Self-Guided “Day in Wine Country” Tour Itinerary (Eastside)

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Breakfast:
Margie’s Diner
1135 24th St, Paso Robles (across from the fairgrounds)
805-238-4305
Margie’s is a no nonsense American diner but this ain’t no Denny’s! With portions to satiate the most hearty of appetites, choose between their classic biscuits and gravy, traditional egg dishes or the delicious banana pancakes. Can’t decide? Get a combo. These portions are large enough that you may not have to order anything for the kids, just share your heaping plateful and save your dinero for the wine!

Starting on the Eastside…

Tobin James
8950 Union Rd, Paso Robles
805-239-2204
Walking into Tobin James tasting room feels like your entering a saloon out of the old West, in fact the site is on an old stagecoach stop. This is likely the least pretentious winery in the land! The main bar dates back to the 1860’s and there is usually a bandana clad dog looking for a scratch. They have been around for over 20 years and offer a large wine selection and a sparkling non-alcoholic grape juice for the kids and designated drivers. Keep a lookout for Jesse James’ ghost, as rumor has it, he enjoyed Paso Robles wine before it was trendy!
For the kids: Sparkling Grape Juice, free video games, fun Western ambiance.

For the adults Zinfandel and lots of it!  Ask if they have any of the James Gang Reserves open. Finish with the “Liquid Love” Late Harvest Zinfandel served with chocolate.

Warning Becomes party-central in the late afternoon, especially on weekends. Go early and avoid the intoxication and the crowd!

Eberle
3810 Hwy 46 East, Paso Robles
805-238-9607
Gary Eberle is known as the “Godfather” to local winemakers for good reason. He made his first vintage of Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon in 1979 and was one of the first to plant Syrah in California. Though making quality wine is the focus, they know how to have fun and have a knowledgeable staff to make sure you feel welcome.

For the kids Rub the bronze boars nose at the entrance for good luck.  The cave tour. Bocce ball court.

For the adults Must taste the Cabernet Sauvignon. Ask if they have any Reserves open. The Syrah is great as well. End with the sweet but not cloying Muscat Canelli.

Warning There is fragile Italian pottery within little hands grasp in the tasting room. If you take the cave tour, beware of the the steps and potential hazards to touring a working winery.

Lunch:
Berry Hill Bistro
1114 Pine St, Paso Robles (on the square)
805-238-3929
Berry Hill Bistro is a French country-style restaurant that emphasizes fresh, seasonal ingredients and large portions. The Frites (authentic “French” fries) are a great appetizer and kid favorite, served with three dipping sauces. The chicken salad and portobello mushroom salad bring in the crowds. The children’s menu sports a grilled cheese sandwich that is suitable for adult appetites. Dessert? Try their own Olallieberry pie a la mode (when in season). There are a few tables outside with a view of the town square, great for when the kids are feeling rowdy!

Dessert:
Powell’s Sweet Shoppe
840 11th Street, Paso Robles (on the square)
805-239-1544
The kids have been patient, they’ve been supportive in your search for good wine, now it’s their turn! Got a sweet-tooth in the family? This place rocks! More candy than should be allowed in one location, they have brands I didn’t know were available anymore and all the usual suspects as well. Fill up bags from one of the many bins or go for the gelato and savor the silky sugar rush!

Firestone Walker Brewery and Tap Room (the rumors are true!)
1400 Ramada Dr, Paso Robles (near the intersection of Hwy 101 & Hwy 46 W)
805-238-2556
Beer me! Yes, there’s great beer made in wine country! True there’s not a whole lot for the kiddies at this stop, and as a functioning brewery, they must be closely supervised at all times. But, this can be the one chance for the beer fan in the family to get a taste or two while the rest of the family takes a little walk or tries some pretzels and artisan mustard. The restaurant has a wide ranging menu using fresh local produce and meats. This award winning brewery is always highly ranked among brew aficionados. They have a full range of beers from lagers to stouts, but the ales put them on the map. Try the double barrel ale (fermented in wine barrels!) and the Union Jack IPA, which is a local winemaker favorite. Free brewery tours @ 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm. Remember, it takes a lot of great beer to make great wine! New addition to the Firestone Walker compound: The Brewery Store! Home brewing set-ups, educational supplies and seminars!

Dinner:

Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ  -Cowboy up!
1125 24th St, Paso Robles (across from the fairgrounds)
805-238-6272
Alright, this is the place to get down and dirty and eat with your hands! Right across from the California Mid-State Fair, the location couldn’t be more appropriate. Yes, they have wings, onion rings, nachos and garlic bread to get you started. Then your off to cowboy land with offerings from the BBQ; ribs, tri-tip and pulled pork sandwiches to run the sauce up your arm! Sure they have salads and corn on the cob, but don’t fool yourself, this is an old fashioned meat palace complete with a mechanical bull! Come in on your birthday and your meal is on Bubba.

Free Concerts in the Park

Paso Robles and Templeton have free concerts in their respective squares throughout the Summer months.

Paso Robles’ is on Friday nights 5:30-7:30 at the park gazebo.

Templeton’s is on Wednesday evenings 6:30-8:30 in their park gazebo.

Both offer food for sale, but most families bring a picnic and yes, beer and wine is allowed.

Park Cinemas
Catch a movie! Situated on the square surrounding the downtown park, this THX certified theatre is great treat anytime for all ages!
1100 Pine St. Paso Robles, CA 93446
Movie info/times 805-2272172
http://www.parkcinemas.com/

July 20, 2011 |

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