Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist. | Maggie Kaiserman/Mustang News

Mustang News File Photo

In this week’s food column, food columnist Kristine Xu takes on downtown favorite Firestone Grill.

Kristine Xu

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Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist.

After officially becoming a Cal Poly Mustang, one of the first meals I had in San Luis Obispo was at Firestone Grill — a place that goes on the San Luis Obispo restaurant bucket list, along with others like Madonna Inn and High Street Deli.

Firestone has a wide variety of food to choose from, and every order is made with fresh ingredients at an affordable price. Simply put, it’s one of the few hotspots that truly defines downtown San Luis Obispo.

Escaping the heavy rain, I ducked into the crowded restaurant and placed an order for an ABC burger with a side of fries. The loudspeaker rhythmically called out order numbers until my food was finally ready. I weaved through the large groups of people in the restaurant to retrieve my spoils.

The ABC burger was a delicious yet balanced concoction of avocado, bacon and pepper jack cheese tucked between two slices of lightly toasted, soft burger buns. Each bite of the burger had a hint of smoky beef flavor, mixed with the mild aroma of caramelized onions and glued together with the sharpness of the pepper jack cheese. Though I had some technical difficulty eating the burger because of the green avocado smears and sauce dripping all over my hands, it satisfied my fast food craving without the post-meal guilt.


Photo by Kristine Xu

Another popular choice at Firestone is the tri-tip steak sandwich, which is the go-to recommendation for first-time visitors. After trying the tri-tip sandwich this past quarter, I decided to try something different this time to see if the restaurant’s other options are held to the same standard. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

While my friends polished off their burgers, we sat and lingered at the table for a while, sifting through baskets upon baskets of perfectly seasoned french fries. Normally, I prefer my fries with ketchup, but Firestone is one of the few exceptions. We split three baskets of fries among seven people, leaving enough for everyone with nothing left to spare.

Firestone is one of the best restaurants in the downtown area for a large group, with copious seating outside and a friendly atmosphere that is inviting for an abundance of people. Without a doubt, the restaurant will effortlessly continue to be a popular downtown hangout, dishing out delicious burgers and sandwiches for hungry college students.

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