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Oct 18, 2010 11:11 AM

Tuesday Night Dinner in Avila Beach

Going to be in Avila Beach just tomorrow night for dinner.


If not Avila Beach, where near by to eat a good, healthy, affordable meal?

Pismo maybe?


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  1. Gardens of Avila has always been a nice choice at Sycamore Mineral Springs.
    Too bad that McPhee's at Avila has closed.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Bruce in SLO

      Custom House in Avila is pretty good. If you do go into Pismo and want a casual meal, The Cracked Crab is very good in downtown Pismo. In Shell Beach we love Lido @ the Dolphin Bay Resort and Marisol at The Cliffs where we have stayed twice. If you like BBQ food, check out McClinock's. :)

      Custom House
      404 Front St, Grover Beach, CA 93433

      Cracked Crab
      751 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

      1. re: syrahgirl

        No one can mention Pismo Beach without me cheerleading for our favorite: Mo's BBQ and his Philthy Phil ribs in downtown Pismo on the main street to the wharf.

        1. re: syrahgirl

          Have been pretty disappointed in The Old Custom House in the past year or two. Have things changed for the good?

          OP--where did you go? Give us a bite-by-bite!

          1. re: toodie jane

            Custom House
            Not Very good at all
            Just average
            shame really, such a beautiful setting, solid menu, but the food really does not measure up to the descriptions
            service was great, however

            1. re: Enorah

              Thanks for the report back - it is such an engaging setting. What a disappointment but looks like some of our local Hounders had it pegged, just like you found it. I can see why you needed to try it though, just to make sure. Particularly an interesting location when the sea lions have taken over all the lower steps of the pier. What did you order? Can it be counted on for at least fish and chips and a beer?

      2. Spent three days just over a week ago and found some pleasant surprises in the area. First night while I was at a stag wine tasting at CioPinot in SLO Lady PolarBear enjoyed a tasty Halibut dinner at the Custom House. She reported that the salmon looked very good and that it was caught locally. We took advantage of the Sr. $5 breakfast there the next morning and were both quite pleased with our eggs over easy, hers with two large thick slab cut pieces of smoky bacon, mine with a nice quality large sausage patty, decent home fries and pair of pancakes. We also split a half order of biscuits and gravy which were OK.

        Ended up having a late lunch due to the large breakfast. Picked up a couple of calamari salads (6) from the Olde Port fish market that were outrageously good, Asian flavors of sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, pickled seaweed, what looked like thinly sliced Thai Bird chiles. The calamari was thin strips from a steak, yellow from a marinade perhaps with orangish edges, addictive. Learned that it is supplied from some place in LA, would love to learn the source. Grabbed a halibut taco from Pete's Pierside and headed for the sun deck at the hotel overlooking the bay. Hard to beat.

        Second nights dinner was Gardens of Avila where we shared the Halibut and the Lamb loin, both well prepared, For an app we ordered the Mediterranean Plate which was three separate dips served with warm soft pita slices, hummus, tzatziki, and a red papper one that I hadn't heard of (started with an "m", iirc) and had a slightly sweet note. Loved the spicing of the hummus and the cool refreshing cucumber and yogurt of the tzatziki. We both absolutely loved the sliced baguette that was served, learned it was from Hush Harbor Bakery and Cafe in Atascadero, ended up getting a half dozen loaves on our way home to share with family and friends.

        For breakfast the next morning we headed for Seaside Cafe and Bakery in Shell Beach. Fantastic Greek Eggs Benedict, tomato, feta cheese, and one of the best house made hollandaise sauces I've ever tasted. Tim the owner was most helpful and informative. Picked up a rocky road brownie for she who must have chocolate.

        For lunch it was back to the OPFM, more calamari salad and some smoked salmon, little wine on the rooftop sun deck, and all was right in the world.

        For our last dinner we met an old pal at Gennaro's in SLO, a relatively new place that does both Italian and Cuban fare. The three of us shared the roasted beet salad which consisted of 3 large round slabs of tasty beets, yellow pear tomatos, julliened red pepper, parmesan shavings and a champagne vinaigrette, very nice. We also split a pepperoni and sausage pizza that was quite good. For a main I had the Linguini di Mare, housemade noodles with clams, mussels, and a white fish, my companions had the Roasted Pork ala Cubana and were very pleased.

        The last morning went down the block to the Avila Grocery and Deli for a half order of their biscuits and gravy which I liked more than the version at CH, mainly because the biscuit wasn't as dense. Since we left around lunch time we stopped in SLO at Genarro's to pick up a Cubano sandwich to share which was excellent. Can't make any comparisons since this was my first Cubano but I'd order it again.

        Gennaro's Grill & Garden
        450 Marsh St
        San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
        (805) 782-9999

        Custom House
        404 Front St, Grover Beach, CA 93433

        Pete's Pierside Cafe
        39 Avila Beach Road, Avila Beach, CA 93424

        5 Replies
        1. re: PolarBear

          too bad you missed the warm weather-74 today.

          1. re: PolarBear

            Great report and you created one more reason for another road trip in our own backcountry to track down these goodies ourselves, esp the OPFM prepared salads because that is such a haunting spot. We love going there but did not have good initial impressions of the dining choices.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Agree completely, we haven't been in the restaurant for a number of years and I was considering giving them another shot for apps and a glass of wine but after discovering that salad and smoked salmon in the fish market that idea washed away with the tide.

              Neglected to mention we stopped at the little place on the left just as you head out on the pier and picked up a couple of dozen fresh oysters from Willapa Bay to bring home. Big, meaty, and tasting of the sea.

              1. re: PolarBear

                Tell me more about this roof top deck -- is this on the pier itself on top of the fish market or at a hotel where you were staying elsewhere. If on the pier, how do you get up to this deck? Thanks.

                1. re: glbtrtr

                  It's the Inn at Avila Beach the next block east of Joe Momma's Coffee and the grocery/deli. Stairs from the 3rd floor on either end, it has three sections for lounging with bars, couches, etc, and a few small tables and couple of BBQ grills, and hammocks that line the open bay side, perfect for picking up goodies and a bottle of wine for the most scenic lunch or dinner in town.