BBQ Review – Abby’s BBQ (update)

February 15th, 2015

I went back to Abby’s last week for lunch and was disappointed. Little changes and some big ones have happened at this restaurant. A few months back, it appears that the owner/operator quit or was fired. They wouldn’t say.

Their pork ribs are no longer prepared the same way and the last two times I ordered them they had silver skin on them (ack! my pet peeve). This last visit they were out ribs completely at 12:30 in the afternoon.

From the last three visits in a month, they have raised the price on brisket from +$.40, to $.60 to now a $1. Although the cost of brisket has gone up, this price is not justified. The quality of their food has dropped significantly.

The brisket and Pulled Pork is flavorless and just about everything requires sauce now. The sweet potato fries are overcooked to the point of being inedible.

This used to be one of my favorite places to go and I gave them the benefit of the doubt that last two times, but after this last visit I won’t be going back.

BBQ Review – Cali Comfort

February 14th, 2015

Name: Cali Comfort
Address: 8910 Troy Street, Spring Valley, CA 91977
http://www.calicomfortsd.com//

Date of Visit: January 31st, 2015 (actually our second visit)

BBQ Style: Texas Style

Food Ordered: (we had a coupon the first time, so we got their combo plates)

  • Beef Brisket
  • Pulled Pork
  • Pork Ribs
  • Tri-Tip
  • Tater Tots (instead of the fries)
  • Baked Beans
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Cole Slaw
  • Corn Bread
  • Peach Cobbler

Food Review: 

  • Beef Brisket The Brisket was perfectly cooked and had great flavor. The first time I ordered it it came as chopped beef instead of strips, but the second visit it was perfectly sliced strips.
  • Pulled Pork – The pulled pork was fantastic, one of the best I have ever had and I dare say it was better than anything I have ever produced. The texture was perfect and no fat at all. The meat was rich with flavor and didn’t need any sauce.
  • Pork Ribs – I was ultimately amazed with the ribs. No silver skin and cooked perfectly with fantastic flavor. These are the best pork ribs I have ever had in a restaurant.
  • Tri-Tip – The Tri-Tip had tons of flavor but was a little tough. I can’t fault this because it’s very hard to keep this cut of meat from getting tough. The flavor was amazing though.
  • Tater Tots – The tater tots were great and I recommend them as a slightly different side.
  • Baked Beans – The baked beans had good flavor and pulled pork in them was a pleasant surprise.
  • Mac and Cheese – The mac and cheese was good, but nothing special.
  • Cole Slaw – The cole slaw was just ok.
  • Corn Bread – The corn bread was nice and spicy with jalapeños, but may be too spicy for some.
  • Peach Cobbler – The cobbler was good, but your basic run of the meal dessert.

General Review – The restaurant is in an area of town that is a little off-putting. Don’t let this scare you away. Parking is pretty good with spaces behind and across the street. There is an assisted living home behind the restaurant that is available for parking. The place has a sports bar attached to the restaurant but it can be quite noisy. So if you are looking for a quiet spot, request to be seated away from the bar. The waiter recommended the rib tips as his favorite, but we didn’t try those as there was too many other items we wanted to have instead. The Iced Tea was really good, normally it’s too brisk or too sweet, this was brewed perfectly. The restaurant has large booths that can hold 8-10 people and the place has a nice cozy cottage feel.

Their sauce comes in mild and spicy. The spicy sauce has a good kick, but you have no need for any sauce on the meats as they all have excellent flavor. It is not very often that a BBQ restaurant can do good meats as most places try to mass produce their product like a certain place on Sports Arena and the quality suffers. But, it’s extremely rare when every meat that comes out is excellent and flavorful, not overcooked and dried out.

I was so impressed with the quality of their food, I wanted to wait until a second visit to make sure their quality was repeated and not just a first-time fluke. This is a place I will highly recommend and will be visiting for a long time.

Darkavich’s BBQ rating: I give it a 9 out of 10. (only because slightly tough Tri-Tip)

BBQ Review – Brazen BBQ

February 14th, 2015

Name: Brazen BBQ
Address: 441 Washington Street, San Diego, CA 92103
http://www.brazenbbq.com/

Date of Visit: December 28th 2013

BBQ Style: Kansas City

Food Ordered:

  • Pork Ribs
  • Rib Tips
  • Pulled Pork
  • Beef Brisket
  • Cole Slaw
  • Corn Bread
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Baked Beans
  • Peach Cobbler

Food Review: 

  • Pork Ribs - The pork ribs were WAY overcooked, they feel off the bone when I picked them up and then fell apart.
  • Rib Tips – The rib tips were over cooked and chewy.
  • Pulled Pork – Their pulled pork was the worst I have ever had. It tasted like shoe leather. It had good flavor but was so greasy it was inedible. Over half of the pork could not be eaten. When I complained about the pork I said that this should have never even left the kitchen as it both tasted and looked unappetizing. All I got was a sorry and nothing else. No offer to replace it or refund my money.
  • Beef Brisket – The Brisket was cooked perfectly but it had zero flavor, it didn’t even task like meat.
  • Cole Slaw - The cole slaw was pretty good and had a nice light creaminess to it.
  • Corn Bread – The corn bread wasn’t gritty and they use poblanos instead of jalapeños which gave it a milder but good flavor.
  • Mac and Cheese – The best part of the meal was the mac and cheese. It had a great flavor and wasn’t too gritty or overpowering.
  • Baked Beans – The baked beans were very thick and hearty and had a consistency and taste like a light chili. Not really want I expected from a baked bean side dish.
  • Peach Cobbler - The peach cobbler was just ok. Nothing to write home about.

General Review – This restaurant has a small parking lot, so you may have hunt for street parking and walk a few blocks if the lot is full. We were fortunate enough that it wasn’t very crowded. The dinning room was nice and roomy with a full bar with some very unique drink selections. I had high hopes for this restaurant because of other reviews, but this turned out to be one of the worst BBQ joints I have visited. Their lack of service and ability to correct the problems with their foods prevents me from referring this location to anyone.

Darkavich’s BBQ rating: I give it an 2 out of 10.

What happened to my pants?

June 30th, 2014

Over this last weekend I have come to the realization that I have to finally give in and give up trying to wear cloths that are too big for me. Those of you who know me, know I am a cheap bastard when it comes to spending money on myself. I always think,  “Hey, those are still in great shape, I should just tighten up the belt”, but unfortunately, you can only go so far before you look like you are wearing a parachute. I am now the smallest I have been since I got sick back in the 90s and then started gaining weight. I still have a way to go, but need to figure out what to do. ;-)

Best buy is no longer a best choice.

June 15th, 2014

I have made my last trip to Best Buy (well one more, but read on). I went in to look at headphones today. They had a slightly better display than Fry’s and most of them actually worked or allowed you to plug your iDevice into it to test them.

I settled on two headsets. The Bose AE2 and the Marshal Monitor headsets. I really like the monitors, but they were just a bit much to buy two pairs. So I decided to buy one of each. I wanted a pair for home and one for work.

At checkout I attempted to get them to use their price matching policy but they refused. Apparently, online prices do not mean online. It means that they have to match very specific conditions. So I didn’t buy the monitors.

I got home and opened up the AE2’s and it appears that they were previously sold, opened, returned and resold. There was nothing on the box stating they had been previously return. The last thing I want to put on my ears is something I have no idea where it has been ;-)

I get extremely frustrated that I can not walk into a store and just test out and buy something and know it’s not been returned. I am not one to use Brick&Mortar as a test bed and then go buy online, if I use their resources I generally try to give them the sale.

So I will be making my last and final trip back to the store. I will be letting them know I am done shopping there forever and I will be returning my zoner card (yes, zoner). I was one of their beta customers in San Diego when they started the program.

It’s really a shame how consumer electronics retail has turned into such a horrible experience.