Taco
A taco from El Grullense Jal 5 in Santa Nella.

Place: El Grullense Jal 5

Category: Road Food, Mexican, Tacos

Website: https://www.instagram.com/elgrullensejal5/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/el-grullense-jal-santa-nella-2

Location: 12185 S. Hwy 33, Santa Nella, Ca 95322 

Date of visit: 2021 April 10

When I finally got about an hour and half from home on my cross-country road trip, I was getting really hungry. Santa Nella Village (at least the part by I-5) is a bunch of truck stops, gas stations, fast food places, and a Pea Soup Andersen’s. I would have gone to Andersen’s as it is on my hit list, but I was getting tired and it was almost closing time for the restaurant. Instead of a fast-food chain, I decided to check out a taco truck. It seems every gas station in this oasis off of exit 407, if not connected to a fast-food place, has a taco truck in the parking lot. I mostly randomly choose this one but the Arco gas was the cheapest in the area so that was the deciding factor. I have since been to another taco truck off this exit so there will be a post for that one. Spoiler alert: both were delicious!  

taco truck
El Grullense Jal 5 taco truck at night in Santa Nella.

I noticed this truck has a #5 on it. I am not sure if that means there are more trucks by the same owners or if this is the fifth version of this owner’s truck. An internet search finds other places (both trucks and buildings) with the same name so I think there might be a relationship but what the relationship is, is unclear to me. Regardless, El Grullense Jal is definitely not a huge multi-national corporation so good enough to make it to Ed’s Eats!

I decide to purchase one taco and one burrito. Both were amazing. Like most of these taco trucks they offer various meats and the two I had, carne asada and al pastor, were both perfectly cooked and seasoned. The toppings and condiments that came with the food were also tasty and the prices were good.

Burrito
A burrito from El Grullense Jal 5 inn Santa Nella.

One thing I liked about this taco truck is that they had some picnic tables under a tent. Since I stopped by at night the tent wasn’t important this time but during the day Santa Nella can get hot. The last time I drove through there during the day it was about 105 degrees! A lot of taco trucks have no seating so this is definitely a plus and I will be stopping at El Grullense Jal 5 again! You should too if you want tasty Mexican food and you are in the area.

Place: Hunter’s Drive Thru 

Category: Road Food, American, Burgers 

Website: http://huntersdrivethru.com/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/hunters-drive-thru-ely

Location: 1455 Aultman St Ely, NV 89301

Date of visit: 2021 April 10

Cheesesteak and fries from Hunter's
Cheesesteak and fries from Hunter’s Drive Thru in Ely, Nevada.

Hunter’s Drive Thru is located in Ely, Nevada. When driving into Ely I wasn’t very hungry but since Highway 50 is “The Loneliest Road in America” so if you are starting to get hungry or are getting low on fuel, you better stop while you got the chance. Besides, I really do like old-school drive thru’s and driver in’s. 

Hunter’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was driving through mid-day so I ended up getting lunch. More specifically, I got a cheesesteak and fries. The cheesesteak exceeded expectations and the fries were really good as well. The cheesesteak wasn’t Philadelphia good but the roll, meat, cheese, and everything else was tasty. I went at a busy time so the service was not as quick as it otherwise would have been but I still received my meal within a reasonable amount of time. The service was also friendly so no complaints there.

Instead of eating the food in my car or at one of their tables, I drove down the road a s minute or two and ate in Courthouse Park in the center of town which turned out to be a good choice as it was nice and shady.  I recommend considering doing that, especially if Hunter’s is crowded and there are no tables available. 

If you find yourself in Ely, skip the fast food chains chains on the edge of town and head here or to one of the other local places in town. 

 

Interior of JW Snack's Gulf Coast Bar & Grill
Interior of JW Snack’s Gulf Coast Bar & Grill in Craig, Colorado.

Place: JW Snack’s Gulf Coast Bar & Grill

Category: Road Food, BBQ, Seafood, Southern

Website: n/a

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/jw-snacks-gulf-coast-bar-and-grill-craig

Location: 210 E Victory Way Craig, CO 81625

Date of visit: 2021 April 8

On April 8 I decided to spend the night in Craig, Colorado. After evaluating my options for dinner I ended up at JW Gulf Coast Snack Bar & Grill. I expected it to be more of a pub with food but it turned out to be more of a local casual food style restaurant (think TGI Fridays or Applebee’s but smaller and more unique with better food). That said, part of me wonders if the feel would’ve been different without COVID restrictions. 

Pork poppers
Delicious Pork Popper Appetizer

For an appetizer I got pork poppers. I am not sure I’ve seen these anyplace else. They were basically what I think most people would guess: deep fried battered pieces of pork. And as people that like pork and deep fried things would guess, they were amazing. If you ever find yourself in Craig and you eat pork, you must get them. You will not be disappointed!

The food genre at JW’s was predominately southern. I decided to go with the blackened catfish but it was a tough choice because a lot of the menu items looked good. I choose the catfish because I used to eat it often when I lived in Alabama but you really don’t see it in California much. The cook did a great job and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t as good as the best catfish I ate in Alabama but it could hold its own in the South and it really hit the spot. The sides I got were dirty rice and baked beans. The dirty rice was okay but nothing to write home about. The baked beans, however, were pretty good and I’d get them again.

Blackened Catfish
Blackened Catfish from JW Snack’s Gulf Coast Bar & Grill in Craig, Colorado.

As far as the service, it was great. The server had good timing and I was never looking for her nor did I ever feel she was

trying to rush me out the door. She and the other staff were also friendly. My only real complaint was the beer selection wasn’t very good. They only had a couple of beers on tap and they were your typical American swill. The bottle selection wasn’t great

either but I did end up getting a decent IPA. I guess the moral of the story is to go here for the food and not the beer.

 

Food from Big Star Drive-In
A milkshake, burger, and pierogis from Big Star Drive-In

Place: Big Star Drive-In

Category: Road Food, American, Burgers, Ice Cream

Website: https://www.thebigstardrivein.com/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/big-star-drive-in-stroudsburg

Location: 1833 W Main St, Stroudsburg, PA 18360

Date of visit: 2021 April 6

On April 6, 2021 I started to drive across the country. My first food stop was The Big Star Drive-In in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It has been in existence since 1949 and is just off of Interstate 80 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

While waiting in line I started to talking to a few other customers and they said that all of Big Star Drive-In’s food is good, especially the ice cream. I decided to go with a cheeseburger with grilled onions and a side of pierogi. To drink I got a cranberry milk shake. Not a lot of detail is needed on any of these as they are not super-unique but they were all delicious. I really enjoyed burger and the onions were grilled to perfection.

The pierogi was good but if you lived in pierogi country it was probably nothing special. However since I live in California I found it to be a nice treat and I was glad I ordered it. I never had a cranberry milkshake before but it was what you would expected—a vanilla ice cream base with a sweetened cranberry syrup added it. It wasn’t too sweet though and it made a good combination. I’d get it again and if you like cranberries and milkshakes I think you should try it at the Big Star or anywhere else you see it.

Overall it was exactly what I expected for a drive-in established just after WW2. Tasty food served quickly for a very reasonable price but nothing fancy. Definitely worth stopping at a place like this instead of a fast food chain!

 

Photo of Big Star Drive-In
Big Star Drive-In located in Stoudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Place: Scrumptious Fish & Chips @ Corralitos Brewing Company

Scrumptious Fish & Chips
Scrumptious Fish & Chips

Category: Seafood, English

Website: https://www.scrumptiousfc.com/

Yelp: https://ww.yelp.com/biz/scrumptious-fish-and-chips-food-trailer-santa-cruz

Location: Santa Cruz area (This visit at Corralitos Brewing Co. in Watsonville)

Brewery website: http://www.corralitosbrewingco.com/

Date of visit: 2021 March 27

I can some up this blog post in one sentence: If you live in the Santa Cruz area and like fish and chips you most go visit this food trailer! Keep reading for more details.

On Saturday, March 27, 2021 I went to Corralitos Brewing Company to get fish and chips from the Scrumptious Fish & Chips food trailer. I’ve been following Scrumptious on Facebook for a while and have been wanting to try their food. I’ve been to Corralitos Brewing one time previously before the pandemic and it is nice location with good beer. If it was closer I’d go more but because I’d have to drive home from their I? can really only have one or two beers (if they are not strong) so generally it is not worth the effort for me. My only suggestion for them would be to change  the “lit” in their name to just a “d” because Corrado’s is a better name J.

Chips and Mushy Peas
Chips with a side of Mushy Peas

The owners of Scrumptious Fish & Chips are from a village named Dedham in England and they know what they are doing when it comes to fish and chips. The fish, at least the day I had it was Alaskan Cod. The fish was cooked perfectly and the breading was amazing. The chips were cooked perfectly. While the piece of cod I received was huge, the food was so good I went back and got more chips and small container of mushy peas. The mushy peas were also excellent. They also have some other English food offerings including bangers and chicken tikka masala. I’d really like to try them but the fish and chips are so good I am not sure I well except as a side.

I am a huge fans of fish and chips and I think Scrumptious Fish & Chips were the best I ever had in the United States. There are a couple of pubs in Monterey that make delicious fish and chips but they are not as good as Scrumptious’s offering (I’ll still order it at the local pubs though!). As I stated in the opening of this post, if you are in the area and like fish and chips you need to try these. Scrumptious is scrumptious!

Photo of the Scrumptious Fish & Chips trailer
Scrumptious Fish & Chips food trailer

Place: Mundos Sandwich and Burger House (Downtown)

Category: Sandwiches

Website: http://mundossandwichhouse.com/webster-street/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mundos-sandwich-and-burger-house-monterey

Location: 170 Webster Street, Monterey, CA 93904

Date of visit: 2021 March 21

It’s been a while since I posted but I have been keeping up with trying different food places—I’ve just been neglecting to post them. However, I plan to catch up on them soon.

The first one in my backlog is Mundos Sandwich and Burger House in downtown Monterey. I am not sure why I haven’t been here before but I have heard good things about it so it was definitely on my list to check out for Ed’s Eats. Unfortunately it appears I forgot to take any pictures of my visit so pardon the lack of photos of my food. My visit was on Sunday, March 21.

I decided to try the Philly cheesesteak sandwich. While it was delicious, I do not believe anyone in Philadelphia would recognize it as a Philly cheesesteak. The meat was similar but that is about it. The roll was nothing like a true Philly cheesesteak roll: it was a ciabatta roll. It was a good roll but not what I would prefer for my cheesesteak. The cheese, of course, was not wiz.

I think I made a mistake in going with the cheesesteak and should have tried something else. Like I said it was tasty but I was disappointed only because I was hoping for something different—that was my error as I should have not expected a real Philly cheesesteak. I have heard that their burgers and pork are excellent so next time I’ll try one of those two. As per normally during COVID, this was a to-go order so not a lot to say about service but they were friendly and my sandwich was made quickly.  

Pulled pork sandwich from Blazin’ Bayou BBQ Stand
A delicious pulled pork sandwich from Blazin’ Bayou BBQ stand at the Marina Farmers’ Market.

Place: Blazin’ Bayou BBQ

Category: Barbeque

Website: http://www.blazinbayoubbq.com/

Yelp: N/A

Location: Mobile (My visit was at the Marina Sunday Farmers’ Market, 215 Reservation Road, Marina, CA 93933)

Date of visit: 2021 March 7

On Sunday, March 7, 2021 I headed to the Marina Certified Farmers’ Market https://www.everyonesharvest.org/marina-certified-farmers-market/  that is held every Sunday from 10am to 2pm at 215 Reservation Road, Marina, CA. I didn’t go in search of a farmer or even produce (although I did pick up some vegetables) but I came in search of southern-style barbeque. The reason why I headed to the farmers’ market for barbeque was that Haley left a comment on a previous Ed’s Eats post that recommended it.

Before going on to the part about Blazin’ Bayou BBQ, a quick word on the Farmers’ Market. It was pretty small and there were only three actual farm stands. I assume they get a few more farmers in-season. The ones that were there though had a nice assortment of produce including some things you don’t find in a typical supermarket. ’I didn’t see any fresh meats for sale. There were a number of craft vendors and an assortment of food vendors including a taco truck, a sushi truck, kettle corn, and others food vendors. It probably isn’t worth the ride from a distance if you are just going there for vegetables but if you are in the area it is worth a quick stop.

Blazin’ Bayou BBQ specializes in southern-style BBQ. They had smoked pulled pork, smoked brisket,  smoked ribs, and Louisiana Hot Links on the menu. They also had a crawfish boil special (at least I think it was a boil, I didn’t the special on camera so I may be wrong but I know it was crawfish because I almost got that instead of my sandwich because I haven’t had crawfish since moving away from Alabama).

Blazin’ Bayou BBQ Stand
Blazin’ Bayou BBQ Stand at the Marina Farmer’s Market.

 

Although all of the menu items were tempting, I decided to go with the pulled pork sandwich which is probably what I get most of the time when it is available from a BBQ place. The brisket really looked good though! The pulled pork was delicious. I’d say it was in the top 10% of pulled pork sandwiches I’ve had and I’ve been to a bunch of BBQ places. It was definitely the best pulled pork I’ve had in California. It was tender and flavorful. Blazin’ Bayou BBQ put a large amount of meat on their sandwiches which is nice but the sandwiches are not inexpensive. I think it was either twelve or thirteen dollars for the sandwich. The amount of meat made it worth it, but as I said it is not a cheap sandwich. As far as service goes, the staff were friendly and made my sandwich right away so no complaints there.

Overall, I was quite pleased and I will definitely get food from them again. Besides the Sunday farmers’ market in Marina according to the website, as of this writing, Blazin’ Bayou BBQ also goes to Moss Landing near Power Plant Coffee on the weekends. However, as with all mobile food vendors, it is always good to check with them to be sure before driving there. Thanks for the recommendation Haley!

Place: La Papa Baked Potatoes & Roasted Corn food truck

Category: Food Truck

Website: https://www.facebook.com/La-Papa-Baked-Potatoes-Roasted-Corn-106680274139511/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-papa-baked-potatoes-and-roasted-corn-salinas

Location: Mobile, Sand City, CA 93955

Date of visit: 2021 March 3

 

Post No Bills
Post No Bills craft beer house at night.

On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 I went to Post No Bills Craft Beer House in Sand City but this is not a review of the best beer bar in the area. If you haven’t been to Post No Bills and you like beer, you should check it out. They have a nice selection of beer on tap (including almost always a quality German beer) and a good bottle selection. They also usually have a cider on tap if you are gluten free. While they do not sell hard liquor, I believe they also have wine.

Before the pandemic Post No Bills would often, but not always, have a food truck parked out front because they don’t have a kitchen. You could also bring your own food. However, with the current restrictions requiring them to sell food if they want to be open for anything besides to-go, they need to have a food truck in order to serve beer for the patio. One thing that is nice is they have a variety of food trucks and not the same one every day. I don’t think any of them have been bad, but of course it always depends what kind of mood you are in which ones are better.

On this day, they had a new-to-them food truck: La Papa Baked Potatoes & Roasted Corn. I have never had food from this food truck elsewhere so I decided to give it a try: after all I am a big fan of baked potatoes. I should state for the record, this food truck was not an actual truck, but an oven on a trailer and a tent but I consider any mobile food option that is not a hot dog cart a food truck for purposes of Ed’s Eats.

Baked potato
A baked potato from La Papa Baked Potatoes & Roasted Corn.

I got the standard potato which comes with sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, spring onion, and pickled jalapenos. I got mine without sour cream for the simple reason that I do not like sour cream. The potato itself was perfectly done. I expected a really good potato because you can’t expect to make any money with a baked potato food truck if you can’t make a good baked potato. However it exceed expectations. It was almost creamy inside. I am not sure what their trick is but if you like baked potatoes you will enjoy it.

The toppings were tasty and they put a good amount of them on the potato. They also offer meat on top of the potatoes for an added price. I believe they had both asada (beef) and carnitas (pork). I think if you are hungry you should go with one of these. While I didn’t try either, they looked good and of course, would be more filling than the regular offering. I didn’t try the corn so I can’t comment on that but I heard the roasted corn was also very good.

Service was quick and friendly and I’d say the price was fair: maybe not a bargain but definitely reasonable for what they offered. I think next time I partake one of La Papa Baked Potatoes & Roasted Corn’s offerings I’ll try one with meat on it because as I mentioned above they looked really good. As I said above, definitely check them out if like baked potatoes.

Bella Bee Food Truck
Bella Bee Food Truck

Place: Bella Bee Coffee Truck

Category: Food Truck, coffee

Website: https://www.bellabeecoffee.com/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/bella-bee-coffee-seaside

Location: Mobile, Monterey, CA 93940

Date of visit: 2021 March 2

On Tuesday, March 2, 2021 I tried the Bella Bee Coffee food truck for the first time. I have been following them on Facebook since I decided to start Ed’s Eats and they often post photos of homemade baked goods that look amazing so I was looking forward to trying them but the timing didn’t work out until now.

Sesame Orange Blossom Loaf
Sesame Orange Blossom Loaf from Bella Bee Coffee.

The special the day when I went was Sesame Orange Blossom Loaf. They also had an Orange Blossom Latte drink special. As people who know me would guess, I went with a regular coffee instead of  a fancy latte but I was talking to someone waiting for their drink and they told me the special drinks are always delicious. My coffee was really good. The Sesame Orange Blossom Loaf was good as well. You can tell the person who baked it was a talented baker. It probably wasn’t my favorite choice for a baked good just based on my general taste (and nothing to do with the preparation). However I still very much enjoyed it.

I would definitely get food and coffee from Bella Bee Coffee again. I will keep on following them on Facebook and if they have a fresh baked treat that seems like something I enjoy I will hop in my car and drive to their truck. Because Bella Bee Coffee is a food truck, they change locations but typically, at least as I write this, they spend an hour or so on Cass Street in Monterey and an hour in Ryan Ranch outside of Monterey Spine and Joint but check on their website or Facebook page to find their current times and locations before going.

Tita's Pupuseria Lonchera
Photograph of Tita’s Pupuseria Lonchera food truck.

Place: Tita’s Pupuseria

Category: Mexican, Salvadoran

Website: http://places.singleplatform.com/titas-pupuseria/menu

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/titas-pupuseria-buttonwillow

Location: 20645 Tracy Ave Buttonwillow, CA 93206

Date of visit: 2021 February 20

On the evening of Saturday, February 20 I was driving home from Bakersfield and wanted to grab a bite to eat. I took exit 257 off of I-5 to find something. This exit, besides having a few gas stations with cheap gas, has a TA truck stop,  various fast food restaurants, a Starbucks, and some local restaurants. One of them is Willow Ranch which has great breakfasts and other food. However, instead of going there or one the fast food places (despite the temptation of a Shamrock shake), I decided to pull over where there were two food trucks. Only one of the two was open and that turned out to be Tita’s Pupuseria.

Burrito
Burrito from Tita’s Pupuseria Lonchera

On Yelp Tita’s is listed as having Mexican and Salvadoran food. I was originally going to get tacos but I saw a gentleman with a huge burrito sitting at a picnic table so I changed my mind and ordered an asada (beef) burrito. The burrito included meat, rice, cilantro, and lettuce. I went with beef because carnitas (pork) was two dollars more for some reason. The asada burrito one was quite good and I’d get it again but next time I might try the carnitas (or perhaps some other option).

Since I recently wrote about another burrito I got in King City one might ask which was better. I’ d say they were different. I can see some people liking Tita’s better but for me, I liked Tacos La Potranca De Jalisco. That said Tita’s was really good and better than your run of the mill burrito. If I want a quick meal while driving past Buttonwillow I would definitely stop there before the Taco Bell down the street and I recommend you do the same.