Palm Springs, Roscoe’s, Escena Golf Club, Copley’s

I spent a few days in Palm Springs with The ‘Rents and my brother. We stayed at the Horizon Hotel which is a fun mid-century modern hotel near downtown. It has a neat old history and I always love that.

The pool at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

The pool at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

A guest room at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

A guest room at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

Bathroom at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

Bathroom at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

Some of the bathrooms even have outdoor showers!

The view from the room at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

The view from the room at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

We went out to eat at some really good places.

Roscoe’s was the first night. They have a varied menu and everything we had was really good.

Roscoe's Grill, Palm Springs

Roscoe's Grill, Palm Springs

Iceberg wedge- my fave!

Iceberg wedge- my fave!

Fried Chicken Platter, Roscoe's, Palm Springs

Fried Chicken Platter, Roscoe's, Palm Springs

Peppercorn steak, Roscoe's, Palm Springs

Peppercorn steak, Roscoe's, Palm Springs

Carrot cake from Roscoe's, Palm Springs, which is pretty much the best thing ever

Carrot cake from Roscoe's, Palm Springs, which is pretty much the best thing ever

 We also went to Escena Golf Club for lunch. Really pretty setting right on a golf course with the mountains in the background. Of course they have huge picture windows so you can enjoy the view from the diningroom. The food was really really good, too.

Cheeseburger from Escena Golf Club, Palm Springs

Cheeseburger from Escena Golf Club, Palm Springs

BBQ chicken salad from Escena Golf Club, Palm Springs

BBQ chicken salad from Escena Golf Club, Palm Springs

It was my mom’s birthday, as well as “restaurant week” when we were there so we went to Copley’s, a restaurant in Cary Grant’s former home. They had 3 prix fixe meals to choose from so we all had different things. It was all really good and the service was great, too.  I even had the lavender pound cake and basil ice cream for dessert and it was delicious.

Dad and Chris at Copley's, Palm Springs

Dad and Chris at Copley's, Palm Springs

Drinks at Copley's, Palm Springs

Drinks at Copley's, Palm Springs

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Park Bench Cafe, Huntington Beach, CA

We recently went to the Park Bench Cafe in Huntington Beach. It’s in a park! There are little plastic tables with umbrellas to sit at. They also allow dogs (who even have their own menu!), which is sort of fun. But the food was only mediocre (its just the usual breakfast and lunch stuff) and the service was hideous. I had to ask literally like 5 times for a cup of coffee AFTER I had originally ordered it. It also took like 45 minutes to get our food. At least. Maybe longer. But we weren’t in a hurry so it was ok.  If you can handle slow service and only ok food, you’ll like this place. I like sitting outside and it was a nice day so I enjoyed it.

Park Bench Cafe, Huntington Beach

Park Bench Cafe, Huntington Beach

Breakfast burrito at Park Bench Cafe

Breakfast burrito at Park Bench Cafe

Scrambled eggs and pancakes at Park Bench Cafe

Scrambled eggs and pancakes at Park Bench Cafe

Dog menu at Park Bench Cafe

Dog menu at Park Bench Cafe

Buttermilk Truck, Los Angeles

Food trucks are all the rage in the big cities these days. There are all kinds of different foods and the trucks go everywhere. They usually let people know where they’re going to be via Facebook or Twitter. The Buttermilk Truck was at The Americana At Brand last time I was in L.A.

Chris And David waiting in line at The Buttermilk Truck

Chris And David waiting in line at The Buttermilk Truck

They have some breakfast sandwiches on buttermilk biscuits and some different fried buttermilk items. Yummy.

Fried eggs and chicken sausage on buttermilk biscuit from The Buttermilk Truck

Fried eggs and chicken sausage on buttermilk biscuit from The Buttermilk Truck

French Toast Sticks with maple syrup from The Buttermilk Truck

French Toast Sticks with maple syrup from The Buttermilk Truck

Delish! Highly recommended.

Rudy’s: C-plus

Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q

First of all, I want to clear one thing up right now: The quotation marks on “Country Store” are Rudy’s, not mine. In fact, they ought to be docked a full letter grade for indiscriminate use of quotation marks. But since we’re talking barbecue and not punctuation, I’ll let it slide. (But really, people, don’t do this. Don’t just go putting quotation marks any old place. It’s weird.)

Apparently, Rudy’s has a pretty big following, so were were excited when one landed in the Springs. At first glance, it looks very much like a place I’d want to eat barbecue: very informal, warehousey. But it felt phony. Like those faux-vintage Coca-Cola signs you see everywhere. The picnic-table seating, the red and white checkered tablecloth, the rolls of paper towels, the pop-your-own-top Coke in bottles — it all just seemed to be trying too hard.

And the gas station? Oh, I’m sorry: “Country Store.” What’s that about? It’s kind of cool that there’s a gas station attached to the restaurant, but do we really need another gas station? That felt gimmicky, too.

But all of this is really immaterial. We’re here to eat barbecue, right? Turns out the barbecue is only OK. The sauce was fairly typical, the kind you can buy at any grocery store, made mostly with high fructose corn syrup. Tasty, for sure. But ultimately unsatisfying.

Barbecue needs character, and you don’t get character from HFCS. Compare Rudy’s to this place in Kansas City, LC’s Bar-B-Q. The place had character. Of course they were shut down for health code violations earlier this year, but whatever. The food was amazing. And besides, what kind of pansy-ass life do you live where you can’t risk a little food poisoning for some barbecue heaven?


Rudy's Country Store and BBQ on Urbanspoon

Something broke on this car, and I fixed it

The girlfriend was out of town, and I drove her car to work, where it broke. So I walked home.

After some weeks, she came back and, after checking on her cats, asked where her car was. Yes, good question. It’s in the parking lot at work. Why? Well, it’s broken.

Of course I’m going to fix it. But first I have to figure out what’s wrong with it. I remember the car running OK when I got to work. Then I remember coming out to the car after work and the car not running at all. So somewhere between work and not work, the car became broken.

That’s a good start. It occurs to me that the fan stayed on even though the car was off. Now this can be normal on a hot day. The fan will stay on a few minutes after the car’s shut off. Maybe what happened is that the fan never stopped, and now my battery’s dead.

The Internet says that can happen. Now I have an Action Plan! Turns out that to fix the problem, you need to replace the relay for the fan. Easy enough. Except that to get to the relay, The Jeep people suggest you remove the entire bumper assembly. The relay’s tucked under the passenger-side headlight.I bought the replacement at Auto Zone for about $45.

Or, you can remove the headlight and saw through the cavity, which not only sounds easier, but more fun. In retrospect, it’s neither easy nor fun. Live and learn. I used the Dremel cutting tool to saw through the hard plastic. And then I needed a special joint attachment for the wrench to get to a tricky spot where the relay was attached. All in all, though, auto repair at night in the parking lot at work was not too terrible.