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BBQ 81

Fake Name Aug 14, 2013 01:37 PM

Stopped by BBQ 81 on El Cajon Blvd today after seeing their sign out. This is the kind of BBQ place I like- family-based, the place is named for the owners' father's NFL number, 81. That's be close to the limit of my understanding of football.

Owner stopped by the table to say hi- nice guy!

And I'm always eager for a new BBQ place. I agonize over my own 'Q, and it ain't bad. At least one CH will stand up and testify for me.

So. I went for lunch, had the 1/2 rack of ribs with coleslaw, beans and cornbread. I've thoughtfully uploaded an image for you.

They had a great soundtrack playing- blues and soul. Ray Charles "I Gotta Woman" and Sarah Vaughn's version of "Whatever Lola Wants". Loved listening to the music- it's a style of which I'm particularly fond.


  1. deckape Aug 24, 2013 01:54 PM

    Man, that's some bloody expensive BBQ!!! Too dear for me, I don't care how good the music is!

    1 Reply
    1. re: deckape
      Fake Name Aug 24, 2013 03:06 PM

      I think it was $17 for a half-rack, on par for Coops, Phil's "BBQ" and just about any othe place I've been in our great nation.

    2. Dagney Aug 22, 2013 04:43 PM

      We had lunch at BBQ 81 today. FN is right. The music is the tops.

      The pulled pork was the consistency of mushy oatmeal. I am not well-versed in various styles of BBQ. Theirs may be a certain style of pulled pork from a specific place, and maybe some people enjoy it, but I thought it was over-sauced mush. The pork flavor was completely lost.

      The sausages were fine, not spicy, decent flavor, dense texture, though not any more amazing than a grocery store sausage. The coleslaw was a basic, proletariatish thing. It wasn't bad, but it was definitely not a high-speed-low-drag family recipe.

      The service was odd. We were a party of 2. After waiting 30 minutes for our food, the waitress walked by and asked, "How is everything?" I thought she was joking. I mean, we had not eaten yet. About two minutes later a party of 6 walked in and sat down. Literally 10 minutes later, they all received their food, which prompted me to ask about our meal. The waitress told us it would be just another few minutes, because of the large party. I thought, uh, the large party that was seated a healthy 30 minutes AFTER us?

      I wanted to love the food and be able to say it was worth the wait, but alas, not today.

      Maybe they are still working out kinks? Besides our table and the party of 6, there were only two other single diners. Coop, relax. Nothing to worry about.


      7 Replies
      1. re: Dagney
        Fake Name Aug 22, 2013 04:47 PM

        I did try, Serpico.

        1. re: Fake Name
          Dagney Aug 22, 2013 04:57 PM

          I know!...;) But I am always willing to give the benefit of the doubt, maybe that was a bad day, maybe this, maybe that...I worked enough years in restaurants to know that every house has their occasional moment in the weeds, but this poor place needs some serious fine-tuning from back to front.

          1. re: Dagney
            Fake Name Aug 22, 2013 06:48 PM

            Agreed. Except for the fine-tuning part.

            The basis of their 'q is wrong. Needs more than fine tuning.

            1. re: Fake Name
              Dagney Aug 22, 2013 08:36 PM

              Kind of reminds me of some "Mexican" food I had in a small town in Utah several years ago. The entire menu was based on a 70's type Lawry's or Velveeta cookbook or some such nonsense. What a crack up.

              1. re: Dagney
                Fake Name Aug 22, 2013 08:53 PM

                And will you doubt me again?

                I hope we've all learned from this experience

                1. re: Fake Name
                  Dagney Aug 22, 2013 09:25 PM

                  Ha! I am a committed skeptic. As BC pointed out in another thread, your photo is some kind cylopic looking crazy person.

            2. re: Dagney
              cstr Aug 23, 2013 07:44 AM

              Yah but, as phee states, no smoke = no Q. More than working out kinks and fine tuning. They may need to take some lessons from Fakey.

        2. jmtreg Aug 16, 2013 04:56 PM

          I tried it the other day - my significant other suggested we order chicken wings and tri-tip. The wings weren't crispy and the meat was rubbery and just not great. The tri-tip was moist and fairly tender, and the sides (green beans and collard greens), were good. There was one sauce at the table which reminded me of Bullseye, etc., and not in the best way. Without trying the pulled pork or the ribs, I can't say much more, but it didn't feel like a barbeque place.

          1. phee Aug 15, 2013 04:47 PM

            So they finally have a brick & mortar location? Nice.

            They catered a party we threw about three years ago when they only did catering. They didn't smoke the meats - only barbequed - but they did a great job on the catering. We were very happy with them, as were the guests.

            1. Fake Name Aug 15, 2013 07:55 AM

              Appears I'm once again too positive and too subtle.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Fake Name
                DiningDiva Aug 15, 2013 08:35 AM

                No, I don't think so...Music - 10/'Cue - 0

                1. re: DiningDiva
                  Fake Name Aug 15, 2013 08:37 AM

                  I have the highest hope for their future- maybe they'll get it sorted out.

                  1. re: DiningDiva
                    cstr Aug 15, 2013 10:53 AM

                    Harsh, DD!

                    1. re: cstr
                      Fake Name Aug 15, 2013 11:23 AM

                      I feel so much better when someone else can do the dirty work for me.

                      1. re: Fake Name
                        Dagney Aug 15, 2013 12:21 PM

                        It's like you are the Emperor and DD is the Sith.

                        1. re: Dagney
                          Fake Name Aug 15, 2013 03:54 PM


                          You're good!

                          There's a good reason they call you Madame Clouseau down at the old precinct house, am I right?

                          Keep this up, you'll make Detective in no time, no time at all...

                          (this is the internet, and I wish to be clear- the above post is typed with a big smile and a chuckle)

                          1. re: Dagney
                            DiningDiva Aug 15, 2013 03:59 PM

                            Whoa...since they only exist as master and apprentice I guess that means I'm VADER.

                            Bet ya'll didn't know I'm a Star Wars geek ;-)

                            1. re: DiningDiva
                              Dagney Aug 15, 2013 08:54 PM

                              Ha! I'm glad everyone got reference. I had to explain to my partner at work the meaning of "Padawan" the other day.

                  2. c
                    cstr Aug 15, 2013 04:55 AM

                    Is that bacon on top of the ribs? looks like it. Did MR 12 partake?

                    When you post about the food, it's a good thing! Now the music......well.

                    1. Tripeler Aug 15, 2013 01:25 AM

                      The website is nice and straightforward. Seems family run, and serious about 'cue. Good find there, Fakey.

                      1. chris2269 Aug 14, 2013 03:55 PM

                        How was the BBQ? Smoker? Style of sauce? Cornbread looks good sides meh. Sorry I was Supposed to go to my favorite BBQ place today but put it off till Thursday so I'm jonesing.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: chris2269
                          Fake Name Aug 14, 2013 04:07 PM

                          The music was enjoyable.

                          1. re: Fake Name
                            MrKrispy Aug 14, 2013 04:20 PM

                            lol at least we know Fakey enough. Perhaps you forgot to have a couple of craft beers to wash it down?

                            1. re: Fake Name
                              foodiechick Aug 14, 2013 04:30 PM

                              Well then, guess you better stick with your own Q. I can testify!

                              1. re: Fake Name
                                ipsedixit Aug 14, 2013 06:36 PM

                                Ah, I see.

                                This is a music store. Cool.

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