I've kept this secret to myself for over ten years. But now it's time for me to fess up. Some of the best BBQ you'll taste in Los Angeles can be found in the parking lot of a church. Yes...a church! Pastor Elder Clebester Williams is the larger than life, friendly gentleman who runs the show at the Prayer Assembly Church of God at the corner of El Segundo and Avalon in Los Angeles. Pastor Williams started his culinary quest decades ago as a cook on the Southern Pacific Railroad when one day God came calling. He put aside his apron and started spreading the word of God to all who took the time to listen. One day, according to Pastor Williams, God came to him in a dream and gave him the vision for this little gem, which serves up as many as two thousand mouth watering BBQ dinners every weekend, which by the way, are served Fridays and Saturdays only. Thats some serious volume!
As you drive down El Segundo Blvd, you can actually start to smell the mouth watering aroma from almost a block away, a subtle hint as to the treat your taste buds have in store for themselves. Two large barbeques about fifteen feet long can be viewed from the street, smoking like old time steam engines. The BBQ is then sold from a trailer at the other side of the parking lot. This is real smoked BBQ, not just a selection of grilled meats. The menu includes pretty standard Q' fare. Pork ribs, beef links, chicken, sliced beef, and my all time favorite, smoked turkey necks. Folks line up twenty deep for these babys. And unless you,ve tried em'... don't knock em'. Succulent dark turkey meat thats smokey, rich, moist and fall off the bone tender are almost, well... no pun intended Pastor... Heavenly! The intense BBQ flavor that these impart is simply not to be believed!! I order mine DRY, with the BBQ sauce on the side and add it when I arrive at my dining destination, trust me, the delicate meat holds up much better when the sauce is introduced just before you dig in. This is a church parking lot, alas, there is no on sight dining and everything is sold "to go". Side orders include a rather generic potato salad and BBQ beans. But I come just for the Q'. In this "Hounds" opinion, the BBQ here is substantial enough to justify the nearly ninety mile round trip it takes me just to indulge!
Down home favorites such as home made banana pudding, sweet potato pie, and pound cake, are dessert offerings that nicely round out the menu. Prices start at about seven dollars, and in my opinion provide a whole lot of bang for your buck. This place is a must try if your quest for serious no frills BBQ is anything like mine!!
Prayer Assembley of God Church.
442 East El Segundo Blvd.
Los Angeles, Ca 90061