Apple Annie’s

Traveling through the San Joaquin Valley on the 99? Looking for something to eat? Why not try Apple Annie’s in Tulare?

We were driving south from one family gathering to another, and a late breakfast was wearing off. As it turns out, Apple Annie’s was a good choice.

Mr. Sandwich had a French dip sandwich, which he liked, and I had chicken-fried chicken. I’ve never been a huge fan of chicken-fried steak, but I cannot resist the siren call of chicken-fried chicken.

The success of this dish relies heavily on the quality of the gravy, and Apple Annie’s delivered. Thick, creamy, and flavorful, with just the right amount of spice. It was delicious, and totally made up for the canned green beans on the side.

Although I’m not normally a mid-day dessert person, Apple Annie’s has a collection of–you guessed it–apple dishes. After a little internal debate (the apple burrito sounded like it had potential), I ordered an apple dumpling.

It was more of an apple turnover, really, because it was encased in folded pie crust. But it was delicious, and came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

So Apple Annie’s was a winner. Although there are some other diners/coffee shops/etc. that we want to try, we’d be happy to stop there again.

Tacos Corona

The Valley is full of strip-mall taquerias. I will never be able to try them all. But that won’t stop me from trying a lot of them.

First up, for no particular reason other than I drove by it at lunchtime: Tacos Corona.

You order at the counter–at least, I did, since I was getting food to go–but there are tables in a surprisingly attractive seating area. I got three tacos: asada, carnitas, and fish.

The tacos were small, like street tacos, which makes sense considering the low per-taco price. I thought the asada and fish were good, if a tiny bit spicy for me. The carnitas was disappointing; it might be fine as roast pork, but it just didn’t seem like carnitas.

Still, this was a place to get a good, cheap meal in just a few minutes. Not bad at all.

It’s All Good

Do you like Persian food? I do, although I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about it. Still, I know what tastes good to me.

The aptly named It’s All Good House of Kabab is worth a second visit. I got a chicken kebab and chicken koobideh. I’m not sure about the koobideh, in part because I’ve never had it before. It isn’t bad, but I don’t know that it’s going to be one of my favorites. The kebab was delicious, though. And when I say “was,” that isn’t only the past tense. Although the meal cost about $16, I’m going to get three lunches out of it. In my book, that’s not a bad deal.

Urban Retreats Day Spa

I like to get a massage once a month. I’d say it’s my one indulgence, but let’s face it–I have a lot of indulgences.

Massages are among them. I really do feel better when I get them regularly. However, I am too cheap to pay for a fancy spa with marble and a steam shower. (I went to one with some friends for our shared birthday celebration earlier this year, and it was fantastic. I’m not knocking those. I’m just cheap.)

Our apartment was right around the corner from a day spa that met my needs; it was clean, the massage therapists did a good job, and it was very affordable. Then we moved.

For starters, moving involves stress and muscle strain. On top of that, it is disruptive to the schedule. So I’ve needed a massage more than I usually do, and I haven’t had one in a while. Then I spent an afternoon spraypainting our fence, and gave myself something that felt like carpal tunnel (holding down the button on a spray can is not that easy, it turns out).

A quick internet search turned up Urban Retreats. It’s not right around the corner, but it isn’t that far, either. The waiting area is a little shabby, but the rooms are minimalist in a nice way. My massage therapist was thorough both in our conversation before the massage, and in her focus on the areas most in need during the session. She also suggested a hot stone massage, which is probably a good idea, but costs enough that I’ll have to think about it. (On the other hand, it’s a longer session.)

At the end, I felt much better. In fact, I think it was a better massage than I got at the corner place in our old neighborhood. So I’m definitely going back to Urban Retreats. Soon, I hope!

The Eagle Has Landed

Not quite, but not that far off, either.

Mr. Sandwich and I were getting ready to go bike shopping, when all of a sudden we heard (and felt, faintly) two sharp thuds. It sounded like something had bounced off of the roof.

No, it wasn’t an earthquake (those are quite different). It was the Space Shuttle Endeavour landing at Edwards AFB, some 50 miles away.

You certainly don’t get sonic booms on the Westside.

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. Mr. Sandwich’s parents are coming over, and here’s what we’re feeding them:

creamed corn (recipe from Lawry’s)
roasted asparagus
cheesy potatoes
Triple Sec pound cake.

So what is everyone thankful for? I’m thankful for friends and family, and for our new home. Most of all I’m thankful, as I am every day, for Mr. Sandwich.