Monday, April 25, 2011

Staying with Joyce

I'm really digging the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs. Very comfortable surroundings and lush gardens on what used to be the Gene Autry Estate.

But it's the decor of the place that took my breath away. Very 70s chic. I swear, if my late Mother had designed hotel interiors this is what it would have looked like. Except she wouldn't have been going for ironic. Probably a good thing we couldn't afford a fire pit when I was growing up -- I'm sure we would have had one in the living room.
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My groovy room at the Parker Hotel.
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I had dinner tonight at the tiny original Las Casuelas restaurant on Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs. I'm a big fan of the Las Casuelas in Rancho Mirage -- this was my first visit to where it all began.

Unfortunately, the food seemed pretty mediocre to me. But I'm still glad I stopped by.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Give Me: Dives

On Friday in Stockton I had the chance to check-out a couple of restaurants I learned about on-line.

First up was Chuck's Hamburgers for breakfast. Despite the name, this restaurant is known for its hearty and tasty breakfasts. Huge portions of good food at reasonable prices appears to pack them into this restaurant in a shopping mall.

I'll certainly be back.
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Chuck's Hamburgers pumps a huge amount of food out of a tiny kitchen with a single grill.
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I had lunch at the Ranch Coffee Shop -- a real blast from the past. Located on the north side of town on what I think is the old Highway 99, this classic roadside diner looked like it could have been from a movie studio backlot. And the waitresses were right out of Central Casting.
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I had a nice chat with the owner of the Ranch Coffee Shop who is quite proud of her collection of telephone line insulators (top of photo). They're all decades old and lend some character to the place.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'll Have One of Those

I did my internet research beforehand and came to Stockton prepared with what I hope will be some great restaurant ideas.

I had an outstanding dinner tonight at the El Rancho Inn, which claims to have the best steak in the Central Valley. That's a tall claim, but if it's not the best it has to be as good as any other.

In a fun twist, you stop by the kitchen on the way to your table and place your order. From that point on the service is very attentive.

Based on the surrounding architecture, I'm thinking the El Rancho Inn is located on the old Highway 99, before it was turned into a freeway. I can imagine folks making it a regular stop when passing through Stockton. And now I know it's worth pulling off the freeway.
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