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Driving from SF to Santa Barbara - Eating ideas on the road trip down?

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I'm driving down from San Francisco on a Friday night around 4/4:30pm down to Santa Barbara and hoping to get some ideas on a place to stop on my way (Taking the 101 S). Would like to stop after a few hours in..but want something that is near a highway and wouldn't take an extremely long time, but is delicious!

Any thoughts?

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  1. Taco trucks on Market St. in Salinas
    http://www.chow.com/stories/10609
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/409977 - June 2007 crawl

    Cuatro Hemanos in Soledad

    Taqueria Las Fuentes in Greenfield

    El Lugarcito or La Ponteranca in King City

    Thai Basil on the Park or Los Robles on Spring St. in Paso Robles

    Pier 46 Seafood Market in Templeton

    Bon Temps Creole Cafe at the Hwy 1 North entrance to 101 in SLO

    Steak bits at the bar at McClintock's in Shell Beach

    La Tapatia Market on 13th St. in Grover Beach

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    Bon Temps Creole Cafe
    1000 Olive St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

    Taqueria Las Fuentes
    331 El Camino Real, Greenfield, CA 93927

    El Lugarcito Restaurant
    128 Broadway St, King City, CA 93930

    Los Robles Cafe
    1420 Spring St, Paso Robles, CA 93446

    La Tapatia Market
    504 Brown St, Napa, CA 94559

    Pier 46 Seafood
    1131 Rossi Rd, Templeton, CA 93465

    1. Mo's BBQ in Pismo Beach for Philthy Phil's ribs
      Bahama Grille in Salinas for Key Lime Pie

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      Bahama Grille
      42 W Gabilan St, Salinas, CA 93901

      1. For a pre-dinner snack, Doc Burnsteins' Ice Cream in the village of Arroyo Grande, 10 minutes south of San Luis Obiospo, (90 minutes north of SB) and 90 seconds east of 101 at the Grand Ave exit in AG.
        Super-premium ice creams in the usual and some custom flavors. Intense! Old soda fountain atmosphere.

        1. Don't forget the BLT sandwich and home made blue cheese dressing salad at the one-of-its-kind Madonna Inn at their Copper Cafe south of San Luis Obispo.

          Top that over the top kitsch place with one of their homemade pies and you won't need another meal the whole day.

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          Madonna Inn
          100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

          3 Replies
          1. re: glbtrtr

            three words: Banana. Cream. Pie.
            huge chunks of bananas, real custard and fresh whipped cream. Simple and amazing.

            but the venue--cringe--better suited to either Disneyland or the circus. Really, really shameful "architecture" and styling.

            Kitsch on a Ritz, in florescent PINK.

            1. re: toodie jane

              Toodie, hate to leave the impression Madonna Inn is cheap kitsch. It is very high quality, premium, well-executed kitsch. Like its food. Kitschy choices from menus days gone by, but they do execute them as well, as they do all their high-end frou frou decor.

              It is a place that is both quirky and well-loved. And the guiding hand of what appears to be one of the owner (a stout looking older woman) surveys the place during working hours to make sure her Madonna Inn kitsch ..... rocks.

              It is your crazy aunt's pink-hued attic, who did have impeccable taste for what was crazy. And pink. And copper, and glowing and twinkling, and holiday spirited and just plain fun.

              The picture worth a 1000 more words: http://www.madonnainn.com/coppercafe.php

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              Madonna Inn
              100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

              1. re: glbtrtr

                And, in California it's the closest thing artistically to a full-blown Japanese love hotel.

          2. Via Maestra 42 in Santa Barbara on State Street....a small, quaint cafe with some of the BEST italian food I have ever eaten....that being said my family is from Italy :) I love the Spaghetti Carbonara, Spinach Ravioli, and for dessert homemade Pannacotta.....yummmy!! Enjoy!

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            Via Maestra 42
            3343 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105