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Best BBQ Cities

Few topics inspire as much fiery passion as barbecue. The style may vary across the country, but two ingredients remain the same througho...
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Santa Maria, California & Around

The Central Coast of California has a barbecue style rooted in the rugged traditions of Spanish cowboys. Meat is cooked directly over coals of red oak wood on giant open grates and served alongside small, pinkish pinquito beans and fresh salsa. Tri-tip beef and top sirloin steak are the cuts of choice, seasoned simply with salt, pepper and garlic salt. The 92-year-old Hitching Post in Casmalia, housed in an old hotel and boasting a list of great local wines, is a Santa Barbara County historical landmark, while the newer, more casual Rancho Nipomo in Nipomo serves Cal-Mex slow-smoked pork sandwiches and traditional oak-smoked tri-tip burritos on handmade tortillas.

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