mr. steve’s famous bbq at the hungry stick / clairemont – san diego, ca
Okay, now that I have my trusty laptop again, let’s play catch up!
Last month Jake and I were out and about in Clairemont and I was hungry. I thought it might be a good time to finally try Little Sheep and we headed over there. Jake looked less than enthusiastic about the place, especially after we saw the prices. I yielded and decided I’d try it on another day and instead we walked over to another restaurant in the parking lot – The Hungry Stick.
I’ve driven by the Hungry Stick a few times before. It’s always look like a dive to me but the name has always amused me. Is it a stick that’s hungry? Do you hold the stick to indicate you are hungry? I have no idea. These are the kinds of things I think about.
We walked in and noticed about half of the place was in renovation. The upper part, the bar area, was open with a few pool tables, booths and long, dark bar. There was a menu and a sign talked about “Mr. Steve’s Famous BBQ”. I thought we were at the Hungry Stick?
No matter. We braved it and I’m sure glad we did.
We found out from our super friendly waitress that The Hungry Stick had very recently abandoned their old menu in favor of doing BBQ with Mr. Steve. He’s even won a few trophies and awards (that you can see as soon as you walk in) for his BBQ. Our waitress told us that they had tried so many different types of food at that place and were trying to do so many different things that she was glad to see them do something a little simpler – and something that’s really tasty.
[Pulled Pork Dinner – $11.99, plus extra side]
We had originally ordered the beef ribs, but Mr. Steve wasn’t happy with the way the ribs came out and told our waitress he couldn’t serve them. Instead of selling us product he wasn’t happy with, we were kindly asked to choose another dish. Our waitress had raved about the pulled pork so we gave it a shot.
We got 2 sides with it – fries and corn bread – and added on potato salad as an extra side ($2.50).
[Close up of the pulled pork]
Jake and I shared the plate… I’m pretty sure we had plans later that day and sharing made the most sense. The pork was so tender and delicious though, we almost didn’t want to share anymore.
The pulled pork is juicy and flavorful. You can see a bit of the smoke ring around the pork in my photo. The pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender and with the addition of a little BBQ sauce, it made for a perfect bite. Definitely one of the better pulled pork dishes I’ve had from around town!
[Three homemade BBQ sauces – hot, regular and sweet]
There are three homemade BBQ sauces available. We tried all of them. The hot one isn’t really all that hot. As someone who is not really into hot stuff, I didn’t even find it really hot. The regular has a tangy vinegar flavor to it. My favorite was the sweet sauce: a little smokey and definitely a bit sweet.
[Sample of hot links]
We also had asked if we could just buy one hot link on the side and instead they gave us a sample of the hot link. Pretty generous for a sample! The hot link has that really nice crisp to the outer edge of it – that bit of a snap that you get in a good link. Very flavorful and juicy, it’s something I’d want to order again on it’s own (and maybe not share it… hmm).
[Side of potato salad]
Confession: I don’t remember what the potato salad tasted like. Either because I remember the other food was much more memorable or because it didn’t make me swoon. You can decide.
The cornbread was very good – it was still warm and soft. It was sweet and not dried out, but moist. Good cornbread! We also got some Beer Rolls included with our meal – those are the things in the photo of the plate that look like muffins. We didn’t really care for the beer rolls. They were very dense, cold, and didn’t have a distinct flavor to me.
[Homemade Lemon Cake]
It was lunch time but I still can’t walk away from trying dessert.
We actually got these slices of lemon cake on the house. I had inquired about what desserts they had, spotting pecan pie, but was told that they were going to totally redo the desserts. The previous desserts weren’t made there but this lemon cake was Mr. Steve’s mom’s recipe. You can’t turn down something like that!
The lemon cake was very moist and had a nice balance of lemon flavor. It had a lemon glaze that enveloped the whole outside of the cake, locking in the flavor. I ate every last crumb.
[Sugar Biscuits – warm, fresh, and covered in cinnamon sugar – $1.50]
And yet, that wasn’t enough! I saw on the menu something else called “Sugar Biscuits” and those were available! I asked what a sugar biscuit was and was told it was “sort of like a donut”.
Damn. Sign me up.
The biscuits were delivered, still nice and warm and completely covered in cinnamon sugar goodness. One bite was enough to make me sigh happily. The soft, warm dough is light but a bit denser than a yeast donut. The coating gives it sweetness and flavor and melts away in your mouth, signaling the perfect end to another tasty meal.
Mr. Steve’s Famous BBQ at the Hungry Stick
4664 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92117