Best of 2000: Best Country Meal

    RD's Log Cabin
    26650 San Felipe Road,
    Warner Springs
    (760) 782-2782

    Best time to find RD's is at night. But it's lonely. The Great Southern Overland Stage Route of 1849 was likely way busier 150 years ago. As Ronnie Swainn the owner says, "everybody hauling west to this part of California used to come by right outside this door. The Indian trails, the Butterfield Stage, the gold prospectors, even soldiers in the Civil War. This was the I-5 of the wagon era." No more. Now the sounds are coyotes and owls. So you feel relieved when you see a tin shack glowing there in the night under ghostly live oaks. And next to it, a lighted door and the sign "RD's Log Cabin." The menu is simple but, like the stagecoach passengers, you're grateful for anything at this point. Ask Ronnie about his hot steaming peset beans, a Diegueño Indian dish. "They're a great pick-me-up," he says. "You can live on these for weeks." The rest of the menu is basic, but generous. Cheeseburger, with fries or onion rings, $6.50, hamburger around $5, a Log Cabin Chili, $5. Ronnie sometimes organizes concerts out back, under the live oaks. Otherwise, get him going about local characters. Mention "Shoot-Em-Up" Ted. That should take care of the evening right there.

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