Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Longhorn Saloon & Grill

(Visited December 17)

Eighty-five miles!

That's how far I drove, 85 miles...for a hamburger!

Am I nuts, or what?

My destination was the "Longhorn Saloon" in Edison, Washington up in the Skagit Valley

Edison is a small, out of the way (and I mean that quite literally) place, and if you didn't know it was there you really wouldn't know it was there.  Hey, it's not even a town! 

(Here's a bit of trivia: newsman Edward R. Murrow graduated from Edison High School.  How about that?!)  

The U.S. Census Bureau calls Edison a "census-designated place" (CDP), but I'd call it a community; a community of 133 people living in 59 "housing units" (more "government speak").  There are a handful of shops, a cafe, a couple of galleries, a liquor store and two taverns/ restaurants.  Our destination, the "Longhorn Saloon", is one of these.

So, if this place is so "out of the way", just how did I find out about it?  Well, several years ago we lived on Whidbey Island and we would go through Edison on our way to Chuckanut Drive for oysters or to go up to Bellingham.  Just about every time we went through Edison we'd say, "We need to stop here some time.", but we never did; we were always on our way somewhere else.

But not today!

While I'd been by the "Longhorn Saloon" on many occasions and it always seemed they were busy, I had never actually heard anything about the place.  I looked them up on the internet and could find no website, but I did find several references and reviews on other sites.  The general buzz was favorable, and that only made me want to see for myself all the more.

Edison Slough

We got there a little after noon and parked in their parking lot out back overlooking Edison Slough.  There were already nearly a dozen customers when we got there, but the place was far from full.

We started out with a couple of shots of Jameson and a couple of beers, Sam Adams Winter Lager for me and a Stella for my wife.  We began our meal with a dozen oysters each, not on the half-shell, although that's how they're billed on the menu, but presented on an oyster plate with an assortment of accouterments. Good, but I prefer the "half-shell" presentation; with that you can be fairly certain that, having ostensibly just been shucked, your bi-valves are quite fresh.  I don't mean to imply in any way that these oysters weren't, I'm just sayin'.

While perusing the burger section of the menu, I had zeroed in on their "Double-Double" (double meat, double cheese, double bacon, along with your traditional garden representatives...lettuce, onion and tomato).  After my experience at Hodad's with their double bacon cheeseburger, and taking into account the dozen oysters, I was expressing reservations at my ability to finish such a burger.  Ron, a rather large fellow at the next table who had ridden his Harley over from Oak Harbor just to wrap himself around said "Double-Double", allowed that, oysters or no, he thought the "Double-Double" was do-able.  Well OK, if Ron thinks so, that's good enough for me!

My wife went for the fish-and-chips, and was sorry she did.  The fried frozen cod was watery.  She was wishing she had gone the way of the burger; I know I was glad I had.  When the burger came I dove right in; hey, I'd just driven 85 miles for this, and I was ready!  Tasty, juicy beef, melted cheese, crispy bacon and fresh lettuce, onion and tomato, all on a bun that, while not "artisan", was fresh and did its job without falling apart.  I'm sorry to say I neglected to get a photo of my burger.  After driving an hour and a half to get this burger, I immediately started in on it and didn't think about the photo until I was half-way through it.  I did take a photo of it at that point, but let me assure you that a half-eaten burger just doesn't have the same visual allure as one that hasn't been ravaged by a famished road warrior.

Ron was right, the "Double-Double" was do-able, and it left my mouth very, very happy.  So, as you might guess, this burger, on my three tier scale of "worth the trip", "worth a stop" or "drive on by", rates a "worth the trip"...even an 85 mile trip!  I can't say that I'd drive 85 miles for a burger anytime somebody drops a hat, but today I was glad I did.

The Longhorn Saloon & Grill is located at 5754 Cains Ct in Edison, WA, where McTaggart Avenue meets Gilkey Avenue.  They don't have a website, but they do have a phone and they can be reached by calling (360) 766-6330.  Don't be afraid of the drive out there; it only seems like it's in the middle of nowhere, and once you've been there you'll know that it's really in the middle of "somewhere".

Longhorn Saloon & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Randy Jones All American Sports Grill (San Diego)

(Visited November 22, 2011)

Note:  Randy Jones closed its doors May 31, 2014.

Randy Jones All American SportsGrill wasn't on my radar, I didn't even know of its existence, but that's where we ended up.  The menu seemed to have something for everybody, it wasn't overly priced and, since it's an "All American Sports Grill", they have burgers!

Randy's is located smack dab in the middle of San Diego's Mission Valley, and seems to be everything one would expect of a hip, relatively upscale sports bar in a world class sports town.  You've got your pool tables, you've got your 22 hi-def flat screens throughout, you've got your 14 ft. projection screen in the lounge, you've got young and attractive wait staff, and you've got your 25 beers on tap, assorted bottled beers and a full bar with specialty cocktails and assorted wines by the bottle, and you've got All-American, National League All-Star, National League Cy Young Award winner and All Around Nice Guy, Randy Jones.  What more could you want?

How about a good burger?

I ordered the "Padre Burger" which is a "hand crafted patty made with fresh Midwestern 100% USA Certified Beef" with American Cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, American Sauce (whatever that is) all on what looks to be a well crafted artisan bun.  A side of "Idaho Potato Fries" is included.

When it was delivered it was a sight to behold, but unfortunately somebody back in the kitchen must have been painting by the numbers because that's where the burger peaked.  The meat was bland and the bun, that "well crafted artisan bun", was stale.  How, in "a hip, relatively upscale sports bar in a world class sports town" do you serve a burger, even a bland burger, on a stale bun?  Did the bread truck not come that day?  Was there such a run on burgers that you had to go the "bull pen" for a stale bun because that's all you had left?  Or maybe you mistakenly grabbed a bun from the pile headed for the local food bank instead of the fresh pile.  I don't know, but this burger, one of the "Big Bopper Burgers" on the menu was nothing more that a blooper, a little dribble down the first base line for a quick and easy out.

This burger, on my three tier scale of "worth the trip", "worth a stop" or "drive on by", sadly rates my first "Drive On by".

Sorry Randy.

Randy Jones All American Sports Grill is located at 7510 Hazard Center Dr. Suite 215 in San Diego's Mission Valley.  They can be reached by phone at 619-296-9600 and on the web at

Randy Jones on Urbanspoon