The day my girlfriend and I took our first Point Reyes adventure, it was pouring, much like it is right now, actually. The day was abysmal, but our determination (and Zipcar reservation) wasn’t showing any sign of flexibility. We were going to soak up the infamous land of creameries, even if that meant getting drenched.
We stopped first in Petaluma – the town just east of Point Reyes Station. It was the weekend prior to Halloween, so we found a “farm” and got our first apartment pumpkins. Then we winded through the hillsides until we landed in Point Reyes. The sky wasn’t showing any forgiveness. We layered up and wandered around the town of 350, which, as you can imagine, doesn’t take long. Point Reyes and the larger Marin county are widely known for its artisan food companies, mainly Straus Creamery and Cowgirl Creamery. The latter has one of their production kitchens in Point Reyes, which is where we started.
Cowgirl Creamery at Tomales Bay Foods, I hate to say it, was a bit disappointing. Did that experience sour me on their products? Oh, hell no. I loved ’em before I got there, and actually, have bought a lot more of their awesome cheese since. I was really looking forward to visiting one of their “factories” and I’m afraid I hyped it up in my head, which led to the disappointment. They have a small deli counter with roast chicken, cheese plates and two or three pre-made salads. Everything comes on paper plates and I guess I kind of wanted a little bit more of a dining experience. The seating is more or less in the hallway, which amounts to three picnic tables. It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and we were hardly the only visitors – which led to definite pressure to hurry up and finish our cheese so the other groups could take our table. There is the cheese-making kitchen right there, which is super cool to look into. The other positives are that they serve wine (in a real glass) and there’s a nice local-foods market too.
Next up was afternoon coffee. For a town of a few hundred people, we actually had some choices and ended up at Toby’s Coffee Bar on Main Street. This place was adorable! AND IN A BARN! No kidding. Everything was organic – the baked things (Osteria Stellina), coffee (Taylor Maid Coffee), and milk (Straus). Again, it being in a barn and all meant it was freezing, since it was pouring but I’d definitely go back.
Which brings me to my conclusion: I really want to go back. Now that I know what to expect, I could easily see myself spending a lot of time in this little place. It’s gorgeous.