“The food is worth the wait!” we overhear the hostess promise another round of patrons. “But, we’re going to be late for our tour at the Hearst Castle!” the patroness indignantly exclaims. The hostess puts a sign up near the chalkboard menu — the restaurant cannot guarantee service in time for tours during rush periods.
“You know, I thought it was the cashier that was the bottleneck — but it’s the cook!” an old man at the table next to us exclaims.
We’re waiting for our food. I ordered a burger (1/3 pound of Hearst beef). Lisa ordered a salad (turns out it comes with a 1/3 pound of lettuce). We are ready to eat. I’m ravenous. We’ve been living off the land too long at Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur. Well, not living off the land exactly, but camping atop it. We arrived at Sebastian’s Store at 1PM and ordered around 1:30PM (you order at the counter here and the line was long). We wouldn’t leave until nearly 2:30PM.
When our food is ready, we find that it is indeed delicious. My burger is juicy and wonderful and topped with huge pickle slices and other deliciousness. It’s huge — I have to nearly unhinge my jaw to get a bite of it. Lisa’s salad is more than huge. It’s amazing. It’s as if they just took entire packages of things from the grocery store and dumped them in her salad — an entire bag of lettuce, a whole jar of artichoke hearts, a package of salami, a bushel of olives, a wheel of cheese … the thing is bottomless.
Our lunch was amazing. But worth the wait? Only because there are no other eating options in the town of San Simeon. If you were to bail on the line, you’d drive miles to get to another burger place. But if you’re up for a drive, Jalama burgers are still my favorite. And their beer’s cheaper too.