We spent a couple of days driving down Highway 1 last week. I’d meant to try a couple of nice restaurants along the way, but it didn’t turn out like that. We left late, and had some leftover stew before we left so we weren’t really hungry for lunch until mid-afternoon. By then we didn’t want to ruin our appetites for dinner, so we stopped at Nepenthe, a restaurant complex in Big Sur.
Nepenthe had been recommended as a place to go for a great view. And indeed, the view from the restaurant – in particular the dehind the restaurant – was wonderful. Of course, you have to pay for that view and Nepenthe’s Californian menu is quite expensive. Sandwiches are in the low teens, entrees in the twenties and even a basket of fries is $7. We got a goat cheese & toast appetizer ($12, I think) which was just that, thin slices of toast served with a roasted garlic and a little bowl of warm goat cheese. It was surprisingly good. I had a coke (flat!) and Mike had a regular margarita, which was “nice and strong.” In all, we spent a wonderful hour or so hanging out there.
Nepenthe also has an open-air cafe and a gift shop, both pretty expensive. Hot chocolate was about $4 while pastries $3.50, if I well remember. Alas, it’s a level lower than the restaurant and the view is not nearly as impressive.
Big Sur, CA
Later we stopped at a convenience store for some snacks – prices were about twice as much as in regular convenient stores so if driving through this area you may want to bring snacks with you.
We were staying in Cambria for the night, and I had gotten a couple of recommendations of places to eat – but decided to take on the evening tour of the Hearst Castle instead. That gave us only time to grab some fast food and the first place we found serving some was Medusas Taqueria on Main street in Cambria. Both Mike and I got super burritos, his with chicken and mine with carne asada. They were just OK. Mike complained that the chicken was shredded (but that was probably his fault for not ordering pollo asado), and also that the meat and beans were too hot while the other ingredients too cold. My complaint was that the meat wasn’t particularly tasty.
1053 Main St.
The next morning we had a breakfast of surprisingly good English muffins with butter and jam at the hostel where we stayed, followed by an OK ham and cheese croissant at the French Corner Bakery. Then we were off to explore the southern part of Highway 1.
For lunch we stopped at the Rock n Roll diner in Oceano, a restaurant situated in two railroad cars. The cars are surprisingly roomy, one has double and single booths while the other one includes a larger family table and has a TV on. The cars are decorated in a 50’s motif with framed vintage ads and pictures. The menu features standard diner items plus Greek specialties (don’t ask me why) and prices are on the high side. The food, unfortunately, was also diner quality. They won’t cook burgers below medium-well-done, which is a sin in my book. Mike, who is no fan of rare meat anyway, had the BBQ burger and he thought it was fine. The accompanying onion rings were also average. I had a gyro and wasn’t as pleased. The three meat slices had the consistency of reconstituted meat and no lamb flavor whatsoever. The gyro had an overwhelming amount of lettuce, a couple of pieces of chopped tomato and a not very tasty tzatziki sauce. The accompanying fries were fine, though.
Rock ‘n Roll Diner
1300 Railroad St.
We made it to my parents in time for dinner, so that was the end of our eating adventures on Highway 1.
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