Our webisode series moves into new territory with our visit to Cayucos and the Cass House Inn. As Brad English writes in his "Road Trip" posting, located just below this one on our Home Page, this is one of those unexpected discoveries that helps illustrate the spirit of what our site is all about. Brad discovered The Cass House Inn during one of his own personal quest outings before we ever conceived of Pizza Quest (he's a helpless foodie, or as Calvin Trillin calls it, "A big hungry boy in search of a good meal"), and kept telling me about this cool place where they grow their own vegetables, built their own oven, and totally honor the agriculture and aquaculture of their region with some amazing food. So, when the opportunity to swing off the highway on our way to San Francisco opened up, we headed out to the coast (and, as you have seen, made a quick stop on the way at The Taco Temple in Morro Bay).
The town of Cayucos is very small, everything is within a few minutes walk of everything else, including the beach, and we fell in love with it immediately. We had great fun visiting the local Brown Butter Cookie Company as well as Ruddell's Smoked Fish Shack. But we were especially enchanted by Grace and Jensen Lorenzen's Cass House Inn, where we found on display all the values and qualities that illustrate the mission of Pizza Quest: a celebration of artisans and artisanship.
This short opening segment gives you a glimpse of the bucolic loveliness of the town and a short introduction to Grace and Jensen, as well as a sneak peek at some of the pizzas we will make in later segments. Next week we'll be posting a longer segment in which Jensen and I bake our first pizza together in his newly built brick oven. In future segments we'll also visit Ruddell's to pick up some spectacular smoked fish, and of course, we'll keep baking pizzas -- we created some terrific, one of a kind pies during the short time we had together.
By the way, Jensen and Grace have a wonderful blog of their own and Jensen did a nice summary of our visit, along with some great photos of us all, at http://casshouse.typepad.com/cass_house_inn_restaurant/2009/09/pizza-quest.html Check it out.
Lots more still to come from Cayucos. But, for now, enjoy this opening segment, our introduction to The Cass House Inn.