Saturday, April 30, 2016

Four Kegs - 04/30/16 - Las Vegas, NV

Saturday – April 30, 2016
Four Kegs Restaurant
Las Vegas, Nevada

Another day, another quest, to sample the cuisine of the Four Kegs restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in March 2016. We would categorize this restaurant as a dive, but don’t that dissuade you from visiting this establishment, they serve delicious food. Their "House Specialty" is the "Stromboli Sandwich." These sandwiches are made with pizza dough, stuffed with different meats and cheese, or a vegetable version, and baked like a pizza.

I ordered "the "Original Stromboli."

Sharon ordered the "Turkey & Swiss Stromboli."

The Stromboli sandwiches are so good, we ordered a "Meatball Stromboli" to-go, for our lunch on Sunday!

This is a very popular bar and restaurant. There are several slot machines in the bar. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service was courteous and prompt. Overall, this was a very enjoyable dining experience. Four Kegs will see us again on our future visits to Las Vegas.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lake Mead RA - 04/29/16 - Boulder City, NV

Friday – April 29, 2016
Lake Mead Recreation Area
Boulder City, Nevada

It was such a nice sunny day, I decided to fly our DJI Phantom 3 Professional Drone over the Boulder Beach Campground to capture an aerial view of the campground, Lake Mead and the surrounding Lake Mead Recreation Area. Only later did I learn it is a violation to fly a drone in any National Park, National Monument or National Recreation Area. Apparently, some drone operators have been irresponsible in the way they have flown their aircraft on federal lands and have ruined it for those of us who fly our aircraft in a responsible manner. Bummer!

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bachi Burger - 04/28/16 - Las Vegas, NV

Thursday – April 28, 2016
Bachi Burger
Las Vegas, Nevada

Once again, we are on a quest to sample the cuisine of four Las Vegas restaurants that were featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives in March 2016. Yesterday we dined at Forte European Tapas Bar & Bistro. Today we dined at Bachi Burger in the Las Vegas location that was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. They have a second location in Henderson, Nevada.

Bachi Burger is amazing! Their Bachi burgers have an Asian infusion that is absolutely delicious. The meat used in their burgers is so succulent and juicy. Sharon and I both agreed these were some of the best burgers we have tasted.

I ordered "Banh-Mi" burger. This burger is comprised of angus beef, pork, shrimp, pork pate, fresh herbs, curry aioli, pickled vegetables and nuoc mam sauce.

Sharon ordered the "Kiki" burger. This burger is comprised of angus beef, sautéed shiitake, enoki & eryngii mushrooms, caramelized bacon, sweet onion marmalade, gruyere cheese and garlic chili aioli.

Oh… did I mention the fries! While we were in the restaurant, Sharon was checking Bachi Burger out on Yelp and saw rave reviews for their salt and pepper with garlic french fries. You guessed it! An order of these fries accompanied our burgers. They were outstanding!

We finished off our meal with a very tasty dessert of their "Portuguese Donuts" with saigon cinnamon, raspberry coulis and coffee gelato.

This is definitely a popular restaurant. Several diners were already enjoying their meals when we arrived at 5:45 p.m. The service was courteous and prompt. Overall, this was a very enjoyable dining experience. Bachi Burger will see us again on our future visits to Las Vegas.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Forte European Bistro - 04/27/16 - Las Vegas, NV

Wednesday – April 27, 2016
Forte European Tapas Bar & Bistro
Las Vegas, Nevada

We had been eagerly awaiting a visit to the Forte European Tapas Bar & Bistro restaurant ever since we had viewed an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, in March 2016, that featured this restaurant. We arrived there for a late lunch at 4:30 p.m. The restaurant was empty, so we had the whole place to ourselves.

I ordered one of their "House Specialities" featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives: Bulgarian Mixed Grill. This entrée is comprised of: Klufte, Kebabche & Loukaniko sausages with Bulgarian Bean Relish, Liutentza & European Slaw.

Sharon ordered their Pelmeni. This entrée is comprised of Russian style meat dumplings, sprinkled with fresh dill, green onions and served with sour cream.

After we consumed our delicious entrée’s, we shared a Shopska Salad. This beautiful salad contained: tomatoes, persian cucumbers, green onion, roasted pepper, topped with imported Bulgarian feta cheese.

We finished off our meal with a very tasty dessert of Baklava.

This is such a charming restaurant. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is absolutely stunning. The food is served on dishes and bowls that are handmade pottery direct from Bulgaria. The decorative designs on this dishware are truly beautiful.

We enjoyed our visit to the Forte European Tapas Bar & Bistro restaurant and chalked up another outstanding recommendation from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Barstow, CA - 04/23/16

Saturday – April 23, 2016
Barstow, California

It is time to move on again. On this trip, we will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to check out two restaurants that were featured on a recent episode of Diners, Drive In’s and Dives.

Traffic on northbound Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 was heavy, but flowing nicely at the posted speed limit of 65. We encountered a brief, congested area at the entrance to Interstate 215, which is the by-pass around Los Angeles. Once we completed the by-pass on I-215, we merged with northbound I-15. On this section of I-15, we encountered a number of 6% grades, several miles in length. Scenic vistas were limited to mountains in the far distance, surrounded by a vast desert.

We stopped in Barstow for the night. We discovered a Visitor Center within the Outlet Mall of Barstow. We inquired, at the visitor center, if overnight RV parking was permitted within the mall and we were told it was all right to do so. So that is where we spent the night with a couple of other RV’s.

We discovered the next morning there is a large gravel area on the west side of Lenwood Road, across from the mall, that is available for RV and truck parking.

Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California. The town is named after William Barstow Strong, former president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The population was 22,639 at the 2010 census.

Barstow is located 55 miles north of San Bernardino, 62 miles from Baker, California and 111 miles from Primm, Nevada. Barstow is almost exactly midway between Los Angeles, California (130 miles) and Las Vegas, Nevada (125 miles).

Barstow is a major transportation center. Several major highways including Interstate 15, Interstate 40, California State Route 58, and U.S. Route 66 converge in the city. It is the site of a large rail classification yard, belonging to the BNSF Railway. The Union Pacific Railroad also runs through town using trackage rights on BNSF's main line to Daggett 10 miles east, from where it heads to Salt Lake City and the BNSF heads to Chicago.

Barstow is home to Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow and is the closest city to the Fort Irwin National Training Center.

Barstow is a weary traveler’s paradise. Numerous hotels, truck stops, fast food restaurants, and outlet mall shopping dominate this small town, surrounded by a desert environment.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:

Departed: Ramona, CA
Departure Time: 11:10 A.M.
Arrived: Barstow, CA
Arrival Time: 3:30 P.M.

Type: Barstow Outlet Mall
Camping Fee: Free

Cellular Service: Verizon - 4G, 3 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack, 5 Bars

Total miles traveled today: 171
Route Traveled:
South on California Highway 67
West on Exit to Poway, CA
West on S-24
North on I-15
North on I-215
North on I-15 to Barstow, CA - Exit 178

Google Map View of Barstow, California

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ramona, California - 04/22/16

Wednesday – April 22, 2016
Ramona Café
Ramona, California

We visited Ramona, California specifically to sample the cuisine at the Ramona Café. This café was featured on a recent rebroadcast of an episode from 2007, of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. As followers of our blog know, our travels frequently take us to restaurants that we have viewed on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and other Food Network videos.

During the past few days, we treated ourselves to the delicacies the Ramona Café has to offer.

Wednesday we had a late lunch at 3:00 p.m. and had the place to ourselves. We both ordered their house favorites: Sharon ordered the Chicken Cordon Bleu and I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak. Both of these entrées lived up to their reputation as house favorites. By the time we departed, the café was starting to fill with diners.

Thursday morning I picked up their half-pounder Apple Cinnamon Roll and Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Roll to be devoured back at our campsite. They were delicious, however, they are outrageously large and they were ultimately consumed over several days. The best cinnamon rolls ever!

Friday morning we had breakfast there; the place was packed! The owner, Sonja Steiner, was there… waiting tables! She stopped at our table to take our order. We had a nice chat with her and expressed our appreciation for the delicious food and wonderful service her restaurant provides to its patrons.

This trip will definitely go down as another successful exploration of our pursuit to visit interesting restaurants in out-of-the-way places throughout the United States.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Google Map Views of Ramona, California

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ramona Cafe - 04/19/16 - Ramona, CA

Tuesday – April 19, 2016
Ramona Café
Ramona, California

We have been known to follow our stomachs during our travels. Our visit to Ramona, California was one of those trips. While watching an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, one of the restaurants featured in an episode from 2007 was the Ramona Café in Ramona, California.

Ramona Café House Favorites
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Full chicken breast stuffed with swiss cheese and ham. Deep fried in a special house breading and topped with hollandaise sauce.

Chicken Fried Steak
Tenderized ground beef and veal mixture prepared like fried chicken, then topped with turkey gravy.

Cinnamon Roll
The "blue ribbon" cinnamon roll: a half-pound circle of hot, sweet pastry veined with cinnamon sugar and accompanied by two paper cups of butter.

A Brief History Ramona, California

The current town of Ramona, California was founded in 1886 and originally named Nuevo, due to another town to the north that was called Ramona. However, that town did not flourish, and when it was finally abandoned the present-day Ramona took that name.

The first building constructed in present-day Ramona in 1883 was the Amos Verlaque House, built as a store and post office. It is still standing and houses the Guy Woodward Museum , and in 1991 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Ramona Town Hall was built in the early 1890’s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. The building is one of the largest, and oldest, adobe structures in southern California.

As an unincorporated town, Ramona's local governing body is the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. However, many governmental functions operate at the local level in Ramona.

The 2010 United States Census reported that Ramona had a population of 20,292.

Celebrity Visitors
In the 1960s boxer Archie Moore held a training camp called "Salt Mine" which trained George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. Moore fought from 1936 until 1963 and battled the top names in boxing at the time, including Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali. He called it "Salt Mine" because he said he worked as hard there to get ready for fights as anyone did in a salt mine.

On Mother's Day, May 13, 1973, Ramona entered the national spotlight when 55-year-old former-tennis-great-turned-hustler, Bobby Riggs, challenged the then 30-year-old women's world number-one player, Margaret Court, to a match. The match was staged at Ramona's San Diego Country Estates. Riggs won easily, 6-2, 6-1. He later lost to Billie Jean King in The Battle of the Sexes at the Houston, Texas, Astrodome, on September 20, 1973.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Dos Picos County Park - 04/19/16 - Ramona, CA

Tuesday – April 19, 2016
Dos Picos County Park
Ramona, California

Dos Picos County Park is located in San Diego County, 46 miles northeast of San Diego, about 3 miles south of the quaint town of Ramona, California. This mountainous region is popular with hikers. California highway 67 is the only northern route into Ramona and, as a result, there is a continuous flow of traffic throughout the day. Traffic is particularly heavy during the morning and evening hours on the weekdays.

With its close proximity to San Diego, Dos Picos County Park is a popular camping destination for families. The park has an extensive playground, a fishing pond and plenty of challenging mountain hiking trails. Each campsite has a paved pad, water and electric hookups, picnic table and a fire ring. This is very nice campground. On weekends the park is full and reservations must be made in advance. On weekdays, campsites can generally be secured on a first-come, first-served basis.

In October 2003, wildfires raged in San Diego County, burning over 3,000 structures and 15 percent of the County, killing 17 people and charring over 380,000 acres. Over 15,000 acres of County parkland burned, leaving ash and blackened trees and millions of dollars in damages. In Dos Picos County Park the fire burned 20% of the 80-acre park.

Oak species are fire-adapted, which means that they survive after a fire under normal conditions. Following a fire, some oak trees re-sprout along their branches while other trees re-sprout from their stumps. Present-day visitors to Dos Picos County Park would be hard pressed to see any remnants of the fire that once ravaged this region.  

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Winterhaven, CA
Departure Time: 9:00 A.M.
Arrived: Ramona, CA
Arrival Time: 12:10 P.M.

Type: County Park
GPS Coordinates: Latitude: N 32.99810 Longitude: W 116.9416
Camping Fee: $29.00 per night
Campsite: 39
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water
Campground Amenities: Flush Toilets, Pay-For-Fee Showers, Dump Station
Total Campsites: 75 + 2 Cabins

Cellular Service: Verizon - 4G, 3 Bars
Internet Service: Verizon Jetpack, 5 Bars
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent

Total miles traveled today: 161
Route Traveled:
West on Interstate 8
North on Lake Jennings Park Road (I-8, Exit 23)
North on California Highway 67
East on Mussey Grade Road
South on Dos Picos Park Road to Dos Picos County Park

Google Map Views of Dos Picos County Park

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Turn Out The Lights - 04/16/16 - Yuma, AZ

Saturday – April 16, 2016
Turn Out The Lights
Imperial Dam LTVA
Yuma, Arizona

After 117 days of camping in the desert at the Imperial Dam, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Long-Term-Visitors-Area (LTVA) near Yuma, Arizona it is time to leave. This LTVA is open from September 15 to April 15. The camping fee for this period of time is $180.00. This very reasonable camping fee, the close proximity to Yuma, and mild, sunny, rain-free weather, draws thousands of snowbirds from all over the U.S. and Canada to camp here during the winter months. Our camping fee averaged $1.54 per day during our stay.

It was interesting to see the many different types of camping units used by other campers to accommodate their mobile lifestyle. There were self-made units, motorhomes, travel trailers and then there were the more unusual. Here are a few units in the more unusual category:

1970’s Vintage GM Motorhome

Conventional Semi-Truck Motorhome

Semi-Truck with Attached Living Unit

We were curious to see how many campers would be here on April 16 (the last day to depart before the overnight camping fee of $15.00, with a 14-day limit, starts at this BLM area). Of the approximately 30 camping regions within the Imperial Dam LTVA, the South Mesa was the only region that had about eight campers remaining. We had been camped in the North Florida Flats region and on April 15, only one other camper shared this region with us, far off in the distance. When we awoke on April 16, the other camper had already departed. Turn-Out-The-Lights! We were the only camper remaining in this vast desert wilderness.

We shall miss this desert environment and the many new friends we have met.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.