Sunday, July 21, 2013


I did it.

Speculated for week about this trip and yesterday I went for it.  So!

Let's talk about Barbecue at Bludso's... it's a small barbecue stand over in Compton.   For anyone to get out there is an effort.  I know about the other location at LaBrea, but my rule is:  if there's multiple locations of anything, unless it's a chain, the original is always the best.   I'll get my opinion out of the way:  it is TREMENDOUS.  If you have the time, and it's going to need a lot of time folks, it is worth every penny.

Getting to Bludso's is an adventure from anywhere but doubly so from the edge of Santa Monica.  Just getting on the *freeway* is a challenge.   Lincoln Blvd was a disaster!  This was around 2:15pm on a Saturday.  I had no chance.  I cut my losses and took SM Blvd. straight to the 405 freeway with a stop at the local Shell station.

Then the mighty 405 freeway.   It was a scene... even at 2pm it was touch and go the whole way.  Usually it's not as bad going south as it is going north.  This was still the case:  Northbound was even worse!!   It took 25 minutes just to get down to the 105 freeway East.   That took me the rest of the way did the 105.  I got off at Long Beach Blvd and went South, grazing the edge of Lynwood and into Compton.

Bludso's has a few parking spaces on a tiny lot once you pull in.  Diagonal spaces facing inward so going back out was a challenge (dead end scenario).  Anyway, right away you get out of the car and the smoky smell of 'Q was in the making.  It was awesome!   You can see all the magic right in front of you to the side of the building.

Next, to the ordering window.  Line wasn't very long but these orders get complicated so I was there for a little while.  Many speculated about how dangerous Compton is, but at least here at Bludso's I've seen worse.    The people at Bludsos were tremendous.  Really nice people behind the counter and even the people in line were very friendly.

I wanted to get my order in over the phone, but to show you how popular it is, the line was busy all five times I called on the drive over.  So, it was to the ordering window.  This short little cutie took my order and I tacked on the beef ribs for $2 extra.  More on that in a moment... but it's entirely worth the extra cabbage.

I don't think I waited too long after ordering for the food... it took about 20 minutes to prepare everything.  I ordered the "Texas Sampler":  every meat you can conceive of basically... the aforementioned beef ribs, pulled pork, brisket, pork sausage, chicken, baby back ribs, *spare ribs* too which took me by surprise, then two sides.  I chose Mac and Cheese and Baked Beans as the sides.  It all came in this enormous bag, sealed tightly with plastic wrap, styrofoam and foil (not in that order).

Whew!  While I waited, one of the customers dropped a soaked paper bag with sodas in it and one of the pepsi cans broke open like an egg and spilled soda everywhere.  I helped her clean it all up while she asked for a replacement soda.  Bludso's hooked her up.  I'm telling you, great customer service!

Then it was time to take all the food home.  There was no way I'd take the 405... it was red-level traffic for miles going northbound, so instead I went  105 West to the 110 North to 10 West.   It was moving the whole way.. big time decision.  Had I done the 405 I'd take an extra hour to get back.   Made it home at 4:45 and unwrapped everything... it was so tightly sealed, I mean, it's like unwrapping Christmas Presents here.

Everything was tremendous, some more tremendous than others even!  Coach, my room mate, had in on the meat too.   Tons and tons of leftovers.  Not because we didn't like it, but because there was so *much* food.

First of all, the sides were *excellent.*   The Mac and Cheese was on par with Dulan's over in Inglewood, which means, it was FANTASTIC.  The Baked Beans were pretty good too.  Big fan of both.

Next, the other meats.. the spare ribs were a nice bonus... about spot on, a tad dry but really not bad at all.   Chicken was impressive... you can absorb all the mesquite smoked aroma with each bite.   Pulled pork was solid.. I would say that I've had better pulled pork at Jim's in Woodland Hills, but that's hardly a knock.  All it means is that Jim's pulled pork is out of this *world.*  Sausage was noice... lots of flavor and spice on the inside.

Now to my favorite items from the cavalcade of meats: brisket, baby back ribs, and beef ribs.   First, the brisket, so tender, so flavorful, it really just melts in your mouth.  Phenomenal.  The Baby Backs... wow!   Jim's Baby Backs are also pretty elite, so too are Houston's', but wow.  Just WOW these Baby Back ribs have it all at Bludso's.   Smoky aroma, great sauce, tender meat, quality cut pork.  It's all in order here... I loved 'em.   Then it was my favorite thing from Bludso's... the beef ribs.  Beef ribs are impossible to get tender like this... it is a minor miracle to taste such succulent, fall of the bone ribs of *beef*, couple it with Bludso's great sauce and it's a winner from end to end.

Over the years I found the Tee Off Restaurant in Santa Barbara served the best beef ribs.  They only serve them on Wednesday nights.   Bludso's ribs are this but even *softer* and fresher, and with an iconic smoky aroma all their own.  In essence, the best Beef Ribs in California.

Now listen, if there's a contender in the rest of the state that wishes to stake its claim, get in touch with me.  I'm at @diningwithdave and at daveinthecityoutwest at yahoo dot com.  For now, Bludso's is the pound for pound beef rib champion.   Nothing but kudos from me.

Texas Sampler, a major hit.  A home run, even.  (tss tss?)

Thanks, Kevin Bludso... when you decided to move you made this blogger's day.  

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