and we couldn’t be happier.
Via e-mail, our cousin Karen told us that Phil’s BBQ—one of our two favorite barbecue spots in the country (with 2Paul’s in Lafayette, LA)—was planning to open another restaurant. And one that is no more that ten minutes from our RV park in Santee, CA.
“Darrin and Jacquelyn had arrived ready to wait, bringing a pair of folding chairs with them. For the couple, it would be their first time ever at Phil’s. ‘We’re pretty excited because we've heard nothing but good things about it,’ said Darrin. ‘We've heard all the other locations get pretty busy with lines wrapped around the corner, so we wanted to get here early today so we didn't have to wait too long, other than sitting.’ Later on, inside the restaurant, the couple was enjoying their first taste of Phil’s, and the experience was clearly worth the wait…” (Stephen Prendergast at examiner.com).
“The new restaurant saw more than 2,500 applicants apply for 140 available positions on staff over a five day period. The line to eat remained out the door for the entirety of the opening festivities” (Steven Bartholow at santee.patch.com).
But what appears to be controlled chaos is actually a fairly efficient system. You order at the counter,
We had a plan. We would order one pulled pork sandwich, one tri-tip sandwich, a large order of fries, and—for me—a side of cole slaw.
These sandwiches are as big as they look in the photos. I estimate that 40% of the meat can’t fit inside the bun but is there to be eaten with fork or fingers—whatever floats your boat. You’ll note that neither of us likes a lot of sauce. It just obscures the smoky flavor of the meat. So we asked for the sauce on the side so that we could self apply.
Chuck started with his half of the pulled pork or BBQ Broham—a mountain of luscious and juicy pork that hadn’t been over smoked, so you taste meat first and smoke later.
It was time for me to dig into my half of the tri-tip—otherwise known as the El Toro. And a famous sandwich this is. It was featured on an episode of Adam Richman’s Man v. Food on the Travel Channel. And, during the past year, was again highlighted on Richman’s new show—Best Sandwich in America—where it was the winner of the West Coast region (one of ten regions).
The sandwich is prepared by thinly slicing the smoked tri-tip and then throwing it on the grill with a bit of sauce. The high heat begins to caramelize the sugars in the sauce and gives the beef a slightly sweet flavor.
A note to self—next time a small fries will be plenty. These were obviously house-cut, but I would have liked them a bit crisper.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.