Day 2: 605 more miles behind us

Day 2: 605 more miles behind us

So far, we leave behind a total of 1,083 miles of the Western United States.  We left Flagstaff at 7:40 a.m. and consumed an extremely healthy roadie breakfast consisting of: gas station coffee; pre-packaged mandarin orange slices; and corn crunchies.  We drove through the New Mexico border and stopped for lunch in Albuquerque at a somewhat hole-in-the-wall spot called Sophia’s Place.  The style is Southwestern, with a little twist, and the Chef has worked at such establishments as Chez Panisse and Zuni Café.  Of course, my mother immediately starts chatting with the cooks in the kitchen and we each score ourselves custom Four Item Sampler Plates for a great price.  The items were: scallop taco, shrimp taco, cod taco, duck enchilada, calabasita relleno, chicken taco, and pork carnitas enchilada; all served with about four different salsitas.  The scallops were cooked perfectly as well as the shrimp and cod, and all three were served with a pico de gallo and a squirt of crema fresca.  The calabasita relleno (zucchini, corn, and cheese stuffed into a pasilla chile) was roasted not battered and fried, which was a refreshing treat, and was topped with an out of this world tomatillo, coriander, and cumin enchilada sauce.  The star of the show was definitely the pork carnitas.  They were “melt in your mouth” amazing and had so much actual pork flavor without being too greasy.   Worth noting as well was a tomatillo salsa that was both temperature hot and spicy hot.  Delicious.

Onwards to the Great State of Texas!!!!  (That one was for you Grant)  After immediately driving into the state, I drove right over a tarantula crossing the open highway, and the first stop for gas delivered cowboys, real ones!  Well, I don’t actually know what the identifying markers are for a real cowboy, but they looked like cowboys, I guess?  Cowboy hats, boots, wranglers, driving big trucks… One may have even been chewing hay!

We arrive at our destination and it’s everything we expected it to be and more… The Big Texan Steakhouse and Inn.  It’s as if we stepped into the lot at Universal where they filmed The Three Amigos!  This is the restaurant with the 72 oz. Steak Dinner Challenge; finish the entire Steak Dinner in under an hour and the meal is free!  The day that we arrive, three men had tried, and three men had failed.  I loved this place and the euphoric feeling it gave me; which my mother informs me must be reminiscent of my exciting childhood trips to Chuck-E-Cheese.  So what if I like singing animals mounted to a wall and servers playing the role!  It’s like Disneyland for grown-ups, with steak instead of horrible cheese pizza.  Highlights on the menu would be the Tito’s Vodka sold here that is made locally in Austin and pretty damn good, as well as the “Howlers” which are thick jalapeno slices battered and fried and a teeny bit spicy.  We each had steaks of course, that were cooked perfectly and the service was above and beyond.

Another successful day on the road… Today we hit Oklahoma City and end up in Little Rock for the night!

Cheers,

Monica

**I should also note that if you would like to see ALL the photos from this road trip I am making them available here.  🙂

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