Monday, July 10, 2006

Joey's Smokin' BBQ

Joey's Smokin' BBQ menu
A while back I read about Joey's Smokin' BBQ on Scott's site and was very intrigued. It wasn't until this past Fourth of July that my husband and I ventured down to Carlsbad to see how smokin' Joey's barbeque really is.

First, let me preface this review with my background. I was raised in VA, right outside of Washington D.C. After moving to NYC for a short period of time in college I finished college in Richmond, VA (which I can safely say is definitely the south and has some good BBQ). I've also traveled around the south a bit throughout my growing years. So I think it's safe to say that I've had enough barbeque to be a good judge.

There are MANY types of BBQ and I'm a fan of all types (even though I like the ones that use vinegar in their sauces the best).

So I went to Joey's with an open mind since we are in Southern CA and not Southern VA.

When we arrived at the restaurant (which is almost like a fast food joint) we thought it looked promising. The menu was large (a bit pricey but do-able) and they had our favorite: sweet tea. It's been very frustrating for my husband (who lived in the South for about 20 years of his life) to order ice tea and never have it sweetened to his liking. Once the tea is cold there is NO way to make the tea super sweet (the sugar won't dissolve).

So we ordered 2 sweet teas, a half slab of ribs with the "wet" rub (they have sweet, wet, and dry) and an ear of corn on the cob for me, and a pulled pork sandwich (which comes with beans and cole slaw) for my hubby.

We sat down in a booth and waited for our meal to be delivered. The booth implied that we were going to have a good meal. There was a big roll of paper towels ready for when we got super messy from the BBQ sauce.

Condiments on Table

Despite the fact that it was the Fourth of July and many restaurants were closed, the restaurant wasn't that busy. At least, it wasn't busy enough for them to have taken as long as they did to get our food delivered to our table.

Once our food arrived we realized this was definitely a no-frills meal. Which is usually ideal with BBQ but I thought $12 for a half slab or baby-back ribs (and no sides) was a bit pricey. They were plenty moist and fairly tender but honestly, I've had better. Much better. I would say that I wasn't mad that I paid that much but I would never order ribs there again. They just weren't worth it to me.

Half Slab of Wet Rub Baby Back Ribs
The corn on the cob was very good but I hate it when they leave the corn silks (or hairs) on the cob. It was sweet, hot, and sprinkled with what I believe was paprika. The corn was worth the $2 and it was the highlight of my meal.

It's kind of sad that corn is the highlight of a meal at a restaurant.

My husband's pulled pork sandwich was devoured but mainly because he was starved. He said it was "fine" but he was disgusted by the sides. The "creamy cole slaw " had practically no dressing on it! Who wants to eat shredded cabbage by itself? When I asked him how the beans were he said, "the first word that comes to mind is 'coffee'." That might not be a bad thing but he said they were pretty much inedible.

I could have been more generous with my review of their food but it was the end of the meal that really made me mad at Joey.

We were still slightly hungry after our meal and decided to order a slice of Bourbon Pecan Pie ($2.99 plus tax). Not only did it take FOREVER to get this slice of pie but it was FREEZING cold when it arrived. It had obviously been taken out of the freezer. Call me a fool but I was NOT expecting a frozen slice of pie. I just assumed that any decent BBQ place (or any BBQ place that thought they were decent) would serve home-made pie. We were very ticked off. Since the pie was way too cold to eat we took it home. It was just as disgusting heated up, though. I'm guessing any frozen pie from the grocery store would taste better than this pie.

Oh, the horror.

Nasty Frozen Bourbon Pecan Pie
Needless to say, we will not be going back to Joey's Smokin' BBQ and we are very much hoping to find a better BBQ place in the area. We'll probably try Big Jim's in Encinitas shortly. Hopefully Jim knows better than Joey about how to make good barbeque.

Joey's Smokin' BBQ
6995 El Camino Real
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Don't get the pie.


FireFlyFiftyFive said...

Yikes - well, I always say I don't know sh*t from shinola. I've gotten take-out a few times from the Torrey Pines / Carmel Valley location. I like the whole package a whole lot - the ribs, beans, corn bread and slaw. I think as a meal that package comes to $22 (whole slab.) If I'm hungry it can be gone pretty quickly.

Yet, growing up in the upper midwest it was pretty much the chain, Tony Romas, for ribs (they do a great onion log/loaf). That, or places that happened to serve ribs on the menu which usually weren't too good at all. Oh, for a trip to TX or KC.

I've never had the pie there. I really have no doubt they get the beans, slaw and sauce in five gallon buckets on weekly Sysco deliveries. Phil's in Hillcrest/Mission Hills seems to be the area fav. Big Jim's might disappoint too (we've been once - it was enough) but they have hush puppies and catfish too.

Gourmetish said...

You think Jim's might disappoint, why? I was looking forward to going there. I didn't hate Joey's by any means. Just thought it wasn't worth the price. Plus the pie thing made me MAD. If I find good BBQ I'll let you know because you MUST experience true BBQ at some point if you haven't already. Actually, there's a great place in LA called Doughboys that isn't BBQ but they have a great pulled pork sandwich with great BBQ sauce.

mike said...

lets be real here the bbq at joeys smokin bbq is the best in san diego,your more upset at the fact that it wasnt cheap if you want cheap ribs buy them at costco,you pay for qaulity in this world,i dont think joeys is just tryin to rip people off,,,the qulity of meat he uses is ,per there quote kobe beef america,and choice brisket and natural pork,we eat there at least once a week and we love the service and food,and who cant love joey and his wife, they treat you like family ,you arereviwing this restraunt and others with no culinary back round except for cooking at home ,i have a degree at the culinary institute of america and i curently own and operate
many well known high end restraunts in sandiego,NY,CHICAGO,so i hate when,people like your self have no known exsperiance about the culinary field,and bash restraunts.. its a hard buisseness and you should not review them with out a culinary degreee, you know the five key points of bbq if so write about it,,ps i won memphis in may 3 years in a row and my bbq restraunt,has been on the cooking channel so i know bbq you apparently dont,....

Calli said...

From a fellow VA gal (born and raised in southeastern VA/Hampton Roads area), I appreciate your review of this restaurant. I'm fairly new to San Diego, and haven't even tried a barbecue place here yet. The only one I've really heard about is Phil's, so I figured I'd wander over there eventually. If you make it out there first, I'd love to hear your take on it.

Gourmetish said...

Hi Calli, Thanks for visiting my blog! Welcome to SD..I'm from VA too but from NoVA. I've heard about Phil's too and will def. check it out sometime. I'm also going to check out Big Jim's and anything else I find. Thanks again for the comment!

Anonymous said...

I work just down the street from this place and I eat there at least once a week. I love their food. They always have a good crowd at lunch time (something must be right for people to keep coming back). I think their beans are fantastic and I don't even like beans or coffee. 90% of the time I am more than satisfied. In fact, I am going there right now and I'll give the pie a try.

Oh - I grew up in Fairfax. :-)

Anonymous said...

joeys smokin bbq is the best real smoked bbq in sandiego go back and try again

Anonymous said...

The C-Bad location always seems busy to me - and this is a spot where many restaurants have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Joey's is my son's favorite for ribs, and I like them too. We go there for special occasions, like a good report card. Luckily, he's not a great student because the ribs are a little pricey. But I expect to pay more for quality.

I keep trying to match their ribs with recipes off the internet, but my son says that I am not yet a contender. What a brat...

Anonymous said...

Big Jims is out of business. Joey's is attempting to raise capital, get partners and franchise his places (after only a couple of years in business)... Try Phil's BBQ on Sports Area or Huffs in San Diego.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? Phil's? I went to school in texas and fell in love with the bbq and that is what joey's has delivered for me. Not sure if you guys have been but i live down the street from the new one, i think its a different owner but the place is fantatsic! ESPECIALLY compared to phil's. phil doesnt even smoke his meats... ive been there and dont get what the hype about grilled wanna be bbq is. . .

Anonymous said...

@Mike... for normal people eating at restaurants, we don't need to have a culinary degree to judge restaurants. If we like it for 1 reason or another, then we come back. If we don't, we don't. I agree with Gourmetish because Joey's is pricey for the amount of food they give you. Iv'e eaten at Lucille's and I admit, Joey's is better tasting, but Lucilles gives you more. I like Joey's, but if I'm really hungrey, I would go elsewhere to get more food for the amount of money that I would have plopped down at Joey's. BTW, I eat at the Tustin location.

Another point that Gourmetish pointed out was the how slow they are to get you your order. I've been in they're restaurant on 5 different occasions, and 2 out of the 5 times, they were very busy. Yet, all 5 times, it took them around 30 minutes to get me my order (fromwalking in and ordering to walking out the door with my order). Something does need to be done about their *cough* speedy *cough* service (or lack there of).

Anonymous said...

this bbq is BOMBBBB forgett phils!