On one recent bright sunny winter day, we drove up to the village of Davenport to make field notes for a mystery thriller I’m writing. Set in Davenport, the book needed a bit more environmental grit and color so we checked out one of our favorite spots on the planet.
The crumbling barn across from the Roadhouse had crumbled even further, and Calla lilies were in bloom along the twisted wire fences bordering the little cottages that were once the homes of cement plant workers. I took a pic of one special white cottage, the former home of my gal pal Ann Parker and the fictional residence of my book’s protagonist. Iconic St Paul’s Church gleamed pink in the sunlight as we toured the backstreets. Every alley frames views of the ocean, sparkling on the other side of Highway 1.
As we swung back around to the highway, we paid tribute to the miniature post office that allows only room for one, maybe two people at a time. And right next door, La Patrona Taqueria—which once was a gallery of local crafts—seems to be flourishing, with neon bright umbrellas and chairs on the covered patio. The list of quesadillas had my mouth watering.
A major brunch crowd was rockin’ the outdoor seating at Whale City Bakery, where early in our romance we used to have dinners of red wine and french fries. The breakfast menu is substantial, ditto the myriad burgers. House-baked scones and Italian roast—yes, that’s the start to a great day.
And just down the road, there’s the former fabulous Davenport Cash Store. Who can forget all those scarves and trade beads, antique kimonos, statues of Hindu gods, jade necklaces, crystals and bohemian stoneware pottery from the studio of founders Bruce and Marcia McDougal?
Now, the Davenport Roadhouse prospers thanks to an amazing view of the ocean from its deck seating, and the wood-lined interior where locals like to get close to the fish tacos, the Pasta Pescatore and of course one of the pretty pastries lining the front display case. Great memories of people and dinners and glasses of wine in this atmospheric spot. My protagonist stops here for coffee every morning.
The Roadhouse shares a spacious parking lot with the Beauregard Vineyards Slow Coast Wine Bar, where people come from miles around to check out special tastings, like the recent wild mushroom and wine pairing. Exciting winemaker dinners happen in this smartly decorated Wild West building. And, of course, there’s plenty of live music to groove on.
No matter how many changes of menu or ownership, little Davenport and its colorful main street still inspires memories. The location alone transcends everything for miles around.
Product of the Week
Staff of Life Bakery’s own Gluten Free Seeded Bread is transforming our breakfast world. Home baked, and comfortingly uncommercial in taste and texture, this seed-intensive loaf slices nicely into tea cake slabs. Brown rice flour, millet flour and quinoa flour form the foundation, and then the loaf is laced with seeds of pumpkin, sunflower, brown sesame and poppy. Deelish, and $7 for a 24 oz loaf.
Humble Sea Tavern is jumpstarting the hospitality energy up in Felton, thanks to its recent opening in the former Cremer House. Stop by and sample the vibes. And welcome back to Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub in downtown Santa Cruz in its old Pacific Avenue home. After two years of closure, Rosie’s will celebrate its 25th anniversary on March 11 and 12. Stop by and hoist a pint!