Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Drive

I know the rest of the country will find this very hard to imagine but it gets awfully cold here in the summer.  When everybody else is dealing with the 100+ degree heatwave, we're barely getting out of the 50s and we haven't seen the sun in days.  Don't be envious, there's nothing nice about cold, clammy fog.

So on those days when we just can't take another day of chilly, damp weather, we head inland in search of sun.  One of our favorite sun-day drives (ha, I crack myself up with cleverness) is to a little town called San Juan Bautista, one of the original 21 California missions.  It's the cutest little town, looks just like the set of a western movie.

Most of the time it's a quiet, sleepy town except for 4 times a year when the arts & crafts/antique fairs come a callin'.  Today, however, it was quiet and sunny and warm and wonderful.

SJB has a lot of little restaurants.  We have only tried a few of them because we like those so much, we never want to waste a visit there by trying something new that we might not like as well as our favorites.  For the longest time we only ate at JJ's Burgers (which is awesome) but on our last visit we decided to throw caution to the wind and try the Orient Express.

Let me start by saying that we are Chinese restaurant snobs, so many of them are mediocre, so I'm thrilled to say that we love Orient Express!  Although they don't have my personal favorite, Hunan Beef, I have found new favorites in their Crispy Shrimp or Crispy Beef with Spicy, Tangy Sauce.  Today I went for the beef and had to fight with myself not to eat the whole platter.  Luckily, I won the battle (or did I lose?) and managed to stop while there was still enough to box up for another meal.  The crispy part is tempura batter wrapped around tender beef chunks, smothered with a rich sauce that's not too spicy or tangy but just right.
The restaurant decor is kind of country rustic meets Chinatown which sounds odd but it really works especially in a rustic town like SJB.  I love the hanging basket lamps.  I'll try to remember to take a picture of them next time.

No visit to SJB would be complete without a stop at Margot's Ice Cream Parlour which serves wonderful Lapperts ice cream from Hawaii.  My favorite flavor is Banana Caramel Chocolate Chip...don't knock it till you've tried it.  I can only show you the empty cup because from the moment they gave it to me until it was finished my only thought was of eating, not taking pictures.
If you'd like, I'll go back tomorrow and have more just so that I can get a picture.  Anything to accommodate my readers, don't you know.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, so even thought I am full from overeating today, your post made my mouth water. But you don't have to go back just for me. You can send your leftovers, though.


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