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Jul 25, 2007 09:30 PM

Duarte's Olallieberry Pie is all that!

I will drive to Pescadero in summer for that olallieberry pie a la mode; it was that impressive! The tart-sweet balance of the fruit to sugar was spot on, and the consistency was not too thick but not too runny either. The fruit was jammy but retained some nice texture. The crust was browned and infinitely flakey, although I like a bigger butter hit (the only flaw for me). The warmed pie cradled the huge mound of cold vanilla ice cream on top, emitting a synergistic steam as it sat staring at us in the middle of the table. Needless to say, it was devoured w/ glee...

The meal prior to dessert was enjoyable, and the standout was the crab melt which I've longed for since Melanie's old report and photo. Even though local Dungeness isn't in season right now, the waitress said that they are using live crab and cooking it out back. Every bite was rich and delicious. I'm sorta embarrassed to say that almost our entire menu choices were fried (fried smelt, fried oyster sandwich w/ fries) and devoid of much produce or color save the steamed artichoke. Can't wait to go back for more pie and to try some of the other seafood offerings like sand dabs and cioppino. Tasty comfort food paired w/ genuine and efficient service in a place that has soul.

Duarte's capped off our day, but I wanted to start my report w/ the highlight and then rewind to the beginning of the day. La Costa Restaurant in Davenport for lunch was solid (I liked the shrimp taco best) but not particularly stellar. I liked the place overall though and felt that there were undiscovered gems. I just got this vibe that someone in the kitchen cares and knows what he/she is doing if properly tapped into. Has anyone ordered anything here that was particularly outstanding?

We checked out the Davenport Roadhouse down the road afterwards, and the food looked pretty fresh and vibrant. We'll try it out for brunch or weeknight dinner one of these days...

Headed north towards Swanton Berry Farm to see how the berry fields were producing right now. They were pretty crowded on Sunday. U-pick is going on in two fields, and we opted for the upper field thinking it would be less crowded and afford better views of the ocean. We picked 8 baskets at $2/lb. The berries didn't look as beautiful and plump as they did when I picked in June a couple of years ago w/ a few other hounds. They didn't taste as sweet as they did a few weeks ago from the farmer's market, but I still enjoy their unique complexity and effervescence. While the u-pick price doesn't seem to be as good of a value as it used to be, the jam price has gone down to $5 per jar though.

This was followed by a very long and fulfilling hike at Butano State Park before heading to Duarte's for dinner. Some prior reports say that a hike is a prerequisite to enjoying a meal at Duarte's (ie, you're so famished that it tastes better), but I'm sure the pie would have tasted wonderful regardless!

Below are some photos from our day in chronological order. Sorry no captions, but the food speaks for itself.

Duarte's Tavern
202 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060

La Costa Restaurant
Hwy 1, Davenport, CA 95017

Swanton Berry Farm
25 Swanton Rd, Davenport, CA 95017

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  1. Indeed, Duarte's pie is legendary. But if you decide to return, you also have to try their soups. Also heavenly!

    1. Duarte's pie crusts don't provide a big butter hit because they don't use butter - they use all vegetable shortening (I asked last time I was there). Kind of puts a damper on my enjoyment, but the pies are great nonetheless.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mbaldauf

        Thanks for the info; I suspected that it was mostly, if not all, shortening. I just went to the website and noticed that they have the ingredient list online.

        Link to ingredient list:

      2. Lovely report, thank you! Though this old roadhouse has its share of detractors, sticking with the tried and true at Duarte's, I've never been disappointed. My bro drives over the hill from Palo Alto just to have the portuguese-style tripe at lunch time.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Wow, the tripe sounds interesting...Duarte's was great, serving up lots of soul and history. We were up in the general vicinity again today for more hiking, and a part of me really wanted to stop in again for the pie. We stopped in at the Davenport Roadhouse for an early dinner instead. Report and photos are forthcoming...

          1. re: Carb Lover

            Sometimes when we pass by that stretch of Hwy 1 and it's not the right time to stop for a meal, we'll get a slice of pie to go to enjoy later. It's a long time between drive by's and one shouldn't miss the opportunity.

        2. is this the pie at the grand prix?