Our favorite thing about New Cuyama was a million stars through our moonroof. Though we were there because it fit our driving plans, we went to the Buckhorn only because of the Independent‘s Burger Week.

The Angus beef “SmashBurger” we had there on July 3 was, I think, our fifth burger since June 26. We had picked non-beef ones until then, which were all very, very good. How lucky we felt to end the week at the Buckhorn! We bought their mac ‘n’ cheese, too, and added health foods, but the basic burger ingredients were top-grade and the style unique.

We loved the Buckhorn’s cloth napkins, the old-fashioned cold water bottle on the table, the awesome, knotty pine, Wild West decor, including a surprising headline, “OJ Not Guilty.” The waitress and hostess were both stand-out nice, and we even got 10 percent off our bill to fill out a survey. The bathrooms are worth the trip.

The great food is well-priced in what could be a disappointing tourist trap. It focuses on locally sourced and place-based dishes, a Farm Fresh menu in what we thought was the middle of nowhere. Sides and appetizers tend to country, like cornbread and hot pickles (yum! house-made), and Angus beef chili, also house-made.

We noticed on the way out that the place is huge, with spiffy cute cabins refurbished in back and more being done, with Western art, sculptures, and iron gates.

Compared to hundreds of places we’ve been in California in the past four years, the Buckhorn really shines.

Thank you, Independent, for getting us to go. Let us know when the next Burger Week is. We wouldn’t want to miss another find like the Buckhorn’s SmashBurger in New Cuyama.


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