D e s t i n at i o n k n o w n
A Southwest jaunt in very good taste
Beat the heat and take the family north for a picnic on the shores of Upper Pahranagat Lake outside the sleepy town of Alamo, Nevada. Pahranagat’s (Puh-RANuh-gut) spring-fed lakes are part of a wildlife refuge renowned for bird watching. Settle in for lunch under plentiful shade trees and keep your binoculars handy. For a truly adventurous side trip, a dirt road just south of the lake goes to Tikaboo Peak, where intrepid civilians can spy on Area 51. Difficulty: Easy. — Alan Gegax
food on THE GO Step up to the bar — the energy bar
18 | Desert
Whether you’re hitting the trail, the pavement, or even the books, energy bars have become a ubiquitous part of the American diet. Today, there are hundreds of choices, from uber-healthy to incredibly decadent. So how can savvy consumers determine which to buy? First, consider how a bar‘s calories are distributed. If you need quick energy, simple sugars get into the bloodstream fastest, but also leave the bloodstream
Companion | July 2012
stow. Peggy Sue’s ’50s Diner (peggysuesdiner.com) in Yermo was originally built in 1954 out of railroad ties. The restaurant now features a captivating collection of television and movie memorabilia. The menu is packed with all the old diner standards, and summertime is the perfect season for enjoying Peggy Sue’s sundaes, floats and malts. Also in Barstow is the Idle Spurs Steakhouse (idlespurssteakhouse.com), a hangout for wellheeled desert rats since the early 1950s. Originally a sprawling ranch house, the restaurant has several dining areas and a bar around an interior garden. The walls are festooned with photographs and memorabilia. The aged steaks and prime rib on the menu are excellent, and the garlic mashed potatoes alone are worth the drive. Only 90 minutes from Las Vegas, “The Beanery” (252-6165) is a great place for a road trip nosh. This historic railroad lunch counter is inside the beautifully restored Kelso Depot, which is also the official visitor center of the Mojave National Preserve. Farther away in Williams, Ariz., Twisters Soda Fountain (route66place.com) serves up classic hamburgers; a real jukebox and old-time tune selectors on every table help recapture the glory days of Route 66. Step into another time warp at the La Posada Hotel (laposada.org), built in 1929 in Winslow, Arizona. The waitresses at The Turquoise Room sometimes dress in vintage “Harvey Girl” uniforms. Influenced by native American tastes, the dishes on the menu are made from scratch, as much as possible from locally produced ingredients. — Mark Sedenquist
quickly, causing a “crash” later. For endurance, fats slow this process down. For strength, look for proteins. BalanceBar claims to have found the perfect balance of these three ingredients (but in truth, everyone’s needs are different.) For the budgetconscious, a $1 Great Value bar can give you the same portable calories as a $3 Pro Bar. For consumers who put a premium on environmental awareness and social responsibility, many
high-end bars contain all organic and vegan ingredients, such as Macrobar, while others, like Clif Bar, give generously to charity. The Mojave Desert adds another consideration to the mix: heat! The summer sun will turn a chocolate bar into a gooey mess. Same goes for semi-liquids like caramel. When the mercury goes up, stick to fruit and nut bars with sweeteners like honey. Eating a snack is much better than slurping it. — A.G.
pa h r a n a g at: ALAN G E G A X ; t wi s t e r s : p e t e r t h o dy
Natural wonders, roadside attractions, historical monuments, cultural icons — all great reasons to take a summer road trip. If they’re not enough to get you behind the wheel, consider that other great road trip delight: eating. Whether you stop at a fruit stand, lunch in a greasy spoon, or indulge in a five-star experience, dining is one of best ways to enjoy new locales. For good eats near legendary natural beauty, drive three hours northeast of Las Vegas to Parallel Eighty-Eight (paralleleighty-eightrestaurant.com) in the charming hamlet of Springdale, Utah. The restaurant boasts awesome views of Zion National Park, and Chef Jeff Crosland is widely known for his culinary skill. For more rustic ambience in just as spectacular a setting, head to Rim Rock Restaurant (therimrock.net) near the west entrance to Capital Reef National Park. Enjoy seared trout, smoked ribs and locally grown produce while enjoying views of the surrounding mesas through huge glass windows on the south side of the dining room. “Best-kept secret” is a good description for the nondescript café next to the pool at the 29 Palms Inn (29palmsinn.com) in Twentynine Palms, Calif. The chef here is highly regarded. If you’re lucky, you might see a Hollywood A-lister enjoying the signature fresh vegetables and fish dishes. Much closer to home are the creamy date shakes available at China Ranch (chinaranch.com) near Tecopa, Calif. Wind down a dramatic narrow canyon road to enjoy milkshakes flavored with the local fruit. (Be sure to take a drive through the date palm groves before you leave.) Drive back into time on old Route 66 near Bar-
The Gas Station Museum in Williams, Ariz.
Your guide to living in southern Nevada