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“An Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cachagua General Store

Cachagua General Store
18840 Cachagua Road, Carmel Valley, CA 93924
831.659.1857
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Ranked #19 of 25 Restaurants in Carmel Valley
Price range: $8 - $24
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“An Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

The food is superb. It makes the most of what is fresh and available locally. It is hard to imagine getting ecstatic about beets, the general store is that good. If you are expecting snappy service, or smarmy attentiveness, don't waste your time driving out. If you want perfect mood lighting, white table cloths, and quiet zen like serenity, stay in town. The food is the star. It is prepared imaginatively and with great attention to detail. The knowledgable wine master will perfectly match your tastes to your menu choices. Sit back and enjoy the long leisurely event, the raucous and disjointed roadhouse atmosphere, and the eclectic clientele. Plan on staying across the road at Rosa's (Rosies?) if you don't want to brave the ride back. It is not for the faint of heart.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    15
    3
    1
    2
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Monterey, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“No longer a fan”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

I am no longer a fan of this place. I used to LOVE it. I thought the atmosphere was unique and the food delicious, even if too heavy compared to my usual diet. But lately I have been disappointed. I guess the bad service finally got to me. Service was never good (unless you know the owners, then you get special treatment), but the good food kind of made up for it. Not anymore. The last time I was there, was for breakfast and they pretty much forgot about our table. We had to wait a long time and had to ask for coffee/water refill; otherwise there wouldn't be any. And there was nothing special about the breakfast menu. There are only three items; all of which are disgustingly greasy. It certainly was not worth the one-hour drive through that windy road. And every time I have gone there for dinner, we have had to wait between half an hour to one hour just to be seated, and then at least another hour just to get the food, and I always had reservations. I don't think I'll go back here. There are so many other great restaurants in the area; why waste the gas?

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Dried out food, dirty, long long drive”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

Had the bad luck to go out there on a Monday for dinner with three friends. First it is a forever drive on a winding back road into the middle of nowhere. We were enticed into this venture by some other friends who said the food could be good, if you were lucky. So always in the mood for something different, we said ok. But we all needed to work on Tuesday, so made a reservation for 6:00 and figured an hour out from Monterey, two hours to eat and drink, and with an hour home we should be home by nine. Big mistake. It was an hour drive each way, but in between it went way downhill.
We pulled into the dirt parking lot right on time at 6. As we were going across the parking lot to what looked like an old time run down country beer bar, we unfortunately passed one of the other customers peeing on a tree. Hmm-this is not what we want before dinner. Later we found out that the bathroom is so filthy that the men who have a choice often go outside. Nevertheless, not a good start.
We ordered various items, most of which came in odd or interesting combinations with other items. Some were good combinations and some definitely weren't. My friend had a pork chop, that while it was incredibly thick, had been done to death and was so dried out as to be virtually unchewable. It certainly wasn't good. One of us had venison, which also was overcooked, dried out and stringy. The duck was good, and it was not overcooked. The fourth was a tuna dish, nothing particularly special after the buildup. All of these dishes about $20+, so with three glasses of wine, salad, tax and tip you can run up a fairly sizeable tab rapidly. If only one out of four of the entrees is actually good, then the average price for a decent meal is very high and this spot is no great deal.
Service is incredibly slow. I guess that they expect that if you are that far out, you have no choice. There were long waits before each part of the meal. By long, I mean you would wait 45 minutes for a salad. You would wait 55 minutes for an entree. In the long waits between each transaction, the waiter would push wine. Since we all had to both work the next day and face the long drive back, we only wanted 3 glasses for the 4 of us. He was disappointed and showed it with sort of a snotty attitude. We tried to be as polite as possible when asking whatever had happened to the salad or to the entrees.
We finally escaped at 9:40. Over 3 1/2 hours for a not so good meal. By the way, the one person who used the restroom found out why we saw why the guys avoid it. We will avoid this dump in the future which shouldn't be a problem with all of the fine choices close to home.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Not worth the drive for SLOW service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

Yes, the ambiance is hokey, back-woodsy, but that's part of the atmosphere. The reason for my low rating is the incredibly SLOW service - waiting 3 hours for dinner is unacceptable. We arrived at 6 and didn't get our appetizers until after 8 p.m. It was almost 9:30 when we got our dinners. We first saw the waitress a little before 7 when she announced the kitchen was backed up, but they'd send a complimentary focaccia; add another 45 minutes before that showed up. The atmosphere is fun, but extremely loud - as in we had to yell across the table at each other. Was the food good, yes; was it great, no. Would we go again, not a chance; there are too many great restaurants on the Peninsula to drive an hour for such poor service.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carmel valley, california
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“excellence one night at a time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

This started out several years ago with a few tables in the general store on Monday nights. And then people got a taste of the action. It's still only Monday night dinner (and Sunday brunch). The menu has WAY expanded and there's always something for the veggie person. As-a-matter-of-fact, there is way too many options for a veggie person. During Chanterelle season I get to chose Chanterelles in every single course from appetizer to soup to entree. A chanterelle lover's dream.

My 90-year old mother who eats like a tiny bitty bird eats like a horse when she dines there. And my mother is the best cook on the planet - very discerning. I can't believe the amount of food she can put away at The Store. (She leaves every other restaurant with a doggie bag. No doggie bag needed here.)

The Store is constantly inventing new dishes and new techniques and we're the very lucky recipients.

Oh, and there have been complaints from some fools who are upset with the length of the drive to get there. Really? Driving through some of the most beautiful scenary anywhere with views all the way to the Pacific Ocean? So sorry for the inconvenience.

And there's free music.....

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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