Edible Monterey Bay

Big Sur Smokehouse in Soft Opening

June 25, 2019 – Big Sur doesn’t get new restaurants too often. Which makes the new Big Sur Smokehouse—and its grand opening July 4 (patience, please!)—a special bit of foodie fireworks. 

The smokehouse will serve classic barbecue in the historic and iconic little red homestead that dates back to the 1800s and sits right on top of Highway 1, at the foot of the entrance to Ventana Big Sur. 

But don’t expect creaky boards and splinters in your sauce. The remade interior has been impressively modernized, while picnic tables and familiar aesthetics remain on the outdoor patio.

Big Sur Smokehouse leadership says its approach to barbecue “pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall diners and roadside shacks that have long dotted the awe-inspiring drive along Highway 1.” 

“It equally honors the legacy … Read More

Monterey Welcomes Arrival of Dust Bowl Brewing

June 25, 2019 – No more than two hours after it officially opened, around 1pm on a June-gloom Thursday, Turlock-based Dust Bowl Brewing’s new Monterey location is alive with activity. 

Almost every seat at the long dark steel bar is occupied. Cheery beer-tenders pull drafts from a shiny U-shaped tap line with 24 spigots, including 22 Dust Bowl options, a nitro feed and two spouts for draft wine. (At publication, those were a Maddalena Chardonnay and Cabernet, out of Monterey and Paso Robles, respectively, $9 each.)

More patrons dot the narrower bars that flank the primary service bar and offer added seating and ease of flow. A half dozen people sip from bulbous Belgian-style glasses and tap on laptops (free WiFi is available) while perched on neutral-colored couches and lounge … Read More

Michelin Comes to Monterey

June 4, 2019 – For as long as it has had restaurants, the Monterey Bay area has not had any with Michelin stars. 

That’s not for a lack of amazing eateries. It’s simply because Michelin didn’t visit. 

Michelin-starred chef Justin Cogley

That seemed like an oversight. At one point in the 1990s, the Monterey area alone boasted the highest density of Wine Spectator Grand Award winners in one region, anywhere. While wine-driven, it was still a very lofty honor only superlative restaurants would endeavor to win. (For the record, the five WS Grand Award spots were Pacific’s Edge, The Sardine Factory, Casanova, Bernardus and Sierra Mar.)

Michelin has published ratings for San Francisco and Napa Valley restaurants since 2007, but for years only went as far south as Manresa in … Read More




Thoughts on tasty new taco developments as Monterey Bay approaches peak taco

John Cox stands next to a flaming tornado and doesn’t flinch. Instead, he smiles.

It’s past 10pm in Mexico’s capital. We’re in a neighborhood called Narvarte at a place called El Vilsito, which functions as an auto repair shop by day then transforms into a booming taquería where locals flock until 2 in the morning.

They come for homemade tacos—volcanes (meat and cheese), quesongos (mushroom and cheese) and gringa (cheese, al pastor and pineapple)—but the place is most famed for its tacos al pastor. It’s understood here that the marinated pork should always be shaved from one of these massive meat tornadoes after spinning on the roasting spit … Read More

Cat & Cloud Battles Caterpillar in Trademark Dispute

May 28, 2019 – A young farmer went into Cat & Cloud coffee company in Santa Cruz the other day looking for a Caterpillar 320 GC Medium Excavator with 90.0 kW net flyweight power. 

He was furious to find out that Cat & Cloud doesn’t sell the 320—or the any of the backhoe loaders he wants. 

Turns out they only sell things like lattés, coffee subscriptions and some apparel featuring felines and condensed water vapors. 

Just kidding: No farmer went in Cat & Cloud seeking an excavator or a backhoe. 

If that scenario seems ridiculous to you—people confusing the heavy machinery Fortune 500 behemoth called Caterpillar with the locally owned-and-operated coffee outfit Cat & Cloud—you’re not alone. 

That’s the primary reason why outcry is so fierce as locals learn Caterpillar … Read More