California Trip Day 4-5: Visiting Kate and Don

Travel dates: August 7-8, 2021

If we are driving in Northern California it’s a given we’ll go visit Kate and Don above Half Moon Bay. Kate and Carla have been friends since their early teens; it was during Ouija board session with her that Carla discovered she would marry someone named Howard! After Carla and I got serious she called Kate and asked if she remembered that night – and she did. Crazy! If you want to read more about our adventures with Kate and Don, follow this link which includes posts on our trip to Lake Quinault, Washington and Victoria, B.C. Brian and Marie came up (over? down? across?) from the Peninsula for the evening as well. They are all such great people and I’m happy that they are now my friends as well.

After feeding us a big breakfast before we headed south to Santa Cruz, Kate said “Go to Duarte’s in Pescadero and have the 50/50 soup!” Okay; I wasn’t sure what a 50/50 was but I was totally on board for it. Afterall, we had just had watermelon and ginger soup at the Benbow Inn a couple of nights before and loved it.

A couple of hours later and we cruised down California Highway 1 we came to the turnoff for Pescadero and headed into the little town.

Pescadero, California on the coast. (Google Maps)

The name piqued my interest; in San Francisco there is The Embarcadero – similar suffix. Looking at this Wikipedia page I learned that Embarcadero means “the place to embark”. More research (at least two full minutes) reveals that the suffix “ero” can mean “a place in which to keep“. So with the prefix of Pesc, I figure Pescadero means the place to keep fish or the place of fish. Being so close to the ocean it makes sense.

Enough with etymology; let’s get to that 50/50! It was a beautiful summer day and the small town was crowded with people out for Sunday brunch. But we put our name in at Duarte’s and took a bit of a walk while we waited.

Duarte’s Tavern. Pescadero, California

When we returned we got a couple of seats at the bar. Looking at the menu I saw an artichoke soup but not a “50/50” soup. Oooh! A secret menu! I asked for the 50/50 and the server brought it out. It sure looks good.

The “50/50” soup at Duarte’s in Pescadero, California.

The soup is cream of artichoke with a green chili soup layered on top like the foam in a latte. The artichoke is the lighter color in the picture above. Artichoke soup makes perfect sense in this part of the state as we are less than two hours from Castroville, the artichoke capital of the world. This soup was amazingly good: the brightness of the green chili was offset perfectly by the creaminess of the artichoke. I’m not naive enough to think that this is a huge secret; it’s more along the lines of “animal style” at In ‘N Out. But it’s not on the menu, so it’s at least a little special

We were on vacation so I thought it only fair to have a slice of Marionberry pie. I LOVE Marionberry pie.

Marionberry Pie at Duarte’s in Pescadero, California

If you find yourself on the Central California Coast coast I highly recommend a stop at Duarte’s.

Central California encompasses a large variety of landscapes: ocean, city, mountains (e.g. Yosemite, Sequoia National Park). To me the quintessential picture of the coastal region is the rolling hills with a mixture of meadows and trees. Walking north of town we found a spot to capture a slice of the view.

The rolling hills of the Central California coast

After lunch and a walk we got back in the car to get to Santa Cruz where we would spend the next few nights with our youngest son and his family. That’s coming!

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