It’s hard to find a restaurant that can serve up tasty food while pleasing just about everyone, but we seem to have stumbled across that rare find in Stonefire Grill.
Stonefire Grill is a Southern California (sorry, non-Californians – you can always come and visit!) fast-casual restaurant that goes against the trend of pre-fab prepared-off-site entrees. At Stonefire, nothing is frozen and the food is made fresh every day. (Look at this carrot cake: It was carrots just six hours before the photo was taken. And there will be a whole new cake made fresh tomorrow morning).
Co-founder Mary Harrigan is one of nine siblings who grew up in a family that stretched and saved to accommodate their large brood. She started her first Stonefire Grill with budget-conscious families in mind, using generously sized recipes from her mother’s kitchen. Following the success of her first restaurant, Stonefire Grill has now grown to ten locations across Southern California (an eleventh location in Ventura is opening in April).
The menu has a dizzying array of options, from tri-tip and ribs (marinated for a full day ahead of time), to pizzas, salads, and pasta. Even though we loved every tantalizing bite of the meats from the grill, we were most taken by some of the vegetarian-friendly dishes.
The “Stonefire’s Favorite” pizza, made with pesto, onions, avocados, and feta cheese, was an enormous hit at our table. We also loved the “Keen Green” salad of quinoa, spinach, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, avocado, parmesan cheese, and pesto. Another surprising hit (and an apparent favorite among Stonefire Grill devotees) was the whole roasted cauliflower, topped with lemon tahini and parsley.
Even though we we were so full we could hardly imagine eating more, we had to make room for dessert. The carrot cake was irresistible, as was the phenomenal blueberry cheesecake (always fresh, never frozen) that was gone in seconds.
If you want to eat at home, Stonefire Grill also does takeout, as well as a brisk catering business (their reasonable prices make them very popular for weddings). If you’re near a Stonefire Grill, make sure to check them out.
Blogger disclosure: I was treated to a sampling menu at Stonefire Grill. I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.