working in the oc, living in sgv and reading the Hound Board has made it easy for me to try 2 "down home " bbq shacks - burrell's in santa ana and hungry al's in west covina. i've been to burrell's 4-5 times, last nite was my 2nd trip to Al's - in general, i found both to be top notch - i would recommend both to anyone that likes bbq. it's important to understand both places are truly "shacks" in that the eating areas are very simple and basically encourage you to take it home - burrell's with it's backyard eating area, al's with a "simple" eating area.
as to the food - both serve some mean ribs !!! damn good !! i give al's the edge on the ribs - but not by much. the beef - a big nod to burrell's - i found al's to be dry and chewy both times i tried them. the links - a tough call - both were good but i thought al's was a little dry the 2nd time i was there. the chicken - again the nod to burrell's - had a smokier taste and the chicken seemed to be higher quality.
the sides - big nod to burrell's - more options and i really like the mac and cheese !! also burrell's serves corn bread vs. white bread slices at al's - the corn bread is frequently dry, but i will take that over wonder bread anyday.
i have not tried the desserts at al's but i liked the pecan pie at burrell's.
you can't go wrong at either place - what makes me sad is the lack of biz both appear to get ( might be due to the times i go in to each ) but when i drive back to my house from al's and i see lines of people waiting to get into chili's and bj's, i just shake my head...it's sad !!