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BBQ at Atwater Village Farmer's Market

Anyone know anything about the BBQ seller at the Atwater Village Farmer's Market?
Sunday's 10am-2pm Wells Fargo Parking lot on Glendale Avenue.

Someone gave me some leftover pork ribs they got this weekend and they were better than the ribs at Philips BBQ. Good hickory smoke flavor and smoke ring and spicy (they sprinkled some kind of spice on the ribs). They were big ribs and tender. They were "dry" (no sauce on them) and unfortunately they didn't give me sauce, but they were fine without it.

Wells Fargo Bank Na: Atwater
3250 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

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  1. OOH!! yes! I just saw them a couple of weeks back and have been meaning to check it out. it looks like the "real deal" for sure, and it smelled great! I was already stuffed with crepe, so I haven't tried it yet.

    A word of warning, booths tend to come and go at that market, so if you are curious, head over there asap.

    13 Replies
    1. re: annalulu

      It was the "real deal".
      Going to check it out this Sunday if the rain isn't too bad.

      1. re: monku

        this link might be of service to you. i cant guarantee this is the one, but its a lead.
        funny what links on foodblogs might bring you to.


        have to drive out there sunday to give it a try.

        1. re: LakerFan

          I don't think so. I checked out the picture of the ribs and they didn't look like the ribs I had.

          1. re: LakerFan

            This is the correct link. BigMista is my teammate on my competition BBQ team. Because I'm a biased insider, I can't comment on the food, just factual info.

            They're also vending at the Torrance, Watts, Lawndale and soon, the El Segundo farmer's markets.

            1. re: Professor Salt

              Professor, when is the BIG BBQ Blowout at your place. It has been what, 3 or 4 years that you have been competing. We Chowhounds need a sample, maybe a pot luck?

              1. re: Burger Boy

                LOL. My place is so small having a couple of people over would blow it out.

                BigMista is the only one of us on the team that's vending / catering, so the public can sample our team efforts at these farmers' markets. He is also the only guy from the So Cal competition circuit that vends on a regular schedule, so he represents more than just my team - he represents the BBQ that competition cooks make versus the stuff that most BBQ restaurants make.

                1. re: Professor Salt

                  i think i followed a link from another food blog to your blog Prof. Salt. and thats how i found the BigMista link. If he's part of your team, I'm anxious to try it.

                  1. re: Professor Salt

                    "... the BBQ that competition cooks make versus the stuff that most BBQ restaurants make."

                    Salt, can you give a couple of sentences describing the differences? I'm a lifelong BBQ lover, but, for some reason, I've never attended a competition.

                    1. re: sbritchky

                      The main difference is that competition cooks are aiming for 6 perfect portions of meat submitted in a box at a predetermined time. Contest cooks have a narrow target of "ideal" texture, flavor, and appearance to shoot for. Trained judges sample a panel of 6 teams' entries, and assign scores for appearance, taste, and texture. A good competitor will consistently nail all three criteria. It's what we practice every time we light the fires.

                      A restaurant cook has to deal with different pressures, but side by side comparisons to five other cooks at the same seating isn't one of them. Absent this head to head pressure, there's a whole lot less incentive for a restaurant cook to up his game. Mediocre BBQ restaurants can survive a long time because it may not be apparent to the customer how lackluster their food is.

                      There's also the matter of timing. A restaurant cook can only guess at the number of guests that might show up between lunch and dinner, and inside that very long window, the customer will get what they get. If you're lucky enough to arrive when the meat is perfect, bully for you. If you're too early or too late for that particular item's window of perfection, well, too bad.

                      For anyone curious about how BBQ contests work, and becoming a certified judge, there is a Kansas City Barbecue Society judging class coming up on March 21, 2009 in Anaheim.


                      1. re: Professor Salt

                        Thanks -- I've got to make a few competitions this year!

                2. re: Professor Salt

                  Professor Salt, would you know when they will be in El Segundo. I know that Market is Thursday afternoon, no mention on the website.. Thanks..

                  1. re: Foodandwine

                    i believe it mentioned 3pm to 7pm at el segundo's main street.

                    1. re: kevin

                      just went back to the Big Mista link and cannot see it.. Thanks I will check them out on Thursday..

          2. I just wanted to give a shout of thanks for the head's up! I went to the farmer's market this morning, bought some asparagus, fruit, eggs, etc. but I was really there for the bbq.

            I brought my husband, and we shared the brisket, ribs, pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, collard greens, and a slice of pecan pound cake. I loved the brisket, and wished the pulled pork sandwich had better bread to go with it. I liked the cake enough to make a mental note to try more of their desserts, and I'll be back next week.


            4 Replies
            1. re: cjla

              Got a rack of dry ribs with plenty of sauce on the side, $18 no sales tax. Eating them sparingly, might be the best you can get in LA.

              Also a slice of red velvet cake ($4) as a chaser.

              1. re: monku

                so it's only sundays at the atwater village market?

                also, do they beef ribs and brisket, lastly is it wet or dry sauced/


                1. re: kevin

                  The brisket is dry rubbed, no sauce on the meat. The pork ribs are rubbed and a light layer of sauce cooked on at the end. BBQ sauce is served on the side, so you can taste the flavor of the meat itself.

                  AFAIK, BigMista does not serve beef ribs.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Yes to brisket, no to beef ribs.

                    I'm not sure what wet/dry sauce means. It's served dry, with little dixie plastic cups of bbq sauce on the side. (To keep things in foodie terms, the cups are the size of the Zankou garlic paste.)

                    I didn't click on the link, but typed in bigmista' bbq into google, and their website came up right away. This is from the bottom of the page of their vending menu.

                    SUNDAYS 10:00-2:00
                    Atwater Village (Wells Fargo Parking Lot)
                    3250 Glendale Boulevard

                    TUESDAYS – 8:00-1:00
                    Torrance 2200 Crenshaw Boulevard
                    (Charles H. Wilson Park)

                    WEDNESDAY - 2:00-7:00
                    Lawndale (in front of Civic Center building)
                    147th & Hawhtorne Blvd

                    THURSDAY – 3:00-7:00
                    El Segundo
                    Main Street & Pine Avenue

                    SATURDAYS - 10:00-2:00
                    Watts (parking lot in front of park)
                    103rd & Central Ave. - Ted Watkins Park

              2. I went this afternoon too, but we got there kind of late and they were out of everything but the brisket. Fine brisket it was, too. I admit I am no BBQ expert, but it was certainly the best I have ever had. Next time we will go earlier... I do like me my pig.

                7 Replies
                1. re: OCchowman

                  I got there just before 10:00. I like that they take out the whole slab and cut it in front of you. Sometimes when I go to BBQ places and order a rack I feel like they short change me on a rib or two. Now I don't have to go out of my way to Phillips BBQ.

                  1. re: OCchowman

                    I got there at 1:00 PM and they were out of all their meats (he says crying)!!!

                    1. re: sel

                      I made sure to get there by 11:00 at the latest today. Their ribs are just amazing. And the whole crew is so friendly. I'll be hard-pressed to stay away from them and their goodness next week!

                      1. re: caveatempty

                        Yes, I got another rack of ribs this morning at 10:00am right when they opened. I told the lady only expect me every 2 weeks. Also a $4 slice of their red velvet cake, again. *(they have $2 slices too).

                        1. re: monku

                          is there a name to this joint or a catering phone number. too bad next sunday, i have plans and then it's off to the jgold food fest for a lot of eats. but this cue stand if it's the real deal sounds beyond awesome.



                            1. re: kevin

                              All the info is in the first response by LakerFan above.


                    2. how did i not hear about this just a stones throw from my house!!!! well, i'll tell you where i'll be next sunday morning!!!

                      anyone know how long they've been going to the atwater market? i haven't noticed them before, but i haven't gone to that market in a few months...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: HerbyN

                        Stones throw away and you can't smell the smoke?

                        1. re: monku

                          well... maybe a couple of stones throws... my arm isn't what it used to be (or my nose, obviously!)... : )

                        2. re: HerbyN

                          If you throw stones at them, they won't let you eat their BBQ.

                          1. re: HerbyN

                            They started selling at the Atwater Village FM in January 2009. They've only started vending at the farmer's markets in the last five months. They're now at five FM's during the week and business is good enough that Neil quit his day job as a banker to vend BBQ full time.

                          2. We have searched from San Diego to Los Angeles for great bbq, we came across a post for BigMista and had to try it...This is some great BBQ, everything was tender and tasted great..We even tried Collard Greens for the first time, and we are now fans! Go check this out, what a wonderful bunch of people, and wow some great bbq....
                            We Drove 80 miles to taste it, and it was worth every mile there....

                            1. I go to the Atwater farmers market every week. Just this past Sunday I asked for a sample-- they gave me a corner of brisket. It was too dry for me, but again, it was a sample. But the people are VERY nice, and the prices are very reasonable-- I think they offer a $4 sandwich. So, I am going to try a full on order of something this Sunday.

                              1. I don't go to this market all that much, but after reading the raves about the BBQ decided to go this last Sunday. I got ribs, meat only, and picked up some mustard greens to make as accompaniment for dinner.
                                Stupid stupid girl that I am, I tried a rib in the car, just to give myself a preview. The ribs were so good that the rest of my day was torture trying to do my yard work w/o running into the house and gobbling every last piece of meat before SO got home. Smoky, tender, super flavorful, just right. I liked the sauce they give on the side but the meat defintiely does not need it. Good to dip bones in at the end for a little bonus gnawing. Glad I waited to share (sort of) and to make greens and mac chz.
                                Next time I'll eat a sandwich there to tide me over!
                                Thanks for the reference

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: lucygoosey

                                  do they serve mac n cheese there too?


                                  1. re: kevin

                                    I don't remember them having mac and cheese as a side. I remember BBQ beans, greens, pineapple slaw and maybe potato salad.

                                    1. re: kevin

                                      I made the mac n chz @ home, but they said they'll bring it when Mommy BBQ has time to cook as the mac is her gig.

                                      1. re: lucygoosey

                                        my mistake in reading the post.

                                        so big mista mentioned they would have mac n cheese in the future?


                                        1. re: kevin

                                          It might be an occasional special of the day but I doubt it would be a regular item. Done right, it's just too expensive and time consuming for us to do on a consistent basis.

                                          1. re: bigmista

                                            Mac 'n cheese with Q is a real favorite among us greedy 'hounds -- could you give a couple of days notice on your Web site? Thanks!

                                            1. re: sbritchky

                                              They had some on this past Sunday. Did you get any?

                                                1. re: sbritchky

                                                  MrsMista will make some Mac & Cheese this Sunday.

                                    2. I'm curious how they compare to current Compton faves of Bludso's and Nate's Home BBQ. Can anyone commen?

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: TonyC

                                        I thought it was clearly better than Bludso's. The ribs were more juicy and tender with a better pork flavor IMO. The Brisket is EASILY better than Bludso's as well. Oh so tender, and beefy, with a nice smoke ring and crunchy outer layer. The time I tried BigMista though, the beans (and to a lesser extent the Sauce) were a little too salty (and garlicky). I am pretty sure it was an anomaly though.

                                        1. re: mdpilam

                                          I think Big Mista's pork ribs are far better than any other in Los Angeles and among the best I've ever had. Their brisket I rank about equal with Bludso's, whose style is very different -- thin-sliced, heavy on the sauce, much more like Kansas City BBQ beef than Big Mista's classic Texas approach. I look forward to trying Mrs. Mista's mac & cheese on Sunday.

                                          1. re: sbritchky

                                            Bludso's was raised and cooked throughout his life in Texas. I never get the brisket with the sauce , always on the side. That's a non issue.

                                            As far as brisket's smoke ring, I'm pretty sure I've taken enough pix of Bluso's to prove that their brisket has a beyond distinct smoke ring (sans crusty outer? is that even a desirable trait)?

                                            Nate's in Compton also does a killer no-sauce-required pork rib (not baby back). Still awaiting anyone to comment on this?

                                            1. re: TonyC

                                              Well, the Bludso's cook, Big Mista', and I have one thing in common: we were all raised in Texas. But I've never seen any brisket anywhere in the state that was sliced so thin or sauced so heavily as at Bludso's. (Like you, I ask for sauce on the side.) Last summer I updated my Texas BBQ experience by going to ten or so of the places named in the new Texas Monthly Top 50 ( http://www.texasmonthly.com/2008-06-0... ), and none of them served such skinny, saucey brisket. The thin slices also mean there's no crust to speak of, and that's a real shame for us crustket lovers. Nevertheless, as I said above, I rank Bludso's brisket with the best in Southern California, and I really like the smiling lady at the counter, whether she's from Texas or Compton or Paris, France.

                                          2. re: mdpilam

                                            Yeah I agree, it was too salty for me last time. On like 3/22.

                                            But I really enjoyed it the first time.

                                        2. Oh.



                                          Now, mind you, I will never claim to be any great expert on barbecue.

                                          I take sbritchky's word that the barbecue I had this afternoon at the Big Mista's stand in Atwater is "Texas style," but otherwise I wouldn't know Texas from Kansas City from Kentucky from Amherst, Mass. But when it comes to good food I know what I like ... and I REALLY like Big Mista's.

                                          I almost didn't go, because I had a narrow window for today, between a pretty large breakfast and a drive to Santa Barbara for which I didn't want to risk carsickness with heavy food. So I ordered the Mini-Mista with tri-tip on a roll, with a side of the the mac & cheese that posters upthread and elsewhere have been raving about. I was very grateful for the relatively small portion, something a lot of barbecue places seem to think is sacrilege.

                                          The tri-tip was fork-tender but with texture and beefy taste, and a black-peppery rub that really stood out. I didn't need sauce (which is just as well because I spilled half the portion they gave me), but what was left was more than enough -- it would've been almost as good without any sauce at all. The mac and cheese may be one of the five best I've had in L.A.; the 'cue was the best I have ever had in southern California, and second best ever behind Goode Company in Houston.

                                          While I was in line, Mrs. Mista announced that this will be the last week they will be selling sandwiches at the stand, from now on it will only be meat by the pound and sides by the container for takeout. Which is fine with me -- if I had been going straight home I would have picked up some of that tri-tip to keep in the fridge. (I didn't ask if they're dropping the sandwiches at their other locations, but I would guess as much.)

                                          This is really worth a trip --- simply wonderful food, with friendly service.

                                          14 Replies
                                          1. re: maxzook

                                            I'm glad you liked it, maxzook, but must hasten to add, Heck! (Make that: Aw, Heck! ;-) I had forgotten a family obligation out in the desert and, once again, missed the mac and cheese. Top Five, huh? I've got to have that M&C. By the way, as much as I like Big Mista's brisket, I think his pork ribs are even better -- don't tell anyone down Texas way I said that -- so I recommend trying those (also) next time.

                                            I'm with you on Goode Co. I work with Johnson Space Center and get to Houston fairly often. Alongside their beef, GC serves excellent pinto beans and jalapeño cheese bread in several nice sit-down restaurants, but they're so popular that the output can be a bit inconsistent. Sometimes the beef is exquisitely juicy and tender; occasionally it's a little dry, which I might react to more negatively than other BBQ fans. Of course, many Houstonians would say, "No, don't go to Goode's -- here's a map to a little shack that has no telephone or regular hours and they serve REAL Texas BBQ!"

                                            Thanks for the fine report and for giving me even more motivation (if that's possible) to intersect with Big Mista's M&C as soon as I can.

                                            1. re: maxzook

                                              "from now on it will only be meat by the pound and sides by the container for takeout."

                                              maxzook, in the future will they be selling neither sandwiches NOR "plates," by which I mean one or more meats with a couple of sides and bread, assembled for eating nearby at a picnic table?

                                              1. re: Mel Gee

                                                All I heard them say was that they wouldn't be making sandwiches, I'm not clear if they will be discontinuing plates as well. Bottom line, contact them:


                                                1. re: Mel Gee

                                                  We're streamlining our process so that we can serve everyone faster. Meat will be sold by the pound, ribs will still be sold by the rack, 1/2 rack and 1/4 rack. Sides in 3 sizes. Bread comes with every meat order.

                                                  Same food. Different packaging.

                                                  1. re: bigmista

                                                    will you have the mac n cheese at all of the farmer's markets. and can you get the meats by the quarter pound so we can eat it right there.


                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                      Kevin you will have to ask Mrs. Mista about the Mac & Cheese. It was like pulling teeth to get her to agree to cook it once a month.

                                                      We are considering keeping the sandwiches because it is our second most popular order behind meat by the pound for our lunch crowd.

                                                      1. re: bigmista

                                                        If you could post on your website when and where the mac n cheese will be on hand that would be awesome.

                                                        and the brisket was some of the best i have had (i didn't even need the BBQ sauce, well, actually i did for dipping the bread into afterward.

                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                          I am in the process of adding twitter to my website but you can follow me (bigmista) for updates.

                                                          1. re: mdpilam

                                                            Okay, I'm too lazy to read this whole thread -- I'm planning to go and pickup some barbecue in the next weekend or so. So if I go in the morning, I'd be picking up dinner, right? So what do you all suggest will reheat the best?

                                                            1. re: Silverlaker

                                                              When you step up to the table, you'll be talking to the world's leading experts on the question of which Big Mista' items reheat best, and they're friendly folks. I'd bet serious money they can also tell you the right way to reheat whatever you buy for dinner.

                                                              That was just to stay on topic. You obviously haven't been to Big Mista' before. Otherwise, you'd know that you cannot possibly get home without devouring the BBQ in your car!

                                                              "Uh, Dear, uh, I'm not very hungry, but I got this really tasty TV dinner for you ...."

                                                              1. re: Silverlaker

                                                                I use the microwave. Order them dry and get the sauce on the side.

                                                                1. re: monku

                                                                  i believe the sauce is served in a little plastic cup on the side anyhow.

                                                                  although they may douse the sandwiches with sauce, but actually i have never gotten one of the sandwiches.

                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                    The sauce is served on the side for sandwiches as well.

                                                                    Between the stand and my car I managed to spill half the sauce ... and I'm glad I did; the amount I had left was just right. In fact the tri-tip would have been just about as wonderful with no sauce at all.

                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                      Couple times I got ribs, they were getting ready to brush the ribs with sauce and I said I'd take the sauce on the side.

                                                  2. Finally got to try Big Mista's at the El Segundo Farmers Market on Thursday 5:00. I had called in my order earlier in the day, and Mrs. Mista took the call. Very warm and friendly. I ordered the full rack of ribs and a pound of brisket. There was no line when I got there. I had a brief chat with Big Mista. We talked about Bludso's and their brisket and the flavor of the meat. I rushed home to enjoy the finest ribs I've ever had, sauce on the side. This was more delicious and flavorful than LC's from Kansas City, when they came to the LA BBQ Festival.

                                                    I enjoyed the brisket also, more of the classic brisket cut, but really tender. But I will say I love the way Bludso's slices theirs very thin.

                                                    There's a lot of discussion about eating BBQ with sauce on the side, but I'm a BBQ sauce guy, and both places serve great BBQ sauce. But I will say, eat the meat without sauce first, then see if you need it.

                                                    Oh yeah, good red velvet cupcakes.

                                                    I put Big Mista's #1 for their outstanding ribs, and Bludso's #2 for their brisket and pork shoulder. Need to get to Bludso's on a weekend to try their beef ribs. Wow LA's BBQ scene, already pretty good, has really gotten great.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Ogawak

                                                      my little secret is the el segundo location, it's never that busy. unlike the atwater one. good to see that those red velvets are back. the brisket i had was the best i have ever had i believe.