Road Trip Arcata: Running, Climbing, Drinking, Gorging

While Arcata is 98% crappy food, it is also 2% Portlandia, with a Farmers Market and a few spots that utilize all of the Portlandia buzzwords-local, organic, gluten-free, flax, folic acid, you know, whatever. And all of that stuff is priced as though it’s white truffles, and so it was at Los Bagels.


It’s nice that they have an outdoor patio, and the place is all windows, and, that is lovely as well. The pricing, and the staff, however, are stupid as shit, but that is just how it goes up there.


This is the problem: a bagel with cream cheese, tomato, and onion is $3.75. A bagel with salmon flavored cream cheese is $4.75. A bagel with salmon flavored cream cheese, tomato, and onion? Why, that would be $8.50 of course.

After waiting a few minutes after we ordered, I asked someone behind the counter how we go about actually getting our coffees and he replied with, Oh, how many coffee’s did you order? (soooo, had I not asked, how would this have gone?) I told him three, and some other chick piped up and said “oh, I’ll get them in a minute” with a dismissive wave of her hand. Thanks babe. It’s not exactly the most organized, logical, or efficient place on the planet.

I had to go to the car while we waited, where I was subjected to an announcement by a pregnant woman that her dog is really protective of her unborn child. SIGH.

My bagel was delicious. They do lay on an absurdly thick layer of cream cheese, and I’m not sure I understand the confetti method with the onion, but, still, it made me really happy.


After digestion, I went for a run that took me through the campus, to a park/forest path, and back out through the town. The forest path was so beautiful and the air so fresh; what a great place to run.


When I was done Max took us to his climbing gym, “Far North Climbing.”


I’d never been rock climbing before. It’s Max’s obsession, and not only was he a good teacher but it was pretty cool to watch him do it so gracefully and with such apparent ease. Definitely something I would like to do again.


There was a sudden and intense crisis of hunger so we left the climbing gym and walked a few blocks to Humboldt Brews (HumBrews), a bar/restaurant off the square, where both the world cup and the Giant’s were on TV.


Like all of the other bars in Arcata, the menu at HumBrews is composed of bar snacks, burgers, and sandwiches.




I have no complaints. That’s about all there is to say about that.

After some showers, we headed to Mad River Brewing Company, which is a short freeway drive from Arcata. It was a beautiful day, and lots of people were taking advantage of the outdoor patio.


Mad River had some really delicious beer at some really awesome prices. My IPA pints were $4.50/each, and they were offering their stout, which was down to the last few kegs, at $1.50/glass. (!!!) They had been so busy that day that they ran out of fries, chili, and chicken, so our only snack option was tater tots.


Max got a burger. It was fine.


There was a brief stop back at Everett’s for some pre-dinner cocktails where We had an insanely stupid conversation with the bartender regarding the rules of Dungeons and Dragons, and then we pushed off to Shamus T’Bones (aka Shamus McGillicutty’s, aka Shamus O’Tbones, aka Shamus McTits) in Eureka.


Um. What a place. What a kitschy, ridiculous, gimmicky, ridiculous, schticky, ridiculous place. We were greeted by this stupid statue, that everyone (including us, clearly) had to take a picture with


and then we walked into an enormous dining room, past a bar, and under a water bridge/sculpture of sorts


Can you see that thing? We were led into a back dining room area, and seated next to a window that looked over a back lawn and Humboldt Bay (I think?). The view was really very pretty.

The cocktail menu was a little alarming, with some really crap wine and a sick sweet sounding specialty cocktail, but we stuck with a plain old martini and were rewarded with giant drinks, at which point we knew all would go well at Shamus McT’s



As we strategized about what to order (interestingly, a T-bone was not one of the options), a heaping plate of cornbread muffins showed up. There was a plate of already room temp butter on the table, and I housed my muffin. It was delish.


Jake and I, being the fat fuck heathens that we are, ordered a 12 ounce steak, the two included sides, plus two additional sides.

Side one was the “all you can eat” salad bar. As though that was necessary. The bar itself looks like it’s aboard an airstream trailer, and, at the very end is a watch-the-poor-bastard-cook window. Poor bastard.




I got kinda judged for my salad bar choices, but in the end, it was the best of the two attempts, Randi’s being this disgusting mess coated in balsamic syrup. Seriously, she freaked out at that bar.

The corn was a really nice surprise, being all browned and buttery and whatnot.


The steak had that flat corn-fed flavor, but that is just how it is, and it was at least topped with a compound butter to make it a ‘lil more tasty. Those mashed potatoes were my least favorite thing, but really, the whole deal was craptastic, so, a bowl of wet cheesy mashed p’s wasn’t all that outside the realm.


The mac and cheese. Who doesn’t love a soupy, bloated mac and cheese every now and again? It totally hit the spot.


As we sat in the afterglow of our Shamus McT’s extravaganza, the boys went outside to lasso in the lasso yard (I’m serious) and we took in the tesla coil show, which was announced to us moments before it occurred.



You understand this place, right? I think of all of the crap choices that Arcata/Eureka has to offer, you can have a solidly crap-tasty dinner here. It’s really one of the best choices you have.

From there, Max took us to Living the Dream, an ice cream/gelato spot, for one last fattening calorie load before bed.


There were probably ten flavors from which to choose. I went with half licorice root, half maple bacon (real. legit. lardons mixed in!!!) in a waffle cone. It was a wonderful way to end the night.


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