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The peach cobbler had a glutinous texture and (apparently) canned peaches. Forget I even mentioned it. But the pies — oh, the pies! Buttermilk pie, which I’ve never tried before, seems a relative of the better-known Southern favorite, chess pie. (I’ve never cooked either, so if you want details, go to Google.) In both, the filling is a thick custard of milk or buttermilk, butter, eggs, flour or biscuit mix, vanilla and sugar, and maybe lemon rind. Most Southerners overdo the sugar but not Coop. This was creamy and velvety and only sweet enough to please, and it came on the thinnest, most delicate crust, barely solid enough to support the filling. The same crust is used for the fluffy sweet-potato pie, which revealed equal restraint with the sugar. Both are flawless finishes for a meaty, smoky, saucy barbecue meal. ■

Coop’s West Texas Barbecue

★★★ (Very Good)

2625 Lemon Grove Avenue, Lemon Grove, 619-589-0478; coopsbbq.com

HOURS: Tuesday–Friday 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; lunch 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; Saturday till 5:00 p.m.; Sunday till 4:00 p.m.
PRICES: Meats with two small sides $13–$26; sandwiches $6–$9; pound of meat (no ribs) $12; Kit and Kaboodle (4 meats, about 2 pounds, with 2 sides) $19; sides $3–$5; desserts $4; whole pies $15.
CUISINE & BEVERAGES: Authentic pit-smoked meats and a few sides; soft drinks only.
PICK HITS: Pulled pork; Southwestern jerk chicken (especially smoked wings); beef ribs; baked beans; collard greens; sweet-potato pie; buttermilk pie. Most popular item: rib tips (not always available).
NEED TO KNOW: Smoked wings and Kit and Kaboodle combo (four meats, two small sides) not shown on current printed menu or website. Tiny room; most patrons call in for takeout. Save room for pie! Three vegetarian side dishes.

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Posse_Dave June 23, 2011 @ 1:18 a.m.

By coincidence the latest monthly issue of Westways (AAA magazine) arrived today containing a David Nelson review of...Phil's BBQ (north county satellite branch). Needless to say Nelson was very happy with Phil's food. (Is there any restaurant in SD County Nelson doesn't like?) I'm originally a Big City boy (NYC), so I didn't grow up with any regional BBQ preference. As a transplant to SoCal, I've come to really love the genuine smoked BBQ varieties, as in Texas Q. I don't get the raves about Phil's. It's baked meat, slathered in sauce to make it "BBQ." Obviously Naomi and I seem to be in a minority here, but I don't see why the Phil-style is even called BBQ--because of the sauce used? Another pretty decent place, besides Coop's, for the smokey variety is Abbey's BBQ on Clairement Mesa Blvd.(NOT the one on Mira Mesa Blvd)


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