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It was a very hot day when we stepped into this tiny place, and it was even hotter once inside -- it's a taco joint, but in here, they bake break all morning into the early afternoon for nearby eateries including Giuseppe's. We braved the swelter, though, ordered up a few tacos, then sat at one of just a few tables outside (no inside seating).
Here's the verdict on the tacos: They're authentic and cheap (under $3 each), but part of the "authentic" is that they are small. There's not a whole lot of extras like lettuce and sour cream, etc. The meat in these tacos take center stage. My grilled chicken taco was delicious; the shrimp taco, however, was bland.
This is a good place to pick up tacos on the go, but its location smack dab on Price St (which was trafficky on the holiday weekend we visited anyway) probably isn't the most inspiring atmosphere for "dining in."
Written Sep 4, 2007
Address: Price Street (next to Cracked Crab)
On our way to Rosa's on a Saturday night, we passed Pismo's other popular Italian restaurant, Giuseppe's. I don't know anything about the food at Giuseppe's, but the place was certainly a scene with people packed inside and out. It looked like fun, but accordians and lines to get in were not the quite what we were feeling like that evening.
Rosa's was a perfect alternative for us. It's a big place (with indoor and patio seating) and popular, too, but there was lots of room for everyone and no rushing about around us or anything. Staff were attentive enough, though service wasn't extra special or memorable - and that was just fine with us.
We started with the fried artichokes ($9.45). They were fried tempura-style, and were really good. I might have preferred just a slightly lighter batter, but I have no right to complain because I happily gobbled up every last bit of crispy tidbit on my side of the plate! Johnny and I split an arugla salad ($6.45), which *was* light with the pleasantly slightly bitter arugula leaves topped with pine nuts, grilled portobella mushroom and goat cheese. For a main, I went with one of the night's specials, a spinach manicotti ($13.95), which really hit the spot, topped with a full-bodied marinara. Johnny was mostly happy with his choice, too: the pizza pesto ($11.95). But it was packed with ingredients (chicken, pesto, mushrooms, tomatoes, parmesan, etc.) and he would've preferred something a little simpler (you know, a more elegant simplicity Italiano-style).
Written Sep 1, 2007
Address: 491 Price Street, Pismo Beach, CA
Giovanni’s Fish Market and Restaurant is the place to go if you take a drive to my Off the Beaten Path suggestion for Morro Bay. This family run restaurant has been in business for over 25 years, and is a favorite of the locals, so expect to stand in line to reach the window where you will order, then wait for your number to be called. Once you have your food, enjoy your meal on their outdoor wharf patio, where you will have a scenic view of Morro Rock and the harbor. The restaurant specializes in fresh, locally caught fish, crab, shellfish, and smoked fish. They are also well known for their clam chowder, having won the local chowder cook off twice, as well as the judges and people’s choice awards. We had the clam chowder, and a grilled halibut sandwich, and found it quite good. As we were eating we saw a California Sea Lion swimming by, as well as a number of seagulls.
Updated Apr 26, 2007
Address: 1001 Front St, Morro Bay, CA 93442
Two Blocks Off the Beach has a dark ceiling, which even in the daylight, gives it a dark atmosphere. Add the candlelight, and it is quite pleasant. The restaurant features some Italian dishes, including Panini sandwiches. What led us to the restaurant, however, were our noses. We could smell the wonderful smoky smell wafting out of the restaurant. We poked our heads in the door, and found out that they were cooking a weekend special, slow roasted, and smoked prime rib. This prime rib is wood smoked with used Cabernet wine casts they get from a California winery. It wasn’t a Saturday night, but they were experimenting with serving it all week because it is so popular, for this reason it was not listed on their menu. This excellent, and unusual prime rib was not the tenderest prime rib I have ever had, but it was reasonably tender, and the slightly smoked flavor made it delightful. I say slightly smoked, as even though they begin roasting this dish in the morning, the smoked flavor did not overpower the flavor of the meat. The dinner came with a tasty serving of garlic potatoes, and a salad. The restaurant offers a sizeable collection of local wines by the bottle or the glass.
Favorite Dish: Our favorite dish was the prime rib, I don’t know if they will keep having it every night, but if they have it when you are there, give it a try. You won’t find this anywhere else, and it might not be listed on their menu, so ask, or let your nose find the way. I have also been told that the Bruschetta is very good, but we did not try it.
Updated Apr 26, 2007
Address: 791 Dolliver Street, Pismo Beach 93449
Phone: (805) 777-0332
The Splash Café is a small, casual, very popular café with a southern California beach feel to it. We went early, and it was so crowded, we barely found a table. Soon after we arrived, people were lining up outside, and standing in the café eyeing diners to see who was about to leave. One weekend we saw a long line stretching down the sidewalk of people waiting to get in. We ate at the Splash Café twice while we were in the area, and enjoyed it both times. Good food at reasonable prices. The first time we had clam chowder, calamari, and curly fires they call chips. The second time we had clam chowder, I had shrimp and chips, and my husband had clam strips. They advertise that they serve more than 15,000 gallons of clam chowder a year. Besides fried fish and seafood, you can also get fish tacos and sandwiches, steamers, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, chili, deli type sandwiches, and salads. The only dessert they offer is Bread Pudding. Although they do not have a full bar, you can get beer and wine.
Favorite Dish: Splash Café is famous for their award wining clam chowder. The café has received requests from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines for their clam chowder recipe. I have to be honest, however, the first time we went, it was quite average. The second time we went, we decided to give the chowder a second chance, and it was just excellent. We figured maybe we had a scoop off the top the first time, and the clams had settled to the bottom of the pot. I would definitely have the chowder again.
Updated Apr 26, 2007
Address: 197 Pomeroy, Pismo Beach, CA
If you are in, or passing through the Five Cities area and are in the mood for a steak, this is the place to stop at. This is an excellent restaurant with a Western motiff. Pull up a chair, sit and enjoy!
The old "general store" atmosphere of the gift shop will take you back to the turn of the century.
Favorite Dish: Filet Mignon and Lobster...Mmmmmm.
Updated Jan 21, 2007
Address: 750 Mattie Road, Shell Beach, California
If you are driving down or up the highway 1 or the 101 ... you must make a quick stop and have something at the Old Vienna in Pismo (CA). The town itself is like a sufing kind of town... nice and cool... but this place is something different.
They have a small but good selection of German beers, and since they are Germans... they know what they are talking about.
Favorite Dish: In my case... I only stop by to have a beer (although I ended up having more than one)... but they gave me a couple of pretzels with some fresh mustard. They were unbelievable!! Delicious! The best pretzels I've ever had!! They were right off the oven... awesome stuff!
I didn't eat 'cauce I just wanted to get to LA... but their menu looked great!
Written Nov 16, 2006
Address: 1527 Shell Beach Road
Phone: (805) 773-4521
The Splash Cafe right in the middle of the strip has, hands down, the best Clam Chowder I have ever tasted. I can have a bowl and it fills me up like dinner!. The chowder is served in these breaded bowls which you can eat afterwards. Huge portions and priced right. The servers are hot, classic california babes. My oh my!
Written Jan 2, 2006
Setting is at the pier at Port San Luis. Outdoors. Protected by the wind. Very friendly staff. Hands down best Bacon and Avacado Omlette, or Pork and salsa verde Omlette. Mimosas. Being a breakfast fanatic, this one is my all time fav. Stroll down on the pier after breakfast and watch some sealions. A very memorable experience.
Written Oct 3, 2005
Address: Pismo Beach / Port San Luis, CA
World famous Clam Chowder Served in the Original Sourdough Bread Bowl, Fresh Steamed Clams, Fish and Chips, Burgers, Dogs, Calamari and Lots More! Take Out Available. Nothing on the Menu Over $5.75.
~Small, clean, noisey, fun. Mmmmm Delicious food!
Favorite Dish: Calamari and Chips :)
Written Sep 19, 2003
Address: 197 Pomeroy St., Pismo, California
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