Pre and post notes related to Cayucos report below.
We'd left the central valley a little after 3pm hoping to get to Taco Temple in Morro Bay before it got too crowded. No such luck, at 5:45 there was already a half hour wait and we couldn't even get our names on the list until the third couple arrived (they were about 15 min. behind us) which would mean at least a 45 min. wait. Had it not been cool with a light drizzle coming down we might have toughed it out. Tried to go to Plan B, go settle in at the beach house on Studio Dr. and phone in a to go order, phhht.. strike two, none of the specials are available for take out only a couple of basic items (taco and some other's I don't recall) not the creative cuisine we crave from this place. Ended up having a couple of pizzas delivered from a place in Cayucos washed down with pitchers of martinis.
Sunday morning came all too soon, checked out of the beach house just after 11am wondering what to do for lunch prior to driving home. Still craving our Taco Temple fix we headed that direction when I recalled a couple of hounds' posts about the little market at the gas station just north of TT. Given my wife's fondness for little non-descript places that put out good food at cheap prices, we pulled in to Chapala's Market within minutes.
So many great choices on the menu we had to restrain oursevles from going into an ordering frenzy, being just the two of us.
Went with a pork tamale, one of the (if not the all time) best ever, masa moist and flavorful as was the pork and mole filling, thanks again to the CHs that pointed this out. Chile Relleno, beautiful large cheese stuffed pasilla, not greasy at all, nice sauce and crumbled cheese and crema drizzled over the top. Fish taco and a carne asada taco, both very tasty. While in line looking at the menu I asked a local next to me what some of her favorite items were, hearing that their chile verde was quite good we ordered it in a quesadilla, it was fantastic. I was simply amazed at this little place not just for the quality of the food but the presentation was superior to most of the upscale places we're used to. So what if you're sitting at one of the plastic tables under the canopy out front (there are a few tables inside the market also), there's a view of Estero Bay and besides... it's all about the chow.
2816 Main St.
Northbd. Hwy. 1:Exit Hwy. 41. Left on Main St. 76 Station is located on the right, 3/4 mi.
Southbd. Hwy. 1 Left on San Jacinto (at the stoplight). Right on Main St. 76 Station is located on the left, 1/4 mi.
PS Should also mention, traveled back to the central valley on the back roads, Santa Margarita, Hwy 58 east then north on Shell Creek Rd. to Shandon. The wild flowers that came out after the previous rains were unbelievable, the little valley that Shell Creek Rd. runs through was just electric. We're used to rarely ever seeing any cars on it, people were parked everywhere for several miles just gawking, strolling and taking pictures. Ain't CA great?