Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Beach Pit BBQ

The Beach Pit BBQ
1676 Tustin Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

I understand why people love the Beach Pit. It is a charming location with checkered tablecloths on wooden tables, plenty of outside seating, a fire pit, and a childrens play area. And the food is pretty good. But I wouldn't call it great.
It was pretty empty when I stopped in. There was one woman eating outside and that was it. The guy behind the counter was a nice guy; we chatted for a couple minutes about the items on the menu. I was wearing a t shirt I had bought at Memphis in May (reading "Memphis: The 4th Fattest City in America. We Won't Rest Until We're #1") and we talked a little about the BBQ festival.
I had a pulled pork sandwich and fries. The pork was good and had definitely been wood smoked, but it was not great. It came on a dense French roll that was distracting, so I just ate the meat. The sauce, even though it was the "spicy" version, tasted sweet and did little for the pork. With all the effort they put into replicating a Southern joint, I was expecting them to have a vinegar or mustard sauce, but they did not.
I liked the Beach Pit. I just didn't love it, and I got the feeling that if they spent a little less time on marketing (and designing the place to feel "authentic") they might actually make some great barbecue. I felt their barbecue was only good. But that still puts them in the upper echelon of Southern California barbecue. If I lived closer to the area I'm sure I would visit them frequently.


TheNewDiner said...

You're a baseball fan and don't know that The Beach Pit BBQ is owned by the son of former Baltimore Orioles and CA Angel, Doug DeCinces.

Here is my review that includes a comment from Tim DeCinces.

PulledPorker said...

Thanks. Yes, I did know about Doug's son, Tim. I chose not to mention it, as I don't like to think about the 1986 ALCS. I was 8 years old and I cried when the Angels blew their 3-1 lead.