Thanks Chowchild / Breakfast & dinner at Duartes
.. and thanks to you to Ruth, as I had a delicious dinner this weekend at Duartes following your suggestions. The half artichoke and green chile soup was delicious and beautifully served with the swirls of green chile soup. I've had sand dabs before and never thought much of them, but Duartes gave me a new appreciation for this delicate fish. Nice sauteeded chard with it. That bread is, IMO, one of the better examples of sourdough in the bay.
I had planned to eat Easter dinner there and splurge on the pie at that time, but it turns out that Easter is one of the four holidays that Duartes is closed. So I had the strawberry ruhbarb pie and, Easter dinner, a little early. Very tasty.
All a repeat, but I thought I'd mention Duartes breakfast. Don NOT pass on the artichoke omlette. A really wonderful mixture of eggs and artichoke. Quite generous on the fresh artichoke too. They also have some excellent house made jams - olallieberry and strawberry/rhubarb. You can buy jars to bring home. Nice non-greasy golden brown home fries.
They have a Spanish and Mexican omlette. You can combine the two. Mexican omlette (lapi cheese and grilled chiles) with salsa on top. That was ok, but not as good as the artichoke omlette.
I've been considering moving to Pescadero and scouting out the area. For any Catholics who might be interested in Easter week activites, there's a tiny church in town. The Easter vigil will take place on Saturday night with a big fire. I understand it is in Spanish and you are encouraged to bring noise makers and two prsents to exchange with others. I've never heard of this custom before, but it sounds interesting.
After the Sunday Easter mass (9 am, the priest is always 15 - 20 minutes late), there will be a dessert social. Bring a dessert. At noon on Good Friday, the church walks through the streets up to the cemetary. Tiny community (never more than 20 at mass) with some different customs.
I love Pescadero -- I'd move there in a heartbeat if there was some way I could support myself there (although it's not a bad commute to Santa Cruz).
Last time I looked at houses there the prices had gone through the roof -- it looked like they were marketing them to dot.commers (it *is* just over the hill from Silicon Valley). Hopefully that bubble has burst. I love the little white churches in town -- they look almost New Englandy (in contrast, Davenport has a lovely Mission-style church). The Pescadero graveyard is also quite picturesque.
Duarte's is great for breakfast -- at that time of day it's mostly locals (you can tell by the number of well-used pick-up trucks parked out front). There used to be another cafe in town that also had great breakfasts, including Belgian waffles heeped with local strawberries, and a nice outdoor seating area. That place also had the absolute best french fried artichoke hearts (big chunks of pure heart aka crowns, from full size artichokes). One summer Saturday I saw a huge field container (about 4x4x4) full of artihcokes sitting out front with two guys in heavy gloves standing there "shucking" artichokes by pulling all the leaves off.
Unfortunately it appears there just isn't enough business to support another eatery in town (even Duarte's is almost deserted on a winter weeknight). It changed hands a couple of times and then closed a few years ago.
BTW, I was not impressed with the things I tried recently at the taqueria inside the gas station mini mart -- although the serve yourself chips were good enough to give it another shot.