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The Best Place To Eat

Moving around and traveling requires finding things you accept without thought.  New locations require new sources for regular activities - car maintenance, hair cuts, grocery shopping - along with eating. Eating is very important to me. It comes from my Mom's side of the family. She puts eating on a pedestal.

I'm a casual diner, fond of simple, finger foods. Sandwiches. Tacos and burritos. Pies. Cookies. Ice cream. Cheese and olives.

Living in the SF Bay area ruined me. Sure, there were fabulous restaurants where you could get really great and pricy meals, places like Postrio, Aqua in San Francisco, or Chez Panisse over in Berkeley. Ethnic food? Vegetarian? What's your addiction? Hamburgers - hit Hamburger Mary in San Jose. Cities all along the peninsula offered great places, or we headed up into wine country, and the CIA and The French Laundry. One fav of ours was 'Garden Fresh', a small vegetarian place in Mountain View that did amazing things with pressed tofu. My cat loved their food, fighting us for leftovers when we brought them home, and there were always leftovers. We just ordered too much to consume at the table in one meal.

But I prefer casual. Rockin' Taco, Una Mas, and Tres Amigos for black bean burritos and cheese quesadillas, or over to Chevy's Fresh Mex for a chili relleno and a Negra Modelo. For pizza, I went to It's Itala, and for pie, cookies, cake, there was the Roasting company, both within a six minute walk. Around the corner from my house in Half Moon Bay was the San Benito House Garden Deli. They bake their bread every day. The sandwiches are huge, sometimes too large to fit in my gigantic mouth, and I really, really tried. The Garden Deli was popular so sometimes the line was long, and we were forced to a backup, Cunhas. There were no complaints there, either.

The Garden Deli was why I moved to HMB. We were both working and busy. Saturday arrived with a list of errands and house cleaning to do. Or, one would suggest, "We can go to Half Moon Bay, get a sandwich, head to the beach and read." There was little argument although we made a lot of promises about catching up later. After a few months of doing this while house-hunting, I proposed, "Hey, let's move to Half Moon Bay."

So we did, and enjoyed our favorite places all the time. But for the great places we had to eat -- and believe me, I've left many out -- we always took visitors to one place in Half Moon Bay to eat:  the airport.

We found out about it after moving to HMB, where we heard it was the best place for breakfast. It was a local's favorite.l

Really?  The airport?

Yes, the airport. The view didn't blow you away, airport offerings of hangers, airplanes, and a runway. It wasn't large, don't know how many it seated, and it was cramped. A twenty to thirty minute wait was normal on Sunday mornings. While you waited, you oggled others' food and planned your order. The smells were incredible, the usual American breakfast melange of toast, potatoes, onions, bacons, and malt waffles.

Oh, the malt waffles. The smell taunted my taste buds and caused small pools of saliva to collect around my feet. How would you like your malt waffles? Traditional, or with fresh strawberries, confectioner's sugar and whipped cream? Strangely, I rarely ordered that, preferring an omelet or blueberry pancakes. I think my wife always ordered the malt waffles. She's not a big eater so sometimes I had to help her. We didn't want to waste anything.

We have some decent places to eat in Ashland, like Larks for dinner or lunch. Breakfast, we have Brothers, The Breadboard, and, if you really want something special and amazing, Morning Glory. If you eat at Morning Glory, you won't require another meal that day, and probably not the next. But every once in a while, I fantasize about going back to the airport. I'm not sure what I'll order but I will smell the waffles.