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For those of you that have read my blog for awhile, you may remember that I’ve posted about restaurants before. My family eats out almost every night. We’ve been doing that since my wife and I were married and both of us were working. When we had kids, we experienced the entire cycle of kid meals to the transition to expensive non-kid meals to feed the teenagers. I estimated the number of restaurant meals I’ve had in my lifetime a few years ago and it was around 15,000! Some have suggested I should become a restaurant consultant. LOL!

We do have some activity on the restaurant front that I thought I’d comment about:

– The Chili’s in Arroyo Grande is targeted to open on May 15th
– A Chipolte’s is rumoured to be signed up to go into the as-yet-to-be-built shopping center in Paso Robles at East 46 and Golden Hill Rd.

I’d recommend trying the Mexican restaurant that opened on Grand Ave in Arroyo Grande. It think it’s called Mexican Viejo. It’s the building that used to be a Mexican restaurant and then before that a Thai restaurant. The food is good and reasonably priced. I’d put it in the same category as my all time favorite, Pepe DelGados in SLO.

We have stayed away from AJ Spurs lately since the last times we went there, we felt that they lost their service focus. They have eliminated their early bird dinners (which were a great value) but have replaced it with another menu with smaller portion steaks and such that’s available all the time. The 5 oz Top Sirloin meal went up a few dollars (to $15) but you still get the salad, soup, and desert included. My wife and I went there this week and they have had a management change in the Grover Beach restaurant and it was much better. My only gripe was that they serve water in really small glasses. If they are going to do that, they better have someone constantly walking around refilling which isn’t the case. I think they want you to buy a soda (or alcoholic beverage). They serve the sodas in a really big glass but they cost $2.95 which is one of the highest soda prices I’ve seen.

High Street Deli in SLO continues to be my favorite Deli. It’s amazing that deli’s can use the same bread (San Luis Sourdough) and have basically the same ingredients but produce sandwiches that taste so different. I had one of High Street’s Turkey Pesto special sandwiches a few days ago and it was great. Not the cheapest around but they are always crowded. Wish the wait wasn’t as long as sometimes it can take 20 minutes to get a sandwich and they don’t have a good place for you to wait.

I’m still looking for a good salad place. I really like Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad but we’ve been to the new Arroyo Grande Applebee’s four times now and they have consistently BAD service and wait times. We keep thinking that they’ll get better but now we wonder if it’s the management that’s the problem. California Pizza Kitchen has some good salads but you need to be really hungry and want to pay $12 for theirs. Elaine from Seinfeld would be happy to get one of their “big salads”.

I’m still waiting for an innovative restaurant to take service to the next level to help eliminate empty beverage glasses and holding people hostage while they are waiting for the check. Who will be the first to install a set of buttons at a table that you can press if you need something?? The only restaurant that I’ve seen try something along these lines is Bubba Gumps who has the “Stop Forrest” sign you can put up at the table if you need something.

Anyways, I’ll stop this post now as I haven’t had lunch yet and this is making me hungry. I am looking forward to the holidays when we go up to the Bay Area. There is a new fondue restaurant that opened in Livermore that looks similar to La Fondue in Saratoga and we have reservations there on Sunday the 23rd. My wife loves fondue and have memories of the old Wine Street Inn in downtown SLO (anyone remember that place?). Maybe we’ll get lucky and the fondue place will look to open one here in SLO (they are a Dallas-based chain that’s expanding).

If you’ve got any favorite restaurants you think I should check out, send me an email or drop me a not through the contact form. I’m always on the lookout for good places to eat!

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile