Today we were on the road again after a few years’ hiatus because of health issues. We will meet up with two other couples in Maryland and then head off on our motorcycles to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada.
The ride was pretty uneventful most of our trip today as we traveled Interstate 95. I couldn’t help but notice that so many gas stations that we have stopped at over the years are now closed. We encountered one problem at our last stop for gas before calling it a day. As we were leaving the gas station I noticed that I didn’t have my sunglasses. They had dropped off the bike as we took off. We turned to see if we could find them. Just as we got back the car in front of us was pulling into a parking spot. The front tires missed the glasses but unfortunately his left back tire drove right over them. The glasses were toast!
Randy stopped so I could get off the bike to retrieve my glasses but what he didn’t realize is that the spot he stopped was more slanted than he realized and the bike started to lean very hard to the left. It is really weird when a bike starts to go down in slow motion. Randy was trying his best to keep it from going over or at least not slamming to the ground but to no avail. In the meantime I’m on the back trying not to have my foot get pinned under the bike. We both got off and tried to raise the bike back up. The bike was much too heavy especially as it was weighed down with luggage, etc. Fortunately there was a very nice man who had just pulled up to get gas. He spotted our dilemma and came over. Now this was a big man and without even breathing hard helped Randy to lift the bike and held on until Randy could get the kickstand down.
We were now only fifty miles from our stop for the day. As soon as we hit the room Randy changed and jumped into the pool I took off my boots and socks and collapsed onto the bed. Our neighbors and Mexican food buddies, Bob and Sandy recommended a restaurant in Lumberton, NC at exit 20. The restaurant, San Jose Mexican Restaurant, is across the street from the Days Inn and Econolodge.
We were greeted quickly and warmly when we entered the restaurant. The service was immediate taking our drink orders and bringing salsa and chips to the table. One thing I really liked was that they brought a small carafe of salsa and two small bowls, one for each person. I liked this because there is no problem with double dipping if you want to. I really like the individual bowls. Of course, the one thing Randy was really looking forward to ordering was a 32ounce beer that Bob had been telling him about. He really enjoyed that a lot after a very hot day on the road.
I know that while most Mexican restaurants offer similar fare it is not always presented in the same way. At home I am used to my Chalupas being presented as a flat tortilla shell, refried beans topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole. Here they did not have tomatoes. I found the wait staff very accommodating when I asked if I could please have tomatoes for my Chalupas. Within minutes he was back at my table with a small bowl of chopped tomatoes. I also asked if they could give my guacamole to Randy and again they didn’t hesitate and brought a small plate for him. Randy really like the guacamole and said, “It is hotter than any hot salsa I’ve ever eaten. But I am going to continue to eat it because it is really good”. He also said that it was very spicy.
Randy also remarked that he really liked the texture of the meat in his enchilada. He said that it reminded him of the way I fix the meat in our tacos back home. The meat was very fine unlike some he has had where the meat was clumpy. The fineness of the meat actually made it moister to the taste. We asked our waiter what style of Mexican food the chef prepared he told us that they all considered the cuisine to be Tex Mex.
The menu offered a wide variety of choices as well as luncheon and dinner combinations. One thing Randy and I always look on Mexican restaurant menus is their lunch combination. We have noticed over a period of time that their number one choice on the luncheon menu is called the ‘Speedy Gonzales’. The choice includes one taco, on enchilada and either rice or beans. Randy love Enchiladas and I love Tacos so we each order the ‘Speedy Gonzales’ and when it is brought to us we switch. I give Randy my enchilada and he gives me his taco and we each get beans. They also offer kid’s meals, vegetarian plates and a nice selection of Mexican desserts.
While we were eating I noticed that the piped in music was Oldies and again I called over our water and said, “Where is the Mexican music. I like to listen Mexican music when in a Mexican restaurant.” He explained that they had been having with the Internet but would check for me. A moment or two later there was my Mexican music playing quietly in the background. They met each of our requests pleasantly and with a smile.
They seemed very willing to do whatever it took to make our dining experience wonderful! So, if you find yourself driving north or south on Interstate 95 and want to stop for lunch or dinner get off at exit 20 and stop in at the San Jose Mexican Restaurant where the food is good, the staff is friendly and the prices are reasonable.
Stay tuned as we travel north in search of new and wonderful places to visit and wonderful places to eat.