Monday, July 25, 2005

Follow Your Nose

Road Trip – Ukiah

Just found out the day job is secure for at least six more months so I decided to break away from the Poverty Kitchen mode for the moment and take a little road trip. A friend of mine lives just outside of Ukiah so we decided to visit. I like to visit small towns, a bit out of the way, to check out the people, places and food. Most of the bay area has really gone upscale, so I was looking for more “country” place. You know, blue collar, salt of the earth kind of place.

We checked out the online motel listings and found a room for $82 a night. It had lovely pictures of a 75-foot pool and redwood sculptures. The Discovery Inn, CSAA rated it three diamonds. On arrival it was apparent it had seen better days. The building was a little worn but the bed was comfortable, and they had wireless Internet service. The more modern Hampton Inn in the newer part of town wanted $129 so this was a bargain.

We cruised State Street, the main road through town, looking for places to eat. At the intersection of State and Lake Mendocino we saw a hand lettered sign that read “tri-tip and hot links”. I headed towards the smell. In the parking lot of Lightels Food and Fuel there was a towable barbecue rig that said Rob Roy’s’ Barbecue. The wood smoke was permeating the inside of my car, even though the windows were up and the air conditioning on. The smell was almost edible. Just then my friend called on the cell and invited us to lunch at Jensen’s Truck Stop. Truck stop sounded good but in retrospect we should have had the tri-tip.
Image hosted by

Don’t get me wrong Jensen’s was a cool place. My wife had the patty melt and pronounced it good. Friend had the club sandwich, which he always gets, enough food for two people. The accompanying slaw was good too. I had the all day breakfast, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon and toast. I’m sad to say the eggs and hash browns sucked. They were dry and tasteless, but add points for the hot toast and good bacon.
Image hosted by
monster club
Image hosted by
all day breakfast
Image hosted by
patty melt

We bid friend goodbye and decided to while away the afternoon with a couple a games of bowling. We played at Yokayo lanes, the smallest bowling alley I’ve ever seen (16 lanes). Inside there was also a tiny restaurant and adjacent tiny bar that was already doing a good business at two in the afternoon. We didn’t try either cause we just ate and it was too early for a beer buzz.
Image hosted by

Our Internet search and the CSAA travel book both mention a long time local Italian restaurant, Angelo’s. At dinner we head on over there. As you enter there is bar to your right that has a bunch of good old boys hanging out. (My kind of place), then you enter a nice dinning room. The waitress looks straight out of central casting for an Italian Aunt. Cotton dress, sturdy shoes and industrial strength pantyhose. She’s a seasoned pro, efficient and in command of her station. She directs the staff and takes our order. I have the special grilled sausage with pasta; wife has the spaghetti with scallops. Each comes with salad or soup. We both choose salads that arrive immediately. While the salad is a nice set up, almost like an antipasto, with eggplant, roasted red pepper, kidney and garbanzo beans, olives, and pepperoncini in addition to lettuce. My lettuce is very wilted. This is probably a result of being pre plated and sitting in the fridge for a while. Remarkably, the same salad served to my wife is fine. The pasta dishes were well received, plentiful and hot. Special mention to the grilled Italian sausage, spicy!
The only complaint is a note to the chef, drain the pasta more, don’t ruin the good sauce with a bunch of water on the plate. That being said, dinner was an overall good experience.
Image hosted by
Image hosted by
Image hosted by

Back at the motel we check out the pool and HBO on five channels. After a good nights sleep we try the included continental breakfast. These can be tricky cause one persons idea of CB is lukewarm coffee and a stale roll while some are more complex. Here CB is pretty darn good. Coffee/tea, juices, cereals hot and cold, toasted breads or bagels, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, and freshly made waffles.

On the way out of town I just can’t help but think about going back to Rob Roy’s Barbecue. The signs still there but it’s only ten and the barbecue rig is nowhere to be seen. Next time I’m in town I think I’ll follow my nose.
Image hosted by
was it a mirage ?


drbiggles said...

Yeah, I love those trips too. Well, at least I used to when I went.
If you're looking for a little bit of Ukiah a little closer, look up Sukie's Country Kitchen in San Pablo. I've been going for years and the food has never wavered. If you're looking for a Country Fried Steak, Eggs, Hash Browns with a home made bisquit (good and fluffy) all swimming for its life in creamy pan gravy, then run to Sukies.
This is NOT upscale.
They've also got the standard Hot Turkey Sandwich Lunch swimming in that wonderful salty gravy of some sort.
Do not get the French Dip, do not. I've never had that much salt infusion in my life, not even once.
The Turkey Club Sammich is just FINE. They even have a country fried steak club sammich, a little on the crazy side. The breakfasts are just fine.
We ate there today at 11am and were the youngest ones there, neat.


Anonymous said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.
It new idea that u create in ur blogs.. It very simple and different...
Restaurant Equipment