Searching for somewhere with satisfying fare that also slings up suds and sports on the side? Hopefully your playbook has a page for Paso’s Downtown Brewing.
Occupying a second floor space on Pine Street in the heart of downtown, the establishment commands a great view of the park, especially from the outdoor patio.
This time of year, however, most regulars seek out a seat with a view of one of the 11 flat-screen televisions scattered throughout the restaurant — two of which are out on the patio. Inside, Downtown Brewing offers seating at the bar, a couple dozen tables, and some couches.
Originally opened as a sister restaurant to a San Luis Obispo location, Downtown Brewing now operates as its own independent entity. However, the overall concept remained largely the same, explained manager Kristin Bracamonte, a four-year veteran of the restaurant’s team.
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“We’re gradually trying to simplify our menu a bit,” she said, “and we’re also trying to use fresher ingredients, and make a lot more things in-house, from scratch, like our barbecue sauces and salad dressings.”
In fact, Downtown Brewing’s salads are among the most popular items on the menu, and any of them can be made as a wrap. Opt for buffalo chicken or blackened ahi, Chef or Cobb, grilled tri-tip or Southwestern BBQ chicken.
Given that this is a sports-themed spot, you’ll find the usual starters such as wings, potato skins, and jalapeño poppers.
Barcamonte noted that there are also a lot of fans of the nachos, and no wonder. Just a regular order has 11 ingredients piled on, and you can add steak, chicken, pork or tri-tip into the mix.
In addition to hand-formed burgers, the squad of sandwiches (also available as wraps) includes a tri-tip French dip, a grilled chicken with bacon, or a turkey Guadalajara with Ortega chilies and pepper jack cheese. For sides, choose from fries, green salad or potato salad, or call up garlic cheese fries, chili beans or clam chowder.
The list of entrées runs the gamut from Alaskan cod and chips, to a grilled flat iron steak, to a half or full rack of BBQ St. Louis ribs. For some south-of-theborder flavors, go for tacos, fajitas or a burrito.
Of course, this is called Downtown Brewing, so the roster of 17 taps includes six house beers brewed by Firestone Walker Brewing: Honey Blonde, IPA, Wheat, Blueberry Ale, Reggae Red and Raven Porter. The other 11 rotate, and recently included Rolling Rock, Newcastle and Pyramid Apricot.
During football season, Downtown Brewing opens early on Sundays, offering a limited breakfast menu (breakfast burritos or eggs and potatoes with bacon or sausage), but it does sport a full bar so you can kickoff your Sundays with a spicy bloody Mary.
Since they seem to have hit on a winning formula, Bracamonte doesn’t foresee any other changes in Downtown Brewing’s playbook beyond continuing to refine the menu and its ingredients.
“We want to keep it simple and fast, but maintain good quality at a good price,” she said, “and we all take pride in our customer service.”
Katy Budge is a freelance writer from Atascadero. Contact her at ktbudge @sbcglobal.net .