Where: 406 E. Highway 246, Buellton, 688-0676, hitchingpost2.com
What: The Hitching Post's second location in Buellton is known for their Santa Maria-style barbequed sirloin, as well as for being home to Hartley Ostini wines.
How much: Appetizers $8-$10, 10-oz. prime top sirloin $26, desserts $7
The dish: You may remember Buellton's highly acclaimed Hitching Post II from its prominent feature in the movie Sideways, but Frank Ostini's American steakhouse has been serving up traditional California ranch food since 1952. The original location is in the small town of Casmalia, closer to Lompoc, and the Buellton restaurant was established in 1986. In the famed tradition of Santa Maria barbeque, the Hitching Post is famous for their simple yet distinctively prepared top sirloin, which gets seasoned with garlic, salt, and pepper and tossed over an open flame of red oak wood. Arrive early to taste a flight of Hartley Ostini Hitching Post wines (6 wines for $7), an award-winning label created by owner/chef Frank Ostini and former fisherman/friend Gary Hartley. Try the smoky Grilled Artichoke appetizer served with a spicy smoked tomato mayo. Follow that up with your choice of a variety of steaks (such as sirloin, flat iron, or filet) cooked to your liking. Other entree options include grilled California quail, oak grilled chicken breast, dry-rubbed BBQ spareribs, and the freshest fish of the day.
This week at independent.com, H is also for: Hungry Cat (independent.com/hungrycat) and Hollister Brewing Company (independent.com/hollisterbrew). And for all of our restaurants, see independent.com/restaurants. Next week, see what I/J are for :