So we arrived in San Simeon at lunch time. It is well know name, so we thought that there would be a place to buy a simple (not $$$) lunch or a food store to buy veggies. We were wrong.
San Simeon was once a Spanish town, but that is now gone save for some heritage missions and adobe houses. It still has breathtaking coastal view. A number of international tourists (Scotland, England) are also all looking for a lunch spot costing less than their rental cars.
We eventually find one restaurant that is very nice (good decor, good food) and eat lunch. The cloth napkins and China are a nice treat and the prices lower than most of the other places.
San Simeon is a monopoly, and those running the Inns and restaurants have clearly banded to together to be an area of fine (read expensive) dinning. Nonetheless, we have great dinner at a local place after much looking. Had we know in advance that it was mostly just a strip of expensive restaurants we would have purchased food in San Lius Abispo where there are grocery stores. We stay at the Quality Inn which is not as good as the one in Lompoc.
What has sadly happened is that San Simeon has become just a stretch of Motels with merchants who milk the tourists with expensive meals and lodgings. In our Quality Inn room the advertised internet access and even the TV are out (apparently cable problems).
Unlike a city, you are stuck since it is a long way out.
In our survey of the eating places we meet other visitors from the UK and from Ireland. They are having a similar experience of not wanting to drop $50 on lunch. We all agree that a Subway franchise here would boom.
In the end we happen upon one of the restaurant which is a bit more reasonable in cost, yet still very nice, and with a great ocean view. We will later return there for dinner after the Castle tour.
We have a nice lunch, then push North to the Hearst Castle.