Pizza is an excellent comfort food, and can be quite diverse. Thick or thin crust, red or white sauce, varied meats or vegetables. I have sometimes eaten pizza for lunch and then had a different pizza for dinner. While on my Paso Robles trip, I dined on some delectable wood-fired pizzas, including some topped with grass-fed beef products.
Farmstand 46 is a small restaurant and deli, which promotes a "farm to table" concept. It also promotes local, organic and sustainable farming. Farmstand 46 is associated with the Four Vines Winery, and they have a tasting room at the back of the restaurant. Their food menu, which changes seasonally, includes sandwiches ($8-$14), salads ($9 per pound), and wood-fired pizzas (cheese $8, meat $10).
They also have an interesting "drop-a-pot" concept. Customers stop by the restaurant in the morning, or up to about 2pm, and drop off a pot or dish. The restaurant will then fill that pot or dish with food, whatever is on the menu for that day, and the customer will pick it up around dinner time, taking it home to enjoy. The menu changes monthly and the customers are charged per serving. So, you might find chicken pot pie one day or cassoulet another time. I like this unique idea, and think it could work in the Boston area too.
The restaurant is growing their own vegetables, generally using organic practices. They are expanding their garden area, trying to carry a larger selection of vegetables. These vegetables will be used in the restaurant. This will help further educate their customers in the farm to table concept.
For our lunch, we were going to sit outside, near their wood-fired oven and partake of a variety of pizzas. While admiring the oven, I started speaking with another man standing there as well. He happened to be Jim Harris, of Harris Livestock, and he works with a number of cattle ranchers supplying grass-fed beef to locals, including Farmstand 46. We had a very pleasant conversation, and Jim also provided some additional meat for our lunch, including beef bacon and grass-fed flank steak. Both were excellent, very flavorful meats.
I later learned that Harris Livestock is still in its early stages, and he is trying to develop a ranchers alliance, to coordinate production throughout the state and ensure a steady supply of consistent quality meats, at a reasonable price. When more information becomes available, I will post about it.
This is one of the pizzas we had, which is topped with beef short rib (supplied by Jim Harris), caramelized onions, and blue cheese. All of the pizzas had a thinner crust, nicely crisped by the oven. The sauces and cheeses were all tasty, and the meat atop this one was tender and moist. A real winner!
This pizza had the beef bacon, which is taken from the belly of the cow, right around the location of the belly button. It had a mild cured flavor, and plenty of meat. A simple but very delicious pizza. We had several other pizzas, and all of them were very good. I don't even want to think about how many pieces I ate.
I love the concept of Farmstand 46, and their pizzas impressed me. It is a welcome respite in the middle of wine country, and you should stop by if you are in the area.
3750 Highway 40 W