January 2, 2017 at 8:21 am #2524Team YOLO !Keymaster
In the near-coastal town of Santa Maria, choice cuts of beef are cooked not over hot charcoal, but over live red oak, an indigenous tree that gives the meat a distinctively sweet and smoky flavor.
The beef is cooked on a special grill that has a crank with which a grillmaster can position the rack of meat closer to or further from the oak coals, to ensure the beef is cooked neither too fast nor too slow, but just right.
The method was born out of California’s ranchero days in the late 1800s, when caballeros raised livestock in the hills and valleys of the Central Coast and would barbecue skewers of meat over an earthen pit simmering with red oak coals.
As a tradition, the meat is served sans barbecue sauce, alongside salad, garlic bread, salsa and pinquitos, small pink beans that are native to the area.
Former U.S. president Ronald Reagan was such a fan of Santa-Maria style barbecue that, in the 1980s, he flew local grillmasters out the White House to cater a barbecue on the South Lawn on more than one occasion.
Jocko’s has been grilling up hefty portions of choice beef since 1926. Their most popular cut is the Spencer rib eye.
Their grilled meats come served with piquinto beans, salad, salsa, garlic bread, potatoes or steamed rice, ice cream and coffee.
Jocko’s is incredibly popular. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended; and even with a reservation, be prepared to wait 5-30 minutes to be seated even with a reservation.
Be sure to walk over to the south side of the restaurant to see their grillmasters in action, tending to a variety of meats over a massive pit-style grill.
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