Finding Barbecue for National BBQ Month

Backyard BBQ Ribs + Sides (courtesy photo)

Whether you prefer your barbecue Texas-style, cooked low and slow over indirect heat, or Kansas City-style smothered in a thick, sweet molasses sauce, we can all agree BBQ is a staple food in the U.S. Since May is National Barbecue Month, we’ve rounded up some of the best spots in the city to get your grub on all month long. Just be prepared to get a little messy!

Carlsbad’s family-friendly Park 101 was built around their in-house meat smoker, so it’s safe to say they take their smoked meats pretty seriously. Diners can order any smoked meats like Tri Tip, Pulled Pork or Chicken Breast, atop Park’s veggie-packed salads or as a platter (available for dinner only). All combination platters come with two sides, house pickles and a rosemary roll. Park 101 also serves tasty sandwiches such as theirBBQ Pork, made with smoked pork tossed in house barbecue sauce, sriracha, coleslaw, pickles and crispy seasoned onions. Take your family to celebrate National Barbecue Month at Park 101 this May.

The Smoking Gun may be known throughout San Diego as the Gaslamp District’s go-to cocktail bar, but the retro-style bar and eatery also serves Southern-inspired comfort dishes that will make your mouth water. Indulge in the Brandt Farms Beef Brisket, which comes smothered in a BBQ au jus and would pair excellently with any of the side pieces listed on the menu. Fried Brussels, with shaved parmesan, and Homemade Stuffing covered in scratch made mushroom gravy are only two of the tasty side dishes listed on the menu. Make your way to The Smoking Gun to find out what other delicious barbecue plates and sides are offered. Just don’t forget to order a cocktail!

After a day spent cruising the boardwalk or catching waves on your surfboard in Pacific Beach, stop into Backyard Kitchen & Tap to refuel. The chic and innovative coastal American eatery has salads, flatbread options, burgers and sandwiches – but let’s get real, we’re here to discuss barbecue. The Backyard Bar-B-Que portion of the menu allows guest to pick one protein, including BBQ Pulled Pork and St. Louis Ribs, along with two sides. Compliment your main entrée with Pork N’ Beans, Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins or BKYD Slaw, among other choices, and toast to National Barbecue Month with a cold brew or craft cocktail.

May is the perfect month to kick off the summer barbecue season and San Diego’s Wood Ranch, located in Mission Valley, should be your go-to spot for catering. Not only does the award-winning restaurant have affordable catering packages which include Wood Ranch Tri Tip, signature sides and freshly baked garlic rolls, they also offer individual items, desserts and beverages. Diners can also stop in for lunch and dinner, and enjoy salads topped with smoked meat, signature BBQ plates and sides like Grilled Corn on the Cob or Mashed Potatoes.

The fun and high-energy barleymash has been a great place for locals and visitors to come together over delicious food and drink for almost six years now. And with Chef Kevin Templeton at the helm of the kitchen at the Gaslamp District spot, the bites are guaranteed to be nothing but the best. For National Barbecue Month, dine in and order the Red Chili & Garlic-Braised Short Ribs, with crispy tobacco onions and chili Colorado sauce, served atop a bed of arugula-mashed potatoes and roasted farmhouse veggies. Striving to source their ingredients as organic, natural, local and sustainable as possible, every plate at barleymash is fresh and delicious.

Head up to Solana Beach if wings smothered in housemade sauce sound like the way you want to celebrate May!Pillbox Tavern, located above the cliffside neighborhood of Fletcher Cove, boasts a list of 14 different wing flavors including Shelly’ BBQ, a mild sweet sauce, and Habanero BBQ, for those who prefer some spice! On Wednesdays, enjoy 20% of all wing orders from 5:00 p.m. to close. Pillbox Tavern also has a saucy Pulled Pork Sandwich made of slow roasted pork covered in Chef Shelly’s BBQ sauce, topped with coleslaw and onion rings, and served between a brioche bun. So many tasty options for you during National BBQ Month!