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.

Cowgirl Cantina
80 4th Street at B (one block in from Hwy 1)
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Wednesdays – Sundays 10am-6pm

Do the Cowgirl Can-Cantina 27 April,2006Stephanie Lucianovic

  • Jennifer Maiser

    I checked out the Cantina a couple months ago when they had barely opened. There were only a few offerings — I think because they were new and because it was close to closing time.

    Anyway, I can still taste that boneless chicken. It is the *perfect* food for up there to take with you and picnic. We noshed on it with Bovine Bakery bread and were as happy as clams … or oysters.

    The raclette sound like it’s to die for.


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for,, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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