9 Central Coast Secrets

I’ve written *Best-Of’s* and *TOP-5’s* and honestly those are kinda boring lists–both to read AND to write. Parade out the usual suspects, bang a stamp on it, drop it in the mail and BOOM people click and cheer. Loyal readers will know my handful of upper eschelonic white-table-cloth eateries by heart and will also know…

Cass House Grill [memoriam]

CASS HOUSE GRILL  Cayucos   No one restaurant causes more confusion than Cass House Grill. Most old-timers register it with stuffy old prix fixe meals of astounding quality and high prices. But this is NOT the Cass House you all remember. Jensen is gone, there are new owners, and the entire property has been re-worked into…

Top 5 Wine Service Peeves

Dear Restaurants: Can you please stop seating me without a wine-list.  This is wine-country.  THIS IS RIGHT SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING AND HIGHEST-ACCLAIMED WINE AREAS IN THE WORLD.  From where I’m sitting in your restaurant, I could hit 10 wineries with a 5-wood.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars…

5 Towns 5 Burgers

Every menu on the Central Coast has a burger on it.  It is something I have learned to accept in dining along the coast.  Burgers are popular, no doubt, and a welcome menu item and ubiquitous with American dining culture.  There are probably 300 burgers within 10 miles of where I stand and yes, I…

RESTY GOSSIP OCT 20

Hotels hotels hotels. I will be SO GLAD when this rash of luxury hotels opening is over and we can get back to real restaurants. It seems they have dominated the conversation–and the skyline–all summer. How many $400/night hotels does the area need? Apparently, a few more. And with them all come *allegedly* flash-BAM restaurants,…

200 miles of Tacos

I haven’t counted lately, but there are probably well over 150 taquerias listed on my TACO PAGE and that is a LOT of information for all but the die-hard taco-freaks. I get emails, texts, DM’s almost daily, “HELP I’M IN _________ WHERE’S THE BEST TACOS??” Everyone wants a short-list. I’ve never made a TOP-10 or…

RESTY GOSSIP 9.1

Oh shoot, I’ve been eating so much I haven’t had time to post about it in almost a month. SOOOO much gossip too. Took a big road-trip up through Sonoma and Mendocino, eating WAY TOO MUCH at both some new spots and some favorites. I might cobble together a separate post for that, because I…

Resty Gossip 8.3

I went to VENTANA GRILL. Yup, I’ve only had cocktails here. Hadn’t eaten there since Pelican Point and stairway to nowhere. Yes, THAT long ago. Overall, fairly decent food. A couple steps up from Custom House and Wooleys and Flagship, and a couple steps down from Oyster Loft and Mestiza (for those who live under…

Resty Gossip 5.27

Been kinda cruisin through the classics lately because I feel my TOP-5 Restaurant list needs updating. In  that intent, ate at BISTRO LAURENT for the second time in about a month. Best restaurant in Paso Robles right now–and has been for some time. Oh wait, my bad: it’s BL BRASSERIE now. STILL the best resty…

Resty Gossip 5.19

Minor tremors this week when I worked up the nerve to go to POPEYE’S LUISIANA KITCHEN, which I merely thought was Popeye’s Chicken but apparently this is full-on Southern food, something I probably know the LEAST about than any cuisine on the planet. (a few paragraphs from here, you will discover I really don’t know…