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Dec 1, 2005 05:27 PM

Gus's BBQ in Pasadena

  • m

Has anyone tried this place? I heard it's ok... I tried that texas roadhouse place on Fair Oaks a few weeks ago and was terribly disappointed. The meat was dry and tough and the sauce was about as good as a random store bought grocery variety.

I've tried Hogley Wogley's which was pretty good and that place on Pico... not so good.

I'm originally from the East Bay up North and I'm a big fan of Everett and Jones on San Pablo. And Yes, I think the dirtier one is better than the nice and clean spruced up one in Jack London Square in Oakland. The Sauce is killer and the meat is pretty damn good. Not the best but it's very good.

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  1. stay away from gus's. i grew up in south pas and now live nearby, and the best part of gus's is that sign outside.

    11 Replies
    1. re: smssms

      HAHAHA! Will do. Yeah, that sign is very attractive. It's the reason why I've been so curious about it.

      1. re: Meathound

        Gus's BBQ is worse than Barn Burner north on Fair Oaks. I agree that the sign is great but the bbq is crap. Depending where we are, we like Robin's BBQ in Pasadena on north Rosemead or Zekes in Montrose on Honolulu ave. Robin's is better than Zekes but sometimes we don't want to drive across town.

        1. re: eric
          local foodie

          Let's not forget Big Mamas on Lake avenue in Pasadena. They do some decent bbq and even better soul food. You're correct that Robin's has some fine bbq and I have to concur that both Gus's & Barn Burner are bad excuses for bbq. That sign that gus's has is pretty darn cool though.

          1. re: local foodie

            Cool, I'll try all three places. I live in West LA but I work in South Pas and my girlfriend also lives in S. Pas so I'll definitly check them out. I'm glad I won't be waisting my money on Gus's now.

            The "chorus of complaints" is too funny!

            1. re: Meathound

              I had to include my 2 cents, although you wisely are listening to everyone else. Gus's was so terrible, I still hold a grudge. I'm one of those people with a good "food memory" -- so I literally can still *taste* that lame, lame, lame watery tomato sauce they put on their so-called "barbecue" chicken. Yuck. How is this place still in business?

              I love Robin's - especially their not especially bbq sides like the blueberry cornbread and coleslaw with blue cheese - wow. great stuff.

              1. re: kimpossible1138

                We'll second the opinion on Robin's. The blueberry cornbread rocks & you can smell the wood burning smokers out back in the parking lot. Your nose won't lie to you.

      2. re: smssms
        You know that new pizza place near Gus is not bad

        I had a few slices from there the other day and was pleasantly surprised. That is of course if you like NY style pizza. It's definitly not the best but it's servicable for Sout Pas if you live in the area. I'm like 5 blocks away so it's not like I have to go very far or fight traffic for it.

        1. re: You know that new pizza place near Gus is not bad

          What's the name of the pizza place and where is it located?

          1. re: Leslie

            I don't remember the name of the Pizza place. I think there used to be a KFC there...

            It has a green and white onning and is only a few buildings down from Bristol Farms on the same side of the street.

            Sorry I can't be clearer on the name and location. If you park at Bristol you could walk a min or so and you'd be right there.

            1. re: Meathound

              I believe it's called Mama's Brick Oven Pizza.. and it looks pretty busy. Yes, for past few decades used to be a KFC.. Had a decent slice there a couple weeks ago.. weird to get a slice in the likes of South Pas (only other pizza options lousy chains)..

        2. ...strangely enough, the best bbq I've had lately was in Chinatown at the Spring Street Smoke House. I used to frequent Woody's on Vernon, Carl's Dirty Rice and Leons up on SF Bay but this place has some ribs that rank right up there with the best.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cleats

            Spring Street Smokehouse
            640 N. Spring St.
            Los Angeles, CA 90012
            (213) 626-0535


          2. g

            Just wanted to join in on the chorus of complaints. I live 1.5 blocks from the place and have only been once - the place is awful!! What offends me the most is the use of "BBQ" - yes there are many regional differences and opinions about what makes great American Q, but none of them call for BAKED meats with mediocre bottled sauce slathered on it. Again, avoid avoid avoid.

            1. I think we went to Gus's once (once was enough.) We like Ribs USA in Burbank. Order the Easy Issa's or the Presidential. We're kind of always on the hunt for good ribs, and these aren't mind blowing but always pretty good, consistently. I may be blaspheming here, but I didn't love Hogly Wogly.

              1. Not to defend Gus's *barbecue* per se, but I think it's more a halfway decent diner that perhaps back in the old days used to be a real bbq place.. sadly, not anymore, but the diner food is pretty decent, the atmosphere pleasantly old school (the only bar in South Pas, I don't know how they manage to get around the city charter).. you're always guaranteed a big leather booth, and I especially like the breakfasts.. they keep the coffee coming and hash browns are yum (some sort of herbs they put in it I love).
                They could just remove the "BBQ" from their sign and stop serving the stuff.. but maybe ironically, the sign is so classic (which blatantly advertises bbq all over) that it would be a major pity and loss to the Fair Oaks landscape if they got rid of it (looks real cool next to all the bland and modern frontage lining the old street).. maybe, in a decade or so some intrepid new owner (like Robin's guy) will add a real BBQ smoker to the place and do the sign justice, but till then: I like it a lot better then the likes of Carrow's for diner food/breakfasts in the area..


                1 Reply
                1. re: jflo

                  Hmmm that's good to know. I never thought of going there for anything other than BBQ (which I've done once and vowed never to do again).

                  Though the ribs are really bad, it would be a shame to lose the sign. Unfortunately, the way development is the more likely scenerio would be the entire building would be razed and turned into a Kohl's or another Starbucks or two, and if we're lucky the sign gets rescued out of the dumpster and turned over to MONA (Museum of Neon Art) in downtown.