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BBQ - San Fernando Valley restaurants

  • BBQ, Southern style

    7/12/02 - Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas B-B-Q, 8136 Sepulveda Bl., Van Nuys, CA, phone 818-782-2480 or 818-780-6701. Open seven days, 11:30a to 10p with the same menu and prices, and they cater. About 14 booths inside and four tables outside, right in the sun. Old and worn building but clean. Casual service and dress. Ask for a token to use their clean, outside restrooms which I missed on the first try.

    Sandwiches - They have four 'sandwiches' priced at $6.95 and spareribs, which I had, at $7.95. The others choices are two hot links or sliced beef, pork, or ham. I ask how many ribs and they said three, but I received four. The ribs come covered with and in a plate full of a thin, vinegar-based sweet and sour sauce. The ribs were about medium sized, not babybacks, with mostly tender, good tasting meat. The taste of the smoke wasn't strong enough for me to give up my preference for traditionally-cooked (Northern-style) ribs -- with the red, sweet BBQ sauce which I usually prefer. They do provide two such BBQ sauces on the side, neither sweet, but one spicier. However, I ate the ribs the way they came. The ribs need to be finished with the traditional BBQ sauce, not just covered after they're cooked. This meal includes the choice of one of four rather small side dishes: baked beans, cole slaw, macaroni salad, or potato salad. I had the slaw which was bland and dry with raisins. Try something else. This also comes with what they call a '1/2 loaf of home baked bread' which is slightly better than two slices of bland white bread. Three sweet and sour pickle slices topped the ribs. At first I thought they just gave me one napkin and one wet wipe which would be silly with ribs. After I used the wipe I noticed there were more napkins in the basket. They offer three desserts of which I tried the pecan pie at $2.55. They keep it cold but offer to warm it which I tried, but it doesn't help the crust which tasted dry. They only put pecans on top, not all the way through, but it was ok.

    Summary. This meal was ok, but it's not my style of BBQ. The cole slaw especially needs help. They also have - but I haven't tried - 1-meat dinners from $12.25 to $15.50, 2-meat combos from $14.25 to $17.25, and 3-meat combos from $17.25 to $20.50. These come with two sides. An extra plate to split food is $1.50 which might be a good idea. For these meals they also offer beef brisket, beef ribs, chicken, leg of pork (whatever), etc. Others have said the brisket was good, but I'm not a big fan. BBQ is also available by the half pound, half slab, etc. from $8.95 to $12.25.

    8/3/02 - Historical comments on BBQ places - Chris 'n Pit's, Love's, Johnie Reb's, Tony Roma's, four more around Torrance, two around Carson, and San Pedro. I'm not sure about these spellings or the exact names, and, since I don't live in the South Bay anymore, it's hard to get the exact names, but I might work on it.

  • Tony Roma's is easy. I ate there once, maybe in the 1990s, in Carson, on Avalon Bl., when they had a special ribs deal. Otherwise, Tony's is a little expensive for me. But, the baby backs were good, and the fresh-baked dinner rolls were the best.
  • Johnie Reb's on Long Beach Bl. in Long Beach. I tried Johnie's about 1985. People throw their peanut shells on the floor, I didn't really see anything I liked on the menu, so I ordered roast pork. This came 'pulled' apart like for a sandwich and dry, and I asked for something else. They let me have the pork ribs (not baby backs), I didn't care for them, and I never returned. They did serve a sample of their Brunswick stew, probable without the squirrel, which was unremarkable. Since then they opened a second branch, but I don't know why.
  • I first tried Love's and Chris's about 1976 or 1977 when I moved into Orange County. At that time I believe neither had baby back ribs, and I'd pass on regular (full size) ribs. At Love's they had a sampler plate with several of their items, none of which I like, and I didn't return. Except, in the 1990s I did try their Lakewood branch maybe once or twice and found poor food and service.
  • Likewise, I found Chris's about 1976 or 1977. However, I did like a couple of their menu items, and I did visit their branch on Euclid in Anaheim several times. Then skip to the late 1980s when I began returning to Orange County and found baby backs at Chris's, a full rack, for about $8. This price did increase over the years. These were very good ribs, with just enough meat on the bone and a good baked-on red sweet BBQ sauce. Word was the ribs and sauce came from Texas, but not their bottled sauce from who-knows-where. Over the years they offered good soups instead of salads and, instead of beans and fries, some branches offered a good spaghetti and meat sauce which became $1 extra. I'd take the spaghetti home, along with maybe half the ribs, and make two more meals. The soups and meat sauce may have been home-made at the branches cause each tasted somewhat different. All was fine except sometimes the ribs had a soapy taste, and I noticed this at more than one branch. Maybe in the 1990s they changed the rib meat: there was too much meat on the rib bone, and it didn't cook up correctly or something. I tried to describe them as roast pork on a stick or pork chops, but others called then loin ribs. But, I didn't like them. Maybe about 4/2002 I tried the Chris's at 13237 Victory Bl., Van Nuys and they had the loin ribs. Since I wasn't going directly home I accepted the beans and fries rather than the optional spaghetti. Bad idea - they only offer the thick fries, worse than the medium fries. It was a poor meal with well-meaning but poor service, and I probably won't order baby backs at Chris's again. I didn't finish the ribs and didn't even want to take them home.
  • Torrance, four rib places I didn't like, probably from the 1990s. Something like: (1) Chicken and Stuff on Torrance Bl. in Torrance with loin ribs. (2) Something? Ribs? on PCH, east side, in Redondo Beach? with loin ribs. (3) Dicky's on Crenshaw Bl. in Torrance with poor ribs. Also, (4) the Claim Jumper at Crenshaw Bl. and Lomita in Torrance with loin ribs, almost $20 for a full rack with a salad bar several years ago. I didn't pay, so there's a story here. I ordered ribs, and they were the loin ribs which I didn't like and I told them. They said I could order something else, and about the only other thing I wanted was a steak at about $25, usually too expensive for me. But what was I to do? Well, the steak was good, and they said I didn't have to pay, for any of it. Good for them, good steak, but not cheap.
  • Carson, maybe late 1980s or the 1990s - (1) Sounds like two initials, like Bee&Jay BBQ, on Avalon Bl., north of the 91 freeway, west side, a little shack, north of Carson. OK ribs. (2) Also, another, maybe M&M Soul Food BBQ, on Avalon Bl., west side, south of the 91 freeway, next to donut shop, in Carson. Also ok ribs, good mac & cheese. If I recall these are both Black run, and they offer long-smoked meats but add the BBQ sauce afterwards. They're only just better than average to me.
  • San Pedro - Something like Sugar 4 Ribs on Gaffey St. I don't remember much, either good or bad, and never went back. Maybe they were expensive? Maybe I was there in the early 1990s. 10/12/02

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