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Santa Maria Style Barbeque?

Maybe it's a stretch, but I grew up on the stuff and I'm craving it.

Anyone know of anywhere that has anything even close to it? I'm willing to drive.

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  1. This makes me sad. Very, very sad.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Maddie

      No offense Maddie, but on this coast we're more oriented to the Eastern-style barbecues like North Carolina, and also Memphis-style. I'm a native Texan and still yearn for my Texas-style BBQ out here. But honestly I've never heard of Santa Maria style. Is it indigenous to Southern California?

      1. re: bordeauxfan

        Santa Maria Style BBQ isn't BBQ at all. In California, grilling over hot coals or wood is referred to as BBQing, where as in real BBQ country BBQ is reserved for cooking meats over wood smoke for hours.

        It is grilled, often marinated, tri-tip served with pinkerito beans and a typically blended salsa. it is the mainstay of high school fundraisers and church socials in Santa Maria. The Tri Tip should be grilled over red oak. Since it is almost impossible to find tri tip in the DC area, it is not likely that you will find SM BBQ in the area.

        The best SM BBQ I ever had was a HS fundraiser sold at a roadside cart in front of a Texaco station. We ate a huge plate of sliced tritip with good beans and a slightly watery but flavorful blended salsa and really bad store bought french bread to sop it all up. $5.75 and it was heaven. The Hitching Post in Buelton serves up SMBBQ.

        1. re: deangold

          I've found Tri Tip at Trader Joe's.

            1. re: Steve

              Yeah but now you need to score some red oak! Good luck with that! BUt if you do, let me know where to get it!

            2. re: deangold

              I'll jump in to the defense of Santa Maria BBQ (One of 2 indigenous CA BBQ styles. Beef only please.). It will never qualify as BBQ to those that smoke a fatty 8 lb pork butt for 14 hours but it's hardly grilling. The last time I cooked tri-tip (Yes, Trader Joe's is good or try the Union Meats in DC or Springfield Butcher in VA) it was seared over very high heat for a few minutes and then smoked over oak. Tri-Tip is lean and only 2 lbs. Seasoned with oil, salt, and pepper, it hardly requires the time that a pork butt or untrimmed brisket require to make it tender. That said, I'm not a hater. I host a pig roast yearly, smoked a man Texas brisket and love it all. Now if someone can tell me where I can get pinquitos locally, I'd be thrilled................

            3. re: bordeauxfan

              Santa Maria BBQ is the best BBQ, despite the fact that some people insist on calling it "grilling." Whatever you call it, it's awesome. It's a central California thing. It's generally done with a rub as opposed to a sauce, and then cooked over oak.

          1. I have to think that finding tri-tip in Baltimore-Washington is like finding pit beef in California. Neither BBQ has found its way outside of its respective region.

            1. I'd never heard of Santa Maria style BBQ until I read this month's issue of Cooking Light (July 2007). There's an article on BBQ styles with recipes. Page 128-129 covers Santa Maria BBQ.

              Sounds yummy!

              1. Su Pollo, a Peruvian style rotisserie at 8741 Richmond Highway, has a marinated tri-tip on its menu that is cooked over oak wood. Its decent, though probably not exactly what you are looking for.