Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More Mendocino finds

Did I mention that the drive to Mendocino is a bugger? First, it's twisty-turny, which means my only recourse is to do all the driving myself (or invest in a car with better handling). Extreme carsickness makes me want to die. Really, just give it up and expire.

Second, the trip from San Francisco is neatly divided into two parts: an endless, often clogged highway, and the aforementioned twisty-turny part. You crawl across one finish line only to find the second leg of the race.

Still, it is so pretty. Especially Route 182, from Sonoma to the coast. You switchback
over the hills, now bright green with the rain, then coast down through wine country into the redwoods, which lead you to the churning ocean. Along the way, you can stop at Schramsberg vineyards, makers of excellent California sparklers, or buy a sack of apples and some apple balsamic vinegar from the Apple Farm in Philo. But you must always stop at Gowan's Oak Tree produce stand for the crispy apple chips. They're like potato chips, but thicker and more delicate. "Are these fried?" I asked the salesgirl. No, she said, they freeze the apples to dry them out. I bit in, and my taste buds went to Toontown. Zing! Pow! Wow! I raced out to the car with two bags. "Are these fried?" Scott asked. "No," I cried, "They're a miracle!"

We are now
in the second half of Dungeness crab season and a great time has been had by all. I didn't think I'd find crustacean love beyond the Maine lobster, but Mama's got a brand new crab. We had these these fantastic Dungeness tacos at Sharon's by the Sea in Noyo Harbor, where the crab boats come in each day to deposit their catch. Sharon piles an Asian fusion-y slaw on top of the meat, which is what you see here. Those are homemade potato chips on the right.

1 comment:

Marc said...

Mendocino is one of my favorite parts of California. Love the people, the food, the wines, the scenery, etc. We stayed there for a few days a couple of years back and tended to hang out at Patterson's. Not sure if it's still around, but it was a really neat little place for a bite to eat and a beer in the center of town.