The Vegetable Butcher Continues to Impress!
We couldn’t wait to get back to SLO for Tamale Tuesday, and we were warmly greeted by “Lola” out front. Not surprising at all, we were very impressed once again. It was a meal fit for foodies, which had us happily humming over every bite, and every sip of the good value Albarino. Not to mention the excellent service from our favorite young server, Dru.
We were also quite interested in learning a few new things about this destination eatery that’s one of the best things to come to SLO in two decades (among a couple handfuls of other Central Coast restaurants we continue to love, which you’ll find on our top 10 lists). Although the Vegetable Butcher has been closed on Sundays, open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. through 9:30 p.m., they will be opening for Sunday brunch sometime soon, according to co-owner John T. Windels, CSW, “But not Sunday nights.” We can’t wait, figuring it will probably be sometime after the soft opening ends.
Whenever we come for lunch we make it the main meal of the day because we can’t help but order many food choices, all of which we share. We leave pleasantly full (we work hard at staying healthy), but completely satisfied, and that is a rare occurrence. Today, our lunch was no different.
We ordered a bottle of the Bodegas Ramon Bilbao 2016 Albarino Rias Baixas which was so deliciously refreshing and food friendly, it paired perfectly with each dish we savored (we didn’t have dessert). John, who is the wine director for the restaurant, told us that Spanish white wine is on the list because it’s a favorite of Chef Becky, “She picked this one,” he noted.
We started our feast by ordering the blue corn tamale of the day filled with butternut squash, and topped with Manchego cheese. It comes with charred green onions and a side salad of quinoa with corn, red peppers, pickled red onions, and cilantro salsa. Yum!
We couldn’t wait to try the highly recommended “little casa ensalada,” with little gem lettuce, radicchio, avocado, radish, hibiscus pickled red onion, queso fresco, dried sweet corn kernels, bourbon pepitas, and cilantro vinaigrette, which can be ordered no dairy or vegan. But we carnivores ordered it with the steak sticks, and loved the complexity of the duo.
We so loved the Tennessee hot fried free range chicken taco with jalapeno poppy slaw, radish, and gold pea shoots the first time, we wanted to see if it still lived up to our claims–duh! And Dan, aka Mr. Fish, order the yellowtail taco of the day, a perfect taco for him!
At the end of our meal, Dru told us she was glad we always came in for late lunch so she had time to chat with us while taking care of our orders. That’s the nature of this great restaurant, superior food, beverages, and service–we will be returning often, no doubt about it!
The Vegetable Butcher, 712 Marsh St. (at the corner of Broad St. across from from the CVS drugstore on Marsh), SLO, 805-439-4801. www.vegetablebutcherslo.com.