Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hidden gems: Peggy Sue's 50's Diner

Ever just pulled of the highway looking for any diner or restaurant possibly open, or have you ever randomly walked down an alley and walked in to a place with an open sign not knowing what to expect? More then often you find something just OK or if you're unlucky something really bad. But once in a blue moon you find a place that exceeds anything you could have ever imagined. Be it a place to eat, a motel you find when you're so tired you cant keep your eyes open or a shop you walked in to out of plain curiosity. This is the essence of traveling, to explore and find places you never knew existed. These golden spots is what I call a hidden gem.

Back in our first road trip of 2006 while doing an exhausting but beautiful drive from Grand Canyons south rim towards San Diego we thought it would be a nice leg stretcher to stop and check out the Calico Ghost Town. An old deserted mining town turned into a tourist attraction located off the I-15 near Barstow, CA. After enjoying Calico which I might write more of in the future we were pretty hungry and drove into the nearby small town of Yermo. And there it was! This theme park of a diner sprung out of the Mojave desert.

Peggy Sue's was originally built in 1954 using railroad ties and mortars from the nearby Union Pacific rail yard. For reasons unknown to me it was closed for a long period only to be re-opened in 1987 with the owners trying to restore it to it's original state.

Now the idea of a 50's style diner is not at all an unique concept in the U.S. Many americans seem to look back at this era as an unequaled time of happiness and prosperity. However, the owners have gone to a great length to make this place feel genuine. And walking into the diner you feel as you have indeed traveled back in time. All the waitresses are dressed in authentic uniforms and the interior design is spot on! The menu sports a good variety of hamburgers and grilled sandwiches and with time typical deserts such as cherry pies and root beer floats. Portions are hearty and the service is flawless. I had a wonderful Veggie-burger and M had an enormous sallad. We actually enjoyed our stay so much that we returned to the place in our last road trip of 2010. One of the best road trips for many is the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas or the other way around and Peggy Sue's makes a perfect pit stop almost halfway in between the two. I would say it is a sin not to stop by if you get the chance.

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