Frankie the Bull BBQ
When I heard a BBQ place was opening off Morena, about 2 miles from Phil's BBQ, I was thinking this place must be really good or they didn't do their homework. Then I hear it was the project of Frank Terzoli from Top Chef Season 2 and previously Executive Chef at Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe. I love BBQ so I was pretty excited to try it.
So tonight I finally had my chance to see if my dear Phil's had any competition in town. The place was pretty crowded. I ordered a 1/4 slab of pork ribs with 2 sides, I chose cajun fries and BBQ beans and a coke. I thought the atmosphere was ok, except I thought the cowboy hats the staff was wearing were a bit corny and I would have liked some kind of background music.
Apparently there was something wrong with the coke, so I was offered something else and I chose lemonade, which was like water with a lemon.
My food came out pretty fast. The ribs were very tender, almost too tender, even mushy. I thought they were fatty, but had a very nice smoky flavor. The cajun fries were limp but were decent. I think they were flavored with maybe garlic and oregano? The cheddar jalepeno cornbread was average, a very similar recipe as Cook's Illustrated offers. The BBQ beans came with chunks of pork and the pork was the best part of this side. I thought the beans had an overwhelming flavor of cumin, and I couldn't finish them. forgettable at best.
I live close to this place, but until I hear that things have greatly improved I won't go back.
Hmm, that's too bad. I was interested to start hearing some chowhound reviews, because I read a brief blurb on the restaurant a few weeks ago, and I believe it said that they are using the traditional "low 'n' slow" method, which has been a point of lively discussion here lately. However, I read this blurb in an actual physical paper and can't seem to find any references online. Looking forward to hearing more, but if it's not very good, it's not going to the top of my list, no matter how traditional the barbecue method is!