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Taco crazy 

There’s a new tortilla in town! Orale Taqueria has opened shop in Paso Robles and is now serving up vibrant street tacos topped with cilantro, freshly made salsas of all ilk, and authentic entrees like chile verde and parrillada as well as crave-worthy items like shrimp sautéed in butter and sweet hot sauce! Check ’em out at 834 11th St. and satiate that need for Mexican flavor (; hours are Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) … Speaking of tacos, the latest issue of Edible SLO is showcasing a fresh, spring take on the portable street food. Simply take two cups of chopped veggies, bake on an olive-oil-lined sheet till tender and top with greens, sprouts, sliced radish, sour cream, and cojita cheese (I would use goat cheese in a pinch; find the full recipe at Thanks to the inevitable creep of swimsuit season, I will be making these healthy taco treats sooner rather than later!

To do list

Blame it on the alcohol: The SLO Craft Beer Fest will foam to a head this Feb. 26 and 27 at the Madonna Inn Expo Center! Grab a goblet and experience food pairings and educational beer seminars with a decidedly pink tinge ( … Sophie Boban-Doering and her hubby, Paul, are known for selling some of the finest worldly cheeses at their downtown SLO shop, Fromagerie Sophie. Next month, they’ll be packing up their exotic cheese wheels, crusty bread, and killer charcuterie for a myth-busting pinot noir and cheese-pairing seminar to be held in Santa Barbara this March 5 (sounds like a good excuse for a road trip! Get all the details at … White wine drinkers, unite! I want to remind you that it’s already time to get your tickets for the beachy-keen Chardonnay Symposium coming up this May 12 through 14 in gorgeous Pismo Beach ( I mean, pinot noir gets all the love these days. It’s about time chardonnay reclaims its rightful place as the queen of drinkable SLO wines!

Happy things

Uh, hello? Did you know that Feb. 18 was National Drink Wine Day? I know! I thought that was every day, too. Celebrate this worthy holiday with a belated yet much-needed trip to The Station SLO, where wine expert Jenna Congdon is always whipping up new and interesting classes, seminars, and events that span calligraphy and air plants to hard cider and cheese pairings (find out about upcoming wine and art events at the business’s Facebook page) ... I can’t help but drool over every single one of Ember Restaurant’s Instagram posts. The Arroyo Grande eatery’s latest food porn pic included this beauty: roasted mixed beets drizzled with local honey, whipped goat cheese, and toasted walnut arugula pesto (I suggest you also follow them to see what’s cooking @emberrestaurant) … Spoon Trade in Grover Beach recently unveiled a new libation that screams spring freshness. The Apple of My Eye cocktail is old-school to the max but ever-so-current, made with brown label vermouth, apple shrub, egg white, and lemon. Be a dear and order me one to go, OK?

Hayley Thomas is addicted to Instagram food pics. Send her the best eateries to follow at

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