Suppose you want to eat like a local in Paso Robles, the place to be in THO. You will find people having business meetings in the afternoon while they enjoy their lunch with friends and co-workers, as well as winery owners gathering with their friends and family. It’s the place we all continue to visit because the food and atmosphere are so lovely!
When I first moved to the area, it was the first place the locals wanted to share with me. So, I am sharing it with all of you. Debbie Thomas is the owner of Thomas Hill Organics, and she is seemingly ALWAYS there! The menu is seasonal, so it is constantly changing to reflect the flavors of the area. Debbie obtains the freshest fruits and veggies for the plate and the finest cuts of meat. What is even better is the fruits, vegetables, and meats are from local farms! This truly is a farm-to-table experience. Chances are Debbie can even tell you the farm each item came from and who the farmer is. You will probably see the farmer there in the restaurant too. How great is that?
The evening before my interview with Debbie, one of my girlfriends and I had dinner at THO. Both of us had a great meal and included some picpoul paired with our delightful food. We always have a great meal, and the service is just right too. The timing is impeccable. Knowing when to come to the table is almost an art form itself.
I sat down with Debbie, and both of us had a beet salad. I had it the evening before, and it was too good not to have yet again. It was tough to keep myself from eating it as I asked questions.
I asked her what she would like people to know about THO. She humbly told me that THO has a European Alfresco atmosphere, which you can see and feel as soon as you walk inside.
Then, I asked about Covid…What kind of impact did it have on your business? It was a financial, emotional, and massive hit to our small business. We could only keep a few people and did our best to ensure we were here after the shutdown. Luckily, our town is so supportive, and there were times we would have lines around the block to pick up food. I feel so grateful to our local people and all those people that brought extra people with them to buy our lunches and dinners. We were even making fried chicken. It must have been something people needed at the time. They may have seen it as comfort food, but it brought in the orders. Again, I feel grateful, supported, and so humbled.
I also asked how BLM impacted her establishment, and she said that she has always had a diverse staff. We welcome everyone. No one has or ever will be turned away from our establishment because of the color of their skin. We employ people of diverse backgrounds because we all learn from each other.
Are there other things you want people to know about THO? Debbie told me that the space could be rented for rehearsal dinners, brunches, and after-wedding parties.
Their wine list is mainly from this area. She has personal relationships with the winery owners and was the first to start purchasing Daou’s wines.
Our food is seasonal, so our menu changes with the season. So even if you are a regular, you have a new menu every season.