civil war in huntington beach + johnny reb’s bbq in orange, ca

It’s no longer a secret that I like Civil War stuff.

Well, it was never really a secret to begin with. But it’s kind of one of those things I’m shy to share about myself – seems like kind of a nerdy, geeky thing to like. I’m a nerdy, geeky kind of girl though. History is neat.

[signs to camps]

The Civil War Reenactment in Huntington Beach, CA is a very impressive event to attend. There’s two separate camps, a small town called Reedsberg and an impressive battle filled with troops and lots of canon fire. There’s also tons of people to talk to who are more than happy to share a little bit of history and knowledge with you.

I just love walking around the camps, seeing the uniforms and getting a feel for the place.

[the confederate camp tents]

There were people set up and cooking and people just doing their “day to day” thing within the camps.

[the undertaker was in]

We also visited the undertaker.

[my poor baby, ready for viewing]

Jake stuffed himself in a coffin and I photographed it. I refused to get in myself. But I’ll happily take photos of others in the coffin.

[more tents in the confederate camp]
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great bao – las vegas, nv

For our final meal in Vegas, I wanted to go somewhere a little off the beaten path – at least, off of the beaten Strip path. After we checked out of the hotel and got everything together, we headed over to this little strip mall just a couple of miles away from the Las Vegas Strip.

To a beauty salon.

[Great Bao Cafe is inside – there’s food beyond these doors, promise!]

My cohorts were pretty skeptical about this one. Food inside of a beauty salon? Is that even healthy?

The fact that it’s in a beauty salon just intrigued me more. I love weird, quirky places and this totally fit the bill! I ignored their weird looks and trusted my gut that this place would be awesome. Luckily my friends trust me as well and I heard no protests.

[Great Bao Cafe]

The owner/chef has got his little corner in the beauty salon, complete with tiled roof and little string of lanterns. I was already in love with this place.

The owner is originally from Los Angeles and made his way out east to Vegas (I think because his wife is from Vegas – but don’t quote me on that). He originally had a food truck, but set up shop here after seeing a place for rent in Craigslist. I swear, you can find just about anything on Craiglist! Used TV’s, free chairs, moving boxes, boyfriends, and apparently, places to rent so you can make and sell your little steamed bun sandwiches.

[Great Bao Menu]

The menu here is pretty simple. All of the sandwiches are made with bao which uses similar ingredients to bread, but the bao is steamed, giving it a soft, chewy consistency. There are five different fillings for the Bao (one of them, the pulled pork, isn’t up on the menu). There are smoothies and salads plus cold and hot drinks. The best deal – the deal that all of us got – was three bao + a drink for $10. For an extra fee, you can upgrade to a smoothie.

All of us got iced tea as our drink of choice. The really nice thing about that was we could have it sweetened how we wanted it. Laura got it unsweetened, I got it slightly sweet, and Jake and Chris both got it sweet.

There was a bit of wait for our sandwiches – but that was totally understandable, seeing as this was a one man job that day. We waited outside for our food since it was about the only place where all four of us could sit together. There are two very small two seater tables inside and two tables outside.

[Bao sandwiches on a cutting board]

Everyone got a little cutting board with their bao sandwiches on it. I choose the duck, chicken and pork belly sandwiches.

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