Category Archives: Food

Jocko’s Steakhouse

IMG_8971On our way up to Morro Bay Katie and I stopped at Jocko’s Steakhouse in Nipomo, CA one of the best steakhouses in the state. Katie talked and talked about this place before our trip and I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. It actually exceeded my expectations.

We arrived in the early evening with a reservation for 6:45pm. Katie had told me that even though we had a reservation we would be waiting for a while. Often Jocko’s begins to turn away guests in the evening as they get so packed they cannot serve everyone that wishes to eat there. We told them that we were there and waited in the bar drinking beer and shirley temples. We stepped outside for a moment to watch the chef grill as many as what looked like 50 steaks at a time on their huge grill, astonished at how he was able to keep track of them all.

An hour later we were finally seated, thankful that our wait time wasn’t 2 hours like it was for others at the bar we spoke to who hadn’t called first. We ordered the steak to split with two plates. Katie wanted it rare, I wanted it medium, so we settled on medium rare, which turned out to be perfect. Katie took the more rare half and I ate the more cooked half. The meat melted in our mouths and I was so excited to eat it when it arrived that I completely forgot to take pictures.

The fries and beans were less than par, but we really only went there for the steak. So, if you are ever in the area and craving steak, Jocko’s is the place to go. Their meat is the freshest around and best tasting with a salty crust that is delicious.

Woodstock Pizza

IMG_8971On Katie’s and my way home from Big Sur we stopped by Woodstock Pizza in San Luis Obispo for a delicious and much needed meal. After spending the morning packing up our campsite and the afternoon driving through Pebble Beach and the 17-Mile Drive we were quite hungry.

We headed inside and took a long look at the menu. Even though there was only one group ahead of us, it took a long time to place our order. The group was very disoriented in their process and weren’t quite sure what they even wanted to eat. Eventually we got our chance and ordered the SLO Classic with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and olives.

We took our seat and waited for our food arrived. The place was pretty empty with a huge room and then a smaller back room with a few video games in it. Our pizza came and it was a very good. Somewhat salty, but that’s to be expected with the sausage. Maybe next time we will try the BBQ Bird.

Woodstock Pizza is a great place to stop by on your way up north or if you’re spending the week or weekend in San Luis Obispo. With the few video games and an assortment of beer to drink you might find college students enjoy this place even more than others. Though, it’s a great restaurant for people of all ages.

Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab

IMG_8971Before leaving Avila Beach on Katie and my trip to Avila Hot Springs we stopped into one of the shops for some ice cream. As we walked down the street looking for a place to stop I saw a sign for Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab. I had remember seeing a flyer at the hot springs for the ice cream and excitedly exclaimed that this must be the spot. We headed inside for a look around.

The shop was bigger than expected from outside. They had trinkets and gadgets for purchase from gardening decorations to magnets to photo albums. We walked around exploring the different decoration items. Eventually we got tired of looking and headed over to their counter where they sold sandwiches, fudge, ice cream, coffee and smoothies.

I ordered a mint fudge ice cream cone from the super nice guy behind the counter. His scoop was perfect, round, big and fit exactly right on top of the cone. The ice cream was absolutely delicious! Perfect for the hot day of exploring the small town and beach we were having.

After further investigation when I got home I still can’t be quite sure if the place we stopped was one of Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Labs or if they only sold Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab ice cream but I don’t think it was. From the outside there was no sign other than the Doc Burnstein sign, but inside the ice cream bar was called Hula Hut. Also, after googling Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab I noticed that they only had 3 locations, Arroyo Grande Village, San Luis Obispo, and Old Town Orcutt and technically we were in Avila Beach.

I can’t wait to go back to Central California and get to one of their real ice cream labs. Hopefully I will be able to get there on a Tuesday evening when they have their all you can eat deals. Either way, their ice cream is creamy, soft, and too yummy for words.

Old West Cinnamon Rolls

IMG_8973On Katie and my way home from Avila Hot Springs we stopped in at Old West Cinnamon Rolls in Pismo Beach for a treat. The place is relatively big for it’s looks from the outside and from what I had expected. Once inside they have a front counter and a few tables to sit at.

Old West Cinnamon Rolls is a family run business who’s cinnamon rolls have become tradition at fairs, shows, and bakeries all over the US. Their menu consists of coffee, smoothies, and other drinks. Their signature item being their cinnamon rolls, which they still make using Betty’s original recipe from over 40 years ago. They have every kind of cinnamon roll you can imagine from original to crumb to raisin walnut.

I tried their original frosted and crumb when I went. They came out of the oven warm and ready to be eaten. I took my first bite of the frosted and boy was it good. So rich that I had to stop about a quarter of the way through and finish the rest later. I saved the crumb until the following day. I must say I actually think the crumb was even better. The crispy top added texture to the soft roll. Next time I’m back in Pismo Beach, CA I’ll be sure to stop by again.

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Split Pea Soup Andersen’s in Santa Nella

IMG_8973On the way home from San Francisco Katie and I stopped at Pea Soup Andersen’s for my first ever pea soup experience. Knowing that I don’t really like peas and not knowing if I would like pea soup or not I was a little worried. I had heard such good things though that I wanted to give it a try.

Pea Soup Andersen’s original location is in Buellton, California just north of Santa Barbara. Anton and Juliette started a prosperous horse and cattle ranch and dairy farm named Rancho San Carlos de Jonata. R.T in 1924. They had 5 children and came up with the idea of opening a tiny restaurant. They named it “Andersen’s Electric Cafe”. The most popular recipe with the customers was the split pea soup.

In 1965 Pea Soup Andersen’s was sold the Buellton restaurant to Vince Evans. He had a vision to create a new “Service Town” off of I-5, similar to what had been created in Buellton by the Andersen Family. He eventually opened their second location in Santa Nella, California and that is where Katie and I stopped.

As we pulled into the restaurant parking lot I realized that it was much bigger than I had expected. The classic windmill was the first thing to catch my eye, from the highway but the building itself was huge. We took a moment to admire the windmill and then finally found the main entrance. We stopped to take a picture with their head cutout board of their classic cartoon of the two guys splitting the peas and then headed inside.

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Once inside I immediately noticed their bakery and gift shop. I was super excited to see what they had and snuck away to get a better look soon after we were seated. They had cookies, strudels, eclairs, and pies. It all looked so good. The gift shop had all kinds of memory and special event pieces. They even had a Scooby cookie jar which I found super cute. You can even buy cans of their pea soup if you want to take some home.

Back at my seat the waitress offered for me to try the split pea soup before ordering it as a meal. What a great idea and I really appreciated getting to try a sample. Not having to buy it if I didn’t like it was a plus too. Unfortunately I did not like the soup. Maybe I just don’t like peas so much that pea soup just wasn’t a good choice. We decided on a burger and some chicken tenders, both of which were very good.

For some reason, I couldn’t shake the feeling of it being very similar to a Crackle Barrel and I’m not a huge fan of Crackle Barrel so trying to get that out of my head was difficult. However, all in all as a rest stop for a long trip, Pea Soup Andersen’s is a great place to check out. Try their pea soup if you like it and if not there’s plenty of other option to try. Just to set the record straight though, I wouldn’t drive all the way to Santa Nella from Los Angeles just for their split pea soup. But that’s just me.

Sushi Club Downtown

IMG_8971After San Francisco’s 45th Anniversary of PRIDE Katie and I decided to get some sushi at a place called Sushi Club in downtown just off Market Street on 5th and Mission. Usually we check Yelp to see if the place is good, but we were starving and there were no other places that we felt like eating at close by so we took a gamble. Besides, the place had multiple people inside eating and they all seemed to be enjoying their meals.

The first thing that should have tipped us off was that they have no restroom. We were informed that we could use the one at the hotel next door. I brushed it off thinking that maybe due to the parade they didn’t want a bunch of people trying to use their restrooms. We ran next door and there were no issues.

We came back to the small restaurant with a bar on one side and about eight tables on the other and took a seat at one of the tables. We ordered drinks, Katie a hot saki and I got a mixed drink. That should have been my second tip. The drink had so much alcohol in it I could barely swallow, but I chalked it up to my lack of drinking lately and being a lightweight and someone that doesn’t really like the take of alcohol. Katie on the other hand really liked her sakis maybe I was being too harsh.

We ordered a rainbow roll, dragon roll, and some orders of salmon. The dragon roll was quite good, maybe that was due to the fact that it has eel instead of fish. The rest of it had a very strong fishy taste that even the eel sauce couldn’t completely hide. I’ve only ever eaten sushi that tasted like that once before and I never went back. This restaurant will have the same fate.

Later I checked the yelp reviews and notice that they only have 2 stars. Now I know why the food was not the best and kind of wish we had gone somewhere else. Neither of us got sick so that’s a plus, but maybe next time we’ll  check the reviews first.

Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company

IMG_8971After a trip to Lands End Lookout Katie and I were extremely hungry. We decided to try Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company just down the road from Katie’s friend’s house in San Francisco. We walked down her street and onto the main street. A few blocks later we arrived at the front door. We almost missed it as they don’t have a sign or anything posted other than a small menu in the window.

We walked inside and were seated right away in a wooden booth. It wasn’t that busy for a Saturday night. I had expected it to be a lot more crowded, but the small groups were generally relaxed and chill. We ordered the Sunset Burger and Bowl of Wings. Both of which were really good.

We split our orders. The wings came first and I thought the sauce was super spicy. Katie, however, thought it was perfect. With or without the sauce the chicken was scrumptious. Next came the burger and it was delicious as well, with bacon, cheddar cheese, and 1000 Island dressing. Katie got a sampler of their beer to try as well.

We finished our meal and drinks and headed back to Cathy’s house, full of yummy food. If you’re in San Francisco and looking for a place to eat you should check Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company out.

Fisherman’s Wharf Clam Chowder & Lobster Rolls

IMG_8973On a trip to San Francisco my friend Katie and I arrived in the city around 10am. We planned to stay at Katie’s friend, Kathy’s, house so we stopped by to talk, relax for a bit, and drop off our stuff. As lunch approached we decided to head over to Fisherman’s Wharf for some seafood. Kathy convinced us to take the bus giving us the bus numbers we needed to take and streets we should get off at. About an hour later we reached our destination.

We exited the F Market line bus at Pier 39 and walked the remaining bit toward Fisherman’s Wharf. We arrived at a long strip of seafood restaurants. As we walked toward the water we could see numerous people ordering food at all different vendors.  Shrimp, crab, lobsters, and clams were swirling around us everywhere. We snuck down the back alley where we could see into the open market vendor’s glass case windows. They all seemed to sell the same things with just slight differences in the ingredients. Eventually we decided on Guardino’s due to their huge chunks of lobster we could see on top of their lobster rolls.

Guardino’s is at the end of the strip closes to the Fisherman’s Wharf sign. It has been around since 1908 and their seafood is caught fresh each morning including the crabs for their crab legs and clams for their creamy and chunky clam chowder. There really isn’t any seating at any of the open markets on the strip, so we ordered our food, a lobster roll and clam chowder bread bowl, and searched for a place to sit.

We found a spot to eat by the docks overlooking some boats and birds. We could barely see the birds, but occasionally one would fly past to catch the scraps of fish an elderly lady was filleting and tossing over the edge next to us. One seagull stood near her for any scraps she might offer or any food anyone else might drop. She finally tossed him a piece and he swallowed it whole. She tossed one more piece and he took off flying away with it only to be chased by three other seagulls.

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We finished our lunch. The clam chowder bread bowl was delicious! The clams were cooked perfectly, not chewy at all, and the pieces were pretty big compared to most clam chowders I’ve had. We really should have gone back for more. The lobster roll was ok. I’ll give it one thumb up. I loved the huge chunks of lobster on top, but was a little overwhelmed by the mayonnaise, which I am not a big fan of. The bread on both meals were on point, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Absolutely amazing rolls.

I just love San Francisco and the Fisherman’s Wharf. Now knowing that Guardino’s is there only makes things even better. I hope that I will be able to go back soon to enjoy more of their seafood goodness.

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