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Aug 10, 2009 08:11 PM

Seeking dinner in San Bernardino

Need some help finding a reasonably priced, reasonably good, place for dinner for a group of maybe 20 in the San Bernardino area, or nearby along the 10. Does not need to be "haute cuisine", but someplace better than Coco's or MickeyD's would be great! Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

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  1. Not many great choices in San Bernardino. Would you perhaps be willing to provide a wider range of cities along the 10 that would be acceptable? Have some ideas, but not sure they'd be in your range.

    1. The Sycamore Inn is an idea. Pretty good food and an ambiance that takes you back in time to a feel of old California hospitality you will never forgot. I have never had a bad meal there. I have had some very nice times there with a taste of home cooking tempered by a chef. This place is frozen in history and every time I stand on the front porch I wonder what was on the minds of locals, who could afford to eat there during the Great Depression, when they once stood on that spot and witnessed the daily procession of cars and trucks overloaded with family members and their belongings heading west just a hundred feet away on Route 66.

      The Sycamore Inn

      I have a pretty good idea what the folks passing by were thinking. “To California or any place—every one a drum major leading a parade of hurts, marching with our bitterness. And some day—the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they'll all walk together, and there'll be a dead terror from it.” The Grapes of Wrath.

      7 Replies
      1. re: JeetJet

        That's a great idea...they're offering $10-15 dinner specials if you dine before 8PM. However, it's in Upland...which is a good 20-30 mins west of San Bernardino on the 10.

        1. re: attran99

          Yeah, it is the only place that comes to mind. I onced worked in the area but have no idea of what other places might be good now. It really is not "along the 10" b ut is between every freeway.

          The Sycamore Inn -- call for reservations
          8318 Foothill Blvd.
          Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730-3109

          Telephone: (909) 982-1104

          Directions -- Freeway close to San Berdo --North of the 10, West of the 15 and south of the 210

        2. re: JeetJet

          That's a great image, JJ, and a great Steinbeck quote, although I'm not sure the bürgermeisters standing on that porch in the Forties thought much about "the armies of bitterness"!

          Having grown up everywhere, I sometimes forget that I started out in California. My family and I undoubtedly passed by the Sycamore Inn on Route 66 long before Depeche Mode discovered what Nat "King" Cole always knew.

          I eat at the Sycamore half-a-dozen times a year and have always had an excellent meal and -- almost always -- very professional service. It's a fine, old-fashioned roadhouse with something to please every age and taste, and we need more of those.

          1. re: Harry Nile

            You know what? Considering the state of our economy today, I think you are correct. Those who stand on such porches, then and now, never consider what could happen if the "the armies of bitterness" all march together but I am sure they had. some thoughts about what they saw.. I can see a fat cigar in hand, mouth dropped wide-open and a puzzled look on their faces as the parade marched past....

            That made me think about where those armies (back then and now) might have gathered at meal time for a good and large meal at a low price. How about a “Full Order” at Vince’s? Decades ago I use to eat at the original location on Valley Blvd. (Onterio?). Is that place still there? I found this location below but have never been to it and do not know whether they are still around. I had a good plate of spaghetti at the Temecula and Torrance locations of Vince’s. Good meat sause, meat balls balls and cheese bread also.

            Vince's Spaghetti
            8241 Foothill Blvd (just down the road from The Sycamore Inn on old Rute 66)
            Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
            (909) 981-1003

            You got me wanting to buy a Nat "King" Cole CD and take a drive out to Vince's . I am sure he was singing on the radio when we "soldiers of bitterness " use to drive from the SGV to Vince's for a "Half Order" - ah..., back then. We use to bring home the leftover spaghetti and fry it on that big black cast iron pan the next day and make some great white bread spaghetti sandwich for lunch. .

            1. re: JeetJet

              Ugh, Vince's... I was introduced to the original Ontario location when I was a starving student. Years later the Mrs. and I were tooling down Holt Avenue in Ontario and spotted the original Vince's (which was like in an old motel) and thought we'd give it a try.

              We enter this sort of ramshackle building and were seated in the first dining room, that was devoid of customers. We order and then the "food" starts coming, pushed out by the waitress on a trolley. Unremarkable salad, I believe an insipid (canned) soup course, and then the "piece di resistance", two plates of spaghetti with "meat sauce", which smelled and looked like warm dog food.

              The Mrs. and I pushed the food aside, untouched, paid the bill and walked out, thankful that we got out alive.

              1. re: ChinoWayne

                Hey Wayne, good to see you posting and hope to see more.

                “We were seated in the first dining room.” Yeah, there were several large rooms full of large tables. Now they have several very nice locations. I don’t think I ever walked through the entire original location to count how many rooms they had but I do recall they sat hundreds of people. That makes me recall the huge waiting room which was jammed with more than a hundred people on Friday and Saturday nights and all waiting to be seated to enjoy a “Big Night” out. I use to like looking through the window out back and seeing that big clean white kitchen with those giant pots of fresh made sauce and spaghetti. Those giant pots and that sign, “We serve over 30 tons of spaghetti every month” was proof that an “Army” ate there, including some starving students. That is what Vince's Spaghetti is all about – feeding an army. IMO, for the price point, this giant plate of pasta is pretty good and most of the time I would prefer the ambiance of eating with the soldiers over trying to stomach eating, with the enemy behind the lines of pretentiousness .

              2. re: JeetJet

                Mmmm, Vince's...The greasy orange bolognese that would stain your mouth. I've been saying for years that I'm going to take a drive to Cucamonga and eat at Vince's...It's more nostalgia than anything.

          2. You might check out the options at Victoria Gardens, which is relatively close to San Berdoo (given freeway conditions) and might not discombobulate your friends who may be returning to disparate locales from San Berdoo:

            Take I-10 West to I-15 North. Exit at Foothill Boulevard. Make a left turn onto Foothill Boulevard and travel approximately 3/10 mile to Day Creek Boulevard. Make a right turn onto Day Creek Boulevard. Access to the center is available by making a right turn (heading east) onto North Mainstreet, South Mainstreet or Versailles Street. (Note these insructions are from the Victoria Gardens web site, I would take a slightly alternate route, and take I-210 west out of San Berdoo, it gets you closer to Victoria Gardens, and without having to "back track".)

            There is a branch of Lucille's there, King's Fish House, Yardhouse, P.F. Chang's, etc.

            Here is a dated report on Sycamore Inn, which is further west, on Foothill Bl, and not freeway adjacent:

            1 Reply
            1. re: ChinoWayne

              Nice post about the Sycamore Inn. The mention of steak got me thinking about the Spunky Steer. I like the "Special" steak and also the larger "stockyard Steak" at the Spunkty Steer but have only been to the Temecula location which has since moved. But the price was pretty good and they also offer a really good fried chicken dinner.The steak house fries were great also. I am not sure if there is a location closer to San Berdoo but ...

              Tony;s spunky Steer
              4957 Felspar St, Riverside, CA 92509
              (909) 681-6014

              Note, the same menu and food is offered at other locations with different names. I can't recall the name of the place in Orange but in La Verne it is ...
              2080 Foothill Blvd
              LA Verne, CA 91750-3559
              (909) 596-3285