Sunday, April 27, 2014

On the road to Sacramento for a late-night dinner at Pizza Rock.

Holiday Trip to Las Vegas and Reno, Part 7
December 27, 2013

The bus trip from Las Vegas to Bakersfield was fairly ordinary. I had some lebensraum in the back row of the bus until we hit Barstow. While there I grabbed some lunch from a Panda Express: chicken egg rolls, eggplant tofu, and way more chow mein than I cared to eat.

From left: The view from the rear of the bus; lunch from the Barstow Panda Express.

After Barstow I shared my trio of seats in the rear with a young couple. While closer to the front some selfish old wimmin' hogged the table seats.

At Bakersfield I traded in the bus for a shiny locomotive, and a solo seat all to myself at the frontmost passenger car. Feeling parched I scored the first adult beverage served, and savored my gin and tonic as the queue for food and drink quickly lengthened.

Four hours later I arrived into the bustle of Stockton station, a hub for many buses offering connections across the San Joaquin valley, including my schedule to Sacramento. This bus too filled up but I was able to enjoy some space all the way in the back.

It was coming on ten o’clock in the evening by the time I was able to check into a room at the Holiday Inn Sacramento-Capitol Plaza. I hadn’t eaten since Barstow and was eager to seek out a meal. And I found that meal a half-mile east at Pizza Rock.

Once seated I ordered a Sacramento, one of Pizza Rock’s Classic American pizzas featuring a hand-crushed tomato sauce on a rustic medium-thick crust, baked in a gas-fueled brick oven. For toppings the Sacramento offered mozzarella, pepperoni, Molinari salami, bacon, Italian sausage, mushroom, red onion, bell pepper, black olive, and cherry tomatoes.

While I waited on my pizza, I quaffed a 22 oz. glass of Total Domination IPA from Ninkasi Brewing of Eugene, Oregon. Expected IPA bitterness, light frothy head, smooth drinking.

What was laid before me was a topping Goliath, with a thick, gluteny rind. The Italian sausage was tender, well seasoned; vegetables were crisp. Overall a superior build and a fun pie to dig in to.

After a quick caffeine fix at nearby Broadacre Coffee, I gave away the leftovers of my delightful pizza to a grateful passerby. Wandering down J St., some signage on a side street brought to a bar. Not a trendy nightclub, but an actual bar. Move even to be considered a dive. I settled in with a Jim Beam, grateful to find a watering hole worth revisiting. A gaggle of hipsters dislodged me from my reverie.

From left: A late night espresso at Broadacre Coffee; a new watering hole found; It burns! It burns!

Shuffling back out into the night I decided it was time to retire to my hotel room before I did something regrettable, like embracing Scientology, or soiling my pants.

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