The BBQ Debate

I have a great BBQ debate. California has no decent BBQ unless I make it myself. I’ve tried BBQ in several different states and they’ve all been delicious! Sadly, my home state cannot compete. Before I moved to SD, I heard great things about Phil’s BBQ and how it was cheap for good food. It might be cheap but the good food part was lacking. I’ve tried many BBQ places in SD and none of them have lived up to the hype. Where’s your favorite BBQ place?
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Phil’s BBQ in San Diego, CA
Phil’s has a few locations but I’ve only been to the one in San Diego. There’s always a long line to get in so one would assume that it was a good sign. The food isn’t bad per se but it’s just not good BBQ. My favorite item from Phil’s in their onion rings. I’ve tried their beef ribs, pulled pork sandwich, potato salad, coleslaw, onion rings, and lemonade. They sell bottled lemonade so can’t go wrong there. The beef ribs were dry and lacked flavor. I could only taste the spicy sauce they drowned them with. The pulled pork sandwich was eh. Again, lacked flavor. The sides were okay. Nothing to rave about. I haven’t been back because I haven’t craved onion rings. I seriously don’t know what the hype is about. Maybe people who love this place just haven’t tried good BBQ.
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Lil Piggy’s BBQ in Coronado, CA
I kept my hopes up that I’d find one decent BBQ place in CA. Not really. I ordered take out here and the service was terrible. All the workers walked right past me like I was invisible. They do have a big beer selection for those dining in. I ordered the piglet platter that came with three meats and two sides. I picked sausage, pulled pork, and brisket with potato salad and coleslaw. The sides were okay. The meat was tender but lacked flavor. All I could taste was the BBQ sauce. I would pick this place over Phil’s though.
Abbey’s Texas BBQ in San Diego, CA
This place is a ripoff. I ordered their takeout during finals week and it arrived cold. I ordered the brisket plate. It came with brisket, bread, coleslaw, and potato salad. The potato salad taste funny and made my stomach hurt. The bread and coleslaw were decent. The brisket was cold and for $27 they gave me 5 small pieces. I won’t be trying their dine in options. For a place that claims to be Texas BBQ I was very disappointed. I’ve had Texas BBQ and it’s good!
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Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, TX
I came here with my sister for dinner. It’s located on the riverwalk. I ordered the brisket sandwich and she ordered a pulled pork sandwich. This sandwich was amazing. I could taste the smokey flavor along with the spices and a hint of sweetness. This wasn’t our ideal place for BBQ in Texas but it was close to our hotel. The next time I’m in Texas I’ll have to try a few places.
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Arthur Bryant’s BBQ in Kansas City, MO
I LOVE this place! My friend and I drove here from Nebraska so I was a bit nervous about the culture shock. Once we got off the fwy we became a bit worried because the area looked like Compton, CA. The inside is pretty spacious but you can’t tell from looking on the outside. They sort of have a buffet style counter for serving trays and utensils. I ordered the Pig on a Bun sandwich that came with fries and a coke. The sandwich was HUGE. It was the size of my face and I barely made a dent in it. The workers were super friendly and everyone could tell we weren’t from the area. One of the workers came around to check on us and would joke with me that I didn’t eat my sandwich even though I did but it was huge. My friend ordered ribs and sweet tea. She said it was okay but my sandwich was better. If I’m ever in the area I’m definitely coming back here.
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Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ in Colorado Springs, CO
This is my all time favorite BBQ joint! You just can’t beat Rudy’s. They have communal dining tables. When you walk in to order you pass by coolers full of beer and bottled sodas. You pick out whatever you like on the way to the register. There’s also a refrigerator on the left side where you pick out any sides and desserts. I chose coleslaw and banana pudding. There were pies, chocolate pudding, three bean salad, potato salad, corn, and a few other sides. Once you get to the register to order, they give it to you in the big crate box you see above. I came here for my 28th birthday. It was an excellent day! We ordered 1lb of fatty beef brisket, 1lb of pork ribs, 3 banana puddings, 1 chocolate pudding, 1 potato salad, 1 coleslaw, 2 orange sodas, and 2 root beers. The total came out to be around $45. It was well worth it though. This is the best brisket I’ve ever had. Thanks Jamie for taking me here! It was so good in fact I ordered 1lb smoked turkey, 1lb fatty beef brisket, and their rub to bring back to CA. I really considered moving to Colorado after trying this place.

I still have many BBQ joints to try but Rudy’s stands at number one. I can’t wait to try more of them in Texas and Missouri. I might venture over to Kansas too. xoxo, J.


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