OldWestNewWest.com: History & Travel Magazine

Feb 22nd
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When gamblers Wild Bill Hickok and Dave Tutt squared off against each other to shoot it out on July 21, 1865 in Springfield, Missouri, they had no idea just how momentous their gunfight would become for America's Old West history.

At a distance of about 75 yards between them, Hickok and Tutt faced off from opposite sides of the town square. The story goes that Tutt shot first, but it went wide. Wild Bill then took careful aim and mortally plugged Tutt in the chest.

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When you visit New Mexico, and you're hungry, you have to think Mexican food. While there are several excellent Mexican-style restaurants in the state, one of the best is Barelas Coffee House in Albuquerque.

Located in the South Valley, Barelas is unpretentious, casual; a place of, by and for the people, but don't assume this is just another local coffee shop. You may see corporate executives, high-ranking politicians and government movers and shakers sitting at the table next to you, quietly wolfing down warm tortillas along with their bowl of chili beans.
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Off beat, and off the beaten path? Great steaks? Live entertainment? All of that and more, we were told by friends of OldWestNewWest.Com. If we wanted good food and a good story, we had to stop at Black Bart's Steak House and Saloon in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Since we were heading through northern Arizona, we did just that.

First off, our restaurant spies weren't wrong about Black Bart's being a little off the beaten path. Even though in their brochure the owners say that "even a tenderfoot could find it" we had to drive around the area a few times looking for it. (Does that make us tenderfoots, or just suffering from a case of tender feet?) You see, we were looking for a restaurant. Looking for a restaurant is not how you find it.

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We love really good Mexican food, and we love a really good story. We found both at La Golondrina Café and Historic Landmark on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.

First the story. La Golondrina's roots go back to 1924 when Consuelo Castillo de Bonzo first opened the doors to La Misión Cafe on South Spring Street. An entrepreneurial and charismatic woman (born in Mexico, she and her widowed mother came to Los Angeles in 1899), she not only became an important voice among the growing Mexican community, but made many political contacts among city movers and shakers.
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We love French dip sandwiches - carved slices of just-roasted beef piled on the bottom half of a fresh-baked French roll, a slice of Swiss or provolone on top of that, with the top of the bun quickly dipped in beef au jus and gently pressed on top of the meat.

We love the way they get sort of drippy ooey-gooey, and with just a little mustard or horse relish added at the last minute to create kind of a juicy sauce with a kick. A small cup of beef au-jus for dipping ... a couple of cold Kosher dill pickle slices on the side ... the mouth waters just at the thought of it all.
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We love it when we can literally step into Old West history, pull up a chair and chow down on one of our favorite foods-prime rib-and that's exactly what we did when we visited Cody, Wyoming and had dinner at Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel Restaurant and Saloon.

The Irma Hotel is real Wild West history, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service. Buffalo Bill (real name William F. Cody) was instrumental in founding the town of Cody in the late 1890s. Ever the showman and entrepreneur, Cody believed the town could be viable as a base camp for people wanting to visit the wonders of Yellowstone, or on their way to the growing number of dude ranches in the area.
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