Monday, November 9, 2009

I love escaping.

The more time I spend on Cali's Central Coast, the more I'm convinced it just may be the perfect place to live. Rolling green hills, laid-back people, organic food, wine and good beer on tap everywhere? With local art...or whatever you want to call this??? (Yes, that's a wall of gum. And me, grimacing.) All 10 minutes from the beach? Done. I'm sold.

This weekend, the destination was San Luis Obispo, where I'd never spent any real time, but have always heard good things. And many props to the hubby, who, unbeknownst to me, did plenty of restaurant research ahead of time, and knew exactly where to take me. He did good...we ate well. (And thanks, mom! Your financial contribution was much appreciated!)

Two friends recommended a place called Firestone Grill for their tri-tip, but I'm not sure they realize how often we eat good tri-tip. It's pretty much the official steak of Bakersfield. So, maybe next time. For now, we had fabulous food elsewhere.

Lunch Saturday was at Big Sky, which is an organic Asian/Indian/southwest California fusion was all over the board, which I love. Reminds me a bit of my own repertoire. But everything was fresh, delicious, and the place was adorable. Loved it.

I ordered the Thai Grilled Shrimp and Cucumber salad, and he got the Applewood Smoked Chicken sandwich, with ancho chile glaze, a roasted green chile, and some swiss. With a side of gigantic sweet potato fries. And in case we weren't big enough fatkids, we may have also ordered a cup of the Jamaican Pumpkin soup. We had to. He loves Jamaica...I love was destiny.

Stuffed and happy, yet always thinking about food, we walked over to Novo to put in our dinner reservation. And I'm glad we the time we got there at 8, the place was hopping. Which made the service slow, unfortunately, but they gave us two glasses of champagne and a creme brulee for dessert as an apology. And let me tell you...with me, free stuff makes all forgiven.

Located above the creek that runs through the downtown area, Novo is a mostly outdoor restaurant (I think...something was downstairs, but we didn't see what) that offers Brazilian/Portuguese tapas. Big tapas, too. Normally we would get 4 or 5 and share them, but our server recommended we get no more than 3. So after Calamari-with fanTASTic sweet chili dipping sauce, we settled on scallops and asparagus in a kaffir lime and ginger buerre blanc, Tandoori spiced prawns, garlic roasted baby potatoes...and we split a Caesar. Go big or go home, right?

So yes, we definitely ate well. And celebrated even more. What better anniversary gift to each other than permanent ink? Traditional Tattoo in Pismo Beach is awesome. Ask for Jeff or Drew., if you're seeing this online before I tell you about it...sorry. But I love it! You will too, I promise...or hope, anyway...(yes, I'm 28 and still fear the wrath of my mother.)

But back to reality. Once we were back in town last night, we hit our traditional after-vacation Thai place (Thai Kitchen on Hageman). Tom Ka soup and Pad-Woonsen? Mmmm. Fantastic as always. But having spent enough money this weekend to make my head spin, we'll be eating at home for awhile. Grilled Pizza attempt #2 tonight...stay tuned.

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