Monterey County's Top Five Must-Do Adventure Meals: Number Two
March 21, 2013
The twisting 30-minute drive past Carmel Valley takes you away from it all.
The rollicking environment at Cachagua General Store (659-1857), open for two seatings Mondays only, would be enough to merit an occasional visit, but it's the dynamite organic and creative fare—at totally reasonable prices, particularly with wine picked up at a Carmel Valley tasting room on the way out ($10 corkage)—that make it a pilgrimage. (Note: CGS does have a great somm team and a spectacular/eclectic wine collection too.)
Corralitos sausage pizzas, store-smoked wild salmon, mesquite-grilled baby back ribs, porcini cream oysters, gazpachos, trailblazing beets, and other seasonal treats reflect a Cali-roadhouse-meets-Spanish-sophistication sensibility that has made this required eating for any of the area's self-respecting foodies.
And is priced for a couple to eat well for $50.
The food itself might take a while, but to take issue with the service is to take your life in your own hands, as chef-owner-rebel Michael Jones is as enthusiastic about sticking up for his staff as he is standing up to the local sheriff. And though the smoked Valrhona chocolate cream is holy smokes sensational, no dessert can quite top seeing Jones call the sheriff on a group unwilling to leave the early seating.