Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dining Via GPS

When traveling, I like to visit new restaurants and sample local adult beverages. Finding suitable establishments in new areas can be challenging, to say the least. And besides that, it is a downright pain in the rear. I don’t stay in hotels that have a concierge, so I’ve previously been left with interrogating the hotel clerk, a problematic proposition at best. Then there’s the whole hassle of yellow pages, maps and getting to a selected location and finding the place closed or a dump. Then you start all over again. Well, not any more now that I discovered Global Positioning Systems.

Here’s the deal to go dining via GPS. First of all, you can’t be in a tight time constraint, and you can’t be starving and on the precipice of a hypoglycemic crash. Other than that, I only have one other major rule. I will not enter an establishment where I feel that it is best to be packing a gun while going in, coming out, or remaining inside. That’s it. Pretty simple.

Here’s how you locate those quaint dining spots via GPS. Ask your GPS to give you all of the restaurants in your immediate area and begin sorting through them from the closest to the furthest. Disregard any fast food or national chain restaurant and select the first interesting name that you come upon. Tell the GPS to route you to the selection and head out. If the first selection does not meet your standards, make a new choice and travel on. If you find yourself in a less than desirable neighborhood, see if you can get into a better area and start the procedure over.

On a trip to Chico, CA, I found the Black Crow Grill & Taproom, which is a very nice location. But, I didn’t find it until I rejected a number of closed or seedy joints. I dined upon grilled pork tenderloin and enjoyed a very nice Black Butte Porter draft by Deschutes Brewing out of Bend, Oregon. I had a good dinner. I didn’t spend an arm and leg. And, I got to observe the locals in their own habitat.

Al Martinez, the recently rudely sacked Los Angeles Times columnist, is quite the martini aficionado, and he likes to travel around sampling the fare. Al, if you happen to read this blog, take a look at the Black Crow list of martinis. They don’t mean anything to me, but they probably do to you.

Sometimes GPS dining doesn’t work out quite as well as anticipated. While recently returning from my motorcycle “Ride to the Walls” in Washington, DC, we were traversing Santa Fe, New Mexico, via highway 285 and looking for a good local restaurant. As we were about to leave Santa Fe near the intersection of Interstate 25, I decided to use the GPS to find that special spot. Little did I know that we must have entered the GPS version of the Bermuda Triangle. My GPS assured me that a Mexican restaurant was close by. If it was, it was disguised as a home in a residential area. The second attempt led us to a dirt road, and I opted to not take my Harley Davidson off-road exploring. Being under a time constraint, you will recall my previous advisory at the beginning of this blog, we abandoned Santa Fe and headed for Albuquerque.

Having said all of that, try the GPS method for new dining and imbibing adventures.

Previous Blog Posting: Al Martinez Sacked-One Less Reason to Read the Los Angeles Times

Update 6/5/2007: I thought that my use of the phrase “Dining Via GPS” was my original thought. It turns out that it was original to me, only I was not the first one to use it. used the phrase almost a year ago. Damn, that author is good.