Just outside of Ashland, Callahan’s Restaurant sits nestled in a forest of pines.  A ski lodge and view point are both close by, added noteworthy spots to visit during your trip up the Siskiyou Mountain summit.  Whenever our family traveled over this mountain, if he was driving, we stopped for a bowl of Callahan’s famous minestrone soup.  Callahan’s can’t be seen from the main highway because of its location, even though it’s sheltered in the alcove of the mountain.  But venturing off the snaking exit heightens visitors’ anticipation.
 Entering through Callahan’s big wooden door, you are greeted by a hot fire blazing in a big rock fireplace, the odors of home cooking and the loud noises of guests waiting for a table.  The long wait is worth it, just to take in the homey surroundings.
 Once you’re seated, you are greeted with menus, warm bread and soft butter.  A relish tray soon follows.  While waiting for your order, look out the windows surrounding the dining room.  If it is a typical December night, you’ve got a good opportunity of seeing snowflakes drift by the colored Christmas lights that illuminate the winter wonderland outside.
 When the restaurants famous minestrone soup arrives, the steam rises and heightens your senses.  The waitress places the old soup kettle in the center of the table, she knows that one bowl is just not going to be sufficient!  If you aren’t cautious, you’ll be bursting by the time your entree arrives!
 I always select the veal because the thin slices of meat are so tender you don’t even need a knife.  My mother never decided because there is too many delicious items to choose from.  She narrows down her choices by asking everyone else what they are ordering.  Then she selects something different so she can ask for a sample of our entrees.  The rest of us subtly snicker; it’s just part of our family tradition at Callahan’s.
 When you finish your meal, the dessert tray arrives.  Although we’re always too satisfied to order anything, dessert is tempting, just to make the Callahan’s experience last longer.
 Now a brand new Callahan’s stands on the site of the old one that was such a tradition.  I moved away from Ashland 20 years ago; shortly thereafter, the restaurant burned to the ground.  We grieved losing such a special location in our lives.  We could never find a place in our new city that compared to Callahan’s.  The new lodge is bigger and provides lodging which means you can make your stay even longer!
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