver Mine. After spending a few hours here, I picked up some post cards, a refrigerator magnet, and continued on my adventure.
As I was leaving Death Valley along the 190, I saw a trailer parked on the side of the road. It had the name of this place and their phone number. I kept a mental note of it, I was still really far out, but figured I'd give 'em a call when I got closer. In my brain, historical hotels tend to be pricey, but maybe not. A few hours later when the sun was setting, I showed up and I approached the counter. When I inquired. They had a room available in the 'historic hotel' part available, but not one in the 'non-historic' motel part. Hoo-boy. This was gonna be crazy expensive thought my brain. "It's 69.00 a night." Wha? That's practically Motel 6 cheap! Sold! Wait...What? You want me to check out the room first? Uh...ok? I went to inspect room 51 to make sure it suited my needs.
A few minutes later, room #51 was to be my home away from home for the night. It even had its own 'secret' side exit through the ice room. The place did look old. Personally, it reminded me a bit of my grandmother's house. I guess that's why they called it the 'historic' hotel. In my historic room, there was an old radiator in the room. There was no heater dial, if it got too hot instructions said to 'open a window'. The bed was big and comfy, the TV was big. The bathroom seemed to have a second door to the other room on the other side. There was a desk and a sink in the room. There were few electrical outlets however, so I only charged the things I really had too. John Wayne stayed at this place way back when, so it was certainly good enough for me. I discovered next to the front desk, there's a big sitting area with a big fireplace and some signed movie memorabilia. Regrettably, once I discovered my private exit by the ice machines, I didn't pass through here, or spend much time admiring the historical things there. Oh well, next time I will.
Lone Pine really sprang up as a place for cowboy actors and film crews to stay way back when in the 1920's. The Dow Villa is that old, and is within easy walking distance of lots of things in downtown Lone Pine. Actually, 'down town' Lone Pine is a single street. There's several restaurants, a few gift shops, and a bunch of sporting supply stores. Nowadays it seems to survive on people passing through for fishing and hunting. My destination was inside Lone Pine, and it wouldn't take me that long. So I meandered around downtown Lone Pine for a bit, and then stayed inside my room most of the evening watching crappy cable television. A warning though: During the night, the radiator gurgled a bit, and it did wake me up a couple times wondering 'what the hell is that?'
Bright and early the following morning, I left the Dow Villa bright eyed and bushy tailed for my last day of adventures.
After spending several hours wandering around the convention center, I had worked up quite an appetite. Walking back to the Subway stop, I saw this place. There were some other fancy shmancy places nearby. As I approached, there were hooters girls on the threshold of the entryway. They had a chain across the opening, and were busy consulting a list when people arrived. A dude came up behind them, and asked me how many were in my party. When I informed him I was a one-man party, he offered a seat at the bar immediately, or a seat at a table in a bit of time. I opted for the bar-seat now option, and he unclipped the plastic orange chain and held it aside so that I could enter. He pointed me to the bar, and gestured to two different heights of bar. Short bar, and tall bar. Tall bar had high bar stools and a commanding view of everything in the room, while the short bar had a larger table area and seats with backs. I opted for short bar, where I had space to put my various treasures from the car show out and investigate them further.
There was a football game on, and the bar was quite rowdy. I chuckled as one woman to my left was screaming obscenities and curses at the various players and refs who had disappointed her. After the woman quieted down a bit, the Hooters Girl behind the bar handed me a menu, and asked for my drink. I asked for an Iced tea, and after perusing the menu for a bit, and flip-flopping between wings and burger, I decided upon the Texas toast burger. Now that I think about it, It has been quite some time since I've had Hooter's chicken wings. I then drank my iced tea and investigated the car show photos I had taken, and the car show treasures I had acquired.
Before too long my burger was delivered, and I dug into it. It was a pretty OK burger. The curly fries were also just okay. Over the period of the meal, my iced tea ran dry, and I tried the subtle tricks to get it refilled, but in the end I had to hold it high, wait for the bartender girl to see it, and then point to it to get it refilled. (It's okay, I understand that she wasn't just my hooters girl, she had a whole bar to care for)
All in all, it was a good visit. Although in retrospect, I think I'd have rather waited for a table. I felt I didn't quite get the 'Hooters' experience fully. In their defense, it was Sunday, there was a football game on, and I was in the bar. But, now I know.
After watching some bad movie on cable, I was pretty hungry. It was fairly late, and most of the proper sit-down restaurants had closed. Plus, I wanted to save some cash. After scouting out downtown Lone Pine for potential dinner options, I recalled seeing a Carl's Jr. sign not too far from the Dow Villa hotel where I was staying. I began walking, but for the first time in about ten years, I really wished I had a coat. It gets really cold in Lone Pine after the sun sets. I quickly changed my mind and hopped in the car. After driving the few hundred feet to get there, I parked and visually inspected the place. This Carl's Jr was a bit of an anomaly. In addition to the fast food joint I've come to love and appreciate, it was also a gas station.
I got out of the car, and entered. The place was empty. Two employees chatted quietly as I walked up to the counter. There was a guy just ahead of who me began paying for his gas. One of the employees helped him out as I reviewed the menu board. It was quite familiar and very easily readable.
I decided to give one of their new thick burgers a try. I even had a coupon I had printed out earlier in the week. I handed her my coupon, and requested a jalapeno thickburger on their new bun. I don't know if they even still have their old bun. I paid, and then waited a few minutes for my meal. It was a heavy bag that got handed to me. I picked it up, and returned to my car with it.
The burger was quite good. They put a decent amount of jalapeños on the burger. The Pepper jack cheese and Santa Fe sauce added their elements to the burger to increase the tasty levels. It lived up to its name nicely. The fries were as good as I recalled, and the iced tea was cold, and washed down the meal nicely.
Carl's Jr. is still my go-to place to get a solid burger at a decent price.
...and you can get gas here too.
(For your car too.)
I've been coming to this Del Taco for years. Every time, I get some gas outside, come inside and order food, and then take it home for dinner. Tonight was a different experience. I had to get some shampoo at CVS down the street a bit. I decided since I was low-ish on fuel, I'd just leave my car parked at CVS, and then walk over for my dinner. I had some coups, and was fixin' to use 'em. As I walked up to the Shell station, I used my Jedi powers to handwave their doors open.
Instead of turning right for the sodas, snacks, munchies, assorted car accessories and other convenience items, I turned left and walked up to the Del Taco counter. Nice girl behind the counter asked for my order, and I presented a pair of coupons. One for a free churro, and one for 1$ off a Macho Nacho; which I upgraded to the chicken one.
Nice girl punched in the coupons, and my total was $3.83. Gosh I love Del-Taco. Girl asked me if I'd like it to go, or for here, and I decided to mix it up, and eat there. I know, I do like to live a little crazy now and again. I went to the Shell rest room to wash my hands, and when I came out; I heard my number being called. I walked around the convince store/Shell area, and back into the Del Taco airspace to collect my tray. I also picked up a stack of napkins and a fork on my way to the 'dining area'
I walked over and sat at one of the four tables they've got set up for dining purposes. The table was clean, and the food was attractive lookin. It was a healthy and quite symmetric plate of nachos. My churro was warm and cozy in a little bag. Not wanting to eat a cold churro later on, I took a bite. It was surprising good; not quite as good as the 'World's best homemade Churro" I had initiated my churro career with, but it was pretty darn good. Sugary, cinnamony, soft yet crispy; all the churro qualities one looks for in their desert.
I took a moment, and stared out the big picture windows laden with advertisements. I watched the setting sun, the busy traffic passing on Via Princessa, and the people outside pumping their gas. I then ate the nachos and watched as the world passed by outside. I ate as cleanly as I could, and used the fork once the free and clear chips were all gone. I've said it before, and I'll say it again....Del Taco has some pretty good nachos. Over the course of the meal, people came into the Shell station to buy their gas, their cigarettes, and whatever other miscellaneous items they needed. Before too long, there was just some cheese and bits of chicken left on the plate. I cleaned up the bits of debris I left on the table with a napkin, and walked back to my car.
Knowing myself, I'll probably return to my order-and-take-home ways, but I did enjoy my meal here. It was kinda serene just sitting, and watching the busy world pass by over a tasty plate of nachos.It was crazy late, and I was getting gas at the conveniently placed Shell station right there. While… En savoir plus
I was in the realm for a wedding, and had arrived quite early when I passed by this keep. I turned my steed about, and entered m' lord's stabling-yard. "Ah, the King of Burgers. I've not yet seen this keep of his. 'Tis quite an amazing castle He's got here."
I entered his keep, and his servants were all a bustling about. I approached, and they asked if they could fetch me anything. Since my stomach did not growl like a hungry dragon, I merely asked for some fries. I was quite curious about the new healthier satis-fries, so I asked for a large serving of them. They were quite insistent about fetching me additional items, surely that one one item will not satiate thy grumbling stomach, nor quench thy thirst? A beverage perhaps? Perhaps a sandwich? But I stuck to my blade and rebuked each new request for additional items.
After I had given them my coin, I explored the interior of the keep for a free seat. I eventually found one beneath a rather silly looking coat of arms. Looking around the room, I noted that M' lord certainly has several guests dining with him this fine day. He feeds all of them with lordly savings. Surely his hospitality knows no limits. I had but waited a few moments when my order was up. I went to fetch my item, and I brought it back to my table, where I dined on the snack. After I was done, I fetched my carriage, and rode off unto other adventures.
I was headed to a wedding in the area, and had a rumbly in my tumbly. I saw this place and thought it was another place. I remembered liking that other place, and thought it would be interesting to compare this place and the other place, seeing as how they were the same place. As I got closer however, I discovered that this was not the place I thought it was. Instead of comparing two different places, I now had a new place to review. Excellent.
Okay, maybe not Excellent. But definitely Okay. I pulled into the parking lot, and it was quite crowded. No spots made me feel warm and fuzzy leaving my car there. So I continued to drive around until I found a group of empty spots. I ended up over by the Albertsons. (yeah, way over there) I hiked back over to the restaurant, and entered. Not quite sure of how to proceed.
I analyzed the setup, there was a guy behind a register, and a big menu above him. I theorized that you order, and then take a number or something to a table, where hopefully food is brought out to you later. I tested the theory, and walked up to order their breakfast thing, which I misread and thought was another thing. Man, not my day for getting it straight the first time. The total was $9.05 not too too bad for a breakfast that had this much. I got a cup, and a number, which I respectively filled up with some cold iced tea, and placed on the table I decided to sit at outside.
After a few minutes, my breakfast was delivered, and it was good. Four slices of bacon, toast, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and my iced tea. Pretty cheap, pretty decent & pretty quick. It was okay. Not quite magical. Not really memorable. Just....okay. But they've also got other stuff on their menu also.
I might or might not be back? There's a lot to explore around here. Lots of options. Decent value for what you get.
Way back when I lived in the area, I would stop at Flynn's for the cheapest prices in gas, and their massive pre-made sandwiches. I thought it'd be nice to re-visit this place.
I was headed back from a random trek about New England, and this place was right on my way back. I entered, fueled up the rental car, and went inside to pick up a one of their gargantuan pre-made sandwiches. I guess the economy hit, and their 'gargantuan' sandwiches were not nearly as colossal as I'd remembered them being. There was also now a Dunkin Donuts store inside the truck stop. I picked up a bag of chips and a pair of donuts.
Despite the colossal sandwiches being slightly less colossal, there was still a wide assortment of products displayed. Food items, tool items, entertainment items. Lots of stuff.
Neat little place. If I'm back in the area, I'll definitely stop in again.11/11/2013 Sorry about the sandwiches. When we first opened, Campy's deli in Worcester, made our sandwiches,… En savoir plus
After visiting Higgins Armory down the street, this place seemed unique and interesting for a visit for lunch. I walked in, and was welcomed and greeted by the girl at the register who was behind the counter. I wasn't sure of the procedure, and she politely informed me.
I looked up at their great big menu board, and settled upon the Buffalo Bill sandwich, as I do enjoy my horseradish sauce on things. The neat feature was that you could get the sandwich made from a few different examples of gods creatures. Angus($7), Beef($8), or Bison ($10). I opted for Bison, as it's supposed to be healthy and stuff. Not too grossly expensive either.
I got a giant oversized playing card as a table marker. That's way better than a plain ol' number table marker. I then wandered over to find a table to sit at. The place was fairly empty, so after a moment or two, I changed my mind and moved to a table over by the window. After sitting at the new seat by the window I watched a train go by. Good times.
Shortly after the train went past, a guy came over with a tray of food for me. My drink and a burger-shaped foil package sat atop it. When it was set down, I thanked the guy, and reached for it. After unwrapping & photographing it, I noted that the burger was 'plain'. Just the items that were listed on the menu were in the burger. There was no lettuce, tomatoes, onions...stuff like that. Also, for $10 you'd think it would come with something. But maybe Bison is just expensive? Who knows. As for the veggies, I'm not sure if I could have asked for that when I ordered, but it was still pretty good as it was delivered to me. I've decided that I like do Bison in burger format.
After I finished, I cleaned up, and headed out. They've got a wifi bubble, so I was able to send a picture of myself in a tux to my friends via Facebook.
It's a thoroughly decent place. But I may or may not go back when I'm in the area again.
When I lived in Shrewsbury, I lived wishing walking distance of this restaurant. I started many of my weekends with a visit to this location for breakfast. Classically stylized with it's A-frame construction, this restaurant helped to soften many a pounding hangover in my younger days. It seemed only fitting to return here on my visit. I had scheduled an impromptu reunion with some friends, and I arrived promptly at the right time.
I had initially chosen a table at random, but when my friend arrived with her newborn son, we had to move tables to accommodate the child in the carrier. Waitress had no troubles moving our small group to a more open table towards the back. Waitress also had no troubles with delaying an order for friend's wife who arrived later on.
Due to a large and late breakfast lunch, I ordered just a stack of the pumpkin spice pancakes and a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, I didn't really identify the pumpkin spices, and honestly thought they were just the basic buttermilk kind. The pancakes as well as the coffee were just ok. The dollop of whipped cream sagged, lost its shape, and ran shortly after its arrival. Food was just 'meh'. My friends seemed to enjoy their meals somewhat more than I did. The waitress was great; she was enthusiastic, helpful, accommodating, and took some time to coo at the baby. The baby was in fact, quite adorable.
So, all in all, it was a good visit. I've got fond memories of this place, and will return when in the area again.
In honor of my visit, family members wanted to gather for breakfast. I suggested the old Shrewsbury IHOP. Somebody else ran with my idea and suggested the shiny new IHOP that they had just finished building up on the hill in Northboro on Rt 20. I was okay with the change of venue.
Part of the group had arrived early, so when I arrived with my portion of the family, we just walked right in. There was a big crowd in the waiting area. I guess new shiny IHOP is popular with the locals. It's not an old-school A-frame though. So, points off. (Just kidding IHOP) Greetings were had, waitress came over, greeted us, and handed us all menus. She left to get the beverages while we all perused the menu in somewhat-silence.
Since my last IHOP pancakes weren't quite as stellar as advertised; I decided to try them again. This time I went with the pumpkin pancake deal. Hash browns and sausages would be delivered along with my pumpkin pancakes.
The family chatted, and got caught up on happenings and events. Before too long, our food was delivered. I was amazed with the amount our waitress could carry on her arms. She did have an assistant though. This time, my pancakes were delivered without the whipped cream on top, but in a tub next to it. There was also a tub of butter. I thought that was a better delivery. That way I could choose to use it or not. Since it hadn't been beneficial on the last attempt, I opted to just use the butter. I put an oversized blob of butter in between the two pancakes, and then began working on the rest of the meal. The sausage & hash browns were good. The eggs were okay. It was pretty much the standard operating levels for IHOP. Everything is good.
Before leaving, I went into the bathroom to wash my hands and empty my bladder. All of their urinals are set at 'way short' people levels. I found that interesting. I've been to places where everything was set at 'way tall' people levels, so I guess people do that. It's weird, but they do it. Oh well. I returned, the bill was paid, photos were taken, and family went their separate ways.
IHOP is good. They have a large menu that accommodates most hankerings. This particular one is shiny and new.
The last time I was here was about 30 years ago. It was fairly memorable. I remember coming here every time we went out to our place down the road. On this trip, as I was coming over the hill, and the rooftop triple P's came into sight, fond memories welled up. Nothing specific though, I couldn't actually remember anything I ate here as a kid; but I did remembered an old Mrs. Pac Man (Baby Pac Man?) pinball/video game that was pretty awesome. We parked in front, and I got out and took some photos before entering. The place seemed smaller than I remembered. Maybe I was just bigger. The grandeur and excitement receded, leaving humble reality in its wake..
The place was fairly empty. I guess it picks up later at night maybe? I walked over to a table, and sat down. Bartender came over and gave us menus. After looking at it, I settled upon the Tatum Blu Burger. I then went up to scout out the place, and see what memories could re-surface. I first went to the bathroom, relieved myself and washed my hands before coming back out to look around. I wandered over and saw a video game. Alas, the Pac man video/pinball game was no longer there, it had been replaced by a Cabala's big game hunting video game. I saw another set of bathroom doors, and those struck tiny bells. There were his & her bathrooms, labeled 'Shake it" & "Wipe it" I seemed to remember laughing at that all those years back. I went back to my table, and admired the ambiance. That was what I remembered. There is lots and lots of local stuff on the walls. Just about wallpapering the place. Kids who lived in the area, and grew up to join sports teams. Local sports teams, clubs.....stuff like that.
After admiring the scenery, my burger arrived. It looked wonderful. I picked it up and took a big bite. It was definitely good, but it wasn't anything spectacular as I'd hoped it would be. It honestly tasted like a store bought patty, store bought buns....with some bacon & blue cheese dressing on it. Alas, it wasn't really anything I probably couldn't do myself. The chips and pickle were as good as the burger was. Maybe I didn't get the right thing. Their Iced tea was pretty good.
Unfortunately while this place had grown to just about legendary status in my fond memories, reality had downgraded it significantly to 'it's okay?' Reality can sometimes be harsh. However, if I ever find myself in Sanbornville, New Hampshire, I will certainly and happily give this place another shot. After buying a T-shirt, I left, and headed back towards Massachusetts.
I was in downtown Providence, and I was following the green historical route with a friend. We'd been walking for a while, seen many interesting things, and this seemed to be a good enough place to take a break. This place was right along the green line we had been following. It seemed like an interesting and quaint place for lunch. After walking in and inspecting the menu, I really wished I had more time, and could stick around to watch a movie. The menu was up on a shelf, and surrounded by toys. My friend got quite excited when she discovered they had grilled cheese, and I decided upon the turkey and bacon Panini. The total was about ten bucks or so for both sandwiches.
We then went out to sit in the Autumn sun, and watch the people and local street things. It was nice. It wasn't too hot, or too cold. It was just right. We chatted for a bit, and dude came out with our food. Bonus, two bags of chips came with the sandwiches. I composed my photo, and she dug in. The grilled cheese sandwich halves clung to each other desperately. As they were pulled apart, several strings of cheese stretched between the two parts of the sandwich. Suddenly the grilled cheese looked pretty good to me too. After the photo, I picked up my sandwich and dug in.
It was quite tasty and enjoyable. Bacon and turkey and cheese. Really good job guys. I sat in the sun, ate my sandwich, and enjoyed the scenery and company. If I'm back, I might check this place out, or I might check out the burger place they suggested I check out that's a bit further down the green line. Either way, I'd like to catch a movie here. Neat place, neat concept. I definitely hope I do make it back.
After a stop at Power Chevy, I was over on the other side of town. I was randomly driving around wondering what I wanted to eat. This usually gets me into trouble. After some time I found myself pulling into this plaza. I had stepped into the Rustic Grill next door, but after attempting to figure out the menu, I confusedly backed out and walked in here. I suppose next time I'll ask.
After stepping in this place, I noticed that it was empty. Even behind the counter. Nobody was here. Somebody came out after a few moments, I guess they had to save their game or something. She greeted me, and asked if she could help. I then looked up at the menu. The place is named 'Sam's Flaming Grill'. Personally, I'd expected burgers and hot dogs and the like. I guess not, and it's actually a Mediterranean place. Words like Kebab, falafel and pita stared back at me the menu. This is unexpected.
As I stared up at the board, something caught my eye, and triggered a movie-memory of Bruce Banner, Thor, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers (A.K.A Captain America) sitting in a wrecked restaurant eating Schwarma. "I'd like a Chicken Schwarma please!" I said, really not specifically remembering what the Avengers were eating specifically after the credits had rolled. She nodded, and rang it up, it totaled about eight bucks. Curious, I then asked exactly what a chicken schwarma was. She pointed to the spinning chicken slowly rotating behind her and explained it to me. It reminded me of the thing that cooks the lamb that goes into a Gyro. There was one of those too right next to the chicken shwarma cooker-doohickey. I explained the reason I ordered it; she said that there was actually a Shwarma-cooker included in the scene. I guess I'll have to re-watch the scene to refresh my memory.
I walked over to a nearby table, and sat down. It was clean, and free of any food-debris. This location is adjacent to a Starbucks, and their wi-fi bubble next door actually extends into Sam's. I sat down, and connected my i-pad to the wi-fi bubble. I checked some facebook, surfed the interwebs, and fed my web-dinosaurs for a little bit. A plate was slid onto my table, and startled me awake from my online playground. On the plate was a burrito-like thing, wrapped in wax-paper, with a cut down the middle. A closed tub of something white sat next to it. I thanked the girl, and opened it up. After the picture, I tried half of the thing just as it was presented to me. Warm chicken had warmed the crisp vegetables, and there was a sauce throughout that I found thoroughly acceptable. After polishing off half of the wrap, I decided I was pretty sure that I'm okay with Chicken Schwarma. It was tasty; and a new food experience. See? I totally try new things.
I stuck a fork in the white stuff, and put a small smear of it on the second half of the sandwich. After licking the fork clean, I determined it to be sour cream. Très intéressant. I took a bite with the sour cream and it was interesting, cool and creamy were added to the wrap. Meh...I could take it or leave it. I didn't add any more to the rest of the sandwich. I finished it up, and thanked the people before leaving.
Overall, it was good. Now I know what they have. It's not burgers; but it's definately not bad. The place is clean, the people are friendly, nice, and answer all the dumb questions about what their food is. I definitely might come back.
I rushed to the other side of town to meet up with some co-workers for lunch here. I'd read about the place and saw that it was kinda pricey, and pretty wait-ey. Since I only had an hour lunch, and a ten minute drive on top of that, I did my best to mitigate both aspects. After I read the various yelp comments, I hopped onto the restaurant's website. I perused the 'online order' section of the menu, so I could figure out what I wanted ahead of time, and see how much it was. I briefly looked at the 'loyalty' club, but it seemed too little reward for filling out a ton of info about myself. They dangled a free small plate in exchange for filling out volumes to sign up for their list. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what the heck a small plate was. Turns out at California Pizza Kitchen, 'small plate' = 'one size smaller than an appetizer'.
Also turns out the small plates aren't quite as pricy as the rest of the menu. The small plates range between two and six dollars. The appetizers start around tenish. The meals somewhere around eleven and up. I knew where my wallet was aimed at. Since I foresaw a dinner trip to Del Taco for Taco Thursday, I figured I'd get something kinda healthy. The Petit Wedge seemed like it would accommodate, and it also actually looked pretty good. A chunk of iceberg lettuce, sprinkled with bacon, tomatoes, and finally covered with a blanket of blue cheese dressing. Just under three hundred calories per the website, and only four dollars and sixty five cents. Cheap, healthy, and tasty. Not quite the cheapest thing on the menu, but it was pretty darn close.
Waiter guy came for our drink orders, and boy were we ready for him. We hit him with our drink orders, AND our meal orders right there. BAM. Before he had even left with our orders, I asked for the check as quickly as possible. BAM number two. Then we waited. The place was pretty packed. I guess there was a fair or something going on in the parking lot nearby. There were lots and lots of co-workers were in here. I recognized many badges dangling from clips, but I only really knew the small group of people at my table. As I waited for my salad, I nervously looked at the time on my phone, hoping it would make the food come faster. The check came early as I had requested, and it was handled just about immediately so that I could eat and run back to work. After a bit more waiting, finally, at 12:47, my wedge salad was placed before me. I sighed as I realized I had about three minutes to eat it and get out if I wanted to stay on schedule to get back to my desk on time. I did my best to wolf it down as quickly as possible. Despite the speed-eating, It was really good. It was a good sized slab 'o iceberg lettuce, cold and crisp. The plate it came on was also cold and refrigerated. It was well presented, and I really wished I'd had more time to savor it. I ran out the door, and ran back to my car.
All in all, I was only a minute late. So not too too bad. I hate to have seen how late it if I hadn't been prepared. I felt kinda bad for being a jerk to the waiter. He seemed like a nice guy. I may or may not be back? The salad was pretty darn tasty. I definitely won't be back on a lunch hour though. They are still kinda pricy, and despite my efforts, definitely still pretty wait-ey.
I had pumped $72.50 into the belly of my Camaro, and I was feeling slightly peckish myself. But since I was planning on a great big late dinner later on, I didn't want a massive meal. I walked from the Shell station's parking lot over to the McDonald's that was next door. I walked through the door, and walked through the dining area. As I did I noticed the faux wood room dividers that were kinda artsy, tables and booths that were shiny and clean. I noticed that some tables had soft padded comfy stools for the larger-sized guests, and some tables had regular backed chairs for the normaler sized folks. There were also some booths sprinkled about the place. There was a television playing an interview with actor Martin Short. I walked up to the counter and looked at the menu. It was large, expansive, massive with multiple items on it. I didn't want much, so I asked the girl behind the counter if I was too old to order a happy meal, and she giggled and said it would be okay.
I went with a cheeseburger happy meal. She asked my name and wrote it down on the receipt. I began to walk away, and she suddenly exclaimed to me "Don't forget your cup!" and she thrust a small cup at me. I took it, and wandered over to the beverage station. There was no coffee there, so no iced coffee for me. I filled a cup with ice, and then looked at my options. There was diet coke, and a light minute maid lemonade thing that boasted 3% juice and 5 calories per serving. I filled a cup with ice, and then went with the lemonade. After I moved a bit more to the left, I saw the iced tea. I apologized to nobody in particular, and dumped the cup of ice and lemonade into the drain beneath the beverage spigots. I then refilled the cup with ice, and filled it with iced tea. At that point, I heard girl behind the register call my name. There was a tray with my receipt on it, and a bag sat on top of it.
I guess they don't do the cardboard happy meals any more. Bummer. I put my iced tea down on the tray, and picked it up. Then I strolled over to one of the high-backed chairs at a fairly high table. I put the tray down, and climbed up into the chair. Quickly reaching into the bag, I pulled out and opened up, and began to inspect the toy I had received. It's a Despicable Me 2 minion. It's purple? Why is it purple? Does it do anything? It made a cow-noise when I moved it. Oh...I guess that's what it does. That's pretty whelming. Were happy meal toys always this lame? I pulled out my lunch and took the yelp photograph with my 3DS.
I was actually surprised, as there's kinda a lot of food in this thing. 1) Cheeseburger, 2)a smaller than small order of fries and 3) a bag of apple slices not to mention the extra fries in the bottom of the bag. For a 'not so big' meal, this was turning out to be kinda big. As I ate them, while they weren't terrible, they were as unremarkable as I remembered from my youth. (When the happy meals came in awesome cardboard happy meal lunch boxes) The apple slices were the high point of the meal. Good job on that one. They were peeled, cored and cut into tiny pieces.
After my meal, I surfed the Internet a bit, as most McDonald's have a wi-fi bubble. I checked facebook, downloaded a document and sent some emails. So the lunch was productive, as well as entertaining.
So, they let me order whatever I wanted, they've got a wi-fi bubble, and their food is just about okay. They're cheap, my entire lunch cost me all of $3.97. Meh....I may or may not be back? It was definitely better than the last McDonald's experience I had.