We live where others vacation — so I admit we are a bit spoiled. You have to have a good reason to venture North over the Cuesta Grade and into the hotter reaches of our County (away from the Ocean), In recent years however the reasons have been stacking up. North County isn’t just about heat and steaks and wine (although all of those things are still abundant) Now they can claim authentic, well-executed Mexican Coastal Seafood to the list of things they do well with the addition of Fish Gaucho.
Just blocks away from the scene of our annual cattle run and Mid-State Fair on a bustling downtown corner, Fish Gaucho popped up offering light, delicious, fresh flavorful California-Mexico inspired food. They compliment this amazing food with fantastic Yucatan-peninsula-style decor and a list of over 100 of the world’s best Tequilas that they use to make hand-crafted margaritas and other unique drinks. Don’t ask for a sweet, frozen margarita here — they don’t have them. This is the real deal. Also offered are a host of fine local wine offerings and craft beers. But it is truly a treat to try one of their unusual beverages — I started with “The Paloma” a delicious concoction that began with Sauza Blue Agave Tequila mixed with fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit, highlighted with fresh Peruvian lime and agave nectar. My parents (who were celebrating Mother’s Day with me) both tried the Charred Jalapeño-Pineapple, also built on a foundation of Sauza Blue Agave Tequila and then kicked up with fire-charred Hawaiian pineapple, jalapeño, agave nectar and lime juice. We had to pace ourselves because they were both delicious and went down VERY easily.
1244 Park St.
Downtown Paso Robles
Dinner was highlighted by the fresh ceviche made daily with the best local fresh options. I also ordered the pork belly taquitos — braised with chipotle, Mexican coke and agave for 12 hours and served with piña pepper salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Such a perfect combination of flavors and appealing to all ages because I literally had to fight my son for a bite.
Mom and dad both can’t resist lobster and so had to try the Lobster Enchiladas. The large portion was a nice surprise — when it comes to lobster many restaurants over-charge and under-deliver. The tomatillo verde sauce, cotija crumbles and crema drizzle were a perfect compliment and didn’t overwhelm the fresh lobster.
Jack and I shared the Enchilada Soup made with roasted peppers, onions, tomato, chicken verde and enchilada stock. Perfect with just a hint of heat and the yummy sweet roasted flavor. It really did taste like an enchilada in a soup! Then we moved on to the Marinated Hanger Steak — topped with crab butter (WOW) and served with sautéed kale, onion and peppers as well as jalapeño mashed potatoes. Perfectly cooked — and even my son chowed down on the kale. Adding the jalapeño to the potatoes was also an inspired idea — I have to try this myself to spruce up our holiday hum-drum dish!