6904 Miramar Road, Miramar
Abbey’s Real Texas BBQ makes bold moves, claiming “Best BBQ Brisket In San Diego” at the head of its website.
Well, says who?
These kinds of claims always beg for upholding or debunking.
The restaurant has a faded print of an Eleanor Widmer review from years back, but the former Reader critic stopped well short of raving. The meat at Abbey’s can speak up for itself, though it doesn’t have much to say.
Where’s the smokey flavor?
The inferior sauce tastes more like canned spaghetti slop than anything appropriate to ribs, pulled pork, and brisket.
Pricing feels $2 too high across the board, though the generous portions ensure leftovers.
This barely even qualifies as barbecue. More like boiled meat served to the soldiers of some ancient army during a forced march through perilous winter in hostile territories.
The best thing that Abbey’s Real Texas BBQ has going for it is the toasted hamburger bun smeared in garlicky oil that comes on the side of the combination plates. Made into a sandwich, the bland meat drags the bread down to its level, sapping away the deliciousness like an antisocial dance partner dragging her heels through an entire foxtrot.
The baked beans are okay, but one acceptable side can not elevate sub-par barbecue (sub-parbecue?!), and this Abbey’s is certainly that.
On a bright note, the cooler’s stocked with the delicious Texan beer, Shiner Bock. Also, the owner, Matt, is a genuinely nice guy who marches around the Country Music Television-styled dining room making friendly with the customers and boasting of the restau’s thirty-year tenure with justifiable pride.
Not that such things excuse thoroughly unenjoyable meat and an overall sloppiness of service and decor. If anything, little niceties call more attention to the many faults.
If there’s a lesson in this, it’s that it’s never okay to call yourself the best. Earn the designation first, and then let someone else assign it.