It is a crazy world out there for new restaurants as they must be creative and skilled at presenting their product to the world. Every now and then, a brilliant entrepreneur gets the combination right and a new eatery is born using new innovative recipes and artistic twists on how we dine. This new concept in downtown San Luis Obispo is called Eatz By Dezign. The fast casual atmosphere where you design your own dishes using quality ingredients used in inventive ways immediately caught my imagination and my appetite.
The manager explained at Eatz your meal is prepared by true culinary artists, who are fanatics about fresh ingredients and source local products. You step right up to the kitchen and are greeted by chefs waiting to prepare your unique meal or one that is tried and tested. They are attempting to raise expectations of how real food, served fast, should look and taste. She invited us to experience delectable high end food without the high end price.
I started with the house made pickle plate the made my sour-face leap out of my booth and made other diners giggle. These wholesome beginnings were a combination of carrots, pea pods, cauliflower, red pepper, green beans and radishes all soaked and brined in a pickle potage that was refreshing and tart. Then I tried the Kale Chips that were deep fried kale leaves sprinkled with a spicy mix of salty and heat. I ordered more of these to go with me to the movies. Gary started with a Cracker Jack Cupcake, a small delight that was a moist cake with the caramel popcorn flavor for icing. He also had the Toffee Bark with dark chocolate and almonds throughout. He was captivated.
The Dezign part comes to the Pizza. You can select the entire ingredients and then they are baked in the wood stone oven. A large list of proteins and vegetables (with fresh, oven cured and roasted) that are both original and innovative for you to choose from. They invite you to try new things like grilled peaches, potatoes, beets and roasted corn for pizza toppings. They also offer gluten free crusts and truffle oil as a premium item. They do make their own creative pizzas and have specials. On my first visit I went with the special Market Pizza of the Moment, which included fresh from Farmer’s Market produce like red and green peppers, squash, tomatoes, pineapple and a roasted corn pesto all atop of a rustic crust. It was one of the liveliest pizza’s I have tried.
On my next visit I tried the already famous, Mac & Cheese with 3-year cheddar cheese and a bacon crust, this side was as delectable as the roasted baby carrots with a coriander gastriques, carrot puree and toasted almonds sprinkled on top. The entrée was Veggie Lasagna with grilled eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, roasted peppers, herbed ricotta and a pesto cream sauce. This vegetarian meal was fulfilling and delightful. Not ready to give up his proteins, my husband ordered the Bacon and Egg pizza. He believes all food tastes better with a semi cooked egg on top, so he was going to prove his point with pizza. He had them add the house made sausage with fennel, veal and pork. The 10-inch wood oven baked pizza had olive oil for a base, then a bay leaf cream, bacon bit lardons, fingerling potatoes and a charred (caramelized) onion. Resting on top was two sunny side up eggs. I have to admit, I was weary of this, but it was the best damn pizza I have had the honor of eating. I guess that proves my husband is always right.
Eatz By Dezign has salads, sandwiches, entrees, hot and cold sides along with the pizzas. It is all incredibly reasonably priced for the amount of quality food that you receive. I was inspired by the mixing of unusual ingredients and flavors and will eat my way thru the entire menu. Eatz By Dezign is located at 851 Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo. You can call in your order ahead at 805-542-9504. They run a live twitter feed in the dining room, so you can tweet your meal at @EatzByDezign, or follow them on all of the social networks for updates and specials.