Granada Bistro (& bar): Night Out in SLO
Granada Bistro is the whole enchilada!! Darn it! If only Granada was a Mexican food place, that rhyme would’ve killed! Wednesday afternoon I jumped into traffic intercepting T.F. who was driving on Morro looking for the all elusive parking space in downtown SLO. We ended up parking near Giuseppe’s on Monterrey Street with no real destination in mind. Just two middle aged married guys downtown on a week night with zero plans. While I love Giuseppe’s (that’s another review), the bar was packed and T.F. and I were ready to get our drink on with no delays! We headed over to Granada Bistro, right behind Barnes and Noble.
T.F. had never been here and after my previous experiences I felt he absolutely had to check it out! The restaurant and bar sits just to the side of the hotel. Man, the entrance to the inn seriously brought out my inner nerd! I wanted to grab my Vorpal sword, crash through the doors and confront the Jabberwocky! Not tonight though. We had an urgent engagement with an adult beverage or three!
You see, T.F. and I were kinda celebrating an upcoming transition in my life… more to come as the craziness unfolds!
Granada is definitely a beacon in the night to thirsty travelers. The bar was full, but the community table was completely open and we grabbed a couple of seats on the end. The charming hostess left us with a parting, “Perfect! Now you can gaze into each other’s eyes!” Did I mention that I love this place?
Almost immediately our waitress pushed drink menus in front of us and challenged us not to disappoint her with our orders. T.F. jumped on their riff on a classic Old Fashioned. I was feeling particularly saucy (and frankly wanted to see our waitress’s reaction) so I ordered a red wine Sangria. The waitress, who had introduced herself as Angee, was NOT impressed. Bound by her solemn oath to serve the weary traveler, dutifully asked the hipster bartender to whip them up despite her objections.
Marc. T – Angee – TF
“Delightful” doesn’t begin to describe the quality and craftsmanship of the beverages brought forth. The man was a magician! Not having eaten since breakfast, I suggested the charcuterie plate to T.F. who immediately agreed. I asked Angee to “put wings on it” since I was famished and was slightly concerned about the impact the alcohol would have on my empty stomach and my good sense. I think I had clearly established myself as a wimp in her eyes and with a sideways glance she muttered, “I’m confident you can make it a couple of minutes!” Haha! Formality be damned! There was no room for it in this establishment! The charcuterie was incredible and I switched to and Old Fashioned as T.F. ordered his second.
Granada has a beautiful second floor balcony with a fireplace that is reserved for hotel guests. Not sure what I said to our waitress that she believed T.F. was staying in the hotel (well, I did say, “T.F is staying in the hotel”), but we took our drinks and were ushered through the lobby and upstairs to one of the greatest spots in SLO county. Rather than go into detail, just check it out sometime!
Upon ordering our third round, we asked Angee her story. She moved out to California from the Mid-West and started a company in SLO called Taste of SLO. As she explained, she acts as a guide on a walking tour of downtown restaurants. This is not a paid advertisement or endorsement, but Angee’s enthusiasm and energy are infectious! Check out www.tasteofslowalkingfoodtour.com.
Final thoughts on Granada. T.F. and I had an exceptionally fun night, discussed life, the universe and everything! The food, drinks and staff took the entire experience to the next level! Come check this friendly and memorable place out. It’s often packed, so come early! Meh, 9.5/10 ?
Find me out there!