About Me

My photo
Baker. Cook. Gardener. Animal Lover.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Some Things Never Change

I'm REALLY lucky. We have an old bakery that is about a 20 minute drive from the house. It is called Carlock's and it is just up Los Osos Valley Road. And the best part is ...in the Fall you drive right past Mary's Pumpkin Patch.I wanted to see if Mary survived the BIG STORM. And as I had feared, she had not. She was closed. It was sad to see. But it looked like she might have dodged a bullet. It didn't look as bad as I thought it would. I'm sure she is back up and running by now. I'll be stopping by soon to check. But on my way to my doomed fishing expediton I made a side stop to Carlocks. It is the kind of bakery that is frozen in time. If you stepped inside you would not know it was 2009. Old men sit at the tables in the back drinking coffee, eating donuts and reading the newspaper. The tables are formica and the chairs are aluminum. Crumbs are on the floor and the place smells of burnt coffee and cinnamon. You don't see anyone on a laptop, no one is sipping an espresso or a latte. No one has a tatoo or pink hair. It is just old fashion. Down home. Farmy. Comforting. It makes you happy. I really like going there on any given holiday. And they do it right. No, it's not like the pastry shops you see in San Francisco or Los Angeles.Not like the ones that have french tarts. There are no pear tart tartin. No pumpkin creme brulee.No panforte with candied quince. Nothing is garnished with a rose petal or mint.There are no croissants. Nope. Not here.It's donuts.

When I was a little girl and we lived in Los Gatos there was "The Cream Puff". I think I told you about it. It's not there anymore. When I was in high school here in San Luis Obispo there was "Delight". It too. Gone. What has happened to all the old fashion bakeries. Now it is either Vons or Safeway..or those real fancy ones. I guess when you get right down to it...they really do have to be old in order to be good and have the charm. Even these new bakeries like "Magnolia" and "Sprinkles" that go for the old fashion feel..well, they just are lacking because they aren't old. There is something about time standing still in these places. And the desserts that are offered are stuck back in time too. And therein lies the charm. Halloween at Carlocks ...what can I say. I love it. Did you see those cakes and cookies? I can feel my heart race when I enter the door..the little bell rings and the ladies run to the counter to help you. They assemble the bakery boxes, line them with waxed paper and load your goodies. And tie it with a string. I miss those days. I wish all my boxes were tied with string .


  1. I can SO relate to this post. My favorite pastry shop is a classic Italian place - DiMare's. Everything is excellent, from the miniatures to the wedding cakes. At Christmas and Easter the customers are lined up all the way out the door. Yes, these places are treasures.
    Funny that you mention the string - I save the red and white string from their boxes.
    Sorry to hear that Mary's got hit by the storm. I hope it's not too bad.

  2. Okay , my family is still talking about the chocolate layer cake we ordered for my sister's birthday. Chocolate with choc. frosting, buttery, creamy FRESH, light,
    HUGE double layer. 20.00 and that was a special order, my dears, with a chocolate banner with her name piped on in pink.
    I ask you?

  3. How lovely to have this within reach . Places like this should really get an Arts Council grant . They're preserving a piece of cultural history just as much as museums are ( Don't say this to the old boys at the back ! ) .

  4. I want that cute decorated cake I saw in your photo, I'm sure it is chocolate, with a huge glass of milk. Infact I would take anything in the photos with a glass of milk it all looks fabulous!!

  5. I was thinking of a cafe in Hurtsboro, Alabama and a barber shop in Columbus, Goergia the whole time I was reading your post. They have that feel.

  6. even if i live in europe where halloween is usualy seen as an american silly invention (i'm sorry to say so but unfortunately it's true) i just love the halloween atmosphere! near to my house in milan there is a lovely american caffetteria (emrican donuts)! they have fantastic donuts, cheesecake, muffins and many other delicious cakes and meals. i went there recently for a sunday brunch and i simple felt in love in all the halloween-like decorations! i would love to go to us for a halloween one year. it must just be lovely!
    wish you a great day and thank you for lovely pictures!

  7. That's my kinda place! Promise me if ever we meet you will take me to Carlocks.

  8. aw...you go to all the best places from home!! I miss Carlocks too...that one and when I was a kid there was one in the village of AG...now THAT is a real bakery..wish I had one here close. Seems like it is all grocery store bakeries now..just sad. Thanks for the memories!


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. I appreciate all your kind comments more than you can know.