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Outstanding BBQ At The Rib Line

Dinner & A Movie

By Teri Bayus

I am an event maven during the days, planning and executing foodie events, making TV shows about the places I visit, but by night, I am a gastro-assassin.

After a long day, we headed into the sunset to The Rib Line, just before the entrance to the dunes in Grover Beach. This meat Mecca has become a welcome addition to my culinary tourism. With outstanding BBQ and fantastic service, they keep me coming back.

This BBQ is so good, it would make a vegetarian eat meat again. My first visit, I was accompanied by my “food critic in training,” Izic. This boy has been nibbling on ribs before he had teeth and has a discerning palette. We ordered the Baby Back Rib Pack Family Meal that included two racks, four baked potatoes, a quart of beans, coleslaw, and four, cornbread loafs with honey butter. It was quite a feast, and fed six grownups.

The ribs were miraculously cooked with falling-off-the-bones, flavorful meat and a sauce made from clouds that float above Memphis. It was so good — I came back and ate another rack the next day.

The potatoes, though simple were perfectly cooked (not just popped in a microwave) and the real butter, sour cream and chives, were a welcome surprise for this casual diner.

The coleslaw was flavorful and sweet and the cornbread reminded me of my granny’s. I never got to try the beans, as my grandson ate the whole quart! I speculate they were decent.

I swear this meat palace had crawled up under my skin. This next delightful meal consisted of a Pig on Fire Sandwich. It was pulled pork Heaven, served on a toasted ciabatta with jalapeños, and pepper Jack cheese, proved so good, I ate every morsel. The garlic fries that lay next to them with their slim stature, pungent garlic and Parmesan cheese on top, nearly stopped my heart. Perfection on a plate.

The next day, I tried the clam chowder (with boasts as the “Best on the Central Coast,” I had to try it). It was creamy and you could taste the clams, which I liked. Then I had the Triple Threat Tri-Tip Chili, adding red onions and cheese. This is a traditional, Texas chili without beans, and huge delectable chunks of Angus beef, tri-tip cooked two different ways — some is oak roasted and cubed, while some is braised over 5 hours.

Then we shared the “Beach Balls” — hand-rolled sweet potato balls with bacon, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese in a Firestone DBA batter. Injected with ranch and topped with a red wine glaze, it was complicated and so tasty. We finished with cornbread and butter. He dipped his in milk, and I smothered mine in butter.

Rib Line was featured on the Travel Channel show, “Man vs. Food.” Seems the stout show host ate the Brahma Bull — a 3-pound behemoth of tri-tip sandwiched between sliced sourdough loaves and topped with BBQ sauce. You can try it alone or with the family.

Owner and Chef, Brian Appiano, was born and raised in the Bay Area, but never left the Central Coast after graduating from Cal Poly. He started his creative cooking while feeding his friends in college. His passion is creating things from scratch, and using his own unique recipes to make every dining experience memorable for every customer.

Winning several local food competitions, being featured on Man vs. Food Nation, and placing first in the World Food Championships in Las Vegas this year, the Rib Line’s reputation for prodigious food is cemented.

Rib Line is located in Grover Beach at 228 West Grand Ave., and open every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call them at (805) 474-0123. They also have locations in SLO on Broad Street and Los Osos Valley Road. I think their motto should be: “There’s plenty of room for all of God’s creatures, right beside the French fries.”

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