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Jun 1, 2010 08:11 AM

Maegan Loring opens "Neon Carrot" in SLO

Chef Maegan Loring, whose restaurant The Park closed a few years ago, has opened a new cafe at 3536 South Higuera, just south of Prado road, called "The Neon Carrot".

Open from 8am to 3 pm, M-F. The menu on the website doesn't indicate b'fast items.

Will investigate and report back.

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  1. That sure is a sparce menu! even if there is a breakfast page omited- the lunch is very limited. Glad to see her back in the mix!

    4 Replies
    1. re: OldJalamaMama

      The menu is admittedly limited, but nicely varied. There are always a few daily specials which help round it out and provide serendipitous variety as well. I have to admit that the housemade desserts will get a good sampling from me! Most the menu items are under $10, but you'd go over that by ordering a side salad, soup or dessert to go with your sandwich or main dish. If the protion size of the burger is any indication, you'd not go away hungry by just ordering a main item.

      The cafe is located on South Higuera, in area of town a few miles (3?) south of the downtown core, in a narrow strip of industrial/commercial that runs parallel to the freeway from Madonna Rd to Los Osos Valley Rd (and which includes a small area of retail , Tj's and Foof Maxx). There are VERY few lunch food options in the area. I think it will continue to be the area favorite at the lunch hour.

      Stopped in yesterday for lunch. It's a small space, and it was swamped at the noon hour. Just opened, the room itself needs some tweaking to soften it and bring down the decibel level. (think heavy--but very comfy--wooden chairs constantly scraping against sealed concrete floors.) I hope the owners will be able to add such ambiance amenties as things progress. It was so busy yesterday at 12:10, that I got my order to go and found a shady parking spot on a side street across Higuera. With a serene view of the east hills, I relished my Hearst Ranch burger in peace.

      Great burger! Passed the no-moist-condiments-needed test with flying colors. Nice semi-sweetish challah-style bun which held up very nicely to the moist burger. Red ripe tomato slice, dark leafy green lettuce and choice of food condiments (I chose carmelized onions and Provolone cheese) made this a near perfect burger.

      1. re: toodie jane

        Nice- thanks for the direct info on location- my in-laws own Rancho Grande Motors- and that will be a very appreciated tip to pass on!

        The burger description alone has me wanting to take a drive north- we are awaiting Fresco (yes it is related to the Fresco in SB & Goleta) opening here in Solvang, as well as Mannys Mexican re-opening in a new location.

        1. re: OldJalamaMama

          jm let me know when you're coming and I'll meet you! any excuse for a trip to NC. It's sort of off my beaten path so I forget about it.

          1. re: toodie jane

            I would love that...give me a few weeks to secure some free time! Again- I would love that!

    2. Just had lunch at Neon Carrot today. We had the specials of cauliflower soup with truffle oil and three flat iron steak tacos with a salsa rojo. Both choices were fresh and delicious. The specials do round out the menu nicely. No room for dessert unfortunately. At 2:30 the little place was still hopping, Maegan truly has a loyal following. They have added a Friday Night Happy Hour from 4-8p.m. with a different theme each week.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PattyOh

        dessert to go! that chocolate pudding is fabulous, as is the carrot cake.

      2. I have not yet made it into SLO during lunch to check out the Neon Carrot, but i saw this complimentary review in the tribune yesterday.

        1. Couldn't wait to get to SLO again to try Neon Carrot on TJ's high recommendations-it didn't disappoint. My baby girl graduated from Cal Poly this weekend, so there won't be many more trips in the near future to SLO from Lake Tahoe, but I would most definitely would make another trip to the Neon Carrot the next time I find myself in the area. Daughter had the burger-perfectly done to a nice pink, thick slice of yellow tomato, along with the usual veggies. I believe housemade catsup, as well. Really outstanding. I had the grilled romaine with grilled chicken and asked them to add avocado, which they did for $1. The creme fraiche-blue cheese dressing was tart and creamy - everything about this salad was perfect. It is a loud space, and altho they've added panels to the ceiling and hung thick drapes along the wall, it is still quite noisy. Difficult to hold a conversation. The place was packed at 1:30, but the lines moved efficiently and the wait was brief. Try this place - you'll love it!

          Neon Carrot
          3536 S Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401