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bolinas: coast cafe after failed oktoberfest attempt


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bolinas: coast cafe after failed oktoberfest attempt

augustiner | Sep 22, 2008 05:22 AM

sunday, the 21st, a few of us headed out to the "tourist club," or the german/austrian naturefreunde hiking club on mt. tam for the oktoberfest celebration. it didn't happen. there were mobs and mobs of people, the event was sold out, and many, many parking tickets were issued. it was a shame, since the building looks like a bavarian gasthaus plucked out of southern germany and planted in marin. we walked down in hopes of sneaking in, but it wasn't meant to be. it was sad to see women in dirndls turned away, and the oompah music left me nostalgic for my army brat years in munich.

but being in marin, we decided to drive into bolinas, which true to legend, had no sign off the road, as locals seem to tear them down whenever the state plants one. we ended up at the coast cafe, which was closed between lunch and dinner, but there is a kiosk there with a limited menu. i wasn't thrilled at first, as our teenaged waitress looked extremely irritated when we asked for menus. we were seated outdoors in front of the restaurant, still closed. that wasn't part of my irritation. it was lovely outside, but i wasn't encouraged when we asked our waitress whether the Great White beer on the menu was a hefeweizen. she said it was a light beer. i asked if it was indeed a hefeweizen, and she muttered something like, "yeah, it's like a pilsner." short silence and then we asked, "so, is it a hefeweizen or a pilsner?" uh..."is it clear, or cloudy?" uh..."bring us four." it was a fine enough beer, and i'm not up on our local breweries, but...

anyways we ordered almost the whole menu offered from the kiosk. we had two dozen raw oysters (they offer them barbecued), sausage, a rack of ribs, garlic bread, grilled mahi, pie, and cheesecake.

i wasn't blown away by anything that we ate, but i thought i'd post this for bolinas visitors. i did a quick search and didn't find anything. it was good. and fun.

i didn't catch the type or origin of the oysters, as i wandered over to the local store to explore beef jerky options. but they were sweet, and served with both cocktail and mignonette sauce. i only touched the mignonette, as i was told the cocktail sauce was lacking. the ribs were super tender, but i wouldn't call it barbecue by any stretch. but satisfying and tasty if you're not thinking of traditional american barbecue. the sausage was reminiscent of weisswurst, which, with the beer, helped me get over the oktoberfest disappointment, the mahi was eh...apparently there was a delicious dipping sauce which was whisked away from the table.

we ordered desserts, as one of us had been there recently and loved the pies. some of us shared a blackberry pie a la mode, while one of us closely guarded his slice of apple pie, which i didn't try. the blackberry pie filling was sweet and tart and lovely. the crust was thin, almost disappearing under our forks, but was nicely browned and quite flaky. the lemon blueberry cheesecake was rich and rewarding.

had a drink at smiley's across the street, admiring their "86 list," mostly made up of first names. small town. if this is possibly the only real bar in town, where do these miscreant drunks go drink? i think that was answered when we drove to a place by a cove and walked downhill to the beach at sunset, and on the way back a very, very drunk young man in a car expressed his admiration of all of our heads of hair.

so i'm not raving about anything i ate today, but if you're in bolinas, you can do much worse than eating oysters and ribs and fish and sausage and pie at the coast cafe, or at least it's kiosk, since i've since found that the restaurant itself has a very extensive menu. just mind the crazy old lady with newspaper woven through her silver hair, who apparently sometimes smears chocolate all over her face.

oysters were good. ribs tender, but not smokey, nice german style sausages. anyone know more about the difference between the restaurant and the kiosk? i would come back. they apparently use not only niman ranch but also marin sun farms meats. i don't know that there's much else to eat in this special, weird little town, but i was only disappointed by the fact that they were out of the pint of peel your own prawns.

Tourist Club
30 Ridge Ave, Mill Valley, CA

Coast Cafe
46 Wharf Rd, Bolinas, CA

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