I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Tularosa, New Mexico.
Greetings from Tularosa, New Mexico
N 33° 3.7985’ W 106° 0.9128’ Elev. 4,472 ft.
Years ago we used to sail US 97 between the wee town of Weed, California and the big burg of Biggs, Oregon with great regularity. Often we’d make a stop at either Gordy’s Truck Stop Restaurant in La Pine, Oregon or Mollie’s Truck Stop in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
While we seldom ate at Mollie’s (now closed?) we ate regularly at Gordy’s. The food is great there. If you’re ever traveling through La Pine I’d highly recommend it.
The reason we’d stop were brownies. Both of them made giant homemade brownies. If you were lucky enough to get there at the right time of day they would not only have them — they sold out pretty quickly — but they’d be fresh as well.
I’d forgotten all about them until recently when I had to take a forced 30-minute Department of Transportion-mandated break and landed at the Tularosa Travel Center. I’d parked the yacht and was staring at the readerboard advertising the daily special, a “Meatloaf Sandwich.” I thought that sounded really good but I couldn’t justify getting one. I had a leftover Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage Roll from Chompie’s and a Chile Relleno from Lisa’s in the cooler that I didn’t want to waste.
Because I had to kill some time I decided I’d go inside anyway and check out the menu at La Rosa Restaurant, located inside the travel center. I never got that far.
In the middle section of the building is a gift shop featuring the predictable New Mexico souvenirs, bibelots and gewgaws. They also had an extensive selection of New Mexico wines and more walnuts and pecans than anybody could possibly desire; southeastern New Mexico is a substantial walnut- and pecan-growing region. That the place was chock full o’ nuts made sense after I learned that Tularosa Travel Center is also the home of Tularosa Pecan Company.
It turned out the place also had a bakery. And there they were: giant brownies ($1.99). They offered two varieties of the 6- to 7-inch-square delights, with or without pecans. I got one without nuts because it looked a hair larger. Go big or go home, right?
It was so fresh and so moist that you had to gently cradle it to keep from breaking it. It was everything you could possibly want a brownie to be. And at that size, it made for multiple servings.
I know it’s hard to get excited about a brownie. But when your life is spent sightseeing at 65 miles-per-hour ten hours-a-day through a bug-splattered windshield it takes less and less to get you truly excited. Plus it had sort of a nostalgia element. Sigh. And it was delicious.
And so we roll.
Tularosa Travel Center, 7852 US 54, Tularosa, New Mexico
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.