Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Duarte’s Tavern and NPR Morning Edition

March 18th, 2009 · 1 Comment

On my drive into work each morning I listen to the local NPR affiliate (WUNC) and periodically they have a story about a family run business, today’s business story Duarte’s Tavern: A Family Tradition For 115 Years by  Susan Stamberg featured Duarte’s Tavern of Pescadero, California. I have to admit that I had never heard of this place before listening to the broadcast, but if I ever make it to Pescadero I will be making plans to grab a lunch table at Duatre’s. This place sounds like many of the family run restaurants that I just adore and love, and also  seem to be a dying breed.

A refreshing story and quite a relief from the usual drone during these hard economic times. This story reminds me of what makes good business sense; not just for the restaurateur, but for any business person.  Steeped in 115 years of history spanning many generations, this family run business has built a tradition of quality while preserving a solid customer base. I yearn for places like this, and when on vacation I like to find these places where the locals and regulars go every day. I can get franchise food at home so why go to California to order the same menu items that I can get in Louisiana, North Carolina, or Maine.

The online version of the NPR story also has two recipes from the restaurant, the Crab Cioppino and Artichoke Soup, which are both two of their specialty signature items that folks rave about. The story also mentions their pies which Emma Cardoza Duarte started a tradition of making them in the 1930’s. Their dessert menu includes apple, blueberry, lemon meringue, apricot, peach and ollalieberry, which is a cross between a loganberry and a youngberry. Sounds like enough to get me there just for the desserts.

I hope that the next generation of Duarte’s keep the business in the family, a hertiage and tradition to last this long is a feat in itself. Having seen so many family owned  businesses fall out of running, makes me appreciate places like Duarte’s so much more. For New Orleanians who have any memory at all can recall the days of yore and bygone businesses such as McKenzies Bakeries, K&B Drug Stores and their soda fountains, Woolworth’s soda fountains, D. H. Holmes Outback Deli and Cafeterias, Sears Cafeteria at Oakwood, Brunings Seafood Restaurant, Danny and Clydes Deli’s, Schwegmann’s Giant Supermarkets and Wise’s Cafeteria.  I know there are many more, but I cannot recall them now.

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Tags: Commentary · Heritage · Restaurant Reviews

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