Wednesday, November 16, 2011

5 Questions With... Baby Blue's BBQ

You know the annoying saying, "If you looked up _________ in the dictionary, you would find _______?" I hate that saying... But prepared to be annoyed: if you looked up 'Unemployed Eater Ideal Meals' in the dictionary, you would most certainly find the shimmering bbq-sauced lathered ribs and brisket and the creamiest mac and cheese and the sweetest of sweet potatoes of Venice's Baby Blues BBQ. Undoubtedly the Westside's premiere BBQ spot, everything about Baby Blue's screams U.E. Outside of the fact that the food is straight up delicious, you get a ton of it. Most of the time enough for two meals. Possibly three (if you're a tiny girl). Even better, you get said hefty portions atop (presumably cereal box redemption) baseball-themed plates from the mid-nineties! No pretense; just delicious freaking BBQ in LOS ANGELES. How fucking cool is that? 

Also cool: Baby Blues' co-owner, Danny Fischer, who took time out of his busy schedule to answer "5 Questions With..."

1. In the past few years, Baby Blue's has expanded quite a bit. What prompted the new locations [now in West Hollywood, San Francisco and Philadelphia] and how is the expansion going?
DF: What prompted the expansion was [co-owner] Rick [McCarthy] and I's desire to grow, not from a financial standpoint, but more from a personal and business model standpoint.  And the ride is such a thrill and brings such joy, I guess it's kinda like why people have a second child (assuming the first isn't a miniature Chucky Manson).  The Hollywood expansion was our 2nd child.  Does that make sense?  As for the San Fran and Philly spots, those are operated by two of my brothers who also had the desire to create a sculpture from the clay that was provided.  As for how they're doing, they're all so uniquely great in my opinion.  Each place has its own identity, heartbeat, etc.

2. Almost any night of the week there's a line out your door. What do you think it is about your bbq that is so appealing to Los Angelenos?
DF: This question always scares me because I hate to sound arrogant in my response.  I think because we spend a great deal of time on each item, not just the big guns, but down to the simplest of sides - I think that makes a tremendous difference.  And we have not created a formula and walked away.  Every single day we're thinking about (and challenging) our product and staying on top of it.  That, too, matters a lot.  Our hearts and souls are in this.

3. What other LA-based BBQ do you like?
DF: Can I get a pass on this one?  I'm sorry to say that my response would not be fair to all the great joints out there.  I've just been too busy to give any of them a fair shake.  But I intend to.

4. What are your most popular dishes? Why do you think that is?
DF: Biggest seller is probably the pulled pork (platter and sandwich), and our 4 cheese mac n' cheese.  The pork is smoked for 16 hrs. in Guinness beer.  How can you go wrong there?  My personal favorite?  "The Deuce" - our Memphis-style ribs with grilled shrimp.  I'm obsessed with our Memphis ribs.  That's my "death row" final meal.  Not that I'm planning on death row any time soon.

5. Is it actually possible to  finish a full serving of meat and two of your sides in one sitting? 
DF: If you're eatin' the Texas Beef Rib (aka Brontosaurus Bone) and your fixin's are mac n' cheese and mashed potatoes, I'd say you got your work cut out for you.  But do the pulled pork, sauteed okra and grilled cob - yeah, that's pretty manageable.  People do that pretty often.

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