Joe at WM Pizza and Donuts – and Dates!

IMG_8585There are not many places to eat around the Salton Sea. So as I was driving around and I realized it was getting to be about 6:30pm, I started to look for food. I pulled out my phone and Yelped the area around me. One place came up, WM Pizza and Donuts, that had excellent reviews and I decided to give it a try.

I told my phone to give me directions and followed them to a T. I ended up on a side street with no pizza place. I looked at the map and thought it was by the place I was staying so I headed that way and ended up at a car repair shop. I looked at the map one more time, about to give up, and headed back the way I had come. I stopped at a pizza shop that I had already passed twice but didn’t think that was it. “Spicy Pizza” one of the signs read. I drove into the parking spot, my window rolled down, and some customers said, “Sorry, he just closed.” “Closed? It says it’s open til 8pm, it’s only 7pm,” I replied. “Yea, sorry, he just closed.” I was a little disappointed, but I hadn’t had my heart set on pizza and I knew that often things close randomly at the Salton Sea. I thought to myself, ‘I guess I’ll just go to the gas station across the street and see if they have anything that can be dinner.’

Next thing I knew an older guy appeared at my window. His name was Joe. He asked me what I wanted, asked me if I was going to be around tomorrow, which I wasn’t, and then invited me to make me a pizza. I was shocked, but super happy! Who does that? No one in LA. I walked into the pizza shop and he invited me back into the kitchen where he made my pizza right in front of me, pepperoni and olives!

We talked while my pizza cooked and Joe explained to me that he opened the store over a year ago and that things were hard at first, but getting better as the year progressed. He also surprised me when he said that he gets most of his business from people that are out of town since Westmoreland, CA only has about 1,000 citizens. It seems as though he has been trying to accommodate the locals and at the same time keep his roots true so hopefully they will help support him as much as they can.

IMG_8591Joe handed me my pizza and then offered me a date milkshake for free. I told him that I didn’t even know if I liked them and he said that they are the only place around that makes their’s fresh per order. They pit the dates and then make the shake right at that time. A lot of places pit a bunch and then make a large amount of milkshake that is distributed from a machine as the day progresses. It was amazing and had I been around later the next day I would have went back to get another. I grabbed a drink and some dried kiwi and Joe threw in a small container of dates for free too. No freaking way was all I could think as I left his store. Best night ever thanks to Joe at WM Pizza and Donuts!

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