Barn Burner Texas BBQ
1000 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
Almost all of my friends whose opinions on barbecue I respect dislike Barn Burner. They claim the food is below-average and overpriced and the service is lousy. The first time I went there, I wondered what restaurant they were talking about. The waiter was really nice and my pulled pork sandwich was incredibly good. The slaw was great and the sauce, while much too sweet, was pretty good when mixed with some mustard. And the whole thing cost about ten bucks. I really liked the place, with the exception of the over-the-top Texas decor. (But at least there weren't flies buzzing around, unlike another Texas BBQ joint.)
So I went back a couple months later. Now I see what my friends were talking about. I waited about twenty minutes to see a waiter, even though I was constantly told by three people it would be "just one minute." I got a full order of ribs, the order cost about 30 bucks, and not one of the ribs was edible. They were full of fat and yet very dry. Not a good combination for ribs.
Barn Burner is owned by the same people who own the Pasadena El Cholo, which explains a lot. I used to live a couple blocks from the El Cholo on Western and I really liked it. (Of course, that probably had something to do with the fact that my friends and I used to watch Lakers games there back when the Lakers were the best team in basketball and didn't blow 21 point leads at home in the NBA Finals.) I never liked the Pasadena location very much. It never seemed very friendly. After my last visit to Barn Burner I see a lot of similiarites.