Poppin’ bottles of pop: Give a warm welcome to SLO’s own Sunshine Bottle Works! Handcrafted sodas will be available on local shelves around the county starting this month, including cream soda, root beer, and Spezi (see Hayley’s picks for details on this orange-cola creation). Plus, I hear a ginger beer flavor will be available soon for all you Moscow mule fanatics (sunshinebottleworks.com). Huzzah! … Are you ready for the Paso Winter Wine Stroll? Bundle up and head out to downtown Paso this Jan. 14 from 2 to 5 p.m. for wine and food pairings from a gaggle of cool downtown wineries. It might be the wine or the residual holiday good tidings, but you may just make some new friends while you’re at it (tickets $30; downtownpasowine.com). What can I say, Paso tends to live up to its truly friendly name!
I’d double tap that: Ruddels Smokehouse recently celebrated its 15th year in business! The Cayucos taco hut is always a classic and satisfying coastal stop, and you really can’t go wrong with a smoked salmon or ahi taco drizzled with locally made Cayucos hot sauce (follow on Instagram @ruddlessmokehouse for waves, tacos, and good times) … You haven’t really lived until you’ve tried a deep fried egg perched atop a cowboy-worthy salad at Kitchenette in Templeton (scope their drool-inducing “Ranch Salad” @Kitchenettetempleton and you’ll see what I mean).
All the carbs
Cold weather noshing: Il Cortile in Paso Robles is all about the truffles, and we’re cool with that! Try this Italian restaurant’s popular homemade pasta with pecorino sauce, sautéed mushrooms, truffle oil, and shaved truffles, of course (608 12th St., Paso Robles) … Pizza Solo in SLO may be known for its savory pies, but you can also ask for a sweet mango dessert pizza, if you’re so inclined (pizzasolo.com). Happy carb-loading!
Hayley Thomas Cain is ready for more carbs in 2017. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.