My history in the Carmel Valley goes back to 1952, when my Stanford fraternity held it’s annual “Spring Fling” overnight party here. I probably didn’t behave myself very well at that party, but maturity was not my strong suit in those days. Now, 65 years later, my behavior has improved.
I’ve always had a fondness for the area, and for the last three years it’s been my January escape from the frigid winter climate in Maryland. Other than enjoying the normally pleasant weather, I can do things I normally don’t get to do much of at home: I can visit with my kids and grandkids; I can play golf; and I can get greatartichokes, great seafood, and great cheese.
Two places in Carmel are my go-to spots. One is Flaherty’s Seafood Grille and Oyster Bar, and the other is the Carmel Cheese Shop.
The former has been open for more than 30 years, and was a favorite place to go with my dad when he lived in Pebble Beach. Packed into a small space with a white marble bar and closely-packed wooden tables and chairs, in the heart of Carmel, the big attraction here is clam chowder. Served with sourdough bread, a little creamy but not too thick, it’s always on the menu and it’s always good.
They’ve got lots of other good stuff, too.
The Cheese Shop is a cheese-lover’s paradise. On walking in, one is confronted on the right side by a wall of cheese wrapped in clear plastic, and right next to it a refrigerator case loaded with various blue cheeses. Somebody behind the counter will almost immediately offer you a taste of something, and then pull out anything else you want to try. In the back of the shop is a huge wlwction of wine, and on the left wall are crackers and other cheese-related paraphernalia.
Well, I’m struggling to format this post cuz I haven’t done it in a while. I’m going to try and publish this, and hopefully do better next time.
Here’s to good food,