By Donna Polizzi
Ah brunch, that well-deserved moment in the week, where food meets a good time and relaxation. Keys 2 the Coast has been in search of the best breakfast and brunch spots, in Northern San Luis Obispo County and we just might have found them.
A good way to start your day is at the Country Touch Café in Atascadero, where they offer savory home-cooked breakfast meals. This family-owned and operated restaurant is located right off of El Camino Real and is run by a mother-daughter team. The service is fast and friendly.
They can get busy on the weekends, but if you do stop during the morning rush and have to wait a few minutes, the homemade applesauce makes it all worth it! Fresh applesauce is made with a perfect amount of cinnamon and is not too sweet. One customer stated, “The homemade cinnamon raisin toast is what dreams are made of!” If you thought things couldn’t sound any more delicious, the Country Touch kitchen can turn any omelet into a burrito.
The Country Touch Café is conveniently located near other places to visit and explore. If it’s a beautiful day, take advantage of their outdoor patio area; it is spacious and has beautiful wrought iron tables and chairs.
Another awesome place in downtown Paso Robles, called La Cosecha Bar and Restaurant, is right next to the community park. It’s a small restaurant that is big on atmosphere and has a welcoming, city buzz. The restaurant is spacious inside, with an open front for a setting that feels like you’re outdoors and overlooks the park. Bartender, Craig Newman shared, “I love working here. My co-workers are like good friends.” Newman makes a mean Bloody Mary. It was a work of art, loaded with lemon, fresh shrimp, crispy bacon slices and a medley of jalapeño, olives, celery and pickled onions…it was a buffet in a glass!
The Huevos Espanos dish is one of the local’s favorites. I ordered one of the best omelets ever eaten. It was scrumptious and loaded with house-made sausage, fontina cheese, red bell peppers, onions and generously topped with avocado. I will definitely go back to try other menus items.
Owners, Carole and Santos MacDonal, opened the restaurant in 2013. Carole was very friendly and shared that she and Santos wanted to “create a New York or San Francisco Style Restaurant, that people want to come back to again and again.” Mission accomplished. The brick walls and rustic, repurposed wood gives it a cozy warmth and the light fixtures are made of blown glass. I have seldom been in a place where the employees and other guests were so friendly. I was bookended at the bar by two delightful couples, both local, who shared many tips on their favorite wineries, eateries and good places to watch the sunset.
If you’re looking for a less traditional brunch scene, with a fresh and unique menu, the Kitchenette is perfect for the late breakfast fill-up. Both of the owners, the Kobayashi brothers, opened this restaurant in downtown Templeton, but source their food from their organic farm, no more than a mile away.
Nothing is more pleasing than a dish being created with fresh food, from a local farm with organic practices…and by the same people! As you walk into this smaller scale restaurant, you automatically feel that easy-going, laid-back style of service. In addition to that, you will instantly get the aroma of purely fresh ingredients coming out of the kitchen. Some of the popular items here are the corned beef hash and the pork pozole soup.
Customers love the baked goods, made daily in-house. You must know, that the absolute best quiche is hidden in this gem of a restaurant. It is the creamiest quiche you will ever taste! Make sure to get your own, because you will not want to share. “With all of the flavor and none of the fancy, Kitchenette is serving up farm-fresh cuisine, with a modern twist”, stated Dee Anderson, a very happy customer. Stop by the Kitchenette, for pallet-pleasing, scrumptious food.
(Donna Polizzi is a regional travel expert and founder of Keys 2 The Coast. Keys 2 The Coast is a free travel resource for Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Counties, sharing our favorite places to “Wine, Dine, and Explore.” Visit Keys2theCoast.Com.)