Readers of our page have probably guessed that we like to go places, lots of places. As such, our weekends are usually filled with desert themed explorations of places we’ve never been before, or places we like over and over again.
On one recent morning in particular, it was overcast and threatening rain. Being off-road out in the middle of nowhere (e.g. our favorite places) is not our first choice when it comes to a sudden deluge, where the desert can rapidly turn into a raging temporary sea. So on this day we decided to keep it local. Breakfast was our first stop. But where to go?
We decided to keep it local on this day, so we stopped at the the Green Tree Inn and Extended Stay Suites at the corner of 7th Street and Green Tree Boulevard, in Victorville. The Green Tree could easily be a historic landmark. It’s been here for years.
The Green Tree is located off Interstate 15, on old Route 66 at 14173 Green Tree Blvd in Victorville, California. How many thousands of cars drive by every day without merely a glance? It’s one of those landmarks that so many of us have become accustomed to, one of those that we see without giving it a second thought. “Let’s give the old place a try,” we said aloud. And so we did, with some trepidation. To put it mildly, we were delightfully surprised. In fact, we were so impressed we decided to write a feature about our experience.
Please note that we received no compensation for this brief foray into the wold inhabited by Guy Fieri (Diners Drive-ins and Dives) and others. Our review comes only from the heart, and a full stomach. We didn’t ask for a discount, and didn’t even try the “Buy me lunch” routine. Simply put, some folks just deserve a free shout-out when their food, service and amenities are outstanding. This is one of those places we want others to know about.
The Green Tree Inn and Extended Stay Suites remains popular with Las Vegas-bound visitors, Route 66 tourists and business people seeking longer accommodations, as it has for decades, albeit in several incarnations. The latest edition is the best. Despite the hustle and the bustle of busy Victorville and the nearby freeway, the Green Tree remains peaceful like an unexpected oasis in the desert.
Most people know there’s now a newly renovated Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf located here, but on this particular morning we decided to give their cafe a go and we were not disappointed.
We came mid-morning and practically had the place to ourselves. The staff was friendly, and service was fantastic. The menu offered a variety of reasonably priced choices.
The Cafe features a genuine brick pizza oven to make your favorite pizza!
Now, on to the foody review!
I chose the cheesy grits and egg breakfast from the menu and it was out of this world. I was instantly propelled back to my southern roots. John had his classic eggs and bacon breakfast with biscuits and gravy. He was very pleased. (On a later trip, I tried their massive chili relleno burrito, and it tasted amazing). We promise to work our way slowly through the menu until we’ve tasted everything on it!
Every. Single. Thing.
The family-run coffee shop and cafe is owned by husband and wife Rosario and Angel Mendoza. Chefs Angel, Pedro and Javier sure cook up some mighty fine grub from the modestly priced menu. Friendly waitstaff, Rosario, Debbie, Esmeralda, Mariana, Jackie, Jessica and Beau offers exemplary service with a smile.
After breakfast, we decided to wander around the hotel lobby a bit to check it out. I was aghast at discovering a little piece of Hollywood right in Victorville. Magnificent red crystal chandeliers, opulent metallic colored seating and huge Marilyn Monroe portraits contributed to the glamorous 50s decor.
Jessica explained the Green Tree Inn offers many amenities and services in addition to a gift shop, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and cafe, such as an award-winning restaurant, meeting facilities, a bar and lounge with live music and even an adjoining golf course.
The Green Tree Inn’s new owner is Tony Kahn. The Green Tree Inn’s Crown N Sword and Shabby Confections gift shop are under new management, husband and wife team Dee and Wayne Hindman, who are striving to make guests experiences better than ever.
Inside the Green Tree Inn, is the award-winning Crown N Sword Fine Dining Steak House, originally established in 1963. It has reopened after an absence. Many youngsters who dined there for special occasions way back when with their parents still return as adults with their families to enjoy the delicious menu.
If you are looking for a great fine dining experience in the high desert, this is IT!
The Rusty Horn Saloon inside the Green Tree Inn features live bands on Fridays and Saturdays and stand-up comedy on Thursdays.
Be aware that while the Green Tree Inn is coming back to life in a big way, including the Crown N Sword Fine Dining Steak House, the Rusty Horn Saloon with live music, and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Cafe, there are many people wandering the nearby streets, some simply homeless, and some perhaps a bit more nefarious. However, the Green Tree Inn has 24-hour security on its premises.
If you do decide to venture into Old Town Victorville, just a few miles down 7th Street, we do not advise taking a stroll to see the sights, or openly displaying valuables in the area.
We do highly recommend that you drop by the free Route 66 Museum just a few miles from the Inn near the corner of 7th Street and D Street in Victorville in the heart of Old Town. As their hours of operation vary, check ahead to see if they are open. Just ask the front desk.