Friday, April 22, 2011

Food Friday: Light My Fire(stone)

Firestone Grill 1001 Higuera Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Should I be upset that in the four years that I have been driving up and down the 101 to get to and from LA, I NEVER once stopped in SLO and treated myself to the best sandwich spot ever created? Or shall I take the glass half full approach and be delighted that I was introduced to this gem early enough in my life to enjoy it whenever I make future journeys down the coast? San Luis Obispo is usually my halfway point between SF and LA, in which I stop, fill up both my baby Honda and my tummy. I never like to stop for too long, because I'm always so antsy to get to one city or the other. So, I always end up just picking something up at the gas station (ranch flavored corn nuts, anyone?). I am now kicking myself silly and wondering why NO one, and I mean NO ONE, ever told me about this place. I mean, I get it -- sometimes I like to keep my food spots hidden, in fear that the masses will come and take over. But, in the end, I always share the food love.

Photos by: Chandamheer

The gist: Filled the meter up to 30 minutes and foolishly thought this would be enough time to pick up a sandwich and take a few bites. Word to the wise - 30 minutes is not enough to allow your taste buds to completely savor the juicy and flavor-filled sandwiches that Firestone has to offer. Had I not been afraid that the meter maid would find me feeding my meter, I would have popped in a few more quarters and ordered a few more sandwiches. This is not a lie. I really wanted a second...and maybe third sandwich (for the road, guys!). What I hated: Hate is a strong word to use with Firestone. I would say if anything, I probably would have passed on the basket of fries, as the seasoning they used was too salty for my liking. I also ordered the Ranch Beans. I was expected a sweet, but smoky barbecue flavor. I'm not sure what it was that I tasted, but it wasn't that. To be fair, I was so focused on my sandwich, I didn't have too much time to really care about the beans. What I liked: Like is too weak of a word to associate with Firestone's sandwiches. I ordered the BBQ Tri Tip Sandwich, and thank the Lord I did. Let's start with the bread. I am a bread lover. I can devour a loaf of bread on my own in no time. In fact, I actually did such a thing during my trip (I recently discovered the miracle spread that is Nutella...and yes, I know how late to the game I am with that).  Firestone lathers their sandwich buns in butter. Bad for the cholesterol, amazing for the mouth. Now, imagine biting into a warm, buttered bun and then sinking your teeth into thick, juicy pieces of delicious barbecue tri tip. You can try to imagine this, but your imagination will not come anywhere close to just how mouth-watering this sandwich really is (unless, of course, you have tried it). I don't even want to know how I must have looked when I was biting into that sandwich. Maybe it was one part Meg Ryan as she acts out her classic sandwich orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally (watch here) and one part stone age caveman, who obviously lacks some much needed table etiquette (can you just picture all the barbecue sauce I had all over my face and fingers?). Long story short: I just need more.

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