If you followed my old blog, you probably know that I have a hard time staying in one place. Multiple times a month, I find myself with itchy feet, ready for a new adventure, which very often takes me up to SF. But I’m sure my friends are rather over my biweekly visits, especially when I kick them out of their own beds and drag them to overpriced coffee at 7am (Sorry Rob/Chris).
But a couple of weeks ago, Carrie, a newly minted Seattle-lite, reminded me that she was in the Bay Area for an extended holiday and decided to meet up in Paso Robles for a girls and pups weekend – meaning Carrie and I rented an AirBnB and brought our partners in crime with us. Carrie has a cute little pinscher/doxie mix named Bruce and I brought my donkey aka Sophie.
Our AirBnB was lovely and in Atascadero, which, just FYI, has several breweries, including a ciderhouse. But back to the AirBnB. Our host laid out two dog beds for the pups, complete with their own towels and dog cookies. The freezer included already chilled steins. The counter was topped with organic fruit from a CSA. #Heaven.
We did the wine tasting, eating, coffee, shenanigans and also did a night on the town, where we were aggressively hit on by a bunch of Englishmen on vacation, who bought lots of Coors. Overall, Paso was incredibly accommodating, dog friendly and with impressive food.
Bru Coffehouse, Atascadero: Serves Stumptown coffee with a side of hipster baristas and nostalgic decor. ORDER: the Americano
Artisan, Paso Robles: A fancy bistro that I discovered with Aline on our way up to Outside Lands last summer. Definitely make a reservation for a Friday or a Saturday night as it is incredibly packed, even off-season. ORDER: the pate plate as well as the mushroom toast – brioche, smothered in delicious mushrooms, creme fraiche, bacon and a perfectly poached egg. I would have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner if it were an option.
Honorable Mention: The Hatch, Paso Robles. ORDER: any of the cocktails and the small plate of mushrooms. (Apparently, Paso is really great on the mushrooms).
Pine Street Saloon: One of our wine experts suggested this local favorite/dive bar for a night on the town. Holy mother of God, was it an experience. First, it’s Old West inspired. Second, it’s haunted. Third, the alcohol is ridiculously cheap. Fourth, the music was amazing – a brassy, sassy woman with the voice of an angel sang bluegrass. Fifth, the age range was from 21 to 85. Sixth, everyone in there was also insane.
Honorable Mention: Molly Pitcher (AKA Tent City Brewing), Atascadero. Low-key tasting room thats a nice break from the bigger Firestone Brewing Company. Plus, there was a French bulldog in a Baby Bjorn.
Venteux Vineyards: Just a note on the wineries, many of them are dog-friendly and tasting fees range from $15-20. Our favorite was Venteux. Not only was Sophie allowed off-leash, but the wine selection was stellar. The tasting menu ranged from a white Voignier blend to a heavy cab. The hosts were generous, patient and chatted with everyone with a familiarity perfect for this little town. We spent two hours in their cozy lounge, cuddling the pups and drinking all the wine.
Honorable Mention: Enfold Wines. So we didn’t even visit this winery. But at dinner at Artisan, a lovely older gentleman gifted us a bottle of wine… with his face on it… because he was the founder and owner of Enfold Winery. It was one of the best bottles I’ve, well, basically ever had. They don’t have a tasting room nor do they distribute online. You can only join their wine club (which apparently has a waiting list) or hope that it is served at a local restaurant. I highly recommend it!