Happy New Year! I’m finally making myself get back to a normal routine of cooking and blogging. I’ve definitely been on an abnormal eating routine and have been doing plenty of cooking, but have been writing my recipes down in notebooks with intentions on posting them later. LAZY. I know.
Well, this post isn’t a recipe, but it does involve good food. On a day trip to Pescadero and on the recommendation from the awesome friendly man at the cigar shop in Burlingame, I went to Duarte’s Tavern for some soul-warming fare after a chilly day on the coast looking at the historic Pigeon Point lighthouse. I actually had intentions on driving all the way down there just to check out this tavern, but figured I should check out the local sights while I’m at it.
First of all, the lighthouse is beautiful- like a scene out of The Birds. It was quiet, windy, sunny and a little eerie. It sits on a rocky coastline that has devoured many ships in its day. It’s been standing since 1872 and is the second tallest on the west coast. They still light it once a year in November during a day-long celebration. You can walk the grounds but can’t go in as the tower has been deteriorating. The grounds also still have a working hostel, with probably the best view of any hostel I’ve ever heard of.
A few miles from the lighthouse is Duarte’s Tavern, which has a ton of history on its own. They go through the full history on their site but it’s that much better to hear it from the mouths of the generations of families that have run it and the generations of locals who frequent it. Basically, it started in 1894 when a man named Frank bought a 10 cent barrel of whiskey and set it on a bar. The exact same bar still stands today. (One friendly patron chatting us up said that bar itself has survived a couple of fires. The family literally carried the massive bar out of the burning building to save it.)
That is one thing I noticed about this tavern in the middle of nowhere in this sleepy coastal town- the people are incredibly friendly. It was packed, wall to wall, standing-room only with friendly people who have been coming there for 40 years or more. If you don’t have a reservation, be ready to wait, no matter what time of day. I have to say, part of the fun is the wait. You chit-chat with people and take back a few of their famous Bloody Mary’s. (They are REALLY good.) I saw an elderly man dancing with a woman in the corner to a song on the jukebox and regulars swapping stories with the bartenders/owners as well as tourists (like me.) I ended up ordering at the bar, which I actually really like to do sometimes. You have the opportunity to take in the character, as well as study how the Bloody Mary’s are made. I got the fish n’ chips. They have great, crispy fries and an addictive tartar sauce. It’s simple, fresh food that warms you up on windy coastal day. They have their own impressive garden out back as well where they get their artichokes for their soup. It’s a really cool place with an even cooler history and fascinating people. A San Francisco day-trip worth the trek. Oh- and save room for the Olallieberry Pie.