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Paso Robles eating

Eric Eto | Aug 19, 200504:35 AM

On our one day visit to Paso Robles to visit wineries, we were a bit hurried for lunch, so Good 'Ol Burger was the perfect place. I really like this place. The burgers are good and solid, and those thick cut onion rings are pretty tasty. They have a goumet-like hot sauce on the tables there that added an interesting flavor to the burgers (tasted a bit like pick-a-pepper brand sauce), but I'm not sure I'd wholly endorse the combination. I really liked the sauce, but I forget what it was called. I remember seeing it at some of the wineries that had gourmet food sections.

For dinner, we checked out McPhee's Grill in Templeton. I like the feel of this place and understand that a chef-driven restaurant of this type has a place in what otherwise looks like a normal farming town. There seems to be something for everyone here. Many of the standard chicken or beef dishes, pizza and pasta, as well as some more challenging fusion of Mexican, Central Coastal, and new American fare. They also have a good selection of local microbrews and a good list of local wines.

Among the three of us, we had the grilled artichoke appetizer; the fried goat cheese and roasted garlic; the Original Ian's salad (which contained goat cheese, blue cheese, shrimp, and bacon); the jambalaya pasta, a seared scallop dish, and the oak grilled salmon. Unfortunately, I think McPhees can still use some work. While most of the items were prepared well enough, some flavor combinations really didn't work. I didn't care for the vinegared taste of the horseradish mased potatoes, or the shrimp in the ian salad seemed a bit out of place, and the grilled artichoke seemed a bit haphazardly prepared (especially compared to the one we had at the Hitching Post the night before). The jambalaya pasta was surprisingly good. And the goat cheese and roasted garlic appetizer was a good combination and plentiful.

I don't want to sound too negative in my post because I have every intention of revisiting McPhee's at least for a second shot.

The Wine Outlet in Atascadero is also worth checking out, especially at the end of a Paso Robles visit, since they do carry many of the local wines and at competitive prices with the wineries. We purchased a few bottles that we passed up buying directly at the wineries, for whatever reason, and it gave us that second chance to rethink and purchase some wines without having to drive all the way to the individual wineries.


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