Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “October, 2019”

Garcia’s Kitchen

Visiting with family in Albuquerque, NM! When in New Mexico it’s all about the chili and I of course was happy to partake. We had dinner at Garcia’s Kitchen on Juan Tabo Blvd in Albuquerque. I ordered a dish called “Dan’s Special” (How could I not!). 8 oz NY strip steak with two cheese enchiladas smothered in your choice of chili. I had it “Christmas style”, which is both red and green chili (go figure). This was an outstanding, well rounded dish. The chips and salsa were definitely legit. A nice change from the SoCal Mexican food I’m used to. 

Some additional fun pics: Stopped for tasty chicken snacks at a Popeye’s attached to a travel center in the middle of nowhere (aka Holbrook, AZ) off the I-40. View from the dumpy Hampton Inn in Albuquerque was less than stunning.  

Hampton Inn

Before starting a very long day of driving I usually forego a relaxed sit-down breakfast and opt for the quick, complimentary offering at the hotel. Hampton Inn of Prescott, AZ was decent, but it’s no Embassy Suites, even if they are in the same family tree. Tasty hot biscuits & gravy and scrambled eggs, despite the paper plate. I was impressed by their thoughtful addition of ham and cheese bits. 

Some additional fun pics: heading northeast out of Prescott we stopped in the trippy little town of Jerome, AZ. We stretched our legs at the Jerome Grand Hotel. This place dates back to the 1920’s when it first opened as a hospital. It closed down in 1950 but only after about 9,000 deaths. It is supposedly haunted today. Also passed through Sedona and visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Stunning views, that I can tell you! 

Cracker Barrel

Last May, FoodObs family embarked on a fun road trip from San Diego to Oklahoma! The next 15 or so blog posts will chronicle the gastronomic aspects of that trip. I’ll even add a few extra ancillary photos from along the way.

We met friends for dinner at Cracker Barrel in Prescott Valley, AZ. Such a nice town. The meatloaf was outstanding! I have to say, I recently tried the meatloaf at Black Bear Diner and was disappointed. The Barrel definitely has it going on when it comes to the loaf!

Some additional fun pics: driving north through middle-of-nowhere Arizona…

Baked Rigatoni

Outstanding baked rigatoni with bechamel sauce! This was a great recipe we made recently from Giada De Laurentiis. Italian comfort food at its finest. Turned out excellent. Props to anyone who knows which other Food Network star this beautiful baking dish is from.

Lienzo Charro

Tasty chimichanga at Lienzo Charro in Poway! Could have been fried a little longer though. Not really crispy enough.

Grub Burger Bar

Excellent “Golden Gate Sourdough” burger at Grub in Carmel Mountain Ranch! Almost looks like some burgers I’ve had at JIB!

Don Gus Fine Mexican & Seafood

Outstanding Chile Colorado wet burrito at Don Gus in Lancaster, CA! I’ve always loved Chile Colorado as a stand-alone dish, but enveloped in burrito form is just something special. Served “wet” just transcends it to a new level. I of course was shocked and appalled to see beans served with my chips & salsa. Even if they were smooth. Made for a nice photo but that’s where I left it. Salsa was rather bland but overall a great meal and experience.

I think the most trippy part was that the front of this Lancaster restaurant is a dead ringer for our Boll Weevil in Ramona.

Yard House

Excellent fried calamari at Yard House in Palmdale, CA! I really appreciated the fact that the hideous spidery legs were kept to a minimum.

Lee Esther’s Creole & Cajun Cooking

Outstanding jambalaya at Lee Esther’s in Palmdale! Chicken, house made sausage, fresh herbs and vegetables slow simmered in a rich, perfectly seasoned tomato based sauce. Served with white rice and garlic bread. You can also add shrimp and/or crawfish for an additional fee. This was a rather unorthodox, deconstructed version of jambalaya, but delicious nonetheless.

Panda Express

I’m not afraid to admit that Panda Express is one of my guilty pleasures! I don’t go there often but when I do it’s always a treat. Here’s a visit from one of my recent trips to Palmdale. Some kind of one item combo bowl thing with outstanding orange chicken and chow mein.

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