Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wheel Inn: Road Food

For Christmas, Judy got me several food books, including Road Food. Between Christmas and New Years, while Judy was in Utah, Sam and I drove out to Cabazon to eat at Wheel Inn, a roadside diner featured in the book.

As described, it was not your usual road-side diner. It is in front of several life-sized dinosaurs, a brontosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex. There is a statue of a prospector and burro in front.

The gift shop is full of plastic dinosaurs, belt buckles and cowboy style paintings. We were led to a booth with a formica covered table that was so worn the wood color had been rubbed off in many spots. Although they would not have been my normal choices for food, I decided to order what had been recommended. First, I ordered a date shake. Because I've had lots of date shakes before, I had them add banana and chocolate and I liked it quite a bit.

For the main course, I ordered the Dino burger, two quarter pound patties with cheese. It came with a pickle, tomato, onion, lettuce and thousand island dressing on the side. It also came with fried potatoes on the side.

I put the items on the burger and it was very large and decent. It was not as flavorful as a Carl's Jr. hamburger, but it was massive. I would not order it again. I did think the fried potatoes were good, better than the usual fried potatoes in a diner.

Sam ordered a Monte Cristo sandwich. They're not my kind of thing and so I never order them. But Sam shared some of his with me and it was good. It was basically two pieces of French toast, dusted with powdered sugar, with ham and cheese inside, and a bowl of maple syrup to dip it in.

It was very sweet and good.

Finally, the guidebook recommended the pie. It and the waitress recommended the banana cream and we also ordered peanut butter, which the waitress and an internet comment had reccommended. The pieces of pie were huge! The banana cream came with very large pieces of banana, several inches long. The banana cream filling was good, but the large chunks of banana were not to my liking and the very thick layer of whipped cream on top was too much.

The peanut butter was also huge and the whipped cream layer was again too large. It did have a distinctive peanut butter flavor, but the pie would not be mistaken for Marie Callendars. I would not get pie again.

In summary, I really enjoyed going there. I loved the unusualness of the restaurant and the laid back atmosphere. It had a huge menu and I intend to go back and order the kinds of foods I usually order. The food is not gourmet, but it is decent and there is lots of it. And I guess that pretty much sums up what road food is all about.

No comments:

Post a Comment