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Traveling north: Mendocino, Part III

August 12, 2011 |  8:00 am

Pancakes1Continuing our series of travel tips from the north country.

We have so many favorite places in Mendocino, but there are two stops that are almost absolutely required. Perhaps surprisingly, only one of them concerns food. That’s breakfast at the Little River Inn, an old hotel –- frequently expanded –- just across from Van Damme State Park. Dinner there is good (and maybe even better is dinner in their Whale Watch Bar, well-made clam chowder, a hamburger and craft beer overlooking an ocean sunset).

But there can be nothing that can compare to their Swedish pancakes. These are rich, eggy plate-filling flapjacks of the sort that used to be called “flannel cakes.” Topped with a little (or a lot) of their house-made boysenberry jam, they are impossible to resist (as you can see, Kathy dove into hers before I could get the camera focused).

Dahlia The other must-see is the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 47 acres that stretch alongside the Pacific. There are themed gardens for California natives, heathers, roses, fuchsias, camellias, rhododendrons, as well as towering coastal pine forests and fern-covered creeks. This trip the highlight was the dahlia garden, which was in full glory.

How gorgeous were they? Every bit as good as those pancakes. And coming from me, that’s saying something.


Michael Voltaggio's new sandwich shop

Getting fashion-y at Pattern Bar

A new restaurant coming to Beverly Boulevard

--Russ Parsons

Photo credits: Russ Parsons