If you’re from the South-Central Coast of California, you may have heard of Bob’s Well Bread. Maybe you’ve even been there. If not, then you should plan a visit if you ever find yourself in the area. It’s worth it.
Bob’s Well Bread is a bakery in the French tradition. Much has been written about Bob’s in many magazines and web articles so I will spare the details. Bob was a Hollywood movie exec who tired of corporate life and fell in love with baking bread. So he packed up and moved to the Santa Ynez Valley and opened a bakery in the town of Los Alamos. And man, did he nail it.
Bob has a crew of young folks working with him, both behind the counter and in the kitchen. They make delicious bread and baguettes, but also croissants, ham and cheese sandwiches, Croques Monsieurs, you name it. If you would find it in a bakery in France, then Bob is probably making it as well. They also do fantastic espresso based coffee like lattes and mochas. The location for the bakery was once a gas station, which becomes clear when you see it.
The town of Los Alamos, CA is a pretty cool place in and of itself. It’s a classic old one-horse Western town. It fell into disrepair for many years, as is common. But lately folks are re-discovering it, which is certainly helped but the burgeoning local wine making industry. There are vineyards all around Los Alamos, and several wine tasting locations in the town (Casa Dumetz and Bedford Winery). There are also some other great restaurants like Pico, Plenty on Bell, and Bell’s Cafe (the main street through town is called Bell St). There is also a large antique store, and a great old Western style hotel. Bob’s Well Bread has no doubt helped the town’s renaissance, which is a great thing.
Since the weather is usually very nice in this temperate climate zone, Bob has created a great outdoor seating area complete with picnic benches and authentic Parisian style outdoor tables and chairs. It’s a good thing too, since on a crowded day you can barely get through the front door! The outdoor space is dog friendly, so we always bring Rico and Junior along.
The whole facility is always spotless, the staff is well trained. There is a special court for playing Jeux de Boules (Pétanque). A nice touch.
So if you are ever driving up the Coast of California along the 101 Hwy, or if your are visiting the Santa Ynez Valley for wine tasting, do yourself a favor. Drive over to Los Alamos and visit Bob’s Well Bread. You’ll be glad you did.
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