On the road again
Been home long enough, time to go someplace.
We’ve got a beach house rented in Hermosa Beach, so Gail and I hit the trail about noon. I’ve made the dash down I-5 so many times I’m on autopilot as soon as we leave the driveway.
Ordinarily, I want to stop to eat at Pea Soup Andersons in Santa Nella, but we decided to get a few more miles under our belt, and planned on stopping at Harris Ranch. I guess everyone else did, too, because although it was about 2:00 when we got there, the place was packed and there was a half hour wait. There aren’t many things Gail will wait 30 minutes for, and a burger in a roadside cafe isn’t one of them, so off we went towards Kettleman City.
Getting off the freeway, there is a collection of fast food joints, and a sign indication the city in one mile. So we tried the city–which is really just a wide spot in the road, with a couple of churches, a mini-market or two, five streets one way and six streets the other, and this fine dining establishment:
Being the adventurous people that we are, we went in. And promptly went back out. Dining facilities aren’t supposed to smell like that.
Back at the collection of fast food by the freeway, we saw Mike’s Roadhouse Cafe. Great!! At least it wasn’t part of a national chain of pre-planned blandness.
In fact, it was pretty cool. They have a huge collection of the trucks and cars that little kids would sit in and ride from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s it seems, all in pretty good shape. The tables have little games and books to keep you, or your kids, amused. The menu is classic roadhouse fare, supplemented with the Mexican specialties that are mandatory in the central valley. Since “Mike’s” is owned by Polo and Juan Sandoval these days, one would expect the Mexican food to be pretty good.
I couldn’t pass up the chicken fried steak, smothered in country gravy. Gail insisted that I had to have the mashed spuds instead of the french fries, and she was right. Of course, I preferred the corn bread on the side.
I suppose they get a kickback from the local cardiologist, or the coroner, but it was great.
Gail had the fish tacos.
It didn’t kill her. And she loved it.
For 200 miles, I had been seeing signs saying the road was restricted to only 1 lane and there was a detour. We didn’t take the detour, and the one lane section was all of 1 mile long, and the slowest we went was about 60.
There was a bigger slowdown at one point because a cop was helping somebody with a flat tire, and everyone had to slow to 45 to watch this total non-event. People are such sheep.
Traffic did indeed slow down in LA, but that doesn’t surprise anyone. The beach house is an architectural marvel, with all the most modern electronic controls for the lighting, the sound system, the “fireplaces” that don’t take wood, the fancy big screen TV’s that I hope to be able to figure out.
Dinner tonight sort of atoned for the fat and cholesterol fiesta that was lunch–we went to a vegetarian diner, and I had what is laughingly called a burrito, except it had no meat, no sour cream, no flavor. It was healthy, I suppose. Vegetarians are so thin because nobody wants to eat much in the way of brown rice and beans. I bravely ordered the herb iced tea. When I wanted sweetener, the waitress told me it didn’t need any, but she’d bring me some. Food faddists find it necessary to tell everyone else how to eat, I guess. Oddly, for a wholistic, veggie place, the sweetener she brought was the dreaded pink stuff, the foul tasting, largely carcinogenic Sweet and Low. Instead, I tried the Blue Agave Syrup, which is supposed to be a good sweetener, but only if you like battery acid in your tea.
I’ll try many foods: I’m the guy who wrote about eating racoon just a few weeks ago. This vegetarian stuff isn’t bad, it’s just tasteless and boring. And not sweet. I like sweet.
We’ll be down here for a week. Hope to play a little bridge, see the Getty Museum, soak up some sun. Stay tuned, the adventures continue.