New member in Secret Society of Burger joints

Kyler Vernon, Writer ; Photographer

If you’re a burger fan, it’s time to catch up on one of the best kept secrets in San Luis Obispo County: California Grill.

This bland looking lunch joint isn’t someplace that is going to catch your eye at first glance. Located on the east side of the freeway on the south side of Tefft Street in Old Town Nipomo, California Grill is a bit hard to spot except for the tall red and yellow, “Burgers” sign flapping in the coastal wind.

Upon further inspection, the clean, bright interior isn’t big or fancy, nor does it need to be. It’s a welcoming place with a few fun touches of Californian decor, about 10 tables inside and a couple more out in front.

Find the menu listed on large, easy-to-read boards, place your order at the counter, and settle in while your food is cooked to order and brought out to you–usually in under 10 minutes.

Among the most popular of the eight beef burgers are the Cali with avocado and bacon, the mushroom with onions and Swiss cheese, and the Wild West with bacon, onion rings, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce.

The lineup of nine sandwiches includes customer favorites such as the BBQ chicken with sprouts, the Philly tri-tip with chipotle mayonnaise, and the pastrami with grilled onions. Daily specials might toss a meatball sandwich or a pulled pork sandwich into the mix as well, and you can always go for salads such as a Cobb or Chicken Caesar.

After you give your arteries a break, it’s time to finish the meal with a hand-scooped and made-to-order milkshake. A cool, refreshing and good way to end a visit.

Though the California Grill menu is fairly basic, the food preparation isn’t. Freshness is key to the success of the restaurant. All of the beef burgers are hand-formed in house, fresh daily and never frozen. The chicken breasts and tri-tips are roasted and carved in-house as well.

This burger hideout is not for the upscale folks of the area. Yet it is much more suitable for the high school seniors who are able to escape for a quality lunch. Simple, and straight up good; one bite and you can tell the quality inserted into the cuisine. California Grill is not the place I would recommend to my friends, mostly because I want to keep it to myself.

This place is as Nipomo as Tefft street itself, one bite and you’ll know. Highly recommended, and if it was in a class, California Grill earns an easy A+.