First of all, I’d like to apologize for my negligence in the past few days. I promised I would post during my time away from home and I did not. I am so very sorry for that. Time got away from me and I found myself lost in the little thing we call “vacation.”
But to make up for that, I’ve got a jam-packed, food-filled, and delicious post for today! It’s all about my trip, including the scrumptious meals I consumed throughout my stay in San Luis Obispo. Here goes!
First, my mom, dad, and I arrived in the lovely Pismo Beach, just 12 miles away from SLO and right on the coast, where our hotel was. And I mean lovely. Look at this view –
Uhh, hello Pacific ocean! Gorgeous, huh?
So we arrived at about 3 that afternoon after about a 4-5 hour drive from Sacramento (I say 4-5 because it always depends on whom is driving, my mom or my dad). We took some downtime to rest and get situated in the hotel before making our way into town.
Once in town, we saw Heidi (hooray!) and walked down to the main streets of downtown SLO for the Infamous Thursday Night Farmers’ Market. This event occurs year round, due to the wonderful weather in the area, and supports farmers and food outlets for miles around. Even the agriculture department at the school, which is hugely popular and ever growing, has their booth up, selling their homegrown produce and fresh dairy products. Plus, the fantastic restaurants in town set up stands and sell their best selling items for all to enjoy. Yum! Coming from a family of farmers on both sides of the family, I love supporting these sort of functions. And, hey, who doesn’t love the amazing food?
So this was obviously our meal of the day, and here’s what we had to enjoy –
Grilled corn! I dressed mine with Parmesan, cayenne pepper, and lemon pepper. I planned on having this all day and it was so incredibly satisfying.
This prize was from the McClintock’s Barbecue stand. Pulled chicken sandwich (yes, there’s some bread hiding in there). And this had perfectly moist chicken to hold all that sauce.
And then there’s this –
Also from McClintock’s, the grilled artichoke. Ugh. We love artichokes and like to think we have a way of grilling them but these guys can grill them with such skill and perfection that I can’t even begin to describe it. Right next to the chicken, pork, and steak, this monster is treated to an open flame and seasoned just right. Served with a garlic-butter horseradish, it sends the hearts of the artichoke, and you, into heaven.
Needless to say, we were stuffed for the day!
The next day, we got started about mid-morning. I went for a walk on the beach, just a walk down the stairs, and snapped this picture –
Too pretty. That’s our hotel!
Sigh. Day 2 and I don’t want to leave ever.
So today we went over to Morro Bay, another 12 miles in the other direction of San Luis Obispo to the restaurant where Heidi had worked in for about a year called Rocca’s Surf Shack.
This little place has amazing seafood in a fun beach atmosphere. I didn’t get a picture of the fish tacos that Heidi and my mom split, but the important part is that I got the picture of this –
What my dad had. The Black and White Special, as in black shell mussels and white clams freshly steamed in a butter and white wine sauce with pounds (roughly) of garlic. So good! I love seafood so very much, and a good mussel can always whet my whistle.
Afterwards, we went on a walk along the beach streets and I found it necessary to gorge myself on this stuff –
SALT WATER TAFFY. Ohh man. That is my ultimate guilty pleasure. I’ll tell you, I spent about $9 on this stuff, and it was only like $5/lb. Yikes…
The rest of the day was low key and we ended up going to bed early. We needed our rest for the graduation on Saturday!
Come that morning, I needed a good breakfast to carry me through the long morning and early afternoon until our lovely dinner we had planned. More on that later…
So my breakfast, compliments of our continental breakfast at the Kon Tiki Inn, I had this –
Mini waffles with peanut butter and banana! You know how most continental breakfasts have awesome waffle irons? Well this place had a waffle iron for FOUR MINI WAFFLES. Where has this been all my life? Guess what’s going on my college shopping list?
Then we made our way to campus and sat ourselves in the Alex G. Spanos Stadium for the first half of the ceremony, the general commencement for the engineering, architectural, and business (yay Heidi!) ceremony, before breaking off into the seperate and smaller concentration ceremonies –
See Heidi? Just kidding.
After about two hours, which was shorter and much more pleasant than I expected, we got to switch over to the smaller ceremony for Heidi’s diploma receiving in front of the Orfalea School of Business in her Marketing concentration. Here’s some shots –
Heidi and her best friend and roommate for the past three years, Kelsey!
And the caps! The girls spent hours decorating their mortar boards, and they were a huge hit.
We spent some time in Pismo relaxing before the dinner hour, and my mother insisted on some post grad pictures, and this was our favorite –
Notice how far away it is? Hehehe.
Then came dinner. Ohh man dinner…
The lovely Koberl at Blue is on the outside of downtown SLO and is known for “Wine Country Food,” or food that you pair with wines while tasting, etc. We found ourselves sharing six appetizers between the four of us and it was more than enough. You’ll see why.
First, the roasted tomato bisque with Maytag blue cheese and garlic croutons –
So rich and creamy, ohh lord. The blue cheese added a beautiful elegance to this dish.
Then, the gruyere, onion, and speck tart –
With pine nuts and greens on top, this decadent little tart was small but packed a serious punch with flavor.
Scallops with shredded radishes –
Like I said, I love my seafood and my goodness these scallops were the most DIVINE that i’ve ever had. Cooked to perfection and melt in your mouth amazing. Ahhh…
This was a doozy, the honeycomb cheese platter –
Gorgeous, huh? Manchengo, two types of blue, the softest brie you’ve ever touched, a gelatinous fat, apple, candied walnuts, and yes, honeycomb. I could sit and eat this plate all day. Served with crostini, all cheese paired quite well with the honey, which was a treat in its own.
I did not get pictures of our last two dishes, but they were a butter lettuce salad with goat cheese and fuji apple, which balanced so well in the vinaigrette, and Asian chicken lettuce wraps with an avocado hoisin sauce, which was to die for.
We were stuffed to the brim from the amazing meal, which was light enough to let us go for another beach walk that night.
Come Sunday morning, Father’s Day, we were hungry again and on the hunt for one last meal in the town before we left the next morning. And that’s when we happened upon Eureka! Burger.
This newer chain in southern and central California is a gourmet burger and crafted brew bar and grill that churns out some awesome meals. My parents have been before whilst in SLO and Heidi likes to frequent it, but this was my first visit and I was stoked.
We ordered three dishes between us four (see a pattern?) and our food was quick to arrive and amaze. Here’s what he had –
The Jalapeno Egg Burger, my choice –
Jalapenos, a fried egg (I was curious about this craze and decided to be bold and try it out!), spicy mayo, bacon, and cheddar all on a giant burger! That’s their awesome fries with ketchup and truffle sauce on the side, too!
Next, the fig marmalade burger –
That’s right, fig marmalade on a burger! Along with bacon, arugula, tomato, onion, goat cheese, and porter mustard, this distinct burger is memorable and a real treat.
And finally, king crab sliders –
Fresh king crab (guys, I would DIE for some good crab), lemon vinaigrette, and romesco salsa with coleslaw on the side. So fantastic!
Now this meal tied us over alllllll the way into that night! We went over to Avila Beach, about 6 miles away from SLO in the direction of Pismo for a lovely walk around sunset. And how could we resist –
Doc Burnstein’s ice cream, based out of Arroyo Grande! I had the S’mores flavor and it might be my favorite in America (Europe is a whole other story).
Come Monday morning we packed the car and said our goodbyes but the trip was over much too soon. So unfair!
Come on, who wants to say goodbye to all of this?!
Well it was a great trip and I can’t wait for the next time we all get to get away together, considering we don’t all do that much!
Congratulations to my Heidi again, I am so proud of her. It’s crazy that I’ll be starting my college career in just a few months here!