This past weekend, my brother, his wife and I flew out to California’s Big Sur to surprise my other brother for a big birthday this month. Big Sur is a spectacular region between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the coastline views are among the most magnificent I’ve ever seen. Big Sur has always enjoyed a following among those with an artistic sensibility, or basically anyone that has a pair of eyes. The vibe is extremely relaxed and the scenery is, well, totally glorious. Everything was seamlessly planned by my brother’s boyfriend and we had a fantastic time. Before I tantalize with photos from our trip, here’s a list of my particular favorites among the places we ate.Deetjens
Nestled in forests inland from the coast; Deetjens is the quintessential Big Sur locale—quirky, comprised largely out of wood, and with a simple, welcoming atmosphere. The inn has a few rooms available, but we came for breakfast which was held in the most charming room; packed to the brim with old school knicknacks and warmed by a crackling fire. The huevos rancheros were a solid standard with especially good corn tortillas, and my family really enjoyed their various eggs Benedict varieties (they’re known for their Hollandaise, apparently.) A table order of Buttermilk, Blueberry pancakes fortified us for some walking as did some strong coffee. Super low-key, and not to be missed.
Post Ranch Inn Entering Post Ranch Inn, it’s not hard to see why it’s been named one of the top resort destinations domestically and internationally. While it retains a rustic Big Sur-esque charm, it is unequivocally luxurious; with expansive grounds and a number of gorgeous (from the outside—we didn’t venture inside, alas) cottages to rent. The restaurant [name] is breathtaking—stuck into the mountains, with floor to ceiling windows and a glorious deck—all showcasing the Pacific ocean. It’s an utterly unbelievable place; with food that could almost compare with the setting. For lunch, we had a $45 prix fixe menu with a selection of choices. I went for the steak tartare, a mindbendingly delicious cioppino with Spot Prawns, black cod and squid ink toast slathered with Sea urchin butter (I know.) To finish up it was a warm chocolate cake with pumpkin ice cream, and another round of celebratory drinks.
Big Sur Bakery
What I had thought to be simply a bakery (having visited on a previous trip) actually serves a wonderful dinner. We were all leaning towards lighter fare, after a three-course, cocktail lunch which may, in fact, have been a dream. The emphasis was truly on fresh, local vegetables here—and many salads were ordered, in addition to a terrific medley of roasted carrots and a dish of farro with stewed kale. It all sounds very health food-y, and while they have a bevy of more substantial options on the menu, it’s just what our somewhat over-indulged crew required. Also of note: they have a heavenly ham and cheese croissant that cannot be missed.
The Roadhouse Located just across the street from our lovely accommodation (Glen Oakes Motor Lodge) was this unassuming dining room, which served up simple comfort food with a Southern twang. While the meal didn’t make me re-think my existence, it was very tasty—especially a hearty red bean and rice dish. Crunchy kale salad was very good as well, and we set off ready for a hike in the dreamy Point Lobos State Reserve: