Friday, April 4, 2014

Walking Discoveries - The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove

The Beachcomber Cafe, right down on the beach, nestled at the water's edge...I had to try it!
Because I am still relatively new to Orange County, I love getting out with my "local" friends and having them enjoy me the many hidden gems I don't even know about.  Granted, I love to explore on my own, but sometimes, you just never know what to try and what to pass up.  Well, when I took my girl C. on my favorite weekend 4 mile walk along the beach in Laguna, I suggested we try a restaurant I had noticed snuggled on the sand.  It was always crowded, RIGHT on the beach and looked like fun.  Of course she was game (and had been there before), so we strapped on our walking shoes and started our journey to check out The Beachcomber.

As soon as we walked up, we knew the wait would be long; people were everywhere.  Not that we minded, we still had another mile to go (to the end and starting our route back), so we put in our name, smiled and slightly choked when the host said our wait would be about 2.5 hours.  Wait, what was that?  C. quickly asked if it would really in fact be that long and he said it was likely to be more like an hour.  Whew! We had a heart rate to reach here buddy and couldn't be slowing down to accommodate that wait time!  We grabbed our reservation reminder thingy and got back to our walk. 

Just when we had made it back to the restaurant to check on our reservation, off went our vibrating reservation alert and we excitedly made our way to be seated, so far this was working out great!

We had a perfect table with a great view of the beach.  Since it was a lovely day in March, the beach was packed with families and sun dwellers alike.  We made our way to our table, grabbed our lunch menus and ordered some lemonades.  

C. got a fancy "adult" lemonade, lucky her!
While we enjoyed the fresh ocean air and the tart taste of our lemonades we glanced over the lunch menu.  I will admit, I was a little skeptical as most restaurants right on the beach tend to have overpriced food that isn't all that great.  But, I was determined to keep an open mind and C. had been there before and said it was quite tasty.  Plus, with the atmosphere,  attentive and polite staff, I was already slightly in love with the place!

The menu offered many seafood options and being the little vegetarian that I am, I decided to modify a chicken sandwich to my liking.  Since it had tomatoes, grilled onions, arugula, avocado and cheese all on fresh bread, I decided to order it and just ask that they leave off the chicken. Despite the waiter looking slightly surprised at my request, he happily jotted down my order. C. went with one of my pre-vegetarian faves, fish tacos and we got back to chatting as we waiting for our lunch.

Not soon after we ordered (which I was pleased with as the place was PACKED) two amazing looking plates were set before us.  We were so excited and hungry we just dove in!

The food was AMAZING!!! I was so impressed that it held up to the location and price that I truly look forward to going again.  I only wish more restaurants that offer such gorgeous scenery would take the time to let their menu have the same lasting effect as the view.  C. told me that they had a great breakfast and since they were always so crowded, the earlier you come in, the easier it is to get a table.  Well, I hope my TH is excited, because I am dragging him out for my next walking/eating adventure!

When we finished off our meals (yes, we ate it all since that first two miles made us pretty hungry) we got back to walking the last two miles to the cars.  It served as a lovely little mid-walk lunch and really made for a great activity.  This just goes to show you should always make the time to try a new find, no matter how long the wait or what previous experiences you have had.  Looking forward to my next adventure at Crystal Cove, when C. shows me the tide pools!

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