The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 24, 1998 · Page 47
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 47

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, May 24, 1998
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Page 47
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At Nepenthe, order the "Ambrosiaburger" and watch the sun set over Big Sur. Ranch Country: Los Angeles to Pescadero LOS ANGELES HAS restaurants for every taste and budget, but it's especially rewarding for connoisseurs of informal, atmospheric urban eateries. Our favorites: Pink's, a haunt of both street people and movie stars for its raunchy chili dogs, and Philippe, where gravy-sopped French dip sandwiches can be enjoyed in a film noir setting with sawdust on the floor. Or, for the classic California burger in the cafe that never closes, there's the always colorful Original Pantry Cafe. With jasmine and orchids blooming everywhere, ocean vistas and year-round perfect climate, Santa Barbara does a good impersonation of paradise, with a bounty of good restaurants to match. Our siren song is La Marina in the swank (and pricey) Four Seasons Biltmore, where the cioppino (West Coast seafood stew) is scented with saffron and paired with garlic croutons. If the ocean air creates a yearning for health- ful fare, head for The Bakery, an Italian restaurant where the breads are fresh and vegetarian pizzas and pastas are a specialty. Decades ago, cattle roundups inspired a celebration meal that has become the signature of many towns west of the Sierra Madres: the Santa Maria-style barbecue. Beef sizzled over live oak wood is the centerpiece, accompanied by pin- quito beans, salsa and crusty bread. Locating such a meal on a weekend is easy. Drive through Santa Maria, and you'll find it cooked and served by service organizations (for charity's sake) in mall parking lots and streetside lots. Or drive west to Guadalupe, where the Far Western Tavern serves impeccable steaks in ranch-country surroundings. The coastal highway is awesome for its beauty, and there's no more magnificent view than from a table at the spectacular Nepenthe overlooking the waters of Big Sur as the sun sets. The hamburgers are dandy, especially the 'Ambrosia- burger," served on a French roll. Route 1 goes right past the old stage- stop town of Pescadero, home of Duarte's. It opened 104 years ago as a town cafe and way station for weary travelers. Today, with its mismatched tables and higgledy-piggledy decor, it remains an oasis of simple, down-home food such as pork chops and stuffing. Locally grown artichokes are a specialty, made into soups and morn! ing omelets, as are plump California berries that go into blue-ribbon pies. Mayor Richard Riordan, left, and Cardinal Roger Mahony at LA.'s Original Pantry Cafe - owned by the mayor himself. Pink*, 709 N. La Brea Aw.. Los Angeles: 213-931-4223. Philippe, 1001 N.AIameda St.. Los Angeles: 213-628-3781. Ortfbul Panto? Cafe, 877 S. Flgueroa St., Los Angeles; 213-972-9279. La Marina, 1260 Channel Dr., Santa Barbara. Calif.: 805-565-8238.1he BakarjT, 129 E. Anapamu SL, Santa Barbara, Calif.; 805-962-2089. FarWtstarnTanrn, 899 Guadalupe SL, Guadalupe. Calif.; 805-343-2211. Neoanttw, Routs 1, Big Sur, Calif.; 408-667-2345. Duartet, 202 Stage Rd.. Pescadero, Calif.; 650-879-0464. AUHOUGH PRESLEY pilgrims who come to Memphis favor Shoney's breakfast buffet (where you can eat as much bacon as Elvis did), we prefer to start the day with ham, biscuits and gravy at The Arcade. Nicknamed "Porkop- olis," Memphis is a leading barbecue city, with two distinct kinds of ribs: "dry," rubbed with spice and bursting with juice, but sauceless, as served at Charlie Verges Rendezvous, and "wet," glistening with sauce, a specialty of Gridley's II. For a fun, non-barbecue meal, try Automatic Slim's Tonga Club, with an eclectic modern menu and sledgehammer martinis; for a banquet to remember, go to Chez Philippe at the Peabody Hotel, where hushpuppies come stuffed with shrimp Provengal. Across the Mississippi into Arkansas, dot-on- the-map De Vails Bluff is home to Murry's Cafe, for a terrific catfish supper (Fridays and Saturdays only), and the Family Pie Shop, where Mary Thomas is a regional hero for her Karo nut pie. In Little Rock, you'll find what we've considered declaring the best steak dinner on Earth at the funky Doe's Eat Place. Heading north toward the Ozarks, stop at Feltner's Whatta-Burger in Russellville. The burgers are beauteous, the malts are too thick for a straw, and the service is impeccable. Finally, hi Rogers, don't miss War Eagle Mill, a restored 19th-century grist mill. Here you can buy corn meal and flour ground on the premises. The mill's Bean Palace Restaurant serves up country vittles like wheat germ biscuits with gravy at breakfast, and corn bread and pinto beans at lunch. The Arcade, 540 S. Main. Memphis; 901-526-5757. CharttaVirfM Renduwiu, 52 S. Second St, Memphis; 901-523-2746. aridity* II, 4774 SummerAve., Memphis; 901-761-0111. Autmutlc SHmt Tonga Club, 83 S. Second, Memphis; 901-525-7948. CtMi Philippe, 149 Union, Memphis; 901-529-4188. Murt/i Cafe, 109 Cypress St. De Vails Bluff, Ark.; 870-998-2247. family Pla Shop, Route 70. De Vails Bluff, Ark.; 870-998-2279. Doet Ett Place, 1023 W. Matkham, Little Rock; 501-376-1195. Feltner'iWhatta-Burgw, 1410 N. Arkansas, RusselMlle, Ark.; 501-968-1410. Wir lift Mill, 11045 War Eagle Rd.. Rogers, Ark.; 501-789-5343. C3 USA WEEKEND • May 22-24,19B8

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