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Big Sky Cafe - San Luis Obispo

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I feel guilty! I so want to love this place - it has such a nice feel, friendly staff and valiant attempts at interesting food, but it just didn't do it for me. I ordered a roasted lamb shank, and it was fabulous - succulent, fall of the bone - all that stuff...and the seasoning was great. But it was served with potato/zucchini latkes that were terrible. The combination of of the latkes with the lamb just didn't work, and the flavor of the latkes themselves were just off. My daughter ordered a vegetarian tagine dish - it was served over lemon couscous. The couscous was fab (it would have been great with the lamb!), but the vegetables were mushy and and odd combo with the couscous. We both started with a house salad that was topped with candied pecans, but they were a overly peppery and the balsamic dressing was creamy, way too cold, and came on the side in a plastic cup. The dessert was chocolate cake - not gooey as the menu stated, but the waiter was kind enough to add the dollop of whipped cream I requested, so I'll get over it! I probably will go back - I feel I need to give it a second chance, just because I think the potential is there and I may really hit on something fab!

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  1. Don't feel bad. I went to school in SLO and people always talked to highly of Big Sky. I think over 5 years I went twice... and the second time was to see if it would change my mind from the first visit. They try hard and the menu items sound wonderful, but something gets lost from menu to kitchen. I tried it for breakfast and lunch and both meals were okay, but left me a little unfulfilled.

    1. I'm with you both on this. I wanted to like Big Sky, and it had its wonderful moments, but sometimes it was really mediocre, too. In the end, I usually went someplace else where I knew I'd have a good breakfast.

      In an earlier thread on breakfast places on the Central Coast, I (and others) described our experiences with Big Sky. It deals with other restaurants, too, but you'll find some references to Big Sky scattered throughout the thread:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/306114

      1. Another vote for no on Big Sky. I grew up in SLO and never really cared for it. I went once and had a very unmemorable meal and never went back. The whole "healthy" vibe of the place kind of turned me off to begin with, as far as I'm concerned healthy food and tasty food are mutually exclusive things.

        1. I live in SLO and frequent Big Sky often. I think the key to enjoying this restaurant is in knowing what to order (and what not to order). Some of their salads, soups, sandwiches, breakfast items and side dishes (e.g., sweet potato fries) are usually excellent and aren't all that expensive. I think the entrees are more hit or miss and cost considerably more.

          They have a decent selection of local wines by the glass and Firestone Walker and Sierra Nevada beers on tap so these are pluses also.

          1. As a local I have visited big sky in quite a few times and always had a pleasant experience. The wine selection is good, and I have enjoyed every entree that I recall ordering. However, there are some things at big sky that just don't deliver. I remember being excited for the bread pudding after dinner, and it was not that great... not as moist as bread pudding should be. Also, a friend of mine ordered the Gumbo Yaya and was disappointed. I still recommend it to friends and fellow chow hounds.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chickendud

              The funny thing about Big Sky is that people who don't like it are sometimes vehement in their opinions. I had a date once who refused to eat here beciuase she said that she did not like their attempts to mix different types of ingredients in their dishes.
              I, personally, enjoy eating here and have had many good meals. Having said that, there are some dishes that I do not like. For instance, in their breakfas menu they have an omelet with blue cheese that is just toooo overpowering. My date in this instance ate it but said she would not order it again. I enjoy their buttermilk pancakes,which have a strong buttermilk flavor and are served with real maple syrup. Their bacon is thick cut and delicious. Their servers are interesting. The last time I ate here, we had a server who was attentive but would disappear at critical times.

            2. I moved away from SLO 5 years ago and miss Big Sky so badly. The combination of interesting flavors, local ingredients, reasonable prices, friendly service and a congenial atmosphere...you just don't find that every day.

              Some of their dishes are hits and some are misses, but there is always something I like on the menu.

              1. You have all seemed to re-iterate exactly how i was feeling...thanks for letting me get beyond my guilt! I'll certainly give it another shot, but will stay away from the eclectic flavor combos. Thanks, everyone!