Some homespun restaurants are so deliciously set in their ways that they beckon again and again, rewarding you with treasures such as house-cured salami or squid eight ways. Want to expand your horizons? Step this way, pilgrim.
At LA SUPER-RICA TAQUERÍA in Santa Barbara, Calif., check the chalkboard for tacos de rajas (green chiles) or de bistec (beef), queso fundido (cheese fondue with tomato and bacon or chorizo, served with handmade tortillas), and a dozen other exceptional Mexican dishes. Lunch and dinner $5 to $8. 622 North Milpas Street, (805) 963-4940.
ABALONETTI SEAFOOD TRATTORIA, on the harbor in Monterey, has a deep love for squid. Choices include the siciliano, sautéed in olive oil with garlic, parsley, and white wine, and the napolitana, with linguine in a tomato-rich marinara. Dinner $17 to $20. 57 Fisherman's Wharf, (831) 373-1851, www.restauranteur.com/abalonetti.
In San Mateo County veer away from Highway 1 to DUARTE'S TAVERN in Pescadero. Amid the pork chops with fresh applesauce, you'll find local artichokes steamed and served with aioli, folded into omelets, packed in ravioli, and blended into soups. Dinner $12 to $20. 202 Stage Road, (650) 879-0464, www.duartestavern.com.
Beat the noon rush at Seattle's SALUMI ("cured meats" in Italian) for a sandwich with one of eight house-made salamis including finocchiona (fennel), sopressata (hot pepper), and dario (garlic). Lunch $8 to $10. 309 Third Avenue South, (206) 621-8772, www.salumicuredmeats.com.
Las Vegas's HASH HOUSE puts on the dog with six homemade hashes: corned beef, ham, roast beef, chicken, veggie, and a "super" four-meat hash of hashes. Breakfast $5 to $7. 2605 South Decatur Boulevard, Suite 103, (702) 873-9479, www.hashouse.com.
Have a favorite restaurant trek? Email details to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Pilgrimages" in the subject line.
Illustration by Mary Lynn Blasutta
This article was first published in March 2005. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.