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

Up in Smoke BBQ now cookin' in San Marcos

A food truck finds new beginnings, a food writer finds burnt ends

A new BBQ restaurant for San Marcos
A new BBQ restaurant for San Marcos

I consider myself lucky. Though I’ve gone too many years without discovering the joy that is burnt ends, once I’d learned about this delicacy of BBQ brisket, only 30 minutes passed before I was trying it for myself. Burnt ends are prepared from the fat end of a cut of brisket. They’re cooked longer to ensure the fat renders, and as a result they’re charred to a crisp on the outside, and all but melted in the middle. There’s a new BBQ joint, I was told, “You have to try the burnt ends.” Fortunately, I was in the neighborhood.

Place

Up in Smoke BBQ

925 West San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos

In the neighborhood of San Marcos, that is. A food truck started in Escondido, Up in Smoke BBQ has been serving meaty sandwiches outside of breweries, office parks, and events since 2012. As of September, the food truck and catering business has opened its own brick and mortar spot, just across from the Old California Restaurant Row. It’s a small dining room and bar, with a large covered patio that provides most of the charm.

Burnt ends are a brisket BBQ delicacy.

Its BBQ menu includes a ten-hour smoked brisket, pulled pork, braised chicken, and with the arrival of the restaurant, ribs. The house BBQ sauce is honey bourbon, so it’s like Memphis BBQ by way of Kentucky. Sandwiches, sliders, and BBQ meats heaped atop potato chips are carried over from the food truck menu. Even served outside of bread, such as with the 18-dollar Up In Smoke Sampler, the brisket, chicken, and pork are served chopped and mixed into that sauce. Which is all good, though some of us prefer sauce on the side, or to sink our teeth into the superior chew of a good, sliced brisket.

The Up in Smoke Sampler: braised chicken, pulled pork, and chopped brisket, with two sides

That’s less a concern with burnt ends being an option ($10). Eating them presents a far different experience than sliced brisket, but one I expect to repeat many times the rest of my life. Cooked with the same dry rub as the brisket, they’re served without sauce — or sauce on the side. The savory rub is meant to pair with sauce, so it’s not exceptionally flavorful. But it likewise doesn’t need to add much the smoke and beef fat of the burnt ends, and I appreciated the restraint in letting things pop with the flavors cooking gave them.

On their own, burnt ends added to the Up In Smoke menu makes the move into a restaurant space a winning decision for both the food truck and San Marcos. Factor in things like ribs and sweet tea, and the place is off to a pretty good start. There are even vegan meatballs available for non-meat eaters who want to try the sweet bourbon BBQ sauce. You might ask for them burnt, but somehow I don’t think they’d work quite the same way.

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

Previous article

Beating back fear of Tijuana, why I keep thinking about Mexico, a cross-border kidnapping

The normalcy of smuggling across the line, party people re-take TJ, deported but not angry
A new BBQ restaurant for San Marcos
A new BBQ restaurant for San Marcos

I consider myself lucky. Though I’ve gone too many years without discovering the joy that is burnt ends, once I’d learned about this delicacy of BBQ brisket, only 30 minutes passed before I was trying it for myself. Burnt ends are prepared from the fat end of a cut of brisket. They’re cooked longer to ensure the fat renders, and as a result they’re charred to a crisp on the outside, and all but melted in the middle. There’s a new BBQ joint, I was told, “You have to try the burnt ends.” Fortunately, I was in the neighborhood.

Place

Up in Smoke BBQ

925 West San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos

In the neighborhood of San Marcos, that is. A food truck started in Escondido, Up in Smoke BBQ has been serving meaty sandwiches outside of breweries, office parks, and events since 2012. As of September, the food truck and catering business has opened its own brick and mortar spot, just across from the Old California Restaurant Row. It’s a small dining room and bar, with a large covered patio that provides most of the charm.

Burnt ends are a brisket BBQ delicacy.

Its BBQ menu includes a ten-hour smoked brisket, pulled pork, braised chicken, and with the arrival of the restaurant, ribs. The house BBQ sauce is honey bourbon, so it’s like Memphis BBQ by way of Kentucky. Sandwiches, sliders, and BBQ meats heaped atop potato chips are carried over from the food truck menu. Even served outside of bread, such as with the 18-dollar Up In Smoke Sampler, the brisket, chicken, and pork are served chopped and mixed into that sauce. Which is all good, though some of us prefer sauce on the side, or to sink our teeth into the superior chew of a good, sliced brisket.

The Up in Smoke Sampler: braised chicken, pulled pork, and chopped brisket, with two sides

That’s less a concern with burnt ends being an option ($10). Eating them presents a far different experience than sliced brisket, but one I expect to repeat many times the rest of my life. Cooked with the same dry rub as the brisket, they’re served without sauce — or sauce on the side. The savory rub is meant to pair with sauce, so it’s not exceptionally flavorful. But it likewise doesn’t need to add much the smoke and beef fat of the burnt ends, and I appreciated the restraint in letting things pop with the flavors cooking gave them.

On their own, burnt ends added to the Up In Smoke menu makes the move into a restaurant space a winning decision for both the food truck and San Marcos. Factor in things like ribs and sweet tea, and the place is off to a pretty good start. There are even vegan meatballs available for non-meat eaters who want to try the sweet bourbon BBQ sauce. You might ask for them burnt, but somehow I don’t think they’d work quite the same way.

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

Oceanside's Michelle Gomez sues ex-workers for libel and gets some to back off

But not Robert Leahy
Next Article

Lake Cuyamaca poplars, low fog at airport

Natural San Diego Oct. 26 - Nov. 1
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