Since Springside Restaurant opened in January 2010 there’s been a little bit of Cambria in Paso Robles. The restaurant is an offshoot of Creekside Garden Café, which has been a Cambrian fixture for some 30 years.
Both restaurants are co-owned by the de Alba and Becerra families, who had been looking for a second spot to open in North County when they discovered the Spring Street location. As Javier Becerra explained, the building was “completely empty” when they started work in October, 2009, “not even an oven in the kitchen,” so the families redid everything from the floors on up.
Located in the 1600 block of Spring Street, the restaurant’s layout suggests that it used to be a house, and its unassuming ambiance is indeed one of enjoying a good home-cooked meal. There are only about a dozen tables inside (the ones near the fireplace are the popular seats in wintertime), but there are several more outside on the relaxing front patio.
For breakfast and lunch, Springside has taken an “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” approach and mirrored Creekside’s menu. At breakfast (which is served until 2 p.m.), opt for everything from scrambles to corned beef hash, from a breakfast burrito to huevos rancheros, from oatmeal to three-egg omelettes such as the Linguisa or the Garden Delight with veggies. From the griddle you can order up French toast or stacks of buttermilk pancakes — be they plain, apple, blueberry, honey oat or topped with eggs and bacon a la the Ranch Hand plate.
Another breakfast item that’s a tad unusual in these parts is Danish Abelskivers (aka ebelskivers), a sort of cross between pancakes and popovers that are served here with maple syrup and Danish sausage. It’s typical to find them on menus in Solvang down in Santa Barbara County, but Becerra said that they’ve been a part of the Creekside menu for years.
Springside also offers a reasonably priced Sunday brunch that includes a freshly prepared fruit cup and a beverage — even a glass of champagne. Choose from several eggs Benedict, French toast stuffed with an apricot preserves and whipped cream cheese mixture, or a seafood omelet with shrimp, crab and Jack cheese.
Lunchtime choices run the gamut from salads such as Asian or Cobb, French dip or tuna melt sandwiches, and several hand-formed burgers in cluding a Mexican Cheddar cheese with green chiles and fresh salsa, or a blackened Cajun burger topped with blue cheese. Depending on your order, the house-made sides might consist of potato salad, freshly baked muffins, or asoup-ofthe-day like beef barley.
From Wednesday through Saturday nights, you can enjoy dinners at Springside Restaurant as well. The focus is “steak, pasta and seafood,” said Becerra, adding that among the most popular dishes are the shrimp cocktail appetizer, linguine and clams, Chicken Marsala, and good oldfashioned Beef Stroganoff. The daily fish specials have been a success as well — especially the recent grilled salmon with dill butter sauce — and if you still have room for dessert, Springside bakes from-scratch pies.
The dinner concept isn’t unique to the Paso Robles side of these businesses, but the specific menu is. Creekside serves Mexican dinner fare under the apt name of Creekside de Noche, but Becerra explained that “there were already enough Mexican restaurants over here — we wanted to do something a little different here at Springside, and I think people are appreciating it.”
Katy Budge is a freelance writer from Atascadero. Reach her at email@example.com.