Wednesday, September 12, 2018

BJ's Brewhouse

This week's "Geezerz" lunch was at BJ's Brewhouse at Cottonwood.  BJ's is a regional chain.  The frist time I have lunch at a BJ's was in Las Vegas.

Anyway - Wednesday's special was one of their burgers and a pint of one of their beers.  I had the bacon-Cheeseburger with fries and a pint of their Jamison Red Ale.  The burger was great and fries were cooked pretty good.  BJ's had 2 amber ale, the Jamison Red is a little darker in color and a very pleasant tasting.

None of BJ's beers are brewed in New Mexico.  I understand that the chain has one of their locations would brew just one of it's beers and transport them to other locations. That way the brewery can concentrate on doing a good job on that one beer.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Filling the Gaps

We were hungry for a full breakfast this morning.  The only place in Antonito for breakfast is the Dutch Mill.  I decided on their breakfast quesadilla with sausage and coffee.  It was just the right amount of food for the morning.

Spent some time around the depot.  The folks there were very friendly and accommodating.  Don spent some time touring the maintenance shop.

We were able to watch the train (same one we rode yesterday) return to Chama.  Don shot video of the departure on my point & shoot camera.  I shot the departure with my Canon 60D.

After the train departure, we got on the road towards Chama.  On the way, we stopped at the scenic view along Route 17 the bus driver pointed out.  I took some photos, including shooting a panoramic series of frames.

As we approach Cumbres Pass, we saw the Eastbound train was just ready to depart after taking on water.  We shot video and stills of the departure from Cumbres.

From there, on to Chama to check out the railroad facilities there.  Much different that the shop in Antonito, the shop in Chama was "off limits" for visitors.  There was a box-car museum at the Chama station.  Did some shopping in the gift shop there.

By this time, the sun was over the yardarm, and I suggested we tip a pint of New Mexico beer.  Had pints of Santa Fe Brewing's "Nut Brown" ale.  Visited with a local farmer at the bar (Foster's).  Still too early to head back to Antonito, so we did a driving tour up as far as Pagosa Springs.

Driving back through Chama, we were thinking we might catch the train along the railroad.  At one time even heard what we thought as a locomotive whistle.  But, driving back to Antonito, we were following the motor coach transporting train riders from Chama to Antonito.

We stopped by the room to use the facilities before heading out from dinner.  Returned to "Dos Hermanas" steakhouse.  Both Don and I had their enchilada  plate.  After dinner, processed some photos, wrote  facebook postings, and packed the bags for the return trip.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Early start for a long day on the train.  Cousin Don and I had coffee and sweet roll before the trip.  Not hungry for a big breakfast, specially we were getting a big lunch as part of the ticket price.

Had to wait until this morning to pick up our tickets.  We boarded a motorcoach for the drive over to Chama.  Had a nice conversation during the hour-long ride.  Gal across the aisle was from Mankato, MN.  Interesting chat up here on the front of the bus.  When we arrived in Chama, we quickly board the train, finding our seats.

Once the train was underway, it didn't take much time for the conductor to run thro9ugh the train punching our tickets.  At that time, we were allowed to get out of our seats and move around thee train.  For information, the train consisted the following:  Locomotive and tender, three coach cars, a concession car, open gondola, Tourist car, and finally Parlor car.  The open gondola was equipped with a sound system.  The docent onboard spend most of the ride describing the railroad and the scenery on the sound system on the gondola.

As soon as we head out of Chama, the train started climbing.  It took about 1 1/2 hour to climb up to the summit of Cumbres Pass.  There, the train stopped to take on water.  The docent passed out pamphlets including a railroad map with note-worthy locations on the route.

About half way through the trip, we arrived Osier where we were served lunch.  There were 2 hot lunches we could select - meatloaf or turkey.  I had the meatload dinner, which consisted of a slice of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, roll or corn bread, and a selection of deserts.  For drinks, there was water, coffee, iced tea (sweetened and unsweetened), pink lemonade, and lemonade.

There was time to stretch legs and look at some of the older building at Osier.  Cousin Don scoped out while there, I relaxed back on our train car - needed the time off my legs/knees.

One of the options for riding the train is to turn back at Osier, riding back the train to your departure location.  It seemed to me that we lost over half of our follow travelers took the train back to Chama rather than continuing on to Antonito, CO.

The weather forecast was for about 60% chance of rain.  We had periods of rain, mostly light showers.  Most of the ride it was overcast. 

The scenery on the East end of the railroad is both the more scenic (and dramatic) section of the railroad and the most boring part of the train ride.  The train runs through 2 tunnels on this half of the line.  There were scenic highlights of "Calico Cut" and the Toltec Gorge.  The last 1 1/2 of the trip was pretty boring, nothing much to look at except for sage brush.  And, actually, this was fine as we were tired from the long day on the train.

We were a little late arriving Antonito.  Don and I looked for a good. cold beer when we got back to town.  The one bar in Antonito did not open 7pm.  We settled for a bottle of Dos Equis and the restaurant where we ate last night.  By 8pm, both of us were sound asleep.

I have processed my photos from the train ride.  Eventually I will sort and select photos to post on my website.



On the Road to Antonito

Cousin Don and I are on the road to the New Mexico/Colorado area to ride the Cumbres & Toltec Narrow Gauge Railroad.  Stopped along the road a couple time to look at the roadside wild flowers.  Had a little rain up in Northern New Mexico.

Checked into the motel, dropped off some luggage into the room, and headed for a late lunch.  The motel suggested the "Dos Hermana's Steakhouse" downtown.  I had the 6oz bacon-cheeseburger with fries.  About 3 strips if bacon, good burger, full slice of red onion, with pepper jack cheese.  The fries were also great, battered and crispy.  Washed down the meal with 2 bottle of Dos Equies Amber.

Checked out the train station and the train's anticipated arrival in Antonito.  Had time to look at the wear at the gift shop and visited with the folks there.  Watch the train arrive and got a few good photos.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow and Thursday.  They should be the typical New Mexico "pop-up1' showers.  Surely nothing like the rain the Midwest has been getting

Thursday, August 30, 2018

1933 Brewing Company

Wednesday's "Geezerz" lunch was at 1933 Brewing Company on Southern in Rio Rancho.  The location opened last week.  Alas, they do not have their brewery running yet, and of course, no of their beers were available to sample.  We were told it will be 3 to 6 months until they are producing beer.

An aside, here, we were planning to sample beers at Lava Rocks Brewing.  When I contacted the brewery, they are between batches of their beer.  Sounds like they were only brewing small batches, no constant brewing process (likely low on equipment). 

Back to 1933 Brewing - one of our groups asked where the name comes.  We were told it was 1933 the prohibition ended. 

Since the locations does not have their own beers, yet, we were shown a list of other "local" beers they had on tap.  The selection was what I would call "yuppy", somebody called it a "millennium" selection - several IPA's, no Amber.  Closest they had was the Quarter Deck Irish Crimson ale.  It was drinkable, but I sure did ni=ot was a second pint.

For food, I selected the bacon-cheeseburger.  The sandwich was "OK".  The Medium-Well was a litle over cooked (another of out group had the same review - his medium-rare was a bit over-cooked).  The bacon on sandwich was cooked perfect - not too crispy and not under-cooked.  Fries were mixed -  some where over-cooked and some where a little under-cooked.

Understanding that the place has only opened for a week, but the service was not good.  There were about 10 of us.  Two of the group of napling & silver.  When the food was served, we had to ask for more place-setting -  and were give 4 more.  So, we had to asked for more - finally they gave us 2 more setting than we needed.  (Could the server not count?).  There was a bottle of ketchup placed on the table, but nno salt ot pepper.  Had to ask for then - and typically, the server brought 3 sets (over supplied).

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Billy's with Don

Another Saturday evening dinner with cousin Don.  Don filled in with his trip to Columbus (OH) and the pipe show. 

Made tentative plans to ride the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad. 

Opted for N\Billy's Philly Steak sandwich with fries.  LOTS of beef on this sandwich.  Washed down the sandwich with 3 pints of "Kilt Lifter" Scotch style ale.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Bosque North Brewey and Taproom

This weeks "old  geezers" lunch was at the Bosque North location in Bernalillio. This is the new headquarters of the brewery. It was a good turn-out (9 of us).

It was a pain to get to the brewery, with all of the construction along US 550.  From Rio Rancho, had to head East into Bernalillo, (across the river), make a "U"-turn and back West on US550, across the river, to the brewery.

The taproom has a limited menu.  To order food, walk over to the back of the room to order a pay for your food,  Different servers take your beer orders.  Kind of a crazy system - ending up with separate bills for beer and food.

I orders the Bosque Burger - "Kobe-style beef patty cooked to order, oatmeal stout and red chile bbq sauce, fried onions, bacon, and white cheddar on a kaiser roll,"  The side was french fries,  The burger is not-remarkable.

Had two pits of beer with lunch.  I started with a pint of Brewer's Boot Amber Ale.  A decent amber with usual alcohol content.  For the second pint, I tried their "Scotia Scotch Ale".  This beer is a little higher alcohol content, of 8%.  Both are pleasant tasting ales.