Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lovely Downtown Fresno

I went to my very first retirement dinner last Saturday evening. One of Den's co workers, who works at the Medical Board with him, was celebrating the end of his cop-detective career. I was happy to be included. However, I was not that thrilled when I found out the location of this dinner. Imagine how I felt when we drove up and saw this:

Truthfully, this picture looks much better than it really did.
At least we didn't have to eat in the building across the street:

And, yes, those are broken out windows you see.
(Shot out windows, is my guess.)
We walked right into the bar where all of Den's fellow workers were enjoying themselves. His secretary suggested we order a soda. Nope, we did not feel comfortable sitting around the bar. So we went into the room ready and waiting for the big event:
Lovely decor. I had to take an upclose picture of the flooring:
And I thought, are we really going to eat here?? Remember, I am the one who brings my own water with me when we eat out. This time I wished I had brought my own food.

I looked up at the wall and saw a painting of this restaurant. This was obviously created in happier looking days. Or perhaps it was just someone's wishful thinking. It surely does not look any thing like this now.
The food was better than we thought it would be, and very interesting. An odd combination of food all at the same meal:
soup (broth with pasta...that's it)
salad with Italian dressing
potato salad
garbanzo beans
beef stew
roasted chicken
ice cream

Turned out to be an interesting evening. It was fun to be able to put faces with so many names Den has talked about. I don't know how old this Basque Restaurant is, but it looks like it was decorated in the 50s, and hasn't been touched since, including the floor.

I looked up the reviews on Google once we got home and someone noted that this may not be a safe place to be after dark. I can't imagine any time of day feeling safe here. Even Dennis was happy to get into the car and on our way home.


Anonymous said...

Ohmigoodness! You're brave. At least you were with a policeman! Love, Susan and Dad

Jill said...

Actually we were with a whole room of policemen. That made me feel good until Den told me they were all unarmed being they were drinking. Den of course was not drinking but he didn't have his gun with him.

The Gage Cage said...

That must be one classy group of men Dennis works with. ;-) My stomach hurts when we drive through some small towns. I refuse to eat out in armpit places. NASTY! I'm glad that guy is retired so he won't be picking out the location for any future dinner parties.

T said...

This made me laugh hard- you wouldn't believe it, but I grew up in a place where these surroundings were part of the norm. I am so blessed to raise my kids in Clovis!

Princess Fluffybuns said...

I love the Basque Hotel! I can't believe you had never eaten there before. Last time I was in town I went to the Basque Hotel for dinner. However, I only went because we had a CHP officer with us who was definitely carrying a gun. He made a joke that he was keeping his finger on the trigger until we got back into the car.

When I was here last they put my leftover piece of fried chicken directly into a plastic shopping bag. I was so shocked I spit my water out from laughing so hard. I so wish you had included a picture of the waitresses wearing scrubs. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

You have to admit that the potato salad with shrimp is aweseome.

Jill said...

Oh my gosh Natalie...I figured out it was YOU who made that last comment. I was laughing and trying to figure out WHO had that sense of humor. Of course! That comment is so you. Come to think of it, the waitresses were wearing scrubs!!!! That is not a good sign putting that leftover chicken in a plastic shopping bag. Makes me wonder what else they do with the food before they bring it to the tables!