Tuesday, March 10, 2009

California Jeopardy: Vices in a Tent at 4000 Feet

Alex, what is the Cahuilla Casino on highway 371 in Anza?

Cahuilla Casino
52702 Hwy 371
Anza, CA 92539
1-888-371-ANZA (2692)

I find Anza worrisome. It is about 40 extremely windy oftentimes icy miles northeast from Temecula. About 120 miles from my house and another world away.

I have been stuck at this casino in a snowstorm, during a heatwave and during an interminable 90 minute lunch break. There are no auto services for putting on chains in case of snow. There are often wind warnings in effect for people traveling the hilly, vertiginous roads in between Anza and Hemet, Anza and Indio/Palm Desert and Anza and Temecula. This morning at 6:55 AM the mercury dropped to 22 degrees as I drove past one of California's most welcoming casinos.

The bartenders and the manager here are as friendly as heck, even when telling you to put your camera away, now. I wonder if they are suspicious, do I look so out of place that maybe I am casing the joint? One member of the slightly less glamorous Oceans 3.14?

Whatever the reason, the faces are always smiling, the rum & diet cokes are strong and the Caesar salad is the tastiest food served for lunch within about 15 miles (nothing else is open for lunch except Dairy Queen & 7-Eleven).

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