Phil's BBQ

During a trip to pick up the plumbing items this week, the Mister and I decided to take the opportunity to have lunch. He’s been to Phil’s BBQ before with coworkers and enjoyed it very much and wanted me to try their ribs (being a ribs freak and all).  Phil’s BBQ is located near the Sports Arena (Point Loma) and just a hop and a skip from where I needed to go. So why not?

The only thing I knew about Phil’s was that they are very popular and that all the rubs and sauces were from scratch. We decided to get there early because I guess it gets really crowded. Apparently on the weekend, lines can wrap around the building! Boy, must be some good BBQ.

We got there right before 11 am and there was already a line of about 10 people waiting for the doors to open. Zoinkies! While we were waiting for the doors to open, I perused the menu that was hanging from the rafters.

Thank goodness I already decided what to have because once those doors opened, the pace to order is fast. You walk in, directed to walk right up to the order counter and place your order. It was so fast, I didn’t even have time to take a picture of the counter. The Mister ordered the Best of Both of baby back ribs and chicken with 2 small sides ($11.95). He chose sweet baked beans and coleslaw. You have the option of having 2 small sides or 1 large sides, btw.

I decided to get a half rack of baby backs. I chose to go the ribs only route ($10.95) because I wanted to Colossal Onion Rings ($3.95), which is not one of the options as a side. Once we paid, we went to grab a booth. Here’s a shot of the order counter from where we were sitting.

The sodas are self serve at the fountain station. Right behind the soda fountains is the wash-your-sauce stained-face/hands sinks. A very friendly server named Darrel introduced himself to us since we were sitting in his section. He brought out a plate for the bones and utensils.

While we were waiting for our food, I noticed that there was a heavy stream of folks coming in and the dining room was starting to fill up fast. The room was buzzing! To keep me from gnawing on my arm, I decided to something out of the ordinary. I channeled Cathy and took a picture of the condiments. I was very interested in the Tony Chachere’s Cajun spice but forgot to try it when the food came. Oh well.

Onion Rings were up first.

Wow, they weren’t kidding when they called these Colossal! These are batter dipped and fried. Crunchy and slightly on the oily side. Okay by me but I had a really hard time finishing it all. The Mister helped. It comes with a side of Ranch dressing (yum!).

Then our order was brought to the table. Let’s start with the Mister’s Best of Both.

Sorry the ribs are kind of obscured in the picture but a better shot to come.  The Mister thoroughly enjoyed this. I didn’t try the cole slaw but he liked it. The sweet baked beans were apparently good too although some of the beans seem to be broken from what I saw. He said the chicken was very tender and it looked pretty juicy to me.

I wasn’t really paying too much attention to the Mister’s meal because I was focused on this!

Okay, I’ve written previously that we’re not a big fan of vinegar & ketchup based BBQ sauces. But I have to say I really enjoyed Phil’s secret sauce. It was tangy from the vinegar but there was also a slight sweetness to it, just a hint, to balance the tanginess. There were lots to like about this half rack: they were already precut for me, the meat was very tender and juicy and almost fall-off-the-rib good, and it was not completely overwhelmed with smokiness. Hey, I love a good smoked flavor on my ribs but I don’t believe ribs should smell like they’re still in the smoker when you bite into it. You know what I mean?

The Mister was pleased and relieved that I enjoyed the ribs. As a matter of fact, these ribs may be the best I’ve had in a while. Certainly had me thinking about when I can find another opportunity to come back soon.

Phil’s BBQ
3750 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110

Hours of Operation:
Closed Mondays
Tuesday – Thursday, Sunday
11 am to 10 pm

Friday and Saturday
11 am to 11 pm

10 Comments

    • Hey Kirbie! We rarely go south of 52 to dine and I typically just make ribs at home when we’re in the mood. But Phil’s is close to the Mister’s work so it makes it a great place for us to meet for lunch when we’re both free.

  1. You should also give Bull’s Smokin’ BBQ in Linda Vista a try. Next to Brick By Brick. I prefer their beef ribs over Phil’s. Nice smoky flavor. Although I must admit, Phil’s has some good sauce!

    • Hi kamisama and thanks for stopping by! I think Phil’s sauce is the key. I haven’t tried the beef ribs at Phil’s yet so maybe next time. Then I’ll have to pop over to Bull’s and try their ribs. You know, for comparison purposes. ;)

  2. Hey CAB – I think Phil’s makes some of the best ketchup (i.e. their BBQ sauce) in the world. As for the pork ribs, they tend to be mushy, and not smokey enough(frankly because they don’t smoke them)…though the Missus enjoys them, I tend to have one or two ribs, and eat up the fries with the extra BBQ sauce.

    • Hi Kirk! I have to say there’s something addictive with their ‘ketchup’. We were just there again today since I had to drive back down and I agree that today’s ribs were a little bit mushy than the first ones I had. I didn’t think they smoked their meat due to the markings on them but I enjoyed them. I was wondering if they add liquid smoke or anything but I can’t tell. Now if you really like smoked flavor, Kaminski’s meats are true smoked but their sauce isn’t as good as Phil’s. (not even close IMHO).

  3. yes, i def. love their sauce….man the wait at the hillcrest location was ridiculous b4 they opened up the new one….i remember waiting 2 hours once…horrible. i like the new one better because they serve beer there and parking isn’t bad =) do they sell the sauce? cuz i’d buy a bottle of that in a jiffy

    • Hi Sawyer! The second time we were there, we got there around 12:30 pm on a Friday and the line wasn’t too bad. I’d thought it be worse but the line was only to the parking lot and we waited for about 15 minutes. I looked to see if there was any sign for bottled sauce but didn’t see any. If I remember, I’ll ask the next time we’re there.

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