Overcoming Car-Food Phobias at Phillip’s Bar-B-Que
When Phillip’s Bar-B-Que was first described to me as a “hole in the wall”, I always dismissed the description as a clever way to say that the floor was sticky and all the tables were covered with gang tagging. Little did I know that the description was literal. After placing your order inside Phillip’s, Leimert Park, a mysterious hand delivers your food through a tiny hole with a doggy door flap.
Indeed, the location is a takeout stand. It has no tables and the wait for food is long, long. I’d been told the wait could be as long as 45 minutes. My buddy Marc and I waited for 15 minutes. In that time we learned the following:
- You can call in your order and make a quick pickup. In fact, most people just call in their orders. Oops.
- The Phillip’s on Crenshaw and Adams, which we passed on the way to the Leimert Park walk-in closet, was in fact another location and not a knockoff. This information came in handy the next day when I decided to give a couple more items a taste.
- Anthony Hamilton will soon be appearing in concert with Santana.
We got our food and decided to eat in the car. I couldn’t wait. We came to get sloppy with some ribs. We drove around a bit and finally ended up in some shade next to a McDonald’s. Marc was playing Mary J. Blige on the iPod. I was ready for battle.
Before I continue with the review, I should mention that I have a bit of a “thing”, some say phobia, with being in constant body contact with warm food or cold drinks. I hate putting takeout food on my lap or holding a cold drink for a prolonged period of time. Am I the only one out in the world with this affliction? It gives me a unique type of anxiety. A kind of “ginger ale in the head”, so to speak. Eating in the car would prove a chore.
With this phobia and the conscious effort to not get sauce on my shirt (I ended up with two stains), I feared I was not in the right frame of mind to properly eat.
Who am I kidding. I tried to not to let said phobia color my opinion of the offerings. In two days’ time at two locations, I tried the following…
BBQ Sauce: Really Good. It found that nice middle ground of not too sweet, not to vinegar-y, not too spicy. I see the sauce being versatile, able to be used on everything from briskets to salads to french fries.
Sliced Beef: Good, but you could tell the sauce had to compensate for the slight dryness of the meat.
Beef links: Excellent. It tasted like they didn’t solely use cow organs and fat for the filling. Not that sausage with just organ meat and fat is bad. I’m merely saying they stayed classy with their sausage. (As classy as one can get with sausage.)
Pork Ribs: Really good and soft. It wasn’t “fall off the bone” soft as some have claimed, but soft nonetheless. Let’s just say I didn’t have to hold the ribs like a handlebar in order to bite off the meat.
BBQ Beans: Excellent. It wasn’t just beans in some sweet water. You could scoop a hearty gob onto your fork and it would stick together. Plus, they put a tinge of spice in it.
Potato Salad: Excellent as a compliment to the BBQ. Don’t expect this item to carry the load of any meal, though. It was lightly flavored with sweet relish and had an overall texture that can best be described as creamy.
Red Velvet Cake: Pretty good, but the “red velvet” aspect of the cake was very much a disappointment. There was a rich red color to the cake, but that’s all it was: Color. No strawberry or other fruit flavor. It was basically just cake. What a tease.
Pork Rib Sandwich: Very disappointing. Upon ordering this, I had such high hopes. Visions of a permanent replacement for my occasional McRib cravings were filling my head. Upon opening the foil wrapping, my heart sank. There was no sandwich to speak of. It was basically a half order of ribs with two slices of white bread on the side. No deboned rib meat in a hearty roll?! If my emotions hadn’t been repressed by my parents as child, I would’ve thrown the quasi-sandwich across the room.
To sum up: Multiple locations. Call in advance. Hand in doggy door. Mary J. Blige. There’s no place to sit at the Leimert Park Area. There are a couple of outdoor tables and a counter at the Adams location. Truth be told I heard there was a third location, but I was too lazy to look into it.
4307 Leimert Blvd Ste 3
Los Angeles, CA 90008
2619 Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016