Saturday, April 5, 2014

Discovery Weekend: Getting away from it all along the Elk Coast, California

Dinner Sign at Greenwood Cafe
See... everything is laid back.
Our recent get-away inspired me to write this latest post. Although this may be more travel, than gourmet, there is just something in Elk that inspires one to write. I had originally planned to write about my new baking adventures, but that will just need to be put on hold.

We have enjoyed the Mendocino Coast many times, but we have never been in this part of the coast. Elk is one of those small towns where if you blink, you may miss it – actually, I think it may be a bit larger (maybe you need to blink twice).

We stayed at the Greenwood Pier Inn. The Inn is an impressive bed and breakfast that overlooks the beautiful Greenwood cove.  From our charming suite in the North Tower, we had an amazing view of the gardens and a partial view of the ocean. The gardens are wonderful, but the ocean views were absolutely amazing.

Elk does not have many restaurants, perhaps two or three. Fortunately, our inn also has a café that is open from 5-ish to 9(-ish), so you can relax, meditate, or simply rest and walk for less than 5 minutes to your dinner. 

Prawn CocktailDo not expect prompt service though. Everything is so laid back in Elk; the innkeeper, who also runs the café, explained that they do take their time in making dinner, especially come the evening rush. My husband and I coined the term: “Elk Time.” It is somewhere in between Hawaiian Time and Tahitian Time. Think of it as waiting for dinner at someone’s home -- dinner will be served when it’s ready. Wine, however, is always flowing.

Being near the Sonoma Wine Country, we had excellent wine. The house white Sauvignon Blanc at the Greenwood Pier Café was good and was only five dollars (It was billed the “Best $5 wine you can ever have”). Entrée portions were really huge as well. We started with delicious plump prawns with a light cocktail sauce - not overpowering at all.

The seafood pasta was worth the wait. It was a lot of food and good enough for two people. You can taste the freshness of the mussels, prawns, and fish. It was so big, that we did not save room for dessert.

Seafood Pasta

We had breakfast delivered to our door, at around 8:30. It was perfect for the two of us: fruit, granola, cupcakes, and orange juice. It also had milk, but I should have requested for soy (but I doubt Elk has it). If you want a warmer breakfast, try out Queenie’s Roadhouse at the other end of town (about a 5 minute walk, or 10 minutes, Elk-time).

Breakfast Picnic Basket
Breakfast in a Basket

If you want a quicker breakfast, check out the Elk Store. They have an awesome deli with vintage coolers from the 30’s and 40’s. 

vintage cooler

The Elk Store is a great place to get breakfast, provisions for a picnic lunch, and even items for dinner. The chocolate chip cookies were really good, and the carrot cake and lemon cheesecake looked awesome (I should have bought a slice – but it was gigantic).

For our next evening, we had a light dinner at Bridget Dolan’s Inn and Pub next door. My husband had a craving for Chicken Pot Pie ever since he saw it on the menu. Appetizers and the entrée were good, but they do work on their presentation. We had a beautifully arranged beet salad (although the beets tasted like they were probably from a can) and Chicken Pot Pie of course. The crust on the pie was perfect!

Beet Salad
Beet Salad - Great Arrangement

Chicken Pot Pie
Good old-fashioned comfort food: Chicken Pot Pie

Best part of this dinner was dessert. We had a huge butterscotch bread pudding with whiskey sauce and whipped cream! Delicious!

Butterscotch bread pudding

Elk was a perfect place to get-away: perhaps it’s the gorgeous views of the ocean, the stunning seaside bluffs, or the clear starry night sky.

Oh, did I mention: one cannot get cell reception and the WIFI was spotty, if non-existent. It was a great place to detox, digitally and otherwise.

Besides with views like this, who needs a cell phone? Well, maybe one for pictures….

View from Greenwood Beach

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