Posts Tagged With: restaurants


IMG_2797 (Copy)Restaurants really have to be good to make it. Sidewinders, in Angels Camp, just got new owners. I had to make a bunch of copies and I had errands ahead of me in town and hunger drove me to a quick lunch.

IMG_2793 (Copy)I ordered the grilled chicken sandwich, believing it would be served on a cheap hamburger bun from the waitresses description. To my surprise, a quality roll, a tender, tangy grilled chicken breast with crisp condiments. A condiment bar allows you to add whatever. Very tasty. Sides are by choice, I could have chosen coleslaw, beans, or other items rather than cottage cheese and fruit.

IMG_2798 (Copy)A rarity for fast food, fresh flowers on every table.

IMG_2794 (Copy)Angels Camp has a couple of these old buildings with stone walls.

IMG_2795 (Copy)The stone is not only beautiful, but cool in hot summers. Sidewinders has a basement and plenty of room and charm. Though you order from the counter, they bring your food to you and the owner, Stacy Piersons was attentive and service oriented, checking to see if all was good. Really nice. It was fast, good and comfortable. Just what I needed.

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The local papers were all atwitter with Restaurant Impossible scheduled to come to Murphys to “turn around” Hillbillies Restaurant which apparently is struggling. Chef Robert Irvine from the food network, had had enough of awful dinners  and decided to add Dinner Impossible and Restaurant Impossible to his show, with a great deal of apparent success. The whole area was so full of parked cars, the parking lot filled with television crew and equipment, I couldn’t get near the place while they worked their “magic”. I slipped out yesterday a.m. to get a part for my sprinkling system leak and stopped to take pictures and talk to the owners about the experience. They promised to maintain a no pictures policy until the show airs sometime in early January.

She handed me a sample menu and said their menu has not changed, the proposed items are not neccessarily what they will be serving. Well, so much for no information. The restaurant was apparently voted Best Breakfast in Calaveras County and it has two hotels and a vacation rental in close walking distance.

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Hillbillies has had two previous owners under a different name and succeeded and I’ve eaten there many times. I have never been there since it became Hillbillies and I questioned why? Maybe the name turned me off suggesting a lot of burgers and fast food style eatery? And, the menu is a mix of burgers and upscale, “tablecloth” menu items? Strange mix. The spokesperson for Hillbillies told me they will be opening for dinner when the menu is fixed. Previously, just breakfast and lunch. Well, I’m curious enough to try them out, but two frog leg entree’s are kind of puzzling. Is it a new trend I don’t know about?  I’ll keep you posted as time goes by. In the meantime, you can check out Restaurant Impossible at their website below:

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I did manage to get my sprinkling system mend accomplished with Jim’s help. It was buried deep and a tough fix. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without his assistance. He literally had to get under the pipe and hold it up with his giant screwdriver while I glued. I’ve come to hate sprinkling systems because they are constant maintenance. My friend Art is going to help me with a rainwater catchment system hopefully before I leave and get back on the road in January.

Today, we play.


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I worked two days on designing a small house to replace the flooded mobile home for my Oregon property.  I wanted to limit it to 1000 square feet or under. Plus, I wanted to make it wheel chair accessible which calls for wider doorways and hallways. My thought was that as the population ages, handicapped accessible dwellings, will be in more demand. Who knows, it might be me? I love Portland and looked to buy a retirement condo there, but Oregon is an unfriendly tax state for retirees if you make over 250,000. While that doesn’t affect me, the Beaver State shares with Hawaii the distinction of imposing the highest tax rate on personal income in the nation for incomes over $250,000. No tax on social security, but, Oregon’s inheritance tax even applies to investments and bank accounts. They have no sales tax, but property taxes are high.  If you love Portland its best to buy in Van Couver, WA. and trip over to Portland by bus and cross the border to buy non-taxable items. Hmmm! I f I ever sell my house, that is what I’m going to do.

Hey, Oregon isn’t the worst.  Vermont has the highest property tax in the nation.

Minnesota taxes social security, and all retirement income no matter where it was earned.

Nebraska is slightly worse than Oregon, then comes California ranking number 5 with its top income tax rate kicking in for folks earning $46,767.  An odd number.

Or maybe I’ll go where the good food is.  Louisiana is so friendly and fun besides. But, in summer, they have mosquitoes as big as helicopters.

If you love Thai food, my recommendation is retire to Mission Viejo for the best Thai Food ever. I’ve been to at least 30 different Thai restaurants not counting those I visited while in Thailand. There is only one entre, fried squash blossoms,  superior in Thailand to this restaurant in Mission Viejo. Siam Cuisine Restaurant, 27001 La Paz Dr. I never miss it when I travel there.

If you are a barbecue fan, I have a friend, Bud Harlan, who says the best is in Crawfordsville, GA. at a place called Heavys Bar-B-Que. It is where they filmed part of Sweet Home Alabama.

Well, now that I’m on the subject of food, they say Diamond Jim was a big eater, but how about this bit of trivia:

An average dinner eaten by King Louis XVI (1643-1715) consisted of four plates of soup, a whole partridge, a whole pheasant, two slices of ham, a salad, mutton with garlic, pastry and hard-boiled eggs. At his death it was discovered that the king’s stomach was twice the size of a normal stomach.   (It would have tripled if he’d lived in Louisiana.)

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Route 66 through Albuquerque is well represented by some of those old motor courts that later became motor-hotels from which the word  motel was coined. It was a grand thing to “Get Your Kicks on 66.” The old road may be gone but ABQ has seen fit to permit and encourage  refurbishing and protecting many of the old places and especially the neon signs that remain on what’s left of 66.

La  Puerta lodge (both photos above)  is one of those still in business and is on a list of 25 places we got on-line to see.

Luna Lodge is all boarded up and workers were on site, restoring the place.

Marks on the walls, a fun reminder of the past, the dinky rooms, with a single window and a tiny air conditioner built into the wall with a separate heater. The Luna had an old menu posted on the wall from their restaurant. It was once a fancy place.

This brought us  a chuckle since the protected figure is a Paul Bunyan with an ax and the new owners have opened the May Cafe, a Vietnamese restaurant.

Not all Route 66 businesses were motor courts, of course. When this building is refurbished, it will look better but still have that quaint look that gives ABQ’s Central Ave. a very mixed business neighborhood.  Example, the older buildings juxtaposed with a brand new building  of modern architecture as in this bank, below.

And, it may have been against the law for me to take the picture. But, more about that later.

According to a bit of Route 66 history, the motor courts competed for business by erecting bigger and bigger signs, sort of like Las Vegas, NV.  This one is still in use with the same name.

Here the sign is the only thing left awaiting refurbishing. The building  long gone.

This cool 50’s diner is all redone and still serving 50’s style food.

Saving their neons is another thing ABQ is doing.  You can drive the strip at night to see them lighted,  which we will do after our Cinco De Mayo festival tonight.   We saw signs in this neon shop which was closed.

Someone didn’t like the peace sign and put a bullet through it. In fact, this window had three bullet holes in it.

This old theater is just one of four that are being restored. ABQ is a very eclectic city.

Eventually, they will be looking for old artifacts from the past to accent these buildings.

We wandered close to Old Town and got a quick look at the beautiful Kimo Theatre. We’ll visit inside on our next jaunt.

As we crossed over to the Knob Hill area of town, we found fancier old  buildings. This architecture dates from the 1920’s to 1950’s.

ABQ has many murals around town. I particularly liked this “corner” of a mural.

A refreshing fountain on a hot day, located at the convention center downtown.

In one section, all  street signs have a fancy motif.  It would have been easier to take the tour bus and have the cities features pointed out to you by a guide. But you miss so much, including getting accosted by a security guard for breaking the law.

It happened when we were cruising the motor courts. This motel was getting refurbished and was fenced all around. I stuck my camera through the fence since it was the only one I had seen with a swimming pool.  A security card came out of the building and said, “Don’t take that picture.”  And I said, why not. He said “It is against the law to take a picture within 300 yards of a bank.”  Wha???  “I don’t see a bank?”  It was out of sight. ” No, I said. That can’t be true.”  He said:  “If you take that picture, I will call security right now.”  He brandished  a phone or maybe a two-way radio in his hand. He was not  bully about it, just letting me know he had to call, it was his job, his duty. He asked me where I was from. I told him I was from California and Jim, who was around the corner, was from Massachusetts. Then he said: “Why do you have a Washington license plate?”  Oh, no!  Try and explain a full-time RVer’s difficulty getting a license without a permanent address.  I tried. I finally told him, I’m going to take this picture. Go ahead and call. We are  tourists and these buildings are listed in the visitors center. So I did. And, he did. We got in the Bronco and drove away.

I may be  a jinx. I arrived May 1st.  There was a security upheaval at the airport, a road block, then another road block Wednesday where we were immediately blocked three times as we tried to get out of the way. And, then I broke the law and the cops may be coming for me at any time.  I told Jim, maybe I better return to Murphys?

But, dang, the food is too good. We’ve been out to eat every day. Tonight, I gotta cook before we turn into roli-polies.




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