I engaged in a lot of gnashing of teeth as to my route home and time of departure. The decision, of course, depended on where I'd be eating on the way home. The choices were BBQ lunch in Salinas (which for me means pig), meaning a later departure time or breakfast at any place along the way that served chicken fried steak (cow). I wanted to get home so the early time won out.
I stopped in Gilroy and had breakfast at OD's Kitchen. I was the very first customer. They serve a huge steak. Very tasty, nice breading. I had to work on finishing what was on my plate. It was a friendly environment. It was very busy by the time I left.
You know this, but I'll say it anyway…variations on a given dish is what makes it interesting. It is not like I love chicken fried steak, it is just fun to see how people prepare it. I have found a lot of variation at these establishments. It may be a while before I try any more. I tend to order this dish only when I'm on the road. Part of that is because I don't usually eat a traditional breakfast meal when I'm in town. I certainly don't go out and pay for it. Thus I'm looking forward to the next road trip. Unfortunately there's not one on the calendar right now.
I stopped at a couple of produce stands. Another thing I do on these trips is try to purchase some local honey, especially if it is new to me. For example, on a previous trip I found some pistachio honey at a stand between Bakersfield and Coalinga. I'd never had that. It has the most subtle flavor I've experienced in a honey. There were honeys on this trip, but not unique and very expensive, so I didn't buy any. (Honey is not cheap these days.) But there were a couple of good signs asking you to behave.