Tag Archives: restaurant

David Bowie, Funny Mirrors, and a Veggie Burrito at the Old Stone Station

old stone station Cambria California

The Old Stone Station became a place of refuge for John

At John’s funeral, friends and family dropped fresh cut flowers into the grave. Willy walked to the edge where the casket lay.  He tightly squeezed a David Bowie t-shirt before relaxing his hands.  Willy let the Ziggy Startdust t-shirt fall into the grave.

Clyde asked perplexed, “What are you doing?”

Old Stone Station David Bowie

Willie replied, “John loved David Bowie.  Remember how many times he went to the men’s restroom at the Old Stone Station Restaurant?”

A year ago, Willie, Clyde, and John met on a sunny day on the deck of the Old Stone Station. They each planned on enjoying the best Mexican food served on Friday. Ironically, they all ordered veggie burritos. The three of them quickly realized this serendipitous moment. Conversations began and three tables became one. A Friday veggie burrito tradition began.

Like a digital clock with a strong battery, Willie, Clyde, and John showed up at the same time every Friday and ordered the same veggie burrito.  The tradition changed when John’s wife left him for a young stud and the L.A. city life.  Depressed, John began to eat 1.5 burritos, than 2 burritos in one sitting.  Willie and Clyde were amazed by John’s overwhelming burrito consumption.

Old stone Station veggie burrito Cambria California

John developed deadly feelings for black beans

John replied in a condescending snarky voice, “How can a person not eat two of a these remarkable creations!  The flavors of the beans, sauces, fresh ingredients, veggie burger and cheese make me forget myself.  I am no longer John who gave 20 years of my life to a woman who didn’t appreciate it.  At the Old Stone Station I am simply a tongue who doesn’t need love – only a burrito.”

The guys noticed John use the bathroom more frequently and lose weight.

One day when John left to the restroom, Clyde asked Willie, “Do you think it’s weird John’s bladder has gotten smaller since his divorce?”

The last known photo of John

The last known photo of John

Willie, “I don’t think his bladder has gotten smaller.   He frequently uses the restroom because the carnival fees to enjoy a circus mirror in private is ridiculous.  At the Old Stone Station the price of the mirror is included in the price of the meal.  He can laugh and laugh as long as he purchases something.  John’s a huge David Bowie fan. He told the restaurant owner he wants first dibs on the David Bowie shirt in the bathroom.  Notice how he looks at the burritos and mutters the lyric, “Oh you pretty thing your driving your mamas and papas insane.”  I’m a huge Paul McCartney fan.  I would pretend to pee a lot more if a Paul McCartney t-shirt hung in the bathroom.”

John heard most of their conversation and paused before returning. He could not let his friends know of his burrito addiction. He decided to mask his bulimia by becoming a David Bowie fan.

The madness turned John into a David Bowie burrito eater.

The madness turned John into a David Bowie burrito eater.

A month of Fridays passed.  John looked more skinny and unhealthy.

Clyde finely addressed the elephant in the room, “John, what’s wrong with you.  You have grown into the body of 17 year old girl who wants to be a model.”

John snapped, “I look like David Bowie on heroine.”

John went to the bathroom muttering a David Bowie song.

Clyde said, “Willie I have a crazy thought.  Did you see how fast John ferociously devoured his burrito?  He reminds me of my cat, Henrietta. She can eat a can of canned cat food like John can scarf down a burrito. When she can’t eat anymore she sneaks off and pukes up her food.  Do you notice how John eats and eats then leaves to go to the bathroom?  Does John remind you of my cat?”

Willie, “I’ve never met Henrietta but I do know John reminds me of David Bowie on heroine.”

The End.

John's now in Happy Burrito heaven.

John’s now in Happy Burrito heaven.

Old Stone Station
713 Main St.
Cambria, CA 93428
1-805-927-4229

Special thanks to Gillian Rowley’s edits.  Check out her blog Allergy Bites

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The Kneadery located in Ketchum, Idaho

Angry bear wants to eat omelet eaters

While eating an omelet I face a mean looking bear with arms extended, menacing claws and a snarl that shows off large human eating size teeth.  I’m not afraid of a dead bear it’s just unnerving to be in a restaurant with an animal that looks like it wants to kill me in body and probably in spirit.  Maybe a slice of Kneedery’s organic Bigwood sourdough bread on top of the bears head followed by a tomato and lettuce would take the edge off.  The restaurant buzzes like a hive.  The server is polite but engages in short direct menu related talk.  I figure this isn’t the time to present my bear sandwich thought.  Instead I choose another chair at the table that faces this dowey eyed dead cow.  There that’s much better.

The Kneadery
260 Leadville Ave
Ketchum, Idaho

Open Mic at Maxine’s Glacier City Bistro in Girdwood, Alaska

Brandon Follett at maxine's glacier city bistro girdwood, alaska

Playing a Veronica and Mental Foreplay tune

CLICK HERE TO WATCH the VIDEO

With a reputation for fresh flavors, Maxine’s Glacier City Bistro fills with locals every Wednesday Night for open mic tunes. Traveler Brandon Follett checks out the scene and indulges in two of his favorite pastimes — eating and singing.

La Paz, Mexico: La Fonda Restaurant (video)

la-fonda, la paz, baja california, mexico

Click here to watch

La Fonda restaurant in La Paz offers traditional Mexican food at reasonable prices, and the owner is happy to explain any of the dishes on the menu. Traveler Brandon tries shoemaker soup for breakfast.

Todos Santos, Mexico: El Zaguan (video)

Menu at El Zaguan Todos Santos

click to watch

Homesick for peanut butter, traveler Brandon finds the next best thing – fillet of fresh fish with peanut sauce- at El Zaguan in Todos Santos, Mexico.

Blue Diamond located in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cozy as a Campfire
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How many people do you know who are drawn to a microwave, much less sit around a microwave singing, playing guitar or telling stories? Consider sitting around a campfire and waiting for the coals to heat a kettle of water. Compare it to heating up a cup of water in a solar powered microwave. Both could be sustainable forms to heat water, but the quality of living greatly differs. With crackle and flames, campfires draw in people. Soon you might have several people enjoying the fire as the water heats up. They tell stories, create friendships, and plan their next Rucksack Wandering adventure.

While farming in Thailand, I worked with two types of farmers: an economic sustainable farmer and a social sustainable farmer. I discovered people’s omelet recommendations reflect their preferred type of sustainable farming. When asked where to eat an omelet, the farmers’ answers differed like a harvest moon and a milk moon – in completely different seasons. The economic sustainable farmer recommended a restaurant at the mall. The farmer likes to visit the mall because the mall is a wasteland of cheap electrical appliances waiting to be unwrapped, which will set free the harnessed power of solar energy. While at the mall, it’s best to buy for your farm and stomach in the same trip, even if that means a deep-fried omelet for lunch at KFC.

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The social sustainable farmer suggested I eat an omelet at the Blue Diamond in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A person eats at the Blue Diamond because of the many choices of organic fruits and vegetables and baked breads. By asking the question, “how will my actions better my life and community,” the answers direct me towards the Blue Diamond.

menu-blue.jpg

When making my omelet choice, I chose lifestyle over profit. I tried the Blue Diamond because I enjoy eating healthy and local. While waiting for my omelet, I read the paper, had a conversation, and took in the smells of bread coming out of the oven. The omelet came with fresh avocado and was infused with a pleasant blend of herbs. The quality of the food, the pace of the service, and the fresh fruit reminded me of life on the farm. To sum it up, the omelet at the Blue Diamond was as cozy as a campfire.

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Some thoughts that didn’t make it into the omelet review:

As consumers become more green, organic, sustainable, livable, whatever catch phrase is being used at the moment, people will read more quotes like the ones below, both found in the February/March 2007 issue of Plenty.

From the article Truckin’ Awesome by Philip Armour: “Forget the environment and political reasons—which are convincing. Just look it from the pocket book. I used to get six miles to the gallon. With biofuel, I get seven. So I’m taking home more money at the end of the week.”

From the article The Farmer in the High-Rise by Alisa Opar:
“He compares the vertical farm to the hybrid car, which now everybody is producing. They aren’t doing it for the sake of the environment; they’re doing it to make money.”

This sort of outlook will hopefully give us more time to prevent the impending global warming disaster but will not help us prepare for the next disaster brewing due to the short sights of an economic outlook towards life.

These thoughts were developed when I visited Pun Pun and Panya Project.
Pun Pun
The Panya Project

Omelet Review located near Warinchamrap, Thailand

The Westerner Suffering from Mental and Sanitation Travel Sickness

Basically, if you’re a Westerner visiting Thailand and can’t laugh and smile while your vegetables are cut on a fly-infested cutting board, then you’re mentally going to have a hard time.

cutting-board.jpg

Sure, we would like to drive 30 minutes to the nearest city and dine at a clean outdoor patio with misters or large fans. We would like to be waited on by an attractive server who keeps the soda water, ice cubes, and Johnny Walker flowing, while we eat an omelet with proper utensils and have the option to wash our hands with running water and soap instead of wiping them on our trousers and pretending their clean. Right now, time and money are working against us. We rely on Aidan and Robert to play the role of the attractive server.

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Despite our time and money limitations, we can afford some cheap beer, a cheap omelet and good conversation somewhere in the countryside near Warinchamrap. We get two out of three at this rural Thai restaurant, and to our surprise, we get more than good conversation and cheap beer.

robert.jpg

We got a four star omelet. I now know how dirty Cinderella felt when she put her warty, corned, fungus-filled peasant foot into the clean slipper. The omelet was my slipper. My dirty hands were like Cinderella’s feet. The moment when my fingers brought the omelet up to my lips and my tongue reached out and tasted the bursting flavor of peppers and egg, I felt like a princess.

The other day, I was reading Ancient Wisdom, Modern World by the Dalai Lama. Here I summarize the Dalai Lama’s words about health:

Sickness is a product of the environment. If you come from the West, the sickness tends to be mental and stress related. If you come from the East, the sickness tends to be water-borne and sanitation related.

I imagine a journal entry from a Westerner suffering from mental and sanitation sickness:

Dear Journal,
After eating the disease-riddled omelet, I got diarrhea. I attribute my discomfort to poor sanitation practices used at the restaurant. Squatting over a hole in the ground has made my thighs sore. I have come to agree that Western toilets are for out of shape, lazy people. Now I wish I was in better shape and hadn’t spent so much time at the beginning of the vacation sitting by the pool looking at the ocean.
Signed,
Suffering Sam

Dear Journal,
I’m still sick; I get depressed looking at my dirty self in the mirror. I came to Ubon to volunteer at a school. I teach kids about Christ through English Camps. When I look at myself, I no longer see Jesus in my face. I resemble the heathens he was trying to save. In all the pictures of Jesus I’ve never seen him dirty. (Maybe bloody, but that can’t be attributed to his personal hygiene). The only thing whiter than Jesus’s face is his robe. I’m no longer Christ-like. I’m dirty like the devil……..Save me, Jesus!!!!
Suffering Sam, the dirty sinner

The journal ends, but Sam’s story is only beginning. Like the diners who must drive to the café instead of taking a ten-minute Saturday morning walk, Sam is in too big of a hurry. Like the omelet eaters who cannot wait for their tomatoes to ripen in season, Sam can’t wait for Jesus to impress upon him that everything will be all right.

His fast-paced heart lets the anxiety of dirtiness grow big and tall in his life.  The grim reaper waltzes Sam’s depressed thoughts over to a gun. His dirty fingers smudge the white ivory grip. He can’t put the barrel in his mouth because he’s afraid of catching a cold from the last person who might have blown his or her head off. His Western mental sickness of being afraid of objects that don’t smell lemon fresh saved his life.

The gun fires but only takes off his ear.  Friends find him passed out from shock, lying on the ground, with one hole still suffering from sanitation sickness and a new hole suffering from mental sickness.

“Kai jiao sai noei kang lae hed” translates to “omelet with cheese and mushrooms”

windy.jpg
Sometimes I carry a Thai phrasebook that includes the Thai translation for everyday words and useful phrases, but so far, we have been getting by just fine knowing how to say “hello” and “thank-you” in Thai. It’s entertaining to know that, if necessary, I could look up how to say, “Can we negotiate? I didn’t do it intentionally. Can I just pay a fine?” It’s reassuring that the phrasebook also includes “Omelete with cheese and mushrooms.” If we get desperate for an omelet during our Thailand travels, we can go to a restaurant and point to the word in the phrasebook, and an omelet will appear like magic. I’m sure of it. We’ll have to point because I don’t trust my pronunciation of “Kai jiao sai noei kang lae hed.” Who knows what might end up on a plate in front of us.

At Windy Restaurant, the menu was in Thai and English. No need for the phrasebook, we just pointed to the menu where it said “Omelet + tuna.” For a second dish, we pointed to “Fired rice + mixed vetgetables.” I sipped a creamy banana shake while waiting for our meal, and it was a good thing I’d slurped it all down by the time the omelet arrived. Otherwise, the shake may have come out of my nose with laughter at seeing the perfect square of processed cheese atop a greasy omelet.

After Brandon’s former rants about processed cheese, I was surprised to see that he ate the slimy stuff with a look of pleasure on his face. I wonder if he would also enjoy country music, Twinkies, and KFC after just a week away from the familiar comforts of home.

Windy Restaurant
corner of Thoncharoen Rd. and Yai On Soi
Trat, Thailand