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BBQ in San Diego

  • k

Why isn't there more BBQ places in San Diego? I know it's not the SOUTH, it's California. But I was raised in Virginia and I really miss the convienence of pulled pork bbq sandwich or ribs. I've been to Phil's BBQ and it's good and I've heard of Big Jim's in Encinitas, but that's too far to go. Am I missing some place? Living in Poway, I'd sure think there would be good BBQ in horse town, but there's not! Maybe I should open a restaurant. Ha ha ha. Any thoughts?

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  1. Phils BBQ in Misssion Hills/Hillcrest is the best I've had. Just went to Big Jim's last week and was not impressed at all. Phil's is fantastic.

    1. b
      Brian Saunders

      Many people think that San Diego is a BBQ wasteland, which is one reason why Buddha has these well-received BBQ bashes (search this board for the name "Buddha" and you'll see a whole bunch).

      I am not sure why Big Jim's in Encinitas is too far, while Phil's is not. They essentially are the same distance from Poway. I do agree with Bob's opinion, though. I liked the place when it first opened, but was less impressed when I visited it a year later.

      I'd hate to say it, but you are out of luck for finding tradional southeastern BBQ, especially if you want to stay near Poway.

      1. Two more for you to try:

        Blues City BBQ in San Marcos has tasty Memphis-style BBQ.

        Real Texas BBQ in Mira Mesa is decent as well.

        Phil's is my favorite, but followed closely by Blues City.


        2 Replies
        1. re: Chuck S

          Hi Chuck,
          Could you kindly provide the address or phone # for Phils BBQ and Blue city BBQ.


          1. re: DoveLegend

            Phil's is located at 4030 Goldfinch, in the Mission Hills section of San Diego. It's about a block north of W. Washington.

        2. Kill Devils has pulled pork sandwiches.. here's the link http://www.digitalcity.com/sandiego/d...

          1. Abbey's BBQ located in the Carl's Jr stripmall at the corner of Ruffin Rd and Clairemont Mesa Blvd in Kearny Mesa.

            1. Blues City closed up shop a while back. A new BBQ place just opened in Poway near Poway Rd and Pomerado. Haven't tried them yet though.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ChrisG

                Well, I tried them last weekend. They offer the ususal BBQ items, plus steaks (always a bad sign at a 'cue place) I had a brisket sandwich with "cajun sauce" and my wife ordered the shredded pork with "carolina sauce." They come on a mediocre bun but instead of serving sauce on the side, the meat (neither my wife or I could identify it as what we had ordered) was completely soaked in sauce and placed onto the bun. Only flavor was the sauce, and they were the worst sauces I had ever tasted.
                The sweetnes was enough to gag me. We left the unfinished sandwiches on the plate and $20 wiser.

                1. re: ChrisG

                  I wasn't too thrilled with Poway BBQ, either. I had high hopes for them, as they're just down the street from me and I was looking forward to having a neighborhood BBQ joint. I feel like, the less formal a restaurant, the better BBQ they'll have and this place was too much of a sit-down place for me. We tried their ribs (pork and beef) which were okay, but would have been better if they removed the tough lining from the beef ribs (which were also tiny!). The sides were awful. The price is too high for the mediocre food that it is. I do love Phil's pork sandwich and their pork ribs. They also have good onion rings that stay nice and crunchy.

                2. Speaking of Buddha (Jeff), what has happened to him? I haven't seen him post in a very long time. I used to be invited to the BBQ events, but moved out of SD, then moved back just this fall. Anyone remember the "Boll Weevil" guy too?

                  1. Oh no, not another BBQ post... Phils does not use smoke, which upsets many of the even mild traditionalist BBQ fans. It is a mystery, but rumor has it that LA isn't exactly full of good BBQ places either. I actually had a bunch of favorites in Seattle, far north of even the CA border. Go figure. Everything must switch when you move out west.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: afinkle

                      Having had bbq in Chicago and throughout the southeast (B'ham, Atlanta and the Carolinas), I'd have to say that Phil's may be the best in SD but it doesn't hold a candle to most of the best bbq joints in the US. It's lacking in great flavor - and is too expensive and too nice of a place. My experience says the best Q is served in a divelike setting and often times as only to-go.

                      As far as LA goes, Philips in the Leimert Park/Baldwin Hills area is awesome. Three levels of heat and a loaf of Wonder bread to go with. Check out the BBQ Junkie site for more info: http://www.bbqjunkie.com/archives/200... .

                      1. re: mcwaday

                        I just got back from a week in Texas. Had some mind-blowing brisket at a little place in Ft. Worth called Cousins.

                    2. Has anyone tried Geno's West Coast BBQ in El Cajon? One of my coworkers raves about the place.

                      1. My personal favorite is Huffman's Barbeque on Imperial Ave. Tough neighborhood, but real good food!

                        1. Phil's is good but it is only kinda bbq. More like grilled meats than bbq. They bake everything in an oven then finish over a mesquite grill. Try the Brougham, very tasty, nice fries too.

                          Big Jim's is big bad. No redeeming qualities.

                          Hoggs in La jolla and San Marcos is pretty good.