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Jul 6, 2006 08:37 PM

Anything new to check out Santa Maria - Beach Cities - SLO?


Making our annual pilgrimage to Lopez Lake next week for 5 days and will spend a fair amount of time in the central coast towns. We plan on dinner at Jocko's, some Cinnamon ROlls from Old West in Pismo and the Thurs night Farmer's Market in SLO along with some ice cream at Doc Burnstein's. What else should we look for? Me and wife and 2 young kids. Preferably non-ethnic (beyond pizza)...good breakfast/bakery/sandwiches/BBQ/tri-tip is the stuff we will search out. THanks in advance!

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  1. I've not been for several years, but Alex BBQ in Shell Beach and Templeton had pretty tasty oak pit steaks (but not as good as Jocko's).

    1 Reply
    1. re: TomSwift

      Alex's sold a couple of years ago, everything has pretty much stayed the same. Some menu changes. I've heard it said the BBQ is still not very good. Haven't been personally in several years. The meat was undercooked and over-sauced with burnt-on sweet sauce. You could see the flames 10" high at the grill. Not my kind of BBQ.

      Trying to think what's new since last summer--Novo from downtown SLO has temporarliy moved to Palm St. over by the Palm theater --"Chow Novo" --good reports.

      I tried the Rusty Pig at the top of the Mesa on Highway 1 near Halcyon Rd. >Meh?< Kids might like it. They have an outdoor grill (not "BBQ") where they cook burgers, etc. They make their own breads. Didn't find it exciting.

      Great Thai in Pismo where the Cajun joint used to be, but then that's ethnic. Thai Talay.

      Have you ever been to the Korean BBQ across Broadway from OSH in Santa Maria? We've gone for lunch a couple times when running errands and like it, but have nothing to compare it too. Amercian style BBQ as well. Filipino Ass'n BBQ is now at the Smart & Final parking lot on Broadway at Newlove.

      Slash Cafe from Pismo opened up in SLO at the corner of Calif. and Monterey, kitty-corner from Frank's Hot Dogs. Organic chocolates(made upstairs) share space with a bakery and sandwich spot. Very popular at all times of day.

      Gino's Pizza in the Pismo Coast Plaza (Scolari's Mkt) along 101 in Pismo Beach. Very good pizza, and some video games for the kids. Wine for the folks. Good staff.

      Paco's in Nipomo, on Tefft just past the Von's center and across the street. "American-Mexican" food, kids VERY welcome and very nice staff. Tasty Tex-Mex, just ask for hot sauce if you want to heat it up. Beer and wine margaritas. Open every day but Monday.

    2. Hello! I second the rec for Chow Novo, I've been a good half-dozen times (or...more? oh my) and I love the chevre with toasts. It's a crowd pleaser and you can always get more bread. Also fantastic are their green beans and pancetta, the salmon bisque and of course, chow novo. I get mine with chicken or shrimp, but tofu and beef are available too. Yummy.

      I am also a big fan of Popolo on Monterey Street in SLO. Roasted chicken, sandwiches and salad -- basic and excellent.

      1. More stuff for the kids--

        You do know about Avila Valley Barn? It'd be fun for all-sized kids.

        Take the Avila Beach Rd exit off 101 north of Shell Beach, go past the public swimming pool at Avila Hot Springs, and turn into the lot at AVB. They opened a new ice cream and candy shop mid-summer last year. Lots of great fresh (some not local yet) produce and petting zoo.

        They sell fresh cooked corn on the cob. Their bakeshop is going full steam. If you don't see what you want on the baked goods table, pop back to the bakery and ask ladies if they have something cooling. They bake several times a day.
        (Personally, I'm addicted to the Nunes Farms caramels!)

        They also do some u-pick Olallieberries (and pumpkins in fall)which might interest the kidlets.

        Gopher Glen and other apple farms on See Cyn Rd (just 'around the corner' from AVB, off San Luis Bay Dr) should be open soon. If you are taking the scenic route over See Cyn-to- Perfumo Cyn outlook, stop and have some cider. It's great. The Gravensteins should be ready any day.

        Check out the school store at Cal Poly for student grown treats (don't forget their dairy products-excellent!). There may be offerings at the sustainable/organic farming area just off the Highland Drive entrance(on Highway 1 just north of Foothill Blvd.)They have lots of good produce and there may be someone to show you around. The animal husbandry units (sheep, chicken, beef, horse) are nearby on campus--and may be worth a look for the kids.

        Morro Bay has a nice farmer's market on Thursday 3-6. Very good selection and less of a zoo than downtown SLO on Thursday. Great fresh fish at Giovanni's on the Embarcadero right at the waterfront by the docks.

        Los Osos on the way to Montana de Oro St Park has a very mellow Farmer's Mkt on Mondays 2:30-4:30. One of my favorite in the county. Cute little town and you can get a good coffee drink & snack at the coffee house right next to the bay. Also a great bakery in Los Osos, right on the main road, (take Los Osos Valley Rd exit from 101 north from Lopez and keep on goin') Carlock's is open Tues-Sat with huge selection of standard bakery items. Their Chewy Chocolate cookies (you know the ones) are FABulous. Betcha can't eat just one! and the prices are very reasonable.

        Have fun!