Something special happens when you throw veggies in a smoker.Read More
Did you go to elementary school with a Star Wars lunchbox? You're probably an '80s kid. Walking into the new Nautical Bean may cause some funny side effects for you (besides the desired amount of caffeination). Expect waves of nostalgia, especially when looking at a south facing wall plastered with pictures of Chewbacca, the Misfits, and David Bowie.Read More
I only have to look to the Sidecar Cocktail Co. tiki drink before me to understand that the ripples of time are laced with waves of whiskey and rum. Prohibition, slavery, taxes, war: These darker stories run in tandem with the booze, as do the iconic love stories, religious rites, adventures, wakes, and exuberant cultural celebrations.Read More
Back in fall of 2013, you'd find winemaker Nicole Bertotti Pope tending the hillside vines of Cambria's coastal Stolo Family Vineyards all by her lonesome. Well, that's not exactly true. Her newborn baby boy, Grayson, would hang from her body, watching the fog roll in from the Pacific Ocean below, less than 3 miles from the vines.Read More
The neon green school bus is parked on a sleepy residential street in Los Osos, but it would be better suited for a groovy 1970s music festival. There are no seats inside, only racks of budding greenery. Aside from the edible plants, it carries just two passengers. Both are garden gnomes.Read More
I’ve stepped out of reality and into a full-body beekeeper’s outfit. It might as well be a spacesuit. Instead of holding a tiny American flag in the middle of space, I’m clutching a pole hooked around a tree branch suspended 4 feet above my head.
Hovering on that branch? A massive swarm of boisterous, buzzing wild bees.Read More
Behind every so-called “tourist” town, there lies a real, thriving life force. This is something Avila Beach residents know well. Beneath the façade of this perfect little beach getaway, you’ll find a quirky place where artists, surfers, winemakers (and yes, retirees) mingle.Read More
What words would you use to describe a carrot to an alien from a distant planet? Orange? Crunchy? Nutritious?
By comparison, Planted owner/chef Jessie Essen, 26, sees the humble vegetable through a multi-dimensional kaleidoscope that knows no earthy definition. See, there’s a ho-hum carrot, and then, there’s a carrot sautéed with spices, sprinkled with flaky sea salt, and roasted with love.Read More
Craig Wilson has a knack for making things grow.
Not just guava trees, lavender, strawberries, or native grasses—which, with the help of his team, he does grow prolifically. The green thumb also facilitates real growth in the hearts and minds of his staff, many of whom are on the long and winding road to mental health recovery.Read More
Silva Brewing Company isn’t “easy” to find, and that’s not a bad thing.
In a corporate world that, more and more, aims to dumb down and homogenize our food and beverage choices, California’s craft beer scene continues to experience a defiant and jubilant renaissance. Will this craft beer explosion ever end? Not if legendary brewer Chuck Silva and his spunky wife, Mary Jo, have anything to do with it.Read More
A wiry and wild-eyed acrylic painting of Iggy Pop overlooks the fermentation room nestled in the corner of Libertine Brewing Company’s newly expanded Broad Street location. The combination tasting room-restaurant-taproom-coffee shop is cavernous—coming in at a little less than 10,000-square-feet—but this is really “where the magic happens.”Read More
These days, soda is deemed a four-letter word. Sugary, fizzy pop is blamed for everything from childhood obesity and diabetes to rotting the teeth right out of our heads.Read More
The rain is coming down fast and slick, but it’s warm, dry, and cozy inside the San Luis Obispo Guild Hall. The air is thick with the smell of ginger and jujube tea, dark chocolate peanut butter balls, and spicy jalapeños. Karli and Curtis Twisselman stand in the center of the room, holding mason jars full of their flavorful handmade salsas.Read More
“You can’t mess up a good steak” is a comment that Chef Jensen Lorenzen fundamentally disagrees with.
First, the meat’s got to come to room temperature before you even think about cooking it. Then, you’ve got to pat it dry, lest you mess with the important caramelization process. Next, toss on a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper (Lorenzen hates to break it to you, but seasoning ahead of time only creates a tough, dense dinner).Read More
For anyone who’s tried to cook the perfect romantic Valentine’s Day dinner—and dealt with the stress and anxiety that inevitably follows—Danior Kitchen Catering owner/chef Spencer Johnston has a word of advice.
Just stop it.Read More
Adult rule for keeping your sanity: Don’t believe everything you see in Martha Stewart Living magazine. Like me, you probably find yourself throwing up your hands and exclaiming, “Who has the time?” when you come across glossy spreads showcasing make-your-own candy recipes.Read More
There’s the design term “industrial chic”—clean, corrugated metal, intentionally exposed ceilings—and then there’s straight-up industrial. As in: located in a true industrial space, surrounded on all sides by, well, industry. Café Fiero definitely reps the latter. Located on Fiero Lane in one of SLO’s most bustling industrial parks, this new café represents a beacon of deliciousness amid warehouses, tech offices, and medical buildings. At Café Fiero, fresh, fast eats are plentiful, and the Thai beef potato curry is always hot.Read More
From the outside, the home of Six Test Kitchen looks like a humble suburban garage nestled against a welcoming Arroyo Grande home. There’s the traditional green lawn, an unassuming driveway—absolutely nothing to indicate what’s going on inside.Read More
Charlie Puffer is the kind of guy you want tending bar. He's got big stories, bigger hand gestures, and a big, bold Chicago accent that's as exotic as it is engaging. After years of owning and working in bars in some of the noisiest cities (Los Angeles and Chicago) the entrepreneur found a new calling. It's a story as old as time around these parts. Guy finds good wine. Guy falls for good wine. Guy moves to the Central Coast to be closer to the unique and alluring wine region.Read More
Other people’s “healthy” holiday resolutions always tend to bum me out. A good friend wants to lose 10 pounds in 10 days or a well-meaning relative wants to “quit carbs” for some vague reason. I’m all for making healthy decisions with the help of a trusted health professional, but can we just get some perspective here for a moment?Read More