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One of the most talked about BBQ places within the San Diego food community is the newly opened Grand Ole BBQ. They have Texas style barbecue so this place warranted a visit from us... or two or three! Grand Ole BBQ is located at 3302 32nd street, between the north and south park areas of town and we didn't have any trouble finding street parking.
You can spot the huge outdoor smoker immediately. That's where the magic happens. I probably say that about all barbecue places though!
On Sundays there is a special Argentine menu with different items than the rest of the week. The BBQ masters use this open flame pit in the back to make food instead of the super sized smoker in the front.
You place your order at the first window and they'll begin preparing your items. At the next window, you order your sides and pay for your meal. Even though there were only a couple of people ahead of us, it seemed to take about 5 minutes per person, which is excruciating when you're super hungry!
To the side is their condiment station with goodies like sweet pickles, pickled red onions, and various barbecue sauces.
We were excited when our food came out. The Argentine Tri Tip Sandwich was cooked well done but kept moist. It had the perfect texture where it breaks apart, creating the diamond like shapes. They didn't put much chimichurri on but for good reason. That stuff is potent with its strong garlic flavor and too much could hide the meat flavor. There was plenty of meat on this simple sandiwch.
The Argentina Chorizo Sandwich is clean tasting without being oily but doesn't carry any strong flavors. The garlic chimichurri really carried this sandwich for us.
Here's our whole Sunday meal. For sides we had Peruvian White Beans which were delicious and we'll probably order every time we come here. Another good side was the buttery Polenta, well salted with a thicker corn bread texture.
It was a very good meal with the tri tip being our favorite but I could still feel the garlic breath afterwards. *vampires beware*
Of course we had to come back to try the regular Texas style menu.
Here's our haul this time, which included a side of potato salad and texas bean salad. Dennis thought the potato salad was a little too creamy but I thought it worked well for a "mayo style" potato salad. The other side seems like it'd be perfect for a taco salad. Dennis mentioned he had a similar salsa at Rockin' Baja that was great with chips.
The Pork Ribs were decently sized with a good amount of meat on the bone. The meat had a good bark on the edge and was in fact quite tender throughout. This was our favorite meat of the meal.
We also tried the Lamb Shoulder Sandwich which overall was pretty good. Some pieces were a little chewier than others. The lamb is not a juicy kind of meat or strong flavored so it actually pairs well with the red pickled onions and the sweet pickles. The chimichurri also works really well with this meat and seemed little less garlicky than our previous visit.
Here's the Texas Hot Link Sandwich. For some reason, the sausage looked incredibly massive on this visit. I'm wondering if it is a different size from the Argentine version! Even though it was a "hot link," it carried a small amount of heat. One bite in and you don't feel much, but weaker spiced palates might begin feeling some burn after eating more of the meat! I think we had ordered spicy coleslaw too but it didn't have any noticable effect. This sandwich is very filling.
Our cousins ordered the Turkey Smoked Sandwich. The meat was soft yet not overwhelmingly juicy as to make the bread soggy. It was nice to finally eat a quality thick slice of turkey. We thought this one flavored well with the spicy bbq sauce.
We still hadn't tried their famous brisket or beef ribs so we returned once again.
Omg. Look at this giant Beef Rib. This piece alone weight 3/4 of a pound! It was amazingly tender and shredded off the bone quite easily. The salt and pepper crust was simple and let the meat shine through.
The Pulled Pork was smoky and worked best with some barbecue sauces.
The other 'must have' was the Beef Brisket. They gave us a little bit of the fattier cut and the leaner cuts of brisket. The marbling of the fatty piece was amazing and we were really impressed.
Here are the menus from our first two visits. I forgot to take a picture from the last visit.
After multiple visits, we decided this is our new favorite barbecue place! We were able to try the majority of the food here and that brisket and beef rib are just calling us to come back!
Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado
3302 32nd St
San Diego CA 92104