a good day for a battle / dinapoli’s firehouse – barstow, ca

I’m really into Civil War stuff. I couldn’t tell you exactly why though; I took a Civil War history class in college and it stuck with me. I really enjoyed the class and that was when I discovered that, “Oh, hey. I like history. Neat.”

I’ve been to a few civil war battlefields in my life, mainly in Kansas and Missouri, so when we went to the Civil War Battle reenactment last year at Calico, I was surprised that they were even out here. Turns out, they’ll do a reenactment just about anywhere, even if it’s not based on truth. In Calico, the stage the battles over President’s Day weekend. They have “President Lincoln” there to inspect the troops and give his famous speech for everyone to hear.

[Lincoln inspecting the Union Troops]

They also have mini camps set up to show what a camp could have looked like, and tons of people come out with their collections of old civil war parafernalia (such as old guns, rifles, swords and even old cannonballs). You can talk to the people there, who dress up in period costumes and will tell you tons of great information that you probably would have never learned otherwise.

[Union Troops taking on the Rebel forces]

The battles are interesting to watch; and they’re very loud when the cannonballs start firing. I love watching people’s dramatic deaths. They really put their all into it. We saw one guy fall over a short wall and tumble down the side through the brush. I’d probably half-ass it I had been him.

[cool sign near the train depo]

We also went on a little train mine ride and learned that there had been a “Chinatown” of sorts in Calico – a very small area was where all of the Chinese lived. They also pointed out a place up near the Calico sign where an entrance to the mine is – which has about 4 million dollars worth of silver in it. But before you get excited and think you’ll go over to get all of the silver, our guide explained that it would cost about 6 million dollars to process all of that silver, making it so not worth it. Ah well.

[little baby puppy beagle]

The other thing that I thought was so awesome was the abundance of dogs at Calico! A lot of people brought their dogs along and this little girl just melted my heart. She was a 12 week old beagle who was sniffing around at everything and baying at the other dogs she saw. Totally. Adorable!

For dinner I had picked out what I thought was a cool looking spot. It was called “Bun Boy” and was a little diner down on Main Street. We drove out there after our visit to Calico, through many empty storefronts, for lease buildings and empty motel lots. We got the restaurant after 4PM only to discover that it had already closed for the day! I was in disbelief that it would close so early on a Saturday, but seeing the many, many empty storefronts around town, I guess it wasn’t that surprising after all.

Instead we visited a restaurant near our hotel called DiNapoli’s Firehouse.

The restaurant had a fun Firehouse related theme throughout the restaurant.

[Entrance at Di Napoli’s Firehouse]

There were lots of fire signs, firemen hats, hoses and even a fire pole in the restaurant.

[They’re big on the color red here!]

I dug it.

We got situated in a nice corner booth.

[Basket of Garlic Bread]

We started with some garlic bread. It was french bread cut into pieces with a slather of some garlic and butter. The garlic taste was pretty light.

[Potato Soup]

I was in a soup kind of mood, so I opted to try the Potato Soup with my meal. It was a very thick, chowder like soup with lots of potato and bits of other veggies in the mix. It was starchy and lacked flavor, which ended up being the theme for this meal… a lack of flavor.

There’s this thing out there… it’s called salt. Please use it.

[Garlic Spaghetti]

I decided to get the Garlic Spaghetti which was probably called something else since it came with fettucini. It had garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and some parsley on it. The pasta itself was cooked well but this dish really lacked flavor. I ended up putting a lot of salt and more cheese on it just to give it some kind of punch of flavor. Considering it was supposed to be a garlic dish, it seemed to lack garlic to me. I could see the garlic in it but it really just lacked basic seasoning. It was better after my additions and I ended up eating most of it.

[Spaghetti with Meat Sauce]

Jake’s daughter, A., also decided to get pasta for her meal. I don’t remember trying it but she liked it well enough. While the girls both got pasta dishes, the boys both got pizzas.

[Personal Pizza with Cheese and Olives]

Jake’s kids have some of strange love for olives. This is the personal sized pizza with tons of black olives on it.

There was no way I was going to try this. Ugh.

[Personal pizza with sausage]

This is Jake’s meatastic pizza. I think it’s supposed to be Italian sausage, but it sure looks more like meatballs to me. While I don’t remember that detail, I do remember that there was, again, a certain lack of basic seasonings here. Salt is your friend, folks. You should use it!

It wasn’t the worst meal ever, but it wasn’t the best. Though, considering the choices in Barstow, this is at least one of the only local restaurants left in an area that’s saturated with tons of fast food restaurants for the people who are only passing through.

DiNapoli’s Firehouse 
1358 E Main St
Barstow, CA 92311

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