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Main Street Grill, in Cambria, comes highly recommended as one of the best places in the area to grab a grilled burger, or a slab of barbecue ribs.  Since we're lovers of ribs and burgers, it seemed the right thing to do to pay a visit to Main Street Grill for dinner.

Photo:  Wednesday, October 15, 2014, we decided to visit Main Street Grill for an early dinner, in part, to avoid the crowds that we knew would be shortly arriving.  If you check out the web site, you'll notice Firestone and Dog House Grills, which are two restaurants owned by the same organization, which feature nearly identical menus, using the same format.

Photo:  The format is quite impersonal, as you walk in, make your choice from the menu, place your order, and pay for your order.  You're rewarded with a "number," and when your order is ready, a staff member will call out your order over the intercom.  Between the number of patrons, the televisions, and the sheer size of the restaurant, it gets pretty noisy, and the intercom is definitely needed.

Photo:  Looking from the full-service bar to the order counter, and a portion of the dining room, the photo gives an idea of how large this restaurant is.  The time was about 1730 on a Wednesday evening, and already the dining room was about two-thirds full.  Main Street Grill is indeed a busy restaurant!

Photo:  A view from our table towards the full-service bar, with a soccer game playing on the television monitors.  I like the tall, bar-style tables, but my wife's preference is booth seating, so we sat at a booth near the entrance to the restaurant.

Photo:  Our number was called, and I picked up our order.  Thanks to the counter guy for snapping my photo, but when I asked him if I could take his photo, he walked away.  As for the service, Main Street Grill has the best service in the world, and it's tailored EXACTLY to the individual's needs.  OK, perhaps I'm being sarcastic, as it's self-service all the way, from ordering/paying for your food at the order counter, to picking it up at the "ready" counter, to bussing your own table, dumping your trash into a trash can, and placing your tray on top.  Yes, it's "fast food" style, but the plus side is you aren't expected to leave a tip.  

Photo:  Tonight, my wife and I ordered identical dinners; the "Pork Rib Meal."  Each dinner included seven ribs, a little container of tangy barbecue sauce, a side of beans and garlic bread.  We split an order of onion rings, as we remembered from our previous visit how good the onion rings were.

Photo:  My "Pork Rib Meal," along with a portion of the onion rings.  The ribs were tender, perfectly cooked, and the meat fell off the bone.  The beans were basically pork and beans, which were good, but nothing special.  The garlic bread was toasted perfectly, and oozed with garlic and butter, just the way I like it.  The barbecue sauce was sweet and tangy, and the onion rings were delicious, just as I remembered them.  

Main Street Grill serves credible barbecue, albeit in a large, impersonal, "institutional" setting, and caters to the masses who enjoy good, but "generic" barbecue.  There is nothing wrong with "generic" barbecue, as most of the larger restaurants, and most chains mass-produce their barbecue in electric smokers, and most diners can't tell the difference.  If you're looking for a pitmaster, commanding a wood-fired smoker out in the parking lot, or in back of the restaurant, look elsewhere, as you won't find "personal" barbecue at Main Street Grill.

Photo:  Back on Saturday, February 23, 2013, we enjoyed dinner at Main Street Grill with friends and family.  My dinner was the Monster Burger, along with a side of onion rings.  The menu describes the burger as "Dressed with 1000 Island, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, Double Patties, with Cheddar and Jack cheese.  The burger was delicious, and at $7.29, it was reasonably priced, considering the quality, quantity, and the "touristy" location of Cambria.  We also loved the onion rings!

Yes, it's big, noisy, crowded, and quite impersonal, but the food is good, the service, so to speak, is good, and no tip is expected or necessary.  Main Street Grill is a solid choice for your grill, or barbecue cravings in Cambria.

Main Street Grill
603 Main Street
Cambria, CA 93428
805 927-3194

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