Nick’s Cove: The Long and Winding Road to a Burger and Brew

nc-condomsDriving through rural West Marin County is like driving through a craggy, verdant Mobius strip. If you?re prone to car-sickness the scenic trip might prove lethal. If you survive, good for you, but it?s not ?about the journey, man.? Our mission, at least on this day, was to obtain an old school, straight-up non-chichi burger and a microbrew, preferably local.

Nick?s Cove on Tomales Bay came through. Kudos to restaurant impresario Pat Kuleto who resurrected the dilapidated roadside attraction two years ago and once again made the sleepy seaside village of Marshall a destination.

The Grub😕 The Nick?s House Ground Burger with house made pickles, Pt. Reyes blue cheese and hand-cut fries paired with the Lagunitas Brewing Company?s IPA and the area?s notorious lack of cell phone service would provide the perfect media detox for any road-weary lifestyle correspondent (though my iPhone found an open wifi signal and email remained irresistibly close at hand).

Executive Chef Adam Mali?s excellent and diverse menu notwithstanding (classics like the Tomales Bay clam chowder to the buttery lobster sliders served with lemon aioli, which our photographer Flash enjoyed) it was the ?Red Legged Frog,? served with ?mounds of sticky red tape? for the price of $2,000,000. The cheeky reference to the frog, otherwise known as Rana draytonii and decidedly unavailable at the restaurant, makes light of the environmental odyssey Kuleto experienced when the endangered amphibian was discovered on the property during it?s 8-year renovation.

This characteristic whimsy continues to the men?s room where a framed collection of no fewer than 17 vintage tin condom containers hangs above the ?Men?s Waterless Urinal,? which the sign proudly indicates saves ?40k gallons/yr H20.? Finally, I can pee with a clear conscience.

Tip: Every Thursday and Friday night at the bar, Nick?s Cove features a ?Local?s Combo,? which includes three barbecued oysters (presumably from the adjacent bay), the aforementioned burger and a draft beer (go with the Lagunitas) for a mere $15.

Nick?s Cove, 23240 Highway 1. 415.663.1033. NicksCove.com.