Day three of our road trip kept us driving south down the Central Coast, first destination: Monterey. Looking forward to being spoiled with the area’s freshest seafood and local, flavorful avocados, we headed straight to Cannery Row to search out the best fish tacos in town. After a quick reconnaissance of local spots, we settled in to the sunny patio overlooking the bay at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. Homemade corn tortillas, the freshest fish, creamy guacamole, a local IPA, sunshine and a lovely view—need we say more?
With happy bellies and high spirits, we headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, arriving only an hour before closing time. Delighted to get discounted tickets (every $15 counts!), we raced to see the penguins, puffins and jellyfish before collapsing into a giant clam.
In the late afternoon, with the arrival of the marine layer blocking the warmth and sun, we traveled south toward Pebble Beach and through the exquisite 17-mile drive hugging the rugged coastline. We slowly wound our way past multi-million dollar estates and breathtaking vistas, stopping often to enjoy fresh air and take photos (and avert nausea!).
Arriving in Carmel for the night, we checked into our quaint cottage and headed to dinner, walking through the quiet streets to Cantinetta Luca, the sister restaurant of the acclaimed Aubergine at the L’Auberge Carmel Hotel. The grilled eggplant appetizer and wood fired pizza at Luca were quite tasty, even if it didn’t make our Top 10 list.
After dinner, we stopped at the French bistro La Bicyclette for dessert, a strawberry rhubarb tart baked in their wood oven. A sweet ending to a full day. Next, stay tuned for our adventures in Big Sur and San Luis Obispo.
A Love Affair with Avocados
Avocados play a starring role in our daily diet—and they’re on our list of the Top 5 Foods we can’t live without. (In case you haven’t noticed, we love lists! More about our Top 5 Foods in another blog. Oh, the suspense!)
We both love avocados because they taste SO good and are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, loaded with potassium, B vitamins, vitamins K & E, and healthy monounsaturated fats.
Store your avocados at room temperature and wait until they are perfectly ripe. To test an avocado’s ripeness, try to pull off the little stem (or the bellybutton of the avocado, as we call it!). If it comes off easily, it’s ripe. To ripen a green avocado, store in a paper bag and it will ripen more quickly.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use avocados:
Toss into your salads.
· Use in place of mayonnaise in salad dressings.
· Blend into smoothies.
· Add slices to your sandwiches.
· Try mashing an avocado with a heaping spoonful of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, a little sea salt and hot pepper sauce (Lisa likes chipotle, but McKenzie just likes it spicy!). Stir it all together and you’ve got yourself a delicious sandwich spread or the perfect fish taco topping.