After traveling all over Oregon and dreaming up a life somewhere else, my husband and I decided we needed to become more acquainted with where we live now. This brings me back to my series 'Places to Go in SLO' – don't worry, I didn't forget about this project. I've had several places swimming around in my head and I'm itching to share them with the world.
First question is: Do you like (love) tri-tip?
If your answer is "Heck yes!", then I have the perfect place for you.
Downtown at the end of Higuera you will find a brick wall with a walk up window, shaded by a perforated steel awning. Before you even turn the corner to discover this little gem of a restaurant you will catch a drift of wafting wonders beckoning you to come and taste. You have reached Old San Luis Barbecue where you can satisfy your hunger with some "authentic Santa Maria style cuisine".
This casual dining experience is the perfect place to catch lunch with friends or grab a bite to eat in the evening if you're not in the mood to cook. I'm all for fancy outings but more often I like to enter a relaxed environment where you choose when you order and the food comes quick.
Their outdoor seating is friendly and inviting with plenty of sunshine and speckles of shade. They also have indoor seating but I've never retreated there due to our beautiful weather here in San Luis.
This local business opened in the summer of 2012 and in just two years has become a town favorite. They've won many well-deserved awards in the county from events like the annual SLO Bacon Fest and the Diablo Canyon BBQ Throwdown. It's no wonder since they serve hand-trimmed, certified Angus beef cooked over a red oak bbq, locally-grown, organic vegetables, and Atascadero's Brian's Bread. Not to mention, their generous portions of perfectly cooked meat always leave you feeling satisfied.
If you fancy your tri-tip sandwiches for special occasions only, then head on over to the famed Thursday Night Farmer's Market downtown, where you can find OLD SLO BBQ grilling up a storm on their outdoor bbq. Grab a sandwich and enjoy the savory flavors as you mosey through the streets of SLO, listening to music, and shopping for local products.
Oh no, your best friend isn't so fond of tri-tip and your wife can't eat gluten? Don't you worry, they do have other great options such as salads, chicken and sausage meals, side dishes, and even a chocolate-bacon milkshake (I've never tried it, but I hear it's bomb!).
Worried about sticky hands before heading back to work or walking through town, they've got you covered there too. Each sandwich is served with a sanitizer wipe and every table is stocked with more (for us messier eaters). Thanks Old San Luis for keeping us clean!
If I haven't won your heart already, I will add, that their prices are affordable, their staff is friendly, and their food is consistently delicious. I've even heard that they do tri-tip better than another local favorite, Firestone, but I'll let you be the judge of that.
Happy SLO Dining!