Our second weekend away proved to be just as gluttonous as our first. This weekend, I was determined to enjoy, but not overindulged, as my lesson learned at the Stratosphere was still fresh in my mind. We made Waffle Works in Lake Arrowhead Village our first stop. When we went in July, I ordered a Monte Cristo Waffle Sandwich, which was okay, but just can't compare to the simplicity of their fruit waffles. This time, i went with a peach melba waffle.
Peach Melba Waffle.
The peach melba waffle was the right choice all of the way. It's like having pie for breakfast! In my book, pie is an anytime food. I also love how Waffle Works offers a variety of flavored creamers. I can drink coffee with vanilla cream all day long. I probably shouldn't, but I could.
September is a great time to visit Arrowhead, as we didn't encounter waits for anything. The last time we visited Waffle Works, this patio was jammed with people waiting to be seated and we had to wait an hour.
Waffle Ghost Town.
In addition to Waffle Works, we also went back to Bin 189, the steakhouse located in our hotel, the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. It was another quiet dining experience. There was a crying baby at an adjacent table, but the family was finishing their dinner and left before we placed our order. Both our server and the manager offered to move us away from the baby. Great staff at Bin.
I should have written down specifics of the meal to tag the picture, but I was in vacation mode and not thinking ahead. I will do my best to be specific. All of the food was excellent though and we all left, full and happy.
Here is my spinach salad. On the menu, it was listed as a side-salad, but it is clearly meal sized. It was so completely delicious, that next time, I will go with this salad and the rare tuna appetizer as my meal. The best part of the salad was hunks of brie cheese.
My enormous and delicious side salad.
The tuna appetizer that Dan ordered.
Dan's mom had humus with pita bread.
Dan's dad had the daily soup starter. I think that it may have been lobster bisque.
Lobster Bisque starter.
I'm not sure how I missed it, but I have pictures of all the main courses, except mine. I had a spicy grilled salmon, that was very good, although I think that I prefered the steak that I had on the last visit. Dan and his dad both had the steak.
Dan's mom is vegetarian.
Just like he did last time, Dan went with the cheese platter for dessert.
Fruit and cheese plate.
Knowing that I would burst if I ordered more food, I stuck with an alcoholic coffee beverage. It was a twist on Irish Coffee and probably had more calories than if I had just ordered dessert. Totally worth it though!
The next morning, we committed a three-peat and went back to the Old Country Coffee Shop that Dan and I went to on our last drive to Big Bear.
A must stop for breakfast.
I don't know how anyone could see it and not stop. It's a great hole-in-the-wall experience that feels very americana. Plus, they have these cool coffee cups.
Local coffee cups
In Big Bear, we stopped for a mid-afternoon coffee and snack at a local recommended (and highly praised on Yelp) spot called The Copper Q.
A must stop for a snack in Big Bear.
The Copper Q was so yummy and completely adorable, that I actually said that if I worked there, I probably be happy all of the time. It was just such a unique coffee-house. In the back, they had a giant kitchen with bar stools around the stove island and a chef gives cooking demonstrations. Did I mention that my lemon bar was amazing? The Copper Q is a must do when visiting Big Bear. There is no reason to go to a Starbucks, if a place like this is right in Big Bear Village. Go. Now.
Our first night dinner in Palm Springs was at a Cheesecake Factory, which was walking distance from the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa. There is not much to report, as I think that most people have eaten at the mega chain. I used to not like the Cheesecake Factory ( except for dessert), but I've come around and in the last few years have found menu items that I have enjoyed.
Our stay at Rancho Las Palmas included breakfast at the Blue Ember Restaurant, located on the property.
Going with the theme, they have a blue fire pit at the entrance.
The restaurant is very pretty and would probably have been nice for dinner. The breakfast was okay. We went with the buffet, that had both hot and cold choices. It didn't have a huge selection, but included most things that a person might want at breakfast. Overall, it wasn't a very memorable dining experience.
If you see a giant pig statue, you have to stop. You just have to. Or maybe I just have to stop. In any case, we stopped to take a picture of the pig in front of Babe's in Palm Springs (located at The Lakes complex, near Cheesecake Factory) and wound up eating there.
Inside, they had more pig statues, lots of them.
Babe, it's what's for dinner.
The name Babe's is sadistic enough, but all of the pig statues really drive it home that this is the place to eat some pork. Babe's is very clearly a Texas BBQ place and the server was very detailed when explaining the offerings. In addition to the pigs, they have the following decor on the wall.
I love good BBQ. Babe's is a chain restaurant, although I am not sure how big and they have their own award-winning sauce that the server was very proud to explain. I stuck with something that I know I always like, a BBQ pulled pork sandwich washed down with sweet tea. Sweet Tea is a must get everytime I see it on the menu.
It was good, but I have had much better in local BBQ dives. The Sweet tea had a chemical taste, like it was mass manufactured and came out of a fountain. The BBQ sauce was more smoky than sweet and although it was good, my preference is sweet. I also didn't care for the lack of healthy options for side dishes. If I am going to eat fatty BBQ, I like to pair it with veggies or a salad. Dan's mom had a vegetarian entrée salad that looked absolutely delicious. I would give them another try, but would probably steer clear of the pulled pork and go with a salad.
As amazing as it was to have two weekends of great food, I was kind of glad to get back to simplier meals. I even managed to luck out and hardly put on any weight. I have no idea how I escaped packing on the pounds!