Recently my father asked if I had been to a restaurant that he saw featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri on the Food Network called Tommy's Joynt.
My father described a familiar bright blue painted building on Van Ness Ave. I had never gone in because I thought it was just a bar. Last night I decided to give Tommy's a try.
Tommy's Joynt was founded in 1947 and I would say it definitely fits into the "Dives" category.
Once you enter the double swinging front doors you are greeted by a nostalgic old time saloon atmosphere where red gingham cloths cover communal tables. Immediately you find yourself in a zigzagstanchioned queue where you wait for your turn to order your meal. Depending on the time of day the line may be long, but moves fairly quickly.
Turkey dinners, spaghetti and meatballs, corned beef, mashed potatoes, green beans and more are all carved and served as you place your order. Pay the cashier (Cash Only) and then go find a seat. Your waitress will take care of your drinks on a separate tab.
Perhaps the best part of Tommy's Joynt is the price. Most complete meals are under $15.00. I got the open faced meatball sandwich and a slice of cake for under $8.00!
Coming from an Italian family, Tommy's really didn't have a chance at wowing me with their meatball sandwich. I found the meatballs to be too dry for my taste and the meat sauce that smothered the sandwich was a little cold.
I definitely want to go back for two reasons: 1. the price and 2. Guy Fieri actually recommends the turkey. (you can watch the clip of Diners Drive Ins and Dives here.)
For a Southern California boy July 21 means shorts, T-shirts, and flip flops.
Last night's evening news reported July as one of the coldest in history. San Franciscans have had to break out the Winter Wool Coats, Beanies, Scarves and "Black" Apex North Face Jackets. (That last item is a required wardrobe staple for the young business professionals in the City.)
I hope this can only mean that San Francisco's "October" Summer is going to be better than ever.
And Mr. Sunshine, if you are reading this, I welcome your return asap!
The whole family got together this past week for some relaxation and adventure which included a trip to Disneyland and California Adventure.
Above Sean and Amy eagerly wait for the Monorail to take the family into the Magic Kingdom. In a few short minutes we would be dropped off right in the middle of the park.
Both Megan and Grandma rocked their Gap Sunglasses. Insert shameless plug here (Available at 224 Gap stores across the nation for just $24.50)
Sean took in all the underwater sights on the Finding Nemo Submarine ride.
How cool is Grandma? She kept her sunglasses on while riding Space Mountain in the dark!
Megan and I just before riding Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
Now, in what I shall call "therapy" I will tell you Loyal Readers a story that has become a Casey Family Legend.
Shortly after the roller coaster Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened in 1979 at Disneyland my parents took my brother and I on the ride.
My six year old self had what I can only describe as a major melt down panic attack in the middle of the ride. I vividly remember trying to climb off the moving train.
As an adult riding on this roller coaster I slid back and forth on the seat as the train rounded each curve even with the lap bar firmly in place. I fully realize it was a miracle that I did not succeed in climbing out of the train as a child.
To permanently document the horror of my childhood I decided to film our ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in its entirety. Be sure to check out the 1:20 mark for some familiar faces.
While staying at Casade Casey over Fourth of July weekend I asked the concierge if there was any recreational activities available for registered guests. The concierge immediately recommended a round of golf at Sinaloa Golf Course in the adjacent community of Simi Valley.
Other than hitting a bucket of balls at the driving range; I had not played a round of golf in over ten years.
The concierge assured me that I would have a good time and told me that there was another couple staying at the resort that already had a tee time and I was more than welcome to join them on the links.
After the first hole it became clear that the three of us were equal in skill set and keeping score was not necessary.
It turned out to be perfect weather for playing the nine hole course.
By the ninth hole we each had experienced some good shots, some bad shots, some time in the sand trap, and some time for cheering for ourselves for a "putt" or "par" well done.
I was able to make last minute reservations for the "Garden Room" at Casade Casey in Moorpark for the Fourth Of July Holiday Weekend.
And for reasons I have never quite understood the City of Moorpark chooses to hold its fireworks celebration for the Fourth of July on the Third of July.
Rather than go watch the display from the park. It is more convenient to stand on the driveway and accept the fact that some of the low bursts are going to be blocked by the palm trees in the neighbors yard.
Here are some of the better pictures I took from the driveway on the Third of July. For optimum viewing click on the picture to see the image full size.