Archive for the ‘BBQ Reviews’ Category

BBQ Review – Abby’s BBQ (update)

Sunday, 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

Saturday, 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

Saturday, 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.

BBQ Review – Coop’s BBQ

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Name: Coops BBQ
Address: 2625 Lemon Grove Ave. Lemon Grove, CA. 91945
http://coopsbbq.com

Date of Visit: August 10th 2013

Keep an eye out for this place or you may pass it by without realizing it. I barely saw it at the last minute and had to turn around. It’s in a very small strip mall so keep your eyes peeled. Also, there are very few tables inside and only a few 4-top tables. So you may have to wait a while if you are not ordering take out.

This is clearly a family run business and you can tell that they put a lot of sweat and love into the food they make.

BBQ Style: West Texas

Food Ordered:

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

 

Food Review: 

  • Pork Ribs – The ribs were the best part of my meal with the exception of silver skin. It’s truly unfortunate it was not removed before cooking or I may have considered this to be one of the best ribs I have had in a long time.
  • Rib Tips – The rib tips had a tremendous amount of flavor, but unfortunately they were over cooked. Many of my pieces were very chewy and burnt.
  • Pulled Pork – The pulled pork tasted a bit like carnitas to me. This is usually a sign that the meat has been boiled or cooked in a crock pot, but I am pretty sure this was not the case as it had a good amount of smoke ring on it. The sandwich portion was huge and there was plenty of left over meat to take home. I wasn’t able to confirm with them how it was cooked, but I am suspecting some sort of jerk seasoned injection.
  • Beef Brisket – The brisket was a bit undercooked as it didn’t pass the pull test. The flavor was great though and it had a wonderful smoke ring. I would definitely try this again as it was almost perfect, I may have got a piece that was not quite done.
  • Corn Bread – The corn bread was horribly dry and very gritty. I would avoid it.
  • Mac and Cheese – The flavor of the Mac & Cheese was very nice, but the dish was on the dry/crumbly side. I think if they added more moisture to the mix, it would be the perfect side dish.
  • Baked Beans – OMG! These were the best beans I have ever had. I didn’t expect them to taste very well as most places use canned beans. They added a twist to their beans by adding pineapple chunks. This added a nice sweet flavor to the beans. Don’t pass these up.
  • Peach Cobbler – The peach cobbler was just OK. The peaches were really good, but the crust/cobbler part was gooey and doughy. I think it might have been a little undercooked. If you plan to eat in, they will hold the cobbler until you are ready for it. This was very nice of them and ensures it comes out hot.

 

Darkavich’s BBQ rating: I give it an 7 out of 10.

BBQ Review – Lil’Piggy’s Bar-B-Q

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Name: Lil’Piggy’s Bar-B-Q
Address: Coronado Ferry Landing 1201 First Street, Coronado, CA 92118
http://www.nadolife.com/lilpiggys/

Date of Visit: June 16th 2012 (yes, I know it’s been over a year)

This BBQ place is located at the Coronado Ferry Landing. There are lots of shops to visit while you wait for a table and a wonderful view of the San Diego harbor.

BBQ Style: Memphis

Food Ordered:

  • Pork Ribs
  • Pulled Pork
  • Beef Brisket
  • Corn Fritters
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Po’ Tater Salad

The atmosphere of the place has the feel of a traditional boardwalk food joint with picnic bench tables that have a great view of the harbor and perfect for people watching. Be prepared to wait for a table on the weekend.

Food Review: 

  • Pork Ribs – The ribs were cooked perfectly and had a very nice sweet flavor. They serve baby back ribs rather than spare ribs. Which is fine, but most baby back ribs have less meat than spare ribs. So calculate that into your pricing. While I prefer a dry rubbed rib, the sauce used on their ribs was a pleasant surprise and it enhance the flavors of the meat.
  • Brisket – The Brisket was cooked well and passed the pull test. The flavor of the meat was bland though and the meat was a little chewy.
  • Pulled Pork – The pulled pork was well seasoned and the perfect tenderness. Unfortunately, one of our sandwiches came out with a ton of fat in the sandwich. Lack of attention when making the sandwich seems to be a real problem in many BBQ places. This was the only negative comment I have about the pulled pork. I would highly recommend it, just make sure you tell them to be sure there is no fat in it.
  • The sides were good, but the Corn Fritters are to die for. Their honey butter is delicious. You will want a side as an appetizer as well as a dessert.

This was a pleasant change from our previous review. I highly recommend this place, but the prices are a little higher than normal BBQ places. I think this is because of their location. It’s a premier spot and people are willing to pay a little extra when tourists.

Darkavich’s BBQ rating: I give it an 8 out of 10.