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« Another Inexpensive Meal-London Broil | Main | By Request: Kimlan's "Chinese Spaghetti Sauce" »

Saturday, 30 August 2008



Hi Kirk,

Sorry you wasted a food opportunity on Lightning Jacks.

Having eaten BBQ and ribs in 18 states over 30 some-odd years, I've come to think that in San Diego, it doesn't make sense to buy this stuff from any place but Barnes BBQ in Lemon Grove. They smoke with hickory, have all the right sides, make stuff from scratch, and serve generous portions. Just like at my Dad's house.

As to Phil's, I've never understood how they sell the second plate of food to anyone who's eaten there a first time. It's not just inauthentic BBQ; it's nasty, bitter-tasting BBQ that needs sauce to mask the horrid taste of mesquite. But they contribute to community causes, so God bless 'em.

I'm back from New Orleans. Might post something over the weekend, if the pictures turned out.



I have had the pleasure to touring NC and SC for BBQ. NC "sauce" is really just vinegar over the smoked meat -- great for purists. Excellent examples are Lexington BBQ and Sugars. SC sauce is the mustard base you reference. Excellent examples are Sweatmans and Piggy Park. Your photo appears to show commercial ketchup-based "BBQ" sauce. Yuck.


Ouch. The Mister and I saw this place last Sunday and were going to stop and try, but there wasn't any good parking, so we went elsewhere. Which I also will post about. Later. Thanks for taking one for us.


I'm a long-time lurker (I live in the high desert, family in RC and Temecula) and it was so strange to be reading this and see you mention Mike and Ed's and Country's! We just moved to the desert from Columbus, and I miss both those places so much. Cool getting a little blast from the past!


My first impression on that rib was boiled to doneness, slapped on a grill for some charring, then slathered with some jarred sauce (ewwww). I really haven't found any good BBQ places that I really like in SD. Just a couple that "will do" in a pinch.


Hi Omar - I may just have an "argument" for Phil's....not that I think it's great BBQ, but I recently read something interesting.

Hi Mastacow - Thanks for the info....I'm hoping to check them out in person some day.

Hi Cathy - Not very good saved yourself a mediocre meal.

Hi Jen - Welcome, and thanks for (finally) commenting. I spent 2 months in Columbus, GA. Lived in the Courtyard next to Peachtree Mall. I even had some good Korean Food right off of Victory Drive.

Hi Carol - Which is the exact reason I really don't do much BBQ here in San Diego.


Ugh, I went to Lightning Jacks about 5 or 6 years ago and got the worst BBQ chicken sandwich there. Something on par of what Denny's would serve. Too bad they haven't seemed to have improved at all.

I'm a BBQ novice myself too. My main BBQ hangout used to be Texas BBQ on Miramar road but they seem to be going downhill. And I've actually been unimpressed with Phil's BBQ.

One place you should try is Joey's Smoking BBQ: . Went there about a year ago and the food was good. Kinda small portions (even with the BBQ sampler platter) but the meat was pretty tender.


A great place to go in Kansas City is Gates BBQ, but it's a little chaotic. Very vinegary sauce and very sweet beans.


Hi Denver - How are you? Haven't heard from you in a while. I went to Joey's a while back, and thought it was pretty bad(not this bad), but I'll give it a go again!

Hi Klug - Well, hopefully, I'll get another shot at it in KC again.


I have missed out a lot here. I better ketchup soon.
Was in the big o Tx over the labor day weekend. Boy was the bbq there something worth while especially when you can feed 6 people for less than $80.00 bucks!!!!!


Hi Billy - LOL! You're going to ketchup!!! ;o)



...reminds me of that joke between John Travolta's character and Uma Thurman's character in "Pulp Fiction."

Kelly the K

If you had gone next door to Bombay Coast, you would have had a far better meal. I had your same initial reaction when I looked at Lightening Jack's menu, and opted for Indian food instead. (Glad I did now!)

For a shopping mall restaurant with zero atmosphere (but, clean), Bombay Coast puts out some great Indian dishes. Plus, they've got a chutney bar to satisfy your sauce cravings.

Haven't had any great BBQ in San Diego yet, but if you're ever in Memphis (or get a wild hair to order overnight delivery), Corky's puts out some killer BBQ. (


Hi Win - DC - Yes....."Three tomatoes are walking down the street......" ;o)

Hi Kelly - Thanks for the recommendation....I'll check it out...if I'm really tired......


I agree with your Lightning Jack's assessment. I believe the best barbecue in San Diego is Barbecue House in Ocean Beach on Newport Avenue. It's about one block from the beach. They actually smoke their meats for several hours and the BBQ sauce is not too thick and strong like Phils/LJacks. They use spare ribs instead of baby back ribs so the ribs are more moist because of higher fat content prior to BBQ. The barbecue pork sandwich is the best in San Diego, hands down and prices are reasonable, less than Phils, similar to LJacks. Give it a try you will not be disappointed.


Hi Ramon - You know, this has got to be about the fifith rec for Barbecue House.....I guess I'd better check it out.

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