Fuel Up at Gherkins Before Your Next Road Trip
by Laurie Keit
May 2012— Got a touch of wanderlust? Nothing is more satisfying than a trip up — or down — the coast. In my 20s I would take a break from the rigors of corporate America with a monthly “mental health weekend.” Friday after work, I would go home and give myself 10 minutes to change clothes and pack. I would then leave for the weekend, spontaneously driving north or south until I felt like stopping. After finding a place to stay, I would explore and relax, only returning when Monday rolled around, or the money ran out, whichever came first.
Now you can indulge in the spirit of a mental health weekend, any day of the week, with a road trip and stop at Gherkins Sandwich Shop. Whether you are fueling up for a day of exploring the rugged California coast or just taking a break for lunch, treat yourself at this casual, gourmet eatery, conveniently located on the southern end of Devil’s Slide in Montara.
Gherkins is the brainchild of Elias Jweinat, owner of Mr. Pickles sandwich shops. Newly remodeled, the shop has a clean and fresh décor. Inside the self-serve, sit-down restaurant features the work of local artists, which is for sale. A beach-themed floor mural painted by Back To The Drawing Board sets the tone for arriving guests. A table outside overlooks the highway and ocean, perfect for al fresco dining on sunny days.
Arrive before noon and you can choose from nine different breakfast and frittata sandwiches in addition to the lunch menu, which is served all day. If you arrive after noon, you can also select from a variety of mouth-watering half-pound 100 percent Angus burgers. From hamburgers to cheeseburgers, and six different specialty burgers, you’ll find something to satisfy your burger craving.
I came for lunch, and was immediately welcomed by manager Zach Sesar. After ordering lucky number 13, the “West Coaster” — chicken, bacon, avocado and jack cheese on a sourdough roll with everything — I took a closer look at the menu.
The lunch menu consists of 33 mouth-watering specialty sandwich creations that can be served hot or cold. From Carnivore to Herbivore, Go Niners to the Silly Philly, you can choose from the menu or create your own from a choice of eight bread options — including gluten-free — eight meats, six different cheeses and 14 extras.
If you prefer lighter fare for lunch, Gherkins also serves your choice of five vegetarian salads and a daily soup special, prepared from scratch. All salads can be upgraded with chicken breast, tuna salad or chicken salad.
Side dishes include salads — macaroni salad, coleslaw, potato salad — fries, garlic fries, hash browns, eggs and soups. Gherkins also has a variety of bagged chips and a cooler full of beverages. It offers coffee and tea and has plans to offer beer, wine, Italian sodas, party trays, catering and on-line ordering in the near future. It even offers a kid’s menu.
After about 10 minutes, I got my sandwich, which I planned to eat on the drive back to Pacifica. It was served hot, and it was huge. If you order with “everything” as I did, be advised: This is not a sandwich you can eat while driving.
This is a fresh and delicious sandwich that merits your full attention if you don’t want to arrive at your destination looking like a freshly slopped hog — or, worse yet, end up at the bottom of the Slide.
Why not stop and enjoy your meal at the Gherkins dining room, or take it with you on your road trip? It will stimulate your taste buds as the ocean revitalizes your senses.
Gherkins is located at 171 7th Street in Montara; the phone number is 650-728-2221. Stop there and fuel up before your next road trip. You’ll be glad you did!