As long as I can remember, root beer floats have always been my favorite of all desserts. Maybe it’s because my dad liked to call my eyes “root beer brown” or the special trips to A&W that marked my reward for stacking firewood all summer (doesn’t really seem like a fair deal now, though). Still, there’s something so refreshing and playful about the bubbles mixing with the cold, vanilla ice cream on a hot, Atascadero afternoon. That being said, there is also something truly amazing about adding booze to that youthful mix! As part of Upper Crust Trattoria’s newly revamped dessert menu, the restaurant is now offering a root beer float-inspired cocktail containing Doc Burstein’s vanilla ice cream, fizzy root beer soda pop, and spicy Italian Fernet liquor. The best part: It comes in a massive glass, so you can stick two straws in that sucker and pretend you’re hanging at an old timey soda counter.
• Upper Crust Trattoria's Adult Root Beer Float—About $10; Upper Crust Trattoria, 11560 Los Osos Valley Road, SLO.
Due to a change in ownership, a few fresh coats of mint-hued paint, and a total menu overhaul, Creekside Brewing Company has transformed itself into an entirely new kind of creature. Now, I am not saying that the hangout “used to be a moth,” but I am saying that, as of late, it does feel far more like a butterfly. I recently experienced the restaurant and brewery’s rebirth from the cocoon, and I have to say, I was impressed with the changes (try their killer hot wings with blue cheese sauce, garden fresh beet salad with arugula and goat cheese, and juicy burgers and steaks). Accompanied by all that food I found a new and improved craft beer and craft cocktail list that surprised and satisfied. My favorite drink of the night was by far the Roberto Roy, a tequila take on a classic Roy Rodgers. Espolon Reprosado Tequila, sweet vermouth, Regan’s Orange Bitters, and Angostura Bitters are stirred and strained into a martini glass and garnished with a happy little sprig of mint. I felt quite sophisticated as I sat on the balcony with friends backdropped by a truly epic creek view. And although I was extremely tempted to try the eatery’s premium gin, vodka, bourbon, and rum offerings—not to mention their new lineup of house-made Heirloom Brewing Company beers—I wisely (and very happily) stuck to tequila. However, don’t let that stop you from trying it all!
• Creekside Brewing Company’s Roberto Roy—About $10; 1040 Broad St., SLO.
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