Skittles. Starburst. Nerds. Gummy Worms. Mike and Ikes. Jolly Ranchers. These are the main addictive treats I fight very hard to avoid these days. My success rate is about 78%.
However…Beef Jerky? I can’t avoid. But here’s the thing! I usually ONLY consume a small bag or two of BF when I’m on a road trip. There’s just something about gnawing on smoky, fat-free, dried-out, old meat while blasting Black Sabbath’s “13” on the open road!
Gourmet Beef Jerky seems to be a thing on the Central Coast. You can actually go into a shop like the Morro Bay House of Jerky and SAMPLE different types of brawn like you would wine in a tasting room. They even offer up SOY jerky for those who don’t go in for the animal flesh.
Far and away, my favorite brand of beef jerky is the black pepper-flavored stuff, courtesy of the Cattaneo Bros. factory, located in SLO (San Luis Obispo). Talk about the open road, I can ONLY seem to find this stuff at the local Cayucos gas station right as I’m filling up to hit Highway 1.
According to the Cattaneo Bros. website, “Cattaneo Bros. beef jerky is a staple in many people’s diet and has become their high protein, low-calorie candy of choice. In fact President Ronald Reagan, Actor Tim Allen and the former National Security Advisor William Clark would all agree that nothing can beat the satisfaction of Cattaneo Bros. 100% all natural beef jerky.” Oh, well, come on, I mean…if that doesn’t put you in a mood to try a bag, what will…? They even call it CANDY, for cryin’ out loud!
I love knives. I used to carry a switch blade I picked up in Tijuana, which is illegal in the state of California. Then I carried a general pocketknife for several years, but it was too bulky. So I have been looking for a knife for a few years now to replace the bulky boy. I finally found the perfect blade at the Remember When Antique Mall in downtown Cayucos. She’s a Rough Rider-brand knife and I immediately named her Scarlett. She straps to my belt and makes me feel whole. There was only one snag: Five minutes after I bought her, I used to her to slice open a bag of Cattaneo Bros. black pepper jerky at the gas station and sliced the SHIT out of my right middle finger!!
Oh, if you coulda SMELLED the panic. My digit was dripping GOBS of blood. I felt like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” who was pre-warned throughout the entire movie that he’d shoot his eye out the minute he first fired a Red Ryder BB gun. And he does, almost! My wife was NOT amused. But…I have to say…she handled it a lot better than I thought she would.
Now Cambria has never been my Central Coast destination of choice. Sure, they got some cool tasting rooms there (Moonstone Cellars in the West Village is a particular fave). And I don’t mind the occasional lunch at the Indigo Moon Cafe. But it’s really not my scene. It always strikes me as a little too snobby, precious and, er, caucasian. But I know a lotta people who love it and I certainly can’t fault the town for staging the annual Scarecrow Festival every year. I think that’s just about the best thing they got goin’! But I have to say I was BLOWN AWAY by a Cambrian winery we had yet to discover (off Santa Rosa Creek Road) called Stolo Family Vineyards.
This. Place. Was. Fantastic.
So after we bought a box of Band-Aids at a pharmacy to stop the red red kroovy from gushing out of my bird-flipping finger, we settled in to Stolo for some scenery and wine samples so magnificent, I was prepared to just zone out the rest of the day there, staring at breezy trees and fainting goats. Lisa, the Tasting Room Manager, was so lovely and charming and funny and cool, we just couldn’t believe our luck. We simply scored at this place. And soon my injury woes subsided as I polished off the last little slice of Cattaneo Bros. black pepper beef jerky and we made this video of our visit. You REALLY get the idea that this place is very special.
Click the pic of the old Stolo barn house for the video!
WINE PAIRING: The 2012 Stolo Pinot Noir (Creekside) was INSANE. Cannot WAIT to bust it open here at the house soon.