Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spinach and smelt

Eastside Road, February 16, 2013—
WE WORKED OUR WAY back up the coast yesterday, eating rather less along the way than you might think. Breakfast was at the same joint we'd found the day before, chosen for its recommendation on a website devoted to espresso — a good caffelatte having become almost indispensable to Lindsey's morning.

Here I was delighted to find spinach and eggs on the menu. Eggs Florentine is a favorite of mine: this wasn't quite Eggs Florentine, since it lacked any kind of cream sauce. Nor were the eggs poached: as you see, they were "poached," quote marks required, in those little pans that fit into a steamer contraption — easier for a busy grill cook to deal with, but a different consistency, and a different ratio of yolk-to-white cookedness, if you see what I mean. Still, eggs and spinach are a classic combination and a great way to start the day.

Carmel Belle, Ocean and San Carlos streets, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California; 831.624.1600; daily 8am-5pm
smelt.jpgON, THEN, to a day of sight-seeing: the Mission; the Valley; then a drive up Highway One, stopping for late lunch/early dinner at an old-time roadhouse we'd heard about. Here the lunch menu was very much restricted and dedicated to the nearby sea, with crustacea forbidden to me on most of the offerings. Lindsey happily munched most of these smelt, which seemed over-battered and undersalted to me. (But then, she eats them head, tail, and all, and perhaps gets more flavor therefor: I admit I'm too squeamish.)

I was content with a plate of artichoke ravioli, with chunks of artichoke stem strewn among the dried-tomato-sauce-inflicted ravioli — not bad at all.
Pinot grigio
Duarte's Tavern, 202 Stage Road, Pescadero, California; 650.879.0464

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