Saturday, March 16, 2013

The third E is Eating

(Continued from previous post.)

So I was driving westbound on California Avenue, which is now a mixture of residences and car repair shops with the occasional other store thrown in. At the end of California Avenue, where it intersects with both San Antonio Avenue and Mission Boulevard, you can find Ramon's Cactus Patch.

This restaurant, which has been on this particular corner for over 50 years, and has been in existence in various Ontario locations since either 1937 or 1938, bears the distinction of being the first Mexican restaurant in Ontario. Except, however, that back in the 1930s, advertising a restaurant as a "Mexican" restaurant would be bad for business. (As I learned during my tour of the museum, the desegregation of Ontario public schools was a controversial issue in the 1940s.) So Ramon referred to his business as a "Spanish" restaurant - at least until he had a regular clientele.

I learned a lot of this while waiting for my order. Two articles - one from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's David Allen, the other from a local Upland newsletter - told of the history of the restaurant. (I couldn't find the Allen article that is at the tables of Ramon's Cactus Patch, but Allen has written about the restaurant several times, most recently here.)

The food is nothing fancy (no Chinese fusion here), but is very good.

I just regret that I waited so long to visit the place.

Ramon's Cactus Patch, like the museum, has limited hours. It closes for two hours every afternoon, and it is closed all day Sunday.

So how was your Saturday morning?

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