I Love Where I Live! - The Best French Onion Soup... O.K. so where do you really expect to find the best French Onion Soup? A trick question: because it certainly wouldn't be on this side of the Pond, as the saying goes.

But it is!! In fact, having travelled throughout Europe (France included), as well as to many of our better known foodie cities in the United States; the Best French Onion Soup I've ever tasted resides right here within our own little corner of heaven - San Luis Obispo! Who would have known?

Out on a rather chilly May afternoon in downtown San Luis Obispo I decided to check out what looked to be a local tavern - Buffalo Pub and Grill. Truth be told, I had walked by this place many, many times and would often stop to look at their mascot Buffalo (in signage above the restaurant's entry). Having a fancy for all things Western, this Buffalo always stopped me dead in my tracks; I just loved his fierceness, and I guess it stirred memories of my travels up in Montana. Anyway... I'm straying.

Today I had an hour to kill before my next meeting, so rang up my husband and asked him to meet me at the Buffalo Pub and Grill. Local that I am, I was finally entering the place (with my favorite signage). All sorts of thoughts came to mind: Why hadn't I stopped in here before...What kept me ‘out'... Was it a "bar" or did they have decent, edible food?

So... here we go: (1) the staff was really friendly and helped me find a table (being finicky it took 2 moves to find the perfect one that gave me the right ‘juju'). The tables are really unique with each being a different granite or marble - so maybe you'll forgive my "juju" stuff. (2) While the Buffalo definitely is a bar, the menu had plenty to offer. The special salad of the day was a fresh broiled salmon on garden greens - in a bar? Whatever. Decided to try the salad on the off chance there might be something to be discovered. My husband went straight for the French Onion Soup.

We sat beneath the behemoth Buffalo mount at our perfect juju table and discovered the most wonderful FRENCH ONION SOUP - ANYWHERE! The soup is a sensory trip that satisfies each and every one of your senses. Not to dis the salad, it, too, was delicious and quite unusual: (fresh greens, broiled salmon, blue cheese, red onions, fresh corn, artichoke hearts and fresh tomatoes).

But the point of this post is to let all you LOCALS know about the French Onion Soup at the Buffalo. You may remember "Le Fandango", a beloved restaurant that closed a few years back. The owners of Fandango and Buffalo are the same, and thankfully they kept the FRENCH ONION SOUP. Perhaps the reason the soup is so authentic is that the owners are European.

All you downtown folk: I challenge you to venture into the Buffalo Bar and Grill for lunch and give the food a try - I think you'll be surprised!

You'll Find the Pub on Higuera Street in Downtown San Luis Obispo.

Buffalo Pub and Grill 717 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo, Ca. 805.544.5515 Open 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.

Try the French Onion Soup - I think you're in for a Surprise!

Laura Gurreau

www.CentralCoastFoodTours.com