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Smoky, Meaty, Tender Barbecue (or, The Mouth-Watering Beef Brisket, Spare Ribs and Pulled Pork of Bludso's BBQ) [Review] w/ Pics!

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exilekiss Aug 25, 2010 03:20 PM

(Formatted with All Pictures here:
http://exilekiss.blogspot.com/2010/08...

In the world of Food, while everyone's taste is subjective, there are certain hot button topics that can spark a non-stop debate for years if not decades. Just mention the word "Burger" or "Pizza" and there will be no end to the amount of discussion that ensues. (^_~) "Barbecue" falls into this category as well, and the diversity of what constitutes as "BBQ" might be even greater than the Burger or Pizza Wars, ranging from a restaurant grilling some Chicken and pouring over mass-produced BBQ Sauce and calling that "BBQ Chicken", going all the way up to the intricate discussions on authentic styles of "Eastern North Carolina Barbecue" vs. "Western North Carolina Barbecue" vs. "Memphis Style", etc. I'm no Barbecue expert, but when I can enjoy slow-cooked, smoky, meaty but tender, fresh-tasting Beef and Pork in So Cal, call me happy. :) Such is the case with a wonderful hole-in-the-wall Barbecue joint known as Bludso's BBQ.

I still remember my first visit 1.5 years ago. Hearing some Hounds talk excitedly about Bludso's great Barbecue made this an immediate "must try" on my list of restaurants. :) Walking up to the storefront, my guest and I notice that they're still not open, but we could smell this amazing, delicious cloud of smoky meat vapors wafting around the building. Stepping around the corner, we see a parking lot and a giant BBQ smoker and are warmly greeted by two people tending to the slow-cooked meats. They turn out to be BBQ Master-Owner Kevin Bludso and his Assistant Pit Master Larry. Kevin Bludso originally learned about Barbecue from helping at his Grandma's restaurant near Corsicana, Texas since the age of 9.

I also smell some incredible deep-fried goodness and realize they're making Deep Fried Turkeys (they make them upon request (order in advance) and during Thanksgiving).

You often hear about Southern hospitality, but seeing it in person, and all the charm and joviality surrounding Bludso's BBQ made me feel like I was sitting at a friend's backyard party. Mr. Bludso mentions that they're running a little behind, but offers up some chairs and water or soda while we wait as they open up the shop. And as they're removing the Beef, Pork, Chicken and Links from the smoker, you can hear them zinging each other to pass the time:

Larry (from Louisiana) gives Kevin (grew up in Texas and Cali) some flack about Texas.

Kevin Bludso (chiding Larry): "Man, you so old, yo' Social Security number is ONE!" (^_^)

The store is open at this point and we head up front to order. Bludso's BBQ is really a takeout stand; they have ~5 stools and a small counter where you can eat, but no tables (I've eaten at their counter a couple times and it's fine if you don't mind the limited space).

Wanting to try all of their amazing BBQ, we order their Texas Sampler, which includes their Barbecued Pork Spare Ribs, Beef Brisket, Rib Tips, Chicken, Beef Links, Pork Links, Chicken Links, and Pork Shoulder (Pulled Pork). You can add their Angus Beef Rib as an option for $2 (on Weekends Only). It sounded like a lot, but we had no idea about how gargantuan this was (it turns out to be about ~5+ pounds of food(!)). :)

Note: Be sure to ask for the Barbecue Sauce on the Side, so that you can enjoy the smoked meats on their own and control how much Sauce you want (some of the pictures below are from my 2nd visit where in my haste, I forgot to request this, so you can see how much Sauce is used regularly).

We start with their Barbecued Pork Spare Ribs (listed as simply "Rib" on the menu).

There's a gorgeous smoke ring and nice bark. And I take a bite...

Tendrils of complex smokiness pervade my senses; a beautiful aroma of Pecan and Oak Wood combined with Mesquite Charcoal from the slow-cooking. It's followed by this true succulence: A wave of juicy, meaty porky happiness, with notes of Apple, Brown Sugar, Pepper, Oregano and other Spices. Awesome! (^_^)

And then there are those delectable crunchy bits of Pork Cartilage that any Nankotsu (Chicken Cartilage) fan can appreciate: The Cartilage is cooked long enough to provide some crunchiness but soft enough that it doesn't require much effort to chew through; a lovely textural contrast. :)

Consistency is a very important aspect in regards to Barbecue: All too often you might find some fresh-tasting, juicy Ribs during 1 visit at a restaurant, only to be stuck with Barbecue that's been sitting too long on another visit. For my 3 visits to Bludso's BBQ, all of the Barbecue has been consistently well cooked each and every time (I also visited them on different days of the week each visit, to see if that made a difference).

Bludso's offers up 2 kinds of their Homemade Barbecue Sauce - Hot or Mild - and this is where there might be controversy amongst some purists.

I've met people who turn their nose in disdain if anyone attempts to use Barbecue Sauce on their Barbecue; they claim that great Barbecue doesn't need any Sauce at all, and it's all about the Rub and the meat itself. And then there's the taste and thickness of Bludso's Homemade Barbecue Sauce: Mr. Bludso has mentioned that he had to adjust his Barbecue Sauce over the years (from the original style he learned and developed from his Grandmother) because his customers here in California wanted it thicker and sweeter.

While I have no idea what that original Sauce might've tasted like, the current Homemade Mild Barbecue Sauce that Kevin makes is simply delicious. :) It's a Tomato-based Sauce, with Molasses, Cayenne Pepper and his proprietary blend of other Spices. There's a great sweet tang and peppery quality, along with a very mild heat.

The Homemade Hot Barbecue Sauce turns up the heat level a few notches higher, with a medium burn (but nowhere near, say, Jitlada's most incendiary dishes).

If there's one "filler" item in the Texas Sampler, it might be their trio of Beef, Pork and Chicken Smoked Links.

The Links are outsourced, but Kevin cooks them up in the same Smoker as the rest of his meats, giving each type of Sausage Link a meaningful smoky edge. They're not "bad" at all (if you enjoy Smoked Sausage Links they're fine), but it's clear that their made-from-scratch Barbecued Meats are the real stars here.

The Barbecued Chicken is surprisingly well-executed.

As expected, there's a great smoky quality that seeps into most of the Chicken, along with Black Pepper, but the most surprising aspect is that the Chicken Breast / White Meat portions have been at least semi-moist to juicy during each of my visits. It's thankfully never been dried out. But overall, in light of the other offerings, their Barbecued Chicken - while healthier - isn't something I'd seek out if I had a choice.

And then there's the 15 Hour Slow-Roasted, Pork Shoulder (also used in their Pulled Pork Sandwich).

Besides Pork Spare Ribs, I'd have to say Pulled Pork / Pork Shoulder is my 2nd favorite type of protein when eating Barbecue. :) And thankfully Bludso's Pork Shoulder is very good. Being cooked for over 15 Hours, the Pork Shoulder has consistently been very tender with the Oak and Pecan woodsiness present in every bite without it being overpowering. It's also tasted *fresh* (i.e., not leftovers or reheated) each time I've gone, and has become my favorite Pulled Pork locally. Excellent! :)

And while their Pork Spare Ribs are top-notch, those that prefer more soft Cartilage and Meat (and no Bone), should consider their Rib Tips.

Indeed, the Rib Tips are an extension and continuation of where the delicious Pork Spare Ribs left off, having a great bark and smoke ring, as well as a little more fat and much more of the satisfying crunchy Pork Cartilage. :) The very end piece (the very tip) does tend to be drier, but there's so much concentrated Barbecue goodness that the dried out portions don't feel like a loss. Delicious. :)

Breaking up this meat madness is probably my favorite Side Order at Bludso's: Collard Greens (listed simply as "Greens" on the menu).

On paper, it sounds boring enough, but these Collard Greens are wonderfully garlicky, tender and lightly spicy.

I generally tend to shy away from Barbecued Beef Ribs, as they're usually gargantuan and a bit too unwieldy at times, but Bludso's Angus Beef Ribs (Weekends Only) maintain the quality level of their other offerings.

There's a hardcore Coarse Black Pepper and Salt flavor that comes through on the crust, followed by a more intense smokiness (more than their other Barbecue dishes). The Angus Beef Ribs have always been consistently juicy on each of my visits, and it pairs well with their Mild Homemade Barbecue Sauce.

But perhaps the biggest surprise and shock of the entire menu is Bludso's Beef Brisket.

This 15 Hour, Slow-Cooked piece of beefy goodness is outstanding! (^_^) It's *so* juicy and luscious and sexy (thanks to the supple layer of Beef Fat) and it just skyrocketed "Beef Brisket" to the top of my list of favorite Barbecued Meats (at least at Bludso's (^_~)).

Besides their Collard Greens, there are 4 other choices for Side Orders, starting with their Mac & Cheese.

Their Mac & Cheese has been a bit inconsistent during each of my visits: A couple times the Mac & Cheese has been creamy and cheesy, while on my latest visit, it was overcooked, with the Macaroni being almost mush (it still had a good flavor, but it was way overcooked).

Their Baked Beans remind me of the Baked Beans they'd give at my school cafeteria growing up (not in a bad way :) - It's that familiar, classic, sweet, mellow, thick Beans in a Brown Sauce that I got as a kid at school. It's not egregious, but nothing to write home about. :)

Their Corn Bread (included with Lunch or Dinner plates) is crumbly, moist and only lightly sweet; an enjoyable respite from the meat. :)

And their Potato Salad is very creamy, a touch sweeter than what I prefer, with soft chunks of Potato; a solid option.

Their Desserts tend to fall on the sweeter side. The Banana Pudding is a simple Banana-flavored Pudding mixed with Vanilla Wafer Cookies. It's really straightforward and fills a certain craving if you're in the mood for it.

Their Red Velvet Cake is made daily by Kevin Bludso's Mother.

It's not going to win any awards for excellence, but the slightly-dry-but-still-moist Red Velvet Cake tastes like you're eating a homemade dessert at your friend's house (baked by your friend's mom or grandmother). It's rustic, a bit too sweet, but not mass-produced.

Service has always been warm and friendly: You order at the counter and pick up your order when ready. And if you're eating at their small counter, you might hear Cookie (who runs the front of the house) or Kevin Bludso asking if you need any more napkins or if everything's alright. Prices range from $2.85 - $28.50 (for the Texas Sampler (which can feed 3-4 people comfortably)).

Bludso's BBQ turns out some of the most delectable Barbecued Pork Spare Ribs, Rib Tips, Beef Brisket and Pulled Pork Shoulder around town. Whether it's truly "authentic Texas-style BBQ" is something I leave to the experts, but with their nuanced smoky bark, satisfyingly substantial Spare Ribs that are as meaty as they are tender (without it being too soft), wonderfully supple Pulled Pork Shoulder, and the amazing Beef Brisket, Bludso's is a great place to stop by for some 'Cue. :)

*** Rating: 8.4 (out of 10) ***

Bludso's BBQ
811 S. Long Beach Blvd.
Compton, CA 90221
Tel: (310) 637-1342

Hours: Tues - Thurs, 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Fri - Sat, 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sun, 12:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays & Rainy Days (since the Smoker is outside).

http://www.bludsosbbqandcatering.com/

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Bludso's BBQ
811 S. Long Beach Blvd., Compton, CA 90221, USA

 
 
 
 
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  1. e
    exilekiss RE: exilekiss Aug 25, 2010 03:22 PM

    Attaching more Pics. For all remaining Pictures, please see Link in Original Post above. Thanks!

     
     
     
     
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      reality check RE: exilekiss Aug 25, 2010 03:36 PM

      I think the links are now, made in house.

      1 Reply
      1. re: reality check
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        exilekiss RE: reality check Aug 25, 2010 10:56 PM

        Hi reality check,

        Oh nice. Thanks for the update. :) I didn't ask about them again after the very first time Kevin Bludso mentioned that that was the one item he had to outsource.

      2. monku RE: exilekiss Aug 25, 2010 03:43 PM

        Texas Sampler is the only thing I order there.
        I'm with the serve it "dry"....only a smidgen of sauce on my meat.

        The Texas Sampler is now $28.50?
        Few months ago it was $25.

        1 Reply
        1. re: monku
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          exilekiss RE: monku Aug 25, 2010 10:57 PM

          Hi monku,

          Yah, I just noticed the price change on my 3rd visit. But it's still a great deal (and still is an absurd amount of food :).

          As much as I like their Sauce, I use it sparingly as well. Thanks. :)

        2. ipsedixit RE: exilekiss Aug 25, 2010 04:12 PM

          I love pictures of well smoked and charred meats. Just makes me so giddy.

          Thanks exilekiss, now I can go fight traffic with full mirth.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit
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            exilekiss RE: ipsedixit Aug 25, 2010 10:59 PM

            Hi ipsedixit,

            Thanks. :) I can't wait to hear what you think of it. :)

          2. JAB RE: exilekiss Aug 25, 2010 04:58 PM

            I do my own low and slow and therefore rarely eat BBQ out but, once a co-worker and I shared the Texas Sampler and Bludso's get's my seal of approval. They couldn't be any nicer either.

            8 Replies
            1. re: JAB
              monku RE: JAB Aug 25, 2010 05:33 PM

              They are so apologetic when it gets busy.
              No bullet-proof glass or attitude like at Jaybee's.

              1. re: monku
                r
                reality check RE: monku Aug 25, 2010 06:41 PM

                Why would anybody go to JayBee's? 3rd rate BBQ a best.

                1. re: reality check
                  A5 KOBE RE: reality check Aug 25, 2010 11:36 PM

                  Because they have the best pulled pork sandwich hands down. Everything else at Bludso's is better though.

                  I agree though about how nice they are. Every time I seem to go they do not have banana pudding so they guaranteed me one the next time I come for free.

                  1. re: A5 KOBE
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                    aizan RE: A5 KOBE Aug 26, 2010 12:10 AM

                    the last two times i went to jaybee's, the pulled pork sandwich was dry and gristly. i still want to try again because when they do it right, it counts as the best i've had.

                    i do not recommend the texas sampler. focus on their best dishes instead and your meal will be more enjoyable!

                    the cornbread, beans, greens, coleslaw, etc. varies depending on who's making it that day. the beans have been incredible a couple times, and the cornbread blew my mind once.

                    1. re: aizan
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                      exilekiss RE: aizan Aug 26, 2010 10:04 AM

                      Hi A5 KOBE and aizan,

                      Re: Jaybee's - Totally. When it's "on," I love their Pulled Pork Sandwich (amazing!). But the last time I went I had the same experience as aizan and had a dried out Pulled Pork experience. (The rest of the 'Cue I had that day was even worse and I haven't been back because of it. :(

                      1. re: exilekiss
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                        stuffed RE: exilekiss Aug 26, 2010 07:34 PM

                        Agreed. Jaybee's pulled pork sandwich is unparalleled when they have their act together. It takes a certain kind of dedication to keep going back when it's so hit and miss. But well worth it when it hits...

              2. re: JAB
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                exilekiss RE: JAB Aug 25, 2010 11:00 PM

                Hi JAB,

                Wow, are you a pro BBQ'er like Professor Salt as well? :) I'm glad you liked Bludso's, and I totally agree that they're really nice people. What was your favorite from the Texas Sampler?

                1. re: exilekiss
                  JAB RE: exilekiss Aug 26, 2010 01:29 PM

                  I don't compete like the good Professor however, if I do say so myself, my results are professional. I remember being very fond of the brisket at Bludso's.

              3. A5 KOBE RE: exilekiss Aug 25, 2010 11:38 PM

                ExileKiss

                You are killing me. Those pictures make me want to grab some ribs and brisket this weekend. I'll say it again, best Q in LA.

                6 Replies
                1. re: A5 KOBE
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                  exilekiss RE: A5 KOBE Aug 26, 2010 10:05 AM

                  Hi A5 KOBE,

                  Hehe, thanks. :) I can't get enough of their Ribs and Brisket. :) Do you like it with or without their Homemade BBQ Sauce? Just curious.

                  1. re: exilekiss
                    A5 KOBE RE: exilekiss Aug 26, 2010 01:26 PM

                    I prefer the sauce on the side so I can put as much or as little as I please, that goes with any BBQ. Plus I can use the leftover sauce for when I grill some chicken at home.

                    1. re: A5 KOBE
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                      exilekiss RE: A5 KOBE Aug 26, 2010 05:04 PM

                      Hi A5 KOBE,

                      Nice. :) BTW, have you ever tried Bludso's Deep Fried Turkey? I'm curious if it's worth ordering one this year...

                      1. re: exilekiss
                        A5 KOBE RE: exilekiss Aug 26, 2010 09:20 PM

                        Yes, the deep fried turkey is great. I bought two 15 pound turkeys during Thanksgiving time (they were on sale for $5 each) and had them fry them. Definitely a lot cheaper this way and well worth it.

                        1. re: A5 KOBE
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                          exilekiss RE: A5 KOBE Aug 26, 2010 11:13 PM

                          Hi A5 KOBE,

                          Great to hear; I will definitely have to give them a try for Thanksgiving. Deep Fried Turkey... Mmm... :) Do you remember how much they charge if you bring the Turkey?

                          1. re: exilekiss
                            A5 KOBE RE: exilekiss Aug 27, 2010 03:36 PM

                            I think it was $25 each.

                2. m
                  mdpilam RE: exilekiss Aug 25, 2010 11:51 PM

                  I agree about the links; the weak part of their menu. Though, I haven't had them in 5 or 6 months (?) or so, so if they are making them in house now, they could be better. Not really a fan of their beans either.

                  Love the rest of the Q though.

                  1. Gypsy Jan RE: exilekiss Aug 26, 2010 05:30 PM

                    Good Grief, EK. I have often thought it, but this is the first time I have written it, you take great pictures. The reviews aren't half bad, either ;)

                    I wish I could make it to Compton (also SGV for dim sum and seafood and to SB for all those Japanese delights.

                    Oh well, I can live and drool vicariously, like Pavlov's pup.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gypsy Jan
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                      exilekiss RE: Gypsy Jan Aug 26, 2010 11:15 PM

                      Hi Gypsy Jan,

                      No no, you are being too kind. :) If you want to see great pictures, look at what Eat Drink Be Merry does, or Oishii Eats. Thanks, though. :)

                      If you ever make it over to LA, I look forward to your thoughts on the various places we LA Hounds talk about. :)

                    2. s
                      sparkareno RE: exilekiss Aug 27, 2010 02:08 PM

                      After reading your post a few days ago I have been jonesing for some BBQ. Normally I'm a Big Mista girl so I thought I'd give this a try. I had lunch. The woman behind the counter was unbelievably sweet. I got the brisket sandwich. The brisket was heavenly---soft, tender, smokey and with a little crust. I think I like Big Mista's sauce better & I forgot to ask for this on the side but maybe I will do that next time. I am so lucky to live in the South Bay & have access to both Mista & Bludso's.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sparkareno
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                        exilekiss RE: sparkareno Aug 29, 2010 01:45 PM

                        Hi sparkareno,

                        Thanks for the report back; it's always good to hear new experiences on a place being talked about. :) I love their Beef Brisket as well, and yes, you're lucky to have access to both Big Mista and Bludso's. :) Give Bludso's Spare Ribs a try next time if you're in the mood; wonderful. :)

                      2. j
                        joshekg RE: exilekiss Aug 29, 2010 06:32 PM

                        I should have noticed the hours you posted, I went off of their website hours and tried calling in an order while driving there at 9:15 pm on Saturday. This was followed by calling tacos baja ensenada to see if they were still open, they said they were open till 10. Show up around 9:30 to find them closed and cleaning, they respond "oh, we're open till 10 on weekdays."

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: joshekg
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                          exilekiss RE: joshekg Aug 29, 2010 10:44 PM

                          Hi joshekg,

                          Bummer on both restaurants being closed already. Hopefully you get another chance to try them.

                          1. re: exilekiss
                            j
                            joshekg RE: exilekiss Aug 30, 2010 04:05 PM

                            I definitely will.

                        2. monku RE: exilekiss Aug 30, 2010 04:27 PM

                          You're right....it's definitely like sitting in someone's backyard. One day we were waiting for our order out back and Mr. Bludso came by and asked if we'd like some complimentary soda's while we were waiting. Definitely good old Southern hospitality.

                          ....As opposed to going to Jaybee's after the DDD episode on Food TV. The son comes outside for a break while everyone's waiting for what seems like an eternity for their orders and comments to someone they don't need this DDD business. Then he strikes up a conversation with a good looking lady who was in line after me and asks her for her ticket and prepares her order immediately....think I waited another 20 minutes for my order.

                          1. b
                            bulavinaka RE: exilekiss Sep 5, 2010 11:47 AM

                            Hi exilekiss,

                            Thanks to ANOTHER one of your superb write-ups, you made our Labor Day Weekend kick-off a hit! I'd been murmuring prime bbq to my wife for the past couple of weeks leading up to this weekend, hinting that we may go further out in search of some great 'que, and your post sealed the deal.

                            We got to Bludso's around 2PM, ordered up up the large Party Platter, and must say that everything delivered. The biggest hits were the brisket, rib tips and rack of ribs, but everything else was very good as well. The smoke is what it's all about at this place - superb smokiness. Plus, the beans and potato salad (love mustard in my salad) was exceptionally que-authentic as well. I'd give one warning to heat-sensitive folks - a lot of their 'que can vary in spice levels from a little (heat level of sauce) to a lot (links have a lot of chile) on an average scale, so stick with the mild sauce, preferably on the side, if this might be an issue.

                            The ladies behind the counter are really sweet. I'm surprised that guys don't hang out here like bees attracted to sweet flowers. The young lady helping us said it might be about 20-25 minutes for our order, but ended up taking no more than 10. And because everything was piping hot and in a big aluminum tray, she gladly wore mitts and walked it out to our car for us.

                            A friend of our who teaches design at Otis is currently working on a project with his students to create functional and innovative designs for bbq and grilling. He's done a lot of homework himself, was very familiar with a lot of the 'que jargon and inner workings of the craft, and had sampled a fair amount of the local offerings. But when he and his family came by last night for dinner, he was particularly impressed with Bludso's products. He most likely will be setting up a "field trip" to Bludso's to see how their magic is performed... Thanks as always for another great rec!

                            19 Replies
                            1. re: bulavinaka
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                              exilekiss RE: bulavinaka Sep 5, 2010 04:59 PM

                              Hi bulavinaka,

                              Thank you for the great report back! (^_^) I'm so glad that you enjoyed Bludso's BBQ. Isn't the Brisket just... sugoku oishii? :) It's just so delicious!

                              And great point on the Potato Salad. :) BTW, did you get any Angus Beef Ribs with your Party Platter? I'm curious how a full Rack of Angus would turn out (we usually end up getting just individual singles and sharing (there's just too much food! :)).

                              And between your top 3 (Brisket, Rib Tips and BBQ Pork Spare Ribs), which was your fave? :)

                              1. re: exilekiss
                                b
                                bulavinaka RE: exilekiss Sep 5, 2010 09:56 PM

                                Hi exilekiss,

                                Sugoku oishikatayo... I really liked the spice - I can see My bro-in-law from Singapore really getting into this place for its spice but also for its total uniqueness from anything one would find over in SE Asia.

                                I was going to order the Angus Ribs, but after the really sweet lady at the counter told me that we'd have more food than we needed for four adults and four kids, I decided to save those Angus Ribs for my next visit. I also recall seeing pork shoulder on the menu - that's a must-do as well.

                                I think of the three items that really rang a bell with me, I'd have to give the edge to the brisket- but we're splitting hairs here. It was just so tender, flavorful, and perfectly prepared for that cut of meat. What pork belly is to pig, this particular brisket was to beef.

                                This place has some serious mojo going on, but at the same time, they're so cordial and humble. They're kinda like the exilekiss of the 'que world. :)

                                1. re: bulavinaka
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                                  exilekiss RE: bulavinaka Sep 5, 2010 11:37 PM

                                  Hi bulavinaka,

                                  ie ie, now you're really giving me too much credit; I wish I could even contribute a small percentage compared to what Bludso's has done for local BBQ. _(._.)_ Demo, yappari... Brisket desu ne? (^_^) I love that Brisket! :)

                                  Oh, you didn't have the Pulled Pork Shoulder either? Yes! You definitely have to get some of that next time (I figured a Party Platter would include that, like their famous Texas Sampler).

                                  The toughest thing is going there to try a new item you haven't tried, but craving your faves at the same time. :) Luckily on the weekends, you can order the Angus Beef Ribs in single, individual Ribs, so you can sample that easily. :)

                              2. re: bulavinaka
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                                Jase RE: bulavinaka Sep 7, 2010 10:59 AM

                                Tagging onto your reply since we stopped by this weekend too. We were there Sunday evening at 5 p.m. Walked up to the tail end of a crowd and waited approximately 45 minutes for our order. The staff was really friendly and cheerful despite the crush of people. There was also plenty of call in orders.

                                We ordered a rack of the Angus beef ribs, rack of pork ribs, pound of rib tips and pound of brisket. We liked everything a lot. Although I think our beef ribs was somewhat less than optimum. Could be we got the last of the day's batch. When we ordered, they had to go check to see if any beef ribs were left. The beef ribs had a good crust, loved the rub, much heavier on the black pepper than I expected. But the meat was just a little dried out. Still very good but seemed like it had sat for a bit.

                                Really liked the pork ribs and rib tips. Bbq to me is pork ribs and I tend to place a heavier emphasis on how the pork ribs are done when choosing my place of preference. Loved the texture, tender, good pull and resistance without overly chewy. Smokiness and rub was a good balance. These were just fantastic.

                                Wife loved the brisket. We both found it very tender and luscious. I generally am not excited about ordering brisket at most bbq places. This brisket I liked. I think I'd prefer it sliced a bit thicker though. I like the thickness of BigMistas brisket. Seems like that thickness lets you appreciate the flavor of the beef and smoke better.

                                Overall, what struck me the most about the bbq was the lack of fatty oilyness without sacrificing juicy flavor. Despite the touch of dryness in the beef ribs, the flavor was still excellent. The pork was just fantastic. Juicy, smoky, great rub, lusciousness in the mouth but not pockets of overwhelming fat. Don't get me wrong, I love fat, will nibble the fat off a good steak or roast anytime. But a lot of times with bbq, you get this greasiness and fattiness from a combination of poor meat quality and lack of proper preparation that doesn't meld the fat into the whole experience of the meat.

                                A great example of how this was juicy and flavorful without being overwhelming fatty was a late night snack I had with the leftovers. I pulled out a couple of rib tips and munched on them cold. The flavor was there, I didn't have a heavy greasy feeling and I sucked all the meat off the bones and cartilage. Eating and loving leftover bbq cold like that is a great sign in my book. I've yet to try the leftover beef rib and see how the original dryness will hold up.

                                Another thought on the fat and meat balance was the brisket. The fat streak down the middle of the brisket was so good and went with the meat well. It wasn't a heavy fatty component by itself that stood out. I guess that's what I mean by having it be part of the whole. It just all worked together in harmony.

                                A definite thumbs up here. Although I think the way to go is to call in an order. It's probably a good thing that it's a good 30 minute drive away. Any closer and I'd be in trouble. J n J is one of our favorites and we already get into trouble because of how close it is to us. Too easy to call in an order to J n J and it would be ready just about when we pull up. If it was that easy with Bludso's, we'd probably just alternate the two every weekend.

                                1. re: Jase
                                  Servorg RE: Jase Sep 7, 2010 11:27 AM

                                  Jase, how much did your order run in terms of total (and broken down by type if you know) cost, and how many people did it feed for how many meals? I'm attempting to fine tune my own needs before I make a Bludso's run and all data is gratefully appreciated.

                                  1. re: Servorg
                                    j
                                    Jase RE: Servorg Sep 7, 2010 11:46 AM

                                    S,

                                    Total was approximately $75 after tax? I just looked up their online menu and the pricing there seems up to date to what we paid. http://www.bludsosbbqandcatering.com/...

                                    As for how many people it feeds, I think that really depends on the individual and your group. The beef and pork ribs were standard sized racks. Not the jumbo Flinstone size or tiny either. Good amount of meat on both. Also depends on what sides you order. We didn't order any sides. So I hesitate to give an approximation for your needs.

                                    We also tend to over order because I love snacking on leftover bbq, at least if it's good.

                                    1. re: Jase
                                      Servorg RE: Jase Sep 7, 2010 12:01 PM

                                      Thanks, Jase. I'm particularly intrigued by the brisket and the pork ribs (and maybe some chicken too). I always over order (but somehow it all gets eaten) so I doubt I'll start with Bludso's (g). I'll post when I do.

                                      1. re: Servorg
                                        b
                                        bulavinaka RE: Servorg Sep 7, 2010 07:05 PM

                                        Hi Servorg,

                                        We had four hungry adults, one kid who eats like an adult (my son), and three other kids with varying appetites. The large Party Platter fed all of us and then some - we had enough leftovers for another generous meal for four. If you order this, the only thing you might consider ordering more of are the beans (those went quick as everybody repeatedly refilled their plates) and maybe the potato salad if you or others usually Jones for it. I didn't try the other sides so I couldn't comment on those.

                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                          Servorg RE: bulavinaka Sep 7, 2010 07:20 PM

                                          Thanks, bula. That may well be too much food for our intimate little family. But the sides are important with this type of food of course. So I may well get enough beans and potato salad to gild the lily... ;-D> I think I better double up on my lipitor for a couple of days before and after this.

                                          1. re: Servorg
                                            b
                                            bulavinaka RE: Servorg Sep 7, 2010 07:52 PM

                                            You'll want the leftovers - trust me. :)

                                            1. re: Servorg
                                              monku RE: Servorg Sep 7, 2010 08:03 PM

                                              If you have a family of four the Texas sampler will definitely do the trick. There's easily 4 pounds of meat in it.

                                              1. re: Servorg
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                                                exilekiss RE: Servorg Sep 8, 2010 01:05 AM

                                                Hi Servorg,

                                                And you can also balance it out with some of their Collard Greens. :) So delicious and it's, uh, green vegetables! (^_~) (And they have some of their Brisket mixed in there for flavoring :).

                                            2. re: Servorg
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                                              exilekiss RE: Servorg Sep 8, 2010 01:04 AM

                                              Hi Servorg,

                                              I insist that you take a "sneak preview" of your BBQ order immediately after you get it from Bludso's. :) That way you can experience some of their BBQ fresh after you order, and then you can enjoy the rest after the drive back. :)

                                              1. re: exilekiss
                                                Servorg RE: exilekiss Sep 8, 2010 05:07 AM

                                                I have to be careful. I can't arrive home with only one rib left with meat on it and a car that looks like it was used to whip up a batch of barbeque sauce... ;-D>

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  j
                                                  Jase RE: Servorg Sep 8, 2010 08:41 AM

                                                  Sauce on the side and keep some wet wipes handy, problem solved. I hear that's the way to sneak a couple of pieces without leaving evidence behind. All second hand of course, I would never sneak a piece before delivering to the rest of the group.

                                                  Oh and to help you with your portion allocation. Bludso's calls out 6 ribs for a rack of the beef and 12 ribs for the rack of pork spare ribs.

                                        2. re: Jase
                                          r
                                          raizans RE: Jase Sep 7, 2010 11:33 AM

                                          you're spot on about their meat's succulence without greasiness. couldn't have said it better!

                                          1. re: Jase
                                            b
                                            bulavinaka RE: Jase Sep 7, 2010 06:59 PM

                                            Hey Jase,

                                            Glad you took the short road trip over as well, and I'm also glad Bludso's isn't closer. I'm usually not a fan of brisket as well, but this was some serious stuff. I'm hoping to try some more items on their menu, but after starting out with their party platter, I can feel its gravitational pull reeling me back in. :)

                                            1. re: Jase
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                                              exilekiss RE: Jase Sep 8, 2010 01:02 AM

                                              Hi Jase,

                                              Wow, great report back; you had me drooling thinking about it. (^_^)

                                              It sounds like the Angus Beef Ribs you got may have been the last of the day then. Each time we've gotten it, it has that big peppery punch you mention, but they've been moist and juicy.

                                              Glad you liked the Brisket and especially the Pork Spare Ribs and Rib Tips. :)

                                              1. re: exilekiss
                                                j
                                                Jase RE: exilekiss Sep 8, 2010 08:43 AM

                                                Thanks!

                                                Yeah, I'd like to try the beef ribs again when they haven't dried out some. They were still good but definitely not optimum.

                                                Definitely didn't have any complaints about the pork though. Both the tips and ribs were great.

                                          2. milesjosh RE: exilekiss Oct 19, 2010 09:10 PM

                                            Does anyone have a suggestion of where to find a good mustard based pulled pork BBQ sandwich in LA? If you have been to Bessinger's or Melvin's BBQ in South Carolina (Charleston area) you know what I am talking about...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: milesjosh
                                              m
                                              mdpilam RE: milesjosh Oct 19, 2010 11:52 PM

                                              I am pretty sure it doesn't exist in LA.

                                              1. re: milesjosh
                                                r
                                                raizans RE: milesjosh Oct 20, 2010 12:18 AM

                                                both of those places sell their sauce online. order a bottle and take it for a drive.

                                                1. re: milesjosh
                                                  s
                                                  sel RE: milesjosh Oct 20, 2010 07:26 AM

                                                  Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach (not L.A.) is the only place that can come close to what you seek. They offer dry rubbed/no sauce bbq and that is properly prepared in a smoker. They have several of their house made bbq sauces on the table, one of which is a mustard based S. Carolina style sauce. Add in to the equation their excellent selection of craft beer and while it may not be S. Carolina it is really good!

                                                  -----
                                                  Beachwood BBQ
                                                  131 1/2 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740

                                                2. Mr Taster RE: exilekiss Oct 20, 2010 09:34 AM

                                                  +1 from me. I'm particularly impressed by the consistent quality of Bludso's product. I've been there 3 times, and each time was absolutely perfect. Compare that with my experience with Big Mista... whose BBQ was good... eventually. Let me explain... I have been to Big Mista twice-- the first time must have been an anomaly because the brisket was grey and dry as leather. Totally disappointing. I complained to the crew and they apologized and made good on it on my subsequent visit.... was told that the owner did not taste the BBQ on that original fateful day, and as a result quality control slipped. Kudos for the make up Q, but even this greatly improved platter didn't live up to the deep, rich smokiness, tender meat (and perfect sauce) of Bludso's, I'm definitely Bludso's for life.

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Mr Taster
                                                    A5 KOBE RE: Mr Taster Oct 20, 2010 11:41 PM

                                                    "I'm definitely Bludso's for life."
                                                    -----------------------------------------

                                                    Me too

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster
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                                                      exilekiss RE: Mr Taster Nov 3, 2010 11:18 AM

                                                      Hi Mr Taster,

                                                      Thanks for your report back. :) I love Bludso's as well. What's your favorite dish at Bludso's? :)

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