Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Palm Springs CA: Bit of Country

I discovered Bit of Country on my morning run. It's a small place with a very colorful mural on the outside and a very traditional coffee shop interior. It's the kind of place that gives you an entire pot of coffee for yourself---they understand mornings. I found the service to be very friendly and prompt.

This is my veggie omelette with biscuits and gravy. The omelette was excellent, with creamy eggs and veggies cooked just right. The biscuits were of the mixed variety but quite good; the gravy was good and plentiful. I think I have found my breakfast destination for future visits to Palm Springs.

Bit of Country on Urbanspoon

Palm Springs CA: Happy Sushi Robata

I have now had two very pleasant experiences at Happy Sushi Robata. It's located at the back of one of the buildings along the mall. The food was good and the service was outstanding.

My first visit was a rush job. I sat down at the sushi bar and explained to the sushi chef that I had only a few minutes to eat. He explained what options were fast and what options weren't. Rolls, it seems, are among the slower sushi options. I made my choices and a few minutes later I had a nice, tasty plate of sushi. The fish was very fresh and well prepared.

For my second visit, I joined my friends Linda and Steve for a more leisurely lunch. I had been thinking about noodles for days, so I went with a bowl of ramen. The broth was rich but rather subtly flavored with what I assume was tofu. The noodles were a satisfying treat. The service was once again very courteous and helpful. Linda and Steve enjoyed their lunches, too.

Happy Sushi Robata on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Birmingham AL: Homewood Diner

I just discovered Homewood Diner in the Homewood neighborhood and had a very enjoyable breakfast. As you can see from the photo, it isn't in a traditional diner building, but the walls display quite a few photos of old-fashioned diners. They also have an extensive collection of old radios, which is an attraction for a nerd like me.

I ended up with so much breakfast that I couldn't fit it into one photo. The waitress cautioned me to order only one pancake and she was right. Not only was my blueberry pancake huge but it was also delicious. The blueberries really popped.

My veggie omelette was excellent. The eggs had a marvelous creamy flavor; they had clearly been cooked slowly and carefully. Mushrooms add a welcome savory touch to a veggie omelette. Given the huge size of my pancake, I had only a taste of the grits but they were quite good, as was the multi-grain toast.

And has anyone seen this syrup before? It seems to be an Alabama/Georgia thing, given the name...

Homewood Diner on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Birmingham AL: Church Street Coffee and Books

I stopped by Church Street as part of my trip to Birmingham. The name is apt---the book selection is very small, just a few hundred. The coffee bar is quite complete; they serve (or at least sell) beans from Octave.

My cappuccino was very well crafted. The foam had a wonderful texture and was pretty, too.

Church Street Coffee and Books on Urbanspoon

Sylacauga AL: The Golden Rule BBQ

I turned off I-20 and found myself at The Golden Rule. It was perfect timing. The restaurant has been here for over a century. For you Atlantans, think Hickory House on steroids.

This is my chopped pork plate. The pork was a little dry. The corn on the cob was what one would expect---a little soggy from sitting in hot water. The fried okra was good, clearly freshly fried.

Golden Rule Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Gadsden AL: Silver Lakes Golf Course

Silver Lakes is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The course is great. The clubhouse is just abuot the only eating option nearby. So I decided to give it a try for lunch.

My french dip was pretty good. The beef was topped with cheese and onions. The fries were fresh and hot. A good way to get ready for golf...

And it turns out that all the clubhouses on the Trail use the same menu.

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/74/1837707/restaurant/Alabama/Silver-Lakes-Golf-Course-Clubhouse-Gadsden

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cozy Floyd's Barbeque

I spent an hour on the phone today working on a bunch of forms. After I finally cleaned up that mess (or at least most of it), I decided to drown my frustrations in pork. So I headed to a food truck I've had my eye on for awhile, Cozy Floyd's. It parks in front of the Ace Hardware on Howell Mill; they tell me they are there on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Here is their smoker, parked behind their very large and nice trailer. Everyone working there was extremely nice.

And here is my rib sandwich. Memories of answering all those questions on the phone just melted away as I munched on the meat, tender yet firm. The spicy sauce had a very gentle kick that left a pleasant after burn. Really fun BBQ! And somehow the location in a hardware store parking lot simply adds to the atmosphere.

https://www.urbanspoon.com/r/9/1837213/restaurant/Old-Fourth-Ward/Cozy-Floyds-Barbeque-Atlanta