Friday, August 5, 2016

Farm-Fresh Goodness

Of all the reasons I love living on the Central Coast, having access to incredibly fresh produce is definitely near the top of my list. Our Mediterranean climate, mild seasons, and rich soils allow us to enjoy fruits and vegetables that have literally been harvested in the same day they're eaten. Living in an agricultural society also allows us to meet our local farmers and get to know more about their processes, history, and passion for the land.

Marcus Hunt is a San Luis Obispo resident, father, farmer, and Madonna Inn Steak House server. He was kind enough to invite us to his small farm in Los Osos for a tour of his operation - which has grown from an eighth of an acre to five full acres in only four years!

While Marcus focuses mainly on blackberry production, he also has a few rows of Serrano peppers, squash, beans, and pink blueberries.

Last but not least, he has two boxes of bees which he uses to help pollinate his crops, and make quite literally the best raw honey I've ever tried. Seriously, this stuff is next-level.

Although the berries are still about 19 days away from a widespread harvest, we did find a few that were just asking to be eaten. Stay tuned for Hunt Family Farms blackberries at the Madonna Inn; and trust me... they will be so worth the wait!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Match Made in Heaven

For a lover of vintage memorabilia, matchbooks have a certain je ne sais quois. Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, they harken back to a (not so long ago) time in our history when smoking in public was not only the norm - but fashionable! Decoratively branded, complimentary matchbooks were offered by hotels, restaurants, bars, salons, and even grocery stores as a small courtesy for patrons who needed a light. As smoking lost popularity over the years, many establishments stopped offering these matchbooks since there was no longer so much of a need for them - moving them from a necessity to more of a novelty. This also made these little mementos increasingly harder to scout out if you weren't a serious collector or an antique shop regular.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

SLO Happenings

Having been born and raised in San Luis Obispo, people often think I know everything there is to know about this beautiful city. And while I can certainly get around without having to use a map, I am often surprised to find out how many awesome events and opportunities SLO offers on a regular basis.

To stay in the loop on upcoming concerts, food and wine events, outdoor and recreation opportunities, workshops, and meet-ups in the area I love the SLO Happening app. It's completely free to download and is really great if you are vacationing/staycationing (or even a local like me) and looking for things to do around town. Give it a try!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Stained Glass Narratives

These vivid artworks not only add to the Inn's colorful flair, but also serve to illustrate historical vignettes of the Madonna family. 

Below are just a few of the stories these stained glass masterpieces tell.

In the mid 1950s, the Madonnas owned and showed the smallest team of pony stallions in the world!

One of the first families to settle on and begin farming the Central Coast land, the Madonnas valued hard work. 

As Swiss-Italian immigrants, the Madonna's ancestors came to America by ship. 

Although the gold rush days were far before Alex's time, he did mine for gold, chrome, and silver in his youth. 

A tribute to one of Mr. Madonna's lifetime passions - construction.

The pick, shovel, and Model-T Ford that started it all!

Stop by the Silver Bar, or pick up a copy of Phyllis Madonna's book, My Point of View, for more!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

MI in Ag Circle Magazine

Madonna Inn was recently featured in Cal Poly's Ag Circle magazine for it's involvement in local agriculture and agri-tourism.

Photo by Emma Morris of Cal Poly

Ag Circle is a completely student-produced publication for the Cal Poly College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences. Check it out here!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Where's the Pink?!

If you've taken a peek at our bakery case lately, you may have noticed that something is a little different.

Indeed, our two pinkest cakes (Apple Spice and Pink Champagne) are temporarily being decorated with white chocolate in light of a pink chocolate shortage. And while the white chocolate shavings and curls do taste exactly the same as their technicolor counterpart, some pink chocolate lovers have been saddened to see their beloved cakes looking a little pale.

But here's the good news: we promise the pink chocolate will be back! Our vendor is currently working diligently to source an all-natural rosy food coloring for our famous cakes; and tells us we should be seeing pink again by early summer.

In the mean-time, know that our cakes are still as delicious as they always have been. And remember... regardless of the color of chocolate, true beauty exists on the inside!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Buzzworthy Burgers

While Chef Rob has introduced some seriously amazing new additions to the menu in the past few months, perhaps the most exciting is his Burger of The Week. Drawing inspiration from food blogs, seasonal produce, and his own imagination, Rob rolls out a delectable new burger creation the beginning of each week. 

The Big Ben - a beef patty with pickled onion, Blue cheese, spinach, bacon, and a balsamic mayonnaise on a buttery roll

Each Monday I am introduced to my new favorite burger... and this week's "Big Ben" was no exception. Keep scrolling for some more swoon-worthy creations, and look forward to a new one every Monday! 

The Casanova - A beef patty with ham, Swiss, sauteed mushrooms, and Dijon mayonnaise on a toasted, buttery roll

The Isabella - A beef patty with re-fried beans, grilled onions, jack and cheddar cheese, pickled Jalepenos, tomato, guacamole, and green leaf lettuce on a toasted bun
The Brooklyn - A beef patty with Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing on grilled Marble Rye

The Johnny Appleseed - A beef patty with sauteed apples, sauteed red onions, maple bacon, cheddar cheese, and grain mustard on a toasted bun

The Pioneer - A beef patty with sauteed mushrooms, thick-cut bacon, Swiss cheese, green leaf lettuce, rosemary, and garlic aioli on a butter, toasted roll
The Miss Daisy - A beef patty with Dijon mustard, brie cheese, maple bacon, tomato, green leaf lettuce, and apple butter on toasted sourdough bread