Sunday, September 22, 2013


What businesses would you expect to find in a town with a population of 643?

A gas station? A true general store--post office, non-perishable food items, basic hardware supplies? A café, maybe?

And a church? Maybe a town hall or other type of community gathering place? A school?

Which brings us to Pescadero, California, pop. 643. I found this description of the town by "an expat Californian living in London and traveling the world" and rather enjoyed it:

"Pescadero was founded in 1856, which makes it ancient by west coast standards. Located just two miles inland from the stunning beaches along California’s famous Highway 1, the town is surrounded by fertile agricultural land and a well-known bird sanctuary. The main street is called Stage Road because it was originally a route along which a stagecoach ran, and the town’s church was built in 1867. Not exactly Roman ruins, but pretty impressive for California" ( 2011/11/pescadero-california-travel).
"In May, 1867, two years after the end of the Civil War, construction began on the Pescadero Community Church. Founded as the First Congregational Church of Pescadero, the official dedication took place on December 3rd of that same year and is now the oldest surviving Protestant church building on the San Francisco Peninsula on its original site and foundation" (
So the expected church was there.

And yes, there was the all-in-one gas station, grocery store, and Mercado Taqueria de Amigos restaurant.

The Antiques store seemed to fit into the category of "expected," especially because of its character.

But then we were confronted with the unexpected.

First on this list was the Arcangeli Grocery Co. (aka Norm's Market and aka The Country Bakery).
The bakery featured several kinds of Country Breads (including an unusual, but tasty, artichoke garlic bread) and Cinnamon English Muffins, which, when sliced in half, made excellent French toast.
Learning that they ship partially baked loaves nationwide was, well, unexpected.
Continuing up the street a few steps, we found some magnificent looking leeks on display and stopped into the Pescadero Country Store.
It's rare that we could say this, but we bought their entire remaining supply of leeks (actually, two bunches; remember pop. 643).
As we turned away from the produce section, we found, what else, a wood-fired oven and pizza bar.
And in another corner in this country store, where we expected to find a pot bellied stove with rocking chairs, we found...a stylish wine bar.

At this point, we were past the stage of being surprised.
Curiosity drew us to this 1964 Honda "Dream" in a store window. The store?
Chikken Revolution (yes, two "k's" and with the "R" reversed).
A sign in the window provided this bit of information about the "Revolution":
"An authentic, curious, fun exploration of foods indigenous to our watershed for the purpose of enlightening ourselves to what foods we can eat to regain and maintain healthy, happy vibrant bodies (and souls) and at the same time working towards healing our environment and community."

Unexpected? Slightly. Surprising? Certainly not.

As we walked, we realized this was not a time to be wondering "How?" or, in the case of the Revolution, "Why?", but rather a time to enjoy what "Is".
And finally, in this village of 643, there is Duarte's. There on the right.
Time for lunch.

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