Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

Grand Opening – Red House BBQ – Tehachapi, CA

The Tehachapi News is reporting that Red House BBQ opened last week in the old Mama Hillybeans location in Tehachapi, CA.

Owner Mano Lujan, a veteran of BBQ festivals, will be “smoking pork ribs, buffalo ribs, brisket, chicken, tri-tip, elk, venison and maybe a surprise or two.”

If you get a chance to stop by, shoot me an email with a photo and review as I would love to share it.

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BBQ Joint Review – It’s in the Sauce – Ventura, CA

I’ve lived in Ventura, California for over nine months now and just down the street (within walking distance) is a BBQ Joint called It’s in the Sauce. You’d think, as a BBQ addict and huge fan of most things BBQ, that I’d have visited this place at least once a week, but I’ve had my reservations. It looks like a down home joint:

Front view:

Side view:


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BBQ Joint of the Week – Lester’s Roadside BBQ – Burlington, MA

I had never heard of Lester’s Roadside BBQ in Burlington, MA until I saw this photo on

I’ve since been emailed by a few people who’ve been and there’s been a mixed bag of experiences. As you can see from this review on, it appears they have progressively gotten better with age and
added J & R Smoker.

That mirrors the emails as most said that at first it was just OK, but after recents visits they’ve felt the overall quality has gone up (I even got one ‘amazing’ email). Here’s a link to their menu.

Here are some more reviews:
yahoo! local

RUB BBQ Pub – Detroit

According to Model D Home, there’s a new BBQ Joint in Detroit, Michigan (a stone’s throw from Comerica Park). For a second I was confused, assuming it was another joint for Paul Kirk (Righteous Urban BBQ), but it appears the word RUB is for dry rub and not an acronym.

Here’s where you can find it:

View Larger Map

The greatest part about this (other than the BBQ part) is that they have a carry-out sales license for beer. Living in California I had no idea what this was. It basically means that they are allowed carry-out sales of beer and wine coolers in original unopened containers. Seems they don’t want you heading out to the local liquor store on your way out when you can just

Here’s yelp’s first stab at this new joint

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Top Five in Central Texas BBQ – San Marcos Local News

America loves lists. I don’t know what it is about them, but it seems that people like to put everything into a tidy little batch of something that can be studied and either agreed upon or torn completley apart. When it comes to the BBQ world, lists are almost synonymous with wood, heat, smoke, and fire.

I stubbled across this one today from the San Marcos Local News. Looks like they widdled their list of 10 down to 5 for the final article.

Here are their top five:
Milt’s Pit BBQ
Inman’s Kitchen in Llano
Ronnie’s (Ice House BBQ) in Johnson City
Mann’s in Austin
Cooper’s in Llano.

What are you favorite Central Texas BBQ Joints that they missed?

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Coming Up this Week

Here’s what’s coming up this week:

BBQ Joint of the Week

Product Review –

Joint Review – It’s in The Sauce – Ventura, CA

Secret BBQ Dinner – Part 1

BBQ Recipe of the Week

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Desert Smoke BBQ Sauce – Review

Getting anything in the mail is great (other than bills), but when it’s BBQ related, there’s an extra special excitement that comes with it. One Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago I arrived home to find a priority mail box from Desert Smoke BBQ Sauce. I was lucky enough to get receive three bottles of sauce (Sweet & Spicy, Raspberry Chipotle, and Pineapple Habanero) and one spice rub (Southwestern Spice Rub).

I’m always curious how someone comes up with a product, what the germ of an idea was to bring it to market. Here’s a little insight into Tony Morales reason for starting up a BBQ sauce company “For years I complained about what was missing from BBQ sauces and dry rubs, always adding a lil’ bit of this and a lil’ bit of that to make them just rite. I finally decided it was time to stop complaining and start cookin’ and Desert Smoke BBQ was born.”

Sadly I dropped the Sweet & Spicy bottle, but here’s a great shot of what I received (post drop):

Tony continues, “For two years I immersed myself totally in the BBQ world, played with different ingredients and drove my friends and family crazy making them taste my concoctions. Finally, when I felt like each recipe tasted just the way it should, I bottled them up and gave em’ out to anyone who showed interest and would give me their opinion. Desert Smoke BBQ is committed to combining tangy Carolina BBQ Flavors with BIG, BOLD, Southwestern Spices to create the best Dry Rubs and DIPPIN’-MOPPIN’-BBQ Sauces around! Our products are crafted without additives or artificial preservatives using the finest all natural ingredients available.”

So I decided to go with the Pineapple Habanero as a mopping sauce and my test subject was a full chicken, chopped. I also went for the dry rub on the chickens prior to indirect grilling to let the flavors really soak in and add a second layer of taste complexity.

Closer look at the dry rub.

Here they are on the grill:


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Vanity Fair Magazine – BBQ

“Where There’s Smoke…There’s Great BBQ” from the August issue of Vanity Fair features their list of the Country’s Best BBQ Joints along with BBQ products and BBQ books.

Here are the joints they list (notice one of these kids is doing his own thing though).
Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q
Carl’s Perfect Pig Bar-B-Que & Grill
Lem’s Bar-B-Que House
Kogi BBQ Truck
Fatty ‘Cue
Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ
B. E. Scott’s Bar-B-Que
Smitty’s Market
House Park Bar-B-Que
Parker’s Barbecue

Here’s the products:
Big Butz BBQ Sauce
Scott’s Barbecue Sauce
Mesquite Smoking Chips (Sur La Table)
Yoder Smokers
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet Grill
Big Green Egg
Shun Ken Onion Meat Clever

BBQ Books:
Texas BBQ by Wyatt McSpadden
Lobel’s Meat Bible
Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen
Pig by James Villas

Bludso’s BBQ – BBQ Joint Review – Compton, CA

As I work my way around the United States in search of the Best BBQ Joints I have often been told to check out Bludso’s BBQ in Compton, California (most notably from Big Mista from Big Mista’s Barbecue). Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make a stop (yet), but one of our Los Angeles correspondents, Miguel (aka The Notorious BBQ), had a chance to hit it up on Independence Day. Here’s his piece:

A 4th o’ July BBQ journey to Bludso’s in Compton.

Probably the best Texas style BBQ in L.A., which is worth the trip considering L.A. does not have the greatest BBQ. I had the brisket and the Angus beef rib (weekends only) both of which were brilliant.

Brisket was super tender and cooked perfectly as was the rib with its nice charred outside and tender inside to the bone. I had the “spicy” BBQ sauce, which was perfect and not too spicy.

The sides (potato salad, cornbread, greens, baked beans) were all very good – nothing amazing but again very good and a great compliment.

I tried to order dessert but an hour and a half after opening they were already out. I guess that in itself tells how good they must be.

I know it’s a bit disconcerting when you hear Compton if you’ve never been there, and this was my first visit. However, there was not a moment when I felt unsafe about going there or while I was there. The one con is that there really isn’t a place to eat there. So my girlfriend and I found a park close by (again, felt completely safe) to eat our feast.

Eclectic clientele and friendly service. Even though it’s a trek, I will definitely return.

Here are some reviews:

Bludso's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Posted in BBQ Joint of the Week on by kevin - Comments (1) – Insane BBQ Pics is hands down one of the best sites about east coast BBQ. He’s insightful, funny, and his reviews are honest as well as spot on.

Here’s his philosophy:

“I like meat without sauce. I don’t mind sauce, but it shouldn’t be used as a crutch to rescue dry, reheated meat. I want to taste the meat. And if the meat is good, sauce can make it better, but I’d rather decide that for myself. There are some places that make several wonderful sauces, so why get every piece of meat covered with just one? That said, I still review what’s given to me. If a place serves up a slab of sauced ribs and they do a great job within that style, I give them credit. The idea is to describe how they do it and how well they do it, so you can decide whether to want to go there yourself. I like ribs first, pulled pork second, brisket third. For a while, I wasn’t that into brisket, primarily because so few places did it well. Ribs are the easiest to master, brisket the hardest, so it makes sense to start with the meat that everyone should be able to do right every time.”

I would like to say I only go for the articles, but I always stop by for the BBQ pics as they frickin’ make me hungry every time I visit. Here’s some to make you starving for lunch or dinner (heck, even breakfast).

You’ll have to search his site yourself to find the joints that are associated with the above pics, but in doing so, you’ll get even more hungry and also find a joint (or ten) that you didn’t know about that you’ll want to try.

Send me photos of your best bbq pics and of course, I’ll keep adding more as I find them.

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