All Things Barbecue

Surveying the wealth of barbecue that San Diego has to offer.

Tiny Restaurant, Big Plates

Pillbox Tavern takes over where Dairy Queen left off

“Come on in!” a large group of people yelled from the front patio at the Pillbox Tavern & Grill, toasting us with beers while balancing babies on their hips as my friend Valerie and I ...

For fans of meat, mayo, and styrofoam

Put all thoughts of nutrition out of your head

A lot of the time, when I eat out, I spend longer than I should deliberating over a menu to find the right balance between meat and vegetables. This was not one of those times. ...

This hog's still smokin

Hillcrest BBQ spot showing promise, despite inconsistencies

I visited The Smok'd Hog a couple of years ago when it soft-opened as The Whole Hog. Back then I had a mixed experience at the little BBQ spot at the three-way intersection of Park ...

Beer, sports, and toddlers

Twisted, a bar for the whole family

Over the summer a new sports bar and restaurant opened in North Park, across from the Lafayette Hotel at the original corner location of Pomegranate, the Georgian restaurant that has since moved into a larger ...

He’s hungry as a wolf; she does the happy crocodile dance

Mexican craft beer, bacon, and perversas at Plaza Fiesta

I have been meaning to write about the kitchen inside Border Psycho’s tap room for a while. Border Psycho is one of the few breweries in Tijuana that exports to the U.S., a well-established craft ...

Savory smoked selections

Grand Ole BBQ y Asado sells out

The San Diego restaurant scene is vast in terms of dining options, but in its own way it is also small and many chefs and restaurateurs are friends in what is, for the most part, ...

A ribbing at the racetrack

Pitmasters dish it up at the state BBQ

The Del Mar BBQ State Championship brought 47 grillers and smokers from around California (and Arizona) to compete at the racetrack on Sunday, July 17. While a panel of Kansas City Barbeque Society judges did ...

What is “San Diego-style” barbecue?

Mark’s Bark does it in Normal Heights

So much is (justly) made of barbecue styles. It’s the ultimate sign of a culinary asshat to say, “You can’t get good XYZ-style barbecue outside of XYZ place.” But there’s a nugget of truth in ...

Skip this Gaslamp barbecue

Bugsy’s has had enough time to get better

I give new barbecue joints the widest berth of all restaurant debuts. In my experience, really getting the production schedules dialed in takes a lot longer for barbecue, and the first few months tend to ...

Take a boneless thigh and tenderize the hell out of it

That Boy Good, Southern BBQ in Oceanside

Being hungry in Oceanside is a good move these days. Restaurants have been popping up all over the Coast Highway, and a lot of what I’m seeing is a step in the right direction (rumors ...

Normal Heights is not Memphis

Burnside begs to be described as “unpretentious”

A little while back, I caught wind that hipster sandwich shop Burnside had rebooted itself with a barbecue theme. As self-appointed local barbecue doyen, a position I realize is somewhat oxymoronic, I knew I had ...

Righteous hickory smoke in Bay Ho

Spice & Soul shows promise

I had to drive up a Morena off-street in Bay Ho to find this newish restaurant that calls itself Spice & Soul. It’s a part of town I find myself visiting a lot more often ...

Delectable bones at D’Carlos

Horse-themed restaurant knows barbecue

Some of you may remember that a while back I undertook an epic journey throughout the county in search of barbecue. I found good and bad in ample amounts, but the ordeal was so strenuous ...

Brisket over beef shoulder

OB favorite gets bigger, craftier

I never had a problem with the beef sandwiches at the BBQ House. I sure ate enough of them when I lived in Ocean Beach. Weekly visits earned me Regular status, greeted like a champ ...

Fill up on gas and ribs at Vista Chevron

When Pigs Fly brings barbecue to an unlikely location

When I moved to Vista in the 1980s, there was a barbecue place located in a run-down shack on S. Santa Fe Avenue which served great food, but the venue took some getting used to. ...

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