Should probably lead off with PUFFER’S OF PISMO, since that’s what everyone’s gnashing their teeth about. Listen: they’re re-structuring things a bit, eh? How many times has he remodelled that place? Let him take a week off and align his focus. I always wondered how long Andy was going to stay there. No one’s ever accused Charlie of being stagnant.
Got into 201 KITCHEN downtown SLO in that troubled little Wineman strip. Rather interesting place, and the food is good. Had some decent ramen and ventured into their sushi menu with a solitary handroll. From my experiences with the *other* two places, I think this is the best ramen in town.
Hey so something amazing is coming to downtown San Luis Obispo September 11…. can’t talk now… gotta run, but save the date.
Two new BBQ spots are opening across the street from each other in Morro Bay. One in that big yard-place (always seemed PERFECT for BBQ) on the corner of MB Blvd and Main, the other in the old Sabetta’s Pizza beside whatever that bar is. [EDIT 9.3.22 BABYDUDES opens TODAY and is NOT barbeque.] Across the street, Kitty’s is still papered with rumors whirling, HERMIT CRAB gutted for full interior updating, and GRAPE LEAF showing some weird *closed* periods within their normal business hours. I’ve forgotten already what the bumblebee ice cream place is becoming…. But LOTS of resty activity in that block. CAN WE GET A GOOD RESTAURANT DOWNTOWN PLEASE!!!!!
At least 20 people have asked me this week alone if I’ve been to PONO PACIFIC KITCHEN in Grover Beach. No, I haven’t! Sorry. I’ve snooped them out though, studied the menu–some weird stuff going on THERE! Check it out. It’s down there in the spot vacated by Ribline by Station Cafe across from Spoon Trade.
Oh and Chinelo’s please go away. 50 bucks for 4 tacos and 2 sodas??? Do the math on that. $10 tacos and $5 jarritos. Your food sucked in Morro Bay and your food sucks in SLO. Bland and lifeless–just the way white people like it.
TASTE SLO‘s new location at the old Mazda dealership is really close to opening. Sign went up this week. Will be interesting to see what goes into the old bakery location they are leaving. Always loved that little building.
The minds behind SLO BREW are gearing up to present: CHRISTMAS at the CARRISA in the veritable landmark on Higuera Street. Going to run mid-November til Christmas and offers a wide-open, free space to bring the family and friends to visit and have fun in one of FOUR themed sections. There’s ‘Rod & Hammer’s Ski Chalet’, the ‘Holly Jolly Hall’, ‘Oh-What-Fun Game Room’ and ‘Cozy Sweater Nook’. Bring the kids, and there will be bites and–of course–drinks for all. Open to the public except on some booked nights where someone rented the whole space–and yes, there’s still plenty of opportunities for that. KARSON-BUTLER is putting it on, so you KNOW it’ll be perfect. A portion of proceeds go to Dream Makers SLO for the extra point. Plan your party now: https://thecarrisa.com/xmas/
Speaking of SLO Brew, been enjoying probably too many lunches at BRASSERIE SLO on the ground floor of HOTEL CERRO. I’m sorry, but when I’m working downtown and don’t want a sandwich, that bar inside is a bit too inviting. And usually completely empty.
There’s a new tapas place in Paso. JUNCTION. Apparently the food will have a “Latin twist”. Up in them thar hills, though, there’s a storm a-brewin around a couple wineries. In a now all-too-familiar scenario, JUSTIN looked the other way while those in charge were snappin bras and grabbin crotches. WHAT ARE WE, NINE??? I don’t mention a lot of winery news on these pages, but this time is different because the smell seems to be emanating from the kitchen. And…. several sources have coroborated one of the parties invoved has moved on down the road a spell to another winery. Not one with a resty though–but you know: ALL wineries must have a chef now on staff for those *curated* wine experiences and to keep people from actually going to town and eating while wine-tasting. Hey wineries: Stick to what you know. Make wine and let restaurants feed people.
Time to settle the rabid TACO TEMPLE vs. FLAVOR FACTORY carrot cake controversy. So what do I do–since I’m merely a humble servant??? GO BUY THEM BOTH. Frostings nearly identical: FF’s maybe a *bit* sour-er–which I like. But the cakes themselves parted ways significantly. Long strings of visible vegetable woven throughout the TT version, managing a superb fluffiness despite the requisite density of these things. Perfect integration and texture, not too *spice-cake-ey* but allowing the carrot cake to be carrot cake. The hamburger joint’s was a disappointing mess. Gooey and sticky, dense and soggy and *flour-ey*, feeling under-cooked in its graininess, beautiful frosting could not salvage it and the entire team voted it down the drain.
Hey, so, and Wetzel’s Pretzels opened in SLO. Big fucking woop. Add it to the growing list of hot chicken joints polluting our landscape. You want really hot chicken? I mean REAL hot chicken? And I don’t mean *hot*, I mean REAL CHICKEN. There IS a bit of a kick to it though. Make the trip–I hear you already whining, “But I never go to Santa Maria…”–MAKE THE TRIP to Santa Maria and POLLOS CULIACAN Y MAS on Main Street. Holy wow is this good stuff. Always got either a hamburger or al pastor tacos here, but finally that huge pit out front covered with smoking red chickens got to me. This is stupidly ridiculously good chicken.
OK, it’s almost lunchtime, gotta go find some food. Speaking of lunch, have crept into 3 STACKS & A ROCK BREWERY THREE weekends in a row. Sorry–I know it might not seem like *me*–but I just love this place. Even the owner yesterday started apologizing… “Nice to see you here again, I follow you on IG and I know we don’t have very fussy food and you don’t really do beer….” and I’m just like STFU!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? If I come to your establishment three Saturdays in a row you do NOT need to apologize for ANYTHING. You’re already doing everything right. I don’t go places out of boredom, OK?
JACK RANCH CAFE is closing out at the James Dean memorial after a million years. Yes, I’ve eaten there. Have you? I haven’t driven 41/46 for a while but apparently the new freeway has literally marooned the famous tree on an island.
Oh hey, and when are the parklets going away and restaurants returning to their normal sizes? If you notice, there are two kinds of *expanded eating areas* downtown: Those NOBODY EVER EVER EVER uses, and those where the resty has basically DOUBLED in size. Meanwhile everybody screams about staffing and parking continues to shrink. You see where I’m headed here, right?
Follow me on IG @eatdrink101 or be sad forever.