Normally when we go on hikes or road trips, I take it upon myself to make sure we are fully fooded up. Some cold pork loin sandwiches with apple stuffing here, a bit of cheese there, and then to wash it all down with sparkling water or mayhaps some special wine. However, there are some trips where fasting until we get to wherever we’re going pays off. Enter the new Cowgirl Cantina at Pt. Reyes Station.
I’ve worked at Ye Olde Stanke Cheesehoppe on and off for over a year now, but this was my first visit to Pt. Reyes Station. A few weeks ago, we were just. So. Sick. of the rain and had to get out of town. Somehow dealing with rain 40 miles up the coast seemed more appealing than dealing with rain in the city.
After twisting ourselves around Route 1 for over an hour (yeah, we smartened up and took Lucas Valley Road back to the city. I mean, the Route 1 views can’t be beat, but the acid eating a hole in my stomach for the last ten miles could’ve pulped several car batteries.), we arrived at cozy Pt. Reyes Station hungry for food and views. Views they definitely got up there. Quiet green mountains leaped in my sight wherever I turned, and gentle frontier architecture swallowed up the unpaved streets.
As for food, well, Cowgirl Creamery recently took over the cantina counter in the renovated barn, and Chef Chris Douglas is doling out food that is damn well worth the twisting and acid eating. The menu is comprised mainly of freshly-made soups, salads, and sandwiches, but you can also get roasted chickens or lavender-brined pork loins to have for laters. We definitely made some happy laters out of the Curry-Spiced Boneless Roast Chicken.
Because we ordered St. George Raclette with Fingerling Potatoes and Cardamom-Braised River Dog Cabbage, I got to see a racelette machine in action. The verdict? I’m putting it on my wish list.
We also grabbed a thick, crusty sandwich of Niman Ranch Tri-Tip with fava bean purée, shreds of mint, and glossy onion jam. If that was the only thing they ever had on their menu I’d be blissfully happy, but for people who need more variety, they fill out with smoked fish and chicken breast sandwiches and a variety of salads. I’m sort of distressed that their menu will change daily because that plate of raclette, potatoes, and cabbage? *Groan*
Speaking of orgasmic foods, Rachel Cohen, the manager of Cowgirl Creamery’s Ferry Building store and former pastry chef, personally makes Scharffenberger Double Chocolate cookies for the Cantina. Now, I’m pretty picky about cookies. I don’t usually go in for the soft and chewy variety; I like a bit more snap and crunch to my chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin. These particular cookies gave me the best of both worlds. Though chewy as a warmly dense brownie on the inside, the exterior had a thin, crisp chocolate crust that completely satisfied my need for crunch.
We took our heavy plates of food and sat out back of the barn where the sun actually came out until we finished our lunch.
80 4th Street at B (one block in from Hwy 1)
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Wednesdays – Sundays 10am-6pm