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Best Airport Food? - try Paso Robles

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On the way over to the coast last Saturday we stopped at Matthew's at the Airport. I'd been previously by myself about a month earlier and had their tasty crab cakes. At that time I'd asked what some of the favorites on the menu were and was told of their lobster flan, and that it requires about 20 min. to prepare.

Shortly after we passed Cholame I phoned and asked them to start an order of the flan for us to share, billed on the menu as Savory Flan in a flaky pastry shell, lobster and thyme, roasted corn cut off the cob, roasted red peppers and grilled asparagus in a savory custard (@10.00). The buttery and flaky puff pastry was on top of a pool of milk-chocolate colored brown sauce with drizzles of a very dark brown reduction of 15 yr old balsamic at the four N,S,E,W compass points on the plate. I asked about the brown sauce which was very mild but had a richness to it. We were told it was made from lobster stock reduced and finished with cognac. Very tasty without masking the great lobster flavor of the dish.

We shared a bowl of the Wild Mushroom Bisque (4.50) and two entrees, the Dijon and pistachio encrusted Halibut filet, sautéed in lemon, white wine and butter, finished in the oven. Served with saffron basmati rice and a seasonal vegetable. Perfectly cooked nice piece of fish, tasty rice and a few asparagus spears. We also shared the $100,000 cheeseburger, nice juicy and flavorful beef patty with swiss (can opt for gorgonzola, cheddar, or American) served on focacia. The soup was pretty good, I would have preferred some slices of mushroom rather than the puree, but a minor point. We were going to pass on dessert, but hearing about the espresso creme brulle served in a chocolate shell with a scopp of chocolate espresso ice cream, we had to try it. Very good and presented with a thin cookie shaped like a flattened tablespoon with a chocolate drizzle that stood on its edge across the creme brulle and anchored in the ice cream. I had a glass of Matthew's Sauvignon Blanc (7.00) which was great with the halibut. Total pre t/t was $47. Somewhat of a splurge but well worth it. I may have to forgo my backroad route through Shell Creek Rd and Hwy 58 in the future just to have lunch here.

Service was very good, even though our waitress was new on the job. Should also mention how friendly the folks coming and going were both times. Pilots and passengers wave and say hello to whomever happens to be dining on the patio. There are nice tables with linen inside, but when the weather's as nice as it's been, the shaded patio is a perfect spot.

There is a separate space inside across the interior walkway that has a deli and wine bar. Chef Matthew Riley also provides catering for local wineries and community events.

Westbound on Hwy 46, they're located off Airport Rd (first right after 46 becomes 4 lanes), about two miles north.

Matthews At The Airport
4900 Wing Way

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  1. I'll second this. By far the best airport restairant I've ever been to.

    1. gosh, it's only an hour away, and never been. Thanks to this account, I'll make it a point! Thanks for the great report.

      I love to eat at small airports too. One of my favorites is the 2-9er Diner in Petaluma. More casual menu, but great food and you eat right next to the taxiway.

      Now if the Air Races would only have decent food.

      1. Sounds good, but the location is EAST bound on Route 46 from Highway 101. (Not "westbound" unless you mean coming from Highway 5??)

        Sounds like the perfect culinary spot for those traveling north to south on 101. Thanks for your very good report.

        2 Replies
        1. re: glbtrtr

          Oopps... should have made that more clear, off of westbound 46 if you're east of 101. If you're on 101, need to head EAST on 46 about 3-4 mi just as the 4 lane ends. Thanks for the pointer glbtrtr.

          1. re: glbtrtr

            Good distinction. The route between 101 in south Paso and 1 (to just below Cambria) is called '46 West'. Could be confusing to someone new to the area.

          2. Polar Bear,

            Thanks for your very informative posts. I really enjoy your perspective and the exposure you give to so many interesting spots around California.