“Welcome to Julian,” it would need to also contain the words “Closed Tuesdays.”
Guess what day we chose to visit Julian. That’s right. Tuesday.
We wanted to stop at the Santa Ysabel (near Julian) outlet of the famous Dudley Bakery. What does the sign say? “Open Thursday – Sunday.”
And what do you believe at this restaurant just across the parking lot from Dudley’s--the sign that says “We’re Open” or the business hours sign that says
“Tuesday - Closed?” And in yesterday’s blog, Chuck showed you a photo of the Miner’s Diner which has an old fashioned soda fountain. But, of course, it was “Closed Tuesdays.”
Granted, most of the gewgaw or tchotchke shops were open along with the stores selling Julian apple pies. But the restaurants? Pickings were few.
We finally threw the dice and chose the Julian Café & Bakery which is situated in a historical landmark dating back to 1872. The back of the menu described in length the building’s history, but, assuming that café would have a web-site, I neglected to take any notes. Sorry. No history lesson today.
Being one of the only games in town, the café was full when we arrived, and we had a half hour wait. While we were waiting, a tour bus rolled into town and disgorged its passengers all looking for a place to eat. Thank heaven our name was on the list.
We were finally seated and I had the chance to study the décor. Cowboy and Indian stuff dominated. As Al A. on yelp.com said: “If there was a greasy spoon back in the Ol' West, this joint would be the best example of one.”
Even the table tops bore branding symbols and
beverages were served in boot mugs.
But one can’t ignore the feminine touch provided by the lace valances.
The menu contained a list of mundane sandwiches, half-pound burgers, and salads plus more homey fare like liver and onions, open face roast beef sandwich, fried chicken, and chicken fried steak.
From the comfort food list, Chuck selected the Chicken Pie Turnover which came with garlic mashed potatoes and cole slaw. The slaw was average with a thin cream dressing. Since we had recently eaten Phil’s BBQ’s marvelous slaw, anything else wouldn’t measure up. The garlic mashed were real home mashed potatoes—small lumps and all—and had a mild garlic flavor. Just enough garlic to hint at garlic. The turnover was made with pie crust and held a mix of chicken, carrots, pies, and some bright yellow stuff that we never identified. Since Chuck is still among the living, it must have been harmless.
My choice was the turkey and sausage meatloaf with the same mashed potatoes and slaw. The meatloaf, which had good flavor, had a soft texture which usually denotes an excess of filling. And it had been reheated on a flat top and had a slightly burned appearance in places. But the portion was massive and the leftovers fed both of us supper that evening.
Not bad. Not great. 3.0 Addie dining.
Before giving us our check, our server asked if we would be having pie for dessert. “No” we replied. A look of disbelief crossed her face. No pie--in the town famous for its pies, especially apple?
Well, yes. But a whole pie. We were headed down the street to the Apple Alley Bakery which had been recommended by Chuck’s cousin Karen Allsing.
It took us a few minutes to ponder our pie choices. Regular apple? Apple crumb? Apple Pecan Caramel? Apple mango or apple cherry or apple boysenberry?
It would be apple boysenberry and the tart berries did just what I had hoped--mitigated some of the sweetness. This was very good pie and we managed to devour it in three short days.
We couldn’t let it go bad, could we?