As we made our way out of the valley, we did take a slight detour to a new bakery called Lafayette at the Barnyard. We ambled in, listened to everyone speaking French, ordered a chocolate croissant, and for the birthday "cake" for later in the evening, a meringue in the shape of a pig--oh, well-- which they personalized on the spot with "Lynn" inscribed in chocolate. It was a serendipitous way to begin the birthday.
Then we headed down the coast and set up camp at Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground. After a day of hiking and sitting along the river and musing a bit, we headed for a newish restaurant we had read about called The Big Sur Roadhouse.
It was great! Both the indoor and outdoor seating areas were classy, and the Cajun food was very tasty. We had their Big Sur Seafood Gumbo-- cooked just to the point of pleasant piquant spiciness--with white grits, and long-cooked market greens. And for the wine...a very good 2011 Monterey County Pinot Noir by Poppy that provided a fruity balanced accompaniment to the meal.
Poppy is a Central Coast winery, with its very appropriate motto of: "Enjoy a glass of California; Enjoy a glass of Poppy." We really liked the Pinot. It was a nice blend of several Pinot Noir clones. It was easy drinking and very affordable--$7.00 a glass at the restaurant, under $15 a bottle at many retail stores. The Poppy Monterey Pinot is definitely on our "to drink again" list. And Poppy also makes a Zinfandel, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay and another Pinot Noir. We may just have to try them all.
Once we got back to our campsite, we did "pig out," so to speak, and that little meringue-chocolate critter was a sweet way to end the day.SO...a perfect California day and a perfect way to celebrate a birthday, or any day for that matter. A votre santé.