My honey and I hadn't been on one in awhile, and our road trips are usually just the 2 of us traveling 4-6 hours to Austin or San Antonio. So, gearing up for a 24-26 hour trip in the car (with family) to California was a whole other monster!
For our 1-year wedding anniversary a couple of years back, we did a "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" and "Man vs Food" road trip. We traveled to San Antonio, and hit up as many restaurants featured on those shows as we could on the way. It was a REAL blast, and we got to try some TASTY food!
The idea was mentioned that we do the same for our trip to Cali, but it was definitely a last-minute trip, so we couldn't really plan it out like we did for San Antonio. But luckily, smartphones are little hand-held computers, so we were able to swing a few awesome places on the road!!
We stopped for a sit-down lunch and dinner while on the road. It got us out of the car twice for each long trip (other than gas and potty stops), and it was SO necessary!
On the way down, we stopped for lunch in New Mexico at a place called Joseph's. I was the only one to order Mexican food at lunch, but I was just SO excited to be eating green chile that I was gearing up to eat Mexican food for just about EVERY meal while we were out there! Big D, my honey, and his older sister all got the Green Chile Burger, and lil sis ordered pancakes. I got a green chile chicken enchilada and a chile relleno with green sauce. Yum....why did I get NO pictures of our food?
It was... good. We just had so much better food on our other stops that this was left a little lacking. BUT they did have a neat little gift shop attached and we got some fun pictures behind this Route 66 sign, so it was still a successful stop. :)
When the time came to choose somewhere for dinner, I hit up the DDD website on my phone. We had decided to stop in Flagstaff, Arizona, and I was sure I'd find a Guy Fieri joint we could try. Oh, we hit the jackpot here!
We ended up at this place right off the freeway called Salsa Brava. The online menu boasted that they used all natural ingredients, no lard, and only serve antibiotic-free and hormone-free meat. Cool, cool. Little sis kept teasing, though, that it can't claim to serve "mexican food" if they don't use lard. ;) We decided to test that theory!
W.O.W. First, let's talk about the salsa bar. Pineapple habanero, Green tomatillo, Fire-roasted Chiptle... the list goes on and on! These three were my favorites, though!
D ordered a pork taco salad, and I kept eating off of his plate!!! My quesadillas were good, don't get me wrong, but that pork taco salad with the pineapple habanero salsa was to. die. for.
They even had the best-tasting sarsaparilla for lil sis.
We also tried a Mexican Chocolate Mousse for dessert... small and decadent, yet shareable and completely yummy!
We liked Salsa Brava so much we stopped back by there a week later for lunch on our drive home. This time, I got my own pork taco salad. :)
While in California, D's family wanted have breakfast at El Tepeyac Cafe in honor of Gramps... it was one of his favorites!
We pull up and the sign on the front boasts, "As Seen on Man vs. Food!" Awesome... we scored another MVF restaurant without even trying! They have some HUGE burritos, including the "Manual Challenge", the one featured on the show! Manuel is the owner, and this guy is old! Yet he was still dancing around in the front, seating everyone and taking pictures with customers! Here is D's sisters and dad, posing like his Gramps did when he ate hot food... one hand on the hip! ;)
The last stop we made for dinner on the way back was, by far, the BEST meal we had on the road. We didn't get this tip from Food Network or the Travel Channel, this was just a little place that D's family has always eaten at when making this trip.
Garcia's in Albuquerque, New Mexico!
Ohmygosh, this food was fantastic! I had a bean, egg, and cheese burrito with green chile and D got chicken blue corn layered enchiladas with red chile... we shared both. We pretty much inhaled this food before I even had the thought of taking a picture, it was that good!! We rounded the meal off by all sharing a couple of sopapillas, then we were right back on the road!!
Roadside food is probably one of the best things about a good road trip! It was such a blast trying all these new places... I miss the green chile! All you people in New Mexico, Arizona, and California... don't take for granted that yummy green chile sauce... I WISH it was a staple here in Texas!!!!! I miss it so much already... please excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin...