ON THE ROAD AGAIN – THE WEEKLY TRAVEL TIPS

As you may have noticed the weekly travel tips and book review feature is a bit late. Computer issues that further constricted a very tight schedule were the culprit. With that said …
Am I the only one who is craving warm weather, festivals with fresh lemonade, and the road trip season? Perhaps this hunger for escapism has as much to do with the wonderful weather of this past week as it does with my incurable obsession with that great American adventure that is the road trip.

Midpoint cafe

When my flights of fancy turn toward the road trip they often center on great places to eat and places to eat awaiting discovery. As a great deal of our adventures in the past year or two have centered on Route 66 it probably won’t be a surprise to learn that a number of our favorite eateries are on that legendary highway, or are at least found with the slightest of detours.
Topping my list has to be the near perfect time capsule that is the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas. Excellent food, first rate pies and baked goods, and an atmosphere that perfectly captures the era of Route 66 that I remember makes it one of our favorite stops.
Next on my list, the Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma. With Dawn Welch at the helm this classic restaurant has been able to utilize the resurgent interest in Route 66 to literally rise from the flames like the mythical Phoenix.

Rock Cafe

If we were splitting hairs here I would have to say that the top position on our list would be shared. After all, the Rock Cafe and the Midpoint Cafe are cut from the same cloth, have management that strive for excellence without loosing the atmosphere that sets them apart, and both have excellent food.
After successfully avoiding the greater Los Angeles area for more than thirty years, we now find ourselves there at least two or three times a year. With each visit we juggle visiting at least one old favorite and a new discovery.
Our first recommendation requires a slight detour from Route 66 into downtown Burbank. Porto’s has several locations but it is the one on Magnolia Boulevard that we enjoy most. Perhaps that has a bit to do with its proximity to Auto Books-Aero Books, our favorite book store, that is also on Magnolia Boulevard.
Crowds are the deterrent as well as part of the draw. The eclectic and diverse group that frequents Porto’s gives it a really electric atmosphere but is a true deterrent if your in a hurry.
My suggestion? Any of the Cuban specialties and a tall glass of cold tea. If possible, plan your visit for a warm day to take advantage of the sidewalk seating.
For more traditional fare, and in a classic Route 66 setting, it would be tough to beat Barney’s Beanery. A long and very colorful history is maintained, providing a unique atmosphere, as is the tradition for good food.
In Arizona, my list of great places to eat is a lengthy one. However, for the sake of brevity I am trying to keep the focus on Route 66.

Yesterday’s in Chloride, Arizona

So, from Kingman it is a detour of less than twenty miles to the old mining town of Chloride just off of US 93, the highway to Las Vegas. At Yesterday’s the food is good but not extraordinary. The prices are fair but dinners run just a bit above average. The beer list is amazing but would not warrant a visit.
However, to describe the atmosphere it would be possible to use most adjectives available. Unique, historic, fascinating, relaxing, would be just a few.
In Williams our list of favorites is rather lengthy; Old Smoky’s, Jessica’s, the Pine Country Restaurant, and Rod’s Steak House to name but a few. In fact, I would go so far as to say Williams tops our list for the number of great places to eat in a ten block radius.
The well laid plans of mice and men might have worked as title for today’s post. I had plans for a more expansive list of places but it is now time I get back to job one, the Route 66 encyclopedia. Today’s goal, 2,500 words.
I hope this abbreviated tribute to great food on the road has stimulated your appetite for great eats as well as some travel. We are always in search in new discoveries so if you have any ideas, please feel free to share.

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