Hidden away in the city of Buellton in Santa Barbara County is popular little restaurant called The Hitching Post II. This, of course, is the sequel to The Hitching Post I. I don’t know when restaurants started getting sequels, but I hoped this sequel was more along the lines of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze than Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.
They claim to have the world’s best BBQ, which I had my doubts about, having eaten BBQ in Kansas City. Nonetheless, I ordered the 10 oz. Prime Top Sirloin Steak, cooked medium, which is from Cornfed Midwestern Beef (does this make the meat eerily similar to corned beef?). The steak came with a choice of rice pilaf, mashed potatoes and french fries. I went with the fries because of of the winos from nearby Los Olivos recommended them. Next was the tricky part, because it also came with a choice of soup, salad and shrimp cocktail (I got to choose two). I didn’t want to get the shrimp and ruin my steak appetite, but I also couldn’t get vegetable soup or salad. Damn you The Hitching Post II for giving me unrealistic options. A real BBQ place would have offered me at least corn or beans. Offering garlic bread only mildly made up for it.
When my steak did come it looked great, just not at all like BBQ. I found out that this is called Santa Maria BBQ and is nothing like the BBQ that I am used to. Rather it’s like when I go out to my hibachi grill and cook myself a steak. When I tasted it, however, I found the difference between the amateur steaks I make and these professionals.Â It was delightfully seasoned with what they call “magic dust” and perfectly cooked. The fries were also nice and crunchy.
I would never recommend it to someone who was looking for good BBQ, but anyone hoping for a great steak couldn’t do much better than The Hitching Post II.