Food from Abbey's Real Bar-B-Q...not to be confused with the other Abbey's.
  • Food from Abbey's Real Bar-B-Q...not to be confused with the other Abbey's.
  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Abbey's Real BBQ

9353 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearny Mesa

Little differences matter.

Imagine hobnobbing with a group of hoity-toity snobbish types, drinking port and discussing great matters of Western Civilization. They’re talking about Richard Burton and how he helped get the Kama Sutra first published in English.

“Bet Liz Taylor liked that,” you guffaw, oblivious to the disdainful sneers coming from all directions.

Oh. God. There were two!?

The shame.

Now, imagine some barbecue-hungry friend tells you that “Abbey’s is the place to go.” Did you learn your lesson?

Little differences matter.

Abbey’s Real Bar-B-Q is not the same as Abbey’s Real Texas BBQ. They have ridiculously similar names, but Abbey’s Real is the superior restaurant.

To begin with, the meat bears the telltale signs of low-and-slow cooking in a proper smoker. Where the meat from Abbey’s Real Texas falls short, the barbecue meats at Abbey’s meet the minimum requirements to be called actual barbecue. Abbey’s Real can’t compete with SD’s best barbecue joints, but it outstrips Abbey’s Real Texas BBQ in every way except the beans. At times, the place can be good, but consistency issues count, and being always delicious is important in this barbecue game.

Ribs display a noticeable bark, almost having a chewy, grilled texture that’s fun to gnaw, but doesn’t make up for insufficient smokiness. Other small flaws, like too-lean pulled pork, count against Abbey’s Real in the long run. The meat’s flavor and texture sometimes tell the tale of a pitmaster in the weeds who forces the issue a bit, engendering the aforementioned issues of consistency.

It gets better, of course. Thumbs up to fried cornbread! And the Abbey’s Real sauce is very good, piquant and flavorful, perfect for splashing over pulled pork or brisket, and tasting nothing like mass produced KC-imitation wackness. Prices also hover in the realm of reasonable, with about $12 buying slightly more food than one normal human wants to eat in a sitting. Even when the place is jamming, service is fast and friendly.

Even with some minor issues, Abbey’s Real Bar-B-Q will never be a meal wasted, so venture forth without fear. In the contest between Abbeys', there is a clear winner.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader

More from the web

Comments

Dave Rice Jan. 25, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.

Pretty much spot-on. When firing on all cylinders, they're doing the best that can be done with an electric smoker, but there are times the meat seems like it was a bit rushed, the brisket is a little gristly, or the ribs are a tad dry. Love the cornbread, but the beans are a big unknown factor - I'm a fan of the unique flavor profile, but it seems like they sometimes come out under-cooked.

Not the absolute undisputed best in town, but when I used to work a desk job a couple blocks from here it was a totally solid spot to hit up for lunch 2-3 times a month, or as often as I could find a co-worker to split an order of stuff with me. I'm not a normal human in that one Dave = two to two-and-a-half Ians, so if the quantity is too much for me to eat alone it's decidedly too much.

0

Ian Pike Jan. 25, 2014 @ 4:52 p.m.

I prety much had nothing nice to say about the food at the other Abbey's, but I would never naysay a trip to this one. That's a hard distinction to make. I would say the sauce was above average, for sure, which goes a long way.

0

Sign in to comment