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Phils BBQ San Diego - When will it reopen?

m
mliew Jan 29, 2007 02:35 PM

I had a craving for some ribs over the weekend and called up Phils to place my order to find out that they're currently closed so that they can focus on opening up their Point Loma location. Maybe this is old news but I haven't been to Phils for a few months. Anyways, the phone recording did not mention when they might reopen their Hillcrest location or when the new Point Loma location will be open. Does anyone have any insider info about when it might be?

Also, I remember reading here that they were planning on doing "real" BBQ over an open pit at their new location since they aren't allowed to have one in Hillcrest. Anyone know if this is true? If so, it seems like I will be going to the Point Loma location from now on.

  1. c
    clayfu Jan 29, 2007 05:01 PM

    from what i read, end of jan. to beginning of Feb.

    http://clayfood.blogspot.com

    1. n
      normalheightsfoodie Jan 30, 2007 09:00 AM

      Have you tried Huffmans.

      The resteraunt has a lot of history. Mr. Huffman has since past away, but it is still good.

      They have no atmosphere, a couple of picnic tables, it is really a take-out place. They have lots of choices, including fried chicken, that is not prepared until you order it and fish too.

      Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
      5039 Imperial Ave
      San Diego, CA 92113
      (619) 264-3115

      2 Replies
      1. re: normalheightsfoodie
        abacal Feb 18, 2007 09:25 AM

        My family had Huffmans BBQ one day and Phils the next, and we found (much to our surprise!) Phils to be less expensive a better. We were big fans of Fargo before it went Carribean.

        1. re: abacal
          q
          qirex Dec 3, 2007 08:37 AM

          I cant believe you can say this. Perhaps on the individual dinners (MAYBE), but I used to get catering for my office. a rack at phils is $20.

          Basically $80 at huffmans fed 8 ppl and then Id have 1/2 left over for the weekend (uh-oh)

          while 4 racks at phils feeds exactly 4 ppl.

          I can honestly say that phils in MH will prolly NOT reopen. Why bother?

          You go Phil - Long way from organizing mac 3 blades eh??

      2. w
        whatwedig Jan 30, 2007 09:31 AM

        They always close in January for rest and cleaning up the restaurant. Living near by, we miss it terribly. They'll be back Feb 1.

        Gil
        www.whatwedig.com - restaurant reviews and more.

        1. DiningDiva Jan 30, 2007 12:10 PM

          Phil's was supposed to reopen this week but, obviously, didn't make it. They're currently shooting for next week. Also, while the meat will be cooked over an open flame, I'm not sure if it will really fit the "open pit" description.

          1. p
            PeterR Feb 12, 2007 12:52 AM

            I just happen to work at Phil's and just wanted to share that they will reopen the mission hills place about 2 weeks or so after they get the sports area location up and running

            1 Reply
            1. re: PeterR
              l
              LaurenZ Feb 12, 2007 12:00 PM

              Peter - when will the Sports Arena site be open?

            2. p
              PeterR Feb 12, 2007 02:00 PM

              It opens tommorow

              1. afinkle Feb 12, 2007 02:55 PM

                who cares - its not real BBQ anyway :)

                2 Replies
                1. re: afinkle
                  Josh Feb 12, 2007 03:37 PM

                  I heard a rumor that they'll have an actual pit at the new location.

                  1. re: afinkle
                    honkman Feb 12, 2007 05:12 PM

                    who cares if something is authentic or not as long people like it.

                  2. d
                    daimyo Feb 13, 2007 11:05 AM

                    what makes bbq authentic?

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: daimyo
                      b
                      Bob Foster Feb 13, 2007 03:46 PM

                      Long and slow cooking over hickory (or in some parts of the country oak)

                      1. re: Bob Foster
                        afinkle Feb 13, 2007 05:59 PM

                        I was being a bit sarcastic - but it the lack of authenticity lies in the lack of smoke. There are a number of different hard woods that make good ribs and that's a whole other argument.

                        I do hope that their new location haas a pit. I have no doubt that they are capable of good BBQ but the original location apparently doesn't let them use real smoke (smell complaints?). Despite the lack of authentic flavor, they do have a good chew to them - not too tough, not too overcooked.

                        1. re: Bob Foster
                          s
                          SeanT Feb 18, 2007 11:55 AM

                          I love Smoked bbq. Phils only gets smoke on the grill. However, how many places in town cook over real wood? I can't think of many. Phils tastes good. It gets real wood burning treatment at the finish. I used to be in the bbq catering business and I slow smoked but always finished over flame cuz crispy outside is good. Keep up the good work Phil, Californians can't handle heavy smoke so Phils fits the bill.

                          1. re: SeanT
                            Josh Feb 18, 2007 05:52 PM

                            Abbie's Real Texas BBQ cooks over wood. I don't know which Californians you are referring to. Some of us like the taste of authentic Q.

                            1. re: Josh
                              m
                              mikec Feb 20, 2007 12:30 PM

                              Sante Fe BBQ (Encinitas) > Big Jim's BBQ (Encinitas) > Real Texas BBQ > Lightnin' Jacks BBQ (Clairemont Square) > BBQ place on Newport in OB > Phil's

                              1. re: mikec
                                Josh Feb 20, 2007 12:43 PM

                                Interesting. Haven't been to Santa Fe, sounds like I need to go. Not really a huge fan of Big Jim's though. Abbie's brisket blows theirs away.

                                1. re: Josh
                                  b
                                  buddha Feb 20, 2007 12:44 PM

                                  Santa Fe is out of business.

                                  1. re: Josh
                                    honkman Feb 20, 2007 01:05 PM

                                    Anybody ever tried Hoggs Beach BBQ in La Jolla and San Marcos

                                    http://www.hoggsbeach.com/

                                  2. re: mikec
                                    m
                                    mliew Feb 20, 2007 03:02 PM

                                    I can't see how you possible rate Lightning Jacks BBQ higher than Phils. That place is probably one of the worst BBQ places I've ever been to. The pork ribs I ordered there once were obviously precooked and reheated (probably in a microwave). They were tough, dry, and flavorless. I've also had the pulled pork sandwich and while it was edible, it was certainly nothing special.

                                    1. re: mliew
                                      Josh Feb 20, 2007 03:16 PM

                                      Yeah I agree with you on all counts. Lightnin' Jack's is very average, Phil's is definitely better.

                                      1. re: Josh
                                        m
                                        mikec Feb 22, 2007 09:12 AM

                                        I went to Phil's new location last night, and thought it was definitely better than what I'd had previously at their Mission Hills location. Good, but still not authentic or anything resembling real BBQ. I'd still rate Big Jim's and Real Texas over Phil's (too bad about Santa Fe BBQ). Depending on what you order at Lightnin' Jacks, it can be acceptable, Phil's ribs are definitely better, though I wouldn't have said that about the Phil's Mission Hills, maybe equal at best. I really don't think Phil's is all that, a fairly average random BBQ joint in West Texas would kick it up one side of the street and down the other. And I really don't care for Phil's sauce, which they slather on everything.

                                        FWIW, Real Texas has been up and down over the years as well, I think the new owners finally figured out how not to totally dry out their meat about two years ago.

                                        Anyway, I can still make better real BBQ on my gas grill with wood chips than any of the above.

                                        1. re: mikec
                                          Josh Feb 22, 2007 09:40 AM

                                          Yeah my recollections of Abbie's way back when I first tried them in the mid-'90s was that their meat was very dry. However on recent visits, the brisket has been nice and moist. The chicken still sucks, though, and their sauce is lame.

                                          I agree with you, too, on Phil's sauce. My favorite thing to get there is the burger, and always without sauce.

                                          I've ordered their ribs without sauce, cooked dry as they call it, and they are ten times better. The rub they put on the outside crusts up nicely and you get much more of the meat flavor without all that sauce covering it up.

                                  3. re: Josh
                                    pbhomey Feb 20, 2007 02:14 PM

                                    Hey Josh, Any recommendations for Abbie's?

                                    1. re: pbhomey
                                      Josh Feb 20, 2007 02:57 PM

                                      Brisket, pulled pork, hot links. Brisket is easily their best item, IMO.

                                      AVOID THE CHICKEN. Dried out, terrible - at least it's been the few times I tried it. I have since learned my lesson.

                                      My only complaint w/ Abbie's is that their sauce is just OK. I'm not a fan. Normally I get my brisket to-go, and use some of my Rudy's sauce on it.

                                      1. re: Josh
                                        pbhomey Feb 24, 2007 02:12 PM

                                        Thanks for the tip. Had lunch there today and the brisket was excellent. We also thought the pork ribs were good as well.

                                        Not much for the beans and corn-on-the-cob.

                                        1. re: pbhomey
                                          Josh Feb 24, 2007 05:40 PM

                                          Yeah, that matches my experience. My s.o. and I basically view Abbie's as a good place to get meat. I'll go and pick up a pound of the brisket, and we'll eat that for dinner over the next 2 days with our own sides and sauce.

                                          It's kind of a shame that their other items aren't so good. If they ever got their act together on the sauce and sides it'd be perfect.

                                          I'll have to try the pork ribs sometime - don't think I've had them there.

                                    2. re: Josh
                                      s
                                      skdodson21 Mar 11, 2007 10:37 AM

                                      By the way... Santa Fe BBQ in Encinitas shut down for the last 6 months...

                              2. j
                                joehinder Feb 16, 2007 05:08 PM

                                They're open, but all I've gotten is busy signals when I call their number:

                                3750 sports arena blvd
                                619-226-6333

                                1. s
                                  sdtips Feb 18, 2007 08:53 AM

                                  Phil's is open!!! The Mission Hills location is closed temporarily. Head down to check it out! www.sandiegotraveltips.com

                                  1. s
                                    sdtips Feb 18, 2007 03:38 PM

                                    UPDATE: Phil's -Pt. Loma is OPEN! Mission Hills is closed until March.

                                    Mission Hills has 100 seat capacity--- new Phil's? 400 total. They now have a swanky new place.... a separate bar area serving local and other beers on tap. Stand in line, order and sit anywhere you like--inside or out, bar or restaurant. When your order is ready, you'll be signaled by a buzzing remote gizmo. Sunday, Feb 19- 12-1pm SLAMMED...with business. Beware of events at the Sports Arena and the Swap Meet.........because Phil's will be FILLED! Remember: Phil's is closed on Mondays. Open til 9 every night but Fri/Sat when they are open til 10pm. If you love Mission Hills, then there is more to love at Sports Arena. Oh... and there are lots of parking places. Can't place the new location? Picture: Red Lobster, Yakatori, and Men's Fashion Depot strip mall...east side of Sports Arena Blvvd, just north of the Sports Arena (iPayOne) complex. Enjoy! www.sandiegottraveltips.com

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: sdtips
                                      Josh Feb 18, 2007 05:52 PM

                                      Real local beers? Or Karl Strauss swill?

                                      1. re: Josh
                                        b
                                        buddha Feb 18, 2007 06:18 PM

                                        Phil is an amateur when it comes to great bbq.

                                        1. re: Josh
                                          s
                                          sdtips Feb 18, 2007 07:16 PM

                                          Josh,

                                          Stone, Alesmith, BallastPoint , Karl, Coronado..... and others... on two cobra head taps.

                                          sdtips
                                          www.sandiegotraveltips.com

                                      2. c
                                        clayfu Feb 18, 2007 08:46 PM

                                        Chick fil a and phil's in a one mile radius?

                                        dreams do come true

                                        http://clayfood.blogspot.com

                                        1. c
                                          clayfu Feb 20, 2007 04:14 PM

                                          i went to Phil's today.

                                          the service is 50x quicker than it used to be. But it has to accommodate the 20 people waiting in line to take their order.

                                          i like the new location!

                                          http://clayfood.blogspot.com

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: clayfu
                                            m
                                            mliew Feb 21, 2007 08:29 AM

                                            By service do you mean the time it takes for them to actually cook your food?
                                            Is it still a good idea to call ahead to order or is the waiting time much shorter than it is at their Mission Hills location?

                                            1. re: mliew
                                              c
                                              clayfu Feb 21, 2007 08:57 AM

                                              Their grill is about 3-4x larger than it was before with significantly more people working.

                                              It used to be 1 guy packing your food, and 2 guys cooking and 1 cashier.

                                              Now its about 4-5 cashiers, 6-8 people cooking, 3 people packing, and 2 people calling out orders.

                                              So the speed is now significantly quicker cause food is being churned out so much faster.

                                              So you can call ahead if you'd like, but my wait time was no more than 2 minutes, which was rather nice.

                                          2. t
                                            toliver Feb 21, 2007 08:38 AM

                                            Does the new location have real BBQ as opposed to what was being served at the Mission Hills location?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: toliver
                                              b
                                              buddha Feb 21, 2007 03:03 PM

                                              Amen

                                              What they served in Mission Hills was in no way bbq.

                                            2. k
                                              kmelton Feb 22, 2007 08:30 AM

                                              I am from Memphis, TN and I am looking for a good BBQ joint. I am very skeptical about trying BBQ out here since Memphis is know for it's BBQ, it is authentic and GREAT. Anyone know a good place near Carlsbad.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: kmelton
                                                m
                                                mikec Feb 22, 2007 10:13 AM

                                                If you're looking for authentic Memphis style BBQ, then no. I don't remember if Big Jim's in Encinitas tries to do Memphis style, but that might be worth a try, though I wouldn't have high expectations. There's a new chain-type place in North County, Joey's IIRC, that might try to do it also. I think you'd be disappointed with any of the other places that have been mentioned. Anyway, let us know if you find anyplace... ;-)

                                                1. re: mikec
                                                  k
                                                  kmelton Feb 22, 2007 10:35 AM

                                                  Thanks, I have heard about Big Jim's. I'll give them a try. I've had a few people tell me not to eat the BBQ out here and I don't know why. I'm always up for trying food prepared in a different way.

                                                  Thanks again.

                                                  1. re: kmelton
                                                    b
                                                    buddha Feb 22, 2007 08:58 PM

                                                    Whatever you do...... DO NOT go to Jim's

                                                    Awful!

                                                    1. re: buddha
                                                      k
                                                      kmelton Feb 23, 2007 06:50 AM

                                                      Thanks for the warning.

                                                      1. re: buddha
                                                        m
                                                        mikec Feb 23, 2007 09:50 AM

                                                        OK, since I'm the one who's been recommending Big Jim's, I guess I need to take one for the team and find out if I'm crazy or just out of touch. I'll try it again, hopefully next week, and if everyone is right, I'll say my mea culpa.

                                                        ;-)

                                                2. c
                                                  clayfu Feb 22, 2007 08:53 AM

                                                  if you're so skeptical why bother? o_O dont want your great memphis authentic and GREAT tastes insulted by our crappy SD bbq.

                                                  sarcasm aside, look up a few posts i think they have a list of places people like.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: clayfu
                                                    k
                                                    kmelton Feb 22, 2007 10:39 AM

                                                    The only reason I am skeptical is because the people here in SD county have made me feel that way. I can't say it would insult Memphis bbq until I try it. I'll let you know.

                                                    1. re: kmelton
                                                      honkman Feb 22, 2007 11:47 AM

                                                      I am no expert in BBQ but Barnes BBQ claims to be Memphis style and the one time is was there it was quite good.

                                                      http://www.sdreader.com/php/rrshow.ph...

                                                      1. re: honkman
                                                        j
                                                        JRSD Feb 22, 2007 12:36 PM

                                                        I wanted to go there again before posting since I went after a 7hr in the car ordeal on the way back from Mexico, and was a little too cranky to focus on the food.

                                                        I thought the pulled pork was pretty dry, however with good flavor. The yams were great if you like them sweet, like I do. People working there were very friendly as well.

                                                        Definitely worth another try when I could give it a fair chance.

                                                  2. l
                                                    littlestevie Feb 22, 2007 10:59 AM

                                                    I grew up in socal, but I did go to school in St. Louis, while not Memphis, St. Louis does have some decent Q. and I think that big jims is is a sorry excuse for bbq. I have not been back for a couple of years because it was so bad it was not worth the calories. Tony Romas was better. Maybe they have improved. I have not tried Joey's and honestly with the state of bbq in north county, I am leery. The Texas bbq place in Encinitas that closed was no great shakes, and it wont be missed.

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: littlestevie
                                                      m
                                                      mikec Feb 22, 2007 02:28 PM

                                                      The pulled pork at Big Jim's is probably their best item. Can't speak to either the chicken or ribs. Santa Fe's pulled pork and ribs were fine the times I went there. Perhaps I was lucky. I've never seen chicken on the menu at a real BBQ place, and it's not something I'd ever think to order at a BBQ joint.

                                                      Like I said above, I can cook better BBQ (pulled pork, baby back ribs, spareribs or brisket) on my gas grill than any of the places mentioned. Which isn't saying much about my BBQ abilities and says even less about any of the places mentioned.

                                                      1. re: mikec
                                                        Josh Feb 22, 2007 03:00 PM

                                                        I've seen both chicken and turkey at BBQ places in Texas.

                                                        1. re: Josh
                                                          m
                                                          mikec Feb 22, 2007 03:16 PM

                                                          Turkey definitely. I don't ever remember seeing chicken on the menu at a BBQ joint with a pit.

                                                          1. re: mikec
                                                            Josh Feb 22, 2007 09:07 PM

                                                            I saw chicken at Rudy's, Cousin's, Sonny Bryan's, and Dickey's (basically every place I had BBQ in Texas). All those are pit BBQ places.

                                                            1. re: Josh
                                                              m
                                                              mikec Feb 23, 2007 09:36 AM

                                                              You're right. I't's probably a psychological blind-spot. I should have said I've never had anything labelled "BBQ chicken" over the years that I thought was worth revisiting (and the three issues with it on this thread would seem to confirm that opinion), so it's something I don't even acknowledge seeing on the menu. Since chicken isn't really a signature meat of any particular style of BBQ, it seems to me more like an afterthought in most BBQ restaurants.

                                                              Have you had any version of "BBQ chicken" that you thought was worthy?

                                                              1. re: mikec
                                                                j
                                                                jayporter Feb 23, 2007 10:00 AM

                                                                I believe the typical Santa Maria BBQs I see these days when I'm in the Central Coast offer tri-tip, chicken, and Linguica. And it's all good.

                                                                1. re: mikec
                                                                  Josh Feb 23, 2007 10:42 AM

                                                                  In a restaurant, no. It's almost always horribly dry.

                                                                  On the other hand, when in Texas, I had had some home-made chicken cooked over hot smoke and it was literally the best chicken I've ever eaten.

                                                                  I think it's hard to do that kind of thing properly in a commercial restaurant, unfortunately.

                                                                  1. re: Josh
                                                                    c
                                                                    clayfu Feb 23, 2007 12:33 PM

                                                                    the chicken i had at Phil's wasn't dried at all, white meat and dark meat.

                                                                    1. re: clayfu
                                                                      Josh Feb 23, 2007 12:48 PM

                                                                      Phil's chicken isn't dried out because it's not cooked over a pit.

                                                                      I just had lunch at the new Phil's location. It was pretty good. Not real BBQ of course, but quite tasty. Amazing how busy it was - line out the door.

                                                                      I was glad to see the beer selection. AleSmith Nautical Nut Brown went quite well with my dry-cooked ribs.

                                                                    2. re: Josh
                                                                      m
                                                                      mikec Feb 23, 2007 01:11 PM

                                                                      That's what I was thinking. Smoked Turkey is dead simple with a smoker and I've had spectacular versions (though not that ghastly stuff that Oprah recommends). Smoked chicken I can't imagine being easy to do in a commercial setting and get right. However, this conversation has inspired me to experiment on my own.

                                                                      1. re: mikec
                                                                        Josh Feb 23, 2007 02:08 PM

                                                                        I highly suggest you try it. Don't use breast meat though, not enough fat. When I had it, it was made with bone-in thighs, mopped with a marinade.

                                                                        I bet duck legs would be great, too. 99 Ranch has them for $3/lb.

                                                                    3. re: mikec
                                                                      cristina May 26, 2008 04:11 PM

                                                                      Back in the day, there was a tiny, tiny restaurant called "Backyard Barbecue" on 30th Street just south of Adams Avenue, run by Nancy and Stan Haye. Their barbecued chicken was beyond description, and the sides were perfection. It was addictive. Lines went 'round the block.

                                                                      If you missed it, you missed a slice of heaven.

                                                                      Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                                                                      1. re: cristina
                                                                        m
                                                                        mikec May 27, 2008 10:22 AM

                                                                        Yep. That was my go-to BBQ back in the day. Then they had a kitchen fire and couldn't recover. Anyone know what happened to the Haye's?

                                                                        1. re: mikec
                                                                          cristina Aug 8, 2008 07:35 PM

                                                                          Nancy was working as a civil servant when Stan was diagnosed with cancer in the late '90s. For years before Stan passed, we all went to church together. His death was a blow to everyone, including so many he helped in his community.

                                                                          Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                                                                        2. re: cristina
                                                                          Josh May 28, 2008 09:25 AM

                                                                          Wow, blast from the past. Used to eat there all the time.

                                                            2. l
                                                              littlestevie Feb 22, 2007 12:25 PM

                                                              my problem with big jims was not so much the authenticity of his Q. It was just plain lousy. I just expect that chicken be cooked all the way thru, there be more meat than fat and gristle on the ribs and what meat there is, that it is somewhat tender. The times that I was at big jims, they were unable to even do that. The same problem at santa fe bbq, The food was poorly cooked. I dont care, direct heat/indirect heat, sauce on/sauce off, dry rub/wet, electric/gas/wood, I just want it well cooked for the method that the restaurant chooses

                                                              1. m
                                                                mikec Feb 22, 2007 02:15 PM

                                                                OK, has anyone tried a Joey's Smokin BBQ?
                                                                http://www.joeyssmokinbbq.com/

                                                                1. afinkle Feb 27, 2007 08:23 PM

                                                                  I just think those guys at phil's could do such better tasting ribs if they were smoked. Don't they use baby back ribs that are tender already. Those don't smoke well anyway.

                                                                  I'm not trolling...really.

                                                                  1. stevuchan Feb 28, 2007 07:13 AM

                                                                    Hate to quote a hanging banner, "BBQ many ways to spell it, many ways to cook it". I've been twice since they opened, fills the gap when I don't want to fire up the smoker. You can do a lot worse for lunch in the Sportsaloma area, especially on a rainy day.

                                                                    Cheers

                                                                    1. w
                                                                      whatwedig Mar 5, 2007 06:30 AM

                                                                      Ok so those of us in Mission Hills are long past ready for Phil's to reopen here. We tend to pick it up for take out and driving to Sports Arena is just a tad too far.

                                                                      Oh and while I understand that there is probably better bbq elsewhere in the world, we are quite fond of Phil's in this household. Will be tring a few of the other spots mentioned by folks. There is a place called Texas BBQ off Miramar, anyone tried it? I have passed it a couple times and been curious.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: whatwedig
                                                                        m
                                                                        mikec Mar 5, 2007 08:50 AM

                                                                        That's Abbie's Real Texas BBQ, which was commented on above.

                                                                        1. re: mikec
                                                                          g
                                                                          Green_Turtle Mar 5, 2007 03:50 PM

                                                                          Any relation to Abbey's BBQ on Clairemont Mesa Blvd or just 2 different restaurants with similiar sounding names and almost the same spelling?

                                                                          1. re: Green_Turtle
                                                                            phee Mar 5, 2007 04:07 PM

                                                                            They're both Abbey's, and, yes, they're related.

                                                                      2. w
                                                                        welchbobby Mar 8, 2007 02:24 PM

                                                                        I happend to be in the Sports Arena area last week and at a GREAT suprise I just happend to be in front of Phils'. I stoped and went in and the place was packed. It is a large place and the BBQ was out of this world. The best I have had since I came to San Diego form Texas 26 years ago. I am so glad they are able to open up here for the open pitt makes a great difference for I tried their other store of Washington and wasnt so excited over the flavor. But this PL store has it right. Im going back again tonight and hope it is not as packed as it was a week ago. I am excited for them and hope the neighbor hood at this place doesn't have the problems that Mission Hills has. The neighbor hood of Mission Hills ruined that store with the stick they had up their A**!! because they gave the business there a run for their money. Snobs!!!!! Good Luck Phil and close the Mission Hills store you do not need that type of grief. Let them get their tax money from the other establishments in the area.

                                                                        1. l
                                                                          lbidsfood Mar 8, 2007 10:04 PM

                                                                          I was a frequent visitor to the Mission Hills location and I finally made it to the Sports Arena location last night. Although the place is at least 4X bigger, there was still a line out the door at 5:30 on a wed. The good news was that after making it through the line- which took just about 5 min.- we were told the food would be ready in 10-15 min, and it really was. It would have been a 45 min. wait under similar circumstances at the old place. There were even a few empty tables to choose from.
                                                                          The ribs and the chicken were just the same as at the old place, but the fries just didn't have the same fresh taste I remember- they may be suffering in the new industrial size equipment. Still, I will be back to satisfy the cravings.
                                                                          Anyway, old fans of the Mission Hill place should have no fear and should head on over. Good news is there is plenty of parking (on both sides of the building) and you can get beer too.
                                                                          I have to hand it to Phil- he went through a lot to get the MH location open. He made a ton of fans even in that too small and hostile location. Now he is where he should have been all along and is already an even bigger success. Last night, I did see him say they would re-open the MH location once all the kinks get work out in Sports Arena- I hope so, but would not be surprised if he just says good bye to the hassle of the old place and just counts the money he is making in the new place.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: lbidsfood
                                                                            s
                                                                            skdodson21 Mar 11, 2007 10:43 AM

                                                                            We are planning on opening Mission Hills hopefully by the end of March. It's a lot of reorganizing and training going on at Sports Arena to get staff for MH. Be patient. We are working on it & are excited to be back in hood up there soon.

                                                                          2. w
                                                                            whatwedig Mar 8, 2007 11:16 PM

                                                                            I know some people in Mission Hills (particularly his business neighbors) made it tough for Phil here. But there are a lot of fans of Phil's in the neighborhood and we are all dying to have the plce reopen again. I drive by every couple days with a hopeful gaze toward the store. And when I am driving near the location from about 11am on, I notice the lack of that wonderful smell in the air. Not all of us are snobs and we truly hope the store reopens soon.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: whatwedig
                                                                              m
                                                                              mikec Mar 9, 2007 09:31 AM

                                                                              Well, Phil's essentially killed a couple of adjacent businesses with his smoke, so you can't honestly claim that Phil is without blame. And he fought tooth and nail to avoid installing the required equipment and then "neglected" to turn it on once it was installed. As an infrequent visitor to that block, you may have enjoyed your hour smelling the smoke, but to those who had to smell it day in and day out, I have more than a bit of sympathy for.

                                                                              Phil made the problems worse by being a total *sshole. That his neighbors responded in kind was justifiable in my book.

                                                                            2. w
                                                                              whatwedig Mar 11, 2007 07:49 AM

                                                                              I am sure there is blame to go around, but my father-in-law owns a shop right nearby and my understanding is that two people in particular pushed hard to try and get rid of Phil's. I used to have a meeting nearby once a week and would smell the food for the couple hours I was there. While I can understand getting sick of it, you are right, I never reached that point. Any way, we still miss it terribly and hope it reopens soon.

                                                                              1. w
                                                                                waldo Mar 18, 2007 12:00 PM

                                                                                I don't know about Phil's BBQ, but I do remember a Jim's Hickory Wood BBQ on El Cajon Blvd. Some of the best I ever had west of the Mississippi. Is it still around ?
                                                                                I am planning a trip out west in May of this year and would love to stop by if they are still in business. Any locals that can help?

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: waldo
                                                                                  w
                                                                                  waldo Mar 18, 2007 02:45 PM

                                                                                  There used to be a place on El Cajon Blvd. Jim's Hickory Wood BBQ it was great . still there ? It has been a few years since I have dined there. Kind of a hippy joint but great BBQ.

                                                                                  1. re: waldo
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    mikec Mar 19, 2007 05:26 PM

                                                                                    Not ringing any bells. When and where on ECB? I suspect it's no longer there.

                                                                                2. phee Mar 18, 2007 02:04 PM

                                                                                  I think the only "Jim's" barbeque in San Diego is Big Jim's up in Encinitas.

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: phee
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    Saabiar May 20, 2007 03:54 PM

                                                                                    Any new info on when Phil's Mission Hills will reopen??????

                                                                                    1. re: Saabiar
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      Sandy Eggo May 24, 2007 04:34 PM

                                                                                      OK, I have lived in San Diego for 35 years. I also love BBQ. I have tried almost every place that has come and gone. And they come and go. But one that has been around for a long time (but several have closed) is the BBQ Pit. They used to be in Kearny Mesa (Balboa), San Marcos, Pacific Beach and North Park. Those have closed (except North Park may still cater). The remang one in Fletcher Hills and National City (50 years in business) are a great BBQ in MHO. Their meat is smoked and cut right in front of you. Good beef, pork and ham. The chicken and hot links are OK. Their beans are good and the rest is french fries, macaroni and potato salad. Old fashioned, not fancy, good prices. There is still a Love's BBQ on E Street in Chula Vista (off I-805). I still enjoy their pork ribs and beef short ribs from time to time. They are the only one left out of 5 in San Diego. I'll turn you on to a great (but unseemingly unusual) place for pork ribs. They made at an Italian restaurant called Lido's on Broadway in Lemon Grove. The place is known for pizza and pasta, but they have been making some damn good ribs for 50 years. I know people (including myself) that drive 45 minutes to eat there. It's always packed...but they have a great take out business too.

                                                                                      1. re: Sandy Eggo
                                                                                        e
                                                                                        ekomega May 25, 2007 12:10 PM

                                                                                        I would've mentioned the BBQ Pit in National City, but it doesn't seem well known. I think they have excellent BBQ. My great-grandfather went there when they first opened (he moved to National City a long, long time ago), and he took my mother, and they both took me. It was always one of his favorite places, especially for BBQ, and he was born in Texas (I don't know if that gives him credibility).

                                                                                        They have consistently good food, although the prices have gone up considerably. Their sauce is the best, as are their fries. And they have pie slices in a little display. It's a step back in time. The people there are always nice, and the customers are usually in the 50+ age range (if you go during the day). I'd recommend it.

                                                                                        The neighborhood isn't the best place to be, with a Washington Mutual next door that has 10 tellers behind a solid wall of bulletproof glass. But there's a little bit of redevelopment going on there.

                                                                                      2. re: Saabiar
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        jturtle May 25, 2007 12:30 PM

                                                                                        The other evening I overheard the owner of The Gathering (basically next door to the mission hills location) explaining that because he took all of his staff to the PL one that they don't have enough trained staff to reopen the Mission Hills one just yet. They basically had to triple their staff for the PL store and train them properly and then to take some of them away to the Mission Hills location they would need to hire & train more people at the PL locations.
                                                                                        So he just needs more time to make sure everything is consistent and the staff is properly trained.

                                                                                        1. re: jturtle
                                                                                          l
                                                                                          LaurenZ Dec 3, 2007 10:22 AM

                                                                                          Anyone have an update on when the MH site will re-open?

                                                                                          1. re: LaurenZ
                                                                                            m
                                                                                            mliew Dec 3, 2007 02:15 PM

                                                                                            If you call the phone # for the MH location they have a recording with current info. Last time I called they didn't have a date or anything. Definitely does not seem like they are in any hurry to reopen it though.

                                                                                            1. re: mliew
                                                                                              notjustastomach Dec 3, 2007 08:52 PM

                                                                                              no sadness there. phil's really stunk up the neighborhood.

                                                                                    2. alyd May 22, 2008 08:56 AM

                                                                                      Sorry all you Mission Hills Phil Lovers, Phils will not be reopening its Mission Hills location. Bummer! No longer can i walk over to Phils on a warm summer evening for some delicious authentic BBQ, now i will have to waste gas and drive out to Pt Loma. :(

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: alyd
                                                                                        Josh May 22, 2008 09:32 AM

                                                                                        Probably only 15 minutes via bicycle.

                                                                                        1. re: Josh
                                                                                          Alice Q May 22, 2008 06:25 PM

                                                                                          I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be looking to ride (or push) a bike up Washington Street after a big meal! Too bad they got hassled out of the neighborhood, but I guess they've figured out what works for them!

                                                                                          1. re: Alice Q
                                                                                            Josh May 23, 2008 10:02 AM

                                                                                            I always do the meat w/ steamed veggies. Less nap-inducing.

                                                                                        2. re: alyd
                                                                                          m
                                                                                          MrKrispy May 22, 2008 11:16 AM

                                                                                          jeeze took them damn long enough to figure it out. I was in the Sports Arena location a month ago or so and they were buying the old Yakatori place next door to use as a prep area. Still doesn't free up more room for seats, oh well.

                                                                                        3. Bakcheia May 22, 2008 02:26 PM

                                                                                          Try Brett's BBQ in either Encinitas or 4S Ranch location. Brett really know his BBQ and does the low and slow smoke thing to perfection. I think the BBQ is as good as Phil's. And their bread pudding is to die for.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Bakcheia
                                                                                            foodiechick May 22, 2008 02:41 PM

                                                                                            Thanks for the tip^. Just pulled their website up and it looks really promising to this persnickity BBQ eater from TX. I would give them a try this weekend but we already planned to do our own ribs. Brett's is now on my "to do" short list.

                                                                                            1. re: foodiechick
                                                                                              Bakcheia May 22, 2008 03:07 PM

                                                                                              Yeah, when they first opened I went in to check out their operation. I met Brett, and we quickly became friends. I now supply him with my homemade hotsauce (he goes through the stuff like water). He gave me the whole tour; showed me his smoker, we discussed temps, times, rubs, sauces, what woods he uses, the whole works. I was pretty dang impressed with his operation and dedication to quality. I was even more impressed when I tried his food.

                                                                                          2. Josh Oct 21, 2008 10:50 PM

                                                                                            Found out today that Lefty's is opening up a second location, and it's in the old Phil's in Mission Hills. Phil owns the property, and is leasing it to Lefty's. Guy at Lefty's told me probably 2nd or 3rd week in January that they'll be opening. So to answer the OP: it won't.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Josh
                                                                                              m
                                                                                              mliew Oct 22, 2008 01:20 PM

                                                                                              Thanks for the update Josh. By now I had pretty much assumed that the old location wasn't going to be opening again. I wonder why Phil doesn't expand to more locations, I certainly think the demand would be there as even in the new location theres no shortage of crowds on a Fri/Sat night. Guess he's making enough money already where its not worth the extra work.

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