05 Oct Day 2: 605 more miles behind us
So far, we leave behind a total of 1,083 miles of the Western United States.Â 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.Â We drove through the New Mexico border and stopped for lunch in Albuquerque at a somewhat hole-in-the-wall spot called Sophiaâ€™s Place.Â The style is Southwestern, with a little twist, and the Chef has worked at such establishmentsÂ as Chez PanisseÂ and Zuni CafÃ©.Â 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.Â The items were: scallop taco, shrimp taco, cod taco, duck enchilada, calabasitaÂ relleno, chicken taco, and pork carnitasÂ enchilada; all served with about four different salsitas.Â The scallops were cookedÂ perfectly as well as the shrimp and cod, and all three were servedÂ with a picoÂ de galloÂ and a squirt of cremaÂ fresca.Â The calabasitaÂ rellenoÂ (zucchini, corn, and cheese stuffed into a pasillaÂ chile) was roasted not battered and fried, which was a refreshingÂ treat, and was toppedÂ with an out of this world tomatillo, coriander, and cumin enchilada sauce.Â The star of the show was definitely the pork carnitas.Â They were â€œmelt in your mouthâ€ amazing and had so much actual pork flavor without being too greasy.Â Â Worth noting as well was a tomatillo salsa that was both temperature hot and spicy hot.Â Delicious.
Onwards to the Great State of Texas!!!!Â (That one was for you Grant)Â 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!Â Well, I donâ€™t actually know what the identifying markers are for a real cowboy, but they looked like cowboys, I guess?Â Cowboy hats, boots, wranglers, driving big trucksâ€¦ One mayÂ have even been chewing hay!
We arrive at our destination and itâ€™s everything we expected it to be and moreâ€¦ The Big Texan Steakhouse and Inn.Â Itâ€™s as if we stepped into the lot at Universal where they filmed The Three Amigos!Â 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!Â The day that we arrive, three men had tried, and three men had failed.Â I loved this place and the euphoric feeling it gave me; which my mother informs me must beÂ reminiscent of my exciting childhood trips to Chuck-E-Cheese.Â So what if I like singing animals mounted to a wall and servers playing the role!Â Itâ€™s like Disneyland for grown-ups, with steak instead of horrible cheese pizza.Â Highlights on the menu would be the Titoâ€™s VodkaÂ sold here that is madeÂ locally in Austin and pretty damn good, as well as the â€œHowlersâ€ which are thick jalapeno slices battered and fried and a teeny bit spicy.Â We each had steaksÂ of course, that were cooked perfectly and the service was above and beyond.
Another successful day on the roadâ€¦ Today we hit Oklahoma City and end up in Little Rock for the night!
**I should also note that if you would like to see ALL the photos from this road trip I am making them available here.Â 🙂