There is a California tradition; the Santa Maria BBQ. In this sleepy little central California town they take their outdoor BBQ seriously. On Saturdays BBQs are set up on street corners all over the town, most are used as fund-raisers, but it seems like everyone has a grill going. Some of the best are the little "mom & pop" stands. There is something so basically yummy about cooking over a wood fire.
The tri-tops are sliced thin and usually served on French rolls and no BBQ sauce, just fresh salsa. They also make this yummy little bean called the pinquito, a small pinto slow cooked and so flavorful. I drool at the thought. The entire town smells of smoke but in that fun way, not that California-brush-fire, oh my god, the-hills- are-ablaze, way.
The Gypsy Caravan will be here this weekend and I've loaded the freezer with tri-tip, an all time fav of Doodles and Mr Doodles, and we will BBQ to their hearts content. My prep is easy. A good rub either purchased or make your own. Mine has:
- Chili powder
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Spanish smoked paprika
- Ground Cumin
- Just a bit of brown sugar
- Ground Fennel
- Salt and Pepper
If you get to the Central Coast of California, Santa Maria is about an hour north of Santa Barbara, make sure it's on a weekend because there is nothing like classic Santa Maria Style BBQ.