Category: Restaurants

The Range

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-range-santa-margarita (805) 438-4500 Driving down the main street in Santa Margarita, it’s easy to miss The Range. But don’t. Inside that small, unassuming building with no sign there is magic happening. Once inside, it would be easy to mistake The Range’s cowboy charm as hokey. The wait staff mostly wears Wranglers, there’s classic Country music…

Pismo Beach Clam Festival

Like any small town, we can be measured by our Parades and Festivals. As Pismo Beach has long been the self-proclaimed “clam capitol of the world” it seems only fitting that our Fall Festival have the theme of all things Clam.  Over the years it has grown from a small parade and clam digging contest…

Giuseppe’s Cucina Italiana – Pismo Beach

It was with much anticipation and delight that we celebrated Giuseppe’s original Pismo Beach Location’s re-opening this past Spring. When fire ravaged the popular downtown restaurant we all wondered if they would return. But we were encouraged by Chef Giuseppe DiFronzo’s promises that they would be back! http://giusepperustica.wixsite.com/pismogiuseppes In the meantime, he opened a new…

Willow Pismo Beach

Looking for a fun place with an excellent view in Pismo Beach?  Look no further than Pismo’s newest hotspot at Willow located at 2131 Price St.  This building used to be the old Marie Calendars right in front of the Sea Crest Hotel.  The new owners have done a complete remodel that is so inviting…

STAX Wine Bar & Bistro

My Team, my husband, my friends and family – we all work hard, and we like to unwind. Our favorite type of atmosphere is one that feels a little cliché – a bar where “everybody knows your name.” When we find it, we tend to become their best customers. It’s our go-to spot for a…

Cinco De Mayo Celebration at Fin’s Seafood Restaurant

Want to do something fun to celebrate Cinco De Mayo and do good for the community at the same time? Fin’s Seafood Restaurant in Grover Beach is the place to be! Fiesta at Fin’s is holding its “dinner for a cause” on May 1st from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. All proceeds will be going towards Five…

The Poke Craze Has Come to Town!

Poke is a sushi-grade seafood dish that has long been a favorite in Hawaii and is having a surge of popularity here on the mainland. Here on the Central Coast, where we have access to high-quality, fresh seafood, it’s a given that this trendy meal has finally arrived!  Poke is a great appetizer, lunch or…

Inn at the Pier

Pismo Beach has a new place to brag about that you don’t want to miss.  The new Inn at the Pier is located at 601 Cypress Street, Pismo Beach.  This gorgeous 104 guest room boutique hotel has an inviting entrance with friendly employees greeting you upon arrival.  The lobby features tall ceiling which flood natural…

Ocean Grill Avila Beach

Avila Beach has always been a family favorite. While Pismo is the obvious choice for visitors, Avila stays a bit more quiet and feels a bit more like a small town. It also has the best weather on the Central Coast, often remaining sunny and warm when fog is still hovering over the other beaches.…

Giuseppe’s Cucina

  Giuseppe’s Cucina in Pismo Beach began as a Cal Poly Senior Project hatched by Giuseppe (Joe) DiFronzo. He took what was a simple assignment and turned it into a bustling restaurant with customers gladly lining up to wait an hour or more for dinner and everyone hosting their corporate and family events in his…

THOMAS HILLS ORGANICS

It just so happens that right behind our Paso Robles office sits a gem of a restaurant – opened in 2009 by an inspired local organic farm owner, Thomas Hill Organics has become a staple of the North San Luis Obispo County restaurant scene. A restaurant with a passion for farm-to-table that was established long…

NARDONNE’S LA FAMIGLIA PIZZERIA

Having lived in Los Osos since 2000, I’ve seen many changes. One of my favorite additions is Nardonne’s La Famiglia Pizzeria.  Located nearly a block from the back bay, Nardonne’s offers amazing food and great beer. Nardonne’s offers seating indoors and on their patio. They also have a bonus kiddo-distraction — an arcade room for…

Arroyo Grande Meat Company

The quaint Village of Arroyo Grande is well-known for the many little businesses that dot Branch Street and its off-shoots. There is one business in particular that my family holds near and dear to our hearts — the Arroyo Grande Meat Company owned by Henry & Julie Gonzalez.  We frequent this business many times throughout…

Flour House in San Luis Obispo

Stroll the streets of San Luis Obispo and you’ll have so many options it is almost hard to choose! Enjoy historic architecture, shop in the wide variety of boutiques, visit the art galleries or the Mission and just in downtown you can easily fill a day of activities!  And when you’ve built up an appetite…

FrutiLand El Casa del Sabor – The best flavors from Mexico City.

Having lived here my entire life, I can tell you that driving down Grand Avenue with one of my long-time friends can be a walk down memory lane. And sometimes old memories die hard. That place was such-in-such and that was an empty lot, etc. etc. We tend to refer to businesses by names they…

Zorro’s Café & Cantina

This restaurant has been featured before – but has changed so much in five years it deserves a second look. This is our favorite family weekend spot. The place where we kick off the weekend with a yum-o fresh meal to get us ready for a paddle, a bike ride or a day at the…

Stone Soup Music Festival & Street Faire

Grover Beach is a happening little beach town all year long but come August of every year, it is a rockin’ town with their fantastic Stone Soup Music Festival & Street Faire.  The dates this year are Saturday, August 27th from 10am-9:30pm and Sunday, August 28th from 11am-5pm.  Some streets are blocked off near Ramona…

Happy to welcome “Hapy” to Pismo Beach

For the past several months I had heard whispers here and there about a new restaurant coming to Pismo Beach. It was to fill the void next to Orchard Supply, left there when a spa retailer moved on to another location. Now I’ll admit that a strip mall restaurant isn’t usually something to get super…

Some Spice in the Village! Villa Cantina.

In our family there is and has always been a quest to find what qualifies as “good Mexican food” for my mother. She can eat Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She will try hole-in-the-wall Tacquerias and taco bars in the rear of grocery stores. She has even been known to purchase and eat…

Oyster Loft

Downtown Pismo’s newest restaurant is a “must-visit”!  Upstairs from Wooly’s at 101 Pomeroy, this upscale venue overlooks the Pismo Pier and sweeping coastline views from Vandenberg to Avila.  The setting and ambiance of the Oyster Loft is beautiful with low lighting and gorgeous décor. We have visited twice since opening and were wowed each time.…

Mersea’s on the Pier in Avila

Avila Beach has a brand new restaurant that is a must try on your next visit. Mersea’s of Avila is in the same family of restaurants as Dorn’s of Morro Bay and Duckies Chowder House of Cayucos.  The restaurant is at the end of Harford Pier on Avila Beach Drive.  You can soak in the…

Taste of Pismo, a Premier Wine & Culinary Event

Pismo Beach holds their annual Taste of Pismo on Saturday April 23rd, 2016 from 12pm to 4pm. This Premier Wine & Culinary Event, celebrates Central Coast wines, artisan brews, and regional cuisine  Perched on the cliffs overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean at Dinosaur Caves Park, guests will enjoy premium beverages from local wineries and micro breweries as well as the sumptuous samplings…

Mason Bar, a most welcome addition to the Village of Arroyo Grande.

Located at the corner of Mason Street and Grand avenue, Mason Bar is a most welcome addition to the quaint village of Arroyo Grande. Local owners Bill and Meygan Hales (who also own Rooster Creek and Shell Beach Brewhouse) have created a fabulous gastro pub that could be best described as country chic and has…

Shell Beach Brewhouse — open to all with a local vibe!

Have you ever noticed that when you meet someone who has lived in an area for most of their life, they tend to refer to businesses, areas, restaurants and so forth by how they used to be known. Sometimes those names stick — as in Dinosaur Caves Park — I am not sure if there…

Spoon Trade – An American Eatry

Grover Beach and fine dining are not typically mentioned in the same sentence – in fact in our history on the Central Coast those words have never been paired. We are happy to report that Grover’s culinary history has been upgraded with a new eatery. Owners Jacob and Brook Town, and Patrick Bergseid have made…

Surfside Donuts

Maple Bacon, Strawberry Clam Shell, Dirt Surf, Salted Caramel, Spiced Chai, Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries. What on earth am I talking about? Why fresh-made daily gourmet donuts of course — and in downtown Pismo Beach no less! The Strawberry Clam Shell donut made with fresh local O’kui strawberries. Cap’n Crunch is of course topped…

Fish Gaucho? Yes Please!

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…

Comfort Market

Updated April 15th, 2015 – When Gather was forced to close due to failed landlord negotiations the Village lost a favorite. What we got in return was a better, bolder, bigger version with many new features. Armed with many researched ideas owner/chef Kari Ziegler wanted a bistro with a gourmet market and wine bar as…

Big Sur River Inn

Big Sur River Inn

I hesitate to write this post because once I do, our secret getaway … my happy place … will be revealed. However I want it to remain successful and keep providing us with our getaway so it is with that in mind that I share the Big Sur River Inn. Just a couple hours up…

Comfort Market

Six months old and still growing! Tonight will be the inaugural cooking class at Comfort Market — soon to be a regular event as this evening’s first run sold out days before. Tonight owner/chef Kari Ziegler, previously of the much-missed Gather Wine Bar, will share her insider secrets from behind the kitchen door in creating…

The Central Coast Critic – Kathy Marcks Hardesty

With over thirty years in the food business, Kathy Marcks Hardesty provides great information about our local Food & Wine businesses here on the Central Coast. She loves writing about great food and wine, entertaining your senses and placing you on the edge of your seat as you look forward to trying the next great new restaurant…

Comfort Market

The Village of Arroyo Grande has grown up a bit in recent years — adding some new faces to the usual dining choices. While we love the stand-by’s of the Village Grill, McKlintocks Saloon and Alphy’s Broiler, new-comer Rooster Creek has become rooted in our regulars. Of course Jack loves Klondikes … pizza, video games and…

ember

Gnocchi. Ricotta Gnocchi. Ricotta Gnocchi atop a bed of gently sautéed Bloomsdale spinach. Gnocchi in a brown butter sauce. Gnocchi with a dusting of artichoke fritti. This is a glorious dish and I hope it remains as a revolving item on the menu at Ember. But you never know what inspired new dishes might arrive…

Central Coast Culinary

Years ago I was invited to a friend’s birthday party that was being held at Debbie Duggan’s Central Coast Culinary. I had met Debbie on a few occasions working at KSBY as she was our local “celebrity chef”. She would rise ridiculously early to inspire us with a fantastic (and fast) dish on the morning show.…

Cool Cat Cafe – A Multi-State, Multi-Location Experience

How often is it that you can walk out of your office door in Pismo Beach and say “I feel like having the best burger on Maui” and not twenty minutes later be taking a huge yummy bite? Well it can be as often as every day if you are in San Luis Obispo and…

The Boardroom

First you have to love the name … doesn’t it sound official?! Great for that lunchtime “business” meeting. You can just tell your boss you’ll be in “The Board Room.” Before he figures out that you don’t have one you’ll be gone! This great little brew pub and eatery is right in the heart of…

Best Ice Cream in San Luis obispo County – Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab

When you’ve lived in one place pretty much your entire life you know the history of all things and how they’ve evolved — both good and bad. The nice thing about the quaint Village of Arroyo Grande is that while things have changed, they’ve mostly stayed the same. And that is true of one of…

Marisol at The Cliffs Resort

Those of us that have the awesome gift of living where most other people only get to visit on vacation know that we frequently take it for granted. Months can go by without a visit to the beach or stopping to really enjoy a sunset. But when we want to be a tourist in our…

Avila Beach Hawaiian-Style

Hula Hut in Avila Beach

The theme this Summer has been “Stay-cation” for our little Central Coast Family. Since we are lucky enough to live where many people vacation we are playing backyard tourists and enjoying all that the Central Coast has to offer within 20 minutes of our doorstep. One of our absolute favorite day-off activities is to pack…

The Galley Seafood Grill & Bar

The Galley Seafood - Scallops

We found ourselves playing tourist in our own backyard a few weekends ago and decided to try a few new things. While we waited for our standup paddling reservation at Central Coast Standup Paddling we found ourselves with time to kill on the boardwalk in Morro Bay. So we did as we do and looked up restaurants we…

Pete’s Pierside Cafe and Fish Market

Being locals,  it can be hard to surprise us. On the other hand we also find ourselves falling victim to routine, returning to the same ol’ haunts over and over again. So it was through an effort to help our son learn to navigate traffic on his bicycle better that we were pleased to discover…

Rooster Creek Tavern

Rooster Creek Tavern in Arroyo Grande

I have to admit that while I scrolled through some of the reviews for Rooster Creek, I found myself nodding my head in agreement… some were spot-on. I will say that the service left much to be desired in the beginning, however they seemed to have listened to the feedback and have made adjustments —…

The Taste of Pismo Beach 2013

My memory may be fading (I am turning 40 this year after all) but of the many Taste of Pismo events my hubby and I have attended I think this year was unequivocally the best. Maybe it was the great “Farm Fest” Farm to Fork event that ushered in the Taste the Friday night before.…

Sister Kitchen Thai Food in Grover Beach

There aren’t many restaurants that take a break during the holidays and go on holiday themselves… and there aren’t many restaurants that when they do take a break make my grown husband cry. It was so bad I even drove by during their break once to make sure they hadn’t returned early. This is what…

Ventana Grill in Pismo Beach

Being the Past President of the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach/Five Cities that has met for a decade in the beautiful banquet room downstairs at the now Ventana Grill, our little group of 60+ members had the unusual opportunity to watch the current management go through an extensive remodel of what had become a slightly…

The Lido Restaurant in Shell Beach

Well I have never written a review of the Lido at Dolphin Bay because it had all of the makings of a fantastic restaurant … without the food, in my opinion. Partly because it was trying to be a little too “metropolitan” for the area, and partly because it ignored what is going on all…

Woodstone Marketplace in Avila Beach

Woodstone Marketplace has become our regular pit-stop as we chase our speed-demon four year old son down the Bob Jones Trail — either on foot, bicycles or scooter. It is like an oasis when we come up from under the bridge that gives us safe passage to the other side of San Luis Bay Drive…

Mo’s Smokehouse BBQ in Pismo Beach

Mo’s is one of those “hang-out” type places, decorated with old photos and rusting signs, and of course an amazing variety of pigs out of various materials, in various sizes. It is a no-nonsense rib joint, with a few other notable items on the menu. My husband loves the Philthy Phil’s Ribs and the Sampler…

Doughboy’s Pizzeria in Grover Beach

Growing up on the Central Coast, we’ve had our share of Pizza Places come and go … but in the past few years there hadn’t really been one that stood out from the crowd. Then one night when Gather Wine Bar was just getting started — maybe even during her “Soft Opening” — Kari ordered…

Sea Venture Resort in Pismo Beach

I have to admit that I am a fan … just like the four stars says. Right on the beach, this is a fantastic little boutique hotel that we often use for “Staycations” to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Birthdays and Anniversaries. From the moment you pull into the covered parking, you feel appreciated and well taken…