{SLO Restaurant Month}

January is restaurant month here in SLO county, which is essentially a month long celebration of the best restaurants SLO has to offer. Participating restaurants offer a 3 course prix-fixe meal for $30, or some sort of discount. Many restaurants also offer a rotating menu, so you can go back each week and try something new. Although $30 is still a little expensive on my budget, I’m still excited to browse all of the online menus and drool over the offerings.

Here are a few samples:

You can check out all of the participating restaurants and find more information here. The county’s Facebook page also has great up to date information!

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{Wild Donkey Cafe}

The Wild Donkey Cafe

Photo from thewilddonkeycafe.com

The Wild Donkey Cafe is another somewhat new restaurant in downtown San Luis Obispo specializing in Mexican and Greek food. Odd combination, right? On the menu, the owner explains that since the two cuisines have similar uses of ingredients and methods of cooking, they thought it would be a natural evolution to start a restaurant serving the two. And since they’re two of my favorite types of food, I was pretty excited when I heard about The Wild Donkey’s unique menu!

The Wild Donkey Cafe

The restaurant opened about a year ago, but Jeff and I just had a chance to go check it out a few weeks ago to celebrate the end of our quarter and of my student teaching. Going in, I knew it was going to be a difficult decision: Mexican or Greek? It took be about 25 minutes (over a glass of wine, of course!) to decide but eventually I was tempted by their vegetarian soup special: lentil soup with a tomato broth (don’t judge!). The soup was one of the best I’ve ever had in a restaurant–not too salty and full of flavor. Sorry for the dark photos–they had their mood lighting in full effect!

Lentil Soup

I also ordered a side of pita bread with Melitzanosalata–an eggplant and tomato pureed dip. This stuff is addicting–now I really want to try to make it next time we get eggplant in our CSA box!

Pita Bread

Jeff also ordered a special–their pastistio. Pastistio is a Greek baked pasta/lasagna dish with elbow macaroni, ground lamb, tomato, egg, cheese, and cinnamon. I don’t eat lamb, but Jeff assured me it was delicious!

Patistio

For dessert, we shared the cinnamon ice cream and a side of baklava and it was seriously the best dessert I’ve had in a long time.

Dessert

The restaurant itself is pretty tiny, but has a great cozy feel and friendly, quick service.

We will definitely be back soon! You can check out more about The Wild Donkey Cafe here.

{Mo’s Smokehouse BBQ}

Mo's BBQ

When I’m not in the mood for making it myself, one of my favorite places to grab comfort food is at Mo’s Smokehouse BBQ in downtown SLO. The restaurant, food and decor included, was inspired by a barbecue tour trip the owner, Mo, took across country one year. According to the website and owner Mo,

Twenty years into my restaurant career, I decided to open a real barbecue restaurant. With a good buddy, I set off to find out what barbecue was all about. We made a 3,500 mile swing through the barbecue belt – visiting 10 states and over 80 barbecue restaurants. The people were great. We got recipes, tips, techniques, advice, instructions and one heck of a lot of inspiration. Everywhere we stopped we bought an antique chair for Mo’s Smokehouse. Also, you’ll notice the unique photos of cooks, meat smokers and BBQ joints hanging on the walls at Mo’s. These were taken by us on the many stops we made. When we came home we had the greatest recipes for beans, onion rings, coleslaw, pork ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, sweet potato pie – and we knew just the kind of place we wanted. We built Mo’s from the floor up to be the finest barbecue restaurant in the west. So sit back, suck in some of the hickory smoked flavors floating about, order up… and enjoy!”

The food really is delicious–I could eat buckets of their potato salad without stopping. Plus, they have decently priced pitchers of local favorite Firestone Double Barrel Ale (DBA), so you can’t really go wrong with that! Mo’s is definitely more family-oriented than the other BBQ joints in town which usually just makes it more low-key and less crowded–my kind of restaurant.

Mo's BBQ

Mo's BBQ

Last weekend, we were able to enjoy Mo’s great food and the annual Christmas parade at the same time–a pretty perfect evening! Jeff and I split a pulled chicken sandwich topped with coleslaw and served with a side of potato salad and baked beans.

Mo's BBQ

I am obsessed with in love with their Carolina BBQ sauce! Their Carolina Chicken Burger is often my go-to order for that very reason.

Carolina BBQ SauceYou can check out more about Mo’s on their website here.

{SLO Creek Farms}

SLO Creek Farms

After our delicious breakfast at Honeymoon Cafe this past weekend and a quick but gorgeous walk on the beach, we headed over to SLO Creek Farms for a little apple picking birthday fun. I know it’s a bit late in the apple season, but I was hoping there would still a be a few apples left on the trees to snatch up!

The farm just has a little stand on the side of Monte Rd., right by the exit for Avila Beach. You can either purchase already picked apples at the stand or grab a bucket and head out into the orchard to pick your own! The trees were looking more than a little barren, but we still decided to see if we could find any to pick. Plus, you can eat as many apples for free as you want while you’re out in the orchard!

SLO Creek Farms

Let’s just say it took a bit of hunting to find the good apples, which we tried to do quickly as the entire orchard had a pretty foul smell of fermenting, decaying apples! But I must say, we did have fun hunting and searching for the best ones!

SLO Creek Farms

Here was our loot!

SLO Creek Farms

Overall, SLO Creek Farms is definitely a fun family-friendly afternoon trip idea, although may I recommend going a bit earlier in the season! The farm also encourages you to bring along a picnic lunch and make a day trip out of it which I think would be a pretty fun idea. You can find more about the farm and their apple orchard here.