Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ostrich, Quail and Wine Oh My!: The Hitching Post II, Buelton

"I want to go to Napa for my birthday. Can you meet me there?" My best friend from Oregon insisted over the phone in anticipation of her 28 years since gushing out of her mom's vaginal canal.

"Napa is over rated! How about Paso Robles? Santa Maria? Santa Ynez?" I suggested, not trying to sound overly pushy. The truth is I wanted my friend to come to LA and I didn't want to drive to Napa - wah wah wah. The truth #2 is that Oregonians don't give a damn about California's geography so my friend had no idea that Napa is quite a drive from Los Angeles.

"Heh? Can you text me how to spell that?" She quarked back.

"...The movie Sideways..." I tell my dear friend. She's listening.

After experiencing LA traffic from hell and barking a huge "NO" at my friend for asking to make a "side trip" to meet another friend in WeHo for a quick lunch -reason too much traffic, (which I later redeemed my bad behavior by taking her to In And Out and suggesting an order of "Animal Fries" like a true California baddass all the meanwhile letting her eat in my car which I normally don't let anyone do) we finagled our way up the 101 to our pricelined Anderson Pea Soup Best Western in good ol' Buelton, California, passing by ye old Hitching Post on our way. Since I'd promised Heather a fantastic Sideways wine expedition, we had to go there.

We walked along the highway 246 for several hundred meters (being both ex collegiate volleyballers that's how we roll) till arrival. Heather eagerly flagged the waitress down for a table, but there was possibility of a wait so we marched straight to the bar for a glass of vino. Just after ordering a few glasses we were seated and served a tray of fresh veggies and basket of packaged crackers.

"Where's the bread?" I asked the waitress looking down at the sad basket of crackers which Heather had already begun ripping in to.

"It comes with your meal, but I can bring some before if you want."

Not wanting to ruin Hitching Post tradition, I sadly declined the offer and grabbed a dry carrot stick.

Having a love for domesticated animals like chicken (I had them as pets growing up) and cows (such pretty eyes), I love eating the more wild and ugly ones (ie, boar). Ostrich ($14) would be our starter: a first time for both of us. It was delicious - like a really good steak without weird shreds of miscellaneous fat and tendons but still melting in your mouth with meaty richness. Even better with our Hitching Post Pinot Noir in hand. 

Next came our bay shrimp cocktail appetizers. I couldn't decide if I was at an uber echelon nursing home in the Hamptons or on the Titanic sitting in the bourgeoisie dining cabin. A lemon sliced was pre-speared into the fork sprongs. Besides the details, the shrimp was tender and delicious. 

We had our choice of soup or salad with our entries. Heather chose the soup, therefore I chose the salad not wanting to get the same thing. It was just a standard organic mixed green dinner salad, but this time thankfully, not swimming in ranch like the last time. Heather's pinto bean soup was kind of uninspiring - just seemed like someone in the back kitchen opened a few tin cans of pinto beans, tomato soup and maybe some canned peeled tomatoes and gave themselves a hearty pat on the back for inventing such a wondrous concoction. Fine, I'll let this one slide, Hitching Post, but just this time.

For mains, Heather, a true Oregonian meat eater, chose the 8 Oz Filet Mignon ($34). She devoured it. She threw me a piece knowing that I like to eat off other people's plates. Tender, juicy and textbook. 

I got the grilled California quail ($23), not to be confused with my overly dramatic baked potato. This also made the baby book that night for my first time eating quail. It was just slightly gamey and a little too tedious to harvest the meat. I'd rather have the ostrich again for a main. Next time!

To finish it off, we had a slice of the bittersweet chocolate torte ($7) that our waitress recommended. Nice chunks of chocolate and very much bittersweet - at last a restaurant desert that isn't overly sugary!

The Hitching Post II
406 E Highway 246
Buelton, CA 93427
(805) 688-0676


SinoSoul said...

Innnnteresting. Last time in SB, I just wussed out and ate at Hungry Cat.. which.. obviously.. is just another LA restaurant.

Anna A. said...

Sinosoul, next time you better go to Solvang and hit up the ol Hitching Post for some Ostrich. Actually, they have an Ostrich zoo just around the corner that sells Ostrich eggs.

yutjangsah said...

Dang, you girls are outlaws. That ostrich meat looks delicious and I LOVE shrimp cocktail and a Baked tater with plenty of butter. Yum YUm.

Anna A. said...

Ostrich meat was OUTRAGEOUS!

onthewinetrail said...

If you like Hitching Post style/Santa Maria BBQ style dinners you should check out Hitching Post I in Casmalia (the original) or Far Western (in Guadalupe) or even Jocko's in Nipomo. You can make a day of it and go wine tasting in Santa Maria Valley's wine country.

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