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December 1, 2011 / Linda Hartong


I am heading up Dolores St. to Pantiles Court. I know I am close when I see this sign for Em Le’s famous french toast. 

I look in the window and read part of the article about Em Le’s.

I love that this little doll-house of a restaurant 

was once owned by John Madden, the NFL broadcaster. I would never guess that.

 Em Le’s Old Carmel Restaurant

is the town’s second oldest restaurant, established in 1955 by local shop owners Emily and Louise. Thus the name. The shop originally opened as a chocolate shop.  The two women invented Em Le’s Famous French Toast. The bread is dipped in a delectable batter and served with powdered sugar, cinnamon and sliced almonds. I am here mid afternoon and peek over the dutch door. 

The staff is between meals and taking a little rest before the dinner crowd arrives.

I turn the corner and start into the court.

The next shop I see is one I have already blogged about. It is the colorful , art filled studio and gallery of Katy Sharpe Kathy Sharpe Studio & Gallery .

Kathy works in oils and water-color and does charming needlepoint canvases. 

Her light filled studio

and her artist’s touch with the plantings outside 

have really enhanced what used to be a “plain jane” courtyard.

Fretro is a relatively new shop and specializes in vintage guitar repair.

Mapenzia Africa is also new to me . It is a fair trade boutique, specializing in hand crafted goods from Kenya.

I turn the corner to check out the frame shop .

 It appears that this little guy is in charge today

 and they will be back at…..

This is also supposed to be a passageway to the Hogs Breath Inn but the gate at the top of the stairs is locked,

so I make my way back to the courtyard. 

From across the street, I get a photo to show you how charming this little courtyard looks now with its diverse architecture, shops and plantings.


Leave a Comment
  1. kathysue / Dec 1 2011 3:18 pm

    I have to go there next time I visit! You always show me places I have missed,
    Merry Christmas

  2. tammy j / Dec 2 2011 4:51 pm

    good grief linda! you’re going to think i’ve lost my mind.
    i saved your blog in my favorites from the first day i found it.
    then i renamed some that were photography oriented… well
    i could go on with my “monk-like” reasons… and then i emailed you,
    suffice it to say, i now know you are linda and that this is my
    most wonderful blog to visit, regardless of where it’s filed!!!
    it will now go at the TOP on my favorites bar!
    tammy j

  3. Sonia / Dec 3 2011 12:51 pm

    I have seen Em-les before and we haven’t tried it yet..we are going to back the end of January…so maybe then..I didn’t know John Madden was the previous owner! Love trivia like that. That courtyard is so pretty..well I know it’s Carmel..everything is pretty! Hope you are enjoying the holidays…hope to see some Carmel Christmas decorations on your blog!
    Miss Bloomers

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