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View Full Version : Without a Doubt The Most Over Rated BBQ Restaurant in America


sandiegobbq
11-20-2012, 12:07 PM
This place is definitely the most over rated bbq restaurant in America.

It is number 7 on the Yelp list with over 4500 reviews.

http://officialblog.yelp.com/2012/01/top-10-yelp-restaurants-of-2011.html

http://www.yelp.com/biz/phils-bbq-san-diego-2

The reason for this is that most people here in San Diego have no clue on what bbq is.

This place is maybe a cut above Tony Romas but then again maybe not.

They do not even use a smoker in that where they are located is a no smoke zone.

They bake, then grill then slather on a very sweet sauce on it.

San Diegans go nuts over this stuff as you can read the reviews.

Phil's to me is a complete joke and I am shocked at all the business they get.

There are lines out the door and around the building every day.

This is not bbq folks and the most over rated bbq in the USA!

What places near you are over rated?

deguerre
11-20-2012, 12:10 PM
What places near you are over rated?

In Memphis? Purt near ALL of 'em...

hamiltont
11-20-2012, 12:15 PM
Regardless how you/we think, you can't argue their success. Being in the BBQ restaurant/catering business isn't about abiding to the KCBS rules. It's about making $$$. Just my $.02. Cheers!!!

plakers
11-20-2012, 12:32 PM
I know its Californeeya but whats a veggie burger doing on a BBQ menu anyway?

No doubt appealling to the masses is a different game, I rarely opt for going out for que, nothing worse then oversauced ribs and bland sides and all for 60 bucks(or more) to feed the family. Yet some of these places are thriving.

Gore
11-20-2012, 12:49 PM
There's a lot of information in Yelp, but I certainly don't take their ratings seriously. McDonald's and Wendy's are regularly rated the top restaurants when I pull up searches. I tend to find that the best restaurants aren't on lists.

sandiegobbq
11-20-2012, 01:31 PM
In Memphis? Purt near ALL of 'em...

I heard that Rendezvous and Interstate are over rated.

Many like Corky's but never been there.

Ever been to Cozy Corner?

sandiegobbq
11-20-2012, 01:31 PM
Regardless how you/we think, you can't argue their success. Being in the BBQ restaurant/catering business isn't about abiding to the KCBS rules. It's about making $$$. Just my $.02. Cheers!!!

Phil's BBQ doesn't count their money they weigh it.

Hook_Line_and_Sinker
11-20-2012, 01:36 PM
While making $ and staying in business is the point of a restaurant, I'm certain that for the most part yelp and other lists are manipulated by the Internet. Recent stories of restaurant blackmail using yelp, and restaurant owners pumping reviews, are examples of why there are huge discrepancies in ratings and actual experiences.

But just like a custom home builder judging a well built track home, would find a long list of deficiencies in it, even thought is is a perfectly fine home. Most of us here would find a long list of complaints in most BBQ restaurants.

I wonder how they would fare in some sort of blind judged affair ? Just order take out from them and bring them all to a panel of judges ?

Porcine Perfection
11-20-2012, 01:37 PM
I will probably catch a lot of $hit saying this, but ever since Oklahoma Joe's went to three locations the quantity and quality has suffered. I got a Z-man a couple weeks ago and it was a tiny, bland sandwich. Kinda sad actually.

dconder1
11-20-2012, 01:54 PM
I will probably catch a lot of $hit saying this, but ever since Oklahoma Joe's went to three locations the quantity and quality has suffered. I got a Z-man a couple weeks ago and it was a tiny, bland sandwich. Kinda sad actually.


I live in Oklahoma but ever time I visit KC I have to have a Z-man. My first one ever was at the original location maybe 5 years ago. It went straight to my favorite sandwich ever list. I have been to the other locations and they just don't seem the same any more.

Bludawg
11-20-2012, 02:51 PM
Dude you live In Chula Juana there is some fine Mexican grub to be had. I agree BBQ aahhhh.... not so much. I used to live on 25&L back in the days of my conscription, is Robertos still in business?? DAM they made a Killer Carne asada burrito.

landarc
11-20-2012, 03:07 PM
A lot of this is perception as regards over-rated. I go to a place, that I consider to be quite good. Many of their customers really hate the BBQ place that is about 1/4 mile away, I actually think that place is quite good as well. Is that other place over-rated, many folks think so, who consider themselves BBQ experts. I find both places are quite good. Of course, both are using smokers and using wood smoke.

There is a place up here that everyone considers to be the best, I used to agree, but, for the past 15 years, I have not gone there, they went down hill IMO. But, in every way, on every poll, this places is considered to be the best in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it just isn't. I really should go back, for all I know, the son is knocking it down now.

neuyawk
11-20-2012, 03:08 PM
Could be worst. The most popular BBQ in New York City is this monstrosity http://www.dallasbbq.com/

ThomEmery
11-20-2012, 03:31 PM
I ate at Phil's in San Marcos
Baked then grilled meats
The tri tip was the best bet
Ribs ok
pork was dry
Very nice staff

Bigdog
11-20-2012, 03:35 PM
Could be worst. The most popular BBQ in New York City is this monstrosity http://www.dallasbbq.com/

Soooooo true. Many years ago I had the unfortunate displeasure of having to eat there. One of the worst meals of my life but not as bad as the ribs I had on Beal Street several years ago. :icon_sick

deguerre
11-20-2012, 03:35 PM
I heard that Rendezvous and Interstate are over rated.

Many like Corky's but never been there.

Ever been to Cozy Corner?

Corky's sucks. They even sell their BBQ in the frozen section at the super markets and it's no worse than the restaurant. Cozy Corner? That's one of the exceptions. Yep. Their BBQ bologna sandwich and their Cornish hens are a must try.

pmad
11-20-2012, 03:36 PM
In Memphis? Purt near ALL of 'em...
The Best BBQ I've had in Memphis is in West Memphis at Willie Mae's.

Yendor
11-20-2012, 03:41 PM
There is a place here in Eden Prairie, MN called Baker's Ribs. They are associated with some places in Dallas of the same name. Now, their food is great and I rank them pretty high for BBQ here in MN. Do any of the Dallas Area folks have any experience with their locations there?

The top rated places here are not that great either, never trust on line sources. "Redstone" had the highest ranked ribs in the state, the wife and I went over and grabbed a rack to try it out. Horrible doesn't even describe it. We didn't take the leftovers home because it was that bad. We could have eaten at Baker's less than one block away for half the price.

Wyley
11-20-2012, 04:09 PM
For me I've gotta say Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, AL. I unfortunately had to eat there for a second time this past weekend as part of a large group that decided that was the place to eat. I wasn't impressed the first time I ate there and thought even less of it the second time. The pulled pork was grey in color and didn't taste smoked at all, the ribs were fall off the bone done with little smoke flavor at all. Everyone else at the table thought it was wonderful.

deguerre
11-20-2012, 04:15 PM
For me I've gotta say Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, AL. I unfortunately had to eat there for a second time this past weekend as part of a large group that decided that was the place to eat. I wasn't impressed the first time I ate there and thought even less of it the second time. The pulled pork was grey in color and didn't taste smoked at all, the ribs were fall off the bone done with little smoke flavor at all. Everyone else at the table thought it was wonderful.

Gibsons is nothing like it was in the 60s and 70s. Which one did you go to? 6th Ave or the one on the beltline? (Beltline is a much worse location)

caseydog
11-20-2012, 04:29 PM
In Dallas, the most over-rated que joint is Sonny Bryan's. It has been mentioned on several FoodTV shows as the place to eat que in Dallas. If you like tough dry meat, soggy sides and sauce with too much vinegar, then SB's is for you. Otherwise, skip it.

CD

jfletcher84
11-20-2012, 05:17 PM
I clicked on the link and read some of the things that people posted on yelp. The one I found most interesting was one where someone was complaining about the service and the lack of any effort on phils to resolve their concern. the owner then replies that they might actually do something if they gave a better revue. That is just low and dishonest.

AussieTitch
11-20-2012, 05:19 PM
Question if I may.
Baked then grilled has been mentioned here.
Would that be slow in the oven then flashed over a grill?
I can only mention Mc Donalds and Burger King here,if they get votes for great Hamburgers it would be kids voting I reckon.
Cheers.
Titch

DownHomeQue
11-20-2012, 05:24 PM
I think we are all spoiled and accustomed to our own BBQ.... We spoil ourselves.. these poor restaurants don't have a chance..:shock:

Q Junkie
11-20-2012, 05:53 PM
I live about a 3-iron away from Phils in San Marcos..(well maybe driver then 3-iron) but anyway I agree that Phils is way over rated and I never understood the lines out the door. I ate there a few times when they first opened because I had high hopes. I had no problem with the bar though. I will say that T&H meats in San Marcos has really good quality cuts of meat and some really good smoked goodies. T&H is only a 3-wood/wedge away from me. :mrgreen:

landarc
11-20-2012, 05:54 PM
Titch, there are many places stateside that either bake or steam their ribs until they are nearly done, then grill them just before serving, to get them glazed up. It is a valid way to cook ribs, but, not BBQ. Many folks object to the selling of BBQ if it is not BBQ (this is actually reasonable to object too). One of the largest chains, Tony Roma's cook's their ribs in a steam oven (steam baked) or in a regular oven in foil covered pans, with water in them, to aid in the speed of cooking and the moisture, it allows for cheaper labor too, as anyone can do it.

AussieTitch
11-20-2012, 06:05 PM
Cheers Mate,similiar to Sous Vide.
Titch

neuyawk
11-20-2012, 07:05 PM
Gibsons is nothing like it was in the 60s and 70s. Which one did you go to? 6th Ave or the one on the beltline? (Beltline is a much worse location)

Is there a lot of cross over from their competition stuff into their regular menu? It's been on my list to try for a while, you're saying don't bother? Really isn't much else for a city slicker like my to do in Decatur

RL Reeves Jr
11-20-2012, 07:45 PM
Rolled into Cincinnati from Texas and my buddy wanted to take me to his favorite bbq joint: Montgomery Inn. The place was huge and packed with eaters. They'd boiled the ribs til they got good n soggy then basted em with sauce and stuck em in an oven for a few minutes. On his visit to Texas I took him to Black's in Lockhart. He nearly wept.

sandiegobbq
11-20-2012, 09:24 PM
Dude you live In Chula Juana there is some fine Mexican grub to be had. I agree BBQ aahhhh.... not so much. I used to live on 25&L back in the days of my conscription, is Robertos still in business?? DAM they made a Killer Carne asada burrito.

Roberto's is alive and well in Chula Vista on Broadway.

sandiegobbq
11-20-2012, 09:30 PM
I live about a 3-iron away from Phils in San Marcos..(well maybe driver then 3-iron) but anyway I agree that Phils is way over rated and I never understood the lines out the door. I ate there a few times when they first opened because I had high hopes. I had no problem with the bar though. I will say that T&H meats in San Marcos has really good quality cuts of meat and some really good smoked goodies. T&H is only a 3-wood/wedge away from me. :mrgreen:

Where do you play golf lol.

Youngin'
11-20-2012, 09:40 PM
Here in Miami we have Shortys, BBQ pit (been closed down more time than I care to remember due to failed health inspections) and there's this one stand in North Miami called Bo legs that has more smoke coming out of one small pit than a 4 alarm fire yet their ribs taste like the soul of a shoe. I cook everything in my backyard and invite people over.

Miami is just as bad as San Diego

Wyley
11-20-2012, 10:22 PM
Gibsons is nothing like it was in the 60s and 70s. Which one did you go to? 6th Ave or the one on the beltline? (Beltline is a much worse location)

That's scary then 'cause I went to the one on 6th Ave. I will not allow myself to be talked into going there again. Dreamland in Huntsville only gets one more chance also. The one that used to be outside of Atlanta in Conyers was fantastic but they closed that one a few years ago.

martyleach
11-20-2012, 10:59 PM
I used to really hate BBQ. I went to Tony Roma's in Encino, CA (I think that's where it was) in 1979(?). People said how great their ribs were. I tried a rack and all I could taste was sauce and I had sauce all over my hands and face. Gross!! BBQ equals gooey sauce. That ended anything called BBQ for me for many years. Thank the Lord that I bought a BGE some years ago and started making my own. I now understand the difference.
I believe there are few establishments in CA that can afford to do it right due to the high cost of everything. I would highly recommend Smoqued in Orange, CA (Disneyland area), run by Ryan Chester(a Brethren). They are doing it right with some awesome, non-traditional BBQ dishes.

QansasjayhawQ
11-20-2012, 11:00 PM
This has been a crazy topic to read. Both saddening and inspiring.

Here in Lawrence, we have GranDaddy's BBQ. While not quite competition BBQ - it's dang close!

He uses a 'pagoda' style cooker with rotating racks and he always cooks with a wonderful mixture of oak and hickory. Ouch. Never saw that can of lighter fluid before.
https://plus.google.com/104495957702739779138/about?hl=en

Now, I would have to say that the famous Famous Dave's is over rated - but that's a national chain.

So, second to that (and local) would be Buffalo Bob's BBQ downtown Lawrence (http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/businesses/buffalo-bobs/).
I can't bag on him too hard though - the dude does a LOT for the community.

martyleach
11-20-2012, 11:01 PM
Good to hear some postive news about good Q.


This has been a crazy topic to read. Both saddening and inspiring.

Here in Lawrence, we have GranDaddy's BBQ. While not quite competition BBQ - it's dang close!

He uses a 'pagoda' style cooker with rotating racks and he always cooks with a wonderful mixture of oak and hickory.
https://plus.google.com/104495957702739779138/about?hl=en

Now, I would have to say that the famous Famous Dave's is over rated - but that's a national chain.

So, second to that (and local) would be Buffalo Bob's BBQ downtown Lawrence (http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/businesses/buffalo-bobs/).
I can't bag on him too hard though - the dude does a LOT for the community.

deguerre
11-21-2012, 07:09 AM
Is there a lot of cross over from their competition stuff into their regular menu? It's been on my list to try for a while, you're saying don't bother? Really isn't much else for a city slicker like my to do in Decatur

Point_Mallard! (http://www.pointmallardpark.com/) Seriously though, I'd still give it a shot. It's acceptable. Don't bother with the brisket. The white sauce is actually very good on smoked turkey and chicken. When we visit my Mom still grabs a couple pounds of pulled pork, slaw and a pack of CWBs with their vinegar "sauce" for that evening's dinner. Typical restaurant fare as opposed to comp. The only comp stuff I've had were some ribs Chris Lilly gave me years ago at MIM when I visited their site and talked about home - they were excellent. Mr. Lilly is a class act too. A very kind and generous host.
Curiously, I've never had the ribs at Gibsons, even though I grew up just a mile or two away from the joint.

If in Decatur, give Whitt's a try too. Just a few blocks North on 6th from Gibsons.

The Cosmic Pig
11-21-2012, 09:02 AM
Dequerre, is that Whitt's a chain? There's a Whitt's here and he cooks in a high capacity Fast Eddie. I'm pretty sure he wraps the meat in foil from the beginning or something, 'cause the meat is very white and there's no hint of smoke. Of course, you don't get much smoke on a Fast Eddie anyway. Otherwise, the meat was juicy and tender, and the sauce wasn't bad. It didn't suck! He had a "smoked" turkey sandwich that my wife liked, also. I don't know if "Buddy's" BBQ has made it out your way, but it's the best chain BBQ I've ever had. It's based here in Knoxville. BTW, I had Gus's chicken a month or so ago...yum!

deguerre
11-21-2012, 09:09 AM
Yep, Whitt's in Decatur is the same chain as in Tennessee. For a chain, it's not bad. Check out the Google maps satellite image on the addy and it appears that their main location has two HUGE chimneys through the roof and what appears to be a smaller smoke shack out back...

2532 Spring Ave SW, Decatur, AL 35601

sandiegobbq
11-21-2012, 06:47 PM
Dequerre, is that Whitt's a chain? There's a Whitt's here and he cooks in a high capacity Fast Eddie. I'm pretty sure he wraps the meat in foil from the beginning or something, 'cause the meat is very white and there's no hint of smoke. Of course, you don't get much smoke on a Fast Eddie anyway. Otherwise, the meat was juicy and tender, and the sauce wasn't bad. It didn't suck! He had a "smoked" turkey sandwich that my wife liked, also. I don't know if "Buddy's" BBQ has made it out your way, but it's the best chain BBQ I've ever had. It's based here in Knoxville. BTW, I had Gus's chicken a month or so ago...yum!

What is it about Gus's fried chicken that makes it so good?
Spicy? Moist? Crispy batter?

Wyley
11-21-2012, 09:19 PM
I'm familiar with Whitt's, they are all around Middle Tennessee. Can't say they are my favorite either, but I would say they are better than Gibson's was. I used to like Bar-B-Cutie but got tired of getting cold meals at more than one of their restaurants.

Just BS
11-28-2012, 05:15 PM
I clicked on the link and read some of the things that people posted on yelp. The one I found most interesting was one where someone was complaining about the service and the lack of any effort on phils to resolve their concern. the owner then replies that they might actually do something if they gave a better revue. That is just low and dishonest.

Phil's a prick! He got kicked out of his previous location because of his inability to deal with people...and they kept complaining about his "smoke" until he was forced to leave. He seems to be doing well at his current location by the Sports Arena, but I won't step foot in there.

Just BS
11-28-2012, 05:18 PM
You guys are bumming me out about Memphis. BBQ & Blues are two of my favorite things. That along with some Jack Daniel's and we are talking nirvana.

Bummer.... :mmph:

gtr
11-28-2012, 05:31 PM
Dequerre, is that Whitt's a chain? There's a Whitt's here and he cooks in a high capacity Fast Eddie. I'm pretty sure he wraps the meat in foil from the beginning or something, 'cause the meat is very white and there's no hint of smoke. Of course, you don't get much smoke on a Fast Eddie anyway. Otherwise, the meat was juicy and tender, and the sauce wasn't bad. It didn't suck! He had a "smoked" turkey sandwich that my wife liked, also. I don't know if "Buddy's" BBQ has made it out your way, but it's the best chain BBQ I've ever had. It's based here in Knoxville. BTW, I had Gus's chicken a month or so ago...yum!

I grew up on Buddy's! I haven't had that stuff in a couple decades but I sure do remember enjoying it. I got some good stuff at a place called Pup's Pit a while back on Northshore in Rocky Hill.

And Gus's - hell yes! To answer sdbbq - it's just flavorful juicy fried chicken cooked just right. Crispy skin, all that. Great fried green tomatoes too.

RangerJ
11-30-2012, 11:47 AM
I have to agree with CD about Sonny Bryan's. I was very disappointed when we moved to Dallas with their products.

But none so much as Dickey's who is doing a great job of bastardizing que across the US and ruining the reputation of Texas BBQ.

This rib talk and methods of cooking which the public adores reminds me of funny story. A few years back I cooked the Best Dam BBQ Cook Off in Nevada. Great event, beautiful location. Well they also allow some vendors in for the public.

I was right across from this guy who had this raging fire going, he was wearing goggles and the long leather gloves because every now and then he would douse whatever he was using for fuel with lighter fluid. Black smoke would billow into the sky and you could smell the lighter fluid everywhere.

Anyway, he was taking ribs straight out of the case and literally flash frying them while stoking his fire with lighter fluid. The line for his product looked like Franklin BBQ on a UT football Saturday!

At the awards when the announced people choice, most popular vendor, it was him!

So, you just never know what the masses will eat.

deguerre
11-30-2012, 11:50 AM
I didn't know Nevada had so many sterno bums...

neuyawk
11-30-2012, 12:45 PM
I have to agree with CD about Sonny Bryan's. I was very disappointed when we moved to Dallas with their products.

But none so much as Dickey's who is doing a great job of bastardizing que across the US and ruining the reputation of Texas BBQ.

This rib talk and methods of cooking which the public adores reminds me of funny story. A few years back I cooked the Best Dam BBQ Cook Off in Nevada. Great event, beautiful location. Well they also allow some vendors in for the public.

I was right across from this guy who had this raging fire going, he was wearing goggles and the long leather gloves because every now and then he would douse whatever he was using for fuel with lighter fluid. Black smoke would billow into the sky and you could smell the lighter fluid everywhere.

Anyway, he was taking ribs straight out of the case and literally flash frying them while stoking his fire with lighter fluid. The line for his product looked like Franklin BBQ on a UT football Saturday!

At the awards when the announced people choice, most popular vendor, it was him!

So, you just never know what the masses will eat.


I love me some fireball with my ribs :mrgreen::mrgreen: