Monday, November 3, 2014

Nixon, El Adobe, and Sophie Leavitt



Publicity is often a ruiner of things. If you've had a favorite spot "buzz-fed" or "listversed" on a "Twenty-Five Greatest" clickbait post and then have watched in horror as your ability to get a table diminishes along with the ambiance, and often the quality of the food too, then you know of what I type. When Richard Nixon and his First Lady took a liking to San Juan Capistrano's El Adobe De Capistrano restaurant during his time as PotUS, the owners changed the menu from continental cuisine to focus on Nixon's Mexican favorites. They even got special chairs for the First Rumps (call ahead to dine in them).

While I can't speak for or against the food that was, I can tell you that these days El Adobe is serving up some of the most tourist-friendly Mexican-style food in San Juan Capo, and that ain't good. It ain't bad, but it ain't good.

It wasn't good for the ambiance, either. While a lot of the old west charm is still firmly in place, it's often marred by "Dick and Pat Were Here" PotUS worship. Still, if you get a kick out of Dick this is your kind of spot.

It's not mine, but it was worth a larf, and while I don't have much good to say about the Nixons, I will say that in the course of researching a couple of ideas for this piece I ran across this article which contains a letter Nixon wrote to Penny Pincher's Cook Book author Sophie Leavitt praising her for providing those less privileged with a path to better nutrition. I suppose that even the man who said "Oh, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal" wasn't all bad.