The NorCal Explorer

Some of my photos are now for sale at ImageKind.

Nature Index
(My hiking and camping adventures in Northern California.)

Culture Index
(NorCal cities, highways, restaurants, museums, architecture, historic attractions, vintage neon signs, roadside attractions, etc.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Interesting Eateries of Humboldt County: Bristol Rose Cafe


In 2011 my family spent an unplanned night in Eureka on the start home from a lovely north coast/redwood vacation, and ended up choosing the Eureka Inn after some quick checking on the smart phone for nearby lodging that was both interesting and affordable. The Eureka Inn really delivered. The room wasn't much, but it was clean and comfortable and fine for the price. It was the public areas of the old hotel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, that made our stay special.

20110806 A lucky find when we needed a room
Lobby of the Eureka Inn

But one of those we could only peep in at, the elegant dining room of the Bristol Rose Cafe. We asked and were told that they were still working on it, but were planning on reopening it. So when we passed through town going the opposite direction last week and we needed to eat, it's the first place I thought of.

This time, checking on the phone nearly led us astray. Yelp reported that the restaurant was permanently closed (choosing to hide, as it turns out, a review that stated otherwise from 9 months earlier). But my wife decided to call the hotel and ask, and was told they were open for business.


We were the only diners (although it was early, and the evening before Thanksgiving), and they are open limited hours (5-9 Monday-Saturday). Which means they don't do a high volume of business, and so can't possibly offer all fresh and made-from-scratch food. My wife complained that the blue cheese dressing tasted like it was from a jar.

But I thoroughly enjoyed my rib eye steak and twice-baked potato, the elegant dining room, and the musical accompaniment of 1940s crooners. If the lights had been a bit dimmer and there had been 30 other people dining there, it would have been perfect.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Interesting Eateries of San Francisco: Whiz Burgers Drive-In


If it were located on old U.S. Route 99 in the Central Valley, or even on a busy thoroughfare in the suburbs, Whiz Burgers would be perfectly ordinary. But it's surprising to find it in San Francisco.

It's an old drive-in burger joint, originating from 1955. No indoor seating is available. There is a counter that goes around 3 sides of the building, at which there are a grand total of two stools--presumably there used to be many more. Four picnic tables provide the main seating for those who choose to stay there to eat, which doesn't seem like the best option, given all the trash strewn about the neighborhood. It's got its own parking, though, which is a major plus in the city.


You can get your usual burger companions there: hot dogs, French fries, and shakes. And they offer a few Asian basics featured in pictures in the window--shown both on paper plates and on fine China.


I got the Whiz Burger, and said yes when asked about cheese on it. I was not disappointed, although admittedly I didn't have highest of expectations from the place. My expectations were exceeded, however, by the fact that there were avocado slices on my burger. Nice!

About Me

My photo

I love to learn about, visit, photograph, research, and write about everything that is interesting, unique, and historical about Northern California, and wherever else I should be fortunate enough to find myself.  I've spent many years scouring the roadside in my little car for interesting subjects and walking down hiking trails in the Sierra Nevada and along the coast to get to know the wonder that is Northern California.  I share most of this via photos on Flickr, and as much as time permits me to on my blog, the NorCal Explorer.  Fine art prints of my photos are for sale on Imagekind.