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Santa Maria BBQ...catering?

Having our wedding at a ranch in Malibu in late August and really struggling to find someone/some place to bring the oak wood & tri-tip for on-site cooking. Really just want basic, well-cooked, authentic Santa Maria (tri-tip, chicken, beans, etc.). I know Santa Maria BBQ Co. in Culver City caters, but haven't been blown away by the quality of their meats.

Has anyone tried Auntie Em's BBQ? Is there a place in Santa Maria itself that will make the trip south?

Any suggestions would be great.

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  1. You should check with Big Mista BBQ. You can taste them at a few local farmer markets including El Segundo on Thursdays. It's really really good and they do cater. Their brisket is incredible.

    1. Big Mista is a bbq rockstar but probably not the go-to guy for traditional santa maria style tri-tip.

      Wish I could give you a name for the following but a lead is all I got. Down at the horsetrack in Del Mar there is a tri-tip crew that comes in and does the whole thing on an open wood-fire bbq wagon kind of deal. Very tasty and aesthetically, a nice fit with a Malibu ranch wedding. Anybody out there know their name?

      2 Replies
      1. re: mrgreenbeenz

        Pure Joy out of Santa Barbara may make the trip down.

        It's worth a call.

        1. re: mrgreenbeenz

          You can call their events dept and they will probably give you the name of the caterer. I used to work in that dept at Santa Anita and we had a caterer that specialized in Sta Maria 'Q, but I cannot recall their name, and they are currently off season.

          Call wherever the horses are running now, Del Mar doesn't usually start until July. Call Hollywood Park, I think that's where they are running right now.

        2. Try out Notley Que-amazing amazing amazing BBQ, based out of San Diego but caters all over.

          1. From there.

            Your best bet for REAL Santa Maria Style BBQ is: http://www.testacatering.com/aboutus....

            1. Google "Ray's Own Brand" in San Luis Obispo and look at their website. They have and will travel to Los Angeles. I can only tell you that at every wine event in Central Coast I have attended where they have catered has been a culinary delight. You might want to order some Saucelito Canyon Zinfandel to go with that.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Hughlipton

                Is it Sauce a lito or Sausalito (the city), Hugh?

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  Saucelito Canyon Winery in Arroyo Grande just inland from Pismo.

                  Arroyo Grande Restaurant
                  2954 W Ball Rd, Anaheim, CA 92804

                  1. re: Hughlipton

                    I know exactly where that is, thanks for the reference!! Will try them, next time we are RVing in that area!! We love Pismo Beach.

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      Whoops! i forgot. Saucelito Canyon opened a new tasting room in Edna Valley. And if you love Pismo you must have been to Brad's for their clam chowder.

                      1. re: Hughlipton

                        No, I haven't. (Long story). I also love Edna Valley. Thanks for the tips.

                        1. re: Phurstluv

                          Do try Brad's next trip up. By the way they also have wonderful tri-tip BBQ sandwiches and a lousy wine list as of last year. You also might check out Ray's Own Brand and go to their store where you can get some of the best Central Coast linguica and jerky.

                          1. re: Hughlipton

                            Oh, boy, you had to mention jerky, my DH considers that one of the basic food groups, along with beer.

              2. Just a lead as I haven't been and don't know how far they travel. They are just over the LA county line from Claremont. I think there are some reviews on this board about them.

                Buckboard Santa Maria Style BBQ

                3 Replies
                1. re: coconutz

                  I second Buckboard. It's the real deal and catering is a big part of their biz.

                  1. re: coconutz

                    I frequent Buckboard...and I find their food to be pretty good. Not a Santa Maria BBQ traditional dish...but I love their fried pickles.

                    1. re: coconutz

                      I believe that was one of the caterers we used at the track, very good food and nice people to work with.

                    2. How about asking Hitching Post I in Santa Maria/Casmalia to cater? Their ribs and steaks are the best, and it's the real deal from Santa Maria!

                      1. Folks, please keep in mind that the Los Angeles board covers L.A, Orange, and Ventura Counties. While the recommendations for caterers north of the Ventura County line are good leads, we ask everyone to keep the replies here focused to local caterers.

                        totallyites is welcome to ask on the California board about Central Coast caterers willing to make the trip to L.A.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                          Sorry. Got to this after I sent my last post.

                        2. Last summer, I used Thousand Oaks Meat Locker to cater my family reunion which was held on the beach in Malibu. They did a fantastic job. They brought a huge bbq hitched to the back of a truck and cooked right on-site - chicken, burgers, etc. and it included all the sides (including beans), condiments, etc. I highly recommend them. I've never been to their location, but I believe it is a regular storefront/restaurant, so you can stop by for lunch sometime and see how you like it. On their website they do list "Santa Maria Tri-Tip" as an option. They also offer the option of delivering the food to your lcoation (rather than cooking on-site) if you prefer.

                          Thousand Oaks Meat Locker
                          2684 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd
                          Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
                          (805) 495-3211