Out of Town: Morro Bay, Central Coast

We went camping at San Simeon on the Central Coast over the weekend and after five straight camp cooked meals we decided to give the cast iron a break.  I googled/yelped the best tacos in Morro Bay and found the Taco Temple.  The aspect of Yelp that I dislike the most are the EXTREMES in reviews.  You guessed it, the Taco Temple reviews perfectly exhibited this love & hate by many. The hate-reviews seemed to be mainly about a let-down from the hype and the fact that it wasn’t authentic Mexican cuisine but rather fusion which the haters may not be open to or may not have experienced this style of cuisine in the past.

I have to say we were psyched to have found this California meets Mexico fusion restaurant because it was a little different variety than our usual CA taco truck and taqueria burritos and tacos.  We put our name in and were seated pretty quickly knowing that the wait was a good sign. The tacos were huge and were served with fresh, crispy-clean multi-colored veggies piled atop perfectly seasoned and cooked steak, carnitas, or fish.   Their portions were larger and one taco was perfect for me for lunch and I was glad that I didn’t order two.  A friend ordered the blackened Mahi Mahi burrito and said it was very good and even saved the other half for dinner.  Three different kinds of salsas are served on the side: fire sauce, chopped jalapeno salsa and a medium salsa.

The Buoy is a bar located near the Taco Temple on HWY 1 and looked pretty interesting when we drove by.  So after hanging out at the beach we decided to stop in for some drinks.  We were excited to see $7 pitchers of Pabst and High Life ($2 for 14oz. PBR & HL) as well as peanuts in the shell and two pool tables.  I wouldn’t call this bar a dive bar for its dark, dingy interior because it is actually nicer than that on the inside but maybe because it seemed to be mostly frequented by locals.  Locals stopped by for a drink or two throughout the night ranging in age from their later twenties to into their fifties but it was by no means busy.  The greatest part of The Buoy was the fact that they allow you to bring your own meat and grill out on their back patio. Coincidentally we had brats and corn on the cob with us and so we stayed for dinner!   The owner even stopped in and asked if everything was cool.

Both Cash Only

Taco Temple
2680 Main St
Morro Bay, CA

The Buoy
2940 Main St
Morro Bay, CA

Lesley: I would go to the Taco Temple once or twice a month for a craving worthy dinner if I lived closer! I often miss this style of Mexican fusion at a half affordable price where I live.  I would go back in a heartbeat.  The deserts looked great too including self-named “killer” carrot cake, caramel flan, warm chocolate bread pudding, tres leche cake, and candy bar cheesecake but I didn’t get a chance to try them.

Zach:  I ordered a carnitas and a chili verde taco and both were delicious.  The carnitas were somewhat crispy which was really nice and the chili verde was excellent as well.  It was $8 for two tacos but well worth it due to their size and deliciousness.  They were almost too big to eat with your hands considering the amount of meat and toppings.  The lettuce and cabbage added a nice crunch to the tacos.  All of the ingredients worked well together.  The Buoy bar was a nice surprise as it was cheap and friendly.  The drink prices were about as cheap as you’ll find anywhere in California if you can find it.  The bowls of peanuts in the shell were great because I’m a peanut lover from way back.  It was fun getting to grill out at the place and eat brats and sweet corn in the corner of the bar.

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