Friday, September 27, 2013

So There Chuck Is…

pumping gas at the local (Shady Cove, CA) Chevron station and talking with the station attendant. Wait a minute! This is Oregon, one of the two states (New Jersey is the other) where you can’t self-pump. Well, there seems to be some exemption for those pumping diesel, so it is possible to both self-pump and have an attendant.

Anyway, as conversations with locals usually go, they begin to talk about local restaurants. “Do you have a recommendation for a locals’ place?” Chuck asks.

Without skipping a beat, the attendant responds “Phil’s. It’s just down 62. You can’t miss it. Look for the pink building. In the summer they serve between 500 and 1,000 people on a busy day.”

Well, find the pink building we did.
Basically, this is your small town drive-in with picnic tables outside and a walk-up ordering window. After a few minutes of standing at the window, we finally saw the sign directing us indoors to place our orders.
Inside we went and found a small line already forming.
While that line cleared out quickly, I am not sure that there ever was a time when someone wasn’t waiting to place an order. And this is a weekday in early fall. I can see why they’re so busy during the summer.

If you are looking for décor, you need to go elsewhere. Most of the décor was the large menu boards and the video games (not shown here) toward the back.

Yes, there was this hanging “tapestry” that reminded me of Monument Valley in Utah.
This is hunting country. How do I know? This morning I was sitting on the RV steps and talking with our neighbor and his wet and muddy Yellow Lab. They had just come back from an early morning hunt, and by way of proof, he proceeds to pull a dead game bird of some sort out of the back of his vehicle and proudly holds it up by the feet. Thank you for sharing. Which may explain this print.
Nothing is more American than donning camo and going out into the woods to kill small animals.

This is a burger place and when in a burger place you order a burger. (Although the Polish Dog did look really good.) For Chuck it would be Double Big Burger with cheese and fries.
He described the sandwich as being a good—not great—basic burger. No complaints. No raves.

I ordered the Chili Burger with fries. I took one look at this plate and immediately set the basket of fries aside to take home. No way was I going to eat all of this.
And then I set the top of the bun aside. No way was I going to eat all of this. The chili was a very good but mild version that was full of ground beef and beans. The latter of course made this even more filling. And I couldn’t really taste the burger under the chili so have to take Chuck’s evaluation as mine.

I am sure that both the fries and onion rings came frozen from a bag.
Neither was as crisp as I would have liked and neither was memorable. In fact, my reheated-at-home fries were better than those eaten in the restaurant. But the fries did come with “fry sauce,” that mix of catsup and mayo that I haven’t seen outside of Utah.

The reason for my wanting to set aside my fries and top bun was dessert. Ice cream to be precise. And not just any ice cream, but that from a local dairy—Umpqua Dairy.
“…Roseburg-based and family-owned-and-operated Umpqua Dairy was formed in 1931 when Ormond Feldkamp and Herb Sullivan started producing milk, butter and ice cream and selling it to railroad passengers stopped at the Roseburg Railroad Station. Since then generations of family members have maintained the high-quality standards yielding many awards over the years including 2009 Judges Award for best Strawberry Ice Cream in the nation at the Quality Chekd National Convention, 2008 Judges Award for best Chocolate Ice Cream in the nation at the Quality Chekd National Convention, and Oregon Dairy Industry's Ice Cream Sweepstakes award in 2008” (

You can order the ice cream in many forms including something they call the “Split Banana.”
But we wanted just ice cream. “What’s the difference between the Baby and the Small?” Chuck asks the counter person.

“The Baby is one scoop and the Small is two” was her answer.

Wisdom prevailed and we both got the Baby cone.
Yes, you read this right. This really is the Baby size.

Chuck’s flavor was the Huckleberry Cheesecake with huckleberry swirls and bits of cheesecake. Mine was the Expresso Madness—coffee ice cream with pieces of dark chocolate. We both agreed that this was the best ice cream we have eaten since Wilcoxson’s in Montana.

While I can’t give Phil’s more than a 2.5 Addie rating, I would stop there again just for the 5.0 Addie ice cream.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

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