Friday, August 20, 2010

Deep Nor Cal Road Bites: Nacho Mama and Continental Bakery

If you've ever thought about driving up the coast of California, and haven't done it, you should. The Pacific Coast Highway is incredible, but so is HWY 101, especially in deep Northern California. We're talking off the grid Northern California, not San Francisco or Sonoma. There are small towns, like Garberville (a city formerly known as "Dogtown") and slightly larger towns like Crescent City (Redwood National Park headquarters). I've done my fair share of Southern California to Portland HWY 5 solo driving stints complete with speeding tickets (crying does not work with the officers of Siskiyou County, those guys got quotas to make), so I was happy to co-pilot in the company of my friend, Jessica, as we made our trek from Surf City Huntington Beach to Portland, Oregon.

 Outside Saracina Ranch Winery, Hopland, CA

Inside wine cave of Saracina, Hopland, CA

Tree tourist, somewhere in Humboldt County, CA

Sweet creeks along the way, somewhere in Humboldt County, CA

I couldn't resist not stopping at Nacho Mama in Garberville. It wasn't ironic enough that I was leaving Surf City to nosh 12 hours later at the "Home of the Surfing Burrito!" And maybe after 12 hours the delirium of "that's not-cho mama" jokes set in, ten fold. Politely passing on a stray hippie's invitation for a "river swim" I zeroed in on the Super Nachos while Jessica took a jab at the famous Surfing Burrito listed on the hand written menu. The nachos were really nothing to write home about - basically gringo tortilla chips with shredded cheese, black and pinto beans, fresh salsa, sour cream, guacamole, green onions and canned black olives. Still, it was a *must* to get the nachos from Nacho Mama. Jessica devoured her mole covered burrito stuffed with chicken, cheese, beans and rice.

Nacho Mama Shack
That's Nacho Mama's Nachos
Surfing Burrito
You can't beat the ambiance. We walked across the street to the gas station and got a can of tecate to go with our Humboldt Mexican snacks.

What does it mean? Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Tecate in coffee cups, while swatting bees and flies. This is ambiance!

Continuing north, we passed through the Avenue of the Giants, aka old tall redwoods. We stayed at a super sketchy motel in Crescent City. Read my yelp smackdown here if you dare, but please do not stay there, ever.
Avenue of the Giants

The next morning called for an extreme power wake up (especially if we were going to get the Rogue Brewery in time), plus we were anxious to leave our dilapidated motel. I did a quick yelp search and scouted out the Continental Bakery up the street from our digs.

All that mattered at this point was the red Open sign
I was very excited to see this first pastry upon entrance. Being in lumberjack central and a proud wearer of Womens Size 11.5 shoes, I was tempted (and sympathetic) by the Big Feet!

Big Feet Unite!

See the resemblance?

Big Foot Sighting Due North of San Francisco!

Alas, I am a true sucker for old fashioned and maple doughnuts. They had the best of both worlds waiting for me with the Maple Old Fashioned.
 Real doughnuts!
Bursting with maple essence, the frosting was eye-opening sweet. The doughnut itself was fresh with a nice old fashioned style crust sealing in the moisture.

Another reason doughnuts are the new cupcakes

I snagged one of their "famous" which was amusing, because, er, Crescent City (?)  pesto rolls. Bless their hearts but I haven't exactly seen it referenced in my TravelZoo Wednesday spammings. Nice try, though. The pesto roll with jalapeno ranch was mind blowing. It made my brunch.

And I am happy to announce across the street from Continental Bakery was my first sighting of Dutch Bros Coffee, one of my favorite Oregonian Coffee joints conveniently located 20 miles south of the border! What's cool about Dutch Bros is they don't do drip coffee. They make everything fresh so if you want a Dutch Coffee you will get a freshly made, rich Americano. Jessica got the Annihilator:  3 shots of espresso, Chocolate Macadamia Nut, and Kick Me Mix. We were set for our drive up the pristine Oregon coast.

Dutch Bros Drive Through
Nacho Mama
375 Sprowl Creek Road
Garberville, CA 95442

Continental Bakery
503 L Street
Crescent City, CA 95531


Diana said...

Haha, that's how my feet looked before I get my pedicure today! Big feet unite, indeed. Will need to that drive up the coast someday too. Seems like something everyone in Cali should do at some point in their life!

stuffycheaks said...

you love donuts, i love croissants. didn't realize that was old fashion, always thought the glazed ring was

Ruth Abatzoglou said...

Two new views of "Big Foot.... I mean Big Feet" who would have thought. From one big foot to another...I loved the post.

lynn said...

i need to take a road trip - looks like so much fun!

sophia said...

Wow you really know how to do a road trip RIGHT! Loved this post. I've just been back from a road trip myself, so I know how either tedious or exciting it can be, depending on...well, what you eat.

Banana Wonder said...

Diana - Us TALFS need our big feet to keep us balanced! Road trip up to visit!

Stuffycheaks - I love croissants too, but I think you love them more than me.

Ruth - I wasn't expected all these big feets everywhere! Holler!

The actor's diet - road trips are fun, capped at 2 days though :) Easy to go stir crazy in the car.

Sophia - Yes indeed, good eats are a must.

Helen said...

Sounds like a fun trip! I'm eager to make a trip like that one day, to drive along the west coast but I promise you I won't be staying at that motel. That is a scary sounding review on Yelp! The pesto roll and dipping sauce looks great, yum!

weezermonkey said...

I just died at the big feet comparison.

Banana Wonder said...

Helen - Yay! It's a perfect 2 day road trip if you like to stop a lot along the way.

Weezermonkey - :) Big feet rule!

Nathan Hazard said...

Dutch Bros.!!!!

Banana Wonder said...

Chocomeat - High 5!

Kate said...

I was driving up to Arcata last weekend for an Ultimate tournament and tried to stop at Nacho Mama but it was closed.

Banana Wonder said...

Kate, ah, really?! What a bummer!