Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Welcom to the Bagdad Café

First off, I feel a deep seeded need to answer the critics of the Bagdad Café. The most common complaint I’ve seen is that its old and run down. No shit, Thanks for playing along, your traveling down Route 66 in the middle of the Mojave Desert. What are you expecting, the Ritz Carleton?

The whole point of exploring Route 66 is to get a feel for what it was like to travel the real Mother Road. Seems that Americans just don’t get it. However, visitors from Europe do. While we were there, the other customers in the cafe were from Serbia, Germany and two families from France. I’ve noticed this for years, Europeans know our history better than we do.

That said, I love the Bagdad Cafe. They service was prompt, friendly and everyone seemed happy to be there.

My wife and I both had the Buffalo Burger, and it was pretty good. Basic good burger, fresh vegetables, grilled onions (a plus) and a solid bun.

If I had one request, it would be to have a double burger. Yep, I vote for more meat. Big surprise.

The beer selection is very limited, but what would you expect. First time in years I had a bud.

Had a great conversation with the owner, she is really passionate about preserving the experience of Route 66.

Stop in, sit a spell and enjoy.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

When you walk into the Five Guys you are instantly assaulted by dozens of signs proclaiming their superiority to all other burgers in the Free World. In fact, the excessive self-congratulation signs are the only décor. Well that and sacks of potatoes.

Don’t get me wrong, the burger at Five Guys is good, just not the best ever.

Places I like the burger better:

In and Out, Anywhere in CA, NV, AZ
Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain, Pasadena, CA
Bagdad Café, Newberry Springs, CA
Woody’s Burgers San Diego, CA
Eric’s on the Pier, Avalon, CA
Oggie’s, Apple Valley, CA

Just a few that come to mind, all near the house. I have also had great burgers in Wyoming, New York, Washington DC, Boston and many other places.

I had the Bacon Cheeseburger, I did like that they chopped up the bacon, it makes it easier to eat without pulling the entire slice out of the burger. That said, the bacon was a little tasteless.

The bottom line: Five Guys Burgers are good, just not great. I did like the fries, real potatoes, cut fresh and cooked very well.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ludlow Café

I’ve been exploring Route 66 in the local area, and have wanted to stop into the Ludlow Café for some time. 

Today on the way back from MLB spring training, we dropped in for lunch.

Now, let me be blunt. Most of the attractions along the “Mother Road” are small Mom and Pop places. People with high expectations of some Disney fed fantasy of what Is out there, are setting themselves for disappointment. This is not your child’s “Radiator Springs.”

If you want to see, travel and feel the Mother Road, drop the thought of anything fancy early.
Route 66 is about the basics. It was the excitement of the open road, the wind in your hair, and trying to find a bathroom that was acceptable to the wife. 

A real trip on Route 66 is going to have some rough edges. That said, let get on with the Ludlow Café.
The café was exactly what I expected. It’s an old building, and I guessing most of the staff has been there for years, if not decades.

The service was good, not great, but acceptable. I thought the food was pretty good.

I had a bacon cheese burger. It was well cooked, the bacon crispy, with a great smoky flavor. The lettuce, tomato and onion were fresh, the bun passable. It was simple a burger, well executed, in a timely manner. 

Next time, I plan on trying the Bagdad Café, just down the street.