borrego springs road trip – part one

Jake and I have headed out east two weekends in a row, one for a day trip to go apple picking (this past weekend) and the weekend before we went out to Borrego Springs for quick weekend in the desert!

julian-pie-company-santa-isabel

Course… we had to stop for pie. I mean… duh.

julian-pie-company-take-n-bake-menu

They have Chicken Dinner Pie?! What? I really want to try that for some reason. Maybe next time.

pie-case-julian-pie-company

On this trip we got one Dutch Apple Pie (crumb top 4 lyfe!) and a bag of apple memories. I love the apple memories. It’s just pie crust with cinnamon and sugar but they taste SO GOOD.

eating-pie-out-of-the-box 

[terrible cell phone photo]

We ate the pie like this. With forks, straight out the tin. We didn’t have any knives or plates, so, whatever. Pie is pie. It goes into your mouth and is yummy.

anza-borrego-state-park-overlook

It takes about two hours to get out to Anza-Borrego. We went through Santa Ysabel and then north (away from Julian) and then east again through the mountains. We started rolling down the mountain and came upon this awesome little lookout point.

jake-mary-desert-overlook

I made Jake stop so I could take a few photos of us, the kiddos, and the view.

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It was in the 90’s. It was quite warm. It was amazingly quiet. No road noise. Nothing. Just stillness. I was surprised by how quiet it was.

We were just above Borrego Springs here and the rest of it is the Anza Borrego park. You can’t really see it in this photo, but off in the distance you can just make out the Salton Sea (which we also visited).

We got into town a little early and we weren’t able to check in yet, so we drove into town. Too bad I didn’t take more photos of the town. It was very small and mostly full of “yield” signs instead of stop signs (no stoplights in Borrego Springs). In the middle of town is a big rotary called Christmas Circle that takes you to the four different paths through town. We went down that way and decided to have lunch at a little place called Carlee’s.

Lunch at Carlee’s

red-booths

Carlee’s has got a bit of that “dive bar” feel to it. They have all of these high backed booths and in the middle is a bar. But, it also doubles as a restaurant so the kids could still be in here (they just can’t sit at the bar, of course).

idaho-nachos

[idaho nachos / $7.99]

The four of us split an order of Idaho Nachos to start with. I picked this since it sounded tasty and would be kid-friendly. It has onion battered potato wedges and is topped with cheddar and monterey jack cheeses, black beans, avocado and sour cream. I’m the only one in this group who likes avocado so I got that little pile to myself (SCORE).

The potato wedges were fried and tasted all right. The black beans were a little weird and kind of hard to eat with the wedges since you’d pick it up and it’s kind of slide right out of your fingers (was I supposed to eat this with a fork??). They were fine, nothing really exciting though either.

fish-n-chips-half

[fish and chips / $10.99]

Jake really wanted Fish and Chips so we split an order. Our waitress told us that she would get us our own sides (even though we were splitting) and I thought that was a really nice touch. Most places will just split your side, too, and not give you extra. I ordered the chips and Jake got the fries so we could try both.

fried-fish

Sadly the fish was very greasy and very oily. It tasted like the fish wasn’t fried at the right temperature and just became a grease bomb. I couldn’t really taste the fish beyond the grease and kind of gave us eating it after one piece. There are four pieces total for one dish, remember – this is just half! 

I preferred the fries over the chips and Jake seemed to prefer the chips over the fries. They’re also homemade chips but I felt they lacked seasoning. 

philly-cheese-steak-sandwich-split

[philly cheese steak / $9.99]

A and S shared a Philly Cheese Steak (also split for them and they each got there own side – love that). Neither of them like bell peppers and this thing was chock full of them! They had a huge pile between the two of them after they both meticulously removed all traces of bell pepper from their sandwiches. The meat was cut a little thick for a Philly and it had swiss cheese on top (I think that was S’s choice of cheese). It was on crunchy french style roll that was buttered and grilled. I had a little bite and I liked the bread, but the lingering taste of bell pepper was still there and the meat was just okay. The kids didn’t think the sandwich was all that great, either.

Carlee’s
660 Palm Canyon Dr.
Borrego Springs, CA 92004
(760) 767-3262

Carlee's Place on Urbanspoon

Visiting “The Mall”

the-mall-borrego-springs

We still had a little time to kill before check-in and so we decided to go visit “The Mall”. We saw it on our short drive in through town.

the-mall-with-jake-in-it

The Mall. It ain’t that big. It’s a strip mall with a grocery store, a realtor, a pizza place, and an Anza Borrego Desert shop and a few other places. The start of the season in Borrego is in October so a lot of these places closed early. We wandered a but through the Desert Pantry grocery store which has all your basic needs.

Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort

palm-canyon-hotel-rv-resort-borrego-springs-old-west

Finally it was time to check in to our hotel! We passed it on the way in and noticed just how cute the place was. It was recently renovated and spruced up. The owners put in about 2 million dollars to get it all cleaned and fixed up (that’s what one of the hotel workers told us). 

palm-canyon-hotel-rv-resort-borrego-springs-laundry

I adored how cute it was with it’s Old West town look.

palm-canyon-hotel-rv-resort-borrego-springs-boots-n-saddles

dance-hall-cantina

This is over by the pool area. 

palm-canyon-hotel-entrance-lobby

The lobby also felt cozy and very “old west”. 

palm-canyon-hotel-front-lobby

palm-canyon-welcome-area

There’s a restaurant and a “saloon”. The restaurant didn’t seem to be open and they were just serving food in the Saloon that weekend (more on that in another post). 

palm-canyon-hotel-room-beds

Our rooms were quite cozy and seemed larger than “normal” hotel rooms. 

palm-canyon-hotel-room-tv

In the back is a dressing area/closet with another sink outside of the bathroom. 

I felt the only thing missing from the room was a microwave! I had brought bags of popcorn but they had to go unused. The beds were fine. They were comfortable enough though not the best I’ve ever slept on. They were a true queen size so Jake and I had plenty of room in the bed. There was also a ceiling fan and central air that you could control on the wall above the mini fridge. 

I liked our room very much. We got a good deal on it since it was a LivingSocial deal. It was quiet and comfortable and we partook in the pool and jacuzzi later that night. 

anza-borrego-state-park-road

More Borrego Springs adventures to come in Part Two!

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 11+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

8 Replies to “borrego springs road trip – part one

    1. Hi Ciel – Yeah! It’s fun that here in San Diego the desert, the mountains and the beach are all just a short drive away no matter where you live in the city. There are so many landscapes and places to visit just in our own backyard! I loved Julian Pie Company’s pies but I also really like Mom’s Pies.

  1. Dutch apple crumb sounds good right now…

    We have never gone apple picking before. It sounds like fun, but a lot of hard work too, haha.

    Love the Mexican textiles on your beds!

    1. Hi CC! It’s not too bad, work wise. The trees are mostly low enough that they’re easy to pick and I just make Jake reach all the high apples. I’ll do a post about it soon!

    1. Hi Cathy – Thanks for the link! I was curious about the pie but didn’t have a way to store it. I should have gone one on our second trip but we are already thinking of going again when it’s cooler. I’ll be sure to try it then. October is always a busy month for us since it’s a very birthday heavy month!

  2. Mmmmmmmmmmm, crumb topping….I am drooling at those pies! yum! Chicken Dinner Pie? What is this madness?! What a cute looking hotel and a cozy lobby, I’d love to go out there and stay for a day! You and Jake are so cute!

    1. Hi Lauren – Chicken dinner pie, I know, right?! I gotta get one the next time we go. Hopefully it’ll actually cold sometime soon… 🙂 The hotel was really cool, I loved the look of it and I loved how small and quiet the town was. And also – thank you! 😀

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