Lively Bull’s Smokin’ BBQ takes its meat very seriously, offering authentic Texas-style barbecue and gigantic fall-off-the-bone beef ribs on Morena Boulevard in San Diego. The team here takes pride in their flavorful, slow-cooked meats, like their pulled pork or brisket, both of which are smoked for more than eleven hours. Tasty gourmet sides include five-cheese mac ‘n’ cheese with a crispy top, freshly baked cornbread, sweet corn, almond-studded coleslaw and french fries. Locals enjoy kicking back on the dog-friendly patio with giant plates of barbecue and cold draft beers, or catching a Chargers game or concert on the giant fifteen-foot screen. Inside, decorative bull horns hang on the walls honoring this eatery’s down-home Texas spirit. Kids love the free ice cream; dogs dig the bones.
At Cheers Bar & Grill, customers sizzle up everything from steaks to burgers and brats. Though they keep pints flowing all day long, the bar transitions into a 21-and-older establishment once the grill shuts down for the night. After that, the remaining crowd bonds over drinks from the full bar. At 1 a.m., the kitchen shuts down for the night to prepare for another day.
After soaking up garlic-and-herb seasoning overnight, the hunks of rotisserie chicken at Mr. Chick roast slowly on a spit to maximize their flavor. Once they develop a golden hue, rotisserie bites tumble into the eatery's plates, sandwiches, family deals, and trio of chicken-rice bowls. Baby back ribs, gyros, and vegetarian dishes, such as marinated eggplant and fried zucchini, round out the rest of the menu and receive the same care and schedule of spa treatments as the signature poultry. In addition to dine-in and takeout options, Mr. Chick caters corporate events and private functions with large helpings of its delectable fare.
Brad Thomas and John Bracamonte first unveiled their barbecuing brilliance on the competition circuit back in 2009. That year, they earned a slew of awards, including the California BBQ Association?s Rookie of the Year award, the most coveted prize after Best Hairnet Wearer.
Though still part of the competition world, these days they focus on whipping up those same flavors at Brazen BBQ?s San Diego eatery. Relying on local ingredients and from-scratch cooking techniques, they smother meats in housemade rubs before slow cooking them over hardwood smoke and dolloping them with sauces whose recipes are spoken aloud only in the language that flowers speak. That process results in such barbecue classics as pulled pork, but it also yields more creative dishes, including brisket stroganoff?brisket and whole-wheat egg noodles covered in a mushroom cream sauce. Besides barbecue, Brad and John's southern-inspired options range from burgers crowned with fried jalape?os to crawfish corn fritters. Mixed drinks, plus craft and regional beer, cleanse the palate between bites.
Though restaurateur Phil Pace values a quick dining experience, his secret barbecue recipes have diners lining up out the door. Their willingness to wait is due to Phil's saucy baby back pork ribs, beef ribs, and mesquite-grilled chicken made with from-scratch dry rubs and sauces. A variety of sandwiches incorporate tangy barbecue sauce, from pulled pork and turkey to veggie burgers for the meat averse. Local adulation for Phil's BBQ’s smoked eats spurred San Diego Magazine to declare the eatery's barbecue the best in the city in 2011 and 2012. Beyond the work they do in the kitchen, the staff at Phil's BBQ works to improve the community at large. The restaurant has donated more than a quarter-million dollars to local children's charities, and their irresistible sauces have helped local police fingerprint and apprehend dozens of baby back ribs thieves.