Pull off hwy 101 in Nipomo (near Santa Maria) and on a side street is the legendary Jocko’s Steakhouse. Old time dining which is more about the food than the ambiance. Aubrey cooked all the meats and chicken to perfection over red oak and flare ups didn’t interfere with his timing of flipping and searing.

You know this is an old fashioned steakhouse when a relish tray, salad with French dressing, pinquito beans, salsa, potatoes, garlic bread and ice cream are included with the meal.

And the hunk of steak is a Spencer cut like a rib eye. Such reasonable prices for a juicy steak and… bar drinks, too!

Here’s another stop off hwy 101 near Santa Barbara.  Take hwy 154 through the mountains and dine in the old stagecoach stop of Cold Spring Tavern.

It’s rustic like back in the days of Wells Fargo Stagecoaches and besides eating warm apple cobbler, there’s plenty to see at this Stagecoach stop. The tavern is very popular on weekends, so stopping here on a weekday was a good plan. The property with wooden buildings and a babbling creek fits right in with the old TV series Tales of Wells Fargo with Dale Robertson!

Jocko’s Steak House  125 N. Thompson Ave, Nipomo, Ca www.jockossteakhouse.com

Cold Spring Tavern     5995 Stagecoach Rd Santa Barbara, Ca www.coldspringtavern.com