Phil's BBQ

It was bound to happen. When I needed my camera the most, it breaks. After a full day of shooting animals (no, not with a gun) with the new telephoto lens, the shutter on the DSLR gets stuck. Yah, we got all of the San Diego Zoo; but when I was about to do dinner, the camera fails. For the love of... The pictures of the food! They're going to be terrible! Yes, I had to resort to the point & shoot. I realize that this is the choice of many people; yet after being completely spoiled by the DSLR, it's hard to go back. It's akin to going from an 52" LCD down to a 27" tube TV. Okay, I'm being melodramatic here. At the very least, I was getting takeout and realistically, the pictures would be less "sexy" anyways. Why takeout? Well, we were heading for some Phil's BBQ after the zoo and the place is famous for their lineup. When we arrived, the line snaked around the front all the way to the back of the restaurant. Hey, I walked into the takeout line (which had nobody in it) and did my orderin'. 5 minutes later, I was out the door and heading back to the hotel. While I was carrying the food to the car, it felt rather heavy. When I started to open up the boxes, it was quite obvious why... There was a freakin' enormous amount of food!

The first thing I laid my eyes on were the Beef Ribs. These suckers reminded me of the dino bones in the Flintstones. I'm surprised it didn't tip my car the way it did in the cartoon. Wait. That wouldn't happen, I had a Crown Vic. Nothing can tip that behemoth. Wow, driving a Crown Vic heading down to the BBQ. So very un-Asian of me... Nevermind the size of the bones, the meat attached to them was even more impressive. There was plenty of it and it was moist and smoky. There was plenty of charring and it was surprisingly not extremely fatty (as beef bones are apt to be). The BBQ sauce was tangy and a bit spicy. It wasn't that smoky nor sweet; yet the smokiness in the meat made up for it. Unlike a dry smoke, these ribs were tender and didn't require much chewing at all. The Baby Back Ribs were just as tender. Fall-off-the-bone and equally smoky, these are exactly what I personally prefer. Sure, there are BBQ purists from Carolina and parts of Texas that are rolling their eyes; but hey, I like what I like. I wouldn't call the meat necessarily moist or juicy; however, it was neither dry nor hard.

For good measure, I took a run at the BBQ Broham or Pulled Pork Sandwich. I really should have stopped and walked the other way because the thing was massive. There was so much meat in the darn thing, it all fell out and Viv actually had to remove some to get it in her mouth. The smoky meat was not too dry and was actually edging towards moist. With a huge amount of crunchy coleslaw, this sandwich was messy and good. I would've liked more sauce on it personally; yet that could be alleviated easily. As for our sides, we had the Fries, Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad and Baked Beans. It was hard to assess the fries since they were underneath the baby backs and it had been sitting in a styrofoam box for about 8 minutes. Viv thought they were potatoey and good despite the lack of crispiness. I actually liked the salads. The potato salad consisted of big chunks of red potato which were cooked just right. There was just enough bite left in it that it didn't resemble mashed potatoes. After attempting to eat all of the food, we were stuffed and thoroughly satisfied. We didn't care if this was true BBQ or not because it was tasty, good value and made us wanting for more.

The Good:
- Large portions
- Meats are moist and tender
- Reasonably-priced

The Bad:
- Crazy lineup
- For me, the sauce may need more smoke, it's a bit too tangy

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