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Hitching Post
406 E. Highway 246, Buellton
Phone: (805) 688-0676

Reviews by the General Public

Won't go back
Reviewer: Dixie from Santa Barbara, CA
After a long day of wine tasting w/ my husband, we decided to try this place out, we were told by the hotel staff that the food was really good, and Sideways was filmed there blah blah blah. So, we walked over to try it out on a Monday night (7/25/11 to be exact). It was pretty busy but luckily we had made a reservation, we were called about 10 minutes after getting there. The hostess was very nice while seating us, our server was a different story. While ordering, we had questions and our server had a look of annoyance on her face and answered us as if we were morons when she answered. Her whole attitude was of impatience and rudeness, (she was a middle aged woman w/ blonde hair, we were seated in the back, on the left of the restaurant). Moving on...we ordered the grilled artichoke, filet mignon and lobster tail. Not an inexpensive dinner, but we were still treated w/ attitude, for some reason we still can't figure out. Now the food- The Artichoke- very good, The Filet-sooooo good, one of the better filet's we've had, (Although Jocko's is better), and now the lobster-really BAD! It looked like lobster, had the texture of lobster, smelled a little like lobster but tasted like NOTHING but the butter you dipped it in. Very disappointing. Then, when our server drops off the bill we waited quite a while before deciding to go to the front and pay. This is when she appears and suddenly has time for us. She follows us up front and turns on the charm, hovering over my husband while he fills out the tip on the credit card and chatting away w/ me about kids... Then proceeds to look at the credit card slip in front of us and says "Oh, okay" Very tacky! I was a server/bartender for about 12 years and never looked at a credit card receipt in front of a customer to see what they tipped, much less made a comment about it! We are normally very good tippers, but honestly, I don't think she deserved anything, and my husband still tipped her $12! I guess she thought since she was nice at the end, she should get 20%? She barely acknowledged us while we were seated! I suggest you go elsewhere. I think because this restaurant was in Sideways they think highly of themselves and don't think they don't have to have good service. We LOVED Firestone Brewery and Mother Hubbards, good food AND service when we went there. Wish we would have went next door and tried AJ Spurs instead.

Cleaning Crew Needed
Reviewer: Anna from Santa Barbara, CA
When I entered the place there was an odor that I just couldn't place until someone suggested that it smelled like their grandmother's house. The cushions in the waiting room were stained as was the carpet in the entry and in the dining room. The bathroom had hospital curtains to partition the two stalls and there was a sign stating that it was due to an issue surrounding ADA compliance and that you had the option of just locking the door for personal use. Management should just spend a little money and make the bathroom more user friendly. As for the food, the waiter stated they offered shrimp cocktail with the dinner. When the shrimp cocktail arrived it was the tiny bay shrimp on top of finely cut celery and barely edible in that it was tasteless. The salad that arrived was okay but stay away from the italian dressing as it is awful. The soup special was turkey tortilla and it was more of a chowder than a soup. As for the entrees, one out of three arrived as requested, medium rare. However, I will say that the service was good but not excellent as we had to ask three times for dressing and two times for bread (garlic grilled). I wouldn't go back because if I am going to spend $98.00 for three people, I will spend it at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and get a truly superb meal including the ambiance.

Predictably good
Reviewer: Richard Lambert from Santa Barbara, CA
"Sideways" might have undermined this restaurant. After all, these days people come from everywhere just to see the place where Miles fell in love with Maya and the Santa Ynez Valley wine country. Fortunately, the food and service at the Hitching Post remain terrific. Our steaks were well seasoned and grilled as ordered. The meals also came with several courses, just as they would have thirty years ago... before ala carte ordering took over the world.

Buellton HP2 vs Casmalia HP1
Reviewer: John M from Los Angeles
I have eaten at the Casmalia HP1 restaurant since the late '80's when it was recommended to me by a business customer. I distinctly remember when I asked for some A1 sauce, the woman who was waiting my table sort of looked at me and said, "Wait until you dig in to the steak before you put stuff on it." I was a bit put off until I had my first bite... HEAVEN! I have been eating at the HP1 ever since. I have avoided the Buellton HP2 for many years believing that it could never live up to the HP1. I was correct. My girlfriend (who I have converted to a firm HP1 customer) and I decided to try the Buellton HP2 on one of our recent trips up north. The service was nice, but not personable. The meal was good, but not as excellent as provided by the HP1 in Casmalia. It's hard to describe, but while the meat at HP2 was of a very good quality, it did not have the extraordinary flavor sensation which the HP1 in Casmalia provides. I'm not sure if it's a difference in the fire pit, or if it's a difference in how the meat is seasoned during cooking, but HP1 in Casmalia kicks butt over HP2 in Buellton. Furthermore, the ambiance of HP2 is more toned down, less ... "real" than HP1. It's hard to describe. I'm reminded of the expression: If you know what it's like, no decription is necessary; if you don't know what it's like, no description is possible. My suggestion: take the time and effort to find the HP1 in Casmalia and really have an excellent meal. As they say on the sign: "the best steak in the world". I've eaten in about 40 states and five countries, and I can honestly say that the Casmalia HP1 puts down the best meal I've ever had. :)

food was not bad. place is a bit overhyped.
Reviewer: Jim from Santa Barbara, CA
food was alright. not very impressive. beef not as flavorful as expected, not tender at all. artichoke appetizer was no good -- barely anything to eat on it. service was good.

HP II - Maybe I rated this place a little too low!
Reviewer: John S. from Buellton, CA
I have been going to HP since in opened. I have seen the transformation from small unknown restaurant to the fine restaurant it is now. Sideways helped make it famous, but the place has not changed much since it opened. Coodos Frank, the place has maintained its small town atmosphere and quality food and service. I expected a dip in quality after the movie, but there was none. The food, the food...........I have eaten in Steak houses from KC, NYC, Shy, etc.........this is a good as it gets and way better than a Mortons, Shulas, Chris....etc. Make a reservation you will need one. This is a great great place to dine.

Good food and service, pricey
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Expect to pay 35+ per person here. Nice place, you can watch your meat being cooked on the grill in the main dining room or watch tv in the bar dining room. I could see how it could get noisy on the weekends. I still prefer Vineyard House in Santa Ynez over this place for a more intimate/country feel. For a more family/fun steakhouse try AJ Spurs next door. It is called Hitching Post II as the original is in Casmalia.

Reviewer: Liza from Santa Barbara, CA
After hearing all the reviews of slow service I was hesitant in going. So I took the plunge after attending the Peppertree Ranch Art Show on Saturday. We had reservations and arrived early but couldn't be seated until 5 mins before our reservations because it was soooo busy. Other than waiting for our table, the service was the best it could be. The steak we ordered came cooked perfectly. Plenty of TLC tending to our needs - water- more bread, etc. Even though we had to wait, we'd do it again. As we were leaving at 8:30 pm, the lines were out the door still!!!!

Best filet mignon in Buellton
Reviewer: Connie from Glendale, CA
I visit my mother in Santa Maria quite often and The Hitching Post is my required stop for dinner. Amazing steaks and service!

Reviewer: Troy from Buellton, CA
I live in Buellton and have wanted to try the Hichin' Post for a while....and came away dissappointed. Atmosphere very loud, difficult to talk to others at a 4 person table. Appetizers, salad and all food exept the steak was not bad, but just average, not what I'd expect with these prices...Carrows comes to mind. Wine list, pretty good. The steak, was incredible. I left feeling that I really over paid for my evening. AJ's next door is such a better experience and value, they never miss.

Great food. Great experience
Reviewer: G from Santa Barbara, CA
This place is great. We shared a bottle of good wine and I had the filet which was prepared perfectly. My boyfriend had the duck which he really enjoyed as well. We split the chocolate cake for dessert and it was fresh-made and moist and wonderful! We both agreed it may have been the best cake we've had. Our waiter Oscar was very attentive and friendly and did an excellent job. We found the place to be very comfortable. We will definitely be back next time we are up north! Thanks Oscar for a very nice dining experience!

Terrible service, very good food
Reviewer: Susan from Santa Barbara
We've eaten at Hitching Post twice, and both times experienced great disappointment with the service, particularly the hostess. She was never at her post, leaving patrons waiting endlessly to be seated. She had a bad attitude, and seated us against a wall niche where we were overcome with smoke from the grill and had to be moved. In the second incident, we arrived a little before closing and she again was too busy socializing to attend to us, and then informed us they'd stopped serving early. Now during the one time we ate there, the filet minon was great. One waitress, too, is quite attentive and friendly.

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