Monterey - Carmel

Hi Road Trippers!

We road tripped to Santa Barbara recently. But before I report on a new trip I figured I should do a little something on the trip that started this thread. :wink:

The youngers wanted to come along so we made it a family friendly trip to Carmel. One of the reasons I didn’t report was it wasn’t the northern food & wine trip we initially planned. Most of our meals were at group/family/kid friendly places and I wasn’t sure it was enough good eating to report, but now looking at the photos I think we did fine.

Of course, it being a family trip it was all about consensus… we took the scenic route. Of course, with my fear of heights it was terrifyingly awful. I cursed them and a few of you on the way up and up and UP! :grimacing::sweat_drops:

Pretty, right?! :sweat::sweat_drops:

No photos but the first day we had a really good breakfast at Carmel Belle @js76wisco.

Then touristed around…

Frescura - Behind Caraccioli Cellars on Dolores St

Tasty fresh fruit cocktails togo!

This was in 2020 so I’ll just report on the places still going strong on Yelp.

Billy Quon’s Sur at The Barnyard

No photos of the food, which was passable. It’s big, kid friendly and the young peeps liked it. Cute decor!

Hubs discovers a bike shop…

Back up that winding road to look at more scenery…

Nepenthe - Big Sur

Yes, yes, it’s beautiful! But we have to drive back down it. Where are my gummies?!

After a few days of family friendly restaurants and sightseeing on winding roads while scrunched in the way back of an SUV I decided to take everyone to the restaurant of my choice for our last dinner…

Cultura comida y bebida - Dolores St

They have a good cocktail program and an extensive Tequila Menu… I had a flight.

…and ate Grasshoppers (chapulines) and liked them.

Trio of Guacamole, Roasted Tomato Salsa, Salsa Verde

Queso Fundido - Monterey Jack, Quesillo, Creme, Red Peppers, Poblanos, Guajillo, Shallot, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Housemade Tortillas

Cultura Mole - Smoked Pork Cheeks, Sesame, Orange, Pickled Veggies, Cabbage, & Saffron Tortillas (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Pan Seared Local Catch of the Day, Smoked Potato Purée, Shaved Fennel & Carrots

I forget the sauce but the fish was cooked perfectly.

Carne Asada & Carnitas Street Tacos

Chicken Enchiladas - Corn Tortilla, Chicken, Monterey Jack Cheese, Tomatillo Verde Salsa, Black Bean Purée (gluten-free)

Once food was ordered and cocktails were delivered I made an announcement. “I love you all and don’t want to spoil your holiday, but I am not going up another mountainous road. I’m renting my own car for the drive home tomorrow… Let’s eat.” :astonished: Of course, that didn’t happen… we took the 101.

Carmel Mission Inn - next to The Barnyard


Fun Family Bonding! :heart: 101 Fwy here We Come! :sun_behind_small_cloud: :oncoming_automobile:

A report on Santa Barbara is forthcoming…


We just went back there for Christmas break. Kind of dont want to share my food findings because as always all the restaurants are tourist traps doing best they can to disappoint me at top prices. Favorite place Il Grillo is gone.

We tried Portabella (probably best one of the trip), Basil, Enzo, Flaherty’s

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If you like sushi, I’ve really enjoyed Sushi Fly in Monterey. Takeout nowadays due to small space + covid, but still really fresh and tasty (esp. the yellowtail and the salmon).

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We enjoyed getting Ocean Sushi Deli and eating it at Fieldwork brewing. Good times.