Saturday, April 18, 2015     Volume: 29, Issue: 38
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Where should new development go in SLO County?

Packed into existing cities.
Spread into quiet, rural areas.
Nowhere.
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New Times / Hayley's Bites

Something to chew on

Put a bird on it: Portlandia fans, get ready to get crafty! HoneyBee Cakery will be hosting a cupcake class where you can sculpt a giant peacock with modeling chocolate (April 25 at The Bunker SLO; 2 p.m; $35). Now only if we could pickle that, too ... Mother's Day is coming up quick, but you're quicker. For the foodie mother who scoffs at the thought of a new spice rack: 1) A functional yet classy foil dispenser (chicwrap.com), 2) nifty interlocking grill grates that ensure fabulous barbecued fare (grillgrate.com), 3) "Made to eat" cookie dough in flavors like cookies 'n' dream, cravin' oatmeal raisin, nuts for chocolate, and (you guessed it) birthday bash, which tastes like birthday cake, only totes uncooked (no scary raw egg included! Edoughble.com) ... Spring has sprung at Asuncion Ridge Vineyards and Inn, which has just released a 2012 Estate Pinot Noir, 2012 Select Pinot Noir, and 2012 Salacious GSM. Try these inky beauties whenever, but may I suggest attending on a Saturday, when live music fills the air from 5 to 8 p.m.? (For more information, visit asuncionridge.com or call 237-1425.)

Table talk

Dairyland: Last year, the historic little town of Harmony (population: 18) was purchased by a third-gen dairy farmer and SLO local. Now, the locale is being dolled up in preparation for the addition of the Harmony Valley Creamy Dairy Shoppe set to showcase locally sourced dairy products, a farm-to-table restaurant, and gorgeous gardens. Currently, the 2.5-acre landmark is undergoing renovations, but I can hardly wait to see what's in store when it's ready (you can still rent the chapel or the whole darn town; email info@harmony.com). I can only hope there are mini ponies involved in the final plan! ... Props to the employees at Old Juan's Cantina in Oceano who banded together to help out a fellow bartender in need. Bartender Kyle Batty's 3-year-old daughter is battling pancreatitis, but she is not alone. Early last month, Batty's coworkers gave away their tips to the tune of $5,900 to go toward medical expenses (many patrons gave fat tips, some as high as $500). This is a shining example of what can happen when people put their heads together to do real good (help support the family by calling Eva Verdin at 471-3003). Way to go.

From the vine

Chill out: The dates have been announced for the 2015 Chardonnay Symposium, an international gathering of good taste, May 28 through 30. Sip honey-, straw-, and golden-hued chardonnays in Pismo's The Cliffs Resort and Avila Beach's Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa (get your tickets in advance at thechardonnaysymposium.com) ... Move over Rhônes! The Paso Robles CAB Collective is gearing up for its annual Cabs of Distinction grand tasting this May 2 in Paso Robles. Sip on a vast array of local Cabernet Sauvignon and red Bordeaux varietals (75 to be exact) and nibble on flavorful cheese from Vivant Fine Cheese. Sound like the most perfect day of your life? There's brownies, too, provided by Heaven Squared Brownie Co. (River Oaks Hot Springs; 2 p.m.; visit pasoroblescab.com for tickets). No, you are not dreaming right now ... Want to attend a wine event where you can wear your cowboy boots with pride? Check out the Tailgate Party Meets Wine Country at Rotta Winery this April 25, featuring eight westside Paso wineries and their intoxicating offerings (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; visit trailgatetasting.com for tickets).

We want a bite! Send your food news to hthomas@newtimesslo.com.