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  • Writer's pictureA.H. Plotts

Dining Out (side)!

How we beat the heat and (hopefully) keep our favorite restaurants running.

We were so excited, my hubby and I, when our local restaurants started reopening in June for indoor dining. "Dining in place" was the phrase of choice, I believe, in Monterey County. We made plans to visit one of our favorite places each week, slowly regaining our momentum from months of eating only at home. We made it to two places before the state order came down to revert to outdoor dining only.

Fortunately for us, we love dining outside! We're in freakin' California and it's summer, after all. Unfortunately for a number of restaurants in the area, outdoor space is extremely limited. Some are getting creative about it. One Italian place in Seaside (Gusto) put up a tent in their parking lot. I'm wondering if that's still considered "indoors" for this most recent state order. I'll have to investigate. I'd love to go back to Gusto. I miss their beet salad, pizza and pasta dishes. They make amazing gnocchi, and all their pastas are made inhouse.

Other places are utilizing city parking spaces for their outdoor tables. I have yet to dine in a parking lot but I'm not opposed to it. I'd kind of like to try that, especially in downtown Pacific Grove where I hear this is a thing. I like the ambience of the city parking area, which is made up of spaces along both sides of a very wide street. Some spots make up a median in the middle of the street, separating both sides of traffic. It's not a very busy area, especially after the local shops have closed up for the evenings. The only real traffic is for people eating at the restaurants. Well, outside of them, these days.

I'll definitely have to track this potential option, see if it really is a thing. The idea of letting restaurants use parking spaces (safely) for their outdoor dining is a brilliant one, I think. Who could have imagined outdoor dining in the streets of California, even a year ago?

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