Searching for a place to eat somewhere in between Jamestown and Bridgeport, California, is not as easy as it sounds. Restaurants in Jamestown, which is an hour and so away from Yosemite, close by nine in the evening. The only place open is the saloon of Willow Grille. The bartender, taking pity on us weary travellers, directed us to Sonora, a town three miles from Jamestown, to a place called Denny’s but our luck wasn’t holding out. Hong Kong Garden restaurant was the only place open until 10. We slipped into the restaurant at two minutes to 10, much, I suppose, to the chagrin of the weary waitress who dragged her feet to our table with the menus. No great shakes here although I polished the seafood chow mien quickly out of hunger. But I was tickled pink by the fortune cookie: “Take a rest; you deserve it.”
Chocolate bliss was experienced the next day when, much wiser than the previous day, we – me, a long-time Pinay friend and her French husband, our driver for the road trip – decided to have dinner in Bridgeport, a town located at the intersection of highways US395 and State Route 182. The fine dine restaurant was a bit pricey and the sole burrito place ran out of chicken. But all was not lost with Rhino’s Bar and Grille on Main Street. In fact, it was a serendipitous find! First, my Chef’s salad – a bowl of turkey ham, Swiss and cheddar cheese, tomatoes, cucumber and hardboiled egg – was, at the half-serving portion, still huge for one person to finish, but it had flavour.
Second, the sweet coup de grace, which was completely unexpected, was the freshly baked double layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. According to our gregarious server, it was one of the daily specials baked by a co-worker. She rattled a few names like pecan pie, vanilla cupcake with cream cheese frosting but she had me at double later chocolate cake. It was simply divine with its chocolaty moist and just the right chocolaty sweetness.