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Half Moon Bay Trip Report (21 Apr 08)

SauceSupreme | Apr 21, 200811:46 PM

A buddy of mine held his wedding in Half Moon Bay this past weekend, and so I thought I'd get my report on.

Because I wasn't in the wedding party, the day before the wedding I got a chance to just take a nice little day trip down the coast with a few other friends. Lunch was at Duarte's in Pescadero. I thought my crab melt sandwich was really good -- they were a bit heavy handed with buttering the toast, but at the end of the day, I recognized Duarte's to be one of those time-warp type places where it's meant to be closer to home cooking than refined.

Actually, looking back, I wished I had just grabbed a sandwich at the general store across the street, or better yet, a pizza out of that wood burning oven.

After spending the day traipsing about the tide pools and hiking to see the elephant seal sanctuary at Año Nuevo, we waffled about where to go for dinner. Vietnamese food in San Jose was ruled out, as was heading into the city for a late bite (though Delfina did have a table available). In the end, we opted to stay local and just go to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. All manner of fried foods, such as the calamari and the fish and chips, were executed better hear than at Duarte's, to say nothing of the beers. My favorite brews were the Tunnel Vision IPA and the Pillar Point.

The wedding and reception were held at the Ritz-Carlton, and while the catered affair was quite delicious (scallops and creamed polenta will always be a hit), there was a moment of surprise when I asked for coffee while waiting for the morning ceremony to set up. The bartender arrived with his Bodum press filled with brew and almost immediately plunged it. I all but dived over the bar to stop him; I gotta say, for a $15 french press of coffee, I expect better treatment of the stuff. Not that the coffee was salvaged anyway -- we left HMB the next day but not before getting a cup of Peet's on the way out, which naturally was a far better brew at a fraction of the cost.

I'd never been to this part of the peninsula before, so it was quite a nice mini-vacation.

Duarte's Tavern
202 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060

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