in early November, 2008, we had the opprotunity to attend CA4WDC's Panamint Valley Days 2008, which is one of the two premier four wheel drive events held in the state of California. After camping in hard-core desert of Panamint Valley, we enjoyed three wonderful nights at nearby Panamint Springs Resort, and we dined at Panamint Springs Restaurant, located at the resort.
Photo: Panamint Springs Restaurant is located in a dramatic setting, and offers spectacular views of the snowy Panamint Mountains. The high peak in the center of the photo is Telescope Peak, the high point of the Panamint Mountain Range.
I could eat a bacon cheeseburger every night, for the rest of my life, and in the words of the famous Mr. Spock, I could "live long and prosper," but my arteries probably wouldn't be so happy. I had been thinking bacon cheeseburger all day, so Monday evening, November 10, 2008, was for me, was to be a bacon cheeseburger night.
Photo: The restaurant offers a full-service bar, and they can make any mixed drink under the sun, but their hear and soul is in beer, as they offer a vast assortment of micro brews, imported and domestic beer. A beer lover's paradise! Carrie is preparing to bring my 24-oz draught beer to our table.
Photo: The view from the dining room into the bar, shows only a small portion of the hundreds of photos that hang on the walls.
Tonight's server was Carrie, a friendly young woman with a very bubbly personality. The tables near the bar were full, so she seated us in the dining room, at a table near the window, placed orders on our table, and asked us if we wanted to order drinks. Sharlene ordered an glass of house chardonnay wine, and I ordered a 24-oz draught beer. Panamint Springs Restaurant features a complete bar, and they can mix you any drink under the rainbow, but their specialty is beer, as they have a vast selection of domestic, imported, and micro-brews, but I'm the blue collar sort, so a large draught beer hit the spot.
Photo: I catch server Jessica in the kitchen, as she's about to serve a plate of spaghetti and garlic bread.
Photo: We enjoyed outdoor dining for breakfast, as the weather was gorgeous. Our server, Fouga has just placed breakfast on our table, and is laughing at a joke that Rob just told.
The menu at Panamint Springs Restaurant features a good selection of dinners, burgers, and pasta dishes. If you're a burger lover as I am, their menu features 14 varieties of burgers, which should put a smile on the face of anybody who loves burgers. For the third night in a row, I ordered a burger, but tonight, I ordered a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, which is the usual half pound piece of premium Angus beef, topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, an onion ring, and cheddar cheese, for a distinctly western flavor. Sharlene ordered a dinner entrée of Chicken Romano, which consists of a breaded chicken breast, topped with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. It normally is served with a baked potato, but Sharlene asked if they could substitute pasta, which they were glad to do.
Photo: Two fried eggs, over easy, and country style potatles make a delicious breakfast.
Photo: Carrie takes orders from the friendly Australian tourists. Note the fact that they like to drink beer... don't all Australians? The lady to the right of the photo is Alexia, who took the photo of Sharlene and I at the end of this article.
Our server Carrie was busy tonight, as the dining room was fairly packed with guests. Next to us was a table of Australian tourists, who were visiting the U.S., and Death Valley National Park for the first time. One very friendly lady, Alexia, remarked how Panamint Valley reminded her of parts of the Australian Outback in some ways, as they're both desert, but the desert in Australia is more reddish in color. I told her that someday, I wanted to visit the Outback, including such destinations as Alice Springs and Ayres Rock. We had quite a conversation with these folks, and they remarked how much they were enjoying themselves, but how strange it was that it was fall in November, as it should be spring! I got a laugh out of that. I asked the matriarch of the group, Alexia to take our photo, and she readily agreed. Nice people!
Photo: Jessica confers with Miguel, the dinner cook, in the spotless kitchen.
Photo: Carrie places our dinner on the table, with a smile. Like the Australian tourists, I love my draught beer, as the 24-oz glass of beer on the table testifies.
Like the resort, the dining room is very rustic, and id decorated with hundreds of framed photos, mostly of western movie stars, and historical photos of the area. There's even a jackalope on one of the walls; I thought jackalopes were native to Wyoming, not Panamint Valley? The room isn't particulary large, and has about a dozen tables, but its clean, friendly and very comfortable. If you prefer to dine outdoors, there is a large patio, and a veranda, that affort breathtking views of the Panamint Mountains, and soaring Telescope Peak.
Photo: Sharlene's dinner of Chicken Romano, with optional spaghetti noodles, Panamint Valley style.
Photo: My western bacon cheeseburger, with the mountain of fries mostly covering up the pickles, onion slices, tomato and lettuce.
Our meals arrived with out surprise or fanfare, just good food, served by a friendly lady. As I'd come to expect, my half pound burger was perfectly cooked, with the onion, tomato, lettuce and pickle mostly covered by a mountain of perfectly cooked fries. I opened up the bun to pile on the veggies, and I was greeted by a crispy onion ring, bacon, melted cheddar cheese, and barbecue sauce... oooooooh, I was in cheeseburger heaven! Sharlene's Chicken Romano, looked good too, especially the way the white, melted mozzarella cheese contrasted against the red of the marinara sauce. The food was so pretty that it almost seemed like a shame to eat it. Well almost...
Photo: One evening both Sharlene and I ordered cheeseburgers, and Melanie places Sharlene's burger on the table.
Photo: Sharlene and I are ready to enjoy our dinner. Photo was taken by Alexia, one of the folks visiting Death Valley Naitonal Park from Australia.
Panamint Springs Restaurant may be the only restaurant in Panamint Valley, but that doesn't hinder them from going the extra mile to please their guests, and to provide quality food at reasonable prices. Carrie provided outstanding, friendly service, the food was perfectly cooked, and of superior quality. We love the distinct western atmosphere and the rustic surroundings... maybe that's
what makes the food so delicious? When you're visiting scenic Panamint Valley, do yourself a favor and enjoy a delicious dinner at Panamint Springs Restaurant.
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