Hot!California, Here We Come!

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Root-Beer Man
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 20:29:24 (permalink)
So far, so good on the Cali trip! Looks like you started off well. Can't wait to see how this one pans out! Those muffins looked great.
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Twinwillow
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 20:56:53 (permalink)
Damn, everything in California is so much more expensive than elsewhere.
Not an assumption. I know this first hand.
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 21:28:42 (permalink)
Excellent start to your report!  Cannot wait for more....love the muffins!
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 22:08:28 (permalink)
Friday April 19, 2013 cont.
 
The drive from Half Moon Bay to my next destination, Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, runs along the ocean with some beautiful views.  There are several state beaches and I stopped at one to take a few photos of the dramatic view from atop the cliffs. 

After the two straight meals I was in no hurry and walked along the ridge as far as I could.  This was a very enjoyable way to kill some time, despite the insulting sign! 

How could I not take that personally?
 
Duarte's Tavern

is one of those places that has been in the Roadfood books forever and I was excited to make my first visit here.  They are best known for their usage of the locally grown artichokes, although they do have a very large menu.
 
When I walked in the door, they said all the tables in the dining room were full and I could have a table in the bar or sit at the counter.  Table in the bar almost always means very dark, so I chose the counter area.  This particular counter

is only seven seats long and is right outside the kitchen.  Sitting in the window to the kitchen was some beautiful strawberries and an artichoke. 

If all of their food looked this good, then we are in for something special.
 
My meal started off with some warm, chewy sourdough bread,

wrapped neatly inside the red napkin.  This was really good bread and was the start of an entire trip of excellent bread.  Also, as bad as the iced tea was at Barbara's, that's how good and fresh the iced tea

here was at Duarte's.
 
Artichokes aren't a favorite of mine, but you can't come here without trying the famous cream of artichoke soup. 

This was a huge portion size and the soup was thick with strong artichoke flavor.  I have never had anything like it and would definitely get it again.
 
For the entree, I couldn't get the mussels I passed up at Barbara's off my mind and went with the mussels appetizer.  My waitress, who was a real pro, assured me that it was plenty big enough to use as the main meal.  When she sat it down, I had to laugh at how big it was. 

If this is an appetizer, this has to be for 3-4 people to share.  It came it a thin broth, the flavor of which I just couldn't pin down.  The mussels were wonderfully fresh and as full as I already was, there was no way I was going to stop eating them until they were gone.
 
Okay, at this point, I was beyond full.  The problem is, Duarte's is also well known for their homemade pies, especially a local favorite, olallieberry.  Having never had the opportunity to taste this pie before, I took one for the team and got a slice for here and one to go for Johnny.  The pie

had a terrific rugged crust and the berries were fresh and very sweet.  I did ask the waitress what exactly is an olallieberry and she replied it was a cross between a youngberry and a loganberry.  It reminded mostly of a raspberry and I am so glad I was able to sample this unusual flavor.  Looking at the list of other available pie flavors,

it is a shame I didn't have more room, because there has to be some other real winners on there.
 
Since I was sitting so close to the kitchen, close enough that I could see much of what was going on in there, that also meant that they could see me.  Not long after starting to take photos of the food, I noticed that several and eventually all the employees were keeping on eye on me and whispering back and forth, while trying to discretely look my way.  I am used to getting some attention from my usage of the camera, but not usually to this degree.  Still, nobody asked any questions and I kept snapping away!
 
This was an all around excellent meal at Duarte's and it certainly did live up to my expectations.  It is over 100 years old and it is easy to see why they have been around for so long.
 
Duarte's Tavern
202 Stage Road
Pescadero, CA
650-879-0464  
 
I got back in the car and headed for San Jose.
 
Much more to come..... 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/08/07 15:06:27
#34
agnesrob
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 22:37:44 (permalink)
Can't wait for more!
#35
mar52
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 22:46:13 (permalink)
Unstable Cliffs! 
 
I want that exact meal.
#36
mr chips
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/07 23:19:12 (permalink)
That meal looks divine.
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 07:28:36 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner

It is not necessarily how many folks are at the table...but how much food is on the table. Order enough to cover the 4-top and you earn the water view!  
 
This type of thinking, right here, is why we are friends! 
 
And as for your and love2bake's question about dessert, I didn't get the feeling that the pies were homemade at Barbara's.  Can't say that for sure since I never inquired.  Not only that, the three straight meals in a row would be pushing it and if I was going to eat dessert somewhere, it was going to be at Duarte's.

post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/05/08 07:38:10
#38
ChiTownDiner
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 07:34:11 (permalink)

 
The pie...OMG!!!  Similar to raspberry...Double OMG!
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 07:37:07 (permalink)
lleechef

bb
I used to sing that crazy song every time we went to visit my mother's family in California, PA.
Looking forward to more trip report.......it's been awhile!
  Love it!  They are singing about California, PA in that song, aren't they?
 
Screaming Chicken-
Sometimes when you eat something you don't like, you think to yourself that although this isn't for me, I can see why others enjoy it.  And the chowder at Barbara's was one of those times.  It was more of a case of too much pepper, rather than the lack of dairy.
 
love2bake-
Thanks for posting the great muffin photo.  I do regret not picking one up for something to snack on later in the day.
 
Davydd-
If I was retired like you, I would most definitely be doing the very same thing.  And thanks for all of the beautiful food photos you posted on twitter recently, especially the ones from Texas and Louisiana.  Very enjoyable!
 
Thank you to annpeeples, agnesrob, will_work_4_bbq and everyone else for the kind words. They are much appreciated! 

post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/08/07 13:45:45
#40
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 08:44:13 (permalink)
Friday April 19, 2013 cont.
 
The Travelin Man and I like to compare travel notes.  One of the things we have discussed is what is the largest city in the US we have never visited.  His was Columbus, OH for a while, until he flew into Pittsburgh a couple of years ago and we drove to Columbus for an Ohio State basketball game.  For many years, mine has been San Jose, CA.  At nearly a million residents, San Jose is the 10th largest city in the country. 
 
Cousin Johnny and I had late night dinner plans in San Jose, but my current destination was San Jose State University and their bookstore to pick up a t-shirt.  Parking was problematic, but it was such a nice day, I didn't mind walking a little farther than usual.  While walking on campus, my mother called to see how my flight was.  During the conversation, she told me she was riveted to the tv, due to the manhunt for the Boston marathon bombers.  The night before, I went to bed around 7:00PM because of the early flight and had no idea that one of the suspects was already dead and that they were closing in on the younger brother.  I had spent the day driving around listening to music on the satellite radio of the car and was completely out of the loop.  I changed my plans and headed for my hotel in nearby Fremont to watch the news.
 
Everyone aready knows how the rest of the day's events turned out, so no reason to go into that.  But, my plans to visit a Cuban/Peruvian restaurant in Palo Alto were now rather unimportant.  Cousin Johnny was due to land at the airport in San Francisco at 9:50PM and I received a text from him at his layover from Chicago's Midway saying the flight out was now delayed.  He really does have bad luck with flights, although nothing approaching Ralph & Lori. 
 
Finally around 9:30, I got dressed and headed for the airport to meet Johnny.  First, a stop at Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream in Palo Alto.  They are now under new ownership than when they appeared in the 2008 edition of Roadfood and love2bake had mentioned earlier that she had mixed feelings about Rick's.  Still, I was in the mood for something sweet and couldn't resist.  It is located in shopping center

and even this late, the place was hopping.  In fact, every table was occupied with people licking ice cream.  The list of available flavors is daunting,

so I asked the friendly young girl if they specialize in any particular flavor.  She replied that salty caramel was their number one seller and her personal favorite.  So, I got a scoop of that and a scoop of regular chocolate. 

The salty caramel was indeed extra creamy and delicious, but the flavor of the chocolate was off.  This just may be the first time I have ever thrown away leftover chocolate ice cream.  Although the ice cream here gets a mixed review, this cow mural on the wall

gets a big thumbs up!
 
Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream
3946 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA
650-493-6553
 
I got back to the airport, turned in my car and ended up waiting for a full hour for Johnny to arrive at the car rental center.  We grabbed the car we were driving around for the week and headed out for our late night dinner.
 
BTW, the largest city in the US now that I have never visited is #34, Fresno, CA
 
Much more to come.....  
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/08/07 13:49:24
#41
Davydd
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 09:01:23 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Davydd-
If I was retired like you, I would most definitely be doing the very same thing.  And thanks for all of the beautiful food photos you posted on twitter recently, especially the ones from Texas and Louisiana.  Very enjoyable!

My next post will most likely be a UP pastie. We're heading out again in a week.
#42
The Travelin Man
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 09:44:16 (permalink)
The US city with the largest population which I have not yet visited is El Paso, TX (#19). After that, it is #32 Albuquerque, which should be resolved this summer, and then #34 Fresno.
#43
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 10:44:46 (permalink)
And El Paso isn't exactly on the way to anywhere.  I am still trying to figure out how to get to Big Bend National Park.
#44
Sundancer7
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 10:49:08 (permalink)
buffetbuster

And El Paso isn't exactly on the way to anywhere.  I am still trying to figure out how to get to Big Bend National Park.

 
Same here BB:  Bushie and I talked about it several years ago.  You got to go there to get there.  Tall mountains and perhaps a roadfood desert??
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

#45
Davydd
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 11:43:53 (permalink)
Hmm, I was just in Big Bend NP and El Paso for the second time in two years. You get there by driving . . . a LOT!
#46
EdSails
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 11:55:27 (permalink)
Twinwillow

Damn, everything in California is so much more expensive than elsewhere.
Not an assumption. I know this first hand.

 
Yeah, I know it too......
#47
EdSails
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 12:01:37 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

The US city with the largest population which I have not yet visited is El Paso, TX (#19). After that, it is #32 Albuquerque, which should be resolved this summer, and then #34 Fresno.

Interesting story about our way back from the Glee Club meeting. We were going through EP when my cell phone text rang. I looked at the text. It thanked me for choossing something like Grupo Mexicano as my cellphone provider and giving me charges. I had to call ATT later to straighten the mess out. Seems it happens a lot. They actually have the cell tower right at the US border. Sheesh!
#48
The Travelin Man
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 12:15:39 (permalink)
Admittedly, I have no particular interest in going to El Paso. Thus far, no one has made a particularly compelling case, either! ;)
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Michael Hoffman
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 14:49:56 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

Admittedly, I have no particular interest in going to El Paso. Thus far, no one has made a particularly compelling case, either! ;)

Well, there's food in El Paso.
Smitty's -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/57/smittys
H&H Car Wash -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/3911/hh-cafe-car-wash
And then, on your way from El Paso to Albuquerque there's:
Las Cruces, NM
Nellie's -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/4041/nellies
Nopalito -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/3650/nopalito
Roswell, NM
La Posta -- http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Overview/4981/la-posta
 
Oh, and then there's the Bobcat Bite during your side trip to Santa Fe.
 
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 14:59:40 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

Admittedly, I have no particular interest in going to El Paso. Thus far, no one has made a particularly compelling case, either! ;)

I've never been to El Paso but it's on the way to Las Cruces which I have been to and has some awesome food and scenery.
#51
kland01s
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 15:01:30 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman

Oh, and then there's the Bobcat Bite during your side trip to Santa Fe.


And it's very near San Antonio New Mexico and the Owl which I think is better than Bobcat.
post edited by kland01s - 2013/05/08 15:08:49
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buffetbuster
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 15:05:16 (permalink)
If this won't make TTM want to visit El Paso, then nothing will.  You can go see Pancho Villa's trigger finger on display in the window of a pawn shop!
#53
mayor al
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:02:03 (permalink)
We visted Deming, NM a couple of times coming and going to SoCal and Ky  We enjoyed a couple of meals at Smitty's BBQ near Ft Bliss. I guess I have a special identity with the retired GI's who set up shop near a large Army Post.  Near what used to be Ft Ord in CA is Castroville, known for it's Artichokes, but the home of an excellent BBQ Stand run by a retired GI...The Central Texas BBQ. Having a plate of his Ribs and Brisket served with a huge Artichoke on the side is a unique BBQ meal, that's for sure.
 
I would love to try the Steakhouse that is included in every TV "Steak Paradise" program...name escapes me right now, but it is located near El Paso and is bragged on big-time for the quality of it's beef.
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:08:26 (permalink)
Now Marty Robbins thought it was a dangerous place to be....
 
Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina,
Wicked and evil while casting a spell.
My love was deep for this Mexican maiden;
I was in love but in vain, I could tell.

One night a wild young cowboy came in,
Wild as the West Texas wind.
Dashing and daring,
A drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina,
The girl that I loved.

So in anger I

Challenged his right for the love of this maiden.
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat;
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.


The song is definitely more interesting than the city!
#55
Sundancer7
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:19:38 (permalink)
mayor al

We visited Deming, NM a couple of times coming and going to SoCal and Ky  We enjoyed a couple of meals at Smitty's BBQ near Ft Bliss. I guess I have a special identity with the retired GI's who set up shop near a large Army Post.  Near what used to be Ft Ord in CA is Castroville, known for it's Artichokes, but the home of an excellent BBQ Stand run by a retired GI...The Central Texas BBQ. Having a plate of his Ribs and Brisket served with a huge Artichoke on the side is a unique BBQ meal, that's for sure.

I would love to try the Steakhouse that is included in every TV "Steak Paradise" program...name escapes me right now, but it is located near El Paso and is bragged on big-time for the quality of it's beef.

 
Al:  A few years ago I visited Cattlemens Steakhouse Ranch near El Paso.  I am not sure if this is the place you referred to but as I recall, it was about 30,000 acres and many movies were filmed here.  Really interesting and I had a huge 16 ounce  porterhouse.
 
http://www.cattlemansranch.com/
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

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Michael Hoffman
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:22:10 (permalink)
mayor al

We visted Deming, NM a couple of times coming and going to SoCal and Ky  We enjoyed a couple of meals at Smitty's BBQ near Ft Bliss. I guess I have a special identity with the retired GI's who set up shop near a large Army Post.  Near what used to be Ft Ord in CA is Castroville, known for it's Artichokes, but the home of an excellent BBQ Stand run by a retired GI...The Central Texas BBQ. Having a plate of his Ribs and Brisket served with a huge Artichoke on the side is a unique BBQ meal, that's for sure.


My grandson was a fan of Smitty's when he was stationed at Fort Bliss. The H&H Car Wash was another of his favorites.

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Michael Hoffman
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:22:16 (permalink)
mayor al

We visted Deming, NM a couple of times coming and going to SoCal and Ky  We enjoyed a couple of meals at Smitty's BBQ near Ft Bliss. I guess I have a special identity with the retired GI's who set up shop near a large Army Post.  Near what used to be Ft Ord in CA is Castroville, known for it's Artichokes, but the home of an excellent BBQ Stand run by a retired GI...The Central Texas BBQ. Having a plate of his Ribs and Brisket served with a huge Artichoke on the side is a unique BBQ meal, that's for sure.


My grandson was a fan of Smitty's when he was stationed at Fort Bliss. The H&H Car Wash was another of his favorites.

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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 16:48:18 (permalink)
Somehow I drove through Castroville several years ago when Roz and I were enroute to Monterey from SanFran.  I recall artichokes and strawberries being dirt cheap.  I do not remember much about Castroville except huge amounts of pretty farmland.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
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lleechef
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Re:California, Here We Come! 2013/05/08 17:02:06 (permalink)
We drove from Desert Hot Springs back to Alaska.  California was wonderful.  And YES about the artichokes and strawberries!  The artichokes were HUGE and 3 for $1.00.  The strawberries were $5.00 a flat!  All of the produce was beautiful.  We could buy Alaskan king crab legs (large ones)  for $6.99 - cheaper than in Alaska! 
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