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