On my June road trip, I detoured off 101 to Pozo Saloon for an early Friday dinner stop. Mine was the only non-truck vehicle in the parking lot.
The historic site had opened the month before after an unexpected closure. At one time it was known as a concert venue and there are plans to bring back live music.
In addition to two bar counters, the saloon has a side dining room and more seating outdoors. The local customers told me they are fifth and sixth generation cattle ranching families.
I had wanted to order the BBQ tri tip, but my waitress soon returned to tell me that it was sold out for the day.
She recommended the 1858 Bacon Burger, $10, as the most popular item on the menu. Nicely charred and medium-rare as ordered, the one-third pound beef patty was garnished with a thick, crunchy strip of bacon, cheese, Pozo sauce, pickle, lettuce, tomato and red onion. No complaints other than the plain toasted bun still being too squishy. The taste was particularly deep and meaty, and I wish that I'd remembered to ask if it might have been made from local beef.
I asked where the road would take me if I continued east on West Pozo Road instead of doubling back. The cook recommended that I drive the full loop taking Parkhill Road to CA Hwy 58 to return to Santa Margarita and Hwy 101 if I had the time. That's what I did, and was treated to sightings of a herd of elk, raptors, wild turkeys, jack rabbits, quail and fading late spring bloom. It brought back memories of my childhood in Monterey County.
90 W. Pozo Rd.
Saturday 11 to 6:30, Kitchen closes at 5:30
Sunday 11 to 6, Kitchen closes at 5