Where there’s smoke, there’s barbecue! Such is the case with the Santa Maria Valley’s Old Town Market. Located in the hamlet of Orcutt, Old Town Market makes Santa Maria tri-tip an integral part of its weekly offerings. Here, proprietor Mark Steller and his crew captivate both visitors and locals alike with the aromas and flavors of the market’s all-day Saturday barbecues. Located along a popular route for road cyclists, the market also caters to many long-distance travelers, some of whom are trying Santa Maria tri-tip for the first time.
Do you get a lot of people asking about Santa Maria Style Barbecue and what it is?
“We get people cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles and even from Anchorage to Mexico City,” Mark says. “They smell the smoke and that’s how they learn about it.”
In addition to its extensive deli and fresh meats and produce, Old Town Market features a world-class wine department with hundreds of varietal selections from more than 70 local wineries, including tough-to-find boutique winery offerings.
Which wines in your store do you recommend pairing with Santa Maria Style Barbecue?
“Two wines that pair nicely with Santa Maria Style Barbecue are Rancho Sisquoc’s River Red, and also a Syrah by Golden Bear, a small winery,” Mark says.
More about wine and barbecue pairing can be explored at the market’s Saturday evening wine tastings, which feature a different local winery each week. Old Town Market is also renowned for its on-site antique shop, Gift Show happening on May 12 and Antique Sale with more than 30 antique vendors slated for July 21.
Do well-informed locals also frequent your market and events?
“Oh, that’s the majority of our traffic,” Mark says. “People who don’t have the time to cook enjoy grabbing their meal here, especially as our $6 tri-tip sandwich is a good value. Our team member, Josh, handles the barbecue here. He learned the art from his dad and takes great pride in it.”