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Pinquito Beans? Lompoc?

  • b

OK, my grandparents live in Lompoc so I've spent a reasonable amount of time there in my life. I have always been under the impression that Pinquito beans are a local specialty. In fact, I once had a lovely t-shirt. Anyway I was in the area for Turkey Day and decided to look for some. No luck. I will admit I wasn't hardcore but I really thought all I would have to do would be to ask a few people and voila but only one(!) person even knew what the heck I was talking about. So whats the deal? And does anyone have a source for next time I'm in the area?

Random aside: when I looked in the phone book for gourmet sources, Ace Hardware was listed. Of course I had to check that out and they have quite an extensive kitchen supply collection. You know, for Lompoc.

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  1. Try some of the local purveyors in Santa Maria.

    Link: http://www.ranchogordo.com/Merchant2/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chino Wayne

      And if that fails, S&W has them canned and they aren't half bad.....which is to say, they're pretty darned good.

    2. Try googling SuzyQ's. She is the daughter of the folks who own/used to own The Far Western Tavern, if I am correct. I just saw her SuzyQ bag of said beans in my local Solvang Market, she also sells seasonings for tri tip, etc.
      A great local history of the Santa Maria bbq- I picked it up , signed, at a local thrift- Santa Maria Style Barbeque by R.H. Tesene. Great book!

      1 Reply
      1. re: JalamaMama

        In Lompoc itself, try Bruces Prime Cuts on College, next to Toms Burgers. Great butcher shop and I would think a great place to look for pinquitos.

      2. any of the local supermarkets should have bulk pinquitos in the produce dept's near the onions and garlic. Probably cheaper than anything prepackaged. Spencer's Fresh Mkt is fairly close to you in Orcutt, (near Santa Maria) you may want to stop on the way in or out of Lompoc if you come from the north. Even most(ugh) Von's markets in the area carry them. Susie Q brand seasonings are ok but nothing you couldn't make up yourself if you've got onion, garlic, chili, and cumin in your cupboard. They are cute packages and I sometimes put them into goody baskets for my bean-lovin' brothers in Texas and Indiana, but at home I just use herbs from the pantry.

        1. Thanks for the help guys. If anyone else wants to check out the Suzy Q's mentioned, the website is SusieQbrand.com.

          1. Phipps Country Store and Farm in Pescadero has a website where you can buy pinquito beans and all sorts of other beans and legumes. Here's a link to their website:

            Link: http://www.phippscountry.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: Nancy Berry

              Doesn't Safeway carry pinquito beans? I believe I used to buy them in SLO many years ago.

            2. When I was stationed at Vandenburg AFB back in '72 we were told that the pinquito bean was a Lompoc specialty. It was like buying maple syrup when visiting Vermont. They had all kinds of cloth bags available with pictures of the flower fields on them. At one of the craft shows I purchased one of the bags that had been embroidered over and turned into a wall hanging. After I came to Virginia, I had a friend send me a pound of the beans, but I just could not get them to grow here. I haven't had a good piece of tri-tip or dish of pinquitos in over 30 years. Your posting made me remember just how good it was.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Old Stoney

                I grew up in Lompoc and Now live in Richmond, Va. I have bought the beans and seasoning from SusieQ. They are a big hit back here.

                In Richmond, I get TriTip from a local butcher. No oak bark for smoking, but hickory and mesquite blend is not bad.


              2. We buy our pinquitos from a vendor at the Little Italy or Hillcrest Farmer's Markets in San Diego. Their source is Suncoast Farms of CA, 1119 W. Laurel Avenue, Lompoc. 805-736-5451. (All their dried beans we've tried are excellent. A real step-up from grocery store beans.)

                4 Replies
                1. re: pickypicky

                  suncoast farms had a stand at the santa barbara farmer's market when we were there last, and I grabbed what they call christmas limas, which look like they're individually hand painted in almost a cochineal tint. great taste, one wouldn't think they're limas compared to the commercial ones.

                  1. re: moto

                    You're so right! the suncoast beans elevate beandom to a supreme level. that's been our experience with all their varieties. love your handpainted lima description. so true.

                  2. re: pickypicky

                    Suncoast Farms also has a stand at the Culver City Tuesday market. Agree with pickypicky that all their beans (and garbanzos) are fantastic. But their pinquitos and yellow beans are out of this world!

                    Pinquito pictured.

                    1. re: antonis

                      I always thought these beans were called "poquitos."

                      Anyway, they are certainly my choice for Chile Con Carne.
                      I like to cook them separately so they can be added separately as a garnish in the desired quantity.

                  3. You'll never guess where I ended up last week! YUP, LOMPOC!!! AND i was directed to the beans by my mom who was on the internet looking for what was good in Lompoc and she she loves beans and directed me to Lompoc Valley Seed and Mill's warehouse where I actually purchased their beans. The gal told me they grew the Pinquinto beans and the Yellow beans right there locally but I also picked up a bag of the garbanzo's and the Pink Beans, which she said were not as firm as the pinquinto's. They even have cool recipes on the back. They also have a website. They actually were out of the yellow beans because they are so popular but told me the Albertsons there in Lompoc should have them and I found a few bags there! Good luck and I can't wait to try my beans!! Toot Toot :-)

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Susieqtip

                      Oh my gosh - what a tremendous source! I have been fortunate enough to see these at the Lompoc Farmers market but now an online source or a place to go next time I'm in town(probably this Turkey Day) - thanks!!!

                      1. re: Susieqtip

                        We're planning a Lompoc area wine trip soon-- and now we can add beans to the itinerary. Thanks!

                        1. re: pickypicky

                          while your in town- cruise out to Jalama for a burger- you'll pass JALAMA ROAD FARMSTAND- stop and you will be delighted with their goods! Beans galore!

                          1. re: OldJalamaMama

                            Is that farmstand a year round thing? Sounds right up my alley but I certainly don't get to make that drive anywhere near as often as I'd like.

                            1. re: Bean Counter

                              no- but it is open thru fall...here is a link to the hours of operation etc....


                        2. re: Susieqtip

                          They are in every local Central Coast supermarket. Spencer's has a location in Orcutt just off south Broadway; and they are in every little hispanic market in town. Also in Star Market in Salinas, they are also grown around King City as Melanie Wong reported.

                          Susie Q brand is a local distributor, also markets spice packets for flavoring beans. http://www.susieqbrand.com/store_loca...

                        3. LOMPOC VALLEY SEED & MILLING

                          1119 West Laurel Avenue, Lompoc, CA 93436

                          Best prices. Go there next time you are in Lompoc.