Thursday, March 20, 2008

Weekend in the Central Coast: Carlock's Bakery and Thai Boat

As I mentioned, we didn't go out very much. However, we did have a couple of good ventures to the great outdoors. I had visited Carlock's Bakery before, since D.'s mom found it a year ago. However, I recently heard on Chowhound (thanks, Toodie Jane!) that Carlock's was making French-style donuts from scratch. Most places use mixes, including Carlock's, for their regular donuts. Fresh donuts? From scratch? I can't miss that.

Carlock's is a family-run operation in Los Osos, about 10 miles south of Cayucos. It's an incredible drive, which was the perfect way to start my morning. The service is fantastic and the donuts just as good. I believe donuts of this shape are typically called crullers, but when they're made from scratch, there's something magical about the texture. They're light as air with a delicate crunch to the crust.

They tasted a lot like any other donut, but... fresher. Like you could taste the eggs and butter in the
choux dough. The sweetness was definitely dominant, but not overpowering. In fact, the dough was so nicely sweet that the glaze was almost unnecessary. Perhaps someone at Carlock's felt the same way, because the donuts were very lightly glazed.

Carlock's has a plethora of baked goods to choose from, but my favorite are their maple thumbprints. Oy vay. These things are amazing. Soft shortbread rolled in walnuts, then topped with a big dollop of maple glaze. It's like eating maple candy with a cookie on the side. I
love maple candy.

For a late lunch, we headed to Thai Boat in Morro Bay. The name is rather apt.

The picture doesn't capture it all, but the building is shaped like a boat. There are four tables inside and the menu's not extensive or expensive. Perfect!

Kirkleton ordered the spring rolls. They were surprisingly good for a basic cabbage and vermicelli roll. Nicely fried and served with sweet plum sauce. The staff was extremely friendly and service was excellent, except that we had to wait 45 minutes for our food. Yikes. I thought take-out restaurants would have be very brisk, but not this one. One party ahead of us was served and finished their food 20 minutes before we received ours.

I loved my Thai fried rice with squid. It's pretty simple, but the flavors were excellent. Fresh tomato, lots of egg, and tender rings of squid flavored with curry powder.

Indira and Kirkleton both ordered pad see-ew, but K.'s was perfect while Indira's was overcooked and oversalted. That kind of inconsistency is strange. However, I would return to see if that inconsistency is... well, consistent. Next time, I plan on calling ahead and placing my order before I drive there.

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