I usually find it difficult to think of what to write about on the day that we return from Santa Barbara. We are in the car all day long and usually the most "interesting" thing that happens is stopping for lunch. That's kind of what happened today too, but I had more things to say about our lunch and I think I can actually make a journal entry out of it.
We had to be on the road early--no time for Hour Baur, even if there had been people around to have it with. Walt needed to be at the Fed Ex office in Sacramento to pick up the replacement cell phone Verizon had ordered for him, so we were on somewhat of a time crunch. But we did manage a couple of potty stops and then mushed on until about 1:15, when we came to The Apricot Tree in the town of Firebaugh. "Town" is perhaps a misnomer. At least where the restaurant is because it's just one of those spots in the road with a couple of eateries and a couple of gas stations.
We have eaten at The Apricot Tree before. I like going there just to look at the decorations. It has hundreds of classic old lunchboxes lining the rafters and the plexiglass partitions between booths.
The first thing I had to do when we arrived was to check in with all the cell phone places. (It has become so much more complicated since I have these neat cell phone apps to play with!) I took an Instagram and posted it and then posted to FourSquare with another lunchbox picture. That's when I read the reviews that others had posted. "Good Pie. Lousy Service" wrote Juanita. "Should have read the reviews. Steak from steak and eggs was bad...hard to mess up eggs and potatoes. Skip this place. Seriously," wrote Wei. Gerimac added "Go to Pea Soup Anderson's instead." Alicia said "Salty soup. Hair on plate. Grumpy server. No soap in bathroom. I'll go to McDonalds next time" and Anna said "don't bother, the food is disgusting. go to McDonald's next door." The reviews weren't all bad. They recommended the pie highly.
I had been here before, and knew the food was mediocre at best, but I'd never had any serious complaint. And already our waiter was super solicitous, so I disagreed with the comments about the service. I usually order a burger or a sandwich when we go to The Apricot Tree, but today I looked at all the items which included apricots and decided that when in Rome.... I chose an apricot waffle with sausage. It looked wonderful when it arrived.
I had opted for the apricot syrup instead of maple because this was The Apricot tree. I was a little disappointed to discover that the syrup container was sticky on the outside, and the syrup didn't "pour" but came out in clumps. But I persevered. It takes a lot for me to give up on a waffle.
Well, this was one huge disappointment. Despite the perfect look to it, it had the consistency of something that had been taken out of the freezer and plopped in the microwave for too long. It was dry and there was no amount of butter or syrup which could soften it up. And if there were apricots in the waffle, I certainly could not detect even a hint of them.
To make matters worse, about half way through the meal, the waiter brought me a nice bowl of apricots that had no apricot flavor to them at all. I couldn't tell if they were fresh or canned, but they definitely were not very good for a place that calls itself "The Apricot Tree."
We will probably go to The Apricot Tree again, because it's a fun place to sit in and look around, but I'll stick with burgers next time and skip anything with "apricot" in the name!
But we did arrive in Sacramento in time to get to the Fed Ex office before it closed, so Walt could get his phone replacement (he has been positively bereft with only his old flip phone to use!) and the dogs were very happy to see us when we got home. We got caught up on 4 episodes of Jeopardy and now all is back to normal again for a couple of days before we leave on our big trip.