Thursday, January 28th, 2016
Today I took my mom to visit one of the local gems in the high desert, a place that’s had me visiting the small town of Littlerock, CA for well over a decade. Charlie Brown Farms is a place that has it all and I mean “ALL”. If you can think of any confection, they most like have it or at least some variation of it there. If you are traveling to Littlerock via Hwy 18 from the 395 like I do, just be aware that Hwy 18 is closed past Oasis Rd. The old bridge that overpasses a set of railroad tracks is being demolished and rebuilt. This construction will have that sector of highway closed until May 2016.
All westbound traffic is diverted south to the 138 via Oasis Rd and unfortunately for all drivers on that Highway, the poor planning of the City of Pinion Hills has caused what the construction crews are labeling as “1 Lane Traffic” when in reality it’s “No Lane Traffic” because they were allowing a two mile long section of traffic to pass at a time off road. So basically, someone thought diverting the detour traffic from a road closure to a really messed up construction site was a good idea. Our typical 45 minute drive increased by an additional 30 minutes. However, if you are coming from L.A. via Hwy 14 to Hwy 138, then you’re all good to go.
“Here’s a section of the opposite 2 miles worth of traffic waiting as we pass by.”
Once we got past this highway mess, I was free to open the throttle and get back to normal highway speeds until our destination was within site. Charlie Brown Farms has grown a lot in popularity and if you want to avoid the crowds, I highly suggest visiting either as early as you can on the weekends or anytime Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday according to the staff.
Charlie Brown Farms started out as a fruit stand in 1929 and has expanded to six acres with one acre dedicated to parking. It’s been a landmark on the Pearblossom Highway in Littlerock, California ever since.
“Welcome to the land of a thousand and one confections!”
“This is the sign that you’ll see first on Hwy 138.”
The first order of business is getting lunch! I always get the same thing here as it can be very troublesome if you come to eat with an indecisive mind because clearly you will spend an hour trying to choose a meal on their massive menu. For me, it’s always the a “1 Meat Combo” off their Texas Style BBQ menu. The meat of choice is always their very famous Tri Tip along with two sides and cornbread for $10.95. Mom got herself a similar plate, except her sides were cole slaw and cowboy beans, while I had the cole slaw and the potato salad.
“This is where you place your order, the menus in this image represent about half the menu.”
The food is definitely worth the wait here and on a busy day, you will have a hard time finding a place to sit in the back seating area. There are other seating options outside, but It can get ugly in the warmer months when you will be sharing your meal with dozens of pesky flies. The wait time can be up to 35 minutes sometimes, but if you take my advice and place an order during the low crowd times, your meal will be ready in as little as seven minutes flat!
“This was the fastest turn around time I ever had here and damn did it look good!, thanks for the lighting suggestion mom!” =D
After finishing up a most excellent Tri Tip plate, the next best thing you can do is walk it off. The perfect way to do that is to take a stroll through the shop and make sure to keep your eyes peeled because you may find yourself looking at candy that you had not seen since your childhood or even some that you’ve never heard of such as Tabasco flavored chocolate for example.
“Strawberry Laces are always great choice!”
“Mary Janes, now there’s a classic candy right there.”
“My Grandfathers all time favorite, Salt Water Taffy!”
“This place has more soda pop than I ever heard of and lots of classics too.”
“They even have some very odd flavor names.”
“The produce section is full fruits and vegetables from local farmers.”
“You can even bring in your own containers to fill up from their locally harvested honey pot.”
“Or you can get some of that tasty honey in a pre packaged classic teddy jar.”
“They have a fridge in the back that has some pretty interesting meat products.”
“They also have a vast array of really hot sauces.”
“Curious George and Fidel Castro are shelf buddies here.”
“This place has so much amazing stuff.”
These photos are just a summary of the photographic highlights, there is so much more that this place has to offer. Charlie Brown Farms has been roadside on the 138 for almost a hundred years now and they just keep getting more amazing with every passing. This is definitely one of many popular hot spots in high desert. The Devil’s Punchbowl is nearby, so if you’re looking to do a day trip, I highly recommend taking a hike at the Punchbowl and then stopping by Charlie Brown’s for a delicious post hike meal.
Until the next discovery, remember to get out there and “Shoot the Planet!”
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