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Jul 12, 2008 12:40 PM

Lunch in Paso Robles?

I'm driving from Napa to Santa Barbara next Friday and would like to stop in Paso Robles for lunch. Any chowhound recommendations for a fun and delicious place to go?

Thanks very much.

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  1. Artisan is great -we've been twice for lunch and are looking forward to trying dinner there next month. They have a magical way with soups - I had the best corn chowder on our first visit.

    1. I heartily second the Artisan rec! I've always enjoyed their food at both lunch and dinner.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sgbslo

        Thanks much for the recommendations. Artisan it will be for lunch.

      2. Don't overlook McPhee's in Templeton, south of Paso. I find their food MUCH better, and more reasonably priced than Artisan.

        1 Reply
        1. re: designjb

          I like McPhee's quite a bit as well but don't find their lunches nearly as strong as the dinners. An issue is the menu rarely changes or has anything new particularly at lunch. I do find McPhee's very comforting. There are some really good staple items there like the tostada with whatever fish is current or the pulled pork sandwich. The double cut pork chop is yabba dabba doo sized and fantastic (particularly if you split it). But I find much more often that I have to be in the McPhee's mood to go there. I also was really bummed when they stopped the draft beers and went all bottles. We really enjoyed a cold draft there. The prices I also find pretty comparable. It is quite easy to hit a $30 entree at McPhee's for one of the fish or steak dishes.

          At Artisan, I find myself pleasantly surprised much more often. There is something new and different on the menu every time I go. Every friend we have taken there have felt the same way.

          You won't go wrong at either place but I think calling McPhee's MUCH better is overstating things a bit.

          To add to the mix, on a hot day I really enjoy the patio with a nice glass of Rose at Petite Marcel (at Bistro Laurent). The Provencal tarts and pizzas are really nice as is the Croque type stuff. I had a smoked chicken sandwich with melted fine cheese that was truly memorable.