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
Like most mixologists worth their pink Himalayan sea salt, Dominique Gonzales faced a recurring internal struggle whenever hosting parties at her place. It didn’t matter if there were five or 50 people. At some moment during the night, she’d pause and ponder. Should she refresh her friend’s drink—muddle the mint, zest the citrus, shake the ice—or keep mingling, dancing, enjoying herself?Read More
Giuseppe “Joe” DiFronzo was born in the wrong era.
He loves zipping around town on his fleet of vintage scooters and is obsessed with making pasta the old fashioned way (just like grandma). Most of all, the chef and restaurateur loves working with his hands, tilling the soil, and harvesting broccoli di rapini, heirloom tomatoes, and syrah wine grapes on his San Luis Obispo farm. DiFronzo’s greatest joy lies in bringing these Old World flavors to his iconic Giuseppe’s restaurants. Here, garlic is always in the air and the Southern Italian dishes of his childhood live on forever.Read More
December on the Central Coast isn’t so unlike the rest of the country: Many of us are focused on pulling together our family ties, cooking like crazy, and tackling the frenzied goose chase known as “Santa’s list.” Unlike much of the rest of the country, however, the Central Coast is still very much “Wine Country.”Read More
Every wine industry person knows the feeling. You’d rather spark up a deep conversation with a rabid telemarketer than drink another glass of room temperature cabernet sauvignon. You need something crisp, clean, bubbly, zesty, and—most importantly—not wine. Enter hard cider, the ultimate palate cleanser.Read More
We can rebuild this pizza. Crispier! Tastier! Better than before! As an incoming freshman college student, you are obviously way too young to understand this cheap reference to The Six Million Dollar Man, but that’s OK. Just pretend I wrote, “Pizza emoji, smiley face, muscle arm, lightening bolts, thumbs up.”Read More
Zenaida Cellars owners Eric and Jill Ogorsolka know something about the famous Templeton Gap that a lot of newer winery owners don’t.
Just ask Jill why Theatre Drive in Templeton is actually called Theatre Drive.
“We’d go down to the old drive-in all the time,” Jill reminisced during a recent tour of the couple’s now 20-year-old winery. “That’s before they even added in a traffic light.”Read More
Before Roxanne Lapuyade became known for her fresh-pressed juices, kitchen sink salads, or “Ro boats,” (romaine lettuce leaves filled with persimmon, avocado, mixed veggies, and cashew tamarind spread), she was a lot like the average American kid. Along with the rest of us, she snuck the odd candy bar before Halloween or yearned for the chemical warmth of a Happy Meal.Read More
Call me old-fashioned, but isn’t there a simple satisfaction in unplugging from your iPhone overlord and picking out the perfect apple or 12? For me, it’s right up there with picking out that first, ceremonious fall pumpkin for your front porch, a tactile reminder of the changing seasons (even if the weather is 100-plus degrees, as it was the week I went apple adventuring with my very pregnant friend).Read More
“There is a great power behind these plants, and I have a great reverence for them. They could do something to a man that it would take a bullet to do. One little bite of this innocuous herb—a single crushed caster bean, for instance, and you will get sick or die. There is no question.”Read More
As it turns out, Central Coast Brewing Company isn’t a bad place to conduct an interview—especially when you’re chatting with a handful of passionate local brewers who live and breathe craft beer. It’s a lot like photographing a band of wild hyenas in their natural environment. I’m getting good stuff.Read More
Funny how true love has a way of bringing life into full, razor-sharp focus. Will Yan had worked in Bay Area kitchens for much of his youth and early adulthood when he made that fateful dish for his date, Pinky. Up until that night, he had considered cooking a hobby—something he happily did to help his family, who for years had owned multiple Asian style eateries across the San Francisco area.Read More
When I suggest to Noi Klinpratoom that she's a fine example of a true Baywood celebrity, she lets out a birdlike chirp of a laugh. Although she’s a humble chef, she doesn’t deny my assertion, either. Truthfully, she’s bigger than simply a San Luis Obispo area sensation—people across the Central Coast equate the name “Noi’s” with to-die-for Thai takeout. I, myself, have to hold back the urge to ask for an autographed menu.Read More
House of Bagels Central Coast co-owner Mike Prowse dumps half a dozen white, doughy soft pretzels into a bubbling vat of sodium hydroxide solution.
Not only is this step the crucial factor behind creating an irresistible hard shell and chewy interior, it’s also the birthplace of “that fresh bagel smell,” that subtle salty, slightly tangy scent that intoxicates morning visitors of this cozy strip-mall hangout.Read More