Dan and I recently enjoyed a quick weekend trip with family to Southern California. Most of the family flew, we decided to drive. The last couple of trips by plane have ended up almost breaking even time wise – once you long term park, shuttle in… go through security, baggage claim, car rental, etc.
We ended up meeting family and friends at Ruby’s Diner in old town Orange, CA. for dinner Saturday night. The Diner is located just off Chapman Avenue at 186 N. Atchison Street.
Ruby’s Diner is a chain restaurant with locations in Southern California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas and Missouri.
This particular Ruby’s was a true gem. The diner had amazing charm because of its train station location. When you walk through the front door, you see the diner on your right and the Streamliner Lounge on your left. The lounge is a full bar with live entertainment on weekends.
The Santa Fe Train Depot and Park are registered historic landmarks. The original wooden Santa Fe Depot was constructed in 1888, and the surrounding park was established in 1891. The station was replaced with a new Mediterranean Revival style depot (which now houses The Streamliner Lounge and Ruby’s Diner) and was dedicated on May 2, 1938.
The main Santa Fe line connected rail service to Riverside, San Diego, and Los Angeles from a junction north of the present depot. The railroad helped make the local citrus industry possible, allowing fresh fruit to be shipped throughout the United States. By the 1920′s, more than half a dozen packing houses were located beside the tracks. During peak seasons, up to 48 cars of citrus, walnuts, and olives were shipped each day from the depot. By 1925, sixteen passenger trains a day stopped at Orange. Service declined through the years and the Santa Fe Depot closed in 1971 and was acquired by the City of Orange. Present day passenger connections are provided by Metrolink to Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and San Diego.
I was a little obsessed with the delivery truck parked out front. See tiny Dan leaning up against the building? Hi tiny Dan.
I explored a bit before the rest of the family arrived and was given a tour by the hostess. I love the information booth/hostess station.
We started on the Steamliner Lounge side of the depot.
The waiting area was cool, they made sure to bring out the history of the old Orange Depot. Check out the beautiful wooden full bar with the garden size train that runs on tracks throughout the entire restaurant. Unfortunately the train wasn’t working the day we were there. They did have a running smaller scale model train on the tracks above one of the lounge seating areas. The tracks were surrounded by hand painted western railroad stations and landmarks.
I spy Disneyland to the right… Opposite of the Streamliner Lounge is the actual diner side of the depot.
No bright white tables and red vinyl booths at this Ruby’s Diner. The rich woods and classic diner touches were very warm and inviting – a nice change from classic old school diner interiors.
The servers wore vintage style red and white striped dresses, which added to the whole experience.
I ordered a Vanilla Coke and a Streamliner Burger. Melted double Swiss cheese and sliced avocado on grilled Parmesan sourdough with a side of sweet potato fries.
The burger was delicious! The Parmesan bread was crisped to perfection.
The kids were kept busy with their shake-it-up classic cruiser cars.
My niece ended up with “Vanilla Thrilla!” – a 1957 Ford Fairlane Hot Rod that she customized with a million different stickers. It was a sweet ride. There were 6 cars in the series and the kids loved playing with them.
Good times were had by all. I’m still kicking myself for not trying the Kit Kat Bar milkshake. Should have split one with my sister in law.
We wrapped up dinner with a quick trip to downtown Disney – I’m still walking with a cane due to a hip injury, so we leisurely strolled through some of the shops and called it a night. It feels like forever since I’ve actually cooked a decent meal. I’m super bummed about the chronic pain from my injury and I’ve pretty much been all over the place when it comes to food. I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve blogged… and the last couple of posts were more crafty than food. Hoping to get back to cooking soon. I miss blogging and trying new recipes… and my body could stand a complete nutrition overhaul.