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Coop's BBQ (Lemon Grove)?

Sorry to bring religion back on to the board, but anyone tried this BBQ? Looks to have opened in October of last year and there has been some favorable press, but the only Chow info I found was back in ought-7 about packaged BBQ.

Thanks for any info!

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  1. Been there several times. Love the pulled pork. He is really smoking everything on premise. So far had the pulled pork, rib tips, ribs and brisket. All were great however the Brisket was slightly dry on one occasion, however that could be do to saving it to eat later in the day.

    Nice to try smoked q' at places other than my home.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Haute_Sauce

      Did you used to go by another name on Chowhound? :)

      1. re: RB Hound

        Nope, long time lurker, seldom post. This has always been the name though.

    2. Any other experience with Coops? Lemon Grove is a trek so if it's worth it, I'm going.

      1. I scored a half off coupon a couple of weeks ago and plan on driving out there on Saturday. Fake Name says it is the best BBQ he has had in SD next to his own. I have had the privilege of eating Fake Name's BBQ, if he says Coop's is a close second it will be worth the trek out to Lemon Grove.

        5 Replies
        1. re: foodiechick


          Even if it's a distant second, it'd be just terrific. If I don't type so myself!

          Yes, it's good, yes I like it, and yes I will return.

          1. re: Fake Name

            The horror of driving east of 5...must be good!

            1. re: Beach Chick

              Nah, east of 5 is ok. I live east of five. Now east of 805, well that's Imperial County. But one does what's demanded of a ChowHound.

              1. re: Fake Name

                Well, at least you didn't say it was AZ

                1. re: Fake Name

                  Definitely worth braving the trek to the eastern territories. These pics are from one of our visits in June (full rack o ribs w beans & potato salad. Ribs were as good as they look). The food wasn't quite as good on our last visit in July, but still worth repeat visits. Wish I'd browsed this board when you posted info on the coupon.

          2. I've been there a few times now and have been favorably impressed with pretty much everything I've tried (still haven't tasted their sausages yet, but when we were there over the weekend, Coop was pulling out some fine looking chicken sausages from the smoker out front). I'll have to leave it others to judge regional authenticity, but Coop's meats are very tasty without the sauce, and I view that as important to good BBQ. But the sauce is very good (great for a bit of dipping).

            1 Reply
            1. re: sordftr

              The sauce is a little too sweet, and not smoky or spicy enough, for my tastes. But that's academic, because you're right, you don't need sauce.

            2. Went tonight and really enjoyed everything we tried. Loved the sausage and rib tips especially. Appreciated that the sides were also very good with the collards being my favorite. Beans were pretty sweet but enjoyed the tropicalness of the pineapple vs. straight sugar/molasses sweetness.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JRSD

                Went for the first time yesterday. Brisket and pulled pork were quite good. Cornbread, potato salad were good too, the BBQ baked beans were very sweet though and not something I would order again. Their sauce is bland and could be improved upon. The two-meat two-side combo was a lot of food for me, I took half of it home.

                Enjoyed it enough to make a return trip in the next week to try the ribs or something else.

                1. re: SteveRB

                  FYI, SanDiegoReader.com has a voucher for Coop's BBQ -- $25 of Food for $18:


              2. We've been to Coop's about a half dozen times now and have tried many things, all very good. Brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, rib tips, beef ribs, smoked sausage, jerk chicken, greens, baked beans (with pineapple!), red beans and rice, the "sammich" which is really tender beef smothered in gravy and onions served over rice, we have loved it all. I personally love that you can cut through the brisket with a plastic fork and it truly doesn't need sauce, although there are three varieties to choose from, sweet, tangy and hot. The service is always friendly and helpful and they even have complementary sweet tea in the dining area. Also, the peach cobbler is so good, especially if they just pulled a batch out of the oven!

                1. So apparently Coop's had a fire yesterday when they were doing their brisket (and also not the first time they've had a fire). I thought BBQ was low and slow, not hot and fast ;-)

                  The food truck Hot Chocolate has come to the rescue and is open in their parking lot service the Coop's menu....or words to that effect.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    I'm from Kentucky, and have lived here in San Diego for about 15 years. I have tried a lot of BBQ joints (including local favorite Phil's), and have though most of them lacking (including Phil's). Coop's is the real thing. They know what they are doing. Everything is smoked to perfection. I would highly recommend it.

                    1. Just ate here for the first time yesterday. Holy Moses. I had the beef brisket and husband had the pulled pork. Delicious delicious delicious. going back.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Dagney

                        I thought the brisket was their weakest selection. I thought that after enjoying all of it- it was more of a post-dining reflection, really.

                        1. re: Fake Name

                          No burnt ends, a real issue for me. Also, rated #1 by Y'ers ? what the heck do they know.

                          1. re: cstr

                            Apparently they know BBQ. Coop's is the real deal!

                      2. Just returned from Coops new (second) location in Chula Vista. While it's still good 'Q, I was less enthusiastic about it than the Lemon Grove spot. Different smoker- less smoke ring, less flavor.

                        I had to use sauce.

                        Maybe they'll get it dialed in, but for now, I'll still go to Lemon Grove.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Fake Name

                          We got takeout from Lemon Grove on Wednesday. Yolanda said that Coop was spending almost all of his time in the Chula Vista location, trying to get things up to speed. Guess it's not quite there yet.

                          Pork ribs at Lemon Grove were their usual outstandingly smoky selves. Brisket was also succulently smoky, but a little fatty compared to usual and a little salty; minor complaints, though.

                        2. For all the Coops fans that don't want to make the drive, they have a truck at the Qualcomm stadium swap meet every Wednesday.


                          1. Had a a unfortunate meal at coops today. The rib tips had no smoke ring (no, not necessary, but they used to have it) and little smoke flavor. If I was forced to guess, I'd say it was way under smoked and way over steamed while waiting to be served.

                            It's my hope this is an isolated incident, but I left disappointed.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Fake Name

                              Sorry to hear. Just a few weeks ago I also had the rib tips there and it was as good as ever. I'm surprised Coops would serve up a disappointing meal -- even once.