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May 27, 2002 11:58 PM

Joey's Bar-B-Q, Chino - A Quickie

  • c

Since it was Memorial Day the Mrs. expected BBQ, and since it was Memorial Day, I did not relish doing all the work to organize BBQ in our backyard. So instead I obligingly made a run to Joey’s Bar-B-Q, which is only five minutes away from the old homestead, as long as Herman is doing the running. Joey’s was packed, and take out orders were running 45 minutes from order to take out. So after placing my order I installed myself outside in Joey’s “Backyard”.

I picked up a Budweiser long-neck at the window in the Backyard, found myself a bench, and enjoyed the ambience of the little kids running around, climbing on the outdoor furniture and jumping around (the Budweiser assisted in my enjoyment of the little kids), and the setting sun peaking through the leafy umbrella formed by three big old shade trees. The only thing missing was Joey’s usual singing cowboy, he must have been memorializing somewhere else today. Too soon the 45 minutes were up and my order was ready and I had to clamber up the back stairs and back inside for my order pick-up.

I brought home a mess of pork spare ribs, beef ribs, brisket, potato salad and beans. A foil lined bag full of Joey’s garlic bread, which consists of split French rolls slathered in garlic butter with some dried parsley came with the ribs. The spare ribs were meaty and most of them were falling off the bone tender. The beef ribs were also meaty, and not overdone, so you could tell the ribs once were a major structural member or a standing rib roast. The brisket was cut thick and was nice and tender. Everything had a mild smoky flavor. Joey’s finishes their ribs and brisket slices on a grill, so they get grill marks and some nice char on the edges. Not too much char, just enough to give you a nice sense of the fire they have been over. Joey’s BBQ sauce is tomato based and slightly sweet. When I got home I slathered some sauce on my meats and then spiced it up with a little Stubbs Inferno Wing Sauce to liven it up.

The potato salad was very good. It seemed homemade, definitely not tasting like it came out of a carton. I think I even found some chopped up red pepper in it, or maybe it was pimento. The beans were not bad either. I have not been impressed with the beans in some of the BBQ places I have visited lately, but these were pretty good, even had little chunks of bacon in them.

I had not been to Joey’s in a long time. My recollection was that I had liked their brisket and loved their baked yams. The brisket was as good as I remembered it, I should have brought home a couple of yams today.

Now that all that good ‘Q is settling in, I think it is time for a visit to the refrigerator for some of that killer cheesecake that was shipped in from Petaluma this week. The only questions are 1) will the cheesecake last a week, and 2) will the Mrs. forget the cheesecake ever existed, so that when she opens the refrigerator and does not find any cheesecake, it won’t “click”, and I will be home free.

Joey’s Bar-B-Q
3689 Riverside Dr
(Riverside & East End)
Chino, CA 91710
(909) 628-1231


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  1. Since you haven't been in a while, you may have missed the "singing cowboy" they have on the back patio on weekend evenings. While you are waiting for your table inside, you can sip brewskis and listen to this dapper gent croon the Country standards, if you so please.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kriss Reed

      Thanks for the review CW. It was a flashback to read about Joey's (last time I went there was back in 1990) and it's good to know they're still around. I remember that the brisket and baked yams were great and their bbq chicken was pretty good. The ribs? - well, back then I was more into Carl's BBQ & Dirty Rice, and I vaguely recall some Texas-style place in Yorba Linda that I liked better, too.

      But about that singing cowboy . . .if it's the same guy that was there 12 years ago (who sings about things like cops and "two cheeseburgers and a chocolate malt, an order of fries with lots of salt" - ugh!), no thanks. It was torture having to listen to that schmuck peddling his crappy vanity records, ordering people to buy him a drink and demanding tips (and FYI chowhounds - you should never, ever tip for bad singing and amateurish guitar playing). He was downright obnoxious, and not in the least bit entertaining way. I'm all for supporting live music, but not when it's forced on a captive audience without a choice and not when it's horrible. That guy was about as tasteful and dry as a five-day old turkey sandwich from Jerry's Deli. Hopefully it's not the same guy . . .

      1. re: Chris G.

        Carl's on Pico, near Fairfax.......That was some good Q. I miss him. Hey Carl, got any corn bread.....Ah Damn, I knew i forgot to do something today.......He was a character!!!

        1. re: Burger Boy

          Carl's Rib Tips.

    2. Having been to Joey's BBQ in Pomona over a year ago, and having been to numerous BBQ places since, I've ranked Joey's beef ribs as the best I've had in LA/OC so far. Today, I had an opportunity to go back, except to visit a different location, their restaurant in Chino, to see if they still deserved that distinction.

      Absolutely. Joey's is still #1 on my list for beef ribs. I wanted to try something else in addition to the ribs this time, so I opted for the link sausage combo, where I got the beef rib as the other item. Sides were corn on the cob, freshly made BBQ potato chips, and a slice of garlic bread.

      Starting with the beef ribs, the ribs were almost identical at the Chino location as they were at the Pomona location. Lots of meat on both sides of the rib, fall-off-the-bone tender, extremely tasty without having to add any BBQ sauce, just absolute pure heavenly bliss for a beef rib. The sausage link was pretty good, but nothing overwhelming or mindblowing.

      I liked the homemade potato chips, first time I've seen a restaurant offer a BBQ version of it. Very tasty, just like the ones I've had at Jerry's Dogs or Toober's. Corn was fresh and good. Garlic bread was just OK, but it might have cooled off as it was the last thing I ate, as I wanted to munch on everything else first.

      While I am eager to try other things on their menus like the pork ribs, the chili, or even their Cajun catfish, their beef ribs are so darn good that I may order them everytime I visit from now on. At least I now know my previous visit to Joey's wasn't a fluke, and the high praise for their food is definitely warranted. I look forward to continuing visiting BBQ places in LA County, like the highly-rated Phillips locations, to see if they come close to the excellence at Joey's BBQ.

      1. I love Joey's(only been to the Chino location). Last time i was there i had the Pork Ribs lunch. Fall off the bone tender, with tons of meat.
        I've also had the Works myself. Lets just say i was really full after. The works consists of beef ribs, pork ribs, sausage, ham, some more cow and then some more cow. I also love their BBQ beans.

        The location is on a corner and is actually like some trailer or box car or something(maybe someone can clarify). they have little flag poles on the table that you raise up when you want service.

        Unfortunately i havent been to many BBQ places, but this place ranks at the top of places i've been, and is the only place i can even think of that was memorable.

        1 Reply
        1. re: frank828

          The Chino location is the Joey's Mothership, Riverside Drive and East End Avenue, in an old farm house.

          Joey's parents, who started the place are from Texas, so beef is what they excel at. I like to bring home a pork rib "pack" and a beef rib "pack" (more than a rack of ribs each, with about six pieces of their "garlic bread" thrown in) and a couple of pounds of their brisket.

          I leave the pork ribs to the rest of the family and gorge myself on the beef ribs. The "garlic bread" does not cut it as garlic bread, but it is the perfect platform to build a barbequed beef sandwich on. I like to kick up Joey's sauce with some Dave's Insanity, or Tabsco Habanero. Man, that will make for a great beefy, smoke-y, protein induced high.

        2. The original comment has been removed