The coleslaw was sweet, thick, heavy with mayo. Curly fries were good but the baked beans were bland, tasting canned. Meats? Flintstone beef ribs, stringy meat heavily charred from a caramelized mop of sugar-heavy sauce, added during reheating on the grill. Pulled pork: smokeless, chewy, coarsely knife-shredded (not pulled — fingers wouldn’t do it with this tough meat), drenched in sweet sauce but still tasting dry.
Otherwise, the restaurant floats between Italian and Greek sandwiches and Angus burgers. Bloggers on Yelp like the Greek chicken sandwich. Then there’s a “Louisiana Style Cajun Chicken BBQ Sandwich” — “Cajun chicken topped with mozzarella cheese, sliced bacon, and our famous BBQ sauce.” Sounds like a Churkendoose, but maybe Sysco is selling Redi-Serv cayenne-rubbed breasts. Again, oy. Whatever you order, the owner is evidently ogling the bottom line: You gets no bread with one meatball or even a full slab of ribs, unless you pays three bucks for it. Under “Italian Sandwiches,” there’s an extra charge for cheese or peppers. Now, on Mulberry Street, charging for peppers on a sausage sandwich could bring a scary visit from the Red Swan Social Club. In North Philly, charging for cheese and peppers on Italian beef sandwiches might get you the Bristol Stomp. Opposite of Louisiana lagniappe, it’s “We’re gonna get a little something extra from your wallet.”
If the owner’s Greek, he ought to be wary of the hybris of calling this food “Chicago BBQ.” (Hey, just make it a nice Greek restaurant, fughettabout Q!)
Frankie “The Bull’s” BBQ
**1/2 (Worth a Try)
1127 West Morena Boulevard, Bay Park, 619-276-2855, frankiethebullsbbq.com.
HOURS: Daily, 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
PRICES: Starters and salads $5.49–$8.49; Sandwiches $6.49; BBQ entrées $8.49–$18.49; Samplers $22.49–$29.49; Sides $1.49. (About $20 each for a shared pig-out).
CUISINE & BEVERAGES: Meats, chicken, salmon, smoked over applewood and mesquite chips, plus gumbo. No alcohol.
PICK HITS: Filé gumbo, pork or beef ribs, chicken, cornbread, corn salad, mac and cheese, coleslaw.
NEED TO KNOW: Indoor or outdoor seating. Order at the counter inside, food will be brought to you. Warm but minimal service.
Lil’ Piggy’s Bar-B-Q
(Too Soon to Rate)
Coronado Ferry Landing, 1201 First Street, Coronado, 619-522-0217.
HOURS: Open daily, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. (till 10:00 weekends).
PRICES: Starters $6–$10; Salads $6–$11; Sandwiches $9–$11; Entrées $7–$21; combos $19–$40; Sides $2–$6; Desserts $5–$8; Kiddie plates $5–$6.
CUISINE AND BEVERAGES: Mildly hickory- smoked meats, chicken, etc.
NEED TO KNOW: No alcohol, but outdoor seating nearby to accommodate BYO. Delivery available on Coronado, elsewhere for large orders.
House of BBQ (aka Chicago Barbecue)
3959 India Street, Mission Hills, 619-298-7176.
HOURS: 10:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. (10:30 weekends).
PRICES: Starters $3 (for bread)–$10, sampler $17; Sandwiches $6–$9; Salads $6–$13; Entrées $10–20; Sides $2.50; Kiddie plates $7–$8.
CUISINE AND BEVERAGES: Baked/grilled meats, fried pub-grub starters, burgers, Greek and Italian sandwiches/ salads. Wine, beer, soju cocktails.