Jarhead: Master canner Stormy T. is back at it again with his famous fire-roasted salsa, a cult fave among SLOcals in the know. Pick up a flaming red mason jar of this juicy, just-picked, spicy, smokey snack at Lincoln Market in SLO and invite your friends over for a Mexican fiesta ... Grenada Hotel & Bistro knows how to cool off in style. This is all you need to know, OK? Dungeness crab tartines with Spanish gin and tonics (just saying that makes me feel like I'm on some sexy beach holiday) ... Not sure why, but Mediterranean pizza is all I want to eat right now, and thankfully Petra in SLO is continuing to kill it with their fresh, funky pies topped with healthier-than-pepperoni toppings. If you have not tried the Greek Feta pizza with pesto, spinach, onions, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts, you are doing summer wrong.
From fancy to fried
Winning wine list: When the finicky, fussy editors at Wine Spectator give out their coveted Award of Excellence to a restaurant, they mean business. Recently, Shell Beach's Lido at Dolphin Bay, along with Cambria eateries Black Cat Bistro and Robin's Restaurant received that shining symbol of wine superiority, and they deserve every ounce of humble brag buzz. Seriously though, it's huge for pushing forward the Central Coast's reputation as a go-to wine Mecca and fine dining destination! ... And, onto something completely different: The California Mid-State Fair is back this July 20 through 31, which can only mean one thing. You will get kettle corn stuck in your teeth and your "best friend" may "forget" to tell you. Thankfully, you'll realize after posing for that Western old time-y photo. Oh, and you will also debate whether or not you should eat that deep fried Nutter Butter and/or strip of chocolate covered bacon. Let me help you with this: DO IT.
Colder than cold: Batch, SLO's tiny ice cream sando shop known for its scratch-made cookies and mind-blowing mix-and-match flavor combos is opening up a second locale in Paso Robles, right next to its sister company Kreuzberg's second location (P.S., it's just as cool as the Higuera Street location, if you haven't been). At what point can we start calling 13th Street in Paso "Little SLO?" If Bowl'd joins the ranks, we may have to start doing that ... The owners of Noi's Little Thai Takeout in scenic, sleepy Baywood have birthed a new baby, too—and it smells like the ocean! The Naked Sea Cafe is open for business in Baywood, serving up everything from fish and chips to vegan chili and cornbread muffins. Have you checked it out yet? Send me your recommendations!
Hayley Thomas smells something fishy and likes it. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.