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What are you going to go to first, Hemingway’s or Cielo? Both open. Raves for the former from the sort of people who eat at places like that and rave about them–not a peep about the latter, yet. Across the street from the Italian joint, The Carlton Hotel and associated acts downstairs officially put on the block for 12-point-5. I don’t think I have ever spoken to a single person with a good experience at Nautical Cowboy. Pretty sure they PAY Backporch Bakery to be there.
Had a ridiculous lunch up the coast at Robin’s. As usual. Love that place. How is it Cambria manages THE highest concentration of great restaurants of any burg in the county? Although Indigo Moon continues to scale back: the express window has never re-opened and the main resty is only serving dinner. A shame, as this is a favorite Lunch-spot of mine. Opposingly: Madeline’s opened for lunch–for the first time–during all this and hasn’t looked back. A rather bright spot. Then there’s possibly the best restaurant in the county: BLACK CAT BISTRO in east village, the shockingly good secret: Cafe on Bridge Street; don’t forget Hidden Kitchen and Wild Ginger. The town is positively BLESSED.
Out in Morro Bay, Main Street anchor Kitty’s has papered windows and a building permit, along with some obvious facade upgrades. That’ll be interesting. DOWNTOWN NEEDS ANOTHER REAL RESTAURANT!!! In order to fit my oft-stated criteria of “A town needs THREE (real) restaurants to be considered a destination. There is Distasio’s and Thai Elephant, which together make about 1.5 restaurants on my official scale. The rest is all sandwiches, coffee, lunch, bars, pizza and whatever. No, Siren is NOT a restaurant, no matter how many teeth you can count inside. Down in the completely separate–and disparate–wharf-side of town: the Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ empire has gained another foothold, securing the recently-closed Port House for the soon-opening KICKER’S CAJUN SEAFOOD BOIL, pretty much driving the last nail into the Embarcadero coffin. Very little reason to venture down there and brave that demo, I mean: Tognazzini’s/Harbor Hut/Gafco/Dorn’s/Windows all may be fun places to DRINK–or get frozen fish boiled in stale grease–but rolled toegether couldn’t produce a memorable meal if their life depended on it. And to be fair: I don’t really think it’s any of their intentions. To quote old man Dorn, “Do you think I make the food EYE want to eat??? No way–but I’ve been here 70 years. Scoreboard, motherfucker.” You want real food? Go brave the line at Bayside; go up the road to Cayucos’ ONE restaurant–LUNADA–or cruise across the mud-flat to Beerwood or Olde Alehouse.
With that said, I DO have to hand it to Dutchman’s for restoring my palate–and faith–in personal favorite: mussels, after the recent gaggingly horrible experience with Windows’ pasta. These things were frickin PERFECT–and got the fry-bread to go with it.
Speaking of The Olde Alehouse, I DID mention they cleaned out some staff, hired a couple new chefs and wrote a whole new menu, right??? Wait for this to be your new destination. And breakfast??? You already KNOW what you’re going to have to endure at Hungry Fisherman or Kay’s. Just go to Celia’s. The demographic alone is worth it. Oh and perennial favorite Back Bay Cafe is now a Nautical Bean, so Los Osos is down to Celia’s and the golf course for breakfast–unless you consider a burrito part of your morning. And don’t forget HIGH ST. DELI is out there now. No more trips to SLO for THAT fix.
Been eating a lot of Tuna Sandwiches lately. Fun to find them on menus. The former winner: PIER STREET DELI in Oceano too it off the menu, so been snoopin around for a replacement. Right now? SLO DELICIOUS tops the list, with KITCHEN & VINE and PORCH CAFE bringin in sloppy seconds. Homestead just dry dry dry, and Springside kinda bland and weird, but the alfalfa sprouts are an extra point. FYI: SLO Delicious has sprouts on the sandwich menu, so that will be my next move.
Speaking of Porch Cafe… They’ve been the wild card in my afore-mentioned THREE RESTAURANTS rule for a town to be a destination. Santa Margarita teeters on viability with this spot, and I was happy to see an enlarged space with bar and stage and appears to be open for dinner. That pretty much makes a *real* resty in my book, so maybe Santa Marg has ‘made it’??? Look out Los Alamos!!!
Back in SLO, My Friend Mike’s is open–and early reviews are pretty good. Gotta get in there. Torricella’s out in SLO Public Market really isn’t cutting it for me. I mean–it’s *good*… Got the margherita a couple times and once ventured out to their Bolognese Pie, which is quite weird, almost like spaghetti & meatballs on a pizza. But no pasta of course–just the sensation. Spicy little peppers buried in it too. Need to get back into Brasserie SLO and see how their pizza oven is workin these days. THAT was a stand-out margherita!
Have you been to the new CAFE CREPES in SLO? Kinda in that forgotten section of Marsh near Garden. With Mon Ami and Ciel, that makes THREE. How many towns can say that??? And yes, they have savory crepes–a deal-closer for me. Grabbed myself a turkey & onion marmalade and no complaints. Rather awesome. nice to see this addition to downtown.
Tune in tomorrow when we pick the best clam chowder in Pismo.