Tuesday, October 4, 2016

#1775 travel Tuesday: Locke, CA

When I was a youngster and we visited my grandparents in Dixon, my parents would often try to head to the delta area near Sacramento and go to the town of Locke. All I remember about Locke was that we would always go to a place that I thought was called Aldawops. There was a bar with dollar bills stuck to the ceiling and a back room with plain formica-covered picnic tables. My parents would always have steak. I'm pretty sure I ate the bread with peanut butter smeared on it. There was peanut butter and jelly on every table. I know that my folks have fond memories of Aldawops and I have always wanted to go back in my adult years to find out what the fuss was about.

Since my childhood, I have learned a couple of things about the town of Locke. The first thing I learned was the restaurant's name is not Aldawops. It is really called Al's Place or Al the Wop's. Forgive my racial slang, but that's what the sign over the door says. (You'll see). I had no idea what that even meant. Another thing I learned about Locke, and this is thanks to my guilty pleasure TV show Ghost Adventures, is that Locke was built by Chinese people for Chinese people working in the fields and for the railroad in the area. Also, Locke is haunted by Chinese spirits. Yet another reason to get to Locke!

With an unexpectedly free day last Friday during my work trip, I suggested to Lizzie that we head out to Locke for some lunch at Aldawops (I like my name better) and a little exploration. She was totally into it. I think that she was really young the last time we all went, so I don't know how much she remembered of the place.

We pulled into town just after 11:30 in the morning. I easily found a parking spot right on Main Street across from the restaurant. There wasn't another person to be seen. It felt kind of strange. We stood there in the middle of the street for a minute, looking around and getting our bearings.

View of Main Street
We walked into Al's and sure enough, there was the bar with all the dollar bills hooked up on the ceiling. I didn't take a photo of that, though. We walked through to the eating part, and I swear to you that it looked exactly the same as it did in my childhood memories, but more tilted.

I think everything is Locke is maybe tilted a little. It's an old town. We sat down at that table you see right in front with the peanut butter and jam on it (this photo is after we were done eating). We each ordered a New York sirloin which came with a green salad and grilled bread. We also had a plate of garlic fries to share.

The salad came out first, so no photo. I will say that the lettuce was very fresh and very green and crunchy. I liked it. The steak was enormous. It wasn't tender at all, but it did have a good flavor. I couldn't eat all of it. We did a pretty good job on the mountain of fries. The bread was insanely delicious. I didn't put peanut butter on it, but I did try a little of the apricot jam. It was sweet and perfectly set off the buttery perfection of the bread. And we had beers because what is more decadent than steak and beers at lunch time? It was a damn good meal. We were completely full when we walked out of there. In fact, I didn't eat anything for the rest of the day.

Lizzie and I were both glad that we decided to eat first so we could stroll a little bit around the town. It didn't really take very long to see everything. There are five streets - three that run up and down and two that border the town. We walked on all five streets and saw every building, I think. I don't think very many people live there. It's kind out out-of-the-way and if you didn't know it was there, you might easily drive by it.

Here are some photos:

Lizzie is petting a cat that would nip at her in the next moment.

I'm not sure what this building is. Maybe a museum. My reflection in the door.

Lizzie walking down one of the residential streets. Houses on one side, not much on the other side.

Remember I said everything looks tilted? Look at this building!
Not only is the building tilted, it's bowed out!
Nice little park - a Chinese memorial

I like the look of this place. I think the red doors mean something in Chinese culture.

Bust of Confucius

succulents in potties

I love everything about this photo. I can't even give you a reason. I just do.
Final thought: throughout the town you could smell cooked steak. Not a bad way for a place to smell :)

1 comment:

Kteach said...

Some memories. Last time we went was with Mary, Dewey, Bettie, Gayle and her husband. First time for them. We drove around before getting to Locke and got somewhat lost, so I went to a store in some road and asked for directions (that was before iphone). We walked around Locke after we ate, my favorite place was the school house. Mary took a picture of me sitting in the teachers desk :) I'll have to look for it :)