Wednesday, September 10, 2008



 So Fall has begun. Kids are back to school. All your vacation days have been used for 2009. Weekend getaways are your only form of survival to get through the daily grind until next year. Living in the Bay you have lots of options for weekend trips. 

   My favorite mini vacation spot was discovered two summers ago by my parents. My parents were going on and on about this great restaurant that I must try. They are usually on the ball with the "whole in the wall" restaurants so I did not doubt them.

So last year for Mother's Day I asked my Mom where do you want to go? She said "Duartes Tavern" without missing a beat. So I called and made reservations. The lady on the phone said "you just made it we only have two slots left"!!!! My Mom said "I want to sit in the bar and not in the restaurant and you will know why when we get there".
In our house we appreciate kichty anything. I think it comes from being born in Indianapolis where a truck stop is considered a three star restaurant and a Cracker Barrel is a five star special occasion restaurant.
So Mother's Day rolls around and we drive to Halfmoon Bay then about 13 miles further south and hang a left at a pretty wood carved hand painted sign that reads Pescadero. We drive further down going east into the hills and then hang a left at this little street with a few older buildings and some old farm buildings and gas station then I see a cool retro Sign for Duartes Tavern. We park and walk in to Duartes. It is packed with people waiting for a table that don't have reservations. The hostess told people it will be a two hour wait without a reservation and I am thinking to myself "are they kidding, thank god I made one".

So we are seated in the Bar and then I understand why my Mom made the request. I it is a cool old bar with deer heads on the wall. Bikers of Harley Davidson and Bianchi with the locals and the Yuppies packed at the bar. The cool thing about this place is that you can buy Wine or Alcohol by the bottle "to go". From what I know that is not heard of anymore. They are Grandfathered into this really old liquor law, crazy.

So now for the food. The food was amazing. I had the signature Half Green Chile and Asparagus Soup which is a must try. The crab legs where fresh and not fishy smelling and then I finished it up with Vanilla Ice Cream and Fresh Strawberries. The thing that I noticed about the menu is that most of the food is locally produced or grown in the restaurant's own Vegetable Garden you can't get much better then that. So Duartes is a must try!!
Now since your in Pescadero you should check out the other things to do. I have to admit there is not a lot, but there are some key places.

1. The Goat Cheese farm
Harley Farms

2. The furniture store called made in Pescadero. This place has hand made on site beautiful furniture and pottery.
Made in Pescadero

3. Grocery Store with the Amazing Artichoke Bread that my mom loves. I have never had but people stand like an hour in line for. And the Riesling Wine that comes in the Kitty Cat shaped bottle. And carries all the locally "Made In Pescadero" food products.
Norm's Market

If you want to make a weekend out of it there is a B&B in Town called the Pescadero Creek Inn. The second is Costanoa a luxury camping resort with three levels of "ruffing It" and a very nice three star restaurant on the propriety. The resort is a bout about another 13 miles down the Highway 1 form the Pescadero sign.
Pescadero Creek Inn

If your driving the route back through Santa Cruz instead of driving back toward Halfmoon Bay there are a couple of little side destination. All summer there are great road side stands with all kinds of locally grown produce and this great Pie place that is only open on the weekends called Pie Ranch . This place is really neat. They are a cooperative that teaches the public and Urban youth environmentally friendly farming, baking and cooking. They are restoring the farm land that the Pie Ranch sits on and work with the famous San Francisco based Mission Pies. What a great idea and very tasty I might add.

Make a day of it or a weekend. There is nothing like the clean sea air to re-charge your batteries and make you appreciate that you live in California.
All the best,

1 comment:

Matt Adler said...

What a great weekend getaway! Thanks for sharing your adventures. I love Mission Pie and the pie ranch, and I completely agree there is nothing better than the salty air along the coast to brighten your day.

Hope you're doing well,