We recently had a 3 day weekend and my family and I decided to go on a weekend trip to Monterey from San Diego. This was the perfect opportunity for us to take the scenic route up the California Coast Highway 1. With only a few stops the full drive took us nearly 11 hours.
But I did find that a drive like that should really take at least 3-days! There are so many more things to see along one of the most beautiful drives in the world, but we made the trip in 11 hours. I will definitely make a lot more time for this drive next time; this trip is just a little preview I guess.
North Bound California Coast Highway 1 Roadtrip -Part 1: Morro Bay, CA
The first leg of our trip actually started on the I-5 North, to the CA-101 North, and then finally onto the California Coast Highway 1 from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay.
The drive started at 4:30am and made it Morro Bay, CA for breakfast and views of the Morro Bay rock.
We picked out a restaurant that would yield views of Morro Rock with good food. I guess that’s a way we could kill 2 birds with 1 stone; enjoy a pretty view and good food in one stop (we can also make good time on the road to get to Monterey this way).
Frankie and Lola’s Front Street Cafe
1154 Front St,
Morro Bay, CA 93442
I found Frankie and Lola’s Front Street Cafe on Yelp. My criteria was to find a place that served good breakfast, is located where we can see the Morro Rock in Morro Bay, and parking must be easy (meaning it should have a parking lot).
Frankie and Lola’s Front Street Cafe was not hard to find. We simply followed our GPS and arrived in their parking lot with plenty of parking.
When we arrived there was a bit of wait, but it didn’t seem too bad. It looked like the wait got longer shorter after we arrived. It’s a small restaurant with 4 or 5 tables outside in the patio which sits in the parking lot and less then 10 tables inside most with a good window view of Morro Rock. We waited for about 10 to 15 minutes, giving us plenty of time to decide on what to eat.
I ordered the Spinach & Mushroom Scramble. Fresh spinach, crimini mushrooms and scrambles eggs in a phyllo cup with melted sage cheddar. and served with iron skillet potatoes.
Don’t the sprouts on top of the scramble make it look really healthy? The actual spinach and mushroom scramble was the least memorable part of the dish to me. It was good and tasted just as I expected it would taste.
The most interesting part was the phyllo cup. I honestly don’t know what phyllo is; do it? I looked it after. It’s basically the flaky stuff that you may eat when eating baklava. Compared to flaky pastry dough (puffs), phyllo dough is even more flaky, dry, and doesn’t have that buttery flavor. I guess you can say this is a much healthier version.
It was pretty easy predicting what Dad wanted. He likes breakfast burritos or omelets (prefers egg whites only) and if it has bacon and avocado, he’s usually sold.
And as Yuntiha and I predicted, Dad chose the Abba Dacca Burrito: herbed cream cheese, scallions, scrambled eggs, potatoes, sour cream and bacon with avocado. We forgot to ask for egg whites only, but I guess that simply makes this more of a treat for Dad?
Breakfast burritos always don’t look like much, but they are alway so filling! But it was also extra filling for Dad since he also had to help the rest of us with 2 servings of iron skillet potatoes.
My Mom and Yuntiha shared the Salmon Rushdie. Grilled rye open face with house smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and super thin red onions topped with sprouts and served with iron skillet potatoes.
The “super thing red onions” and sprouts once again make it sound so healthy.
This was a perfect option for Mom and Yuntiha to share since it was served with 2 slices making it easy for each of them to eat a single slice. I like to also joke that Yuntiha and Mom and so petite because they always share food and I always order my own. I can’t exactly share with Dad cause that wouldn’t even be remotely enough for him.
Morro Rock in Morro Bay, CA
After breakfast, we decided walk along the water for better views of the Morro Rock (and to stretch our legs).
When we first approached Morro Bay from California Coast Highway 1, we could see a big mountain like thing (Morro Rock) and 3 tall tower things (“three fingers”).
The “Three Fingers” are the 3 smokestacks from the Dynegy power plant.
The “Three Fingers” really reminded me of incense, especially with three rising high in front of Morro Rock (from our angel on the highway). Incense sticks are a symbol of offerings in buddhism.
My Mom thought it was even more significant after I told her about Morro Rock.
Morro Rock is a “volcanic plug” standing over 500 feet tall located just offshore from Morro Bay and is actually connected to the shore by a thin strip of land (kind of reminds me of Coronado island in San Diego). I gave Morro Rock the nickname of 九姑娘 “ninth sister” because Morro Rock is actually 1 of 9 “volcanic plugs” in San Luis Obispo.
With the morning overcast, everything just looked gloomy. There are plenty of boats docked along the coast and of course our eyes were focused on Morro Rock.
We didn’t get very far though. We just walked to the South “T” Pier watched a few guys fish, snapped a few more pictures of Morro Rock and then made our way back toward Frankie and Lola’s Front Street Cafe.
Before leaving, we make our way into a few of the little stores in the same plaza as Frankie and Lola’s Front Street Cafe. I managed to find some Morro Bay post cards. Morro Rock doesn’t look like much in the gray gloomy weather, but from the post cards I saw how beautiful Morro Rock would during the sunset (note to self for next trip).
We walked into a surf shop called Azhiasziam. How do you pronounce that? The local Morro brand is pronounced “As Hi As I Am” a nod to surfing. That world was stuck in my head for the rest of the day!
And then we got back on the road. With Yuntiha driving, I stayed in the passenger seat taking pictures.
I managed to capture the moment when Morro Rock from Yuntiha’s side mirror! One of my favorite moments as we started our drive from Morro Bay.