Get Out of Town!
Order Your Favorite Destination Foods From Home
July, 2020 - Issue #190

As we emerge from the coronavirus shut-down, the mood is decidedly undecided as we look ahead to the months when most of us plan to get out of town.
Travel restrictions are loosening, but some reservations remain in limbo. And even if you can go, not everyone wants to elbow into crowds of mask-wearing tourists.
So, if you can't get to your favorite spots, or hesitation holds you back, how about having them delivered? With online shopping, and small businesses adapting to this new reality, it's easier than ever to enjoy a bite or sip from your favorite destinations at home.
Bob's Well Bread Bakery in Los Alamos is one of those places for us. I'm always looking for an excuse to stop there when we're driving by on the 101. Their breakfast paired with a fresh cup of Stumptown Coffee is not to be missed. But that can't be mailed. However, their fresh-baked bread is available for delivery and ships Mondays and Thursdays. Orders must be placed 48 hours in advance, so plan ahead if you want to look forward to receiving delicious pastries and breads at home.
The fun of travel is sometimes tradition, and that often means stopping at the same place along the way to your destination.
Harris Ranch is one of those spots when traveling Interstate 5 through the Central Valley. It is pit stop-distance from Santa Clarita, plus the gas station is trailer friendly. What really pulls us in is the food, specifically the bakery counter in the Country Store. I know, it's odd to stop for pastries at a restaurant famed for its meat. But it's become our tradition to get a treat for the drive, and then a fresh-baked pie or gooey breakfast bread to enjoy later.
Harris Ranch also is a tradition for my parents. To his credit, my dad stops for the intended purpose - stocking up on steaks. And those are very much available for mail order. So, you can enjoy the taste of Harris Ranch high-quality reserve beef without the drive.
Coffee - good coffee - is an integral part of our family travels. Santa Barbara explorations typically include a visit to Handlebar Coffee Roasters on East Canon Perdido across from Downtown's historic Presidio. The outdoor patio provides the perfect spot to plot a day's activities, or rest our feet after ranging around downtown. Handlebar roasts their beans twice a week, so place an order for delivery with the knowledge that it will be fresh.
Another favorite beverage stop - for me, not the kids - is Firestone's Buellton Taproom. I'm a fan of Santa Clarita's local breweries, especially Wolf Creek (Surfin' Monks!) and Pocock (Nuptials Mango Ale), but it's always a treat to stop in Buellton to see what creative offerings are on tap. Many are available for shipping, so whether you're looking for a tequila barrel-aged cocktail-inspired ale, or a wild ale brewed with violet petals and raspberries, it can be on its way to your house with a few clicks of the mouse.
If you've ever taken Pearblossom Highway to get to Interstate 15 and its subsequent destinations, then you've passed Charlie Brown Farms, which bills itself as the Antelope Valley's largest gift shop. With everything from fresh fudge to funnel cakes to alligator jerky - plus a thousand different kinds of candy - it's a monument to kitsch. They're famous for their jerky, and that's available online, including the more exotic varieties like elk, bison and venison.
Who knows what summer will look like? So escape the uncertainty for a bit, and savor the small comforts of your favorite destination sips or bites.
Eric Harnish lives in Castaic, but prefers to be safer at roam.

If You Can't Get There, Bring it Here
Bob's Well Bread Bakery
Harris Ranch
Handlebar Coffee Roasters
Charlie Brown Farms
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