Posts Tagged ‘food’

Slow Day in Santa Fe (Day 124)

November 20th, 2009 Comments off

Slow because of me, not anyone else. Don’t mean to imply it’s a slow town. Slept in, then drove up there. Tried to hit another h*mburger place, but it turns out that the Bobcat Bite is only open Wednesday through Saturday. Oh darn. I got the impression they thought they were doing the world a favor by existing at all.

Santa Fe itself, however, is considerably less self-important.

santa-fe_building-cornerEvery building in town looks like this. Or, at least the corner of every top floor of every building in town. And “town” is pretty narrowly defined as well.

santa-fe_san-miguelTower of San Miguel’s — oldest church in the USA (they say).

santa-fe_san-miguel-frontFull frontal of same.

Highlight of course was hanging out with Ian and Melinda at dinner. Went to Tomasitas for New Mexican food, which was pretty amazing. Not that I have a lot to compare them to, but I’m told the sopapillas there are incredible and I sure didn’t experience anything that would run counter to that claim.

Also: much appreciation to Ian for letting me crash at his killer pad and indulging me in conversations about old MST3Ks, XCom: UFO Defense (the newer, open-source version of which I played at my campsite last night until my batter ran down), and the sticky nature of owning mere licenses to content. Ian, btw, has written the greatest novel ever, which will be coming out in April.


Categories: southwest Tags: , , ,

Buckhorn Burger in San Antonio (New Mexico): #7!

November 20th, 2009 2 comments

I don’t really love hamburgers. Seriously. I thought this list of great hamburgers sounded like an interestingly absurd thing to pursue over time. That’s all. I do not love hamburgers. I don’t find them interesting to talk about or analyze. They’re fine. I’ve eaten 13 of the top 20 hamburgers. If I never get to 14? No. Big. Deal. (To me.) Very over it.

That said:

Apparently there’s a San Antonio in New Mexico also. They have this hamburger there, which is #7 on the GQ list:

IMG00321-20091116-1837Watch it ooze!

As far as the hamburger goes:

  • If you love green chilis, this would be the greatest hamburger ever.
  • If you’re luke-warm on green chilis, is still good although you’re kind of left wondering whether you’d like it better without so many dang chilis in it.

As for the fries:

  • What is it with the stupid “house fries” explosion we’ve seen over the last two years? If one restaurant in 100 sells them, fine, they’re okay at that frequency. When everyone does it, they’re just limp, greasy potato logs. Normal fries, please.

And the service? How about the service?:

  • Got there at 5:30 PM. Place was packed, but I was the only one waiting for a table.
  • Waited to be sat. During the 15 minutes I waited, no one talked to me and the wait staff conspicuously avoided making eye-contact.
  • When the manager came to the waiting area, there were three parties there. He said: “We should have a table ready in a few minutes”. When he recognized there was only one person in my party, he said, “You by yourself? You’re going to have to sit at the bar.” Is it because I’m white?
  • (OTOH, by sitting at the bar, I didn’t have to wait any longer for a table, so I guess it was win-win (except for all the losing).)
  • After placing my order it took 45 minutes to get my food.
  • That’s not an exaggeration: 45 minutes.
  • 45 minutes!

Anyway. Decent burger. Avoid Mondays. Won’t be going back.


PS, I like pizza a lot better than I like hamburgers. I don’t necessarily want to talk about pizza, either, though, or compile a list of great pizzas. Food: a means to an end. For me.

Big Barbecue, Broad Falls (Day 118)

November 15th, 2009 Comments off

A very full getaway day. Starting in San Antonio.

1. Packed up my mobile office and “checked out” of the hotel. I think I left a jar of grape jam on top of my truck when I pulled away. Hope it wasn’t messy, but I fear it may have been.

2. Did laundry at a sketchy laundromat in NE San Antonio.

3. Got my oil changed.

4. Drove about 1 1/4 hours to Driftwood. The only thing better than driving on the lonely Farm-to-Market roads was the food at the Salt Lick.

salt-lick-barbecue-austin.jpgThe potato salad is a double portion (in lieu of cole slaw).

This was the second time I’d ever been to the Salt Lick — the first time was three years ago. I remembered it being the best barbecue ever, which of course led me to thinking that I’d probably over-romanticized it in my mind and, thus, that I’d be disappointed. Anyway: it’s definitely the best barbecue ever. Probably the best restaurant ever. My guess is that there’s something teutonic in their recipes. I could swear there’s a hint of sauerbraten in the meat and barbecue sauce. If I ever die choking on Salt Lick brisket, it would have been worth it. This by itself would be worth the trip to Texas.

I bought a t-shirt.

5. Headed out to Pedernales Falls State Park. Wasn’t sure I was going to stop, but it was early enough in the afternoon and wasn’t sure what else I was going to get to, so after passing the turn-off and then suddenly fearing regret, I went back and entered the park. Worth it.

pedernales-falls_qtr-closeAlthough I might argue that it’s more of a “cascade” than a “waterfall”.

pedernales-falls_mazeAnd then the river runs through this maze of rocks.

pedernales-falls_frontFull-frontal waterfall/cascade.

Plus they let you run around on whatever surface you feel like. It’s nice.

6. Drove on to Fredericksburg, but instead of stopping turned up north and drove another 25 miles (or so?) to Enchanted Rock State Park, where I set up camp for the night. Then camped.



Categories: southwest Tags: , , , ,

How I Celebrated 100 Days on the Road

October 27th, 2009 Comments off

Fortunately, geography was on my side and enabled me to celebrate the exact way I’d always planned.

fireworks-exterior1. With Fireworks!

pigs-feet2. And a banquet of pigs’ feet!

I was happy to have found the pigs’ feet at a Piggly Wiggly somewhere on the outskirts of Savannah. The fireworks were just barely on the South Carolina side of the border. I would’ve actually *bought* fireworks, but the guy who ran the place kept trying to talk to me and then, after we eventually talked for fifteen minutes, he stood up, thanked me for coming in, and wished me a nice day. (I think he’d been trying to watch TV.)

fireworks-interiorI imagine it looks *just like* a Cajun pageant.

And then I kept going.


Whitefish, Kayak Fishing, Food, Fire!, Etc. (Day 40)

August 27th, 2009 1 comment

Some book or something I read suggested that I should go to the Great Northern Railway Depot in Whitefish. I did, but the only interesting thing was the Great Northern Railway logo. Maybe not “interesting”, I just thought it looked cool:

whitefish depotI like the goat, I guess.

Otherwise, Whitefish looked like most other ski towns. It would probably be a cool place to go skiing. Since there was no snow, I went to lunch instead at McKenzie River Pizza. The food looked a little like this:

IMG00038-20090825-1314Or a lot like this, actually.

They were having the lunch special on “The Rancher”, so that’s what I got: “seasoned” beef (does that mean it’s “experienced”?), bacon, pepperoni, onions, tomatoes, and green peppers. I had them leave off the peppers, though. It was, as the Canadians say, quite good.

Oh, but before all this Whitefish **** went down, I left the National Park to go take a shower at the KOA kampground nearby. You pay them $5 at the office, then they point you to the back of the kampground and tell you to have at it. I’m guessing it’d be easy to sneak in without paying. OTOH, I’m guessing if they see you trying it, they wait until you start undressing before they come to harass you. And no, there are no pictures. I also bought firewood at the KOA because it’s a few bucks cheaper than it is inside the park.

After lunch, I drove back to the national park. On the way, I took this picture of which is so typical of pictures that I take it makes me vomit with rage:

flathead riverI like rivers and green-brown gradations. Sue me.

The river was (is!) Flathead River. There’s nothing of particular interest that caused me to add the link, it’s just an homage to the origins of web-logging.

Then I came to the metropolis of Hungry Horse. They have a motel there:

hungry-horse-motelI think it’s for sale.

Got back into the park, then pulled off toward Apgar Village (had a site at the Apgar Campground), then went to the picnic area so I could go kayaking:

lake mcdonald kayakInflated and ready to go!

I went fishing while in the kayak. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and ended when my line broke off at the weight and I realized there was no way I was going to be able to re-configure the line without flipping the boat. OTOH, I got some good paddling practice in for when I’m in Minnesota. The portaging practice was less enthralling.

Then I went back to my campsite and ate the rest of the pizza and waited for it to be dark enough to build a fire that I could then read by:

IMG00041-20090825-1939And if the Kindle displeases me, disposal is only a couple feet away!

The Kindle doesn’t displease me. And I was reading Gordon Wood’s The American Revolution: A History, which is about as concise a book on the revolution and origins of American government as you’ll ever find. Very enlightening and very applicable to present-day politics. Highly recommended if you haven’t taken a US History class in a couple decades.

Some other notes:

  • There are a lot of trains that pass by the Apgar Campground.
  • It gets cold at night in Montana.
  • I think these two things conspire to keep me from sleeping here.
  • I think I sleep better where there’s moderate humidity.
  • Although I also think I should maybe get another pad to put between my cot and my sleeping bag.
  • I’m also considering actually using my tent some time.
  • Maybe tomorrow night.


Best of the West Coast: Other Stuff

August 22nd, 2009 2 comments

Since no one demanded it, I’m providing it.

Best West Coast Campgrounds

  1. Island Campground, Rogue-Umpqua (Day 16) – Riverside campsite, no mosquitoes, decent privacy, the sound of rushing water putting you to sleep…
  2. La Wiss Wiss Campground, Mt. Rainier (Days 24-25) – Riverside campsite (fine, you had to go down a trail), few mosquitoes, decent privacy, and the sound of rushing water to… A little less private than Island, quite a bit bigger, which is why it’s #2 instead of #1, despite the benefit of providing potable water.
  3. Dalles Campground, Mt. Rainier (Day 23) – Mt. Rainier has good campgrounds. For that matter, so far, everywhere that isn’t California has good campgrounds.

Worst campgrounds: Odessa in Oregon (although I shouldn’t complain about a campground that costs $0, it was pretty divey and there was no concierge service); Plaskett Creek at Big Sur (*no* privacy, no apparent understanding of boundaries by the people staying there, relatively loud, pretty crowded, $25/night).

Best West Coast Geographic Features

  1. Waterfalls.
  2. Peaks.
  3. Rivers.

Best West Coast Restaurant Food (I haven’t been trying to eat in great restaurants or anything, just — you know)

  1. Mi Chalateca, Federal Way (Day 30)
  2. That Peruvian place in San Francisco, San Francisco (Day 5)
  3. Round Table Pizza, South Lake Tahoe (Day 11) – All you can eat for $5.99!

Best West Coast Mountain

  1. Mt. Rainier
  2. Mt. Shuksan
  3. Mt. Thielsen

Best West Coast Waterfall

  1. Tunnel Falls, Columbia Gorge (Day 19) – They should blast tunnels behind *every* waterfall. Plus it was very pretty.
  2. Nevada Fallsf, Yosemite (Day 10) – Probably the most angry waterfall I’ve seen in my life.
  3. Fall Creek Falls, Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway (Day 17) – Like I sort of said yesterday, it reminded me of a secret waterfall you’d find on Kauai, only it was in Oregon.

Meh. Good enough.


Taking My Parents Out to Dinner for Their Anniversary (Day 32)

August 18th, 2009 Comments off

Has the 48stateroadtrip shark-jumped? Probably. The major event on Day 32 was taking my parents out to dinner for their 50th anniversary. As exciting as that was as a participant, I don’t think it translates well into the blogosphere. But maybe, just maybe, if I were to go back in time and… no. There’s no chance.

anniversary dinnerI’d suggest something about my sister-in-law being paranoid for not wanting her face to show up on the blog, but then she’d probably have stored up some instance in which I did something paranoid, which would therefore make a hypocrite out of me. Again.

anniversary dinner boysThe boys’ side of the table. They’re not as odd as the photo makes them look — it’s mostly the lighting.

Ended up going to some Italian restaurant in Bellingham after our original plan of going to Abbotsford (Canada) was thwarted by a combination of my niece (purportedly) throwing away my sister-in-law’s passport and an eight-year period of unprecedented federal border paranoia that leaves us needing passports to visit the 51st state in the first place. As a result, sadly, no foie-gras.

  • The chicken parmesan was merely okay.
  • The lemonade required three packets of sugar before it was drinkable.
  • Everyone else seemed to have ordered much better than I did.
  • As for me, it was the first time I had to take ranitidine the whole trip long.
  • I sat at the head of the table — or maybe the foot.
  • Yes, this is the third straight food-related post.

Right. Shark-jumping.


Categories: west coast Tags: , ,

Apparently There Are Salvadorans in Federal Way and They’ve Brought Food

August 16th, 2009 Comments off

Edgy headline, I know.

Just BTW, on Monday after the Olympic Peninsula I dropped my brother off at the rental car place so he could, like, get a rental car. Right next door to it was a Salvadoran restaurant that was chock full of Salvadorans. Decided to give it a try. Edgy paragraph, yes: this is J-McG Yelp review hell-quality. Let me therefore continue.

IMG00004-20090810-1810Although, granted, the rice was a little bland. I mean, there were lima beans in it.

I ordered the Pollo Guisado, but they were out of it, so I ended up with Carne Guisado. Yes, with capital letters. It rawked. I’m not a conoisseur of Salvadoran food or anything, but I liked it a lot.

  • The beef was great.
  • Sauce was excellent.
  • I loved that the waitress didn’t seem to speak any English. If it was an act: well played.

Mi Chalateca, 336th and Pacific Highway, Federal Way, Wash. Go there now.


Categories: west coast Tags: , ,

Great Hamburger #17: Red Mill in Seattle (Day 31)

August 16th, 2009 Comments off

Finally back on the hamburger trail with #17 at Red Mill in Seattle. Per the GQ List requirement, I ordered the Double Bacon Cheeseburger, which was about twice as big as I was really interested in eating. And yet I persevered.

IMG00009-20090811-1658Comes with bacon bunny at no extra charge!

IMG00010-20090811-1658The lineup. See if you can find my mom’s elbow in the photo!

My main impression was that it was a really big burger, what with the two patties and all. Red Mill is famous for their secret sauce, which is sort of a barbecue+pepper thing. It’s distinctive. I liked the burger, it was unique. I don’t think I loved it, though. But the fries were good, I got plenty full, and the creamsicle shake afterward was downright special.


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