When travelling, our food strategy usually consists of critically studying Yelp reviews and, better yet, asking local winery or wine shop staff for restaurant suggestions. The important thing is that we like the wine selection and the person we’re talking to. This strategy has never failed us so far. In Paso Robles, most of our restaurant suggestions came from Taylor Munks of Epoch Estate Wines, and his advice worked better than Yelp!
For fresh seafood, Taylor advised us to go to Pier 46 Seafood in the small town of Templeton. This unpretentious cafe and fish market serves unparalleled Ahi tacos (my gourmet husband says they’re the best he’s ever had!) and delicious clam chowder, as well as various fish sandwiches and salads from locally sourced fish. Some menu items were sold out at 2 pm, when we arrived, which is of course a good sign. The staff was very friendly, the line was long enough to get us in the hungriest mode, and the atmosphere was jovial and casual.
Fish Gaucho is a downtown place in Paso for excellent seasonal margaritas – watermelon and mint in the summer, pomegranate in the winter (pictured above). There are also perennial versions with jarred jalapeno, very likely to appeal to my other, more adventurous, half. The food doesn’t come particularly cheap in this spacious and stylish, if a little sterile, Mexican restaurant but is definitely fresh and well-prepared.
15 degrees C Wine Shop & Bar in Templeton is a place to go for interesting small-production local wines or beers (or any of the international ones from an extensive list) and a pulled pork sandwich. The small place with a relaxed and homey feel, slow service and a touristy appeal sells wines by bottle and by the glass, as well as beers, delicatessen, and various (pricey) crafts by local artists.
A great brunch at Artisan, a stylish restaurant with a creative menu, concluded our visit to Paso Robles. Expect a chic twist on Southern home cooking, a real sense of seasonality and the staff who knows the menu by heart and gets you excited about their favorite dishes. Delicious shrimp and grits and wood-fired pizza with blue cheese, duck and peaches left a fantastic aftertaste of our stay in Paso Robles, long enough to last for a five-hour drive home.
Svelte in the Heat – on Paso Robles wineries