KULT is done. MILANES & THAI BOUNTY are done. PORT HOUSE is done. Somerset Grill is now Baja-inspired PEQUIN. Two new-ish restaurants out up the 1 got menu make-overs from their adequate-but-lacking brew-pub offerings to full-scale gastro-pub lists: FOGHORN BREWHOUSE in Baja Cayucos and THE OLD ALEHOUSE in Los Osos. New owners at the former–new chefs for the latter. I also discovered this week my favorite pretzel in town is gone: Breaking Bread moved away or some shit, and apparently this is old news. We’re getting ANOTHER *hot chicken* spot in SLO: this time in the creamery next to QUESADILLA GUERRILLA. This brings our total to–jesus h. christo I’ve completely lost count. WHO IS BUYING THIS STUPID FOOD???? That’s a rhetorical question.
Got in to VEG ON THE EDGE in the SLO Public Market and had a mediocre burger, but after ordering, I learned from a follower in line I was looking at the WRONG side of the menu. Turns out the owner is African and while there are plentiful typical vegan offerings, over on the left side are traditional soups. I had seen them, but just kinda glossed over their weird names and… well… it’s SOUP. I am disappointed in myself and am going back to try them post-haste. Also inside the market: finally caught BING’S BAO BUNS open and grabbed a few pulled-pork balls. They’re OK. I like OKI KOHI‘s slightly better and Paul Kwong’s are the undisputed best in town.
Got into LA PARRILLA‘s new spot in Arroyo Grande and was met with literally the uptown version of Efren’s. These tacos have slipped so hard. What if I told you TACO ROCO in Laguna was basically the identical taco–right down to the salsa dumped on them as I sit next to a beautiful, fully-stocked salsa bar. STOP DOING THIS. It makes no sense. These are solid low-⬧⬧ tacos, which although that might make the Top-5 in NOCO or SLO, wouldn’t even scratch the Top-10 in 5-cities. Speaking of new locations: taco-truck empire EL GUERO opened a brick & mortar on Choro in SLO in the old Branzino/Plutos across form Black Sheep. It’s good… home-made tortillas have potential but gummy and starchy, taco meat good, but ridiculously over-stuffed. DO NOT order three. Around the corner under Sephora I finally got into SEEDS, which is an interesting little place–and not NEARLY as *organic* as you might have guessed. It’s rather clean and tidy, beautiful, actually, and food is massively portioned and reeks of quality ingredients. So fresh and nice. I rather liked it.
Out on the coast again, FINALLY timed my week to MORRO BAY BUTCHER‘s banh mi special (thursday?) and it is indeed VERY good. Not 100% authentic, but not complaining. They have put some serious inspiration in this sandwich and the pork belleh is the main event. GET IT. Be SURE and check out 3 STACKS & A ROCK‘s new location on Embarcadero. The beers are great and the food is surprisingly well-done–even for hot dogs & pretzels. There’s a few other things though. The elote is a star.
Up in Templeton, I finally got the courage up to visit TEMPLETON PIZZA & GREEK FOOD. I just noticed this place maybe a year ago out of the corner of my eye and queried my following about it, which (as usual) ran almost perfect 50/50 between “horrible stuff and he’s a jerk” and “one of the best-kept secrets in the county”. Listen: I’m not Greek and don’t consider myself an expert on ANYTHING but the falafel balls in my sandwich were the best-executed I’ve ever had, the pita bread the lightest, fluffiest most-delicious puff of starch I’ve ever had and the dolmas are NEXT LEVEL. This place is better than Charlies, King Falafel and Petras put TOGETHER. Go find it. Decent middle-eastern grocery selection to boot.
I went to PIG IRON again, and all the changes up there inspired me to scribble a TOP 10 PASO ROBLES RESTAURANTS list. I hate making lists but people love them, although a couple jerk-off omissions from my list has people quite NOT liking it. I also tuned up the TACO LIST this week and the Clif-Notes: 200 MILES OF TACOS.
Tune in next week when I rank all 17 hot chicken wing places in SLO.