Things to do in L.A.- visit history

Do like the locals and stay out of the tourist traps! Captions are links.

One of the things I like to do when visiting is check out lots of old stuff- buildings, restaurants, neighborhoods. Most of the time I just drive around but since L.A. is so huge, you can check out some of the local historical societies for guidance. Then of course, you’ll want to eat and drink, so I’ve included some ideas on where to do that.

Glendale Historical Society

Los Angeles Historical Society

Pasadena Museum Of History

Burbank Historical Society

Mid Century Modern Glendale Federal Building

Mid Century Modern Glendale Federal Building

vintage window decorations

A vintage window decoration at what’s currently a Sprint store on California and Brand in Glendale

Go visit the upscale shopping center Americana At Brand, where there’s a new Nordstrom and a new Bloomingdales next door at the Galleria. See a movie, check out the Mac store, or just have a coffee and walk around. I don’t usually approve of the destruction of all the old buildings they did to put this thing up, but downtown Glendale was pretty far gone and this is a big improvement.

Then you can go to Pasadena for more shopping, visit the Norton Simon Museum, which is small enough to explore in a couple hours but holds a ton of great art.

Do some shopping in OId Town. Old Town is a great example of restoring and reusing the old buildings instead of just tearing them down and putting in a mall.

old town, pasadena, ca

Old Town Pasadena

cassell's burgers, los angeles

So vintage! Cassell’s Burgers at 3266 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020 So vintage, they don’t have a website!

cassell's, los angeles

Old Fashioned burgers at Cassell’s, Los Angeles

Fun vintagey decor at Cassell's

Fun vintagey decor at Cassell’s

Pick what you want at Cassell's

Pick what you want at Cassell’s

No, that's not an egg, it's a peach! Love the nostalgic food at Cassell's

No, that’s not an egg, it’s a peach! Love the nostalgic food at Cassell’s

I’m sure you all know some cool out of the way spots in the L.A. area, so be sure to let me know about them in the comments!

October in Colorado- orchards and pumpkins and antiques!

Every October when we lived in Colorado we would go down to the Canon City/Penrose area to pick apples and pumpkins and say hello to Fall. It was a fun annual tradition.The weather is usually crisp and Fall-like but not yet cold. Not sure what’s going on down there this year seeing as how the whole state has been on fire or underwater for the past few months, but you could always call some of the orchards down there to find out. Here’s a list of a whole bunch of places all over Colorado. I noticed that our fave (and the one in most of these pictures), Third St. Apples, is closed for the season now. But there are still lots of others.

Penrose, Cañon City, and Florence are three little towns about 30 minutes south of Colorado Springs. Penrose is know for its farms. Cañon City is known for river rafting and the Royal Gorge Bridge. Florence is known for its many prisons, including Colorado’s SuperMax.

We go down there every year because those towns are a great place to experience an oldey-timey farm-ish fall day. We usually pick apples, check out some antique stores, have some lunch, and look at the changing leaves on the little country roads and bridges.

Here are some pictures of the places we always liked to go.

 

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Forence, CO

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Florence, CO

Hotel Florence under renovation, Florence, CO

Victorian brick building in Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat  live-work space. Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat live-work space. Florence, CO

One of my favorite farms, Colon Orchards, was on the way. We had the most fabulous apple turnover there one time and wanted to have another one. Alas, they don’t sell the apple turnovers there anymore! They did have my favorite honey, Bizzy Bee, which I was pretty happy about because just the day before I was trying to remember where it came from as I emptied the jar.

This farmhouse and pumpkin patch are for sale, across the street from Colon Orchards, Florence, CO

On to the burger stand which just happened to be across the street from the most awesome antique store around, Uncle Sam’s. Last year we came across a Victorian casket stand that was really cool there. We didn’t buy it but wondered if it they still had it! They have several buildings full of junk and tons of neat old stuff out in their yard, too.

Uncle Sam's Antiques, Canon City, CO

Uncle Sam’s Antiques, Canon City, CO

We decided to eat something at Big Burger World and then go over there.

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

It’s called BIG Burger World because most of their burgers are huge. Like half a pound or a pound or something insane. They also have a 3 oz. burger, so we got a couple of those and some fries and a blackberry milkshake to share.

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO


All my apples. I shined them up- there’s no wax or anything on them. I don’t think they’re organic but they’re about as fresh and local as you can get. Picked them myself!

Taste of Chicago: Half-Baked

See what I did there in that headline? It’s a food-related play on words on a post about food. Pretty clever, right? Of course it is.

But let’s get back to the meat of the story, shall we? (OK, that one’s just ridiculous, and I’ll stop now.)

For more than 30 years, the Chicago food world gets some tents and sets up shop in a park and offers the hungry masses a taste of what Chicago’s restaurants have to offer.

Here’s what they have to say about it all on their website:

Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since 1980, Chicago’s beautiful Grant Park on the city’s magnificent lakefront has been home to the world’s largest food festival.

Seriously, people, lots of really good food available here. But why do we say half-baked, then? There were some problems with this Taste of Chicago 2013 that could really be easily fixed. First of all, it’s miserable hot out there, and the festival is on pavement? Nice going. Whatever, though, it’s probably easier to maneuver the grills and all the equipment. But then all the shaded areas are fenced off? Do you want me to die of heat stroke, Chicago?

Second, in addition to not having any shaded places available, there were no places to sit, either.

Anyway, I’m sure it’s nicer in the evenings. And the weather probably isn’t Taste of Chicago’s fault. But whatever with that. Spring for some chairs and tables, you guys.

Other than that, though, the food was delicious, as we expected. For $16, we had some red beans and rice with jerk chicken from Vee Vee’s African Restaurant, a pulled-pork mini from The Smoke Daddy, a veggie chickpea bowl from Bombay Spice Grill, two slices of cheesecake (key lime and regular) from Eli’s Cheesecake Co., and a cup of sherbet from Original Rainbow Cone.

Overall, even though my stupid bald spot got sunburned, the cheesecake and sherbet made up for it.

Eli's Cheesecake Co., Taste of Chicago 2013

Found a sliver of shade, and stood there with my slices of dessert from Eli’s Cheesecake Co.– key lime and regular. Oddly, the regular was tastier.

Smashburger is coming to Chicago

According to EaterChicago, Smashburger is coming to Chicago. They already have stores in other parts of Illinois and of course, we used to go to the one in Colorado Springs when we lived there.

Mike at Smashburger in Colorado Springs. He’s eating some chili with an ice cream spoon because they were out of regular spoons, LOL. The chili was really good!


He ordered some kind of fancy burger with BBQ sauce that they mistakenly left off, and fried onions. MMMM.

They have two almost identical burgers on their menu, both pretty basic. They gave me the wrong one but I didn’t notice till I was at least halfway thru. Still, it was pretty tasty but a little too salty. I enjoyed it more than Mike did. The fries were some kind of fancy garlic rosemary fries but were just ok.

Ordered a chocolate malt and got a chocolate shake. The service wasn’t very good and it was extra lame because there were only like 2 other tables in there. Still, the shake was good!

They also have pretty cool decor.

Smashburger is good and the decor is fun, but still, in Colorado Springs, our fave is Drifter’s.  And in Chicago, there are sooooooo many awesome places to get burgers nearby, including hipster Kuma’s and delicious chain Five Guys Burgers and Fries, as well as Edzo’s not too far away so I doubt we’ll go to the new Smashburger too often.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Edzo’s

You’ll be shocked to know that I wasn’t in the mood for a burger today.

Adrienne said: Hey, there’s this burger place opening up down the street, and we should give it a try.

Like I said, I wasn’t in the mood, but whatever. A new burger place? Bring it on.

When we walked in to Edzo’s, I was suddenly in the mood for a burger. Now I’m not usually into those fancy, trendy burger places with the very strange concoctions and tall burgers. Places like The Counter, with dijon balsamic sauce and dried cranberries. Those can be some tasty meals, for sure, but for me, a burger has to be a burger. Diner-style. Road food. If you need a fork for it, it’s not a burger.

So I’m happy to say this Edzo’s place that just opened a location in Lincoln Park was perfect. Succulent, diner-style burgers, hand-cut fries, and shakes. Oh, man, the shakes. I’m going to have to go back for another shake. I’m also interested in trying some of their fries — we just had the plain fries, which were outstanding. But someone else had some with a bunch of toppings, and it looked even better.

So welcome to the neighborhood, Edzo’s. We’ll be back.

Edzo's Burger Shop opened a location in Lincoln Park -- just down the street from where we live.

 

Great burgers (just how I like them) at Edzo's in Lincoln Park.

 

Burger, fries, and a shake at Edzo's.

 

Glad I got a chocolate shake. I'll be back for more.