SCOFF, WE SHALL NOT: From time to time we hear rumors of people jetting across the country, or even the world, to enjoy a single exquisite meal at a fine-dining establishment. And we scoff, because who in the world would do that? Well, a lot of us would, and do, in a more local way. Have you ever built a weekend road trip around the fish tacos of Cardiff by the Sea and Encinitas? Or straight-up Santa Maria tri-tip and barbecue? If you haven't, you've likely got something that's regional and food-oriented on your travel to-do list.
THE PERFECT PIE: There is another California foodstuff with deep Cornish roots that might be worthy of a future adventure, and, nope, it isn't all found in one area. Hmm, that's not quite true; Grass Valley and Gold Country boast old ties to the pasty, because the food was a favorite of Cornish miners. Hearty, meaty, easy to pack, easy to hold. But the doughy wonder has made in-roads elsewhere around the state, meaning that if you're planning a blacktop two-day-er, with a single edible as the goal, you may put in some miles. Here are places to pin on your map...
GRASS VALLEY: As mentioned, Gold Country towns with deep mining roots are nicely familiar with the pasty, which was the go-to subterranean supper. Marshall's Pasties has a number of filling choices, including apple, broccoli and cheese. Intriguing. Cousin Jack's is another Grass Valley staple, with a Nevada location as well. Mmm.
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SAN LUIS OBISPO: We'd completely expect a cool pasty-serving SLO spot to do the craft beer thing, in addition to the meaty pocket thing, and the SloCo Pasty Co. delivers. The pasties are pie-perfect, from steak, Guinness & cheddar to the classic Cornwallian Oggy.
LONG BEACH: Winter even comes to Long Beach, and a hearty hand-held pie from the Pasty Bakery is the toasty ticket for a marine-cool night. Yes please, we'd like a cheese & onion pasty just about now.