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Pismo Beach Area

My hubby and I are headed to Pismo for 5 days and I would love some suggestion for good eats.


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  1. Mo's BBQ in downtown Pismo

    McLintocks at the funky bar for their "Skillet Potatoes and Cheese" and "Steak Pieces" appetizers which will fill you up plenty saving you money, crowds, waiting and over-kill portions.

    Apples in See Canyon to take back home - go all the way out to Gopher Glen Farms

    10 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      We went out to Gopher Glen a couple weeks ago and it was rather underwhelming. Basically just a small apple/cider stand way out at the end of the canyon. Nothing much else to see or do there.

      On the way back though we stopped at the place that is right off the freeway (just past Avila Hot Springs) and it was packed with tourists. I have to say its much more interesting since they have some live animals and a lot of different kinds of produce (although the produce itself didn't look like anything you couldn't find at a local supermarket).

      IMO, Gopher Glen is not really worth it although its kind of a nice drive if you want to see See Canyon.

      1. re: mliew

        One goes to Gopher Glen to buy apples. It was not intended to be an entertainment destination. It was recommended as a foodie stop to take a variety of local apples home.

        1. re: glbtrtr

          Right, the thing is that in the local paper they seem to give the impression that it's more of an entertainment destination and not really just a store that sells apples and apple products. I guess that's the biggest issue I had with it.

          1. re: mliew

            (Snicker) Some of us find that many varieties of apple choices entertaining.

            Particularly if one has read one of Michal Pollen's first books "Botany of Desire" which tells you things about the history of apples that elevate this common food to high drama.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              The interesting thing is that Avila Barn (kiddee destination) and Gopher Glen have the same owner. So you can have it either way.

        2. re: mliew

          I went to Gopher Glen yesterday and I am glad it is not packed with animals to look at etc. Got some awesome apples, wax beans, squash and cider. Sorry the paper mislead you, that must have been disappointing for you. I am glad for the peace and quiet

          1. re: LisaN

            As much as I love the choice of apples at Gopher Glen (recent Jonalicious were delicious), we also bought a basket of very lovely looking peaches they had on display even though they are not known as peach growers. They were perfectly terrible to the very last one we opened: pulpy, dry cottony, totally devoid of even a hint of peach flavor, yet they looked so lovely from the outside.

            I need to exercise better peach picking skills. I should have "felt" it for proper moisture weight and smelled it for aroma. I didn't and I lost. Luckily, they were cheaper than perhaps they should have been had they been "real" peaches. But money for nothing is still no bargain.

            Buyer Beware. I thought they would uphold quality there, so it was sadly disappointing to buy outside their expertise.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Sorry to hear that, but you have to realize, they can't sample every branch of every tree, its nature. Maybe they sampled some from the tree and they were fine and you happened to get the bad branch.

              1. re: glbtrtr

                mighty darned late for good peaches, even late ones. We've had some very erratic weather since mid-August--fog, cool nights, two weeks ago 5" of rain. Then cool , now heat again.

                Very hard on ripening fruit.

                You can always ask for a sample--they will gladly cut one open for you to try.

                I've had some awesome organically grown peaches out of See Canyon earlier this summer--got them at the wonderful Rutiz Farms farmstand on The Pike, just off Halcyon in Arroyo Grande. Jerry brings them in from a grower friend of his in the Canyon. If you are ever up this way, be sure to stop by Rutiz Farns. Their stand is open on Tues 1-5 and Fri 1-5, and Sat 1-5 during summer.(till dusk in winter) They sell weekly at the Santa Monica FM too. Nice, nice people.


          2. re: glbtrtr

            Got food to go from Mo's on Monday eve. The rib combo was excellent! I'm not one who likes to eats ribs in public, but would have been able to without feeling like an animal. The sauces were great, and my hubby really enjoyed the potato salad. I had no room.

            Thanks for the recommendation!

          3. Splash Cafe for chowder, Rosa's for Italian dinners, Thai Talay for good Thai, especially the Curried Prawns. Many choices. Good burgers at the Longboard on Price Street.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bruce in SLO

              Ditto to all except Splash Cafe for chowder - underwhelmed, especially it's ability to stand a spoon! Need to add Buona Tavolo (great Italian dinners) and Bon Temps Creole Cafe (yummy breakfasts) in SLO.

            2. TheOld Vienna does an Oktoberfest with specials -- don't know when they start their "October".

              4 Replies
              1. re: glbtrtr

                Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately Oktoberfest starts on Friday the 18th, the same day we head home.

                  1. re: toodie jane

                    Never did see a post that recommended anything there, learned that they were not related to the one in Ventura so never made the effort.

                    1. re: PolarBear

                      their schnitzle and sausages were pretty good. Good selection of German Beer on tap. Their "struedel" was not.

              2. Doc Bernstein's Ice Cream in the village of Arroyo Grnade, for super-premium ice cream and toy trains.

                Longboard's burgers at Wadsworth and Price in PB. Great chow.

                Head down to Oceano, a funky (not much real funk left around here as it turns into a tourist destination) farm town for good tacos and on Sundays, menudo with tortillas hecho a mano. Cheap but good. Several spots along Cienega (Highway 1) but forget Chachos. ugh.

                Thai Talay used to be quite good in Pismo, corner of Hinds and Price. Haven't been there in a few years. Good wine list.

                See Canyon Rd. apple farms are in full swing. Don't miss the cider. Off San Luis Bay DRive, west of 101 near Avila Beach. Then follow SC rd all the way up the canyon and over the top to Perfumo Cyn Rd. Heart-stopping views of the Morro Valley and Morro BAy coastline from the top.

                2 Replies
                1. re: toodie jane

                  Heading up that way for apples this week after our now requisite stop at La Simpatia in Guadalupe. Thanks for the extended "over the top" road trip suggestion. You always send us in the right direction, toodie.

                  1. 15 Minute drive to Jocko's in Nipomo for the best Santa Maria style BBQ.
                    Make sure you go after 4pm when the oak pit is open and I'd suggest making a reservation.

                    (805) 929-3565‎

                    Jocko's Steak House
                    Old Hwy 101, Nipomo, CA 93444

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: rquitaso

                        Large steak sandwich for me. A one pound rib eye on top of 2 huge slices of their garlic toast.
                        Man I wish I were there.

                    1. You might consider going to some of the farm stands up among the Cambria coastal canyons,(Santa Rosa Ck. Rd) if you feel the 'tourist trap' vibe of Avila Barn is too much. Depending on the days of your stay, there are some great Farmer's Mkts along the coast too.

                      Monday 2:30 to 4 is Baywood Park, a charming town at the south end of Morro Bay inlet. Take Los Osos Vlly Rd out to South Bay Blvd, turn left at Santa Ynez, then down to 2nd street, turn left go 2 blocks to the market.

                      Wed afternoon is Morro Bay, on North Main (which is a frontage rd to Highway1), in front of Spencer's Fresh Market, near Taco Temple.

                      Fri afternoon is Cambria near the Vet's hall in West Village.

                      Thurs night is the infamous 'street fair' in downtown SLO. Some folks think it's fun, but this week, all the incoming freshman from Poly will be gumming up the works.

                      SLO's Sat morning market is far more food-intense; Sat at 8:00 a.m. at the shopping cneter along Madonna Rd (Embassy Suites) Many local family farm producers--everything from cheese to meat and seafood, with lots of veggies and flowers.

                      here's a link: http://www.californiawineryadvisor.co...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: toodie jane

                        Is La Familia pumpkin farm still there? We went a couple years ago and want to go tomorrow. We plan on going to La Familia then Gopher Glenf or Apples

                        1. re: LisaN

                          Yes, open daily! They tore down the old sheds and built a very sturdy, more weather-proof one which is not quite the same ambiance, but the nice family is still there, the spooky "jail" and paths through the woods at the creek, animals, etc. They grew some monster Dill's Atlantic this year too.

                          Pretty hot right now--bring plenty of cool drinks for the kidlets. 88 on my patio near Santa Maria right now.

                          Have fun!!

                          For ice cream treats, Doc Bernstein's in village of Arroyo Grande, old time soda fountain and trains running, as well as kid's movies, and a window to watch them make their super-premium ice cream. They have several sesonal flavors now too for Fall.

                          Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab
                          114 W Branch St, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

                          1. re: toodie jane

                            Awesome! Ya it was 96 down here today, not exactly cool apple and pumpkin weather, but oh well!

                            1. re: LisaN

                              cooler today at 8:00 am by 10 degrees

                      2. In the historic village of Arroyo Grande on Grand Ave (not too far from Pismo) is a newish wine bar called "Gather", nice for a change of pace from the Pismo scene.