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Pac NW eGulleter Needs Advice


LEdlund
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My husband and I are coming from Seattle to do some wine tasting the third week of August. We will be flying into SFO on August 16th, renting a car and driving to Paso Robles. We will be staying in Paso Robles the 16th through the 20th then driving back to SF for the weekend. We fly home on the 23rd. I've done some of research and have a few questions:

1) Regarding where to stay in Paso Robles: We're not B&B people and like to stay where there is a restaurant/bar on premesis and we can get decent internet access (so I can keep up with eGullet while I'm on vacation!). We prefer the "suite" hotels because we can set up an area to nosh on all of the goodies we buy on the road, and sample some of the wine we intend to buy and also preferably a room with a balcony. I've narrowed it down to the Hampton Suites or one of the family suites at the Best Western. Is one a preferable property to the other (or is there someplace else that meets those requirements)? We seriously considered the Paso Robles Inn but got scared away by some comments on Trip Advisor.......

2) Which wineries should be on our "must see" list in the Paso Robles area?

3) Regarding dining in Paso Robles: We are thinking for Bistro Laurent and Buono Tavola for dinner. Any others we should not miss? What about lunch and breakfast places?

4) Saturday and Sunday dinners in SF are taken care of (Quince and Zuni Cafe) but we are looking for something less expensive on Friday night. We're meeting some friends from Seattle who are also going to be in town but who aren't as devoted to food as we are. We are both staying near Union Square so something walking distance would be great. I've got my breakfast choices thanks to the Best SF Bay Breakfast thread!

If anyone is available for coffee/drinks in either location it would be fun to meet you!

Thanks in advance for your help.

Lauren

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4) Saturday and Sunday dinners in SF are taken care of (Quince and Zuni Cafe) but we are looking for something less expensive on Friday night. We're meeting some friends from Seattle who are also going to be in town but who aren't as devoted to food as we are. We are both staying near Union Square so something walking distance would be great.

You can hop on the cable car from Union Square and hop off at Hyde and Pacific to have dinner at 1550 Hyde.

Here's my review of the place. I've been going back almost every week since, it is definitely my favorite neighbourhood place at the moment.

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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Melkor and I spent a little time in Paso last weekend. Definitely visit Turley - you don't need an appointment. Also Dover Canyon is owned by an eGulleter (DoverCanyon) and is just a few miles away from Turley. Linne Calodo was recommended to us as a small but excellent winery, but we didn't have time to visit. Other wineries in the area: EOS, Hunt, Justin, J. Lohr, Martin & Weyrich, Peachy Canyon, Robert Hall, Treana. Bonny Doon is also there - depending on what you think of BD you may or may not want to visit it.

You can get the full list at www.pasowine.com. They have a very useful map so you can plan your visit. Note that many of the smaller wineries are only open Thursday or Friday through Sunday, although you can often make an appointment to visit on other days.

allison

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One of my favorite wineries to visit in Paso isn't a winery at all, but a tasting room in an industrial part of town - Garrettson Wine Co.

Mat Garrettson is active on some of the wine boards, and is the driving force behind the annual Hospice du Rhone in Paso Robles - I think he is making some of the best wine coming out of Paso Robles.

I would make it a point to make the drive to Tablas Creek - their wines are very good, and they have an excellent, informative tour.

Bistro Laurent is good - I would have recommended Alloro, but he's closed the restaurant. I also had a terrific meal at Villa Creek - owned by Chris Cherry, also a local winemaker - try his Mas de Maha, made from Tempranillo, Grenache and Mourvedre.

Re accomodations, I stayed at the Paso Robles Inn, and was disappointed. On the phone, they told me they had high speed access, but when I got there, and asked for it, the desk person said I needed to give a $250 deposit for the necessary equipment. "It doesn't really work very good", she added.

Friends staying over at the Best Western Black Oak Inn enjoyed free high speed, and seemed quite satisfied.

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Thanks so much for the information. This is exactly what I am looking for.

We've booked the Best Western Black Oak Inn and the room sounds like it will meet our needs.

I've noted all the wineries and hope to hit as many as I can. Are there any wineries that are not to be missed for things other than their wines? For example the views are fantastic, their charming and fun, etc.

Also, are there any "must eat" place in the outlying areas that we sure be sure to hit?

Thanks again, you guys are the best.

Lauren

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, now I need your help on pronouncing Paso Robles. I have the Paso part down but is it Rowblez or Rowbulls? I've heard it both ways and am not sure which is correct?

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It's Rowbulls, although the locals just call it "Paso"....

Beg to differ...

After last year's earthquake, having grown up SoCal, I always assumed it was RowBLAYS and queried Robin Garr's Wine Lovers Discussion Group to confirm my suspicion.

Fixed Link

Edited to fix link -- I hope it goes straight to the discussion at hand and not their current page...

Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)
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Carolyn, I couldn't get that link to work.....

See, this is why I'm asking - my pronunciation has been corrected no matter which way I pronounce it!

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LEdlund, are you squared away with SF lodgings and places to go? Do you know about HotelRes.com for booking hotels in the city? I have been using them for years; they're different and cheaper than the other travel services I use online. Specifically for San Francisco. I recommend the Hotel Majestic if it's in your price range.

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It's Rowbulls, although the locals just call it "Paso"....

Beg to differ...

After last year's earthquake, having grown up SoCal, I always assumed it was RowBLAYS and queried Robin Garr's Wine Lovers Discussion Group to confirm my suspicion.

I was just there, and everyone there called it Rowbulls. I know that is not the correct Spanish pronunciation, but that's what they say.

If you search online you'll see conflicting opinions on this. Here's one that supports Rowbulls.

allison

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Okay, I can't seem to link to the exact thread of the discussion so here it is:

Carolyn Tillie - December 24, 2003:

Growing up in Southern California, I grew up hearing it as:

Paso Rob-less

Now that the quake has occured, I am hearing it on the news reports as:

Paso Rob-uhls

Anyone know the definitive?

Response from John DeFiore (SF, CA):

I lived there for about a year in the early '90s. Most Anglo residents pronounced it PASS-oh ROW-bulls. The correct Spanish pronunciation is approximately Pah-so Row-blays, and that is how most of the Hispanic residents pronounce it. Most people in the area shorten the name to just "Paso". Because of the increasing Hispanic influence, it seems to me that the pronunciation is shifting toward the true Spanish pronunciation even among Anglos.

Robin Garr's response to John:

Concurring, John, and also with Jim's reply, I've heard it most often as "Row-blays" during my travels there.

Bill Spencer's response to Robin:

The "a" in "blays" is a very short "long a" - longer than a "short e" but %^)

... shorter than a "long a" ...

Clear as mud ?

Clink !

%^)

and the last from Jim Dietz in Tustin, CA:

Paw-so Row-blays

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Having never been there, I have no idea how it is pronounced by residents. However, having lived in California since 1973, I have heard PAH-so ROW-blehz 99% of the time in conversation.

Next thing you know, it will be La Jolla that gets a gringo pronunciation.

Edit: For clarity's sake, of course I've been THROUGH Paso Robles many times; I've just never spent any time in the town itself.

Edited by Squeat Mungry (log)
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I'm going to stick with Rowblez. It feels better rolling off my tongue.

As for hotel reservations, we are taken care of. The friend we are visiting is a travel agent and got us a great rate at the Marriott downtown ($69/night!). Thanks for the link - I'll use that in other travels for sure.

I'm now starting to question my choice of Zuni Cafe on Sunday night. Someone pointed out that Quince and Zuni Cafe serve essentially the same type of cuisine. I've been to Zuni before (granted it was years ago) so that seemed to be more expendable. Now I'm thinking of Cortez. Thoughts?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Really Nice! - Thanks for the nudge to get this posted. I meant to do it yesterday but you know how the first day back is......

We had a great time in Paso (we quickly started calling is simply Paso, although we heard both pronunciations of Robles - Rowblez slightly more often). The Best Western Black Oak Inn was just what we were looking for - and included free high speed internet access!

The wineries we visited: Justin, Le Cuvier, Tablas Creek, Bonny Doon, Dover Canyon, Eberle, Tobin James and Adalaida. I really liked all with the exception of Bonny Doon. It was way too commercial for me. And everyone should make a point of visiting our own Dover Canyon - Mary told me that I was the only eGulleter that had visited her! They have a beautiful place and great wines too.

Our meals were pretty good. Standouts were breakfast at Cowgirl Cafe and lunch at Papi's. Dinners were just so-so (we went to Paso Robles Steakhouse, Villa Creek, Bueno Tavola and Bistro Laurent). We tried to go to McPhee's Grill in Templeton but when we got there at 8:30 they told us they were closed. That was a problem for us everywhere - we were the last diners in the restaurant each night.

Our time in SF was action-packed. We had dinner at Bizou (just ok, wouldn't make a point of going back), Quince (this was fantastic - the best place I've been in a long time) and Cortez (I love small plate restaurants, there were five of us and we had a blast trying all sorts of things - great cocktails too!). We had lunch at Saigon Sandwich and Brothers Korean Charcoal BBQ. Both were fantastic. I am still craving my pate sandwich. Got a chance to catch the Geisha exhibit at the Asian Art Museum and the new exhibits at MOMA. Also enjoyed the Hearts in SF. It's like finding easter eggs around town!

Thanks to everyone for their advice :wub:

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  • 1 month later...

A belated thanks to everyone for their compliments on our area! I missed this thread in August as harvest started a week early and I had no life. :biggrin:

Lledlund, it was great visiting with both of you and quite a thrill to meet my first eGulleteers. Melkor, did I miss your visit? Were you incognito or did our attendant Jake take care of you?

And yes, both pronunciations are in use, but we can tell how long you've lived here or whether you're a first time visitor by how you say it. :raz:

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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