My mom and I try to meet up a couple times a year at a halfway point between Sacramento and Los Angeles. Last year, our destination was Pismo Beach, so this year, we decided to try something more in the Southern California “wine country” area…how’s about Atascadero?
Yeah, don’t waste a tank of gas driving to Atascadero because there is literally, LITERALLY, nothing to do. We stayed at the Carlton (the only hotel in town) and ended up eating at their restaurant, as well as a Denny’s (the only two restaurants in town). There may have been more things to see and do, but apparently everything is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. That’s normal.
Terry’s Bar and Grill:
Terry’s Bar and Grill is a quaint little dive; all the patrons were laughing and appeared to be having a good time during our visit. The drinks were inexpensive (two drinks for around $10), or maybe I'm just used to LA price inflation.
Notable points of interests:
-A piece of paper with the hand-written word ‘GRILL’ was taped to the microwave.
-A neon Budweiser sign in the shape of Tim McGraw's head hung over the entrance.
-An interesting mix of country and hip hop music flows through the jukebox. It's not necessarily my thing, but it might be yours.
-Lots of leering Mexican men. Once again, it's not necessarily my thing, but it might be yours.
Dirty, dirty, dirty bar. Maybe had I visited with Chad, we would have enjoyed the people watching, but with my mother, it just felt wrong. My initial impression upon entering was "this is kinda scary, please don't rape me and my mother". All the patrons were underage tweakers, who wouldn't think twice to shank you if you even joked about playing Justin Beiber on the jukebox. I'm the kind of girl who gets hit on at bars, not threatened.
The bartender, a rough broad with 80’s hair and a voice like James Earl Jones, poured us drinks with a heavy hand and a kind heart. The two drinks cost under ten dollars, including a decent tip, so that worked well in our favor. We got to talking with the bartender and she explained how the economy hit hard (yeah, no shit), but praised the town as “a great place to raise a family”. She also hinted at the fact that she was a big whore back in the day, which was totally apparent at first glance.
Atascadero…and that was all she wrote.