Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

Los Angeles BBQ Joints – 6 In One Day

I got it in my head a few days ago that I would take use my day off to hit as many BBQ joints in the Los Angeles area as I could. I will be doing individual reviews of each joint, but here are some pics from the day (one establishing photo followed by a food shot from each spot).

The first stop was Phillips Barbecue on Crenshaw Blvd.

Not more than 2-3 miles away is JNJ Bar-B-Que and Burgers.

If you head another few miles west you can find JR’s Barbeque in Culver City.

You’ll have to head a little south on the 110 for Jay Bee’s House of Fine Bar-B-Que.

I then headed up north on Avalon Blvd. past the 105 freeway to a new spot called Randolph’s Smoke House.

My last (and sixth) BBQ joint of the day was Spring Street Smoke House nestled in the southern part of Chinatown.

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DivBar – Newport Beach, CA – New BBQ Joint

Thanks to the OC Weekly’s stick a fork in it and Newport Beach – Corona Del Mar Patch for letting me know about a new BBQ joint in Newport Beach, California that recently opened called DivBar.

From looking at their menu HERE you can see that they are sort of a hybrid. They have Baby Backs, Smoked Brisket, Beef Short Ribs, and Tri Tip (sort of scares me when I see this on any menu these days), but they also have a number of pizzas and other bar food which makes me wonder where the focus really is.


Photo of huge beef ribs via Yelp – Derek N.

Per stick a fork in it, the joint is located at the “old Josh Slocum’s location. If you don’t remember or rather not remember what Josh Slocum’s was, it’s the place Dennis Rodman used to own next to Joe’s Crab Shack in Newport Beach before it shuttered in 2005. Now the space at 2601 W. Coast Hwy. has become DivBar, a barbecue joint which advertises “chicks, cattle, and swine”. The owner is one Jeff Reuter of 3-Thirty-3 Waterfront, who offers ribs and other barbecue staples, but as hinted by this blog, also broasted chicken to the Duffy boat set. A proud and giant rooster statue stands on top of the roof and a pig is part of their logo. No hint if there’s a cow inside somewhere.

I do know that Orange County (especially Newport Beach) needs a good real deal BBQ joint, so hopefully this is it. I’ll be heading down soon to try, but let me know if you’ve been and what your thoughts are.

You can find it here:

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How to Spiral Cut a Hot Dog via CHOW – BBQ Video

The main focus of this site is real deal BBQ and BBQ joints (not grilling), but here’s something I had to share. I never thought about spiral cutting a hot dog before tossing it on the grill, but it’s definitely something I’m going to try this weekend.

What are your thoughts? Have you spiral cut a hot dog or sausage before cooking it up?

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Daniel Delaney – My Favorite BBQ Joints – Volume 26

    I’ve been checking out Daniel Delaney’s VendrTv for a while now, but what really made me a huge fan of his was the Brisketlab.

    Don’t know what the Brisketlab is? Well, Daniel launched Brisketlab, a recipe development series taking place during the summer of 2012. Incredibly (to his amazement) he sold 2,500 pounds of brisket in just 48 hours. Pretty crazy, huh? Of course this attracted the attention of the national media. Here are pieces by The New York Times, FOX News, and Grubstreet.

    So when you have the time, be sure to check out all of Daniel’s projects at his site, but in the mean time, here are his favorite BBQ joints in his words:

    “I don’t love that many places so the list is pretty short. I always prefer simplicity in BBQ and don’t care much for sauce. Here are my picks:

    • Ribs at Cozy Corner in Memphis, TN
    Yes, people go gaga for the cornish hens, but I think the ribs are the real winner here. In fact, they probably rank as my favorite ribs to date. When you get the perfect bite, they have a fat as silky as fatty brisket. Unexpected, but truly wonderful.


    Photo of Cozy Corner via The Commercial Appeal

    • Turkey at Lexington #1 in Lexington, NC
    People rave about the pork. I think that’s because they haven’t tried the turkey breast. We’ve always been told that turkey is gristly, dry meat. We’ve been taught wrong.The simplicity of the all salt rub paired with oak and hickory is mind blowing. No sauce needed or wanted, this birds juicy enough already.


    Photo of Lexington #1 BBQ via Teenage Chowhound

    • Chopped Mutton at Old Hickory Bar-B-Q in Owensboro, KY
    First, I’ll say, I love mutton. It’s funky, gamey, and incredibly flavorful. And while Moonlight seems to be the fan favorite, Old Hickory is my personal pick. Their mutton stands above others I’ve had, and is best served, I think, wish a side of burgoo and sweet tea.


    Photo of Old Hickory Bar-B-Q via Full Custom Gospel BBQ

    • Fatty Brisket at Louie Mueller’s in Taylor, TX
    Louie Mueller’s holds double importance for me. It was the first piece of brisket that made me say ‘WOW!’ and is, coincidentally, some of the best in America. They’re legends at what they do, and have been able to hold tight to tradition and technique while others have slipped. They are, in my opinion, what Texas BBQ is about.


    Photo of Louie Mueller Barbecue (Fatty brisket at lower portion of photograph) via Roadfood.com

    Here’s some additional information on Daniel:
    Daniel Delaney is a food media producer and entrepreneur, who, after finishing a street food thesis at The University of the Arts, launched VendrTV, a weekly web video series about street food. “On a mission to find the best street food around,” Dan and his crew set out to discover mobile eats from Maine to Santa Monica, and everywhere in between. In addition to profiling the best street carts across America, the show has also featured web celebrities including Gary Vaynerchuk, Veronica Belmont, and Jake & Amir. 2011 marks VendrTV’s 2nd anniversary and its 90th episode and counting. Dan is currently developing a television show, and working on his first book, both about street food. After recognizing a difficulty in staying informed about New York’s food events, Dan launched Eater’s Digest, a weekly email newsletter which aggregates and centralized all food-related activities happening in and around New York City. In 2011, Dan made his New Year’s resolution to learn about new foods through a daily web series called WTF: “What’s This Food?”.

Bludso’s BBQ is Opening a 2nd Location

If you’re a BBQ fan and live in Los Angeles, there’s no doubt know of Bludso’s BBQ in Compton. It’s either one of your top spots on your “best of” list or on your ‘must visit’ list. I’ve been (it doesn’t disappoint) and owner Kevin Bludso couldn’t be a nicer guy.


Photo of Kevin Bludso via Yelp

Well it looks like he’s joined forces with the guys from the upscale burger and beer joint The Golden State (on Fairfax) Jason Bernstein and James Starr to put a BBQ Joint in the location where Mark Peel’s Tar Pit once resided (see map below).

From an article in the LA Times (link below), “The menu “in its soul will be the same menu as Bludso’s,” says Starr. That means Bludso’s brisket, ribs, chicken and hot links. “And a few more items.” They are also trying “to focus all our attention on trying to create a beer list and a cocktail list that go well with barbecue,” Bernstein says. “We’re really trying to examine what that would be. The goal is to have everything really curated and not have a kitchen sink cocktail list of 30 things. Just a handful of really simple, well done cocktails.”


Photo of Bludso’s BBQ via Yahoo! Local

You really can’t beat the combo of great BBQ and craft beer. We definitely wish them good luck and can’t wait to visit when it opens.You can see the piece on the LA Times blog HERE. Updates will be coming as I get more information.

Here’s a link to the new spot:

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Smoke City Market’s BBQ Eating Challenge

Here’s a great video showing (4) contestants attempting to complete Smoke City Market’s “Are You Texas Enough” BBQ eating challenge. You have one hour to eat 1/2 lb. Moist Brisket, 1/2 lb. Lean Brisket, 1/2 lb. Pastrami, 1 Beef Rib, 1/2 Chicken, 1/2 lb. Turkey, Full Rack of St. Louis Spare Ribs, 1/2 Beef Sausage Link, 1/2 Beef Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Link, along with a small side of Mac and Pit Beans.

Do you think you can do it? If so, you’ll get your $ 70.00 back along with a t-shirt, a photo on the “Hall of Fame” and 10% for an entire year at their restaurant.

Smoke City Market is located in Sherman Oaks, California. You can follow them on Facebook HERE and twitter HERE. Here’s a map to their location:

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Harrison Sapp and Griffin Bufkin – My Favorite BBQ Joints – Volume 25

I’m really excited about this week’s contributors to “My Favorite BBQ Joints”. Harrison Sapp and Griffin Bufkin are the men behind the incredible Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island, Georgia and two hard working guys who you can’t help but be happy for their success in BBQ. If you haven’t heard of two of them or Southern Soul, you should know that they serve 12+ hour Hardwood-Fired, Slow Smoked Pig, Rib, Turkey & Chicken, Sausage and Beef Brisket, Complimented by a choice of four distinct Homemade Barbecue Sauces and served up with some great Southern Soul Side Dishes such as Hoppin’ John, Collard Greens, Award Winning Brunswick Stew and Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread. To top it off they feature scratch-made Pimento Cheese. The restaurant is nestled on the beautiful Saint Simons Island off the Scenic Coast of Georgia.

Here are Griffin and Harrision’s favorite BBQ joints in his own words:

“About once a month we’ll take a road trip up the coastal highway to Whitemarsh Island to load up on 5 gallon buckets of Savannah Bee Honey at the source. Right across the road before you take the bridge onto Tybee Island is Wylie’s Championship BBQ. Wylie and Janet are veterans of the professional BBQ circuit as well as two of the friendliest and down to earth folks you’ll ever meet, and Wylie’s is where we stop to grab some lunch and catch up with our friends. The slow smoked BBQ plled pork with “better than sex sauce” is simply perfection…and don’t forget to get a side of sweet potato casserole.


Photo of Wiley’s Championship BBQ

When we have business in Atlanta we’ll always try to stop in to see Johnathan and Justin, the two brothers responsible for Fox Bros BBQ. For my money the best BBQ in and around Atlanta GA. These Texas boys know how to pile it on, from their take on the classic Frito Pie, to the infamous short rib. But the star of the show is the beef brisket done right. Slabs of slow smoked, juicy beef with one of the most beautiful smoke ring you’ve ever seen.


Photo of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Que

Like the kid in a candy shop, the experience of being an adult in a butcher shop is one you must experience. At Cochon Butcher, a New Orleans boutique meat market that is owned and operated by a couple of James Beard Award winning chefs, they know the craft of cured meat. House-made andouille and boudin sausages, mortadella, hams, duck breast pastrami..everything is homemade from the hot dogs to the sauerkraut. W’ell take a 1/2 pound of everything!


Photo of Cochon Buther courtesy of Blackened Out

We drove across the country two summers ago to tape BBQ Pitmasters. Along the way through the Texas hill country we made the BBQ pilgramage to the storied Kreuz Market in Lockhart. First rate brisket and sausage. The real thing.


Photo of Kreuz Market courtesy of Full Custom Gospel BBQ

If you ever find yourself in the port city of Brunswick Georgia (home of the southern smokehouse staple, Brunswick Stew) you must drive directly to Willie’s Weenee Wagon. A roadside carry out hotdog stand that has mastered the art of the pork chop sandwich. Thinly sliced and griddled pork steak and onions on a buttered kaiser roll with the house yellow mustard sauce and pickles. The sweet tea is legendary.”

What are your thoughts on this great Southern BBQ list? Have you been to any of these spots? Let me know.

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10 Great BBQ Joint Pictures

For this week’s selection of BBQ Joint pics I decided to double the usual amount. As the summer moves on I’m going to try and do this once a week to inspire people to get out to your local (or local when you’re traveling) BBQ joint for a great meal.


Salt Lick Bar-B-Que – Round Rock, TX


Photo of Lockhart Smokehouse, Dallas, TX


Photo of Flaggstead Smoke House – Farmington, CT via Roadfood.com


Photo of Katy Trail Ice House – Dallas, TX via Full Custom Gospel BBQ


Photo of Sweet Cheeks Q – Boston, MA courtesy of Pigtrip.net


Photo of Smoke City Market – Sherman Oaks, CA


Photo of Jim N’ Nicks BBQ – Jasper, AL via Man Up Texas BBQ


Photo of Daisy Mays BBQ – New York, NY courtesy of Pigtrip.net


Photo of Black’s Barbecue – Lockhart, TX


Photo of Smoque BBQ – Chicago, IL via Full Custom Gospel BBQ

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J. C. Reid – My Favorite BBQ Joints – Volume 24

Chris (J. C.) Reid is just a cool guy. Plain and simple. If you don’t believe me, read some of his work (or read his tweets). I’ve known him for a couple of years now and have always respected not only his opinion, but his writing style and the angle he takes on a specific story. I especially love the fact that he incorporates killer photos of food (and locations) into his pieces. So it’s with great pleasure to have him participate in this weeks “My Favorite BBQ Joints”.


Photo by Paul Sedillo

Here are Chris’s favorite BBQ joint in his own words:

Patillo’s Bar-B-Q – Beaumont TX

“Growing up in Beaumont, Patillo’s is the first BBQ joint I ever went to. It celebrates its 100th year in continuous business this year. I went to high school just down the street on 11th St, and came here a lot in high school. Even brought a couple of dates here. The 11th St. location closed last year after the owners sold the property to Jack in the Box. It reopened in a previous location on Washington Blvd that had been around since the 1950s but closed after a hurricane a few years ago. It’s been remodeled and brought up to code. There’s a certain time-capsule quality about the barbecue here – this is by all accounts the same barbecue that’s been cooked by this family at least for the last few decades, if not the last century. And that’s a good thing in my opinion. The barbecue is unique and personal in a way. Brisket is sliced thin soaked in a throwback sauce that is neither tomato, vinegar or mustard-based. It has a watery consistency, with a base that’s vaguely of beef stock, with plenty of fat floating throughout, and spiked with black pepper, chile powder and possibly some cumin.

It’s a fascinating recipe, certainly different, but it works. For me the quintessential dish here is the East TX juicy link, which is made up of left over beef bits and traditionally seasoned with chile and paprika and big chunks of garlic. These are the most authentic juicy links I’ve ever found, thanks to the fat content. A lot of barbecue joints in East TX have cut back on the fat content of their links for health reasons. Not Patillo’s. It literally explodes with liquid fat that’s the color, consistency and flavor of the fat you scrape off the top of a pot of Texas red chili. This is the way they used to make juicy links in East TX.


Photo of East TX juicy link

Lenox Barbecue – Houston TX

When you open the door to Lenox, you walk into a kitchen. You’re not sure if you’re supposed to be there. Employees, some who look like they’ve been there for decades, wave you in. You walk past them as they make sides and trim briskets. You place your order in the back, next to wood-paneled offices that look like they haven’t changed since the 1970s. This is technically a takeout joint, so you stand around in a narrow hallway waiting for your order.

You’ll probably be standing next to construction workers or policemen. Lenox has been around for more than 60 years. In 2009, the property was condemned to allow a light-rail line to run though here. Lenox had a big closing party to mourn the tearing down of the building. But owner Erik Mrok got a great idea. He just tore down the front half of the building which was the dining room. The kitchen and smokers were in the back half of the building, so he kept that, and now the front door is what used to be the kitchen door. The smokers here are more than 40 years old and are the original prototypes of the all-wood rotisserie smokers made famous by the Oyler Co. The smoke room here is like nothing else I’ve seen in Texas – big, steel, hot, loud, sooty smokers in a tiny room. My friend Fulmer says it’s like being in the engine room of a World War II German U-boat. Mrok considered disassembling and moving his smokers elsewhere, but when the Oyler people came to look at them they said if they tried to take them apart and move them, they’d just fall apart. So the kitchen and smokers stayed. The barbecue here can be hit-or-miss, but mostly hit in my experience. Only open for lunch, 11-2 weekdays.

Snow’s BBQ – Lexington TX

A lot has changed in the world of Texas barbecue since Snow’s BBQ was the surprise #1 pick in the Texas Monthly Barbecue issue of June 2008. Bobby Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue would pass away unexpectedly a few months later. Lance Kirkpatrick, longtime LM employee, now has his own worthy joint in Austin – Stiles Switch. Son John Mueller, once the presumptive heir to the LM dynasty, has opened his own place in Austin. Older son Wayne has taken over the reins at LM and has made it better than ever. Aaron Franklin came out of nowhere to be the new king of Texas barbecue. National media is spreading the gospel of Texas barbecue far and wide. Food personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri make their pilgrimages, trailed by entourages and camera crews and hordes of dedicated viewers, leaving in their wake some quiet grumbling by the Texas barbecue faithful.

And through it all, Snow’s BBQ has remained the same. Showing up at 10am on a Saturday, there’s rarely a long line anymore (they’re all at Franklin’s I guess) and if there is, regulars and locals know to go around to the pits where Tootsie or Kerry will ring you up with a pound of this or that – no waiting. Wanna show cousin Marty from up north the pits? Hershel Tomanetz, Tootsie’s son, is always eager to give you a tour. The best experience in Texas barbecue is still getting up early on a crisp, cool, sunny Saturday morning in October, driving the 2 hours to Lexington, ordering a steaming pile of fatty brisket and eating a barbecue breakfast at Snow’s.”

Here’s a little bit about Chris I’ve lifted from his “about” section on his website. “I inevitably find that the most interesting people I meet are lovers of good food and drink. The friends I’ve accumulated over the years — that is to say those friends I have chosen to keep in touch with even though our lives have diverged — are usually linked to a shared experience of food or eating. Whether it’s cooking improvised dinners in a tiny New York apartment or traveling hundreds of miles in a single day to sample the best barbecue in Texas, food and drink becomes a vehicle for creating friendships, memories and, yes, stories.

It’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel here. People in every corner of the world have been getting together to eat, drink, laugh and tell stories since the beginning of civilization. In that way, I’m just like everyone else. But I like to think I bring my own quirks, eccentricities and insights to the (dinner) table, and hopefully that comes through in my writing.”

Read more about Chris HERE
Check out the Houston Barbecue Project HERE
Follow Chris on Twitter HERE

Southern Living – The South’s Best 20 Barbecue Joints

Hanna Raskin put together a list of 20 Southern BBQ Joints for Southern Living. While of course this list (and any list for that matter) leaves off a lot of great BBQ spots, but in all honesty, it’s a rather strong one.


Photo of Allen & Son BBQ via Chapel Hill Journal

Here’s the list (with clickable links to the locations):
A&R Bar-B-Que – Memphis, Tennessee
Allen & Son BBQ – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The Bar-B-Q Shop – Memphis, Tennessee
BBQ Barn – North Augusta, South Carolina
Bozo’s Hot Pit Bar-B-Q – Mason, Tennessee
The Brick Pit – Mobile, Alabama
Bunn’s Barbecue – Windsor, North Carolina
Georgia Pig Bar-B-Que – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q – Multiple locations across the South
Jimmy’s BBQ – Lexington, North Carolina
Leigh’s Barbecue – Kevil, Kentucky
Lexington Barbecue – Lexington, North Carolina
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint – Nolensville, Tennessee
Neely’s – Marshall, Texas
Papa Kayjoe’s – Centerville, Tennessee
Payne’s Bar-B-Q – Memphis, Tennessee
Pecan Lodge – Dallas, Texas
Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge – Shelby, North Carolina
Saucy’s Walk-up Bar.B.Q. – Petersburg, Virginia
Sims Bar-B-Que – Little Rock, Arkansas

You can see the entire article HERE

What do you think of the list? Any you would take off the list or that you see is glaringly missing?

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