Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Pescadero is a tiny coastside town just south of San Gregorio (map). You have probably driven by if you have toured Hwy 1 but you might not have stopped.

I first visited Pescadero when my friends Scott and Julie invited me olallieberry picking at Phipps Ranch many years ago. Olallieberries are a cross between loganberries and youngberries, and they are similar to blackberries. They are grown along the coast, and they are in season late in June. They are fantastic on pancakes, and an all-you-can-pick (and eat) trip to Phipps is quite fun. However, Pescadero has several other culinary attractions you can visit year-round to provision a picnic or, as I did, to snack on after a trip to Año Nuevo.

Duarte's TavernDuarte’s Tavern at the corner of Pescadero Creek Rd and Stage is the most visible landmark. And, at more than 100 years old it is also one of the most venerable. The food is very good, but the pies alone are worth the drive. They’ve been baking them the same way for decades, a fact noted by the James Beard Foundation in 2003 when they named Duarte’s an American Classic. Add a scoop of vanilla to balance the tartness of the signature olallieberry.

Artichoke Garlic Herb breadAbout a 100 yards down Stage Rd. from Duarte’s is another classic: Norm’s Market. Also known as the Arcangeli Grocery Company, it was started in 1929 and, like Duarte’s, has been family run ever since. They have a deli and an extensive wine collection, but the reason to stop in is the bread. It is incredible and always seems to be fresh out of the oven. The best is their Artichoke Garlic Herb bread (order) made with several quartered artichoke hearts. Delicious!

Harley Goat FarmFinally, around the corner on North and down about ½ mile is a new classic, Harley Farms Goat Dairy. Started by Dee Harley 15 years ago, Harley Farms raises their own goats and produces wonderful cheese. My favorite is the Chevre in Oil, an 8oz jar of fresh goat cheese packed in olive oil. It is fantastic with a sweet baguette. Starting again on March 4th, you can take a tour of Harley Farms and make your own cheese. Tours are $20 a person and last 2 hours.

Phipps Ranch 2700 Pescadero Rd, Pescadero, CA (650) 879-0787
Duarte’s Tavern 202 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA(650) 879-0464
Norm’s Market 287 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA (650) 879-0147
Harley Farms Goat Dairy 205 North St, Pescadero, CA (650) 879-0480


At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Julie "Olallieberry" said...

The soups at Duarte's Tavern are excellent, too. The artichoke soup and the soup with the chiles are good (I can't remember if they are the one and the same). At Norm's Market, you can also get half-baked artichoke bread which you can freeze for eating weeks later. Caveat: Defrost the frozen bread before baking, otherwise you'll get hot bread on the outside and a cold, hard bread on the inside.

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous DJ said...

Paul, did you go on the $20, 2 hour tour? Is it worth $20 and 2 hours?

At 11:13 AM, Blogger paul said...

I have not been on the tour but one of my friends has. She enjoyed it: you milk the goats, see step-by-step how the cheese is made and end up getting some discounts on their fantasic products. Your question is a good one though, and I admit that 2 hours seems like a long time. I guess the answer depends on how interested one is in how cheese is made. Certainly visit the farm, however. That is free.


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