Sunday, December 30, 2007


Part of LA Weekly's BEST OF L.A., October 2007

Best Escape Vittles, in LA Weekly

When I contemplate the possibility of a nuclear strike on Los Angeles, which I find myself doing more and more these days — thank you, Ahmadinejad — I think about (1) possible escape routes and (2) the animals I would be willing to eat if I were forced into some sort of hunter-warrior Werner Herzog–inspired survival attempt far from civilization. I start by charting a course toward the Pearblossom Highway, a gateway road that leads to desert and mountain hideaways where I could set up camp and hunt in the wild. Then I remember I’m lazy, nearsighted and asthmatic, and there’s no way I would be able to catch anything that moves faster than dripping molasses.

Thankfully, since 1929, the Antelope Valley’s reputedly dangerous Pearblossom Highway has been home to the tourist-trap emporium Charlie Brown Farms, which sells prepackaged, flash-frozen wild-game meat that I would only consider eating if it meant not having to cook my dog/brother/blanket.

Before the Village of Gnomes hut, and right behind the display of gag gifts for seniors — including the key chain with the timeless message “You know you’re getting old when getting lucky means finding your car in the parking lot” — you’ll bump into the meat freezer. There you’ll find a wide selection of vacuum-sealed dead-animal bits. Turtle, kangaroo (available in medallions and ground patties), alligator, rattlesnake and bear (the type of bear is not specified — plain bear, I guess) are some of Mother Earth’s finest that you can purchase and defrost on your overheated engine block when you eventually break down in the middle of the Mojave Desert. But if you’re not willing to eat snake just yet, you can still stimulate your backwoods palate with Charlie Brown’s venison, bison and ostrich burgers, which you can wash down with sweet-potato fries and a date shake. On your way out, pick up a hunting knife — the one adorned with an image of Angelina Jolie, half naked and set against a Confederate flag, should impress any foes you may encounter on your long journey into the backcountry.

8317 Pearblossom Hwy., Littlerock, (661) 944-2606 or

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