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Protein, please! 

He has the meats: Back in May, local Chef Jensen Lorenzen and his wife, Grace, launched Larder Meat Co., a monthly subscription-based meat delivery service featuring curated boxes of fresh, frozen, local chicken, pork, and beef. Their mission was twofold: to seek out the very best ranchers producing the highest quality product on the Central Coast and to put the purchasing power back into the hands of conscientious consumers who want to directly support local ranchers. Learn how you can get your own subscription at lardermeatco.com … How did I not know about Poke Chef opening on a tucked-away corner of California Boulevard in SLO? I freakin’ love poke, and I don’t care if it comes from a strip mall or a white tablecloth establishment! Choose your base (rice, veggies) and your proteins (spicy tuna, salmon, and albacore to name a few) and pick from a bunch of dressings to create your very own personalized seafood sensation (call 966-0038 for more information or visit the business on Yelp).

Clink clink!

Booze hounds: Congrats to Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles, which proved that it’s more than just a swank place to soak up legendary wine. The hotel’s restaurant, Cello Ristorante and Bar, recently won big at the California Mid-State Fair Mixology Competition with a concoction of house infused lemongrass Campari sweet vermouth, fresh flowers from the hotel’s gardens, coffee beans, and finished over a lavender and rosemary smoke pillow (served, of course, with a lemongrass straw) … Let’s bring back after-work fun at Foremost Wine Company, OK? With happy hour every day from 4 to 6:30 p.m. featuring food and wine specials starting at $5 and finger food from Full of Life Flatbreads, I am on board 100 percent. 

Adventures in flavor

Did you miss National Cuban Sandwich Day? Darn. Well, you can still get a handle on all that porky, pickled goodness with a sando from the Cubanissimo Food Truck (catch these hot wheels on Facebook to find out about their next stop) … This Aug. 28, get your sparkle on with The Station SLO’s Sparkle Sunday event. Sip on a glass of Spanish sparkling wine with your choice of fresh, market garnishes for $10 and relish those last few hours of freedom before the Monday doldrums kick in … Mason Bar in Arroyo Grande gives new meaning to the concept of buzzed munchies. Craft cocktails muddled with fresh fixings require an elevated take on bar food: fried shishito peppers with chilled tomato glaze, artisinal cheeses drizzled with fine honey, and Brussels sprouts sprinkled with cotija cheese and cilantro aioli (see the whole craveable menu at masonbarag.com). 

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