scottie’s smokehouse / orange – orange county, ca

In San Diego, I had Phil’s BBQ. When I moved to L.A., I found a new barbecue love, Phillip’s BBQ. Though I don’t know whether to expect that caliber of barbecue goodness in the City of Orange, I was definitely hopeful when I noticed an inconspicuous “BBQ” sign in a strip mall at Glassell & Collins. It turned out to be Scottie’s Smokehouse, a small, tidy, seemingly family-run restaurant that was somewhat dwarfed by the large Mexican restaurant and bar next door. Best of all, it was within walking distance of my apartment.

Scottie\'s Smokehouse in Orange, CA

They had a really straightforward menu, which I also thought was promising. They offered either a plate or sandwich of beef (I think it was brisket), chicken, or pork. I don’t remember the specific prices, but the meat choices were in the $5 to $7 range with no sides, which were all in the $2 to $3 range. Sandwiches came on white or wheat rolls. Mr. Furious and I both ordered beef, mine on wheat with a side of potato salad and baked beans, and his on white with a side of mac and cheese.

Sammiches and Sides

The first thing I noticed when I bit into my sandwich was that the meat was very, incredibly fatty. I probably wouldn’t have cared if I had ordered the plate, since I would have seen all of my meat’s features ahead of time, and probably would have been armed with a knife. It was a major undertaking to try to pull my sandwich apart, pull out all of the big fatty parts, and then put it all back together again. Not to mention that I had half as much sandwich left when I was done. The fact that the meat was so fatty should not have been the first thing I noticed, but that’s just how fatty it really was.

The second thing I noticed was that the meat did not taste remotely smoked, barbecued, grilled, or anything of the sort. In fact, the restaurant didn’t smell that way either, which should have set off alarms the second I walked in the door but I guess I was just too hungry to pay attention. Instead, the meat tasted roasted or baked. This would have been fine if it hadn’t been so fatty, and if the place had been called, “Scottie’s Roasted Meats.”

The sandwiches were topped with cole slaw, which was actually tasty enough that I wished I’d ordered it as a side to taste it alone. Of course, there was also barbecue sauce — I thought it tasted fairly pleasant (a little sweet, mostly tangy, and not at all spicy), but Mr. Furious thought it tasted bottled. My potato salad and baked beans were not horrible, but were pretty bland and could have used even a little more basic seasoning. Mr. Furious’ mac and cheese had a mild cheese flavor and a good consistency, so even though I won’t be dreaming about it at night, I still thought it was decent.

I suppose my dreams of amazing barbecue within walking distance of home will have to remain dreams.

Scottie’s Smokehouse
129 East Collins Avenue
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 997-3844

5 thoughts on “scottie’s smokehouse / orange – orange county, ca

  1. I agree with your review. We have since trimmed the beef to provide a better sandwich. As to the smoke, we are working on that. Since we have been open only since August 9th 2008, we are working on becoming better. I appreciate you honesty and hope you will visit us again.


  2. Hi, Scottie again,

    Just another quick question. You review was dated October 2nd of 2008. We have not served the brisket in that manner for more than two months. When did you do the review? Just asking. Keep up the great work…….

  3. Scottie, I did write the review on October 2, but the date of my visit was August 26, 2008. I’ll be sure to visit again sometime soon to check out the changes.

  4. Hey Alyssa,

    Just a quick question over here. What are your qualifications regarding BBQ or restaurant reviewing for that matter? As a ceritified BBQ judge with the Kansas City BBQ Society, I have found Scotties Smokehouse a pleasurable contrast to the larger restaurants that promote themselves as a BBQ joint.

    As for as the fat content in the sandwich or meal that you received, I’m sorry if you were offended. However, there needs to be some fat there to provide juiciness to the meat, thus providing flavor. If you take all of the fat off before cooking, all you left with is a dry cut that you’ll have to choke down with a good drink.

    One other thing about Scottie is that he is constantly working to improve the flavors that come from his smoker. Give him another chance. Winning smokehouses aren’t born overnight.


  5. Glenn,

    Food preference is largely a matter of opinion. Seriously, even the Top Chef judges don’t always agree with each other. I’ve referred in my post to other barbecue places I’ve enjoyed, and people with tastes different from mine (or anyone, for that matter) can take my posts with a grain of salt, or not read them at all. As far as my meal at Scottie’s, the fact that the meal was not to my taste certainly does not mean I was offended; moreover, entire mouthfuls only of fat are what I would consider to be too high of fat content, and that’s what I got. I have eaten both meat and barbecue before, and I think it’s my right as a nerdy-blogging-food-eater to compare the various places I’ve had them.

    That said, for any of my blog posts, I would encourage anyone with a different experience from mine to share. I’m sure even the best restaurants have bad days. There has been at least one instance where a restaurant has had a more positive review and readers shared more negative comments, so I would certainly expect (and welcome) the reverse.

    People are also welcome to share the basis of their opinions if they want to, but it seems unnecessary to call into question the opinions or “qualifications” of any person posting on this blog.

    None of the posts here are intended to be personal affronts to individuals at any establishments review, but rather they’re honest expressions of opinion. It would be silly to expect me to enjoy every meal I ever eat, and there would be no point in blogging about them if I couldn’t express my true opinions.


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