Thanks to some lovely family members, I spent my birthday cold, wet, and dirty... yes, while the rest of you poor souls were sweltering in our lovely Fresno summer, I was on the beach in Cayucos....where it was 67 degrees..tops.. it was cloudy, foggy, breezy, perfect. The cold came from the weather, the wet came from splashing in the surf when it warmed up enough to do so and I got used to the cold water... and the dirt? Sand of course (I think Cayucos has the glueyest sand anywhere.. that stuff sticks to EVERYTHING). Also, I found out that seagulls don't just care about your food... they will try to take off with whatever you've got in a bag...like packrats..
However.... No matter how much time I spend over there, its never really enough... as much as I've become somewhat cozy with Fresno in the last few years... the central coast is still my first love... hope to retire there someday... in my dreams, Fresno has a coastline.
But this IS allegedly a food blog...so, on to the food (sorry... too busy having fun to take pics... you know me...)
I came closer than ever to finding pizza bliss at Ocean Front Pizza. My daughter and I shared the "Surfer's Special" (thank goodness they don't limit that to surfers...), which was 2 slices with your choice of beverage. I got cheese because that's how I judge pizza.. if you can't do something as simple as cheese, covering it in toppings (at least for me) isn't going to help.
The crust, was nearly perfect....like a thin version of Valentino's (the highest praise available for any pizza in my world). Crispy in some places, chewy in others...with real flavor. The cheese was plentiful, mozzarella only (I despise mixed cheeses, especially cheddar on a pizza)., and mottled with brown specks from the oven. My only disappointment, was the sauce....thin and flavorless... so close and yet so far. I do have to mention however, that the service was very friendly!
While I was waiting for the pizza to come out of the oven (got there as it was cooking), I popped over to Ruddell's Smokehouse (see this is why I love Cayucos, everything you need is RIGHT there). Not wanting to spend 6 dollars on a single smoked shrimp taco (not where I come from, amigos), I opted for a package of smoked Ahi jerky for 4.50. Do you love fish? Do you love smoked food? Then this is the place for you. I cut through the vacuum sealed package and instantly attracted a cadre of interested seagulls... it smelled of smoke, and the sea. Extremely smoky, and delicious! And as with the pizza place... great service !
Before a walk on the pier, I walked over to Cayucos Candy Counter and got a dark sea salt caramel, a "crispy peanut butter chewy delight" (or some such thing), and a small raspberry/white chocolate gelato.. the candy was puzzling... the caramel in both candies LOOKED right... but not only was the consistency weird (like silly putty), but there was almost no flavor to it... the gelato on the other hand was delicious but very tiny for the 3.25 price. The service at the actual candy counter was nonexistent (they need better training and more staff when its a little busy), but the service at the ice cream counter was very friendly.
On the way home we stopped at the revamped gas mart at the light south of Kettleman proper to get snacks.. Honey Sesame Sticks from Plano Jerky (out of Porterville), and 2 of the new Girl Scout Cookie themed crispy Nestle's Crunch bars (Thin Mint and Samosas ((caramel and coconut))...yummy! They nailed the flavors we love.
I also got some sweet freebies in my email this week... free corn dog from Weinerschnitzel (why do they call it that, since weinerschnitzel is a pounded and breaded meat product), free cone from Baskin Robbins (that new chocolate and Oreo flavor? Da BOMB..since it seems to have chocolate covered Oreos in it.), and a free Grand Slam from Denny's..
So even though there were no fireworks, circuses, or giant ass kicking parties, it was a beautiful day all around.. Even though most of the first 50 were kinda hard.... (with the exception of the last few years with my beloved), I know the next 50 will be awesome.. because when you hit that milestone, you try harder to make sure that every day is deliberate and has something good in it.