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National recognition—what more could a restaurant ask for?
How about one successful year in business?

Okay, done.

Metro Café, located at 892 Marsh St. in San Luis Obispo’s Downtown Centre, is able to celebrate both this month thanks to a steady stream of devoted customers coming through the door, and one specific customer who stopped by earlier this summer.

Andrew Nelson, a writer for National Geographic Traveler magazine, was visiting the Central Coast and researching various hot spots for an upcoming article. The article, “On the Road: The Old Mission Trail,” mentions several local “roadside attractions.” One morning in May he happened to stop by the Metro Café, and he must have had one hell of a breakfast burrito.

“The breakfast burrito is the perfect road food,” he writes. “Wrap it up, hop in the car and eat on the run. The tastiest I’ve found … .”

The owners of Metro Café, Michael La Barbera and Robert Gebhardt, were pleasantly surprised.

La Barbera said Nelson had been an anonymous customer until a phone call came in a few weeks later telling them they’d been picked for a photo in the piece and asking when a photographer could come by.

“We have a really unique look. I think that’s why National Geographic picked us to do a photo. We’re really colorful, light, and airy. When you’re inside the restaurant you’re, like, part of the day. It’s a beautiful restaurant.”

The café just hired on more staff for the expected rush of students and plan on serving them breakfasts, lunches, and entrées, as well as great service.

Nelson’s article appeared in the September issue of the magazine and features several other area attractions including Big Sky Café (“my new favorite restaurant”), the thousands of monarch butterflies at the Pismo Beach eucalyptus grove (“a blizzard of autumn leaves—falling up”), and the Mongolian yurts at the Cachuma Lake recreation area.


Go country every Thursday in October with Cowboy Up Mechanical Bull Productions when they bring a real live mechanical bull onto the premises at SLO Brewing Company. SLO Brew’s Thursday night, after-Farmers Market event will feature prizes for several different types of rides, including longest, best outfit, etc. Cowboy Up Mechanical Bulls are reputed to be the most lifelike mechanical bulls on the market today. Real cowhide and real heads help make them “come alive.” Each ride is professionally controlled to fit each rider’s age, size, and ability. Fore more information, call SLO Brewing Co. at 543-1843. …

… On Sept. 15, Judith Frey, speaker and professional coach, announced the release of “Find The Purpose Of Your Life,” a new assessment booklet. This booklet will help you produce a Personal Mission Statement outlining the purpose of your life and your true destiny. Frey says a Personal Mission Statement is derived by examining your passions, your values, and the people or things you want to impact in life. The “Find The Purpose Of Your Life” booklets are available at Borders and The Novel Experience. The retail price is $4.99. …

… While the purpose of life may elude some, the purpose in life is to have fun. And what says fun more than Las Vegas Night, hosted by the Cambia Rotary Foundation? The seventh annual Viva Las Vegas Casino Night will be held from 6-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Veterans Hall in Cambria. Tickets cost $25 and the evening will feature casino games, hors d’oeuvres, libations from area wineries and breweries, and live entertainment. For more information, call 927-2787 or 927-5111.


Old Edna Antiques, located in the Victorian cottage behind the big historic building that houses Fialas Chocolate and Gay Melodies Gallery, will be holding their open house on Oct. 5. ³

This week’s Strokes & Plugs were compiled by Staff Writer Matt McBride.


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