Monthly Archives: November 2012

Community Profiles – Georgetown, Part 1

Georgetown - July 4, 1890

Georgetown – July 4, 1890

The first miners in the Georgetown area were a party of Oregonians led by a Mr. Hudson. They arrived in June of 1849 and, although they found deposits of gold at both “Hudson’s Gulch” and “Oregon Canyon,” for some reason they soon moved on.

By August of 1849 several hundred miners that had come from Coloma in search of the golden deposits had located their claims at the north side of the head of Empire Canyon.

Because they found rich deposits, more miners soon arrived and a town was established on the slope downhill from today’s location. First it was named George’s Town and then Georgetown after the first miner to pitch a tent at that location, a sailor named George Phipps (there is controversy about this, since some report that it was named after another 49er, George Ehrenhart). However, for many years the miners continued to call the place Growlersburg after the sound made by the large gold nuggets that “growled” in their pans.

The first log house in young George’s Town was erected about September 20th of 1849. From there the town grew rapidly – it would soon have dozens of stores built of logs, shakes and canvas – as it spread north and east.

With the completion of the “Georgetown Cut-Off” road, travel thorough the town increased and there were added several hotels, the Missouri, Illinois and Alabama, and The Round Tent, a gambling saloon near to the apparently “notorious” Bee House.

Steppin’ Out – Chicago Pizza, Burgers (and Indian Food)

Rani and Bobby


I like food. I like eating.  And I don’t want to deprive myself of good food.”
~ Sarah Michelle Gellar

Okay, I know it is a different name for a restaurant, but that is the name of this very popular restaurant at 6246 Main St. (Highway 49) in the town of El Dorado.
It is so popular on the Internet that Urbanspoon gives it a 98 percent rating, Yelp gives it over 4.5 stars and I just think it is wonderful.

Owners Bobby and Rani bought the place with its wood-fired pizza oven in early 2009, and started out with just pizza and burgers, later adding Indian cuisine. All the food is good, but the Indian food, according to everyone I have talked to (including myself), is the best around.

As you may know, I have enjoyed the burgers, pizza and numerous Indian dishes over the years and everything has been excellent. Because the kitchen, the wood-fired pizza oven and the seating area are small, if the place is full you might have a wait, but it is worth it. Remember, good food takes time to cook.

The menu starts with a large list of eight meats, three sauces and a dozen toppings you can put on your hand-tossed pizza. But, if you don’t want to design one for yourself, there are eight speciality pizzas, such as the Chicago Supreme, Meat Lovers, Garlic Chicken, Hawaiian and even a Veggie Lovers.

The burgers, which are made to order with fresh lettuce, tomato and onion, and come with an order of fries and a fountain drink, include: the Chicago Burger, Veggie Burger, Jalapeno Burger, Avocado Burger (yum), Western Burger, Bacon Cheese Burger, Mushroom Swiss Burger and more. They also have fish or chicken sandwiches and, to accompany all the sandwiches, quite a list of side orders and appetizers.

If you aren’t hungry by now, I am, and I still have the Indian food to describe.

The list of Indian dishes takes up half the menu and includes first a list of appetizers such as Papadum, a crisp spicy cracker made from lentil flour and the Samosa, a treat stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas. Following that are the main dishes including just in the chicken dishes, Chicken Curry, Vindaloo, Bhuna, Tikka, Kandari, Saag, Tikka Masala (the most popular dish in Great Britain), Makhni and Mushroom. And there are also two beef dishes, Meatball Curry and Meatball Bhuna. (If you would like a breakdown on what each dish contains, check at their website where you will find everything listed).

There are also a dozen vegetable dishes made with potatoes, lentils, garbanzo beans, cauliflower, eggplant, peas, spinach, mushrooms and even okra, cooked a number of delicious ways.
Listed under “From The Sea,” is Fish Curry, along with Fish Masala, Shrimp Curry, Shrimp Saag, Shrimp Masala and Shrimp Vindaloo.

No, I am not finished yet.

Breads, which are an excellent accompaniment for their food include: the pan baked Roti, deep fried Pooris, pan fried, multi-layered Parantha, a spiced flat chickpea Missi Roti, and Parantha stuffed with potatoes or cauliflower or just sweetened.

Oh, there is more, such as plain rice and rice with vegetables, nuts and raisins, along with several kinds of dessert.

They also have fountain drinks, domestic and Indian beer and wine, Indian drinks like Sweet Lassi and Mango Lassi and even a Mango Shake.

As I mentioned before, I have eaten there a number of times and have never had anything that I didn’t love. Also, the people are so friendly and nice, and will take the time to explain each dish to you and prepare it to your liking. In a nutshell, it is a is a family owned and run business that makes great food.

Because they serve pizza, burgers and Indian food, it is very family and group friendly. Get together a group, order several things and share. I have seen people doing that almost every time I have been there and they always seem to be enjoying themselves.

The hours are from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day except Monday. For more information call 530-621-3900 or visit

Oh, I should add that there is a lot of additional parking in the lot behind their business and Annabelle’s Chocolate Lounge, which is almost next door. So, if it looks crowded out front, there is always room to park in back.

Steppin’ Out – Crystal Basin Bistro

 A couple of weeks ago I headed up the hill to meet my food-loving friend, Russ Salazar, at Crystal Basin Bistro which is located at 3590 Carson Road, Suite B, not far from their other business, Crystal Basin Cellars winery.

I got there early and had an opportunity to talk with one of the owners, Mike Owen, who showed me around the building and patio, explaining how they got the barn wood and the eclectic decorations, and the great job one of my neighbors, Nick Miller, did on both the floor and the patio (Miller is a contractor who does roofs, floors and ceilings).

To get your food you go to the counter and place your order, grab utensils and water glasses and then find a table. It is simple, and keeps costs down. So, after sampling a few wines at their wine tasting bar, we grabbed what we needed and found a table while Owen picked out a few items for us to try.

Chef Lisa Scott has created a fantastic menu of tasty shareable plates which cost between $6 and $8 and they all have descriptive, interesting names like: The Tijuana – Carnitas Tacos (3) with Tomatillo Salsa; The Salinas – Stuffed Artichoke with Lemon-Caper Aioli, The Hong Kong – Ginger-Wasabi Shrimp atop Asian Slaw on Won Tons and The Washington D. C. – Mushroom Caps with a meat stuffing and a bit of créme sauce.

Owen picked the Washington D.C., a BLAT and some of Lisa’s version of Pasta Fagioli soup, all of which both of us agreed were excellent.

The soup, filled with pasta, garbanzos and flavor, was perfect for a rainy day, like the day we were there. The mushrooms were delicious and after we had finished them, we asked for more bread to sop up the sauce and what stuffing had slipped from the mushroom caps (the plate was very clean when we finished).

The BLAT, which was a large wrap filled with bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato (thus the name), had, in Salazar’s words, “All of the textures and tastes, along with the flavors.”

When he first looked at the BLAT he said, “It’s just a tortilla,” but after tasting it, couldn’t put it down. “I’m going to bring my bowling team here to have the mushrooms and the BLAT,” he said, “and then maybe try everything else on the menu.” Later Owen told me he did show up with his team the following Sunday. It is always exciting when you find something new that you really like.

The wine list is different from the wines you can taste and buy across the lawn at Crystal Basin Cellars. They have great names like: a sparkling Pomme, Bada Bing!, Bada Boom!, Suite Thang, Fuget about It, Kougar Coolaid, etc. And to help you, each menu item notes a wine that they believe will pair best with it.

Wine and beer are only $5 a glass ($4 during happy hour from 5 until 7) and they have quite a selection. Bottled wine costs the same if you want to buy it to drink there or to take with you.

Speaking of taking it with you, everything can be packaged to go and they have a whole lot of deli items to add to your meal, including cheese from Dedrick’s Cheese in Placerville, and even some goods you probably can’t find anywhere else, like lots of hot sauces and even canned white abalone (what!).

Crystal Basin Bistro is open from 11a.m. until 7p.m., Monday through Thursday and from 9a.m. until 7p.m., Friday through Sunday. (Breakfast burritos served until 11a.m. then the regular menu takes over).

For more information visit their webpage at or call 530-303-3749.