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.
3750 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Thursday, Sunday
11 am to 10 pm
Friday and Saturday
11 am to 11 pm