During the summer of ’92, a few of us went down to hang out in the bay area for the day. If I’m not mistaken, it was Paco, Jaimenacho, myself, and two girls who were friends of ours at the time.
The day in SF and Berkeley was fun but relatively uneventful, and we headed back up to Redding in the mid afternoon. On the way home, we stopped at the legendary Aladero Pantyhose Junction in Dunnigan for some much-needed nourishment. It was mostly done on a whim, since we’d all seen this tacky-looking truck stop restaurant many times while traversing I-5… but only one or two of us had ever actually been inside before. Since we were having a good time and being kind of wacky, we thought it would be “cool” to actually eat there.

Pantyhose Junction was one heck of a place. Both its name and its logo implied that their waitresses were attractive, leggy vixens ready to cater to your every need – but nothing could have been further from the truth. The place did live up to its name all right, and the waitresses did indeed show a lot of leg… but they were all saggy senior citizens with varicose veins and smoker’s hack. It was totally repulsive, the idea of trying to eat food with these scantily clad old women strutting around. Imagine dressing your grandma up like a street whore and having her serve you coffee… it was just wrong.

For some reason, I believe Paco was sick from eating something earlier in the day. Even though he had driven us all, he spent the majority of our visit to Pantyhose Junction in the car. He really didn’t miss much aside from the sub-par service and barely edible food.
The meal itself wasn’t overly bad, although the salads they brought us were pretty sick. They were just clumps of flacid iceberg lettuce, and the dressing was like iodine. I don’t think any of us ate more than a bite or two of our salads.
Although none of us ordered it, they also had something on the menu there called the “Pizza Burger”, which was apparently a hamburger that was specially constructed to taste much like a slice of pizza would.
The most disturbing part of the meal was actually not the food, but the service. It’s really tough to keep a straight face when your waitress is a half-naked 65 year old woman in fishnet stockings.

Over the next several years throughout high school, college, and beyond, some of us amigos locos stopped there from time to time just to use the john or get a cup of coffee on a late might drive. Every time, we would always be sure to grab a handful of the free stickers that they had on the counter near the door. In fact, Jaime even took one with him to Europe and stuck it at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The place was always considered by us to be fairly gross for all the reasons mentioned above, and at some point we started calling it Crotchless Junction. Although a bit crude, it was kind of a fitting name considering that the women there were dressed as if the place was some kind of brothel for senior citizens. As weird as it was, though, it was definitely unique – which is what compelled us keep coming back once or twice a year.
After years of resisting, my curiosity finally got the best of me one evening when I decided to stop there on my way back down to Sacramento. I originally only wanted a cup of coffee, but I was kind of hungry… so I broke down and ordered the Pizza Burger. It was freaking sick.

Sadly, Pantyhose Junction no longer exists. There’s something else there now, one of those totally lame gas station-slash-minimart places devoid of any character. I think they even bulldozed the original building, so all that remains of the Aladero are the warm memories in our hearts… and a sticker overlooking Paris.