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The Tri-Tip Torta from El Pollo Norteño in Santa Maria, CA

J. Kenji López-Alt 1 comment

There are plenty of steakhouses and chop shops in the Santa Maria Valley, but if speed is the name of the game, you could do worse than make a pit-stop at El Pollo Norteño, a small fast-food-style diner in a strip mall in Santa Maria. More

The Best Inexpensive Steak For The Grill Part 5: Tri-Tip

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 18 comments

If you're from outside of Santa Maria, California, you may not have heard of tri-tip, the large, tender, triangular muscle cut from the bottom sirloin of a steer. If you're from Santa Maria, on the other hand, you can bet your bowl of pinquito beans that you've had more than your share of the cut. More

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Tri-Tip

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt Post a comment

A sweet and spicy rub adds flavor to this otherwise mild but tender cut of beef. More

Santa Maria-Style Barbecue Tri-Tip

Serious Eats J. Kenji López-Alt Post a comment

This is a classic Santa Maria style barbecue tri tip with a simple garlic, salt, and pepper rub, cooked over an open fire to medium rare. It's best served with Santa Maria-style Salsa More

The Food Lab's Guide to Inexpensive Steak for the Grill: 5 Cuts You Should Know

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 57 comments

These are the butcher's cuts. These are the cuts that chefs love to use because not only are they inexpensive, but they've got character. Here is a brief overview of my five favorite inexpensive steaks: the hanger, the tri-tip, the short-rib, the skirt, and the flap meat. More

A Sandwich a Day: Tri-Tip Sandwich from Lillie's Q

Chicago Nick Kindelsperger 1 comment

After a week of feasting on rib tips and hot links, one would think that the last thing I'd want to do is eat more barbecue. But I'm reasonably sure I will always make an exception for some tri-tip from Lillie's Q. More

The Santa Maria Style of Barbecue: Open-Flame Grilling

When Pigs Fly James Boo 10 comments

Santa Maria's claim to culinary fame is a type of open-flame grilling that dates back to the 19th century. Despite its association with colonial Spain's vaquero culture, this approach was not too different from most American barbecue of the time—a process with three general steps: "Dig hole. Light coals. Apply carcass." More

Butterflied Tri-Tip Fajitas

Serious Eats Caroline Russock 18 comments

If you're anything like me, chances are you've never stopped to think about the history of fajitas. This sizzling plate of meat and onions served with flour tortillas has always been a given, just like gravy-drenched enchiladas or the ubiquitous combo plates served in places specializing in Tex-Mex. But like any iconic food, there's a story behind that platter, and in this case a fascinating one that Robb Walsh has extensively researched for The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook. More

Crazy Thick Sandwiches at Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe in Berkeley

Erin Zimmer 8 comments

Like novels, sandwiches get bragging rights when they are so thick, they make you stop and think, "wow, that might take you a while, but I bet it's good." At Berkeley's Brazil Fresh Squeeze Café, the veggie sandwich is four-inches thick, and that's only after squeezing it to clear the roof of your mouth More

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