Ojai Deer Lodge & Ojai Olive Oil Company – Ojai
Remi was despondent after Frankie (below) passed away, so it was time for some new adventures to pep her up.
Recently, we drove out to Ojai, California, where, for some reason, we had never been before. After clearing the fog in Ventura, a very exuberant Remi …
… and her parents arrived on a bright and sunny morning at the Ojai Deer Lodge just outside of Ojai for lunch. We selected this destination entirely on the basis that it had a dog-friendly patio for dining.
Nestled amongst the pines, this log pine historic restaurant and tavern has been at this location since 1932. The restaurant touts “Fine Californian cuisine served roadhouse style.” Surrounded with a stone patio, it is perfect for lunching with your canine companion.
Sadly, Remi forgot her ID, and even though she is 78 (in dog years), she was not allowed in the bar.
This place takes rustic up a notch, and they have music nights in the “Deer Ole Opry.” I assume it doesn’t cost a lot of doe.
We arrived a little before it opened at 11 a.m. and were happy we did because there were already a few bikers parked out front waiting for it to open. Apparently this is a biker destination as well. As we perused the menu, more bikers and dogs arrived.
Remi wished she had brought along her designer sunglasses she likes to wear when out in public.
Since I was the designated driver (a shocking development in itself), Tracy ordered a refreshing Lavender Spritz (Haus lavender lemon aperitif, lemon, sparkling wine and Luxardo cherry). I had an equally refreshing root beer. There was a separate Doggie Lodge Menu with grilled chicken breast, chopped burger patty or sliced Tri-Tip. Remi awaited patiently for her lunch, or as patiently as any corgi can wait for food. It’s a great idea! We wish more restaurants would add that to their menus. We ordered Remi the grilled chicken breast, which was even too much for her in one sitting. She shared with the other dogs on the patio, and they barked their approval.
In front of the restaurant stood a giant grill, but we were disappointed to learn they do not fire it up until later in the day, so there was no fresh off the grill barbecue on this day.
Tracy ordered the Pulled Pork Sando (ale marinaded pulled pork, topped with Backwoods BBQ sauce and coleslaw, served on a French roll hoagie) with a side of House Made Chili (ground beef, Tri-Tip, pinto and black beans, seven dried chilies and IPA).
Speaking of pork, Remi really admired the HOGs parked in front of the restaurant.
She’s always secretly wanted to be a biker chick after appearing in her swimsuit photo shoot a few years back trying to become a video vixen.
Our sandwiches were good, but the chili was excellent. Although we didn’t take her suggestion, the server highly recommended the Panzanella Salad (arugula, tomato, burrata cheese, garlic oil, basil vinaigrette, balsamic reduction, house-made croutons) and the Black Bean Soup with cilantro lime crema and tortilla strips. There was plenty on this menu that we would like to try so we will have to return. Not to mention, next time Remi said she wants the sliced Tri-Tip.
After lunch we drove through the quaint town of Ojai in search of the Ojai Olive Oil Company, a third-generation family owned and operated farm.
The Ojai Olive Oil Company is dog friendly, but not in the tasting room. There is an enclosed area for your dog to wait if necessary.
After tasting nearly everything, we narrowed it down to three of the extra virgin olive oils (lemon, Tuscan Herbs and the signature selection) and two vinegars, Peach and Honey Ginger. We could have purchased more, but there is only so much room in the pantry.
Remi hung around a little in an olive tree while we made our purchases. She’s such a swinger!
Tracy rationalized that since we had to go home that route, we might as well stop and smell the roses. Since Remi wasn’t allowed in the main rose area, we strolled around on a now very warm day while Tracy looked at the roses. Somehow we managed to bring a few bushes home to add to our collection.
By now, Remi was exhausted and snoring softly in the back seat as we headed home. The perfect ending to a perfect day.
Ojai Deer Lodge
2261 Maricopa Highway
Ojai, CA 93023
Ojai Olive Oil Company
1811 Ladera Road
Ojai, VA 93023
Daily – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Otto & Sons Nursery-Garden Shop
1835 East Gulberson Road
Fillmore, CA 93015
Wednesday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.