Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Side-tracked by BBQ

Tonight I was supposed to write Part 2 Types of Restaurants but my mind is elsewhere - - on a little three-month old restaurant called Baby Blues.

I'm in love with the joint for so many reasons not the least of which is the home-cooked food. I had a big slab 'o dry-rubbed baby backs with sweet mash 'n heavenly beans ($15.95). My friend ordered the "Mason Dixon" 1/2 ribs, 1/4 chicken, beans and slaw ($18.95) with choice of Memphis long bones or baby-backs. Their portions are hefty served on a large oval platter. My only misgiving was ordering the banana cream pudding (which was almost entirely whipped cream with few bananas).

Their choice of music (authentic blues), unpretentious ambience (read: hole-in-the-wall without the holes) and Southern-style hospitality was just to my liking. One of the owner-chef's, Danny, came to our table to be sure my friend and I got a taste of the pulled pork ~ Omigod, I think he said they slow- cook it for 16 hours? As stuffed as I was (and I was), it goes down easy. It's tender 'n succulent shreds of meat and oh, so flavorful. I want to run back soon for lunch for one of their Carolina pulled pork sandwiches topped with slaw $7.

We brought our own bottle of chilled Champagne (actually sparkling white wine from Washington) and our own glassware, and that had the place buzzing. "Look what they're drinking...Is it good with BBQ?" "No", I replied. "It's fantabulous." Just the right effervescence and light flavor that is the perfect marriage with "Q". It puts beer to shame!

Danny is a natural-born restauranteur - - filled with love and enthusiasm for his food and he genuinely likes people. That's something you can't fake. I'll be back. I'll take friends. I'll sing their praises through e-mail. I left with a doggie bag in hand for lunch tomorrow...mmm, lucky me!

Baby Blue's Bar B Q, 444 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA (310) 396-7675
Real people serving really good food.