Good BBQ and high online ratings draw customers to Tulare BBQ restaurant

Rock music is blasting and the barbecue is sizzling at Pitty's BBQ in Tulare.

A fresh tri-tip burger is one of the favorite items customers order every day.

"It's awesome. It's like special the way he makes it and the sides and everything. You have to taste it, I can't explain it to you," said Sergio Godinez of Tulare.

Owners Joe and Kassie Aguilar run the restaurant along with their kids, which serves tri-tip, chicken and more out of this old airplane at L Street and King Avenue. The plane was purchased from the Tulare airport, restored and turned into a hot dog shop by the previous owners. The Aguilars moved to this location in 2016.

They say most of their food is locally bought and sourced.

"Everything we do here is in-house. We do everything fresh. I don't have a rub I buy off the store shelf. I make it myself. I make my own BBQ sauce. I think it's the little things that make it good and the cooking period," said Joe Aguilar, Pitty's BBQ owner.

Joe buys oak from Springville and says it's the slow burn of the wood that helps seal in flavor.

"Not only has Pitty's won over fans in Tulare, but they've also won over fans online. On Yelp they have a 4.5 out of 5 review and on Facebook a 4.8 out of 5. They say it's all due to their homemade food.

"I had a customer from Vermont yesterday and it was his third time here. They come every time they come to this area in California. I thought the same thing, it was crazy," Joe said.

People from Canada and across the United States have stopped by for the food or the aviation theme. The 240 Convair plane, once used for training pilots now has diners in it.

The family works six days a week from Tuesday to Saturday to keep the restaurant open for hungry lunchtime customers.

"They say to do something you really enjoy and this is something you really enjoy, so I'm happy every day when I come to work. I love being here. I love cooking," Joe said.

A passion that's putting Tulare on the map.
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