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Restaurants & Bars 8

Barn Burner BBQ, Pasadena -- Review (long)

montecito heights boy | Jul 31, 200510:15 PM

Well, my wife and I have eagerly awaited the opening of this bbq joint for several weeks. Unfortunately, it was quite substandard.

We took the toddler to the zoo (seemed like it was 50% under construction), and after fighting crowds and the heat, we had the hankering for pizza. On the hounds' tips, we stopped by Dino's in Burbank, but it was closed (looked under construction), went out to Casa Bianca, which was also closed (Sunday it is closed, I think I read that on this site, but wasn't sure...).

So we were headed to an old standby, Round Table on Fair Oaks in South Pas, and passed by Barn Burner BBQ, and it was open!

The atmosphere at first was neat and homey in a BBQ way... long tables for diners, a trough to wash up, funky bathrooms (Best reason to check out this joint IMHO), peanut shells on floor, video game/play room for the pups... I really wanted to like this joint.

Then I noticed that it was really loud in the place, and it was not even half full or busy (a fellow patron near me asked for her food to go because of the noise level). Did not really matter, cuz we were here to eat seared flesh, I thought. In looking at the menu, it appeared as if they had everything right. Meat was prominently labled "protein", they have meals that are meant to share, you pick how many pounds of whatever meat you want and sides, and plenty of towels on the table. Decent prices, too. Baby back ribs, tri-tip, chicken, hot links, pulled pork, beef ribs, and brisket were the choices. MMM, I was getting hungry and it smelled great!

Wife and I shared 1 1/2 pound combo of brisket, chicken and baby back ribs, sides of beans and cole slaw. Well, all I can say that is good is that they gave us enough bbq suace and the sauce was tasty. The baby back ribs had little meat and were completely dry, even though slathered in bbq sauce. The chicken was decent, but was little more than a leg. The brisket I think was tri-tip (and so did the waiter, he could not tell...), but it was okay, just tasted like tri-tip, not brisket, which is fine if that was what I had wanted and ordered. Only the tri-tip/brisket was decent in size and worth eating.

The beans were worse than canned beans, no flavor whatsoever (I dumped a quarter cup of the bbq sauce in them just to make them palatable...), and the slaw was only a step above KFC (although my wife thought it was the best thing we received). The rolls were dry and cold, as if day old bread.

My wife's iced tea (allegedly 'homemade') was totally watered down. For $35 bucks, we were full, but of nothing that we really wanted to eat (okay I am exaggerating a little, the chicken, although miniscule portion, was decent and the tri/brisket was okay...).

We really wanted to like this place, but left thinking that we will never go back unless we hear otherwise from at least two people. Maybe they just haven't gotten their act together? It did just open a week ago, but I think it is owned by same people who own El Cholo, so that may account for sub-par food.

Located next to El Cholo in Pasadena on Fair Oaks.

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