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Baby Blues BBQ Burger and Shrimp Po Boy

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I finally tried the burger at Baby Blues on Santa Monica at Hayworth today. I'm very glad I did. I ordered it medium rare and the meat was perfectly cooked. The patty had a very heavy, crusty char on the outside and was perfectly pink in the middle. They patties are mixed with bleu cheese and maple bacon and it makes for a huge flavor. The burger is topped with a Lincolnberry mustard sauce. The sauce looks like a very red thousand island. The flavor is hard for me to describe, not too sweet, tangy and works very well. Add a few squirts of the xxx porn hot sauce and it is perfect. The bun was fine and held up through the last bite. The burger doesn't have any veggie toppings and really doesn't need them. It was served with a bit of cole slaw, pickle spear and a couple tomato slices. I put one of the slices on the burger but it would have been fine with out it. The burger at Baby Blues is very flavor specific - its a bbq burger and it is one of the best burgers I've had in a long time. LOVE IT!

A couple days earlier I tried the Shrimp Po Boy. This sandwich might not sit well with some as it is not like any po boys I've had in New Orleans. It was, however, a very delish. sandwich. It is served on a round bun, not a french roll and it was topped with cole slaw and not lettuce . Also, the shrimp is grilled and not fried. Maybe it should be called a grilled shrimp sandwich. Whatever you call it, it is super good.

Service was friendly and quick at both lunches. I'm glad to see them in the neighborhood.

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  1. Yay! It's on my short list for this month.

    1. Wow - born in the Westside but not afraid to venture east of the 405? :) Good for them for spreadin' the love, and glad you enjoyed them. I never even ventured to that part of the menu - I'll have to the next time. Thanks for posting about these items.

      1. i second that! i love baby blues and ALWAYS order the shrimp po boy -- no it is not a 'real' po boy, but it is a great sandwich. We also love the suicide kings - cornbread with black beans and the same grilled shrimp on top - they are appetizers but i can eat them alone for dinner.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chef74

          And third. I had the Po Boy for the first time yesterday and really enjoyed it too. I will definitely be ordering that again.

        2. I've been driving out to Venice, since they opened, to eat their ribs. I love their ribs and am surprised I never bothered trying their other stuff. Now I can walk to it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rednyellow

            The banana pudding is the best I've had west of the Mississippi

          2. A PoBoy is a specific thing and that it ain't it! Give it a new name but please, I would send it back because i would expect a PoBoy. I am sure it is good! I believe the sauce you are describing has Lingonberry in it, FYI. Chow down my friends.

            26 Replies
            1. re: Burger Boy

              I mistyped the sauce.

              1. re: Burger Boy

                With my abject apologies to the Bard of Avon...

                "What's in a name? that which we call a poboy
                By any other name would taste as sweet;"

                1. re: Servorg

                  I hear you, but you expect, or I expect a tradtional PoBoy. Give it a new name. I have had places call a chopped pork sandwich pulled pork. I HATE CHOPPED MEAT, I know silly but. Would you have a sub sandwich on a hamburger bun and call it a sub? We expect certain things in our minds when we hear a certain thing. It is like Baby Blues calling what they do BBQ? Kidding, I am not a big fan, but whatever.

                  1. re: Burger Boy

                    All righty then - "PouxBoy" it shall be.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Funny.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Good one!

                        1. re: Servorg

                          I am GOOD with that, Thank You. Now please make them switch, I am losing sleep over this!

                        2. re: Burger Boy

                          Why wouldn't you call call what Baby Blues does BBQ? It may not be one specific regional type, or you preference, but it certainly is slow cooked meat. It IS BBQ. Baby Blues is in so. Cal. It is foolish to expect it to be 'genuine' Carolina, or St. Louis, or Kansas City, or Texas or Santa Maria. It is what it is and that is BBQ.

                          1. re: rednyellow

                            Actually, while I love Baby Blues, and there is certainly some smoking, they reportedly finish the meat over direct heat on a grill, which is a bbq no-no.

                            1. re: a_and_w

                              which rule book are you using?

                              1. re: a_and_w

                                Huh? How else are you going to get a nice, crispy crust? The stork doesn't bring it, and it doesn't come from long, slow smoking. Now, I agree there are lousy BBQ places that boil or oven-bake their ribs and then whisper the word "smoke" over them, grilling at the end to add a little redeeming value, but that doesn't make finishing on the grill bad. Finishing on the grill is good and necessary and just and mighty (but, please, don't overcook, dry-out, and toughen at that point, a common failure).

                                1. re: Mel Gee

                                  You can get good bark without grilling. Maybe I overstated by saying it's a no-no, but grilling is by no means necessary.

                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                    I'd like to try that, a_and_w. Can you point me to a couple of good local places that produce an outstanding crispy crust without using a finishing grill?

                                    1. re: Mel Gee

                                      I wish I could, but there are none that I can vouch for locally -- only up north and in the south. That isn't to say they don't exist, just that I haven't yet tried them. Regardless, if you do a google search for "bbq" and "bark," you will find lots of discussion on how to accomplish this.

                                      PS: One local place that looks very promising from pictures is Boneyard Bistro. As I say, however, I haven't tried it personally and can't say for sure that there's no grilling.

                              2. re: rednyellow

                                I find that I like mine smokier, I am not a fan of the sauces as they pair with the meats, their prices are high for what you get and the desserts are so damn small for the price. They charge a lot extra if you want to substitute beef ribs for something else on the combo plate, $4 I believe, give me a break, it is beef not filet! Any other questions! I might have to go back and try the FAUX BOY, it sounds good!

                                1. re: Burger Boy

                                  I tried the one in WeHo and didn't think it was very good. Definitely not authentic, if that is what you are looking for. Maybe the burger is good, I think they might do better at a burger than they do on Pulled Pork or Brisket.

                                  There is a book. And on the page that says "Brisket", it doesn't have shredded meat. The meat is soaking in the sauce. That is a big no no. To me, good brisket shouldn't need sauce.

                                  1. re: bsquared2

                                    Skip the brisket and pulled pork -- the real stars are the long ribs and the chicken.

                                  2. re: Burger Boy

                                    I actually like their sauce, which is vinegary and not too sweet. However, I always order my ribs and chicken "dry" to avoid any saucing.

                                    1. re: a_and_w

                                      I've never had my ribs served with sauce already on them at the BB's Venice location. And (IIRC) I tried the long ribs because of your post on another thread. They are excellent.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        I'm glad you enjoyed them! When they're on, those long ribs are indeed delicious. Be sure to try the chicken too -- so tender. I have found that both are best unsauced. I know they sometimes come that way regardless, but more often than not my experience is that sauce is added -- sometimes even when you order them dry. Unfortunately, I feel this is particularly true when they are rushed and don't have time to smoke and/or grill the way they want -- the sauce is used to mask the problem.

                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                          Customer crush and don't have time to smoke the meat? As I'm sure you know, a_and_w, the smoking takes place early in the day or overnight, not just as patrons order during rushed meal hours. Good barbecue places (BB is not among them, IMO) have a rule for when they "don't have time" for proper smoking. Out goes the classic hand-lettered sign: "SORY NO MOR BBQ"!

                                          1. re: Mel Gee

                                            That's my point -- something questionable is going on. I've noticed they never run out of anything, which is a warning sign.

                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                              Ive been going to the Venice location since they opened and they do run out of stuff, quite a few times.

                                              1. re: rednyellow

                                                They sure ran out of beef ribs on me the last time we were there.

                                                1. re: rednyellow

                                                  I stand corrected -- thanks to you both. I order pork ribs and chicken from them weekly and they've never been out. Are we sure the beef ribs are smoked? Some places don't because beef ribs can be cooked quickly on a grill.

                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                    I haven't been to the new westside location but I do know that the BB in Venice does more grilling than smoking and it's on a natural gas broiler. They always leave a weird flavor on the meat. The only rib joints to the best of my knowledge that use an all wood smoker are Phillips in Inglewood, J n J in LA and Woodys on Slauson. I read recently that Robin's in Pasadena just built a smokehouse behind the place with a large wood burning smoker. BB does a great business and has a large legion of diehard fans but true pure smoked BBQ it isn't. I'll try them again at the LA Barbeque Festival coming up in May and will check out the new digs on the westside soon.