.Next door to Norm’s is Pescadero Country Store. A market/deli when I first visited the store a dozen years ago, the owner, Cindy, has turned her place of business into something more. The deli at the back of the store can get quite busy, too, as she offers freshly made sandwiches, salads and a different soup each day. In recent years, Cindy has expanded the store to cater better to the tourists and cyclists. A brick oven commands attention as you enter but you remember the gourmet pizzas it produces when you exit. The dining area is spacious and a bar serves libations if you want something more than Diet Coke or Snapple Tea from the refrigerated section at the back of the store. On summer weekends Cindy’s place is even busier as she offers live music and barbecue at the picnic area adjacent to her store. Perhaps beyond Pescadero’s rich history and small-town charm, its other big draw is its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. If you like the idea of watching seagulls, seals and pelicans, if you can listen to the waves crashing for hours on end or if you want to simply park your car at the state beach and watch the boats go by as you eat your carnitas burrito or chicken salad sandwich, Pescadero would be hard to beat. I raise my hand to all of the above. Pescadero is so close to San Francisco, the city where I grew up, but it offers something quite unique. Don’t take my word for it, though. See for yourself the next time you visit this part of the California coast. ** This is the first of my Local Spotlight Series. From time to time, I will be featuring some of my favorite spots, eateries and people in the San Francisco Bay Area. I hope you enjoy this new feature on L&A. Please scroll down for my Cinnamon French Toast recipe**
****** Cinnamon French Toast *******During one of my recent visits to Pescadero, I picked up a loaf of Arcangeli Bakery’s Cinnamon Swirl bread. Soft and with just the right amount of cinnamon flavor, I enjoy it toasted and often eat it with a slice of cheddar cheese. I found, however, that its texture is ideal for French toast as the bread soaks up the batter beautifully. I upped the cinnamon flavor by sprinkling more into the batter. Soft and moist inside and crisp on the outside, these were wonderful with the traditional accompaniments of maple syrup and powdered sugar. Don’t forget the fresh fruit on the side.
Local Spotlight: Pescadero, CA (and Cinnamon French Toast)
Locally-made Cinnamon Swirl Bread give classic French toast an extra pop of cinnamon flavor.
Author: Lemons & Anchovies
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: Makes 8-10 Slices
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup half and half or milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- Cinnamon Swirl bread or challah (8-10 slices)
- Butter for the pan (a few tablespoons)
- Maple syrup (for serving)
- Powdered sugar
- Slice the bread in roughly ¾-inch thick slices and set aside.
- Prepare the batter by whisking together in a platter the eggs, half and half (or milk), vanilla extract, cinnamon and sugar.
- Heat one tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat. Dip one slice of bread at a time into the batter on both sides, allowing the bread to soak up the liquid. Once the pan is hot and the butter melted, cook the bread until golden on both sides, about 1 minute for each side.
- Add butter to the pan as needed, for each batch of bread being cooked.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup.