4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Brew and ’Cue in Apple Country

The ribs — well seasoned, perfectly pink, with the right amount of chew — were my favorite.
The ribs — well seasoned, perfectly pink, with the right amount of chew — were my favorite.
Place

Bailey Wood Pit Barbecue

2307 Main Street, Julian, CA

I recently experienced Julian under a perfect set of circumstances. It was a weekend, there was snow, the Taste of Julian was in full swing. The chilly air was rife with the aroma of fresh-baked apple pie. Even so, the old Bailey Wood Pit Barbecue was king of the snow-capped mountain for me. This despite experiencing it amid decidedly imperfect conditions.

Walking down Main Street on Friday night, leaving boot tracks in the new-fallen snow, the glowing Bailey’s sign was a welcome sight. At the front door, I was waved toward a barn, where it was very cold, possibly colder than the icy outdoors.

An ideal Julian trip — snow on the ground and meat in the smoker

The heat had gone out on the heels of a power outage that afternoon. Still, there were a dozen or so jacketed patrons seated at the bar and scattered among the picnic tables. I tightened my scarf, stuffed my hands in my pea-coat pockets, and hunkered down for — what else? — an ice-cold draft beer. After all, it was the main reason I’d come.

Late last year, a quartet of big names in the local craft-beer industry went in together to purchase Bailey’s. That beery brain trust consists of Vince and Gina Marsaglia, the brother-and-sister tandem behind Pizza Port, Port Brewing, and the Lost Abbey; and Tom and Lindsey Nickel of O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa. Each brought their own expertise to the Bailey revamp. As a result, the venue and Julian are better for it.

Before purchasing O’Brien’s in the mid-2000s, Tom brewed collaboratively with Alpine Beer Company. In Julian, he’s knocked the dust off, cooking up a trio of house beers from a brew system installed in the garage of the historic Bailey House behind the barn. That operation represents the humble yet noble beginnings of the new Julian Brewing Company.

The first beer I sampled was the 1870 IPA. Bright with citrus and an assertive burst of botanic bitterness, it’s better suited for summer vacation than a snow day, but a solid beer that stands up to any of the dozens of similar beers being brewed in a town whose sudsy stardom is built on hoppy IPAs.

My second beer — a stout served on nitro —

was much better suited for the conditions. Mild and creamy, its roastiness almost fooled me into feeling warmer. Still, the need to boost my temp was genuine. My vehicle for doing so? Tender, slow-smoked carnivore fare plucked from a smoky brick-and-metal vault in the Bailey kitchen. Before Vince came along, the restaurant lacked a smoking apparatus. Now, the aroma of smoldering wood is so strong, it reaches to the barn. Talk about an ambience enhancer.

The scent was better right under my nose, rising off a smoke ring–adorned baby-back rib. The combination of the cold and this olfactory bliss inspired me to order a lot of food. The ribs — well seasoned, perfectly pink with the right amount of chew — were my favorite. They didn’t even need the smooth, sweet house barbecue sauce, though it worked well with a trio of pulled-pork items.

The first of these was a basket of house-fried tortilla chips topped with pork, jalapeños, and sauce. Barbecue nachos are more prevalent these days than I’d have ever expected, and usually, they taste as lousy as they sound. Yet, these work, thanks to great execution on the pork, which I had both on its own and inside a sandwich loaded with spoonfuls of creamy coleslaw (they also have a version made with Julian apples). Both options work for barbecue-pit purists.

Barbecue pit fanatics, however, will want to go with the burnt ends: double-smoked brisket ends, dark and crispy on the outside and moistened by warm rendered fat on the inside. Few places offer this ’cue delicacy. Tasting Bailey’s ends will make you wonder why.

More unexpected, but just as good, is Vince’s Texas-style chili. What does this coastal San Diegan know about Texas chili? Beans. Or, rather, that beans have no place in Texas-style chili. Legumes would only take away from the succulent cubes of beef in a broth that tastes as it should — beefy with hints of spice, rather than a combination of tomato sauce, chilies, and water, a capsaicin-backed punch in the face from a heavy-handed cook.

Everything was so enjoyable, I returned the next night. The heat was back on (yes!), and, as a bonus, country act Jann Browne & the Dangerous Neighbors were playing a Saturday show. I had more 1870, along with other fine IPAs from respected local and out-of-region craft breweries. That night, Lindsey was cooking up savory meat pies slathered in thick beer gravy. Turns out she makes all the sides and baked goods, including an apple-pear pie that isn’t from her own recipe but nonetheless took first place during last year’s Julian Apple Days Festival.

Save room for dessert. ■

The Bailey Wood Pit Barbecue

2307 Main Street, Julian, 760-765-3757; baileybbq.com

Hours: Thursday 4:00–10:00 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m.; Saturday 11:30 a.m.–midnight; Sunday 11:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. (closed Monday–Wednesday)

Vibe: Casual

Note: Barn bar/dining room are 21-and-up during music shows

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

How Otay changed, secret TJ gardens, Mission Valley's future

San Diego State's Paseo project, building a Rancho Santa Fe mansion, downtown high rises never stop
Next Article

Escondido police cut off scanners

Too many criminals listening in?
The ribs — well seasoned, perfectly pink, with the right amount of chew — were my favorite.
The ribs — well seasoned, perfectly pink, with the right amount of chew — were my favorite.
Place

Bailey Wood Pit Barbecue

2307 Main Street, Julian, CA

I recently experienced Julian under a perfect set of circumstances. It was a weekend, there was snow, the Taste of Julian was in full swing. The chilly air was rife with the aroma of fresh-baked apple pie. Even so, the old Bailey Wood Pit Barbecue was king of the snow-capped mountain for me. This despite experiencing it amid decidedly imperfect conditions.

Walking down Main Street on Friday night, leaving boot tracks in the new-fallen snow, the glowing Bailey’s sign was a welcome sight. At the front door, I was waved toward a barn, where it was very cold, possibly colder than the icy outdoors.

An ideal Julian trip — snow on the ground and meat in the smoker

The heat had gone out on the heels of a power outage that afternoon. Still, there were a dozen or so jacketed patrons seated at the bar and scattered among the picnic tables. I tightened my scarf, stuffed my hands in my pea-coat pockets, and hunkered down for — what else? — an ice-cold draft beer. After all, it was the main reason I’d come.

Late last year, a quartet of big names in the local craft-beer industry went in together to purchase Bailey’s. That beery brain trust consists of Vince and Gina Marsaglia, the brother-and-sister tandem behind Pizza Port, Port Brewing, and the Lost Abbey; and Tom and Lindsey Nickel of O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa. Each brought their own expertise to the Bailey revamp. As a result, the venue and Julian are better for it.

Before purchasing O’Brien’s in the mid-2000s, Tom brewed collaboratively with Alpine Beer Company. In Julian, he’s knocked the dust off, cooking up a trio of house beers from a brew system installed in the garage of the historic Bailey House behind the barn. That operation represents the humble yet noble beginnings of the new Julian Brewing Company.

The first beer I sampled was the 1870 IPA. Bright with citrus and an assertive burst of botanic bitterness, it’s better suited for summer vacation than a snow day, but a solid beer that stands up to any of the dozens of similar beers being brewed in a town whose sudsy stardom is built on hoppy IPAs.

My second beer — a stout served on nitro —

was much better suited for the conditions. Mild and creamy, its roastiness almost fooled me into feeling warmer. Still, the need to boost my temp was genuine. My vehicle for doing so? Tender, slow-smoked carnivore fare plucked from a smoky brick-and-metal vault in the Bailey kitchen. Before Vince came along, the restaurant lacked a smoking apparatus. Now, the aroma of smoldering wood is so strong, it reaches to the barn. Talk about an ambience enhancer.

The scent was better right under my nose, rising off a smoke ring–adorned baby-back rib. The combination of the cold and this olfactory bliss inspired me to order a lot of food. The ribs — well seasoned, perfectly pink with the right amount of chew — were my favorite. They didn’t even need the smooth, sweet house barbecue sauce, though it worked well with a trio of pulled-pork items.

The first of these was a basket of house-fried tortilla chips topped with pork, jalapeños, and sauce. Barbecue nachos are more prevalent these days than I’d have ever expected, and usually, they taste as lousy as they sound. Yet, these work, thanks to great execution on the pork, which I had both on its own and inside a sandwich loaded with spoonfuls of creamy coleslaw (they also have a version made with Julian apples). Both options work for barbecue-pit purists.

Barbecue pit fanatics, however, will want to go with the burnt ends: double-smoked brisket ends, dark and crispy on the outside and moistened by warm rendered fat on the inside. Few places offer this ’cue delicacy. Tasting Bailey’s ends will make you wonder why.

More unexpected, but just as good, is Vince’s Texas-style chili. What does this coastal San Diegan know about Texas chili? Beans. Or, rather, that beans have no place in Texas-style chili. Legumes would only take away from the succulent cubes of beef in a broth that tastes as it should — beefy with hints of spice, rather than a combination of tomato sauce, chilies, and water, a capsaicin-backed punch in the face from a heavy-handed cook.

Everything was so enjoyable, I returned the next night. The heat was back on (yes!), and, as a bonus, country act Jann Browne & the Dangerous Neighbors were playing a Saturday show. I had more 1870, along with other fine IPAs from respected local and out-of-region craft breweries. That night, Lindsey was cooking up savory meat pies slathered in thick beer gravy. Turns out she makes all the sides and baked goods, including an apple-pear pie that isn’t from her own recipe but nonetheless took first place during last year’s Julian Apple Days Festival.

Save room for dessert. ■

The Bailey Wood Pit Barbecue

2307 Main Street, Julian, 760-765-3757; baileybbq.com

Hours: Thursday 4:00–10:00 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m.; Saturday 11:30 a.m.–midnight; Sunday 11:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. (closed Monday–Wednesday)

Vibe: Casual

Note: Barn bar/dining room are 21-and-up during music shows

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Appalled by cigarette ad, frightened by Gloria

Under the slavery of San Diego developers
Next Article

How Otay changed, secret TJ gardens, Mission Valley's future

San Diego State's Paseo project, building a Rancho Santa Fe mansion, downtown high rises never stop
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close