The Old Place – Cornell – California

Emerging through the trees, The Old Place in its rustic splendor sits slightly on the bend in the road, as though it tugs at the corner. White animal antlers reach beyond the wood planks inviting in all characters. We step inside the wooden coffin filled with exuberant sounds and laughter. The piano near the door begs to be played, as its ivory keys lay in wait. The intimate booths on the left wall strike my curiosity, as I stretch my neck to see inside. A loud thump in my right ear distracts me, the bar is telling “could you believe that” stories. My head turns and eyes see stools set so tight together you wonder if any manly man would sit that close to the other. I watch the bartender dry a glass as my eye catches the curvature in the wall up to the wood planked ceiling a few feet above me.

We are seated in the crook near the piano, bar, and window shut in by the front door, feeling a little in the way of scuffles and thuds on the boards behind me. My attitude shifts when I gaze at the menu and saliva springs forth in my mouth. “All meals are available,” our waitress tells us as our bellies order. We try to speak, but find ourselves yelling at each other each time the bar tells another story. We can’t help bending an ear as we admire our surroundings. These walls have things to say, if you sit quietly long enough you will hear them.

Our drinks arrive in old western style, a bourbon glass here, shot glass there, and large manly glass grasped by dainty hands. Centuries earlier we could have been outlaws in for a good meal. Seated near the front window, in good shooting range of danger. Our plates find their way to the table. We admire the portions and color display. After a quick prayer, we dig in, moaning our way through the flat iron steak, potatoes, and spinach. Mid bite, vibrant blue and green feathers catch my eye, a peacock saunters by the window. We gaze at its beauty before slicing another piece of grass fed beef and placing it in our mouths to enjoy its divine taste. At last bite, we look at each other and know instantly dessert is a must. We order cast iron apple crisp and a smooth chocolate cake, both equally delicious to the last spoonful.

Wishing to stay just a little long, we step outside under the dark sky as nostalgia salutes us with goodwill.

If you plan on eating here, make a reservation a week out. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

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