Road Food

So spent the weekend being a Good Corporate Spouse ™ in Monterey where we go for TG’s big conference every other year.

She doesn’t usually ride, and so when we leave Sunday, she usually drives down with a Trustee, and I get to spend the afternoon swooping over the great curvy roads (Carmel Valley, Highway 25, Jolon, Peachtree Valley, etc. etc.) between Monterey and home. This year she managed to wangle it so she rode, too, and we had a great trip up, leaving Thursday evening and arriving at the Treebones Resort in Gorda, at the south end of Big Sur, then leaving there early in the morning and arriving midmorning in Monterey so she could conference and I could do a little work sitting in the hotel patio.

The plan was to head back as I usually do Sunday at noon – but she was running a fever and was obviously sick and/or exhausted, so I made the (yes, overbearing; yes, control-freakish; yes overprotective) call that we’d stay the night and see how she felt this morning. I just wasn’t comfy with her doing a hard, dangerous day’s ride feeling as ‘off’ as she obviously did.

She slept all afternoon, I woke her to take her to dinner, then we got up this morning and had a very leisurely trip straight down the 101. Kind of a bummer, right?

Well, no. She slept all afternoon, then I took her out to a well-known place that turned out to be a seriously great restaurant – PassionFish – in Pacific Grove. Let’s just say ‘wow’. Absolutely someplace you ought to go if you’re in the Monterey area.

Then today, among the several stops we made to relax was ‘Chef Rick’s‘ restaurant in Santa Maria, a not so well-known place.

It’s kind of unprepossessing – sitting in a midmarket mall on the south edge of town. But damn – I said, damn – it was good. I’m glad it isn’t close to home, because I’d want to eat there every day. Garlic soup I’d kill to get the recipe for, an oyster po’ boy that Grace devoured, and shrimp, mushrooms, and angelhair pasta that was the furthest thing from the bland dish you so often get.

If you’re ever in Central California – or even if you’re kind of close to Central California (like, say, in Arizona) – you ought to go to this place.

So if she hadn’t gotten a little sick, we would have had a great ride, been home a day earlier, but would have missed out on two great meals…a tradeoff that might be well worth making.

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