House of Barbeque-San Diego
Please avoid this restaurant. The food is terrible, the waitstaff have attitudes, and I am sorry we ate here.
I should have seen that the the restaurant was almost empty at 7:30 last Saturday. We went in there and order tea and brisket and beef ribs. The amount was OK, but the flavors were strange. There was a metallic taste to both dishes, and we sent the plates back for fresh dinners. The waiter took offense and was nasty to us. The new dishes were no better.
We paid with no tip, which set the waiter off. He was rude and was shouting at us. His english was terrible,but we actually feared him. The owner came over to try to quiet him down, but even that did not work.
PLEASE go elsewhere for dinner. Go to Anthony's for fish!
After several polar opposite reports on this place on this thread (many removed) and another, I resolved to try it out myself with an open mind. Herewith as unbiased a review as I can give:
Service: I was greeted at the door immediately by a young man in his twenties who smiled, tried to be pleasant and welcomed me. Another young man also greeted me on the way to my table. Both seemed to be trying very hard to be welcoming. Both seemed to be connected to ownership, perhaps family or friends. They looked more Greek than Italian and spoke with accents that suggested Jersey/Philly rather than Chicago. I was given a few minutes to look at the menu, then one of them came to take my order. He asked if I'd been there before and when I said no, he made several suggestions, none of which I followed, as I'd come for ribs. I placed my order and it was on the table within 8 minutes.
Ambience/Decor: Pretty grim, I'm afraid. There's a bar within the smallish dining room with a TV that had a basketball game on. There was a couple at the bar. The two waiters hung out at the bar with the couple while waiting for my order and after it was delivered. The action at the bar dominated the rest of the dining room. Nobody was overly loud or annoying; it's just that the bar was the main focus of the waitstaff; even the cook came out to join them. Maybe this setup where employees and such hang out in the same room as customers is common back east, but it just doesn't work so well in SD.
My Order: Half a slab of baby back ribs, billed as being "smothered" in "our famous BBQ sauce, plus beans and slaw. The ribs came tender, were meaty, and falling off the bone. Luckily, they were lightly brushed with sauce, not smothered. Tastewise, there was absolutely nothing special about them. No smokey flavor (they'd clearly never seen any smoke), and really very little flavor at all. The slaw was mushy, tasted average and was probably out of a carton that said Sysco. Ditto the beans, institutional all the way. I must say, I've had better rib dinners at Denny's and Applebee's. The tastiest thing on the plate was some grilled French bread that had been scraped with garlic.
Price: Overpriced for sure at $14.95 for the half slab, plus $5 for a 12 oz. bottle of Miller Gen. Draft (no glass). I ordered an Italian Beef Sandwich to go (lots of beef, no taste), as there were several Italian items on the menu and I thought maybe they'd be better than the BBQ. BTW, I hate it when they ask 'would you like melted mozzarella and peppers on that, it's really good that way", I say sure, then note in very small print on the menu that peppers are 50 cents extra and the cheese is 80 cents. I mean, if it's "really good" that way, why not just serve it that way instead of playing add-on games? $8.30 with the extras.
Overall: Dreary, uncomfortable room. Overpriced. Food without taste, but plenty of it.
No reason to go back. Sorry guys.
Somehow this "House of Barbecue" makes me miss "House of India." The current owners have made sure that we will not mistake the new for the old by keeping every aspect of the decor the same (with the exception of a wire chicken nailed to the wall and relocating the front entrance to the side), but changing the name (on some of the signs) to "Chicago" House of BBQ.
They are heavy on the factory-made deep-fried stuff that now seems to be the ubiquitous substitute for fresh food at most sports themed bars and airport lounges (fries, tots, Jalapeno poppers, bloaters, croakers and the like), and although they claim to do brisket, it only appears on the menu as a sandwich. I asked one of the wait staff about this (almost had to resort to signal flags to get them to notice that I had been standing in their entrance for at least three minutes, multiple waiter-walkbys later), and they said that it could be ordered as an entree as well, but the pulled pork would be better. Bush's baked beans, goopy slaw...what's the point.
I may as well just say this: as a nearby resident, there is no smoke coming from this place EVER- it is my opinion that they are baking their meats and slathering on sauce afterward. Sauce alone barbeque doth not make, right?
Mission Hills, I am guessing. Looks like it is near Chowhound favorite El Indio:
I'm pretty sure I've seen the signage for this place when doing an airport trip recently, and I thought "yet another BBQ joint that will likely be panned on Chowhound." :)
re: RB Hound
It's on India next door to Blue Water Grill. It's the building with the parking lot that's never full but has lots of signs threatening towing if you aren't a patron of one of the businesses in the building. It's the site of a recently defunct Indian restaurant, House of India I think.