Thursday, December 22, 2011

Toto, I Don't Think We're in Texas Any Longer...

A week or more ago, we noticed that Dickey's Barbecue Pit was coming into a space at the strip mall across from the main Redondo Beach library. We looked at each other and grinned in anticipation. We are such 'que devotees that if we are anywhere in Barbecue Country, we ride with the windows down (the better to sniff for smoke) and our eyes repeatedly scanning the horizon (to see any smoke.)

Yesterday we took lunch there. We both had pulled pork sandwiches - a small, sub-shaped one for me and the larger version on a roll for Richie. He ordered barbecue beans as a side and I went for the fried onion "tanglers" and a small Caesar salad.

We could have had chopped or sliced beef brisket or Virginia ham or turkey or chicken breast, Polish sausage, Pork ribs or Cheddar sausage. Also on offer was something I have never ever seen in a bbq establishment -- the use of a baked potato instead of a bun or roll. "Pork and Tangler Tater" $9.95 ,combines pulled pork and fried onions perched on a slit and squashed baked potato.

We ordered and sat down at a table for two across from the counter and the chef who was industriously chopping away. A sign on the wall caught my eye -- "Our barbecue (sauce) recipe took three years, two fist fights and a small kitchen fire before Travis Dickey perfected (it.)" Good to know -- a lot of thought went into this whole thing back in 1941, 70 years ago.

Richie liked his sandwich, but said the pork seemed "a little dry." The beans didn't set his hair on fire with delight, but they were "okay." My sandwich was fine, but could have used a tad more sauce, easily remedied. I asked for the Caesar dressing on the side and it arrived in a little paper cup looking exactly like cream gravy, next to a bigger cup of wilting Romaine lettuce and pounds of stringed Parmesan. This is my own fault; I know that Texas itself isn't big enough to hide me from the irate roars and possibly savage revenge of bbq-lovers who would curse me eternally for that folly. The least would be piercing cries of "Yankee!" followed by "Go home!"

The onion tanglers were acceptable, being slightly fatter than onion strings and much smaller than the lamentable "Slab-O-Onion." (The Counter, BTW, has the BEST onion strings.)

After careful consideration, we both gave the food a "Meh" rating and shrugged. 'Que lovers know there's never been such a thing as "bad" barbecue.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit, 407 N. PCH (down near The Pitcher House) Redondo Beach, 90277 310-379-0202

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