Mount Rushmore in South Dakota
My dining blog has become pretty lame when I start including snack bars at tourist attractions.
But I can't help myself!
This blurry photo is not where we ate. It is a photo of my TV, showing a scene of Cary Grant in Hitchcock's, North By Northwest! Don and I watched the movie before heading off on a road trip out west.
I was eager to stop in South Dakota and see the carved monument for the first time... and equally excited to see if they really had this restaurant.
The cafe looked pretty similar with the large windows and monument view. But, I don't even know if they filmed the restaurant scene at Mount Rushmore or in Hollywood.
There were no Cary Grants in gray suits wandering the cafe, but there were some other cute little men. Look up at the amber colored light fixture. There were quite a few of these unusual hanging lamps, with little figures that looked like men chiseling away at the faces of the four presidents!
The cafe is actually more of a cafeteria. We joined others in line and picked out our lunch before heading out to those blue umbrellas outside!
If it's a beautiful day and there are four presidents looking down from the side of the mountain... I say dine as close to them as you can!
What a View!
We didn't even need the umbrellas.
The weather was perfect and so was our view.
We went for a bison burger with fries and some buffalo chili. It seemed like a good South Dakota dining choice.
And our nifty tray had some helpful historic info, for our reading pleasure.
Pondering Over our Meal
I saved the history lesson for later and just stared at those presidents while I nibbled away.
Dang, I wish I could have crawled up there and spent a little time exploring. But I guess even Cary Grant didn't get to do that. Hollywood had to help create this image.
This was a first time dining experience for me. Now that I've checked "Dining with the Presidents" off my list, I think I'll start planning a President Picnic for next time.
I might have to be a little sneaky, but I'm sure there's a flat place for a picnic quilt up there, near Mr. Lincoln's beard!
Last month, Don and I spent one night in Deadwood. We figured we should absorb some of the whacky wild west hoopla, at Saloon #10!
The next day in the morning light, the brown facade looked like a little Lincoln Log building, with cute red touches. But on the Friday before, this building on Main Street had a whole different vibe.
I love me some wagon wheel windows...
... and I could get a good look at them in the morning, without crowds of partying bikers.
Actually, we arrived early on Friday and the crowd was pretty mild. There could have been gangs of bikers and wet teeshirt contests and all sorts of things. But it was before 8:30. Children are even welcome at that time.
Besides people, there was a lot to look at in Saloon #10. Let's start with the floor. That would be sawdust, not dirt.
Don and I grabbed a couple barrel chairs and ordered some beer. But then there was some noise and I had to step outside to check on a gunfight. They have a lot of gunfights in Deadwood. Like maybe every few hours. I needed to see what was going on.
The bouncer was checking IDs when I tried to head back in. That made me feel pretty young, since I haven't been to a place with a bouncer since I was about 21. What didn't make me feel young was how the big guy kind of chuckled and shooed me in when I insisted I'd left my purse inside with my husband.
There were some beautiful images from the old west, like this carved bar. I wanted badly to know the history behind that. But the history is all a little muddled in Deadwood.
Everything revolves around Wild Bill Hickok, who was killed during a poker game in Saloon #10. But not in this bar... it was a different place... but that place burned down... in one of the many fires... because there's a lot of flammable wood in Deadwood... near the gulch...
But really, I just wanted to know all about that gorgeous carved bar, that no one was even looking at.
Besides the carved bar, there were stuffed critters.
Critters and snow shoes and Victorian lamps and other things to study.
Cows and Doors
The conjoined calf twins on display above the door were named "Double Cheeseburger" which is just mean.
I didn't exactly want to know the history of those two. Well, maybe I'd like to know why one was wearing a crown. And nearby, there was a very cool, old door. I've seen a lot of western movie scenes where the "bad guys" are dramatically shut out by, using a sliding bolt like that!
The walls were covered in old photos, especially ones related to Wild Bill Hickok, who is also buried near Calamity Jane, high on a hill just outside of town.
I can look at old photos for days.
A Horse in the Saloon
If you don't look carefully at these photos, you'll miss the good stuff, like the man sitting on the horse in this bar photo.
Hmm, this looks a little rigged to me. Those men look a little too scrubbed for an authentic old-timey photo.
After a while, we began to notice a few western characters stroll towards the back of the saloon. Oh boy, another little bit of drama! Before long there were loud voices and a gunshot or two. Wild Bill was shot in the middle of his poker game.
We actually couldn't see the full scene from where we were sitting, but we got to enjoy our own behind the scenes view, a few minutes later. A couple of "actors" killed some time nearby before the next happening. The slumped body language and yawning, made me think that this might not be the dream job.
So Don and I enjoyed the downstairs scene until about the time kids are no longer welcome in the bar. Then we left the bar scene (being young at heart) and headed upstairs.
Deadwood Social Club... For Dinner
That's the name of the upstairs restaurant, which is actually under the same ownership.
There were no shootouts upstairs and no saloon girls waiting on us. Just some surprisingly delicious food served by a very decent waiter. Walleye and Chicken Carbonara with Risotto!
So we had more than a liquid diet at the saloon! What a nice surprise and a good way to end our evening at Saloon #10.
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.