Meals From The Road: Pismo Beach, CA

This is the first post of many more to come, about the food we ate on vacation. Starting with The Splash Cafe & The Cracked Crab. Why defy a chronological order by starting this series of posts in Pismo Beach? Because I am jonesing for some fresh seafood like a junkie craves a hit.

For our anniversary dinner, which turned out to be a multi-dinner, cross country extravaganza, we went to The Cracked Crab in Pismo Beach, just south of Avila Beach on US 101. We knew before we got there what we wanted, the big bucket for two. The "Big Bucket" is, well...a big bucket full of enough crustaceans, potatoes, corn & sausage to feed two hungry souls. First we split a bowl of Crab Bisque, that was touted to have "made them famous". It was only mediocre & it tasted heavily of chicken broth. When it came time to order our "Big Bucket" we opted for rock crab, slip lobster & dungenese crab.

We brought an indigenous bottle of wine with us that we had picked up earlier. It was a 2005 Zaca Mesa Viognier. It was outstanding & went perfectly with the assortment of sea dwellers with its lively acidity & floral notes.

After a glass of Viognier with our bisque it wasn't long before the attentive staff emerged with our implements of destruction, a mallet, some crab crackers, a couple of chop sticks (for picking the hard to reach meat out) & some small forks. But what they brought out next caught us off guard & all we could do was laugh. Two CC staffers, at the same time, tied big bibs with giant crabs on them, around our necks. Good thing too. After we emerged from the restaurant we had crab bits in our hair, but not on our shirts.

The shellfish was outstanding. It was so fresh & plentiful. When the bucket was dumped out on the table, my jaw hit the table. It was no small task but we devoured it all, minus a few pieces of sausage & corn. If you are in the area & love seafood, we highly recommend The Cracked Crab.

The other seafood joint we ate at in Pismo Beach was The Splash Cafe, famous for their clam chowder. It was so good we went back a couple days after our first visit. With our clam chowder we also enjoyed am order of steamers. Both times we at The Splash Cafe we sat in the window & enjoyed some prime people watching. The little town was full of vacationing families, surfers & four-wheelers, all enjoying the summer. It was delicious both times, really affordable & comes with our recommendation as well.

There is a lot to cover when it comes to the food & wine we enjoyed on our 16 day trek, so stay tuned for more recaps.



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