Sidenote: I’ve put up an image/link on ways to help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda, as referred to in the Philippines) in my sidebar. I visited Tacloban City as a child and cannot imagine the devastation that’s happening there in the aftermath of the typhoon. We have heard through the grapevine that our immediate family is okay and can only hope that continues to be the case. If you can donate anything, please do! Okay, back to blogging…
I’ve had a week to absorb the fact that vacation is surely and truly over, so now it’s time to start reliving some of it!
Before we headed up to Big Bear, we actually stopped at Cream Pan in Tustin for some strawberry croissants. Yes, it was out of the way. But was it worth it? Oh hell yeah! We also tried a couple of other things to round out our breakfast trip:
Tender, flaky, buttery, beautiful ham and cheese croissant, picked out by our wise friend, Chris.
Jake picked out this delicious sweet and savory hot dog bread. Doesn’t it kind of look like it’s glistening?
And the famed strawberry croissants which were just as delicious as the first time Jake and I had them. After one bite, Chris agreed that it was worth the trip.
After hitting up Cream Pan, we went to Wal-Mart in search of some last minute items (thermals for Chris and snow chains for the car).
We didn’t manage to find the snow chains, probably because we were still in Orange County far from any snow… but Jake did find this sweet owl hat. I know he looks a little stoned in this photo, but I promise you, he isn’t.
We were going to head up into LA to grab lunch, but with the impending storm and the time nearing rush hour traffic, we decided to forgo it and just head on up to Big Bear.
This is how the road looked at the bottom of the mountain.
And here’s how it looked traveling further up the mountain… almost no visibility. Luckily it didn’t start to snow until we actually got into Big Bear.
Chris is from Florida and has never seen snow in person before. This was a trip for him! Right when we pulled in to check in, it started to snow and here’s his first reaction to being in it!
Look at us, enjoying the snow.
Or well… snowy ice crystals. Whatever.
After checking in and checking out the super cute house we were staying in (more on that later) we headed out for a late lunch in the Village. Our destination: the Teddy Bear Restaurant! Here’s a view from our table where you can see a bit more snow sticking to the ground.
The Teddy Bear Restaurant is a homey diner/family restaurant. There’s a countertop and tables and antlers up in the corner over there.
Chris and I both got dinner salads with our meals. Mine is the one smothered in blue cheese dressing. Decent, maybe a tad too much dressing.
We shared a side of onion rings. These were pretty good. Nice exterior which held together even after a bite through it. I always hate it when you bite into an onion ring and all the onion comes out in that first bite. That didn’t happen here!
[fried egg burger – bacon cheeseburger topped with fried egg / $8.99]
Chris got the Fried Egg Burger. Instead of fries, he got a side of mashed potatoes and gravy.
[chicken fried steak burger – bacon cheeseburger topped with fried egg and a chicken fried steak / $10.99]
Jake got the Chicken Fried Steak Burger… which is like an egg burger but you know… with a chicken fried steak added on! He got white gravy on the side as well and put that on the burger:
Haha, oh man. It looks giant just from this photo! Jake let me have a bite and I could barely get around it. I thought it was a bit too much and a bit overkill to put a chicken fried steak onto a burger. I’d eat a chicken fried steak sandwich (and I have) but both was a little too much. And the egg was way too much for my tastes, but I’m in a weird “I-don’t-really-like-eggs” mood still. Jake liked it, but he also thought it was a little too much and that the gravy wasn’t that great. He thought the chicken fried steak itself was just okay, too.
[monday special: homemade chicken pot pie / $8.89]
I decided to check out the special of the day, the homemade chicken pot pie. There were some Yelp reviews raving about it so I figured I’d check it out. With the special you only get the pot pie and a soup or salad. I wish I had sprung and gotten mashed potatoes, but considering I didn’t even finish eating this, maybe not.
The pot pie was HUGE – easily at least two servings. The crust was nice and flaky and tasted really excellent. The innards had pieces of chicken plus gravy and veggies (peas, carrots, mushrooms and other bits). I liked the overall flavor though I could do without all the green peas. I still like the simple pot pies at the Chicken Pie Shop a bit better, but the crust here is really, really good. It was a nice warm and hearty meal before we trekked back outside in to the cold!
It started snowing a bit more after dinner and we made one run to Stater Brother’s to get everything we needed in case we got snowed in the next day. We decided on just risking it and did not get snow chains after a local said we should just wait and see if we really needed them, since they cost about $60-$70 bucks. Luckily it didn’t snow that much that we needed them!
[french apple mini pie]
We were too full to eat dessert at the restaurant, but we took some pie to go and I photographed it in the background on the snowy railing!
This is the super cute mini french apple pie in it’s own little tin. The topping was quick thick on top and was only sugar/spices/butter. No oats here! The inside of the pie had apple filling with caramel. The apple pie was really yummy. The crust was nice and flaky and the apple pie filling had just the right amount of spices. The caramel enhanced the flavor and didn’t make it overly sweet (which I was a little afraid of) but instead extra delicious. I’d definitely order this again!
The pecan pie slices were equally as delicious with that perfect homemade crust. This was a tiny bit on the nuttier side, but the nuts were all nice and large and it still had a good amount of the gooey pecan pie filling. The pecans tasted fresh and retained their crunch even after a couple of days. Super, super good!
Teddy Bear Restaurant
583 Pine Knot Blvd.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
After dinner, we settled in for the night. The house we rented had it’s own little patio with a jacuzzi in it!
This is the patio when we first got there. Just a light dusting of snow. By the time we went out into the jacuzzi, it was dark and in the 20’s and there was more snow covering the steps/patio. It was really nice and toasty in the jacuzzi, but the moment I got out I started shivering and almost shaking! It was fun though and it sort of snowed/hailed on us the whole time we were out there.
This is the patio the next morning in a fine layer of snow!
More Big Bear posts to come, stay tuned.