Monday, July 2, 2012

The Culinary Delights of an Grown-Up Vacation!

Everyone knows when you travel with children, there is a certain way that you eat. You generally choose family friendly restaurants that are fairly noisy, have a kids menu and are inexpensive.  Or, you choose Mexican restaurants because they serve you chips right off and that's a good way to keep your kids quiet while you wait to get your food. Of course, you end up taking half the kids' meals home with you because they filled up on chips while you were waiting. But, whatever. That's what you do with kids. Now, when it's just grown-ups.... that's when you can have fun. This vacation turned out to be the best eating vacation we've had in a long time.  And it kind of happened inadvertently. See, one of the problems with eating at restaurants is that it's easy to overeat. And, if you overeat at lunch and don't do much in the afternoon you are not really hungry for dinner. But, you want to eat at a nice place, so you go there, not terribly hungry, they serve you delicious food and you either eat it all, not really enjoying it to the fullest and then leave stuffed and uncomfortable. Or, you don't finish and you feel bad.  That's what happened to us last time we were in Pismo Beach.  The first scenario, that is.

So, as we left the Valley on Saturday I was already kind of thinking about lunch and what to do about it.  We had breakfast at home, and since I was in a rush, I only ate a couple of muffins and a cup of coffee. But, I thought, when we get to Monterey, I'll have clam chowder in a bread bowl, which I love.  We got to Monterey about 1:30pm and the place was a zoo. We didn't even get off the freeway. I couldn't imagine fighting the crowds at Fisherman's Warf, so, we thought that we'd just travel down Hwy. 1 and find something along the way. Well, every place to stop was packed. The parking lots were full, people were parked along the sides of the highway and I kept thinking, "No! I don't want to stop and deal with people." I hate crowds.  So, we just kept going. And going. And going.  Finally, it was 3:30 in the afternoon and we just decided it was too late to have lunch and we'd try for an early dinner in Morro Bay.  Which actually solved another problem being.... it's in touristy town in the middle of summer near a holiday. If you try to eat dinner at 6:00 you're going to wait for an hour for a table. And I hate waiting.  So, we get to Morro Bay, which is this charming little coastal town beside a huge rock called..... you guessed it - Morro Rock.  Of course the town's  packed and crowded with people, but we managed to find a parking space right across the street from Dorn's.  I'd heard of Dorn's before, but it's a little spendy, so I'd never been there.
But, we were hungry and had skipped lunch, so we figured that we'd just stay. It was 4:30 by then and so we walked in the door and I asked the hostess if they were serving dinner. Yes, they were, and they showed us to our table. No waiting at all. We had a very nice waiter and he read the specials and the ling cod with lemon cream sauce sounded good to me (actually, at that point anything sounded good) so I ordered that and didn't get the salad but went for the soup. I always get salad, but the soup sounded good - summer corn soup. And let me tell you, I scored with that soup. It was delicious.  And then the entree' came, and it was delicious. No problems here cleaning our plates. It all worked out perfectly. We had a great dinner that we were hungry for and appreciated, we didn't have to wait, and we left the restaurant  at 6:00 and had the whole evening to enjoy. We checked into our hotel and then went to the Pismo Beach Pier and had icecream cones and people watched for a while. It was a wonderful evening!

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