bbq republic | carmel mountain / san diego, ca

BBQ Republic is a fairly new BBQ joint that’s turned into a local chain with 2 locations in Carmel Mountain and Torrey Hills. I bought a groupon-like deal not too long ago for this place and Jake and I finally checked it out recently.

Jake was kind of jonesing for BBQ and he really wanted to hit up his favorite spot, Bubba’s Smokehouse BBQ, but I got him to try something new with a little cajoling (that and I already had a coupon). I promised him a future visit to Bubba’s again so he could have his favorite chili again soon.

BBQ Republic is in the same location that Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ was at in Carmel Mountain. Cheeburger Cheeburger used to be next door, but alas, it is no more. It was actually looking quite vacant over in that part of the strip mall.

We stood in the front of the large menu boards for quite awhile, trying to figure out what we would try.

Jake ended up talking for a bit to a couple of ladies behind us who were also here on their first visit. They were trying to decide what to order (or if they should go somewhere else). We made our final decisions and made our way to the counter to order and then found some seats to wait for our food, which came out pretty quickly.

We started with dessert first with these Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookies ($1.00 each). They weren’t bad as far as cookies go. I had a bite and then saved the rest of my cookie for later. Jake ate his. The caramel part of the cookie was a little tough and the cookie was a little crumbly. It was a bit soft and not too bad but not the best cookie I’ve ever had.

I started off with a Cesar Salad side ($1.50 with meal) which I got at the same time as the rest of my food. The dressing was just okay, a little sour for my tastes, but not awful.

Jake ordered the Meat Platter ($13.99) – you get two choices of meat and one side dish with this combination. He ended up getting the beef ribs and the pulled pork along with a baked potato. He wanted to get one of their loaded baked potatoes which has bbq inside of the potato and instead “made his own” by putting some of his pulled pork into the baked potato and smoshing it all together to eat. He gave me some of the beef ribs to try and I ended up really liking them. They were tender but still hung onto the bone and the sauce was a sweet, slightly smoky sauce. You can actually choose your style for the ribs, which is sweet, tangy, citrus chipotle or dry rubbed. I believe the “standard” is the sweet sauce since we didn’t specify.

I ended up getting the BBQ Sliders ($7.99) because I wanted to have a little variety of bbq meats without a hefty price tag. With the sliders you get 3 sliders and each one has a different meat on it: pulled pork (far left), chopped brisket (middle) and pulled chicken (far right).

Now, there’s a little warning on the menu that you might get a bone in your chicken since it’s hand pulled, but I was still annoyed that I got one in my food. The pulled chicken was very dry and needed a ton of extra sauce to made it good, but after a couple of bites I just moved onto the other meats. They all tasted kind of dry and not so good to me and I ended up giving my sliders to Jake who in turn gave me his other beef rib. I happily ate that and munched on my onion strings and was a happy camper. The onion strings were made with red onions and had a light, crispy batter on them. They were crunchy and sweet and I gobbled them right up. Along with the beef ribs, they were my favorite item here.

BBQ Republic
12002 Carmel Mountain Rd
San Diego, CA 92128
Phone: (858) 487-2120

BBQ Republic on Urbanspoon

Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 12+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

8 Replies to “bbq republic | carmel mountain / san diego, ca

  1. When did Cheeburger Cheeburger go away?

    I actually like the Bbq Republic menu better than Joey’s (what it used to be), even though it’s mostly the same. I just remember a couple of options that didn’t used to be there.

    I think the ribs and sandwiches are the best bets here… and the onion strings. With ranch dressing. I also enjoy the baked sweet potato that’s loaded with bbq meat. Mmm…

  2. I don’t know when Cheeburger Cheeburger went away… I hardly ever go to Carmel Mtn now that there’s a Trader Joe’s in Mira Mesa! It’s so empty over there now, BBQ Republic looks lonely. If we go back I’m just getting ribs and onion strings. I didn’t see they also had a sweet potato with bbq meat! Sounds good, too.

  3. Same here, I didn’t know that Joeys and Cheeburger Cheeburger were gone. There’s been a lot of restaurants that have come and gone in those two storefronts. Only Rubios seems to be a constant.

    I’m not a huge BBQ fan, but having a coupon helps.

  4. I went to both Joey’s locations (while they were still Joey’s) and thought the food was ‘ok’. Their best item was their whole bbq chicken (from the Torrey Hills location).

    I received the coupon magazine awhile back and was excited to see a new BBQ place called BBQ Republic – didn’t realize until after some research, it was Joey’s. But your pic of the sliders made me laugh b/c that’s exactly what was on front of the coupon magazine that made me so hungry!

    Is the menu pretty much the same? It doesn’t sound like the food is all that great. I’ve only had beef ribs a few times – what’s the main difference b/w the taste of a pork and beef rib? I also like it when the meat is tender but you still gotta chew it from the bone!

    Nice post!

  5. Hi Faye –
    The menu seems to be expanded to me, there are more options and more items to choose from. I didn’t have any pork ribs, just the beef. Jake noted that one of the beef ribs didn’t have a ton of meat on it so it’s not quite as generous as some places but we did both like the beef ribs (I tend to prefer beef over pork myself). It doesn’t fall off the bone, either, you still gotta chew!

  6. My mouth is watering from looking at those pics. BBQ is one of my guilty indulgences; it’s just that the calories are so much! I will definitely try this place out next time I am in San Diego.

  7. Hi Mary,
    I wanted to thank you for writing about BBQ Republic on your blog. We would love for you and Jake to come by again so he can try our Chili too! Glad you enjoyed your meal and thanks for the feedback.

  8. The 1st time I tried BBQ I got the 2 platter meal. Had the beef ribs and tri tip (melted in my mouth)
    The only thing I didn’t like was the pork ribs. They weren’t cooked and tasted like paste.
    Now I crave BBQ Republic and glad its only across the freeway.
    Oh yes, and the cornbread is out of this world.

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