Big Sur Coast Gallery - Food to Match the View on California Highway One

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California is known for its gourmet roadside diners. The newest is found in Big Sur along the Coast Highway where the Big Sur Coast Gallery is winning awards and turning heads for its locally sourced menu items.

Big Sur Coast Gallery has been getting motorists to stop for its large collection of the best in American art, since 1971. Now, the Big Sur Coast Gallery Café is doing the same with a menu that celebrates the best "seasonally inspired food from California."

New management at the gallery has revitalized food service at the Big Sur institution. Dee Wagner, Director of Food Service for the new operator, The California Parks Company, says, "We've created a menu that strives to match the experience of driving the Big Sur Coast Highway."

Locally sourced fresh ingredients - many from Monterey County - are served including appetizers, home made soups and salads, cold and hot sandwiches and desserts. Wagner says that while international travelers make up much of the café's clientele, its most critical diners are upscale Big Sur guests who are "responding enthusiastically to the new menu."

A charcuterie board of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, salame, pate, creole mustard, quince jelly, Basque peppers, caper berries, Sylverleaf olive oil and crackers, at $22, is a favorite of those looking for a roadside snack, while the "Big Sur" sandwich presents roasted turkey, avocado, pepper jelly, pimento Aoili, chedder cheese and romaine lettuce on a whole wheat chiabatta roll for $14.

The "Portola" hot sandwich serves roasted pork, Hearthstone ham, grilled onions, wagon wheel cheese, dill pickle, pimento aioli and mustard on sourdough bread for $16. Sandwiches vary in price from $13 to $16, salads from $12 to $14 and the café’s award-winning home made soups are $5,95 - $8.95. Soon after the café opened, its Chanterelle and Black Trumpet Bisque was awarded Best Side Dish at the 2012 Big Sur Chanterelle Cook-off.

"Our goal is to make dining at the Big Sur Coast Gallery an anticipated highlight of traveling the Big Sur Coast Highway," says Wagner. "What we're already hearing from our diners, is that we've made it too hard for them, as there's just too many tantalizing things on the menu to choose from."

Big Sur Coast Gallery is 33 miles south of Carmel and 54 miles north of Hearst Castle on State Route One. The café is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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JOHN POIMIROO
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