across saucey spot
This week’s Economic Crunch was a wee bit farther down the road. Walking to Julian’s BBQ from the Harvin Center was hot, but not too unpleasant as the weather had turned nice and the company was enjoyable. The walk took about 15 minutes — just beware crossing at the intersection of Baldwin. Julian’s BBQ, located at 1818 Baldwin, claims to be world famous BBQ so we accepted the challenge.
Once we arrived at Julian’s the air conditioning was a nice welcome. The restaurant seemed clean at first glance, clean tables, no weird odor in the air and a half-filled dining area; this all seemed a plus in my book. The restaurant did seem a bit quiet though; people eating more than talking and no soft background music to be found. The restrooms were clean and had a nice smell.
The ordering area is separated from the dining area. Once you enter the front door you have to walk through another door to another room. This to me was a win factor for contaminants but a lose factor on the how-many-people-can-you-fit-in-a-small-area category. The staff was pleasant and greeted us well. They worked together to keep the line moving, and even the meat slicers were asking orders ahead of time to get the food out in a timely manner. The menu was predominately displayed with prices clearly marked and, best of all, Del Mar students get a 10 percent discount.
I chose a pulled pork sandwich on Texas toast with dill pickle chips only because my partner ordered the brisket sandwich first. I couldn’t help myself on the chips — they were Larry the Cable Guy chips and that just made me giggle a little inside. They took our money and before we could find our seats the food was served to us.
I did enjoy the BBQ sauce provided on the table. It had a light taste to it as not to distract from the flavor of the meat. I generously added the sauce to my sandwich and ate away. I enjoyed the juicy tenderness of the meat as well as the nice smokiness flavor. The toast was cooked lightly and crisp but still maintained a light buttery flavor to complement the meat as well. My sandwich did not survive the lunch hour; the chips, however, though delicious, were hardly touched as the sandwich filled my belly.
They have a self-serve drink area, so refills are free. I do suggest that if you are a tea drinker such as myself, there are not that many sweeting options other than pure sugar but there are options of soda that are Coca-Cola vendor based.
Overall rating: 4/5
Price of meal: $8.62
Like most bar-b-q restaurants, Julian’s has a very country home type environment. The dining area had wooden picnic type tables and stools, large glass cola bottles filled with barbecue sauce on each table and metal art (Texas signs, stars, cowboys riding horses) on the walls. They even had a small table and chairs for children to sit at and enjoy their meal like the grown-ups.
The kitchen and place to order is in a separate room from the dining area, which I think helps with the noise reduction. The restaurant wasn’t too loud with music and the TV was put on mute so it was very easy to converse with my partner in crime and fellow food reviewer without having to yell. The staff was friendly and very courteous to every customer.
I ordered the chop beef sandwich with a bag of Doritos chips and a drink. The total price was under $10. Thankfully, Del Mar College students receive a discount on their meals. We didn’t have to show any ID but it’s always best to have it just in case.
The buns were a little burnt on the inside and the meat tasted a little burnt as well. I love to add a large amount of barbecue sauce to any type of barbecue I’m feasting on so even if what I ordered were bad, the sauce would cover the taste. Unfortunately the sauce wasn’t great either. It was thin and didn’t have that kick I was hoping for.
I wouldn’t write Julian’s off completely though. It’s not fair to review a restaurant after only having one meal there. Maybe the cook was having an off day and didn’t cook his best meal. I wouldn’t mind eating there again and giving it another try. After all, I’m a Texan and I can’t refuse barbecue.
Overall rating: 3/5
Price of meal: $6.82