Lunch at The Hotel!
Don and I were headed towards New Mexico last month, when we started getting hungry. It's good we happened to be in Big Springs.Hotel Settles
We'd heard about this historic hotel that was renovated in 2013. The place looked pretty classy on the website, so we hoped we could get away with a quick lunch stop in our road trip attire.
It was pretty hot on the last day of August, so luckily the sign reminded us that Hotel Settles is "Air Conditioned"!
I love finding a small town that has a huge hotel. I'm not even sure how many stories I was looking up at here!
The entrance was pretty grand with terrazzo floors and a lot of royal gold accents! The stairway was mighty impressive the way it parted beneath the huge portrait. (Was that Mrs. Settles?) You can spot the letter "S" all over this hotel. If Don and I struck oil the way Mr. & Mrs. Settles did years ago, you'd be seeing a lot of Z's!!
The Settles Grill
The restaurant was nicely renovated, with the original floors and cozy blue booths with black linens. Luckily we spotted a dining guest with the words "Oil Roustabout" on his tee shirt. We figured we weren't underdressed.
A Round Booth
If Don and I had been traveling with friends, we would have gone for this fun booth. The framed photos started making me curious about the town history.
I had the perfect lunch. Tortilla soup with warm avocado, shredded chicken, crisp tortilla strips and a chopped Caesar salad with more avocado and tangy dressing!
Don's burger with provolone cheese, grilled onions and fancy fries was made even more yummy by the lighting of the table scones.
Nice touch! Both meals were delicious and served well by Shawn, with much enthusiasm. She brought us a write up on hotel history when we started asking questions.
The wall photos featured lots of important people around town... in parades and in front of their stores. I didn't notice any photos of celebrities, but there were a few VIP guests in the past.
Shawn was most excited to tell us that Elvis stayed in room 311 in 1955. That was a little more exciting than Lawrence Welk who was also a guest. My favorite celeb was Gregory Peck, and luckily he didn't die here..
Don and I happened to stay in a hotel in Davenport, Iowa where my favorite actor actually did pass away.
As Don and I headed out, we heard a friendly voice, " You all must not be from here." Louis and his wife, Lou Anne were happy to tell us they had grown up in Big Spring.
They told us a little about what their town used to be like when they were growing up, pointing to some of the pictures on the wall. They were pleased with the renovation of the old hotel and claimed it was much the way they remembered from when they were young.
Before climbing back in the car, Don and I took a trip upstairs to admire a little more of the old hotel. The pink and green colors reminded me of my grandmother. She always had pastel mints in her candy jar. She would have loved the fine ballroom.
My mother-in-law would have gotten a kick out of the framed photo in the Ladies' Room. Mom Z was quite the accordion player in her time!
Best Kind of Road Break
Don and I have enjoyed a lot of good diners and cafes while on the road. But this was a different kind of treat. This place went right onto our list of places to revisit!
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.