Barstow ihop.jpgis one of those places whose very name sounds like the middle of nowhere. And it just about is. However, if you pass through there at lunchtime — as we did last week — you can do a whole lot worse than pull into the parking lot of IHOP and head for one of those cozy booths.

Here we were in the middle of a 21st century Norman Rockwell, and decided to eat in that spirit. All of you who assume that I’m a food snob, take note: I inhaled my IHOP breakfast of eggs over medium, bacon, pancakes, the works.

A smart, swift server made sure we were completely satisfied with our perfectly cooked eggs, guilty pleasure strips of delicious bacon, outstanding homefries and better-than-decent cups of coffee. My short stack of buttermilk pancakes was frankly wonderful. So there!

When in Barstow, IHOP is your friend. (You’ll feel very David Lynch.)