Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Crawl in the Inland Empire

To be honest, we were originally going to head up the mountain to the Oktoberfest in Lake Arrowhead but when we found that this 'free' event would cost us a minimum of $60, we changed our mind.

Instead, we decided to buy a case of wine, sip a beer, and have a great dinner instead aided by a $50 gift certificate for Galleano Winery we'd been sitting on.

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It's a wonderful day for it, mid 70's, mostly sunny weather (turns out a big thunderhead was sitting over Lake Arrowhead, so that's another plus for changing our minds) and easy traffic.

The time-travel portal that is the entrance to the Galleano ranch takes us from warehouses so big they can be seen from space into a century old farm wedged between them and Interstate 15.

There are a lot of cars here today at this normally sleepy little vineyard. Inside the tasting room, we find out why...a class reunion has descended on it. 

It's packed and Jorge, one of the employees, sets us up at a nearby butcher block table to taste.  I let Letty and Tim do most of the tasting and we end up with a mixed case plus a jug each of port and sherry to take home.

On the porch outside, we find a quiet little table to have a picnic of bread, cheese, and summer sausage from Usinger's in Milwaukee.

Next, one exit down the freeway, lies an industrial park in Norco that hosts Sons of Liberty Aleworks. This constitutional themed microbrewery serves delicious beer and ale in a dark, revolutionary-era setting. 

We sipped a few samples, with their special Oktoberfest brew my favorite, while Letty liked the chocolate porter.

It's their Oktoberfest celebration here...kind of a quiet affair (ok, a VERY quiet affair)...with a barbecue trailer out back cooking schnitzel and brats.

The constitution is more than a theme here...the owner will be very happy to hand you a pocket constitution when you check into Facebook and a local college hosts constitution educations classes on Tuesday nights.

Winding up this day across the IE, we end up at one of our favorite restaurants, Centro Basco, a great Basque restaurant in Chino. We're about a half hour early for dinner so we chill in the bar with some diet cokes and the bartender who chats us up until dinner time.

Dinner is a feast of soup, salad, bread, tongue, cheese, beans, fries, chicken cordon bleu, and ribeye steak.

Very sated, we head out and call it a day of old and new Inland Empire landmarks.

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
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