North American eateries

Ratings are on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale used to be 0 to 10, so restaurants written about before 2012 may have only had their ratings adjusted by formula and not by hand (hence all the 2s, 5s, 8s, etc.) The scale works as follows:

24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16
15 14 13 12 11 10
9 8 7 6 5 4
3 2 1

An asymmetrical 0 to 24 scale may not be intuitive, I realize. But as a rule of thumb: a double-digit score means I liked it, while a single-digit score... less so. Also, as you might expect, scores from many years ago may not be very reliable, so do check the dates.

CA Central Coast

San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. (The underlying theme of this section: Is there a reason to take the 101 instead of the 5?)

Click on the column titles to sort the entries!

Name Cuisine Address Last update Score
La Super-RicaMexicanMilpas & Alphonse, Santa Barbara2015-02-1215
This is basically a taco shack, and most dishes are very simple. Rajas: peppers, onions, cheese and herbs on a pair of corn tortillas. Queso de cazuela: melted cheese in a bowl of tomato sauce, served with three corn tortillas. Gordita frijol: corn tortilla stuffed with spiced pintos. Simple and yet very good. The exceptions have been the specials: chilaquiles were above average but not great, and the tamal de verduras was bland. Still, a must-visit.
Old West Cinnamon RollsCinnamon rollsDolliver & Pismo, Pismo Beach2015-02-1213
Very good cinnamon rolls with a variety of toppings (I got one almond and one cream cheese).
Birkholm's BakeryBakeryAlisal near Mission, Solvang2015-02-1212
I figured that if you're going to go to California's recreation of a Danish village, you should probably get a danish. Here I got a gigantic cherry/cheese danish. It was tasty. Good job, Danes.
Coffee ExpressCafeGrand near Brisco, Arroyo Grande2015-02-128
Unnervingly nice service, but the breakfast wrap I got here was not the unparalleled triumph I had been led to expect. It was okay but it's in the middle of the pack as breakfast burritos go.
Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream LabDessert (ice cream)Branch btw Wesley/Nevada, Arroyo Grande2007-02-1914
Good ice cream and a charming establishment. Apparently they create new flavors on Wednesday night in performances open to the public.
American FlatbreadPizzaBell btw Den/St. Joseph, Los Alamos2007-02-1611
Two nights a week this place takes a break from making frozen pizzas for Whole Foods and makes fresh ones for the locals. They taste pretty much exactly like the boxed ones... maybe a little crisper. So if you want a sense of what this is like, get an American Flatbread pizza from the Whole Foods, cook it about a minute longer than the box recommends, and eat it while sitting in front of a blazing hot fireplace — because that oven is HOT.

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