Our next hotel check-in time wasn't until 3PM, so we decided to do a little exploring up the coast. We ended up stopping for lunch at a place called Coast Gallery, which was a cool little cafe set atop an art gallery overlooking the California coastline. The view was spectacular, the food was wonderful, and the puppy was able to sit on the deck with us while we ate at the cafe.
I got a sandwich called the Big Sur, which was a turkey sandwich on ciabatta bread with avocado, pepper jelly, pimento aioli, cheddar cheese, and romaine lettuce. It came with a side of a spicy cucumber salad. Boyfriend had a "Portola" sandwich, which was roasted pork and sliced ham on grilled sourdough with grilled onions, wagon wheel cheese, pimento aioli, and mustard (You can see the rest of their menu here). We washed all of this down with a couple glasses of central coast wine, and I was so happy that I could have literally ended my day right there. Food will do that to me. No joke.
After lunch, we stopped a few times on our way back down the 1 to take pictures and such. We found an elephant seal reserve area. I could had stood there and watched those seals all day.
Around 3, we got to our next hotel in Morro Bay, called the Beach Bungalow Inn and Suites. There was a guest book on the bed when we got there, and the guest that stayed in our room the night before really said it all: "Beach Bungalow is one of the best kept secrets in Morro Bay." At $143 a night (plus $20 extra per night for Toby!), it certainly wasn't cheap, but it was less than we paid at Ragged Point, and infinitely nicer. For that price, we got a two bedroom suite complete with a huge shared bathroom, an electric fireplace, flat screen TVs, breakfast vouchers for one of three restaurants in the area, amazing comfortable beds with lots of pillows, a view of Morro rock, a pet blanket, treats for Toby, a fridge, classy/comfortable decor, and even plush white bathrobes with matching slippers. This place was definitely a luxury hotel without the luxury hotel price tag. I could have stayed there all four nights, and I almost wish we had!
Toby immediately adapted himself to the lap of luxury.
Once we were settled, Boyfriend did a little work for school while I did some blogging, and we quickly realized that we were hungry. Now, where we're from, there are a number of places that are open late for dinner. The city of Morro Bay dies at 8PM sharp. It was exactly 8PM by the time we realized this. After Google searching various things like "late night restaurants in Morro Bay" and "Morro Bay nightlife," we eventually found a restaurant called Schooner's Wharf one city away in Cayucos, CA. It had decent reviews online, and I had really been craving one of central California's famous Hearst Ranch burgers, so it was good enough for me.
We knew right away that our burgers were going to be lackluster when the guy on the phone failed to ask how we wanted them cooked. I guess I wasn't that surprised to find a well-done burger in desperate need of a sauce. I ordered the "Black Beard Burger," which promised cajun spices and blue cheese. I got some blue cheese, but not much in the spice department. Boyfriend ordered a "Cowboy Burger," with onion rings and barbecue sauce. Now, Im sure a lot of my negativity toward these burgers had to do with the fact that we got take out and they were luke-warm by the time we got back to Morro Bay, but overcooking a Hearst Ranch grass-fed beef burger is just wrong. Under-saucing is also a burger no-no in my book. At least the seasoned fries were good. And shit, I was so hungry I would have eaten anything, really.
After dinner and a movie in our hotel room, Boyfriend and I spent some quality time together before tucking our puppy beast in and calling it a night.