What’s that you say? Apple picking with no apples? Yep, that’s right. Of course, it wasn’t my intention to go apple picking and come home apple-less, but unfortunately that was the case when the Englishman and my parents decided to head up to Oak Glen for a day of good ol’ fashioned apple picking.
Oak Glen is located at the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, and is about an hour and a half drive from where we live. Our first stop was Riley’s Apple Farm, which is known as being one of the more popular fruit farms in Oak Glen.
The farm itself was quite cute – old Colonial-looking buildings, a bakery and a tavern were all on the property. The place was packed, so we figured this is where all the good apples were. Alas, we were wrong.
Riley’s Apple Farm had PLENTY of pumpkins, lots of raspberries, and even a few strawberries here and there. But not an apple in sight (unless you count the apple cider donuts). Apparently apple season was not so hot this year, and they were out of apples completely. Sigh.
We hopped back in the car and headed up the road in pursuit of finding an apple farm that actually had apples to pick. By this time we were also getting hungry and my dad suggested we have lunch at Apple Annie’s, which is supposed to be a crowd favorite in Oak Glen.
After a few missed turns we found ourselves at the Oak Tree Village, which reminded me of a mini street fair with craft booths and food vendors. There were lots of vendors selling yummy goodies such as cinnamon sugar almonds and spicy peanuts, but there was not an apple in sight. We finally found one stand selling different varieties of apples in baskets.
The cost for the apples was astronomically high ($1 per apple!!) and the apples themselves were mushy! You would pick up an apple from the basket and you could just feel how mushy it was. Not good, Oak Glen, not good.
By this point we had resigned ourselves to the fact that a. we would not be picking fresh apples, and b. we would not be purchasing fresh apples either. But it didn’t matter because a meal at Apple Annie’s was sure to turn the day around.
Everything about Apple Annie’s reminded me of Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner (the restaurant at Knott’s Berry Farm) – from the line outside, to the casual country decor, and Apple Anne’s even had Knott’s Berry Farm jam! Unfortunately, Apple Annie’s doesn’t live up to the same hype as Mrs. Knott’s.
The menu was pretty simple – sandwiches, salads, hot entrees and burgers. Since I’m a bundle of fun with my food allergies, I decided to go with a grilled cheese sandwich and a salad. The salad came out first.
Unfortunately, this was a bit disappointing. The lettuce was brown on the edges and the vegetables were kind of flimsy. I ended up pushing a lot of the salad around and not really eating it.
Then came the grilled cheese. In theory this sandwich would be awesome, but alas it was not.
The sourdough bread was tasty, but the plastic-tasting American cheese that was on the inside was NOT. I was disappointed because grilled cheese sounded good, but at least I had Apple Annie’s apple bread to look forward to (more on that later).
My dad and the Englishman had the french dip sandwich with fries and they both seemed to enjoy their sandwiches.
My mom had a chicken salad but apparently I felt the salad was not worthy to be photographed. Sorry, mom.
After lunch we wandered into a couple more shops and ended up buying some homemade apple butter that looked good.
Finally, it was time to wave the white flag and head on home. It was evident that we were going to leave Oak Glen without any apples to our name. But we did have apple bread to look forward to.
Once we got home the Englishman and I decided to try some of the famous Apple Annie’s apple bread. After one bite we realized this was not apple bread but actually a sugary sweet apple cake. Apple BREAD this was not.
While it may seem like the trip to Oak Glen was a total bust, we actually ended up having a bit of fun. It was nice to get out of the city for a while, and the Oak Tree Village was a bit of a hoot, even if the food wasn’t that good.
If you have a hankering for serious apple picking, Oak Glen is not your best bet. But if you have a hankering for a giant apple pie, petting zoos, cinnamon sugar almonds and an old-time gun show, then Oak Glen’s your place.