Yesterday, Y and I drove from Santa Cruz to Gilroy via the 152, one of my favorite drives since we wind through farmland and Hecker Pass. Not only is it scenic w/ abundant natural beauty, but the route is loaded w/ what seems to be some hounds' dream...a bread crumb trail of taquerias, ethnic markets, donut shops, Mexican restaurants that cater to locals, possible roadside gem after possible roadside gem...
So I sat in the passenger's seat observing and making mental notes. We diligently packed lunch to save some time and $ and didn't stray from that plan. Dinner was going to be in Watsonville at 1 of 3 places, which I'll touch on later. So we didn't actually stop anywhere, but now I'm really wondering: are any of the attractions along the 152 worth a visit? Some of the places that caught my eye (moving from west to east):
1. Gizdich Ranch (Watsonville): known for their apples, but they also have berry picking during this season. Sign for apple dumplings caught my eye. Their pies are also sold here in Santa Cruz. How do they taste?
2. Taste of Pinoy (Gilroy): signage says Filipino-Asian cuisine. Looks like a casual, maybe fast food type place. Kinda empty looking.
3. (Something or other) Noodle House (Gil): next to Taste of Pinoy. Couldn't tell what kind of noodle house.
4. La Hacienda (Gil): grand opening sign. Any initial news?
5. The Cove (Gil): we smelled BBQ around the corner of 1st, before we merged onto Leavesley. A big church is on the corner. On our drive home, I spotted the source and the sign said tri-tip and a few other meats. Looked like it's been there for a long time.
6. El 7 Mares (Gil): not on the 152 route, but this is the only Gilroy restaurant listed in the SF guide. Last report I found was from Melanie in 2003. Anyone been during 2005?
Any info about these or other stops would be much appreciated. I feel bad that I have no tasting report myself, but I think we'll poke into a Mexican restaurant or The Cove BBQ next time. We ended up at Miyuki in Watsonville for dinner (2nd time) and had a great sushi dinner once again. The tataki appetizer is a MUST, and the halibut was especially weepingly fresh. Really like the vibe and hospitality there.