When Chris and I road trip we like to find out of the way places to eat even if it is in the desert. On our recent trip to Las Vegas we spent a couple of days exploring outside of Las Vegas and found ourselves in Baker, California. Now Baker is home to several things including the world’s largest thermometer. The story around the thermometer is that Willis Herron had a dream of constructing a 134 foot tall thermometer to show the record high temperature in the U.S., in nearby Death Valley — 134 degrees Fahrenheit in 1913. So he did.
Herron chose Baker, California for the site as it is considered The Gateway to Death Valley and construction of his 134 foot tall thermometer with a gift shop at the bottom began and after some weather related incidents which caused a delay the structure was finally turned on in 1992. Herron died in 2007, the thermometer stopped working in 2012 and it was put up for sale. In 2014 the thermometer was purchased by Herron’s daughter, and his widow paid to repair the thermometer; it was officially turned back on Oct. 11.
The highest temperature still remains at 134 so the structure is still accurate when it boasts the highest temperature.
The real reason we took the exit to Baker, California was to visit The Mad Greek for lunch. Let me tell you –you could not miss this place.
Walking inside was an experience just like seeing the outside. The place was jam packed and it is obvious that people flock to this oasis in the desert. Chris ordered the lamb gyro platter and I order the pork gyro. We were amazed at the portion size and could obviously not eat it all.What was surprising was the amount of onions that we unearthed in our gyros. Now I love onion (Chris does not) and it was even way too much for me. Chris picked all his out and I put about half of mine in the container so you can see it was about a whole onion between the two sandwiches. After removing the onion we loved our sandwiches. The Tzaziki Sauce was wonderful and we were each given a generous amount to drizzle all over the meat to give it that special greek boost of flavor. I particularly loved the salad that came with Chris’s meal and helped myself to most of it.
The menu was not limited to Greek food. If you could dream it up it was on it and they had a whole area devoted to making milkshakes and other ice cream treats. We were so full after eating our meal that we could not even think about anything else but I saw plenty of folks who were enjoying lovely looking milkshakes.
If you ever find yourself in Baker, California this is a must visit. I did not take nearly enough pictures of the decor but you get the idea. Fun place that we found out was also featured on Diners, Drive Ins And Dives in their first season.