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Jun 20, 2010 01:27 PM

Has Big Mista Jumped the Shark?

Hadn’t been for a few months and stopped by Atwater FM to pick up some veggies and a little bbq breakfast. Gone was the eraserboard menu, replaced with menus on fancy cardstock with fancy prices. Neil was standing by, Bluetooth in ear, wearing a look of general disinterest.

Gone is the $4 pulled pork sandwich, replaced with a $6 “perfect pulled pork sandwich.” Same thing; some slaw on top. I ordered a half pound of brisket. Never having been burned in the past I didn’t even glance at the container. I got it home and it would have been a stretch to call it anything more then a generous quarter pound. Really? "Et tu, Big Mista?"

Sad as it makes me to say, I think they’ve crossed the bougie rubicon. In fairness, the bbq is still excellent, but when the prices go up and the portions get small the writing’s on the wall (jgold effect, in effect). Time to head off to parts unknown for my bbq fix.

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  1. Since "the bbq is still excellent," nothing in this report concerns me except the size of your brisket portion, which was undoubtedly a simple mistake. A family operation that depends on word-of-mouth advertising is not likely to illegally short customers and risk the large following they've built. I'd send Neil a note about the problem.

    On price: it's easy to pay $10 or more for top-quality burgers, so I'm not surprised to hear that Big Mista eventually found that $4 was too little for the greatest pulled-pork sandwich in Southern California, even at a traveling road show. Rembrandt would deserve high compensation if he only painted tourist portraits at the boardwalk. But a mere six bucks for that fantastic pulled pork? You could take throwaways from Neil's garbage can and make a better sandwich than at, say, Baby Blues, which demands $7.50 in a run-down Venice storefront.

    Do let us know what Neil says about the short-weight brisket.

    1. Neil actually is notorious for often giving us more than we paid for. Compared to other well-regarded BBQ in town, his prices are still a bargain.

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        1. Just ate a sandwich today and all was good, portion was generous. Love the meat still not my favorite sauce but not bad either.

          1. Agree with the others. $6 is more than reasonable for that delicious sandwich (my favorite sandwich ever), and they have always been very generous with portions so I'm sure your underweight brisket was a mistake. Mistakes happen, give them a chance to remedy it. A few times when I've been in line customers have complained about one thing or another (one thought that the pork, which is cooked forever, was undercooked because it was pink!), and they have always remedied it immediately, no questions asked. Since as you said you've never been burned in the past, it seems a bit impulsive to discount them entirely based on one experience. Give them the opportunity to fix things, then decide.