Since I won’t be going home to California this summer, and I’ve realized this is the longest I’ve ever gone without setting foot there, I’ve been suffering from some Sunshine State withdrawals.
Having nothing else to say at the moment, I might as well pay tribute to some of my favorite chain restaurants that don’t show their lovely faces all the way out here in Arkansas.
Those of you Rum Creeters and Creeter Readers who reside in California or the surrounding states, please think of me next time you visit one of these restaurants. Think of me, and be sure to rub it in my face. Remember, I’m living vicariously through you.
I’m awful at picking favorites so this is in no particular order:
Original Pancake House. I lied about the no particular order, I guess, because this is my favorite place to eat in the whole world. I am so in love with the 49er flapjacks. They’re the size of a large plate, thin and gooey, and absolute perfection. I love the family-run atmosphere, too, even though it’s always very crowded. Totally worth it.
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. Two words: chicken katsu.
In-N-Out. This probably makes every Californian absentee’s list. And with good reason. I want some Animal Style fries right now…
Baja Fresh. Fish tacos make my mouth water. So I’m gonna go ahead and make the next one…
… Wahoo’s. Black beans and rice + fish tacos = pure joy. And that picture gets extra points because of the Cholula.
Carl’s Jr.I couldn’t find a picture that did either of my favorite burgers here justice. The promos don’t look like the real thing, and the real pictures people took look gross (but believe me, they taste so good). Plus most of the Carl’s Jr.’s around my place also have a Green Burrito restaurant in them, which is also tasty.
Apparently Hardee’s, though deceptively toting the same star logo and looking eerily like a Twilight Zone version of Carl’s Jr., is nothing like it. So disappointing. I’m craving a Western Bacon Cheeseburger with a side of zucchini and ranch. And a Famous Star. AT THE SAME TIME.
Del Taco. I used to be a Del Taco hater. I prefered Taco Bell for my fake Mexican food, thank you very much. But several years ago I saw the error of my ways and now I’m sad I didn’t soak up more chicken soft tacos while I had the chance. Also, interestingly, their hamburgers are unexpectedly aMAZing because Del Taco merged with Naugles hamburger chain way back in the 1980s.
Fatburger. I know I said I don’t pick favorites, but this one is another exception. As much as I miss Carl’s Jr. for regular fast food, and In-N-Out for fresher fast food, Fatburger is probably the best hamburger I’ve ever had. Plus there’s a jukebox!
Yes, most of them are hamburger places. Or taco places. But isn’t that what California is good at? Maybe next time I’ll put some of my favorite non-chain restaurants.