Driving back up through Central California, we stopped in Paso Robles merely to buy a bottle of wine for a picnic in the local vineyards. Our last visit there had not been so happy. We were looking for love. We got it.
Turned out it was the weekend of "Paso Robles: Taste of Downtown," where local restaurants and food purveyors peddled samples of their wares in the beautiful town square — which just a few years ago had been the sad center of an earthquake's deadly devastation.
There used to be an olive store, but it had been so badly damaged, the place where it stood was now just a parking lot.
Not to despair. The store has moved, and is thriving.
But back to that town square. It was too early to eat, the chefs still fiddling with their comestibles. And that's when I saw the perfect picture.
It included olives! Not sure if they were local, but what a dish that guy was cranking up. "Paella!" said the exuberant chef, and — groan... Sadly, not ready yet.
Cranky and I did manage to buy our own jar of local olives and a pretty bottle of local olive oil, however. At the new location of the olive store.