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Santa Maria barbecue

Jane Tunks Jan 27, 1999 05:44 PM

I just had my first taste of Santa
Maria barbecue at Guadalupe, CA's
Far Western Tavern last Sunday.
What heady, delicious, wood-
smoked stuff!

Where else can I get Santa Maria
barbecue (besides the Hitching
Post)? And more importantly,
who has the best?

Has anyone been to the Santa Maria
Barbecue Hall of Fame? Does it
still exist?

  1. j
    jonathan gold Jan 28, 1999 03:03 PM

    The meccas for classic Santa Maria barbecue--
    which is to say, top sirloin rubbed with
    garlic, grilled over live-oak coals and
    served with garlic bread, juicy tomato
    salsa and pinquito beans--are generally
    acknowledged to be Jocko's, in Nipomo
    (my favorite these days), the original
    Hitching Post in Casmalia,
    and the ``new'' Hitching Post in Buellton,
    which may be technically the best, and
    whose owner makes terrific pinot noir.

    F. McClintock's (or something like that), in
    Shell Beach, is insanely popular; the Far
    Western is really atmospheric. And if
    you drive around Santa Maria on a Saturday
    afternoon, there's always an Elks Lodge
    or a Boy Scout troop selling barbecue
    in a Kmart parking lot.

    BTW: real Santa Maria barbecue, contrary to
    legend, is never made with tri-tip. The
    tri-tip cut was in fact first ``discovered''
    in a Santa Maria Safeway, which led to the

    In L.A., the Santa Maria-style barbecue
    at the Washington St. Bar & Grill is
    passable (skip the sauce), and there is
    supposed to be a weekends-only place in
    the industrial suburb Santa Fe Springs,
    but I have been unable to track it down.

    1. g
      george osner Jan 28, 1999 12:12 AM

      An excellent place for this dish is the San Luis Obispo
      Farmers' Market--a fun street event on the main drag,
      with live entertainment, fabulous produce, and the
      wonderful smell of Santa Maria Barbeque wafting on the

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