Anniversary Eats: Hot City Barbecue (Los Banos)

By now you probably know that Kim and I celebrated our anniversary a week or so ago. And I’ve mentioned in the last few posts that we actually have two anniversaries; the friend that we asked to marry us was not able to obtain the proper credentials from the county, so we faked the formal ceremony. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of our visit to the courthouse to make things legal.

Anyway, I’ve been outlining all of the food stops on our anniversary trip to San Francisco (see previous: CutijaTartineBrindisi Cucina di Mare and Cotogna). But the trip started with Hot City Barbecue in Los Banos. We brought some friends along to share the experience with TasteFresno, which will air on NoNetwork later this week.

This place is not to be missed. Honestly, it’s worth the drive, even if that’s your only destination (right, Nicole and Phillip?). So don’t even bother looking at my photos—just go. I highly recommend the pulled pork.

13 Responses to “Anniversary Eats: Hot City Barbecue (Los Banos)”

  1. Alisa
    June 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Everything was soo good. This post makes me want to go back! Those ribs were some of the best ribs I’ve ever had and the pulled pork was to die for…mmm!

    • james
      June 23, 2011 at 4:36 am #

      I just wish I was going to be heading that way sometime soon so I could stop in again…

  2. Susan
    June 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    I’ll be driving through this weekend…yippee!! Thanks for scouting it out for me. Cutija will have to wait this time…

    • james
      June 23, 2011 at 4:37 am #

      You can always hit Cutija up on the way back, Susan 🙂

  3. Dawna
    June 23, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    The owners, Steve and Joy were my next door neighbors here in town. They have owned Hot City for about 2 years and have at least doubled the business. I stop there every time I go visit my family in the bay (both ways). I have sometimes taken a road trip just for the barbecue. My favorites, the ribs, the tri-tip sandwich, the garlic bread and the outrageous salads. Steve and Joy treat everyone like family. If you are into the process, Steve will have you join him in the pit and give you the ‘tour’. Just go early as they sometimes run out of one or two items.

    • james
      June 23, 2011 at 4:40 am #

      We’re posting a video interview with Steve on TasteFresno tomorrow, Dawna – he was happy to give that tour. What a friendly couple.

      I don’t usually think of salads when I go to a barcue restaurant, but that was one of my favorite parts of the meal!

  4. Chuck
    June 23, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    From the looks of the St. Louis style ribs I can tell they’re doing it right. I appreciate that it’s not drowned in sauce to hide any imperfections. Wow. I’m there for sure next trip to the bay.

    Nice pictures James but I’m sure your wife isn’t thrilled with that shot. Ha!

    • james
      June 23, 2011 at 5:39 am #

      She’s used to it, Chuck 🙂

      As for the sauce, they were light all around – it’s all about the meat. Try the ribs, but know the star is the pulled pork!

    • Kim
      June 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

      I’ve surrendered to the fact that every time we eat and he has his camera, I’ll get my photo taken – usually with something stuffed in my mouth. On the flip side, I’m usually eating amazing food so I don’t really care 😉

  5. Steve
    June 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    To the “gang” with and, thank you so much for your time and efforts featuring our BBQ Joint. Your video was more than we could have hoped for. Professional, snappy and laid back at the same time. Sounds like “slow cooking” to me. Remember this, the only thing better than our food is our customers.

    Steve, Joy and the Staff at Hot City BBQ

    • james
      June 27, 2011 at 1:48 am #

      Thanks for the kind words, Steve – you all are awesome.

    • Alisa
      June 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

      Thank you, Steve! It was such a pleasure meeting with you and Joy. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. 🙂

    • Nicole
      June 29, 2011 at 3:58 am #

      Thanks, Steve, Joy, and the entire Hot City staff for the warm welcome and wonderful food. Looking forward to many more road trips in the future!

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