husband & i went to santa maria this weekend to track down bbq at the local stands set up along broadway. first, we cruised by the elks lodge at 11am after hearing of their pit & talent w/top sirloin(preferred over the usual tri-tip). no signs of business in their parking lot, we figured they do it later in the afternoon.
moving on to broadway, we smelled smoke everywhere. all the stands were using red oak & had the cranking, metal grill contraption,it looked promising.
first we sampled the daughters of job offering: tender & smoky qtr chicken(w/my favorite sticky & crispy skin), local pinquito beans, green salad w/commercial grade italian dressing,& the most delicious butter-soaked garlic bread. it was suburban-style garlic bread ,garlic salt being the key,i think.
moving on, we found tri-tip dinners & sandwiches(along w/ribs & chicken)at the vca boosters in the parking lot at the corner of broadway & stowell : a mound of thinly sliced beef, pinto beans(in ranch-style sauce), cole slaw & grilled bread(margarine, light on the garlic flavor,if any). although cooked "well",nice flavor, licked w/smoke. husband said they must have pre-cooked the tri-tip in the oven, then finished on the grill because the fat hadn't melted away at the edges & would've if slow & low grilled enough to break down that cut of meat. they have 2 picnic tables to enjoy your meal behind their giant bus/kitchen.
dinner at jocko's in nipomo. ah, we just love this place. the relish tray w/ice chips, the $3 corkage for our 2000 peachy canyon zinfandel, the top sirloin & the spencer. next time we'll have to break away from this old favorite and try the much loved hitching post for a change.
last stop,mortensen's bakery in solvang for the cardamom-infused raspberry danishes, assorted marzipan sweets, custard & whipped cream filled napoleon.
p.s.-we found a box of red oak logs ($6)at a liquor store in pismo to take back to los angeles, keep your eyes open for this if home bbq experiments are your thing.