Recently a group of us headed up to Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo for a short sweet weekend getaway. Well I stayed for one night due to impending duties for the wedding thing. Once the trip plans got into gear, there was only one other thing I had to think about, the eats. Afterall, isn't it important to be well sustained and healthy on such a long drive up?
My fridge is in deperate need of an Izze refill. It's such a great drink - cold, refreshing, lightly carbonated. And the only two ingredients are natural fruit juice and carbonated water. Izze filled mornings are definitely better ones. Truly addicting and hydrating without all that excess sugar (orange juice), fat (milk) or caffeine (coffee).
Before meeting up at the rendez-vouz point, I made a pit stop at Wien bakery in Koreatown. I could have been the first customer there but there were at least three huge Korean tour buses outside. Meaning, the bakery was rampant with Koreans all getting between me and my baked goods. I prevailed though and left with some freshly baked and fried goods.
All of the bakery edibles were delicious but having a freshly fried croquette filled with potato, vegetabled and minced meat is special. You're probably thinking, fried?! But perfectly fried, not greasy at all but crunchy from the panko covering over a thin dough. Truly a swoon-worthy piece of food. I wish there was a Korean bakery on the way to work for a delicious on-the-go brekkie.
This scary looking thing is their pizza bread. It's only scary 'cause Boy and I ravaged one side of them and the rising sun reflecting off the cheese is blinding you. And me. This too was way too delicious. Light crust, warm savory topping with melted cheese everywhere. Yumm.
But we can't forget one of our favorite items there, the Peanut Cream Soboro Bread. A flat, round light bread with crumble topping, sliced horizontally then stuffed with fresh peanut whipped cream. Fresh peanut cream! First time I tasted that I thought genius. Why didn't I think of that?
Then we were off on a beautiful drive up the 101...
We stopped by some weird villagey town and ate at a pizza shop. The scary dude in the pic described exactly what the inside of the restaurant was. Dark, full of very serious-faced people not talking to each other at all, and scary. The only good thing was CCR on their radio. But no fear, we sat outside where the sun warmed us up and kept the scaries inside.
I got this crazy looking hamburger with salsa and jalapeno. I believe its name was the Artic Grill?? Weird, yes. Messy, yes. A good lunch to fill my tummy before pouring wine in meself? Yes.
Then we finally got up to wine country with only 2 hours left to wine taste due to holiday traffic on the way up. Among the few wineries we visited which included Turley, Denner, Adelaide, and Tobin James. But the wine that stood the most for me was the Denner Vineyards 2005 Viognier. Oh my god it was amazing. I didn't even know viogniers could taste like that. The ones I've had before didn't have the same complexity or lush fruit as this one.
Here is their description of the Viognier: Exhibits aromas of candied leechee, pineapple and mango fruits, vanilla beans, and perfumey jasmine notes. These elements all tie together in the wines rich, fruity, buttery mouthfeel. The intense tropical fruit flavors persist in the finish with a subtle shadow of creme brulée peaking in during the lingering aftertaste.
After a short break back at our inn we headed out for dinner at Kolberl at Blue in downtown San Luis Obispo. We started with some fried calamari, fresh oysters and a half-bottle of Cristalino.
For the main course I ordered the duck breast with duck spring roll, snap peas, and pea shoots. The duck was delicious but the dish itself could have been composed better. The rice that came with the dish was prett bad first of all. Bland, dry, absolutely no flavor. The spring roll, although delicious, should have been on the appetizer menu or something. I love veges so the pea shoots and the snap peas were a treat but they didn't come together on the plate. The dish felt like 5 different things on a plate (spring roll, duck breast, dry rice, snap peas, pea shoots), not a dish composed of 5 different ingredients. You can see that the snap peas were cooked separately and placed on one side while the pea shoots were probably stuck in the middle after the rest of the food was plated. The duck was succulent though. I just wish it was complemented better. Perhaps a saffron risotto with the snap peas and sauted pea shoots placed on top and the sliced duck breast placed on one side. Then the delicious sauce drizzled over. Overall it was good.
But looking at Boy's UFO looking carpaccio dish... it's so unneccesarily complicated. What's up with the vertical baguette slices? It's like an elementary school project. The beef slices were way too thin and could not hold up to the strong horseradish sauce. Plus it kept ripping into shreds when picking it up off the plate. Not cool.
I had some pinot noir with my duck, I forget the name, but I do remember it being delicious.
Now breakfast the next morning at old-timey Apple Farm, that was great.
I find it hard to pass on a big plate of corned beef. Damn it was good. Corned beef hash is definitely on my list of favorite foods. And I've mostly just eaten those crazy canned ones. Hopefully eventually I'll corn my own beef.
Boy had the pancakes with eggs, sausage, and hash. It's his usual deal. I don't like pancakes nor waffles too much. That's because I haven't had one like this. This one was amazing. I've never been swooned by a pancake before but this was so fluffy, not doughy but kind of sweet. A pancake I never knew existed.
The trip was a nice relaxing and delicious time to hang out with great friends, delicious food and wine. I vote yes to more road trips!