…life on the synaptic firing range

Location: Los Angeles, United States

Bent but unbroken Southern California native seeks understanding, companionship, and resonance along and off the beaten path. Teresa plays well with others and makes every effort to perform to her potential. Usually. *processed in a facility that processes nuts and nut products

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

road food

Don’t stop at the Denny’s in Buttonwillow.

Just because you remember a time when Denny’s was the last fork-and-knife sign for about a hundred miles of the most mind-numbingly boring stretch of Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco doesn’t mean that will be the case this trip. Remember, you thrive on mystery. Besides, people get killed at Denny’s. Also, Denny’s promotes the covering and smothering of perfectly innocent hash browns, an idea made even more horrifying by the fact that they stole it from the Waffle House. Stealing terrible ideas from other terrible restaurants sullies your cred, Denny’s. You can only coast on your Moons Over My Hammy® laurels for so long.

Just because you’re all proud of yourself for not stopping at Denny’s doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Resist with all your might the urge to stop at restaurants that make alluring promises on their signs, even if the gambit paid off at Max’s, where many, if not all, of the foods I’ve always wanted to eat were prepared tastefully. (What did "always" ever do to anybody to deserve its lowly uncapped status?)

It’s not fun to eat at Scrambl’z, not even if your tireless copyediting hard drive can spin down long enough to forgive the ambiguous ’z.

It’s not fun at all, and you’ll leave feeling like you may never want to eat again. But then you’ll remember that you bought some saltwater taffy at Casa de Fruta and decide that you may be able to choke down a piece or two.

Always stop at Andersen’s, and don’t order anything but the Hungry Traveler’s Special.

You’ll be tempted to step outside the warm embrace of pea soup, but the pea soup is canon—you’re at Pea Soup Andersen’s, silly—and if the first bowl leaves you wanting, the HTS is all about the refill. My limit is generally one and a half bowls, with practically a whole loaf of unstingily buttered pumpernickel. Mmm. Your HTS comes complete with beverage, and some otherwise sane adults may be tempted to order a milkshake just because they can. However fondly I remember the sweet and savory and altogether creamy delight of vanilla-milkshake-and-pea-soup goodness I enjoyed as I child, I’m cognizant of having failed to recapture that same bliss the last time I ordered a milkshake with my HTS, sometime in my 20s (I mature[d] slowly). If you have a full set of adult teeth, you’ll want to stick with a soda or hot beverage.

Finally, when you make it to San Francisco, go to Citizen Cake, or its little sister Citizen Cupcake, and get the Lovers’ Cake. Oh. My. God.


Blogger WenWhit said...

I too would like to know why Max chose to punish the "always." Thank you for that hearty laugh.

Great post!

7:08 PM  
Blogger treecup said...

I think the Lover's Cake deserves a more detailed description. Tell all. While I didn't get all that excited about Sporksforall's Cyclerotica, such a cake deserves several photos and lots of words. It needs its own post, easily.

7:29 PM  
Blogger scout said...

You start with an ever so thin, lighter-than-air layer of cake, then you lovingly adorn the foundation with a fluffy whip of lemon curd suspended in vanilla mousse goodness. Top that off with a firm white chocolate cap and you're done blissed out!

7:38 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

Max's was good. Citizen Cupcake was better. Still, getting to the Lover's Cake was so hard, I suggested to scout that we shouldn't have gone. She was horrified. Just as horrified as when I suggested she wear a skort.

10:15 PM  
Blogger treecup said...

It sounds phenomenal. I'm with Scout on this one, Spork (remember, we've driven all the way to Vegas just for donuts back when Krispy Kreme wasn't in California). I'm only astonished that it appears you only got one cupcake.

I forgot to mention that I'm terribly disappointed Scramblz didn't live up to its sign. It looks so much more promising than Max's!

11:50 PM  
Anonymous g_lou said...

Dairy Queen. The only place to eat when on the road. Well, an occasional stop at Cracker Barrel doesn't hurt.

8:53 AM  
Blogger bryduck said...

Dairy Queen ain't just for the road, g_lou! Otoh, I've been craving a good, nay great, BLT for a buncha weeks now, and can't find one . . .

9:03 AM  
Anonymous jkt said...

i am so shocked to know that andersen's exists in the US. what?! i went there a lot in hiroshima, not only cus it was good, but b/c it was comfort food to me! whoa! i must check this out...i wonder if there's one on the east coast.
and boy, does that cake look GOOD...
as my friend casey would say, "wanna, wanna, wanna". he ripped that off of nell, though. as well as when he says, "tata!". (scared). btw, nell (i heart jodie foster)says her famous "wanna, wanna, wanna" line as liam neeson is eating popcorn on the porch, trying to lure her out like a feral dog, instead of like an (ahem) feral person.

3:42 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

Alright you evil repetitive lyric-implanting So Cal smartass, it's your turn to suffer. Hmmm. Let's see. How do you feel about George Jones?

He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath upon his door
And soon they'll carry him away
He stopped loving her today

4:01 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

wenwhit--jkt lives in (ahem) Virginia.

5:19 PM  
Blogger scout said...

Oh, Wendy isn't reacting to anything jkt has said (though jkt does indeed live in Virginny and I could sic her ass on Wendy and her "lady friend"). W and S seem to have taken umbrage at my perfectly innocent sharing (which rhymes with "caring") of my very most favorite Donna Fargo song at the Wannabe corral.

5:49 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

The Wannabe corral? The Wannabe CORRAL? Insult to injury!

Why don't you two go ride a bike or something? :)

6:46 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

Oh - you do get points for "chorale" as a synonym, as it relates to the subject at hand. :)

6:47 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

Not a George fan, huh? Okay. What about a young, nasal Tanya Tucker??? (Yes, that questiobang is just for your viewing pleasure.)

Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on
Could it be a faded rose from days gone by
And did I hear you say he was a-meeting you here today
To take you to his mansion in the sky

6:54 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

Once when I was young and stupid, my mother told me about a problem our maid was having. She said that the maid had to quit because her bladder wouldn't empty until she had 50 gallons in it. Alarmed, I got a gallon of tap water and took to drinking it. While doing so (under the card table I had covered with a sheet), I listened to my transitor radio. I swore I wouldn't come out until Delta Dawn came on or my bladder gave out. I lost.

She was forty-one and her Daddy still called her baby
And everyone round Bronwsville thinks she's crazy
Because she walk to the station with a suitcase in her hand
Says she looking for a mysterious dark haired man...

I want to join the wannabe corral!

7:35 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

Oh, and by the by, Tanya loses to Helen Reddy in the DD department!

7:35 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore!

Corral that, Missy.

7:50 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:04 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

: )

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

8:09 PM  
Anonymous hopskipjump said...

As usual, the banter leaves me clueless. I just wanted to say one would not be eating pea soup here in the east in the summer. You lucky CAs.

2:02 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

I suppose it is an odd string of correspondence viewed from the outside. Still, it was fun. :)

3:21 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

Along the same lines, but without the intent of implanting repetitive lyrics in your mind for going on three days, thank you very much... I was taking a stroll down memory lane today with Anne Murray, and the following seemed somehow appropriate:

Yes it's true I have a gift of sometimes acting special
Wearing my facade for all to see
The truth I guess is I'm afraid of being on the level
And showing what I really think of me

It's hard for me to understand how you could ever love me
'Cause sometimes I don't like myself at all
I don't see how I'm worthy of you thinking so much of me
But you're always here to hold me when I fall

I was doing some backreading today, and it struck me just how fortunate I am to have Suzanne. I'm just guessing you feel the same way about Sporks. :)

5:11 PM  

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