Friday, December 28, 2012

Chicken Cafe - Chicken, Alaska

Chicken Café - Chicken, Alaska

September 9, 2006

 The Chicken Café is not on your usual dining route; in fact it’s not on any route to say; unless you are deliberately setting out to go there, you won’t get there.  It is off the Alaska Route 5, the Taylor Highway, where you begin an epic journey along the Top of the World Highway. You can also access it by small plane as there is a small local airstrip.  Since the highway is not maintained from October – March the café is open for business mid March-early October.

The café is on the main road, alongside the general store, bar and mercantile; the entire town site.  Void of any frills or modern conveniences, it reminds you of a late 40s early 50s small diner. This café has been featured on several television specials, the kind of programs that show seldom visited and hard to get to attractions. The Chicken Café proudly boasts that acclaim and being the best food around as well.  Since it’s the only food purveyor around I guess they can safely maintain that boast.

Having spent the night at the Chicken R.V. campsite we were eager for a hot cup of coffee and one of their acclaimed plate-size cinnamon rolls.  Linoleum covers the floors; several booths line the wall and the menu is a chalk board over the main counter.  It’s late in the season and they were closing up soon so the day’s menu choices were limited.  Otherwise, the hungry traveler had a wide choice of items to choose from and all are served trucker style, large portions.

The coffee was hot and the cinnamon rolls warm and they indeed fill the plates. They were oozing with that creamy white, sweet topping common to cinnamon rolls.  The coffee was good, not great, but good and the rolls I found to be a bit much for a smaller appetite, but to a person with a large appetite they would certainly fill the bill.  At another table, down the aisle from us, a couple was having ham and eggs and offered that they had been perfectly prepared.

The owner, a rather boastful lady, proudly proclaimed throughout our stay how impressive she and her establishment were.  Her menu was modest but for the area quite adequate; Hamburgers with a choice of bacon, cheese or the 40 mile variety with a slab of ham; reindeer bratwurst, chili con carne, BLT, hot dogs to name a few.  A small assortment of salads, including chicken and Greek, were offered. All the lunch plates were served with homemade potato salad or coleslaw and a pickle spear.

Prices were within a reasonable range with hamburgers from $8.95 to $14.95, adding a dollar for cheese.  Hot dog plate for $5.95; without salad was $2.95. Salads were $9.95 and a soup and sandwich combo for $6.95.  To top off your lunch she makes homemade pies from frozen ingredients. Since she is not on the main trucking road all items are local, cold-storage or frozen for long mileage transport from the nearby township.  Nonetheless, from gossip supplied by locals, they are mighty tasty.

It’s an experience you need to try, at least once, if ever you find yourself in that area. The nearest “big” town would be Tok Alaska. The next closest would be Fairbanks, Alaska so plan accordingly.  You owe it to yourself to visit Chicken just to say you’ve been there and learn about the name.

The Chicken Mercantile offers souvenirs and other memento of your trip to the far reaches of the Alaskan frontier. The area around Chicken also features gold mining exhibits such as this restored dredge, The Pedro Dredge, an interesting tour. There are no hotels but the area does have a privately operated RV and camping ground.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Smoke Shack - Seward, Alaska

Smoke Shack
(AKA The Train Wreck)
Intersection of Port Ave and 4th Ave
Seward, AK 99664

 (907) 224-7427

We arrived early in Seward looking forward to a day at sea and what better way to start off than on a train for breakfast.  We spotted the Smoke Shake as we drove down towards the Marina; we had plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and decided to give this quaint eatery a try.  Several Pullman cars from the 1940’s are joined to fashion this diner; seats removed and simple plywood seats and tables have been added.  It has tables on both sides and a narrow corridor leaving very little elbow room. 
Rustic to say the least, your silverware is in a mason jar on the tables, there is no padding on the seats and you can feel the cold through the thin metal walls and non insulated windows.  Still in all it was a novel experience, this train carried Military Troops during WW II from Anchorage to Seward.  This small sea side town was home to some fortified installations along the fjord providing advance warning from attack from the sea.
The menu carried the usual fare, pancakes, biscuits and eggs and the prices were modest even for Alaska.   I ordered the two egg breakfast with potatoes and wheat toast, my son ordered the half order or pancakes and Brother Larry ordered the half order of biscuits and gravy with coffee all around to top of our orders.

Coffee is served in large mugs, piping hot; not great, not bad with refills upon request.  Our orders arrived about 10 minutes later.  From my seat I had a good look straight at the cooks, this car had customers on one half and the kitchen occupied the other with no barriers to hinder your view.  The cook was young and worked feverously at preparing the orders, while as far as we could tell was also prepping food for the lunch or perhaps dinner menu.  The hostess took care of the toast while serving and taking the orders.
My two eggs were nicely cooked however the various sizes of the potatoes gave me some overcooked as well as undercooked pieces, my wheat toast arrived almost uncooked and cold.  My son’s pancakes were large but still a bit undercooked to his liking; Brother Larry’s order was so laden with pepper it was almost too much to eat.  Still being up since 4AM and starving we did manage to down almost half of each order.  I left my potatoes, my son nibbled around the outside of the pancakes for the most cooked portions and my brother ate the majority of his biscuits while pushing aside most of the gravy.

Still the ambiance of eating on this historic train was well worth the price; I will say however that the hostess did need to pay attention to her appearance; her skirt was also used as her apron I think since most of that mornings affairs were affixed to the skirt and her hair was a mess.   Would I go back and eat at the Smoke Shack again, sadly no; it offered nothing new or exciting.  The food was mediocre at best and one needed to dress warmly since I don’t think there was heat except that coming from the kitchen.  But one does owe it to themselves if ever in Seward to at least try one meal, just for the experience and just so you can say you ate on an historic train that helped safeguard us during such troubled times.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Cabbage Rolls


Growing up we feasted as children on “Pigs in the Blanket”
an intriguing way to inspire young ones to eat cabbage no doubt. As we grew and became inspired as fledgling cooks we discovered the Danish stuffed and rolled Cabbage. When I married I discovered the Middle Eastern influence and the many versions of our childhood favorite. Below I offer the Danish American version I have adapted for stuffed and rolled cabbage and also a Persia inspired version of the same. Both are packed with flavor and subtle differences I hope you will enjoy.


1 lb ea ground beef & pork ------------ 2 lb ground beef or lamb
1 med. Onion diced -------------------- 1 med. Onion diced
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes ----------- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce ---------------- 2 TBS tomato paste
1 cup water ------------------------------ 1 cup water
1 tsp paprika ---------------------------- 4 tsp Sabzi Dolmeh
¾ tsp basil ------------------------------- (contains leek, parsley, tarragon,
½ Tsp Mint ------------------------------- cilantro, basil, mint)
½ C Minced Parsley ------------------- 3 tsp ground tarragon
¼ tsp allspice --------------------------- 1 sml can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt & ¼ tsp pepper -------------- Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked rice -------------------- 1 cup par-cooked rice
1 head green cabbage ------------------ 1 head green cabbage
1 Lemon --------------------------------- 1 Lemon
Sour Cream ----------------------------- Sour Cream

Preparing the cabbage roll filling.As you can see the majority of ingredients are the same withsubtle differences, but here the technique differs; the Danish American version
calls for cooking the meat mixture raw in the cabbage while the Persianinfluenced is pre cooked and finished in the oven. The Danish American version
can be finished on the stove top (steam cooking) or in the oven (dry heat
cooking). Since the Persian inspired is
pre cooked I have only completed it in the oven. Both steam and dry heat produce a good
tasting cabbage.

Softening the cabbage leavesDANISH AMERICAN:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except cabbage, tomato sauce, water
and lemon, mix well. Core Cabbage and place in large pot of boiling water.
Remove leaves as they wilt and become pliable and allow to drain. Place a generous amount of mixture on each leaf (leaf size determines amount of filling) fold stem end over and fold in sides, roll up and use tooth pick to secure if needed. Place seem (tooth pick) side down in a coverable roasting pan.

Continue until all mixture is used.
Filling the softened cabbage leavesDepending on size of pan used you can place a second layer of rolls if needed.
Squeeze the lemon on top of the rolls, combine the tomatosauce and water and pour over the rolls, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a
350 oven for 1 1/5 hrs or until rice is cooked.

Remove from oven, place rolls on serving platter, thicken remaining
sauce with corn starch and serve table side if desired. Garnish with lemon slices and dollops of sour cream.

Stuffed cabbage rolls being loaded into roasting pan** This dish can be made on the stove top, use a heavy bottom pot, line the bottom with discarded pieces of cabbage. Place rolls seam side down in layers and add the lemon and tomato/water mixture. Cover tightly and simmer over a low flame until rice is tender. Test for doneness
by carefully unrolling a top roll and test the rice.

PERSIAN INSPIRED: Place Sabzi Dolmeh in cheese cloth/a fine mesh sieve or large tea strainer and add warm water to cover. Let stand about 15 minutes, cook the rice to
al dente and sit aside. Sautee onion and meat until cooked and onion is transparent.
Cabbage rolls ready for the ovenDrain and add Sabzi Dolmeh spice to mixture and stir and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the diced tomatoes reserving the liquid and add tomatoes to the meat mixture with the tomato paste and par cooked rice and cook an additional l2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
Add cored cabbage to boiling water and remove outer leaves as they become loose, sitting aside to drain. Place a generous amount of meat mixture (depending on leaf size) and
fold stem over and fold in sides and roll.
Place seam side down in a coverable roasting pan; cCompleted cabbage rolls served with sour cream and a slice of lemonontinue until all mixture is used. Combine the reserved liquid from the tomatoes with the can of tomato sauce and pour over the rolls.
Add the water to cover the bottom of the roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil and place in 350 over for 45 minutes. Remove rolls and serve with
lemon slices and sour cream.
You can order the above spices at Penzey's Spices.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mama Inez - Pocatello, Idaho

Street View courtesy of Google Maps

Mama Inez
390 Yellowstone Highway
Pocatello Idaho
(208) 234-7674

What can I say; first off although they offer a handicap spot directly in front of the entrance, they are not handicapped friendly. This would include canes, walkers,wheelchairs I think you get my drift. As you enter the first door, step down,the main door step down, if you enter into the bar area and want to go into the over flow dining room step down. And be careful, from the bar into the game/extended dining room it’s cement floors and can be very slippery.

Beef Enchilada PlatterThe décor is mediocre with more emphasis on the bar and game room than the dining room, originally the building housed a rustic steak eatery and not much has changed. They offer tables, booths and in the main dining room it is well lit. The menu offers the usual items from tacos, enchiladas, egg dishes even expanding out to a low carb menu. They offer dinner selections from Shrimp, Carnitas and Carne Asada to name a few light menu items such as Taco Salad or Chicken and 4 items for the kids menu.

A full bar, so diners beware weekends can be loud and cramped; diners with children should utilize the left side main dining room. Soft drinks with one refill, milk with no refill and no refills on children’s sodas. Wine is offered for $7.00 per glass and mixed drinks are priced based on the choice of alcohol.

The house salsa is a watery rather flat concoction of minced onions, peppers and cilantro with a heat index of zero. The “hot “variety is a bit thicker with added heat to about 7 out of 10 but again lacking that punch of flavor. The guacamole was okay, a generous helping and mixed with the hot salsa gave both a better taste.
Now the food: pre portioned frozen entrée items is the mainstay, with pre boxed Spanish rice with the texture and taste of Zatterans rice side dishes. The refried beans are flat tasting and the consistency of soupy beans.

Carne Asada platterMy entrée was the shredded beef enchilada which for the beef inside the corn tortilla and the rather bland and mild sauce poured over was served warm, not hot and bubbling such as all Mexican dishes are.

My daughters Carne Asada actually appeared as though it had been cooked from scratch due to the medium rare of the meat chunks and did have an okay flavor. Served
up with sliced peppers and onions and three medium sized flour tortillas perhaps the best choice of the evening.

For the non informed pure pallet Mama Inez might represent good Mexican food much as Taco Bell or Banquet Frozen Dinners; for the educated diner or even one who knows good Mexican food I would suggest looking for another adventure in dinning.
Trip hazard Trip hazard

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chicken ala Morocco

Savory chicken in the Moroccan style with an exciting taste of North Africa.
As I was watching the movie Casablanca the other day, I wondered what they might serve at Rick's Café Americain. That café was depicted as an upscale night spot catering to Europeans so it would have probably been something French. The more I watched the movie the more I wondered what might be served just down the street in a more native establishment, something with a real Moroccan influence. I thumbed through some old cookbooks, some even older newspaper clippings, put this and that idea together and came up with this chicken dish for the slow cooker that I think has a distinctly Moroccan influence. I found that there are as many as thirty spices that may included in a Moroccan spice blend, including such things as cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, all kinds of peppers, and turmeric. I adapted a somewhat shorter list with what I think are good results. I hope you will enjoy as much as I have.

6-8 Chicken Thighs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 onion, cubed
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon salt
1 small can whole tomatoes
¼ teaspoon cayenne, generous if you like heat
1 can chick peas
½ cup black olives, whole or sliced (your choice)
½ cup raisins, dried figs, dried apricots (your choice)
1 cup chicken broth (stock can also be used for a richer flavor)

Prepared white rice for serving.

Place the following in your slow cooker (Crock Pot), Your cubed onion, minced garlic, your drained and rinsed chick peas, your fruit (either raisins, figs or apricots) and finally the can of tomatoes which have been drained and the juice discarded. Stir gently to combine and add the chicken broth.

Wash and pat dry your chicken pieces. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the thighs and place on top of the mixture in the slow cooker. Do not add the peas or olives at this time, wait until 1 hour before final cooking to add them (you can add at the beginning but the quality will be more like canned peas) and the olives will become quite mushy.

Cook on low for 6-8 hrs or on high for 4 hours. Serve with fluffy rice and add any garnish of your choice; suggestions are chopped green onions, chopped parsley or chopped cilantro.

Depending on your family you can serve the mixture over the rice or drained of the juice place alongside the rice. The juice and vegetables mixed with a small amount of rice make an excellent soup the following day.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Denny's - Fort Bragg and Woodland Hills

Denny's Woodland Hills from Google Street View
901 N Main St Ft Bragg, CA 95437
20137 Ventura Blvd,Woodland Hills, CA 91364

August 2010

Traveling always makes you thirsty and hungry my son and I are no exception. After driving for several hours through a narrow, steep canyon on a winding, narrow two-lane roads we finally arrived at Ft. Bragg. Cresting a small hill, the first sight was a Denny’s Restaurant. I will be honest with you. I do not eat at the Denny’s in my home town. It is disgusting. I was not enthused about eating at this one either. But driven by hunger and thirst, and with an open mind we stopped and ventured inside. I was impressed. For being a coastal building it’s outside was remarkably clean and it’s interior was spotless. It was comfortably air conditioned and the tables and booths were clean and in good repair.

We were quickly seated by friendly staff, had piping hot coffee within a minute and quickly began to peruse the menu with anticipation. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad after all. The menu is like that of all the other Denny’s throughout the nation so I won’t bother you with this and that’s about its offerings. Our order arrived quickly. There were generous portions and was served hot. The food was cooked well and presented nicely and looked like the menu pictures.

I was impressed, first it was clean, the staff friendly, the food was good and fresh and finally it was an okay Denny’s. Perhaps another try later, elsewhere; that was soon to be the case.

Our hotel in Encino was adjacent to yet another Denny’s. This one was a tad bit smaller but nonetheless Denny’s. Traveling is an adventure and I guess so should dining out be adventurous as well. That considered, we decided to have breakfast at the Encino Denny’s.

This one is located on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, California. It is located just across the street from Taft High School. Its exterior is lush with plants, brick work and the facade of Spanish architecture. The inside was clean and air conditioned without any type of lingering smells. The staff members were all quite friendly although not quite as friendly as at Ft. Bragg. We were seated quickly and had coffee, water and orange juice in a matter of moments.

Breakfast was fast, hot and cooked well, and our waiter was prompt and came back several times to check on us. Perhaps my faith is restored somewhat with this chain, will I try my home town Denny’s? Perhaps, perhaps not. I will have to wait and see how adventurous I feel at the time. I guess it comes down to the owners of each franchise. If you watch that curious reality show, Restaurant Impossible, it does not matter where something is located. What matters is how it is ran and the attitudes of the owners and staff.

Rita’s Margaritas and Mexican Grill - Eureka, California

Rita’s Margaritas and Mexican Grill
Eureka, California


Having arrived in Eureka late afternoon after a long days drive from Oregon, both my son and I were tired and hungry. After a brief rest we decided to drive around the town to see what was available. We toured the beach historical area and found many bistro type establishments, some frilly fish types. On the main street we found the usual diner affairs and a couple of higher priced ones. We drove up and down the main street several times passing most until we settled for Rita’s. First it was around the corner from our hotel, second it looked nice and clean and afforded parking in front, so what’s not to like?

The store front impression is that of any other small town Mexican eatery, but upon entering you know immediately that this is a California Mexican Restaurant. There is something about the feel and way they furnish, richly colored ties, the tables and booths, the smell of the place. This is an experience that one must feel to tell the difference. Having g grown up in Southern California in the San Fernando Valley and a hop skip and jump from San Diego and Tijuana one might say it’s in the blood. Rita’s is a growing concern with three stores in Eureka and another in nearby Arcata, California.

Friendly staff greeted us immediately and we chose a booth, after a longs days travel it was nice to sit on something soft. What I noticed first was the hot sauce already on the table. It was like when you eat at the House of Pancakes and they have about 3-4 different syrups on the table, well here they have several hot sauces spanning the Scoville ratings. You can mix to your own taste preference and as much as you want.

The menu offers the usual assortment of Mexican dishes and they have a good sampling of beer, local and Mexican and a full bar. We ordered their signature Margarita and what we got was a giant sized, fully packed drink and for only $6.50. Chips and a regular bowl of salsa were brought to the table, here is where you can create your own signature salsa, mine was eating through the table and my sons just a tad behind.

Our dishes came with rice and beans of good proportion and the main entrees were large and fully satisfying. The seasonings were subtle but adequate to satisfy most devotees of Mexican cuisine. Taco’s were freshly prepared with shredded beef, lettuce and crumbled cheese. The enchiladas were full and bursting with cheese and covered with a delicious red sauce. If I find myself back in Eureka, California again I will be sure to have lunch or dinner at Rita’s, perhaps both.

Margaritas anyone?

Rusty's Surf Ranch - Santa Monia Pier

Rusty’s Surf Ranch
AKA Rusty’s
256 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, Ca

August 2011

I have always found that the smell of the ocean stimulates my appetite, or perhaps it was the double ride on the roller coaster. Just maybe it was just sitting on the world’s only solar powered Ferris wheel admiring the view from 150 feet above the pier. That’s not to mention we skipped breakfast we were just hungry and eager to eat. But after walking past all of the offerings on the pier we decided to stop and try Rusty’s. At first glance it appears to be a modest eatery but it spills over with the charm of the 60’s and surf boards and kids calling themselves Big Kahunas.

No need for air conditioning the front and back are open and the air flows freely through almost chilling but welcome from the searing sun’s rays. Small tables and chairs for the diners and a full bar in front, towards the rear are more tables and chairs and pool tables. They have happy hour drink specials as well as appetizers and cater events, parties etc.

Malibu Beach SandwichWe both picked the Malibu Beach sandwich, (Grilled chicken breast with sliced avaocado, melted Jack cheese and Rusty's sauce. Served with coleslaw. $9.95) served in a most peculiar bun. Slightly larger than a regular slice of bread it had the appearance of three small hot dog buns baked together. Thicker than bread but with a fluffy moist consistency and I must add that it added flavor to the sandwich. Served along with this is a nice bowl of Rusty’s Cole Slaw, which was flavorful, seasoned well and very scrumptious.

The menu offers something for just about everyone, from chicken sandwiches, homemade soups, a nice assortment of fresh salads, seafood sandwiches, shrimp, steak pasta and fajitas and tacos. You can get sides of fries, guacamole, onion strings, salads, bacon, garlic toast and even grilled chicken. They feature a kids menu of fish and chips, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders to name a few. Soft drinks, wonderful coffee and a full bar are offered round out your options.

Prices are reasonable and they offer take out. The staff members are eager and friendly and make your dining enjoyable. If ever on the Santa Monica Pier do stop and try Rusty’s. Open daily at noon. I rate them a 10.
Here we are, at the Santa Monica Pier

Mother Hubbard's - Buellton, California

Mother Hubbard’s Restaurant
373 A Avenue of the Flags
Buellton, CA

August 2010

Having spent the night at Anderson’s Pea Soup Hotel and having had dinner at Anderson’s we were eager to sample other tastes. Just across the street from Anderson’s sits Mother Hubbard’s Restaurant, it seemed just right, not too far and the lot seemed to be loaded with cars, always a good sign.

The Californian OmeletOn first impression you are in someone’s home, one that is cluttered with knick knacks, pictures hung on every square inch of wall space. It has been a family run business for thirty years; a home that has seen hundreds of friends, family and neighborhood kids eat their fill and squeal with delight. It is furnished with small square tables with captain style chairs which have the patina worn from the back from all the hands scooting them in and out. There was just a tad bit of a stale smell perhaps from the throngs of patrons eating or perhaps because of the years of cooking and aromas stuck to those nick knack’s.

Quickly seated we got our coffee which was hot and not bad, water and menus in hand we quickly decided and ordered. I chose the Breakfast Wrap (Breakfast Wrap - Filled with spinach, Feta, and scrambled eggs with homemade creme fraiche, served with choice of tomatoes, fruit or cottage cheese) It was stuffed with feta cheese, scrambled eggs and accompanied with large slices of beef steak tomatoes.
The Breakfast WrapMy son ordered an omelet ( The Californian - Avocado, diced marinated chicken breast and Jack cheese. Made with three extra large eggs home fries or hash browns, two home-made buttermilk country biscuits or toast and jam or have two cakes instead of potatoes and toast. ). He ordered it with hash browns and pancakes, which I thought odd but he seemed to like the double carb feature.

On first appearance my dish was a brilliant green tortilla wrapper stuffed with eggs and cheese. Once past the “green” the wrap was delicious and extremely large. My son’s omelet was also of good proportion and prepared very well, the hash browns were crunch and he stated the pancakes were also of good texture and taste.

The staff members were friendly, you get big portions and the prices were modest. You do get a lot of food for your dollar. The only drawback was that it was crowded, noisy and again slightly off in the smell. The remedy would be to remove one table from the front dining area and a good spring cleaning to remedy the other, for the noise remind yourself that you are dining out and to talk softly.

La Pine Inn, La Pine, Oregon

LaPine Inn, La Paine OR from Google Street View La Pine Inn
51490 Hwy 97
La Pine, Oregon

August 2010

Our first stop on our trip found us at the Best Western Inn in La Pine on Sunday early evening. A small town mostly hinged around the main street we quickly noticed that most places were closed. Asking at the hotel we were told that there were a couple of restaurants open and headed out to locate them. One was about to close but we came upon another called the La Pine Inn and Lounge which was still open.

Rustic from the outside it resembled a modern day take on a log cabin, upon entering you encountered a western/oriental theme. Plank tables and booths with captain’s chairs, western décor on the walls shared space with the rich tapestry of the orient. At the cashiers station you can pay you bill and pick up oolong tea and perhaps a keepsake from Japan. We were quickly seated at a booth which I can only describe as the biggest booth I have even seen. The table spanned a good 4-feet in width and was not less than 5-feet in length. The tables and chairs seemed to share the same proportions, the area was clean and offered air conditioning.

They offered a fair selection of food items, from burgers, steaks, fries, chicken etc. to oriental dishes. They serve breakfast all day long and have a fully functional lounge. Of interesting note was that they brought us a condiment tray for our baked potatoes, containing sour cream, butter, chives and bacon bits. A nice touch I thought you can have as much or as little as you like.

My son ordered the pork chops which came slightly dry and overdone, accompanying them was the baked potato or medium size and some broccoli which had perhaps been sitting in the steam table since lunch service. Rounding off his plate was a small bowl containing about 2 tablespoons of applesauce. Let’s not forget the garlic bread which was butter with garlic salt and slightly browned.

I ordered the fish and chips, the fish was actually quite good, nicely fried and flakey however the French fries were overdone and it seemed they needed to change their oil. I also got a sampling of the soggy brown colored broccoli. We were both hungry and did manage to fill our belly’s despite the overdone, soggy and salty offerings presented to us.

Maybe it was due to being late on a Sunday I don’t know but I would rate the service at 6, the food at 5 and the overall would come in at 6. No I would not return if ever in La Pine again.

Perko's Fort Bragg, California

898 S. Main
Ft Bragg, CA

August 2010

Eggs over and crispy hash brownsArriving late to spend the night in Fort Bragg, we chose to eat our dinner from Safeway, a couple of pre-made sandwiches, chips and soda. As a result, we awoke in morning very hungry and I do think the ocean air helped that along. Adjacent to our hotel was a restaurant called Perko’s. It is part of a chain that covers most of the length of California. From all the cars in their lot it seemed to be a favorite morning gathering spot for the locals, usually a good sign. It certainly was more convenient for us because we didn’t have to drive; just walk down the stairs across the parking lot and presto, we were ready for breakfast.

Perko’s has the appearance of a Denny’s’ or Marie Callender’s or perhaps a Golden Skillet, it offered food and that’s what we were after. We were greeted by a hostess who seated us quickly in a booth and soon we had water, a menu and piping hot coffee in hand. I must add, delicious coffee.

Omelet and crispy hash brownsThe menus offers the diner a good assortment of breakfast items, from eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, omelets, cold cereal just about anything for anyone. The prices were reasonable and the portions good sized and very tasty and hot. We both got egg dishes with hash browns which were done to perfection. A good crust on the hash browns but not dried out. Eggs over easy were cooked but still provided enough yoke to dig your bread or hash browns in. Bacon was cooked, crisp yet still tender and juicy all together a very good breakfast for a very reasonable price.

The interior is that of most family style places, booths and tables and chairs, it was clean well-kept and the atmosphere was comfortable. The staff was eager and friendly, all in all a very good experience with very good food and service. I would give them a 10 and I would eat again if ever I find myself in Ft. Bragg.

Interior of typical Perko's - from Perko's website