Headed down Highway 80 last week we checked Yelp to search for lunch in Colfax, CA. Cafe Luna had everything reviewers said - a warm greeting from friendly owners, a delicious special (a healthy cross between a tostada and a quesadilla) and very entertaining local patrons. The local gossip is about what the new owner might do with the old theater in town.
We got into the Yelp habit on our road trip last fall. Our ride to Oklahoma was our first mobile technology assisted road trip. We never ate fast food because Yelp helped us find "Main Street" cafes. We used Wikipedia to learn about every small town we passed, discovering that a lot of them were railroad stops. As soon as I had bars on my phone I could find out what Boron is used for. I call the internet "the end of speculation". I love knowing the population, the demographics and the answer to "what do these people do out here?"
Our motel in Kingman, Arizona was surrounded by chain restaurants but thanks to Yelp we found Sirens Cafe which led us to the old downtown. The cafe was loaded with cute personality - mermaids in the desert.
A huge Yelp standout was in Winslow, Arizona when a reviewer undersold La Posada, a gorgeous restored Harvey House hotel. I had great pozole and loved their secret garden. If we had done one bit of research before taking off on the trip I would have targeted La Posada. I am so happy we didn't miss it.
As we made our way east we sought out bits and pieces of Route 66. One hungry morning we held out for Tucumcari, New Mexico and discovered that Kix on 66 indeed has pancakes that are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
On the way back west in Custer, South Dakota we had an elegant lunch at the Sage Creek Grille.
After a couple of days of making tuna sandwiches at rest stops on the road we turned off early in the morning at Dillon, Montana at Sweetwater Coffee to get a latte and we packed a couple of their delicious sandwiches for lunch later.
One of our most remote treks was across Idaho through Craters of the Moon National Monument. At Pickles Place in Arco, Idaho we got a friendly greeting, a clean restroom, a group of senior locals who teased us, and that road trip classic, afternoon pie.
I think it is cool that what is new - the amazing technology on my phone, helps us find what is old. And good.