Cabo San Luis: My favorite restaurant of all time
The food is unique and always tastes fresh and delicious! I was so lucky to have lived in SLO for several years and able to eat here often. Now that I live out of state, I find myself craving Cabo on a regular basis. There is nothing like it.
Favorite Dish: My favorite is the fish tacos... so tasty. With a tie for first is the Cabo Avo Soup, because it's really great on a cool night. And there is a spicy chicken salad that's excellent, too.
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
Margie's Diner: Large Portions @ Margie's Diner
This is a medium sized diner that serves up HUGE portions of food for a relatively low price. If you order anything with potatoes, you will probably get about 2 to 3 pounds of potatoes on your plate, whether it's breakfast potatoes, french fries, mashed potatoes, etc... The food is tasty, but it's not exactly fine dining. Casual atmosphere, with pictures of old movie and music stars hung up on the walls. Again, I cannot stress enough, the serving sizes are LARGE - this is what Margie's is known for; you will probably be leaving here with a box full of your leftover food. I am a big eater, and I have only finished my meal twice - both times when I substituted something else for the potatoes in my meal.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish here is the Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs. I like to get the potatoes substituted for biscuits and gravy, cause I'm a big fan of biscuits and gravy too. If you ask for your eggs scrambled, you will probably get about 4 or 5 eggs. The chicken fried steak is decent sized, and smothered in country gravy. You will also receive some fruit on the side (usually a slice of watermelon and a orange slice).
- Study Abroad
- Road Trip
Cabo San Luis: Great low fat Mexican selection!
Cabo San Luis has a great menu, great service, and great food! My husband and I love going there because we can have mexican food without the guilt! They have a "Lite" menu with all of the dishes having 27% or less of the calories from fat.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish is the lite bean and rice burrito. It is made with pinto beans and rice on a whole wheat tortilla with a side of rice. The burrito is huge and less than 5 bucks!
J.D. Boones Smokehouse: Dont eat here
The food is terrible and it is not even smoked. I met the owner and he is a racist. He called my friend A Nigger and spat in his face. The dude thinks he owns the town and he treats customer's like they are penny less. Was a real disappointment and peoples feelings got hurt.
Mo's Smokehouse BBQ
While wandering around Higeura Street, we found a few restaurants that drew our attention, but nothing that looked really local and really good. Then we turned down a side street and stumbled upon Mo's Smokehouse... it was packed, and it looked like good, traditional barbecue that you'd find in the south rather than the often fancy variety you usually get in California's bigger cities.
Upon entering, we quickly noticed the good BBQ smells, several nice flat-screen TVs, and that happy fact that they had beer on tap. We stood in line checking out the large menu and and the history on the walls. After about a five minute wait, we ordered the full rack of combo ribs (with Mo's Memphis sauce, Philthy Phil's sauce, and Sweet Carolina's sauce for $22), a side of onion rings ($5), and two Widmer Hefeweizens ($5 each) for a total bill of around $37.
The ribs were good and tender, but other than the sauce were lacking any real smoke flavoring. The sauces were all good, with my favorite being the traditional Memphis sauce. The onion rings were ok, but nothing spectacular. During our visit the relatively small dining area was packed with local college students and a few families, and each of the TVs was showing sports.
Mo's has locations in Pismo Beach, Chico, and Huntington Beach.
Bistro le Fandango: Rabbits, Frogs, and Snails - Oh My!
Le Fandango is a casual, yet tasteful, Euro-style bistro serving French and Basque cuisine. The majority on offer are meaty French mainstays, and you won’t be bored for a second reading the menu: frog legs, escargot, rabbit stew, roasted duck, and more.
Don’t be scared off if you’re veggie, though. I’m not vegetarian, but I wasn’t feeling much like meat the night we ate here. So I started off with a nice, light goat cheese salad, and then had a rich, hearty, very filling ratatouille for my main. Johnny ordered steak frites, which he enjoyed. And for dessert, we shared a big helping of well-presented apple pie, with a perfectly, lightly sweet cream; it was delicious.
The food was great, but what really made the experience was the environment. It was very comfortable – the kind of place where you’ll never feel rushed to leave. The staff was friendly, the lighting was soothing, and the crowd seemed fun.
J. D. Boone's Smokehouse: The only REAL barbecue on the Central Coast
Big Mama produces the only REAL barbecue I've been able to find since I moved to the Central Coast. It's oak smoked (not mesquite), but it's still pretty good, especially considering what passes for barbecue in this area. The service is generally good, especially if you go early in the week and tip well (thursday, friday and saturday they get swamped at dinner, so they're likely to run out of food, and they'll be rushed to help everyone that's their).
Favorite Dish: I like the pulled pork. It's beautiful, tender and delicious with coleslaw on top and South Carolina Sauce.
Mo's Smokehouse Barbecue: It ain't Barbecue if it ain't got smoke!
Mo's doesn't actually barbecue their meat. There is only one real barbecue joint I have found in Central Coast California to this point and Mo's ain't it. Barbecue requires that the meat is cooked at low temperatures by indirect heat and needs to have smoke. Mo's uses some sort of liquid smoke process as I understand it.
I can't imagine what gives Mo the right to declare himself any sort of an expert on barbecue after going on vacation on the south, Californians simply don't know barbecue; at least not without intensive study.
The Old Custom House: Unexpected Disappointment
I live locally and have visited this restaurant several times. The food is good, the price is fair and it is walking distance from the hotel our large group was staying in.
The manager had agreed to one price but just before the event, the price was doubled. He also added another few hundred dollars for a bartender (do you need a bartender to serve wine with dinner?). This was an event for about 40 people that included author Sue Grafton. I was very disappointed in the bait and switch technique used here.
For any Grafton fans out there - U is for Unexpected Disappointment.
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
Woodstock's Pizza: Tasty Pizza in Downtown SLO
Woodstock's Pizza has tasty pizza and is very conveniently located if you are in Downtown SLO. The place is usually filled with college kids, but there are also plenty of families that come in here; the atmosphere is very inviting. This is some of the better pizza in San Luis Obispo, and they also have appetizers, salads, and desserts (the CinnaBread is very good - basically a thin, medium sized pizza crust with cinnamon and frosting on top).
Favorite Dish: There are so many good choices, it's hard to choose just one favorite. I would say I like the Woodstock's Special the best, but almost everything here tastes great. Th Woodstock Special has 5 toppings, and I believe they are Sausage, Canadian Bacon, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, and Onions. **** HOWEVER, a new pizza has come out at Woodstock's since I was there last, called the FireBird. This pizza is for lovers of spicy food - it has FireSauce (Marinara Spiked w/Hot Sauce), Spicy Hot Chicken, Jalapenos, Red Onions & Extra Cheese. This may become my new favorite, but I cannot personally recommend it until I try it.
- Study Abroad
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Firestone's Grill: A Great Bar & Grill in Downtown SLO
The food here is mostly barbeque: Tri tip sandwich, hamburgers, BBQ pork sandwich, cajun sausage sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich, etc... I believe there is also a chicken salad or a taco salad or something. I hear this is very good too, but I always stick to the BBQ food. The restaurant has patio seating outdoors, tables directly inside, and a bar area with multiple televisions and satellite TV for all the sports you could possible want. It is usually somewhat noisy inside, and there is often a line out the door, but don't let this scare you off. The line usually moves quickly, but I would recommend having somebody in your party snag a table as soon as one becomes available, because they go quickly.
Favorite Dish: The Tri-Tip sandwich is my favorite meal here. I would also recommend sharing a basket of fries with the rest of your party. The fries are thin and have a very tasty seasoning on them. The burgers are good too (especially the ABC burger - Avocado, Bacon, and Cheese), and I also like the Cajun Sausage Sandwich. I would probably order the Tri-Tip sandwich all the time, but it has gone from $3.75 when I moved here (1998) to something like $7.25 now (2006). It's still my favorite though.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
The Apple Farm: Worth the wait
Although my dad had told me the ONLY restaurant in San Luis Obisbo was The Madonna Inn (probably WAS when he went to school there in the 1950s) Kat and I managed to find at least one more restaurant, the Apple Farm. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and had about a 40 minute wait, I imagine Sunday is their busiest day. The service was friendly and prompt.
While waiting for your name to be called you can walk around the rest of the building, looking at all the gift and food items for sale or walk over to the gourmet food shop at the Millhouse. I was so stuffed after lunch that I managed to successfully make it past the home made cookies for sale!
The Apple Farm is also a hotel and a spa but this was just a lunch stop for us on our way to Cambria/Hearst Castle.
Favorite Dish: The lunch menu is largely sandwiches, both hot and cold, soups, burgers and salads. On Sunday at lunch you can also order from the dinner menu which had meat, chicken and fish dishes. I had a pulled pork sandwich slathered in BBQ sauce with a side of seasoned fries that was very good, Kat enjoyed her turkey patty melt and we wisely split a delicious apple brown betty that came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The hot apple dumpling is their dessert specialty and it looked pretty tasty too.
Splash Cafe: Fresh and Fun
Recently joining its sibling restaurant in Pismo Beach, the San Luis Obispo Splash Cafe is a great place to grab a casual bite to eat for an affordable price. The food is fresh and very inexpensive. The menu ranges from pizza to seafood to salads. There is also a bakery. Visit the website for an entire menu. It is often crowded - pretty fast to order, but trouble finding a place to sit.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Yanagi Sushi: fancier sushi
Walking in, your senses are already being appealed to. The restaurant is clean and aesthetically decorated in shades of red, black and brown. Staff is not overly friendly, but welcoming in that subdued "Please, do come in" kind of way.
The sushi tastes sooooo fresh. The sushi chef I had (Jonathon, I think his name was) was very honest when I asked for recommendations. He informed me which of the fish in stock was most fresh. And no, he did not tell me that the expensive stuff was the fresh stuff! Hee hee. He created dishes as I requested and we were not charged an exorbitant amount on the bill.
I'm not a huge fan of the house specialty rolls, though. They look very good--color, texture, shapes of all kinds. I, however, think that they all tasted the same. The extra stuff (sauce, wrappers) overpowered the fresh taste of the fish too much and all I could really taste was sauce-drenched rice.
From now on at Yanagi, I will stick to regular sushi and sashimi (and sake, of course). The quality of the fish and its preparation voids the need for fancy frills like asparagus and rice wrapper.
The crowd starts to come in around 8pm. Go a little earlier for excellent customer service.
Favorite Dish: The tuna tataki was divine and typing this right now is making me salivate. So fresh and perfectly prepared. I don't think it was on the menu. If it was, I didn't notice. The chef made it for me after I talked about my tastes. I'm sure you can just ask them for it and they will happily prepare it for you. Or, tell them your personal tastes and have them craft something for you!
Royal Thai: good thai, but meager portions
Given the size of this town, there are a lot of Thai restaurants. Most of my friends and I prefer Royal Thai. The food is very very good. I like most everything I have tried from the menu. They have several different grades of spiciness for the picky eaters. There is one level that I don?t think is on the menu which is "Thai hot"--the spiciest, of course. The restaurant is very clean and often quiet. Service is prompt and polite.
My only complaint is that portion size seems rather small compared with what you can get at other restaurants, Thai or not. The bill is also a bit high (for a college-student budget) for the portion size. However, in my opinion, the flavorsome taste of the food merits sporadic visits.
Favorite Dish: I wish I could remember what my favorite dish is called. I think it is Garlic Beef or Lemongrass Beef. Ask the waiter. It's definitely "Something" Beef and it is a very frequently ordered dish from the specials part of the menu. The waiter should know what you are talking about.
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